Powerfully in Pain

One of the ways I get through the day, every day, is by telling myself, “The worst has to be over. There can’t be anything to come that’s as bad as what’s behind.”


I was sick recently, I don’t know with what. It started in my lower right side and soon moved to the area of my back closest by. It felt like a muscle cramp, the worst muscle cramp I’ve ever had, and though it radiated out to my upper back, spine, other side, and neck, it was centered in that one roughly splayed-hand-sized spot where all I could feel was muscle. At first, I didn’t Google the problem because I feared it wasn’t serious, life-threatening. Later I didn’t because I feared it was serious, that it might get worse.

It wasn’t the worst pain I’ve ever felt, not like the blissfully-rare cramps I get in my feet that are truly suicide-level pain, but the fact that it was constant was nearly unbearable. I sat in my favorite chair all each day and into each night, clutching a heating pad, throwing up, unable to eat, barely able to drink. My mom was unable to take me to the hospital because our car was being repaired, and while she could’ve borrowed my aunt’s car, she dislikes talking to her. Apparently, I just wasn’t important enough to brave a little discomfort.

I’m fine now, the pain having gone almost as suddenly as it came. I’m still having trouble eating, but planning to return to work in a couple days – I like my job and can’t wait. I had just started to feel friendly with my mom again, having let go of the anger I felt toward her, and then today…

My mom ran out of her pain medication early, as usual. So, she came up with a plan, and called her doctor’s office to tell them she was invited on a trip and that she would be away on the day she’d normally pick up her prescription, so she requested to get it early. (She’s still waiting to hear.) She told me about this, and then my dad, and I noticed the stories she told us were slightly different. I asked which it was, and she, with annoyance, asked me why it mattered. I tried to tell her that if she was going to lie, she should at least keep the lie simple and remember it.

You’d think she’d thank me for my concern, or just reassure me it would be fine. Instead she blew up at me that I’m stressing her out, and “Fine, I’m not gonna answer my phone!” I swear, it’s like dealing with an adult-sized five-year-old. Now she’s ignoring me, even though I was visibly upset. I’m sick of her acting like a child having a tantrum. I assume she just likes being angry because there is a feeling of power in it, and she probably feels like she has little power in her life, not working, depending on my dad for money.

But I always want to ask her what my sisters and I asked her as kids when she wouldn’t answer the knocks on her door, even when one of us was hurt. What did we do? What did I do?

Author: athlynne

"From mirror after mirror, No vanity's displayed. I'm looking for the face I had Before the world was made." - W.B. Yeats