My Meltdown

My meltdown is not easy think of or to write about. I need to set the scene for you as it’s never one thing that triggers a meltdown in anyone but a slow build up of emotion that just erupts without warning sometimes. I am not or I was never much of a person for crying not that I didn’t want to cry but because I was always fearful that if I started to cry and I mean really cry I would never stop. Losing my sister and dad had brought on such meltdowns before and they scared me. Maybe that’s why when asked how I am I always say ‘I’m fine’ because I don’t like to really feel how I am, I just try my best to cope, I’ve learned to build a wall. Anyway my meltdown was caused by two people, my son Richard and his first girlfriend, Brianna.

Richard was due to go to Canada on Friday 24th April for 6 weeks. The weekend prior to that he had arranged to spend it with his new girlfriend. That’s fine, no problem with that at all, in fact I’m happy that he is happy. I spoke to him on the Monday prior to him going, I wanted to see him before he went and asked that if we came down to him could we all go out for a meal on either the Wednesday or the Thursday? I had already asked Steve and he said he would drive us down there after he had finished work. Richard was based at Tidworth, just over 50 miles away. Richard’s reply to my suggestion was ‘I’m too busy’ I was both shocked and hurt that he didn’t want to see us before he left and surely he had to eat! I didn’t push it or make a fuss.
Brianna was Richards girlfriend from age 14 – 17. She had been part of our family for those years and gone through the early part of Richard being in the Army and stood by him. When they broke up I also lost a friend. As the years past by we still kept in touch, nothing regular but on birthdays and Christmas. We had met up twice in the 3 years since they had broken up, I always told Richard when I had been in touch with her but I knew that he didn’t like it. Brianna had suffered cancer in her own family in the past and she was now worried about her own mom who was undergoing tests and her Aunty, who was around my age had just gone into a hospice. Since I had posted about my cancer Brianna had of course been in touch and we had agreed that week that we would meet up on the Wednesday at 12.30 for a quick chat. We always contacted each other via messenger but hers wasn’t working and so she posted on my Facebook page about our coming meeting and if messenger had been working for her that week, no one would have ever known and I wouldn’t have had my meltdown.

I was 5 weeks post operation and it had been 12 long weeks since I had been at work. I had agreed with work that I would be able to work from home and out of my local store from week 6 post operation as part of my phased return to work, until chemo that was.
In some small way to support Emma we had started weekly conference calls with my management team on a Tuesday so I could still feel part of what was going on. We had set the call for that day at 11 am. At about 9.30 my phone rings, it’s Richard wow I thought, Richard was calling me in the daytime and as I answered the phone I was smiling, but that didn’t last long.
Richard asked me what was going on in that he had read on Facebook that Brianna and I were meeting up. I explained about the messenger problem, that he knew I saw her occasionally and about her worries with her family. Richard was just to angry with me and I could hear that anger in his voice when he said “that’s fine Mom but I don’t want to read about it on Facebook’ I thought hold on a minute was my son telling me off? I just saw red and had one of those moments where you don’t think at all before you speak, “how dare you, I’m 47 years old and I am not having you tell me who I can or cannot see and at least she can be bothered to come and see me cos she’s not too fucking busy!” I can’t remember if it was Richard or I that hung up first. I would have liked to have said I slammed the phone down as years ago on an old home phone if you were angry you could really slam the phone down and release some of that anger in doing so but it’s just not the same with an iPhone.
I was so angry, how dare he, he couldn’t call me to see how I was or to show that he cared and was maybe thinking of me in his busy day but he could phone me up and have a go at me. After a few minutes I had a text from him that just read “shall we try that one again hey” so for the next hour we argued and I think hung up on each other 3 – 4 times. I could hardly talk for crying and through the tears. I do remember screaming at him saying that we were arguing about stupid stuff that didn’t matter and that we should talk about stuff that really did matter. Eventually we gave up trying to sort the argument out as Richard can usually only see one point of view and that was his, he had to win the argument at any cost and the more he justified his pathetic excuses as to why he couldn’t even spare me 1/2 hour on any day that week to just see me due to working on a tank or whatever it was the more I sunk into despair. I wonder where he gets that stubborn streak from hey?
I was on my own at home sobbing my eyes up when when the house phone rang, it was Emma and the booked conference call, I apologised to Emma and said please just give me an hour and I’ll text when I’m ready. So I sat and sobbed, really sobbed for many reasons, all the hurt and anger came pouring out.
When mom and Steve found out about the argument they were both really disgusted with Richard. My mom is a real peace maker and normally can see the best in anyone and try to resolve all conflict but even she was angry with him and was going to call him to ‘have her say’ but she didn’t. Steve also wanted to discuss what had happened with Richard cos Steve was really pissed off with him too but thankfully I could stop him.
As a mom I don’t think there is another pain like the pain your kids can cause as we are just their parent, we can cope with anything, we are strong and don’t have feelings, we are their punch bags for whatever they want to hit us with and because they are our kids we all take the punches again and again, that’s the unconditional love that we have for them, it knows no limits. I have caused my mom some pain in my life through nasty things I’ve said to her and it’s one of the sad lessons in life that we learn in that you only realise how much you are loved when you become a parent yourself.

I did meet up with Brianna as planned but I never mentioned that she had caused a massive argument, we just sat in the sunshine and chatted about life. I did manage to do the conference call in the end and Richard went off to Canada without being able to spare a 1/2 hour to see his mom.

After posting this and discussing this entry with my mom, Steve and Rebecca, I have decided to add a footnote.
The last thing I want to do is cause any pain to my loved ones through writing this blog, which is designed to help others. If I died tomorrow would this post leave a legacy of hurt for my precious son? No mother wants that. I love both my kids with all of my heart and the argument with Richard was heated yes but because we have such a fantastic close relationship forgiveness on both sides was never going to be an issue. We have apologised to each other for what happened that day. I know Richard feels safe in the knowledge that I will always love him, I’m so proud of him and the man that he has become. (special code for Richard which only he will understand) ‘Love, Love the Loves’ my boy xxx 😉

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Married to Steve, I have two children - Rebecca and Richard. Steve has two children, Lauren and Chris. Rebecca lives with us (nurse Rebecca) and my mom Judy also has become nurse and housekeeper but lives in the West Midlands. My son is in the Army and comes home when he can. I am 47, born in 1967 and I was told I had bowel cancer on 22nd Feb 2015 and this blog is my journey through it. I hope it helps you as you were the reason I started it.

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