Posts Tagged With: recovering from childhood trauma

Day 449: Variations on “I Don’t Want to Go”

I don’t want to go.

That’s something I’ve been hearing people say a lot, lately.

I don’t want to go …

  • to work
  • to school
  • to the hospital
  • to this appointment
  • outside
  • anywhere.

I don’t want to go to this place (or event) that I should (want to) go to.

“I Don’t Want to Go” Variations

Variation #1:

When I was 13 years old, I was in the hospital to have my cardiac pacemaker replaced.  I can’t remember exactly why the pacemaker needed to be replaced, that time. It could have been:

  • the battery wearing out
  • the wires breaking
  • the casing of the battery being permeated by body fluids
  • or something else.

I needed to go to the hospital many times between the ages of 10 and 13, because

  • cardiac pacemaker technology was very new, back then, and
  • things break.

During this particular hospital visit, after the operation, before I was sent home, I felt some irregular heartbeats, which signaled to me, “SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG.”

Should I tell anybody, or keep that a secret?

If I told an adult, I knew what could happen: Another operation, before I could begin to heal from this last one. And, based on everything I knew, at age 13, that next operation would be:

  • big
  • painful
  • hard to heal from.

Should I keep it a secret?

I couldn’t.  I told one doctor, whom I trusted above all.

I said, “Doctor, my heart is skipping.”

He looked at me carefully.

He replied, It’s probably nothing, Ann.

You can go home.

I went home.

My heart was still skipping.

A few days later, I was sitting in the car with my mother, knowing that I had to go back to face the Worst Thing I Could Imagine.

Another heart surgery.

I sat there, in the passenger seat of the car, with my mother next to me, in the driver’s seat.

I was sobbing.

“I don’t want to go.”

My mother replied, What else can you do?

You have to go, Ann.

I had to go.

I went.

That was the worst.

Variation #2:

When I take animals to the vet, I imagine they’re telling me:

I don’t want to go.

I can’t tell them why they’re going, or that they’ll be home soon.

That’s the worst, too.

Variation #3:

I have seen the “I don’t want to go” look, on this animal


when he’s had to go to the vet.  I’ve also seen that “I don’t want to go” look on the face of this animal


when we were bringing him home, from the shelter.

What are both those animals sitting on?

A bag I’m bringing to the hospital with me, tomorrow, for my sleep study.

Maybe they don’t want me to go, either.


Thanks to anybody who has ever had to go (or bring somebody else) somewhere they didn’t want to go. And many thanks to you, for going with me* today.

* Echoing, in my head, as I wrote that last line,

the title of my favorite Pat Metheny tune, ever.

“Are You Going With Me?”

Which YouTube version to choose?

How about the first one there?**

** Thanks to ff0000

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