I don’t really see how Lucy kept her sanity while counseling people for 5₵. Maybe chasing the ever aloof Schroder is her release from the cares of her patients. 5₵ is not nearly enough, $5,000 an hour doesn’t even intrigue me. I am as interested I practicing psychiatry or participate in the mental health profession about as much as Charlie Brown liked Peppermint Patty “that way”. Yet Mom seems to insist on using me as a one-stop-shop kind of therapist where she can drop off her cares and troubles and have me just happily take on the vitreous she spews about me, about my sisters, about how horrible and unsuccessful her whole life has been. She is hurting in so many ways because the prednisone seemed to have ripped off the rose-colored glasses she used when looking backwards at her life. With clearer vision she, of course, begins to compare hers to the people we know now in Saratoga California and they are successful and well moneyed. She feels that she is entitled to having money because she made bad choices that really hurt her, if not physically then emotionally. I just wanted to grab her at one point and tell her to get over herself and stop dwelling on what you don’t have and on what she does…..but that too, would give her cause to call someone and accuse me of Elder Abuse so she could add to her cadre of horrors.
My portion of her raving comprised how I don’t do my work here, and what I do do isn’t worth my hire. She wants me to put in at least 45 minutes a day, because most people in the world have a full time job AND come home and fix dinner. Heaven knows she did. Though the kindness I show her is nice, it’s not what I am hired to do, and I need to put more of an effort in to make sure we don’t lose the new care giver. Apparently she wasn’t happy with the three or four things I left in the sink. So, I did the math. 52 hrs a month works out to be about 1.75 hrs a day. So, I will do my hours and then be done with it. There!
Making that decision seemed to end the conversation in my head until I started to peel back my motives and her motives behind everything. Even before she got on the steroids she was hinting that I wasn’t living up to my end of the agreement. I was feeling overwhelmed with work, church, family, OA, and now school. I’m both excited and scared for that. But it means that she will be seeing less of me, she is scared that she will be left alone, or whatever it is in her brain that makes it hard for her to let go and let me be out in the world. It’s the “I don’t feel well, can you come home early?” instinct that she doesn’t say outright but the actions are there. Yes, I’m inferring a lot of this from her body language, and from past behavior I have nothing specific and recent to present. As much as she wants me to fly and to reach my goals, she doesn’t want me to because she is afraid I’m going to quit her and go to Oregon. I’m not, I’ve told her I’m not but because of how many times she’s been hurt in the past, because of the abuse and the feeling she isn’t worthy to be loved, because the only tools she has to express herself is anger and venom she doesn’t have the wherewithal to not only be open and honest with me let a lone herself.
So, what does this mean to my future as a phlebotomist. Am I going to quit and stay home with her….HELL NO. I need to do this, and I need to do this now. I need to push myself until I can’t take another step. If I can’t do it, I’ll add more medication to the pile until I can. (Yes, I know, drugs aren’t the answer, but they are a tool). I will be conscious enough to put in my 1.75 hrs a day, which will be even less per day if I have to give some hours to the new one to stay, but I won’t just be her employee, which is the true meaning behind the “There!”. I was going to work for her and then go to my room and go to bed. That’s not who I want to be, that’s not who I’m meant to be. A fully mindful person doesn’t allow her own anger from seeing the thorn in the side of the person that bit her to begin with.
The one thing I need to never, ever do again, is to be Lucy, my own sanity is worth more than 5₵.