very far away,
the lightning rod that could pull the storm from me.
Right now I am in my last clinical rotation in nursing school, and then I will graduate, take the NCLEX and be an RN (god-willing). Despite that (or possibly because of it), I have absolutely no interest in this rotation. It is awful. 8 days in a row, each 8 straight hours of practicing being a charge nurse/nurse manager. My days consist of delegating, magnet meetings, IT meetings, following the real nurse manager like Peter Pan's shadow and, you guessed it - MORE meetings. Since each unit in any given hospital only has one of those things per unit, each of us has to be on a different floor, so I have no friends to keep me entertained either. To top it off, I am at the most boring hospital in the greater Philadelphia area: the VA. Now, I'm not knocking the vets or saying they don't deserve the best, but God bless them, the hospital is DULLSVILLE. And although I am in the emergency department, it barely qualifies. The ER I will be working in come August handles 300+ patients a day. The VA handles 30. Tops. It's not even a licensed receiving facility (for ambulances) in the Commonwealth, however that rule gets bent to accommodate the attached nursing home patients and the occasional wayward TransCare ambulance bringing some vet in from home. Awesome.
The VA is located right on the outskirts of the heart of University City, dwarfed by its famous neighbors, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, home to some of the best trauma services, pediatric specialties, and general medical care in the world. Two places where I have seen miracles happen and witnessed some of the most interesting and inspiring patient journeys begin, make pit-stops and sometimes come to an end. I have learned a lot in those hospitals. I love every minute I spend in them, and I find it depressing to walk in their shadows, thinking about what I'm missing and where I have to go instead. Our fantasies don't matter. Our dreams sometimes remain as such. We do what we have to do, we go where we are tied, where we are obligated to be, no matter how unfulfilling an experience it might be. No matter how much we may crave something more, something bigger, something better. We get a little taste of what we could have, and from then on we want it. We are unable to feel comfortable settling for anything less, though sometimes we have to. We do what we have to do because there is no other choice.
Today I heard from my real mom for the first time in a couple weeks. Prior to that, there was one email response (to like, 2 or 3 of mine) where she ran down the list of things that are going on in her life (read: that i am not involved in) and glowed about her sons (who i barely know and never get to see) and expects me to be thrilled about it. It sucks, because she doesn't go out of her way to talk to me, ever, and thinks that being superficially loving via text message will pacify me enough to wait for her a little longer. She makes a lot of promises. Before she went in the hospital to deal with her pain/depression issues it was "Once I get into the [hospital] program, i will be better, and I will be able to get to know you and spend time with you." Then once she was in the program it was, "After I get out and get settled and used to 'being me' again, I will come up and see you all the time." It's been weeks and now it's some shit I don't even remember sent via text message like, "Once the boys get out of school/i stop being in pain/i get my life in order i will be able to come to your graduation/focus on you and the boys/keep my promises" blah blah blah. But it's all the same.
I have driven down many many times to see her. I have put aside work, a banquet party, studying, and school projects just to be with her. Visited her in the hospital the night before a big test. Drove home at 3am to get a few extra hours in. And the truth is, I don't mind. Especially if she can't make the drive because she is in pain. I WANT to see her. But like I said, she doesn't try to find me, seek me out, talk to me, see how I'm doing, know me. The only responses I ever get from her are just that, responses to my prompting. It isn't her giving me "space." It's either laziness, or apathy, or something worse. She makes plans with me and then breaks them. She has promised to come see me SEVERAL times, have lunch/go to the flower show/just visit and has not followed through ONCE, not since our very first meeting.
The thing is, I am upset. I'll tell her but she'll just make what she thinks is a funny joke. It's not funny. I can't talk to you, I can't not talk to you. I can't not miss you. Of course I'm going to give her second, third, eighth, one hundred thousand chances. She's my mother. She IS me. Some of these things she does... it makes me aware of how I can treat others sometimes, and I'm making a conscious effort to NOT do it, because it's a SUCKY WAY TO TREAT SOMEONE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO CARE ABOUT.
Sorry. But it infuriates me. I will never leave you. I will never cut off contact. I can't. I need her, I need to know her and have her in my life. It's like I'm addicted, you know? Like, chocolate or cigarettes or something. Or, the way she acts, maybe crystal meth or heroin would be a more accurate comparison. I don't know.
My graduation is fast approaching. She is invited and insists she wants to come, but who really knows. Now I'm not even sure if I want her there. I went through hell to get an extra ticket to the nursing school's private graduation (got it) and she can't even give me a PHONE call when i BEG for it. The truth is, I don't want to have to explain to my a-parents why she isn't there. I don't want this. Why can't ONE THING in my life just go smoothly?
They don't advertise this part.
They don't advertise that ALL AROUND, everyone has to take exactly what they are given.