“I just want to spend all the time I can with you…”

Raise your hand if you don’t think is a guilt trip…..

Yea, that’s what I thought.

An Attempt At Snarky Poetry…..

I Feel Tired
(sung to I Feel Pretty)

I feel tired, oh so tired
I feel cranky and grumpy and trite
And I pity
Anyone who talks to me tonight

I feel sluggish, oh so sluggish
It’s amazing how sluggish I feel
And so hollow,
I hardly can believe I’m real.

Who’s that tired girl in the mirror there
Who could that tired girl be,
Dark circled eyes,
Pale chapped lips,
Matted gray hair
Such a tired me!

I’m exhausted
And I’m sniping
Hiding in bed would be a great joy
If I don’t
Men with nets they will soon deploy!

Prayer: The Hearts Sincere Desire

I’ve been praying again, at least making an honest effort.  I still forget that I’m praying sometimes and let my mind wander but I pull it back as quickly as I can, apologize to my Father in Heaven and push forward.  It seems odd that prayer is so hard for me.  That it was nothing before but “Please, Father, get me through today.” (And He did) But because of my meager efforts I’m no longer extremely anxious about taking the forward steps I need to into the haze of uncertainty because I know He will prepare a path for me even if all I can see it one step at a time.

It’s so hard to describe the sensation of this for me.  I’ve always known there was a higher power (mine is God/Heavenly Father/Elohim) for as long as I can remember.  At one point I wanted to be cloistered away as a nun;  a life of service and reflection apparently appeals to the writers heart.  However, I chose the secular world and now my realities are 1) my job is ending 2) my education to be a phlebotomist is a joke in the industry 3) I’ve not stuck anyone in years and 4)it’s going to pay less (especially a non-union job) than the pittance I’m making now. (I’m not even going to go into the lack of writing, lack of journaling and lack of any creativity in my life right now).  My mind races and then collapses from exhaustion.  I think R.E.M. said it best:

It’s the end of the world as we know it

And I feel fine

I’ve never been able to really make plans for my future because I’ve always had the concept hard wired into my mind “Live now for tomorrow we die”.  So now, I pray about it, when the anxiety, fear and general loathing of change overtakes me and then a calm comes and the gentle words of peace and comfort scatter the emotions like cockroaches in the light and I feel fine.

Though I’m still anxious about a lot of things:

  • Mom’s ultimate destination and getting her ready, getting me ready, fear of walking in on her and finding her when I’m alone
  • Money lasting to the end of the month and not being able to buy stuff with my own money
  • Getting money together for my nephews wedding (This is new one, he’s going on a cruise and we’re all invited)
  • Job ending
  • Job searching
  • Being trapped forever with Mom
  • Never getting my eating under control and never being able to eat Golden Mega Stuff Oreos again
  • Dying before I have a chance to live
  • Being around people
  • Dealing with my family and the anger it stirs up in me and the fear of not being able to control it around them

That’s just off the top of my head, the things that I can pick out when it’s spinning.  Though I know everything in my heart will be okay, the chemicals in my brain still won’t settle down and leave me in peace.  I’m hoping to replace my emergency anti-anxiety pills and the half one I take every day, with meditation and prayer.  It is my sincerest desire to be trusting and rest in the Lords embrace and know everything will be okay.  Though my heart is starting to trust my head is still overly paranoid and distrusting of everyone and everything, both physical and spiritual.  It’s not the end of the world, just a change, and I will be fine.  Prayer needs to be my bridge from this life to the next, I can feel that in my heart to be true and I need to be more persistent in following the whispers of hope and orient myself to the feeling of warmth and comfort the Spirit provides when I follow my heart.

Stretching My Philosophical Wings

I’m feeling a little deep today, wondering if I will ever get over this, whether I will ever be able to carry the load that I used to without getting overwhelmed and homesick for my bed.  Staring out the window at our potato bush, watching the humming birds and the finches flying in to rest between meals.  (We are *the* place to eat in the neighborhood for birds and squirrels)  These birds are so delicate they can barely move the long new-growth branches that have grown back after the gardeners last crew cut.  A bird, bigger than a finch, rounder than a sparrow, marked like a starling on it’s chest, but too small for being a starling flew at one of the branches, grabbed on and bent the perch over.  Confidently he held on and the branch stabilized.

So, what does this mean to me:

  • If I am the bird I need to be willing to fling myself at opportunities and have faith I will be safe and sustained
  • If I am the plant I need to remember to grow, to maintain green and supple branches capable to bend when the world flies at me from all directions.  If I can bend with the winds, I won’t break in a storm.

Accentuate the Poisitive

There is the quote by Emerson or someone famous like that:

“Your attitude determines your altitude,”

My attitude, then, has me tunneling through life.  I know I’m tired, I know I’m a little burnt around the edges, but I don’t need to be so negative/nasty about they way I describe taking care of Mom.  For example, people ask how I’m sleeping, and I tell them I’m getting used to hearing Darth Vader on the baby monitor…..again, an attempt at humor with the intent to let people know just how put upon I am.  I wonder if this is something I do for everything?  Do I make sarcastic and caustic jokes about things that I have committed to because I’m regretting the promise and not liking the work load?  I don’t want to be seen as a victim, but when someone asks how I am, ‘fine’ doesn’t quite cover it.  I want to warn them if they are younger than me to move close to a home where you can visit your difficult older parent daily, if you have always had problems being in the same room with him taking in your parent will not magically make you and her get along together.  That is the mistake I made.  You can’t make anyone change, you can only accompany them on their road and support them love them and be present for them.  I need to stop telling people to move as far away from their parents, in an almost too small house or in a house close to an old folks home.  I can refer them to read “Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent“.   It helped in getting that aspect in my life put in it’s place so I could work on the anger, low-self esteem, eating compulsively, anxiety, depression, and everything else that I’ve been dealing with.

Okay, so changing my attitude with Mom should help me…. will help me.  Even if it’s just adopted the words when someone asks how I’m doing, “Fine.  Really, I’m fine”  No snarky comments about Darth Vader, no side remarks about her attitude or her roid rage.  Maybe I can shine up my personal reality by “Eliminate[ing] the Negative”

Once Bitten…..

There is a scripture that talks about a child being able to put his hand in the den of asps and not be harmed.  This of course is Isaiah divining the peaceable kingdom to come.  I know we aren’t living in the time of peace and harmony so why do I still stick my hand out to be bit every time I talk to Mom?  She is convinced that I truly do not earn my keep, at least not the $12.33 an hour I’m supposed to work for her.  I’m working from home today and she’s already planned blood draw and then her social worker is coming over which will more than use up the allotted time I’m supposed to work per day to “earn my money”  but it’s not cleaning house, it’s not doing her laundry, it’s not feeding her birds, it’s not slaving for her.  She wants unconditional love, unconditional devotion, and unconditional willingness to be kicked in the gut when she needs someone to hurt as much as she does so she has the illusion of control and doesn’t feel alone.  Where I want to hurt myself in those situations she wants to hurt other people.

I know that, I’ve know that she’s angry and scared and is having problems adjusting to the inevitable.  I know this then why is it it hurts and tears at me when she says things like “Well, it’s not like you’re earning your money.  I could probably cut your hours back so K can work full time”.  I know she needs and wants to keep me on “the payroll” because she’s afraid that if I didn’t need my medical so desperately, I would quit her and leave her alone to die.  I think that’s what she has always expected her whole life, that she would die alone because her family doesn’t love her, that she is unlovable.  She’s convinced herself her parents and siblings hated her, and if even half of what she has told me is true, it is probably the root cause of all this, her husbands have abused her, cheated on her (or so her expanding memory keeps telling her), her grandkids (except for one) hate her and she doesn’t know why, I’m only here for the money and benefits.  I can’t seem to change her mind on that.

The bright side to all of this is the medications are working.  I know they are because I’m not ranting about her, knowing that if I keep going on and on about how I do my job would send me into an emotional maelstrom and I would dwell on it for hours if not days.  I might still pick it up from time to try to figure out what do but I’m able to divert my thoughts when I realize I’m starting to spin before I’m out of control.  Amazing what happens when you take your pills every day.

The angry person that I am wants to tell her what she can do with her $12.33 and comprehensive benefits and put them somewhere the sun doesn’t shine.  But honestly I couldn’t afford to pay for COBRA and also lose the pittance of a paycheck that I get from my second job.  Heaven knows I’m not able to afford everything else with my first job.  Pushing the anger aside I’ve been able to think clearly enough and realize that going without medical is no longer an option in the US, and ways have been provided to help those of us who can’t make their ends meet.  So, what this means to me is that I don’t have to work for her any more, I can be her daughter, do what I am emotionally and physically able to do for her and take back the control I need for my own sanity.  I know, I know, control is an illusion, no one has control.  Despite that, I need to protect myself as much as possible as she starts to deal with her own end-of-life issues I want to be there with her and I want to help her and prepare her but not at the expense of my own sanity.  If anyone is going to drive me over the crazy cliff it will be me.  I am the mistress of my own fate.

So this gives me a whole new list of things to do:

  1. Contact Covered California for help in figuring out the system (done)
  2. Get the cost of COBRA
  3. Sign up for VHP but not on Medi-Cal.
    • Medi-Cal patients are treated differently than VHP participants.
  4. Assign my hours over to K and then quit my job as Mom’s “caregiver” and then start taking care of her as her daughter.

I doubt she’ll stop trying to hurt me, but at least she might have to think twice because I’m not getting paid to be her personal walking and talking Damnit Doll.

The Avoidance Obfuscation Sublimation Observation

Mom was busy yesterday.  She met with her Hospice nurse today, she had a large job of instructing someone how to make her famous potato salad and yet still carved out time to accuse me of being lazy, slovenly and piggish.  Okay, the piggish statement was a joke, though knowing the comment “Don’t eat it all” makes me see red.

I can’t get mad at her, well, I can, I just can’t let it blow out all over her.  She knows she’s pushing my buttons. She even admits to it.  I don’t know why.  I’m not sure I want to know why, it would probably make my head implode.  I know my emotions are in a snarl as well so I think any kind of joke or button pushing will hit me so totally off center that there isn’t really any hope for me not to walk away and keep walking.  I can’t do that, I don’t want to be that person.  I won’t be that person.

I have noticed when I’m angry, really, really angry I stuff it down with inappropriate behavior, like Mega Stuff Golden Oreos (the absolutely most perfect Oreo in the whole universe), I avoid coming home by “researching” things on the internet and sorta stretch the truth as to why I was late “Traffic and red lights all the way,”  Never mind that I left an hour or so later than when I got off.  The last few days I’ve been sublimating my anger by buying stuff for her.  Not horribly expensive, but expensive looking.  Well, expensive looking on a monitor.  Trinkets, baubles and tea.  I signed her up for Tea Sparrow, it’s a monthly tea delivery site out of Canada.  It’s going to be delivered to her without my name on it so she thinks she has a secrete admirer.

Though the goal is to make her feel loved, in truth it’s to help me assuage the guilt for feeling so irritated and angry with her.  I did this in MTC 150 years ago when my companion and I didn’t get a long at all.  I would have Elder Kelsch pick up something from the book store and post it from the outside.  It didn’t change the way she felt about me, but it did make me not liking her….well…hating her….more justifiable to me.  In my mind it took the power I thought she had over me, actually the power I gave her over me, and magically transformed it in my mind as me having power over her.  Power is a lot like control: It’s an illusion.  It was before I realized that the only power I have in this world is the power over myself.  I’m doing it again.  I’m trying to supplant the anger, frustration and emotional distress in my heart and mind by buying her things she really doesn’t need, so I can make her feel better but in reality I want the power over her, in my mind anyway.  Luckily for me, though she hasn’t changed much…… well ever……..but that shouldn’t deter me from doing my best in making her last days loved and as nice as possible.  Even if it means staying up and extra hour or so to do the dishes so she doesn’t think I’m leaving all the work for the morning person K.

But seriously, if I don’t do a button-ectomy  soon she is going to drown in chiffon scarves, packets of tea and crystal watches.

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