Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tooth and Aftermath ii

I opted for more sleep this morning, and skipped the dentist. I have to go to the dentist, and I will go soon, but I feel like I've had enough trauma since my last visit Thursday and I'm going to take it a bit easy on myself.

Eating is ok.
The hole in my tooth also creates this interesting suction thing against my tongue or the side of my mouth. Over the weekend, since my filling fell out, chewing things gives me a strange semi-painful but sort of pleasurable feeling. I imagine it's the same feeling my cat gets chewing on plastic-bag handles, with the material all mushed up against your gums.

Today I learned that Elizabeth will be coming back to work next Monday. I'm very anxious about it, and wonder how it's going to go. Tonight, after work, I went out with my other co-worker and had a nice bit to eat and a couple pitchers of beer. It was interesting to talk to her and hear what she had learned about last Thursday's events. My boss absolutely downplayed everything very much, and convinced her it had all been an accident. I told her what had happened as I experienced it. My boss hadn't made any mention whatsoever to Judy about the note, which I couldn't read, as it was in Korean, but seemed to be a clear indication of her intentions, judging people's reactions to it and it's careful placement in the room.

I hate the thought of lying about all this. I hate the thought that it needs to be covered up, at least amongst this small group of adults I work with. As I've said before, I understand the reasons one might feel to rearrange facts, but in the end, I don't think it serves anyone any justice, and doesn't create any measure of unified determination to encourage Elizabeth to get some help. As far as I know, one doesn't wake up in the hospital after a suicide attempt and *poof,* everything's ok. I think one's problems might be compounded in that situation, "What have I done? What does everyone think of me now? What a loser, I can't even kill myself right!"

Last night, I googled "normal reaction to attempted suicide," and was a bit comforted to know that what I've been going through isn't all that uncommon. Some of it hasn't been kind. I worry that when I see her again, my knowing that being compassionate as the right thing to do might be underwhelmed by my compulsion to want to kick her ass. Nice, eh?

I also know, as I've said, that she's my best friend here. I wonder, though, how much that means. If she were in Canada, or spoke more English, or we weren't bonded together by circumstance, things would be different. What is the true nature of friendship? I'm not even really thinking of her reluctance to share (and therefore unburden herself at least a little) about what's going on to upset her so profoundly. I'm more thinking of the fact that I wouldn't dare tell her MY truth because I know for a fact she'd judge me on it. Friends should have a level of trust, shouldn't they?

I'm bloody confused. A first year psychology major could tell you I'm attempting to distance myself from the whole thing, and they'd probably be right.

As I stood outside the door to apartment last Thursday and the locksmith pounded his way in, I imagined finding her hanging. I wondered if I'd be able to handle it. I don't want to have that worry again, and I'm truly concerned if life just picks up where it left off for Elizabeth I might have to go through the same thing. It frightens me, and I'm not sure what to do about it.

I did feel, today, like I wanted to get her a cat. She's said she always wanted one, and I very nearly convinced her to adopt the good (and now missing for months) Valerie. She decided not to, because the care of a cat can be expensive. But I would be happy to support her cat-care, and could give Elizabeth all the supplies (litter box, carrier, dishes, some toys, beds, brush, clipper, etc.) once I leave. I'd even be glad to cover the cost of feeding and vets if need be. I could get her the kitten she's always said she dreamed of, a white one with blue eyes, but I think in the end any cat might do. My cat, although being a bit of a pain in the ass, has provided me with a lot of comfort and companionship. I think maybe knowing you're resposible for the life and happiness of another living thing can provide a reason to keep on going.

We'll see.


John McCrarey said...

I think the kitten is wonderful idea! Don't ask, just get it as a surprise gift. You are right (and I've read it elsewhere too) that pets do keep people grounded, not to mention that unconditional love thing.

Good for you for googling some perspective. I think you are working this out for yourself just fine. Trust your instincts.


Jelly said...

Thanks John,
As always, I appreciate the comments. They're encouraging, and I'm greatful.

It's Me, Maven... said...

Re: Elizabeth...

Who really knows what was going thru her head, or what she's experiencing? People attempt suicide for so many varied reasons.

The only suggestion I can make would be to say, "Although I might not understand what brought you to that point to attempt such a thing; I love you, and want the best for you. I'm here to listen, if you need me."

Mercifully each of us only has one life to live.

Save the asskicking :) for a later date, when she's past this difficult time.

Jelly said...

Hi Maven,
Of course you're right. I've felt all kinds of emotions about what happened, but will treat her with as much kindness and compassion as I can. Regardless of anything I'm feeling, bottom line is I hope she's ok.