Saturday, 17 May 2008

My Life, Starring PMS

You know life is good when your therapist ends your session saying, “Well, honestly, you seem really well. You’re on track and you seem to have a good balance in your life. There is no reason we should continue our sessions.” Oh. Oh, good.

Why was I seeing a therapist, you might ask? Well I can tell you.

Life comes in doses and when it’s excessive, it overloads. And well, being VerrySherry, I suffer from overload.

I’m kidding. Really. I just like hearing the psychologist student in me theorize.

The real reason for therapy began on a wet, grey, PMS-infused Tuesday afternoon in February. The PMS role, it’s key here. PMS is always the headliner at any show. It can upstage anything and everything. You can have your car break down and your hair dyed green during that time of the month and still, the torture and crying and screaming brought on by PMS will be paramount to a crumpled fender and mint-colored straw hair anyday. But I digress.

The week earlier, my lawyer for the car accident called with news of a settlement. Would I like to come in and discuss whether we accept the settlement offer? Um, yes.

So on Tuesday I scheduled an early work-from–home day; I could pick up the kids at 3pm from school; drop them off at the house; and shoot away for my 6pm appointment in a town two hours away. In theory it was a plan.

In actuality, it was chaotic and I was frazzled.

Just when you can not handle a thing more on your plate, that thing appears.

Or calls.

And he says, “Hi! I’m starving. What’s fixin’ for dinner?” I remind DH that I was traveling to see the lawyer. I tell him dinner is last on my mind. I’m running late, I’m worried about my absence from work, I’m stressed over the rush hour traffic and will I ever find parking?

Yes. Rush hour traffic. Bottlenecking while entering and exiting villages. The freeway in between moves easily enough. It’s not a “freeway” here, it’s a “motorway.” Four years on, I still call it a “freeway”. In every conversation, Irish people comment with a little chuckle, “oh, we call that a motorway.” Holding onto my Californian roots, I get a kick out of using the wrong word, as it never fails to get someone's attention. Again, I digress.

I must have vented a little too much, ‘cause DH’s reaction was, “Why in world did you make your appointment for that time? That is insane!”

Cue the PMS.

By the time I reached my lawyer’s office, I was one nudge shy of collapsing into a puddle in the corner. I entered the waiting room. Good. More time to gather my emotions and shore up the damn.

Finally I sit across from my lawyer of three years on this case. She spoke. She chose her words not carefully enough, I’d like to think.

“Ms. VerrySherry, your file is bursting full, and it seems we have to call you to remind you to return forms and well, this case should be easier than it is, and is there something about the car accident that makes you shut down anytime you need to deal with it or us?”

Look out below. Damn broke.

All I remember is bits and drabs. I spewed out something about being responsible and returning phone calls and forms, something about motherhood and a career, something about the rain and a lost parking space, something about who’s gonna do dinner and who’s gonna go hungry.

Trust me, this I write is coherent. That she heard, incoherent. Soggy, sobbing words amid the crying: motherhood...can’t...working...can’t...bills...can’’t...dinner…

She leaned over with a box of tissue and patted my hand.

“Righty-o.” She spoke in a soft low tone, “We should decline the settlement offer and you should seek therapy right away. We’ll have your doctor write a report for mental anguish and ask them to revise the settlement accordingly.”

And you know what, friends? I had absolutely no energy to tell her otherwise. PMS had reared it’s ugly head and took center stage; the car accident was a distant memory. But my lawyer thought otherwise.

So like any mom who is supposed to do something for herself immediately, I let a month slip by and then booked an appointment with a therapist. Just in time for Aunt Flow’s (aka PMS) next visit. Again tears came at the drop of hat. Timing, people. It’s all about timing.

For my next three visits, everything came up roses. I couldn’t muster a quick 15 minute down-on-my-luck performance if my life depended on it. An actress, I am not.

So here we are, back at the start of this tale, with my therapist giving me a clean bill of health. Now I just have to update my lawyer.

I’ll be sure to wait ‘til Aunt Flow has left the building.


Sew Create It - Jane said...

I can see why the Reeses Bunny didn't last too long in your house. Sounds like you're on the same monthly roller coater as I am.
I know what you mean about using the terminology from back home. I've been here 7 years and can still confuse my husband and the in-laws! It's too much fun not to do it.

Anne Marie said...

I remember that day very clearly!!!!! chuckling just thinking of it now.....

Rabbit Stitchings said...

Just found your blog, am sitting here laughing, though I realize this day was not funny for you!
Lordy girly if we just had a dollar for everytime hormones managed to create a ordeal! We women would all be rich!!!!! ROFL ROFL... glad you got a clean mental bill of health in the end :O)...

How fun to live out of the country, I am not much of a travelor but I have always said I would go to Ireland if I was! Its seems like a great place!