I'm a planner. A planner and a worrier. Christmas was a stressful time, going back and forth between hospital and various family events. I was only able to cope because Tim and I sat down and made a plan about where we would be each day. We have a beach holiday coming up, fully paid in advance and non-refundable, and at the moment we are still planning to go but not sure if we will be able to, depending on mum's condition. I took some comfort that at least I had this period in between the two when I had some control, Tim was home to look after the kids so I could just hire a car and go and spend as much time with mum as I needed to, making my own plans about when to go and where to stay.
Now even that has been taken away. Firstly, Tim decided that he wanted to come to Sydney too with the kids, a couple of days earlier than I had planned, so we could spend New Year's Eve with his brother and no doubt other members of his family. I have never felt less like socialising. And it would also leave us travelling on a couple of the busiest days of the year, and me looking for food when everything was closed. And then I tried to book a hire car and that part fell apart too. They were all about three times the price I expected, around $100 per day, and no-one had a depot anywhere near Tim's brother's house, and they were either closed on New Year's Day or on Sundays or wouldn't let me pick up in Sydney and drop off in Canberra even though they had depots in both places and Canberra is in a tiny state completely surrounded by New South Wales so we practically count as being part of it.
What had been a simple plan to visit my mother now seemed like a nightmare. On top of dealing with my mother's illness and staying at my mother's house (I considered a hotel, but again that was very expensive and also further away from the hospital), I have to work out what to do about all the rest. Tim has suggested I keep the car and he and the kids catch the bus back to Canberra - there is a very good service but it goes from the centre of the city so it will be quite a big hassle for them getting in from the suburbs. Either I spend New Year's Eve trying to smile and be social or I drop Tim and the kids there and spend NYE without them at my mother's house, either way with them catching the bus home and me eating McDonalds for every meal with everything else closed because there is no way I am going in that revolting kitchen, or else I stay here in Canberra alone and wait until they bring the car back so I can go on the day I originally planned. And they will be left here without a car for however long I am away, which will be difficult for them.
I hate this so much. Tim isn't being unreasonable about wanting to have some fun on NYE, but between that and the hire car companies I feel like all my control over the situation has been taken away. What I had was an illusion anyway, I have no control over my mother's illness, but I was clinging to that illusion to keep me sane. I went to bed and cried for two hours last night, slept for maybe four hours, and then got up at dawn to write this because I was lying there with my stomach churning with stress. Remembering the good old days as a teenager when I used to cut myself because physical pain is so much easier to deal with than emotional pain. I can't take refuge in that any more. I have to just deal with it.
Edit: of course as soon as I told Tim how he was feeling he said we would make other arrangements that worked better for me.