A homeless citizen of the internet

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21 years ago I sat together with my sister, chatting with strangers, by the family computer in the hallway of our downtown apartment. We had finally gotten a computer with internet after moving to this new city! It was amazing in spite of the ping being terrible and the modem disconnecting every five minutes. When our parents begrudgingly paid those sky high telephone bills, they had no idea what a good investment it was in my personal life.

IRC was big in my home town and everyone* was on there. In the computer labs in my teens, me and my classmates sat chatting on lunch breaks and I met hundreds of people IRL on meets and parties. Some of them stuck, most of them I have forgotten or nod to when I see them around town.

When I moved back home three years ago, after six years in regional exile, the ones greeting me back were the people I got to know through IRC all those years ago. My now best friend in town was the friend of my first boyfriend. I met him while chatting through the nights as silently as one could with old keyboards and modems that made actual noises while dialing the internet.

18 years ago I sat perched on an old computer chair that was covered with a rag carpet because the stuffing in the chair had begun fleeing out through the hole in the light green fabric, in my mother's living room. My use of the internet centered around IRC (before the great hacking of DalNet in 2001, that doozy) and Collegeslackers.com while that was still a forum, and a couple of communities where new and old connections mixed.

On Collegeslackers I made new friends, some of which I'm still friends with today albeit on Facebook because we live on different continents. If I ever visit the states I'm gonna check to see if they're en route, for sure.

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15 years ago I started my first blog, after steadily reading a couple myself. And I'm still at it. It was just two years ago I met with someone I'd gotten to know through our blogs, IRL. You're thinking, why am I reading this? I'm sort of getting to a point, hopefully. You guys know that I'm sentimental about the good old days of the internet. Don't worry, I'm not gonna get into that too much, just hear me out.

The whole thing has been rubbing me the wrong way for a long time. If I'm not happy with the e-socials nowadays, why don't I just quit? Opt-out for reals? Quit the blog and delete my social media accounts and just move on with my life, with my old and new IRL friends?

I talked to my partner about it the other day, over dinner. With bubbly in our glasses, a fire lit in the fireplace and a tasty dinner consisting of like, chili with more chili on top, I questioned why I even bother to think about the internet so much. I don't miss anything in life really, so why is it bothering me? My partner is already happily mostly-out so he twisted and turned the arguments of both sides with me.

I've put my finger on it;
If I opt-out of social media, it means that I'm officially putting
a stop to a means of meeting new friends

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The internet has always been a social place for me. Somewhere to connect and stumble over new friends and take part in their lives. Hear from people I would never meet otherwise. I’ve met some of my very most close friends in school and in social situations, but I would never want to be without the ones I’ve met online.

It's not as much fear of missing out right now as it is fear of missing out in the future. I know that's a sort of inconsequential difference, but it is a big one. Hadn't I blogged those years ago, I wouldn't have made a number of my friends. Hadn't I chatted, I would have missed out on three of my closest friends and 20 of my less close ones. Hadn't I communitied (hey, at 3 AM you're allowed to make up words), I would have missed out on connections and at least funny stories about terrible three-night stands that we still laugh about.

Hell, half of my old romances stem from the internet. My partner, the man that I am living with, I met online. We should have met organically seeing as we have like 50 mutual friends and acquaintances and were invited to the same BBQs, but we didn't.

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I have a social life and meet new people which is more than enough but having used the internet as a social platform for over 20 years, it's a weird feeling to go back to 1997 before the possibility even existed. Even if I think Instagram and the fast media are hollow compared to earlier forms of communication on the internet, and even if I really feel I don't belong there, it's still so hard to imagine just letting it all go. I know the party's taking place elsewhere, and I'm choosing not to go.

The grating feeling I have regarding social media today is in stark contrast to how meaningful and adding to my life the social internet has been for my life, for so long. I'm not gonna lie. I'm a grown-ass woman, and it's still hard to take to heart.

I don't have any answers on what I should do, but at least I know what the gist is? It may scatter my insecurities around blogging, because blogging in itself gives me great joy, so why stop? The rest… I don’t know. We’ll see.



*When I say everyone I mean like having people logging into our city's channel (the teen culture was strong in our 90k town) and I was able to identify and chat with at least two boys I'd been eyeing IRL for a long time. "Breakdancekid-86 just joined #town."
"He has a breakdancer style AND is born in 1986, maybe it's him!".
It was. Good times.

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You carry so much grief, he said

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And I do. I just don't know how not to.

Some of you know it all. You heard the whole story as my world was coming down around me. For you who haven't been around that long; it feels weird to list stuff because it's like I'm fishing for sympathy, and I don't feel like someone to feel sorry for.

This evening I walked around in my garden. The green grass tickled my feet, butterflies flapped around the violets in the golden light. I smelled the apple blossom and watched the bees buzz around its crown in the setting sun. I'm so fucking lucky. Just a few hours ago I got to spend some time with my dad. I live in a beautiful little house with a wonderful man and two great kids. I have so many friends and family that I cherish. Wonderful people that have given me so much, welcoming me back with open arms after being gone for so long.

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But the wounds stay open, and I don't know how to close them back up again.

I spend late nights searching for information, trying to get clues on where to go from here. How to handle grief in a constructive way. Most of the articles I find are about how to forgive someone. They tell me how to write letters asking for forgiveness, but I have no one to apologize to. They tell me how to write a letter to those who cannot beg for forgiveness, but I have no one to pardon. No one was at fault for what happened during those years. It just happened. It was nature, chaos, entropy. No one is to blame, no one to address liberating letters to, no one to turn my back to before I enter the path of salvation. How do I find relief from something that was entirely beyond my control?

I've tried finding comfort in just that; that I could do nothing to spare myself from the sorrow, but it's been fruitless. I still feel the burden on my shoulders. I'm stuck.

It hasn't stopped me from living life. Far from it. The last three years have been a flurry of positive experiences and wonderful events, side by side with the darker sides of life. I go all in but keep a little distance at the same time to protect myself from further suffering, and that's not what I want. I'm afraid of being dependent on someone else. I'm afraid of getting sucked up into another person's world, a world that I would have to abandon in case of a separation, just like four years ago. To make friends that I would lose, just like I did four years ago. To love something so deeply and then lose it again. I could have tried to regain my footing where I had loved living for six years, but I would have been forced to sell my home either way. In hindsight, I made the right decision by leaving.

While there's no regret in moving back home, it's harshly bittersweet having left such a big part of my heart among the open fields, 400 kilometers from where I now sit in a chair across from the man I love. It pains me that my heart irreversibly lies in a place that I will never again call home. That the whole process of losing my home, my planned future, my marriage, and my job intermingles with the loss of my mom just after I moved back home. It's a mess, sincere gratitude mixed with deep sorrow. Confusing and hard to deal with.

We went back there a few weeks ago, for Easter. A friend of mine is currently living just a few kilometers from my beloved ex-house, so we took the opportunity to drive around and visit my favourite historical sites that A wanted to see for himself. I didn't tell anyone I was visiting because, honestly, I didn't know how I would handle being back. I wasn't ready to see anyone that I held dear. Almost four years ago, I just upped and left. I never said goodbye to my co-workers (I was on sick leave due to chronic pain when my ex and I split up and I realized I wouldn't be returning to work), and never hugged my friends that last time. It hurt a lot to see my old home again and traveling the same old roads, there's no need in hiding that. I didn't cry as much as I thought I would, and it was sort of nice to see the old haunts again, but I didn't find relief afterward. The pain persists.

I'm almost ashamed to talk about my grief, having received so much love throughout the years since I moved back home as if I'm an ungrateful failure that can't just let the past be the past and move on. But when I look back on what I've gone through with factual eyes, I don't feel like a failure. I've been supported by my close ones, but I have fought on under my own steam. In just a few years I experienced some of life's most painful events, and I still stand even if my knees are buckling sometimes. Maybe I should be proud, but I'm not.

I can't put my finger on what I'm stuck on. It's like stasis. I'm so incredibly happy for everything I've been gifted but still carrying a thinly veiled sadness. Like living in my home town again is just a reminder of what I've lost instead of it being a new start, even though I'm so grateful for it all. All of it has been so acutely apparent in all aspects of my life, making me feel like I am my loss, not just the one having experienced it.

Maybe writing this post is a sign that I'm going in the right direction. A hint that I've grown tired of the grief, and that I'm ready to move on. Let’s hope it’s that way. I just don't know how to.

10 years with endometriosis

Here I have an English version on top, and a Swedish one at the bottom.

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When he said ”You may have endometriosis. I’d like to check up on that. It’s not normal to experience pain every day” he was the first one in four years to take me seriously. The average time from when the symptoms appear until diagnosis is settled, is around eight years. My four years was the fast lane.

After being dismissed by midwives, chief physicians, OB-GYN’s, gynecologists and doctors, I finally got the answer I had been searching for. I wasn’t just making shit up or exaggerating the normal standard of “feeling the different phases of your menstrual cycle”. Bah. And somehow, it was also extra annoying that the first person to take me seriously was a man, when all the earlier dismissals had been done by women.

But with the laparoscopy surgery that was suddenly done a couple of weeks late came the surgeon’s opinion; “I really understand that you’ve been in pain”, but with the recognition and the diagnosis followed desperation. When I lay there on my couch, super sore from the surgery and googled endometriosis, I found forums, support groups, groups for family of endometriosis sufferers. No solutions. And then it kind of hit me. I’m never getting rid of this.

Fast forward to six years later, and I’m at the stage where I and my doctor have tried getting me menstruation free for a year, without succeeding. The summer before the last the pains started changing character and I didn’t really keep up. First we tried putting me into the classic chemical menopause but it didn’t work, I still bled but just six weeks apart and lots of it. So I quit that.

The following months were the worst I’ve had so far. It just started off as regular annoying cramps and sort of morphed into the worst pains I’ve experienced. Every 30 seconds pains seared through my stomach and ended up sitting completely still on my couch for two days before I could move around a little. I actually took the following days officially off of work and went home to a friend and sat on his couch instead until Wednesday, when I could move more freely again. It seems my endometriosis has spread into tissues and reacts to bowel moments, ever so little ones.

When it repeated itself the month after I called the hospital crying, and I couldn’t take anymore. I didn’t want to call because the only solution is birth control pills, and I can’t with birth control. Under hormones, I lose everything that is me, the depression comes with all its ugly symptoms of not wanting to see anyone, lose the motivation for anything. The sex life fades and I stop getting in touch with people. The last time I ate birth control pills I felt completely blank inside for three months before I stopped taking and suddenly, life returned to me.

But that isn’t an option now. It’s too bad. I have to treat it with hormones. And the consequences are here. I’ve kept a close eye on it in fear that the hormonal depression would appear again, and even then I somehow managed to miss it. It wasn’t until I realized I sleep 13 hours a day that I got it. It’s here.

My only option is to try another type of hormones but I’m terrified. Right now, it comes and goes. Some days are fine and some days are clad in darkness. Sometimes I look at my new infatuation and feel that something’s missing, and just go to bed because I can’t bother being awake. Other days I’m in love, horny, happy, motivated and hopeful. If I change the type of birth control pills, maybe the good days I have now disappear. Like earlier, maybe only apathy will remain. I don’t know.

And what happens after six more months of hormonal depression?

Sometimes it feels like a cruel punishment, being happy and normal under the weight of the hormones. I fantasize about a little cottage in the countryside with a plum tree, I know that under all this I’m in love like a teenager. The feeling that I won’t get to experience the joy of all this and things to come weighs on me. The hope that I will find a type of birth control that I can handle is small because all the types I’ve tried so far has done the same thing; depleted my happiness.

To live with this asshole disease, I have to snuff out the flame of a life in happiness.

It’s cruelly ironic.  


10 år med endometrios

När han sa till mig; “Det kan vara så att du har endometrios. Jag skulle vilja se närmare på det. Det är inte normalt att ha ont varje dag”, så var han den första som tagit mig på allvar på fyra år. Den genomsnittliga tiden från det första obehaget till diagnos är åtta år, så för mig gick det fort, skrattretande nog. 

Efter att ha blivit avfärdad av barnmorskor, överläkare, gynekologer och vårdcentralspersonal så fick jag äntligen på papper att jag inte bara hittade på. Det var inte bara en inneboende hysteri och hypokondri som jag upplevde. Det var också ett extra litet hugg att alla som avfärdat mig med en handviftning var kvinnor, och att den första som tog mig på allvar var en man.

Men med titthålsoperation, en kirurg som stod framför mig och sa “Jag förstår verkligen att du haft ont”, och den efterföljande diagnosen kom också desperationen. När jag sökte på det, googlade lite på kvällen hemma, så kom stödgrupper upp. Forum. Tillochmed anhörigstödjande organisationer. Det var någonstans där som insikten slog mig.

Jag kommer aldrig bli bra. Aldrig fly detta.

I ett år nu så har jag tillsammans med en läkare aktivt försökt att få mig mensfri, eftersom smärtorna runt mens under kort tid förr-förra hösten eskalerade så pass att jag inte hann med att förstå vad det var som hände. Först försökte vi med nässpray och misslyckades, och sen med p-piller. Uppehållet däremellan är det värsta jag har varit med om. Förra sommaren, när min syster var i stan, så åkte vi till en nöjespark på lördagen. När vi var där fick jag mensvärk, hanterbar. Jag gick hem för att vila på eftermiddagen och sen var det kört. Jag har aldrig haft så ont någonsin, var 30 sekund så skar smärtan genom kroppen. I två dagar satt jag helt blick stilla i min soffa bara för att inte göra det värre. Inte förrän på onsdagen kunde jag vara ute och röra på mig. Min endometrios har spritt sig inuti vävnad, är teorin. 

Gråtandes fick jag ringa gyn och säga att jag inte orkade mer. Jag ville inte göra det, för behandlingen är med hormonella preventivmedel. Jag tål inte hormonella preventivmedel. Jag tappar allt, förstår inte vad som är poängen med att leva, varför jag ska gå i skolan, varför jag ska umgås med vänner. Sexlust försvinner, livslusten ersätts av apati. I mitt förra förhållande spenderade jag tre månader med att inte känna någonting, tills jag slutade med tabletterna och fick livet åter. 

Men det är inget alternativ nu. Det är för illa. Jag måste behandla mig med hormoner. Och konsekvenserna har kommit. Jag har hållit noga utkik efter symtom på depressionen som alltid följt hormonbehandlingar, och trots det så lyckades jag missa dom. Det var inte förrän jag insåg att jag sover 13 timmar om dagen som det faktiskt klarnade: Depressionen är här. 

Mitt enda alternativ är att byta hormonsort och testa något nytt. Men jag är livrädd. Just nu kommer det och går, dagarna är olika. Ibland förstår jag ingenting, tittar på min nya kärlek och känner att något saknas, går och lägger mig för att jag inte orkar vara vaken. Men andra dagar så är jag glad, kär, kåt, förhoppningsfull och motiverad. Byter jag sort kanske allt det försvinner, rakt av. Det kanske bara blir apati kvar. Och vem vet vad som händer efter sex månaders test av tabletter om de tar bort allt jag håller kärt och som gör livet värt att leva? 

Ibland känns det som ett grymt straff, för jag vet att under tabletterna så är jag lycklig. Hoppfull. Fantiserar om ett torp på landet och är kär som en tonåring. Men det är inget jag kommer få uppleva ostört i fortsättningen som det ser ut nu. Förhoppningen om att jag ska hitta en hormonsort som inte påverkar mig på det här viset är liten, eftersom alla har gjort det.

För att kunna leva med min sjukdom, så måste jag lägga en filt över livslusten.

Det känns grymt ironiskt.

I will talk about my experience with IVF

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Redan innan jag och min ex-man startade själva IVFen, när jag plötsligt insåg att jag befann mig i ett snöskred av undersökningar, sjukhusbesök och en fertilitetsutredning som det var försent att dra sig ur, började jag skriva om det. Skriften har alltid varit ett sätt för mig att processa saker, men ingenting har varit så svårt att skriva om som IVF. Jag kan välla ur mig text om en bussresa, om mammas död, sorg och vadsomhelst, men när vi kommer till IVF.. Då sitter jag där. Antingen med ett tomt blinkande ark framför mig eller fem sidor av nattsvarta känslor, svart på vitt, som jag inte vill dela med mig av. Min rådande sjukhusrädsla har ju spelat in en hel del också, det får ju sägas.

Men jag kan inte släppa det riktigt. En kik i kalendern påminner mig varje år, på Unos namnsdag. Det blev ju arbetsnamnet för barnet vi skulle få.

Det kanske är dags. Även om jag inte kan göra det med humor som jag har velat göra, för att väga upp det mörker som råder. Söker man på IVF får man upp lugnande, försäkrande hemsidor från institutioner och bloggar med själavridande inlägg från kvinnor som kämpar för att få barn men som har insett att de inte kan för egen hand.

Jag har ju ingen solskenshistoria, inga uppmuntrande ord om att jag kämpar vidare, att ”vi” bara blev starkare tillsammans. Jag har ett missfall, ett äktenskap i kras och en slutlig konkret insikt att jag inte vill ha barn. Min tveksamhet är också en aspekt i det. Många har frågat mig varför jag gjorde det om jag nu inte ville ha barn? Det är ju en rimlig fråga. Det bästa jag kan svara på det är att man gör saker för varandra. Jag var alltid klar med honom angående min brist på längtan, men att skaffa barn är ju något ”alla” gör och de flesta ångrar sig inte. Den jag älskade sen flera år tillbaka och ville leva mitt liv med ville ha en familj mer än något annat, och då försökte vi. Det var det eller att gå vidare, och det ville jag inte. Är helt övertygad om att jag hade älskat det barnet och aldrig ångrat mig, men nu när utgångsläget ser annorlunda ut så kan jag ju i fortsättningen säga att jag inte vill eller kommer (eller kan, för den delen) skaffa barn.

Ett tag där tänkte jag att jag inte skulle skriva om det eftersom det är så svårt, och har en tendens att bli mörkt. Men det något som vältrar sig runt i min hjärnas eviga tvättmaskin, pressar sig då och då mot rutan och markerar att jag nog ändå inte är riktigt klar med alltihopa, särskilt framåt hösten när vi faktiskt gjorde det. Det är tre år sen nu.

Jag ska nog försöka få ut något. Titta igenom det jag har och se om det inte gör för ont fortfarande. Det kommer ta tid, uppenbarligen. Men det kanske kan vara bra ändå. Det kanske blir terapeutiskt för mig, och vem vet, det kanske tillochmed hjälper någon annan.

It's August. You know what that means

För er som hängt med ett tag så är det ju uppenbart vad jag fiskar efter: 

HÖSTEN ÄR PÅ VÄG! 

Åh. Hösten. Som jag längtar varje år. Vissa år blir man besviken för hösten liksom bara pyser bort i ett brunt slabbigt moln av regn som pickar på rutan och evighetens gråa skyar som tynger. och plötsligt är alla träden nakna utan att en annan liksom hann förstå vad som hände. Vissa år brister naturen ut i brand, badandes i hösteftermiddagens guldgula ljus, med friska vindar som uppmanar till promenad på platser man knappt känner igen längre. 

Utan att vara för uppenbar, så är det ju version nummer två som har mitt stora intresse varje år. 

För ynka två år sen var bilden ovan mitt hem. Hösten tog med sig hasselnötter, äpplen, rönnbär, plommon, krusbär, och den sista skörden av tomaterna, chilin, rödbetorna och paprikan som vi odlade. Jag matade årets kull av fåglar som precis flyttat ifrån sitt hem under taksprånget på torpet, såg på när vinden krattade löv åt mig. Kokade rönnbärsgelé medan jag tittade ut över vyerna, med en sprakande brasa tänd i vardagsrumsdelen. Sorterade ut höstkläder och höstfärger.

Och grät. För jag visste att det var över. Jag hade fått allt jag någonsin kunnat vilja ha, och förlorat det igen. Jag kan fortfarande bli illamående av sorg när jag tänker på det, allt det där, även om livet känns bra där jag är nu. 

Tystnaden i huset har bytts ut mot ljudet av grannar som duschar och går med tunga steg i sina lägenheter. Altanen har bytts ut mot en (som tur är) inglasad balkong. Utsikten över vidderna med kyrkan och gravhögar i fonden har bytts ut mot hustak. Men jag tror att hösten, för mig, är läkandets tid. Jag har alltid varit nostalgisk på hösten, även när jag inte visste vad jag hade att vara nostalgisk över. Det är okej att saknaden biter. Jag promenerar genom skogar och läker.

För även om det gjort att det enda mål jag så definitivt formulerat i mitt liv som att jag en dag ska ha ett litet torp på landet att elda brasa i, så är jag tacksam för allt jag har. Min lilla etta, dekorerad i höstfärger som det är, tända ljus, kärleken från vänner och familj, en solros eller två som tittar upp. Jag kommer sitta i soffan i min lägenhet med balkongdörren på glänt, höstregnet trummandes mot plåttaket på min balkong, och mysa. Och surfa hemnet, förstås.

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The demons come at night

During the day the sun shines. I laugh a lot at work, with my colleagues and their oddities. Fart around the afternoons, hang out with friends, chat with my gurl squad, study during the nights. Then the darkness lowers itself over the city, the sky turning dark blue. A halo of lighter blue enhances the contours of the city and reminds me of the coming light season, the one where the flowers start to grow and the new little leaves carry the shade of yellowy green.

I got to bed. I dream. I dream about everything that has happened. I dream about being a teenager again and that both of my parents are alive and still married, how I try and make them find each other again. I dream about old loves, the ones that I can’t miss because they were never mine. I dream about my ex-husband and his new and the child they’re expecting together. I dream about the house, how I’ve been torn from there and have to collect the remainder of my things.

I dream about how I’m talking to J about how we’re gonna settle mom’s old house now that she’s dead. I dream that I have to tell mom that rummages around in the kitchen, that she’s dead. I dream that I get anxiety over having to have that conversation with her, to tell her that she’s no longer alive and that we need to give away all her things. I dream of her being in the hospital and that she knows she’s going to die. I dream about her waking up and realizing that she’s still alive and still has death in front of her, crying in sorrow. I dream about my divorce. How I lost my job and security at the same time. About how I need to face old ghosts. I dream about soon being without somewhere to live and have nowhere to go.

Night after night.

Then my sleep is disrupted by the sharp light of morning. I get up, ruffled feathers from the night. Try to drench the memories with a bath tub of coffee.

I know grief comes in waves, and I know the waves are shallower and more regular nowadays. More like the seasons storms than sudden tsunamis. And I know that in the long run, I have to handle the grief of everything, no matter how I chose to do it. But I still can’t help but long for calmer nights, stillness in my dreams. The boring but safe routines of everyday life. Not having to face my demons every night.

This too, shall pass.

With spring, comes the fear

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It’s already begun sneaking up on me. Circulating in the periphery. Slipped away and dwelled in the darkness of winter before it suddenly attacks like a cat that’s hidden under the couch and throws itself after your innocent toes when you least expect it. Because when spring comes, so does the longing for my old house.

Last spring was a battle field between gratitude over having somewhere to live at all, and the anger and sorrow over losing my house and home. In the grey February storms, tucking my coat close to my body, I’m a little bit thankful for not having to put pieces of a roof that was torn out by the winds, and the sense of loss is lessened. But the other changing seasons are harder to handle. Spring comes and it’s time to start putting down seeds, growing plants. And I can’t be bothered to try even.

The contact with nature, that you were brought along the sun’s journey across the sky, how it’s path changed with the turning of the year. The big south facing window to baby pepper and chili plants in. The fact that the everlasting winds ripped the plants to shreds immediately when we put them outside that one time, well, that memory kind of fades away, and what remains is only the sun drenched patio with its mile wide views.

That one time when we had to abort a nice cup of coffee in order to run out and catch our green house before it blew right out over the fields a Saturday in April was something that just came along with the house. It was worth it. I know that the fierce January winds turned that green house into shrapnel before we even sold it but the new-old owner didn’t care. All he wanted was his house back. His house. My house.

The house where I could open the patio door and all that came in through it was sunshine and the sound of trees moving in the calm winds. The little coos of forest pigeons in the distance, the horny hoots of owls in mating season. The silence at night was deafening. When I moved back to my mom’s place I didn’t sleep properly for six weeks, disturbed by the sounds of the city.

Even my friends miss the house. There was something magical about it. Now in retrospect, I’m torn between the gratitude of getting the chance to live there for almost two years, and the sense that maybe I’d been happier now if I hadn’t experienced what it was like to feel that much at home somewhere, that I never had before.

Menopause madness

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English on top, Swedish down below because I like my original so much.

I think I’ve lost the power of speech. Like my menstruation, it’s been ripped from my hands and been placed somewhere it shouldn’t be. In the menstruations case it’s in my abdomen, where the hell the ability to express myself with words have gone I have no idea.

I have so many useless everyday events that I want to write about but nothing is compiled into anything resembling an entertaining sludge of words but remains still water, slimy and glopping itself over the edge of my brain, hopelessly stuck by the gravelly pebble beach. It remains that slime that people usually just wash off to make room for crystal clear water and perhaps a little fountain and a ceramic frog that’s actually funny in any sort of way.

But, speaking of menstruation!

Last Friday I tidied myself up both in and out, aka took that mandatory shower before I meet anyone at anyone in gynecology because our meetings always, and I do mean always, end up with my stripping my bottom clothes off and getting up on that stretcher-chair-thing and scooting down a little more, a little more, aaand a little more, there!

After having done exactly this, this time too, the doctor fumbled with electronic devices to help me look at my insides and unusually large bottles of “Glide Slime” (as it’s called straight forwardly translated from Swedish) and then gloves complete with the snapping sound when she put them on. I laid back and let my gaze be seduced by a mobile hanging in the ceiling, with cut out birds moving soothingly in the draft from the ventilation. Why doesn’t every single one of the treatment rooms in hospitals have one of these?

The doctor squeezed around down there, shoving her instrument around the edges, looking for cysts or any visible malfunctions she could see. There were none.

I haven’t treated my endometriosis for three years. After the IVF-miscarriage debacle, I was so worn out on hospitals and doctors and pain and stuff that I didn’t even try to get help. I just let it be. Until now.  When the latest months of periods have meant horrific pains, caused by inflammation and organs fused onto each other of the lining of my abdomen, reacting with every little movement of my bowels, I needed to get help.

Hormonal treatment with birth control pills, said the doctor. Sigh, said I. I’m incapable of having kids AND I have gotten my tubes tied so I won’t ever have to sit through a miscarriage again, and I still have to live off of hormones. It’s laughable. With a twist of sourness.

But before that whole thing with the birth control pills take place, I’m gonna sweat along with the menopausey women out there. Six months of estrogen deficiency is on the menu, to starve out the invisible clotting on my insides that shouldn’t be there. Hopefully I won’t bleed at all, so I can enjoy my time without knives tearing through my flesh every four weeks. Sure, fine. We’ll try it. Hot flashes and sweating along with Mrs Oldlady is my future now. Let’s just hope that my mucous membranes doesn’t dry up like leaves in the fall before it’s over.

2017. What kind of year will you be, I wonder.

 

På svenska

Jag tror att jag har tappat ordets förmåga. Likt min menstruation har den slitits ur händerna på mig, och förlagts någonstans där den inte borde vara. I menstruationens fall hamnar det om bukhålan, var i helsike skrivförmågan har slunkit iväg någonstans har jag i dagsläget ingen aning om. Jag har så mycket meningslösa vardagsgrejer jag vill skriva om men ingenting sammanfattas till någon slags underhållande sörja utan blir liksom stillastående vatten, slemmigt skvalpande mot kanten av hjärnan, hopplöst fast mot den grusiga strandkanten. Det där slammet alla helst spolar bort för att göra plats för det kristallklara vattnet i form av någon som faktiskt är rolig. Men på tal om menstruation! (Smoooth övergång, eller hur!)

Förra fredagen gjorde jag mig fredagsfin både innan och utan, alltså tog den obligatoriska duschen innan man träffar någon som helst vårdpersonal inom gynekologin för det slutar alltid, och jag menar alltid, med att man får klä av sig och lägga sig på britsen och hasa ner lite längre, lite till, lite till, och liiiite till. Sagt och gjort, så fick jag klä av mig och lägga mig på en brits och hasa ner lite längre, lite till, lite till, och liiiite till. Väl stadd på plats grejade läkaren omkring med orimligt stora flaskor med Glidslem och handskar som ibland ger ifrån sig det där filmiska klatschet, medan jag lät blicken förföras av en mobil hängandes i taket, med tre papperssvalor guppandes i det osynliga draget från ventilationen. Varför har inte exakt alla gynundersökningsrum såna, lyckades jag formulera i tanken under tiden som läkaren klämde och for omkring i mitt ädla inre med sin ultraljudsapparat för att konstatera att några cystor runt tarm eller livmoder hade jag iallafall inte.

Jag har ju inte underhållsbehandlat något mot endometriosen. Efter IVF/missfalls-härvan var jag så krigshärjad att jag inte ens försökte. Orkade inte med vården. Bara lät det bero. Tills nu. När de senaste månadernas mens har betytt fasansfulla kramper, framkallade av ihopväxta hinnor, buffade på av en menssvullen buk och en tarm som vill röra på sig. Så, nästa mens ska helst bli min sista, tyckte läkaren. Jaha, tyckte jag. Hormonpreventivmedel, tyckte läkaren. Suck, tyckte jag. Jag kan inte få barn av naturen och är steriliserad för att verkligen se till att jag inte blir med barn och få missfall igen, och jag måste fortfarande gå på hormonpreventivmedel resten av livet. Det är så man kan skratta. Uppgivet.

Men innan det där debaklet släpps lös i mina hormonkanaler i augusti så ska jag leka tant! Sex månader östrogensvält står på menyn för att avhysa de på ultraljuden osynliga men ack så märkbara ihopväxningarna i min bukhåla och därmed inte heller ha någon menstruation alls, så att jag kan avnjuta månadsskiften utan knivskarpa smärtor så fort magen bestämmer sig för att kanske fisa lite eller bara du vet, motionera tarmen. Visst! Vi kör på det. Kommer det hemska värmevallningar så får jag klappa på ett östrogenplåster likt Tantalura 63 år gammal och hoppas att slemhinnorna inte skrumpar ihop med löven framåt hösten.

2017. Vilket typ av år blir du tro?

For a year, I've said "It's fine"

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For a year now, I’ve said “it’s fine”. But deep inside, I know, and have known all along, that I haven’t really been able to keep up. It’s no secret. But I crawl along, push away, try to handle when it bubbles up, mourn, plan, study, enjoy the small things, hang out with beloved ones, and feel life just like it is right now.

But one day I sat on my bed. The gastritis had won. Stress symptoms that slowly break through the barrier. I’ve always been good on 6-7 hours of sleep, now need 10-11 and am still as tired the next day. I talk to people, turn around and can’t remember what we talked about. I zone out, disappear into nothing. I can’t understand easy instructions. Everlasting guilt over not doing what I should be doing. I have to study, but I can’t afford to study. I got a job and can afford to study but now don’t have the time to. The body gives in, sick leave from work. Stress builds up, feeling guilty for not being at work….

When I sat there on the bed last Tuesday, I realized.

I’m burning out.

Three days later my application for a year’s leave from my studies was printed, signed and posted to my school. After a few fast consultations in order to not make the wrong decision, I pulled the emergency break. I have to step back before it hits “for real”. Maybe it already has, but I’m hoping I’m good. I’m starting school again next fall, until then I’m gonna work, save some money, hang out with friends; argue with tattooers about recycling (Does this belong in the trash? Does it? Hm?) and keep a LOT of lists until my memory gets better.

Tonight, I’m just lying across my bed, with my laptop propped up in my lap. The orange whiff from a scented candle lingers around the room, and my roomie entered and gave me a bowl of extra-MSG cheese puffs from the American shelf at the store. From the living room, soft oriental music and the stories unfolding from the boys’ roleplay session keeps me perfectly entertained. This is the first weekend in a long time where I don’t have pressing things to do, and I just have to realize it so I can take a breath and relax.

Live in the now, and not the past or the future.

Different types of belonging

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My mom is gone. I’m not done with her death yet. Not any of it. Especially not the ten days that were spent at the hospital before she passed away. It was a shit fest. My siblings and I came out on the other side, one mom poorer and utterly confused and maybe a little traumatized. It didn’t go the way that it should have.

V has moved home. I, my roomie, V and my mom’s friend S sat in the living room last Thursday. I felt I needed to handle the time at the hospital. S was there the entire time. We did it together. And those ten days irks us both.

Heavy subjects and ponderings about how mom experienced it, what she was able to feel and how she handled it. Then we looked at my mom’s papers, proof of death and so on. While I was eyeing my mom’s certificate where my dad and my siblings father are listed because they’ve been married to my mom, I dryly said “It’s silly really, when I die M (my ex-husband) will be listed on my death certificate just because we’ve been married for two measly years, even though we don’t have any kids or anything”.

S perked up and exclaimed “What? He will? Will my ex-husbands too? BOTH OF THEM? FOREVER? UGH!”

Then we, three divorced women, laughed out loud together, the sound of community ringing through the apartment.

It was one of the best moments I’ve had in this whole process.