Before my appointment to see my new psychiatrist (which I was dreading) my husband dutifully drove me into the city to sort out paperwork for my university course. It’s turned sunny and warm again. My car has been booked into the panel beaters because a guy at the service station bashed it by accident when he was attaching a trailer. So it works out that my husband is there. It all falls into place. There’s no need to voice the fact that really he’s babysitting me. That he needs to check work emails every five minutes. That’s he’s rescheduling conference calls. He thinks I can’t see he’s stressed. I can. He thinks I can’t hear his phone buzzing – I can. When he tells me there’s no worry, I can see there is. We know we’re using my car being in now as an opportunity for him to drive me into the city because of my anxiety. We’ve been together for years, we can spend a whole day not really looking at each other. But I can tell that when his eyes are on me he’s checking. I’m both frustrated and comforted by that. I’m an independent woman I don’t need looking after. But the truth is, I do feel weak. And I’m not sure that I’d be getting through this alone.
The university is quiet. The paperwork doesn’t take long, as the majority id completed online.
We head back to the car and he suggests lunch in a smaller town closer to home. It also has one of my favourite stores ‘Trade Aid’ which is items made from developing countries and sold here in New Zealand with the profits going back. There are some beautiful items, trinkets, housewares, jewellery, etc. usually I spend ages browsing, enjoying the mix of vibrant colours and cultural pieces. But my heart isn’t there. The shop is getting busy. The woman behind the counter sings and chatters which I would usually love, but the noise is too much. The chatter of customers, the space is closing in. My husband is asking for things that are running out of stock so things are being ordered from their other stores, I can’t concentrate. I see the three monkeys, HEAR NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL. I become transfixed. Doesn’t that just epitomise the people in my life?
After paying for our goods, we load the car and wander down the high street for lunch. My husband wants to sit outside naturally in the sun and watch the world go by. But it’s getting busier. I fear people are staring at me. Laughing at me. I feel inadequate. I opt for a sushi restaurant. Darker, removed, inconspicuous.
I was ready for home after that. Keen to rest. I asked my husband for some tea and it transpired we had run out of milk. I proceeded to scream angrily at him. How could he not have checked? Must I do everything in the house? How could he be so inconsiderate?? At the time I felt so justly angry. So fed up. Of course he shouted back. Which upset me further.
I have no idea if it’s the stress, the tiredness, the need for tea! I was out of line I think. I don’t really know anymore.
I did nap. Deeply. Until we went to the psychiatrist.
He greeted us asking if a student could be present to which I declined. I’m not a fucking lab rat.
Turns out the Dr was really nice. Probably one of the nicest psychiatrist’s I have ever met – and I’ve met a few! He wasn’t patronising,he wasn’t arrogant, he was smart, friendly warm and compassionate. I took to him very quickly. What a relief!
I’m home again, feeling quite drained. My husband commented that I’ve done exceptionally well this year. Thoughts pop into my head, but there is an underlying determination not to be held down this year.
And of course, I have my husband conveniently working from home! Let’s just hope when he picks up the kids he remembers the milk!