Over the past several months my husband and I have been applying for disability and life insurance. So much red tape… I’ve had three separate interviews regarding my medical history, pregnancies, doctor visits, medications… They ask mind numbing questions regarding dates and time periods… The anxiety is overwhelming as I try to give them what they are asking for.
Due dates, death dates, how old, how long, where was I? Who was? Before or after? Happy or sad? Everyone is especially interested in the antidepressants and sleeping pills I took after Graham’s death. I had one final interview to seal the deal… But I’d been putting it off. I hadn’t really thought through the ‘why’, I just couldn’t seem to make the phone call.
My agent kept calling to remind me, sending emails and texts… I felt so humiliated every time I had to tell him I hadn’t done it yet… And I couldn’t begin to explain the truth – I couldn’t articulate my brokenness, I couldn’t begin to understand it myself…
How every date in my life, every experience, every medication is mixed up with the life and death of my precious son… How explaining it all to a stranger who didn’t care was somehow just too much… How I couldn’t physically make myself pick up the phone, dial the number and tell a stranger that the death of my son made me crazy, but I wasn’t crazy anymore… when of course, I am.
Deep in the darkness of my heart and soul, I am fucked up. I can’t even dial a phone number that I actually want to dial. I can’t stomach the fact, that to a faceless voice on the other end of the phone, the whole of Graham’s life is nothing more than a prescription for antidepressants.
And so, the agent kept texting and calling, becoming more and more perturbed. “Your application is being deactivated, you’ve run out of time,” he finally explained. I had waited too long to do this seemingly reasonable thing.
In a rush of humiliation and frustration, I called the number… And began answering more of the same questions. My heart thudded inside of me, my hand quivered in my lap. As sweat oozed from the back of my neck, my mind went slowly fuzzy. All I could see was Graham’s face in front of me.
“Would you consider yourself cured?” the stranger asked robotically.
“Yes,” I said dully.
“So, you are no longer experiencing any symptoms?”
“Right, I’m fine now.”
“Well, thank you for your time. That’s all we need.”
I hung up the phone and threw up.
I have come to see beauty in the ugly. Goodness in the suffering. It’s true after all and it’s also just a coping mechanism.
Real brokenness is a fucking shit hole.