Suck It Up, Buttercup!

I feel like I’m devolving into a puddle of goo.  I’m shaking, implosion seems eminent and sleep doesn’t help.  But then I’m not supposed to be sleeping….I’m supposed to be shopping, cleaning, organizing, learning, writing the ending of my finished novel (House of Dragons) and working on a general editing pass at my other one (Hearts of The Mothers) for NaNoWriMo instead of writing something novel.  All I feel capable of doing is sitting and trying to keep my heart from bounding out of my chest.

Okay, maybe I’m expecting too much from myself the first day of unemployment and I did want to take today easy, but then I feel like I’m about to have a heart attack, problems breathing, heart pounding etc.  So I checked my stress level, which I figured would be low because I am on my blood pressure pills but it read 86% which, in the meters terms, is extreme.  I checked my blood pressure and it was 131/76 with a heart rate of 86.  So I did what any off-cetnerly sane person would do….I took something from my anxiety collection and I’m hoping the weaker compound will do me okay.  I need to get back to putting that in my morning pills.  It’s not like I have to worry about falling asleep at my desk any more, but apparently I need them.

I think also the collapse of my schedule has something to do with it.  I need to start a new schedule and commit to it as if it were a work schedule.  It’s so hard to commit to something that doesn’t have a prod to go with the carrot, or in this case the carrot is the freedom to write not money. I need to get up, do whatever work I need to do around the house and then LEAVE home and follow my plan as outlined.  I realize that I need to put the plan in writing, work on a check off system and just keep moving forward as much as my body/mind/soul will allow me.  Not knuckling under their weight but using it as a counterbalance to propel me forward.  Which honestly sounds all pretty and easy….on the screen….but in the end I just need to suck it up and get it done.

The Bluffers Rebuff

I miss Sammy.  I miss the way she says ‘Hello’ in the morning, or says “By by” when I leave but mostly I miss knowing there is one living, breathing person* in the house that loves me unconditionally even when she bites me.

Mom and I have plastered over the dings in each others walls, though I didn’t hurl anything heavy, she took asserting my boundaries as a direct hit and then taking Sammy away so she wouldn’t breathe in her feathers as a killing blow.  Covering the wounds works like turning off the lights instead of doing the dishes….if you can’t see it, it never happened.  I was told that I was breaking a dying woman’s heart by taking Sammy to my sisters, but if Mom truly is allergic to her feathers then taking Sammy out of the house was the only recourse.  It’s not like I would allow her to live outside even if she could.  It is still seen as an intentional, malicious action against my mother, which was not my intent, and I tell her I don’t intend on having Sammy stay away forever.  I’ve ordered air filters/purifiers/cleaners for her room and the family room and once she can breathe okay I will bring Sammy home as a test.  Mom on the other hand feels she will never be able to be in the same room with her again.  It is her way of bluffing my bluff, to see who could last the longest without her.  Well, not to be too macabre or put too fine a point on it, I’m the one that can live longer without her.  That’s not why I’m not going to buckle to her will, or maybe it is, I dunno sometimes what is going on in my head.  In a lot of ways I’m still very angry at my mom for the way she treated me, talked to me, acted towards me, and yet knowing that it’s coming from a place of fear and her interpretation of everything as pain she doesn’t know (or want to know) any better.  I can’t change her, I can only change myself so she can no longer hurt me.  But she made me cry this weekend, and honestly that seems to be the worst thing that she could have done.  That was the start of her treating me better, she thinks she broke me.  What happened was I didn’t have all of my social meds for the day and I crumbled a little but she’s taking it as a victory.

To help me overcome my loneliness and the fun in watching her, I bought a wifi camera that will allow me to log into it and I can watch her all day if I wanted to.  I won’t, hopefully.  But when I’m at home and in my room I can put it on my 24″ monitor and it would be like she was in my room with me.  It just can’t get here fast enough!

*Sammy is a feathered person….and yes, I’m one of ‘those’ pet owners.

“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.

The End is Nigh….or not.

The diaphanous veil between the living and the dead is getting thinner.  I can feel my father closer, my brother.  They are waiting.  I can’t really say this to my family because we’ve been saying “Mom won’t make the next XYZ” for the last 24 years. It’s gotten to the point where we won’t believe it until we see it.  And who knows how long a person can.

I want her to have a good end of life, but I don’t know how to bring that about.  She has a DNR, C. will make the final judgment if we need to turn off her machines and pacemaker. (there will be mighty discussions between the three of us girls before hand, it’s not just hers alone)  Her cremation is paid for, our plan to have a boat take us out to the Golden Gate Bridge or beyond to allow her to travel the way she never could in mortality.   I guess now it’s just a matter of all the family to make amends with their own soul and forgive grandma/great grandma and let her go being loved.  She wasn’t trying to hurt us, not consciously anyway.  She wanted what was best for us, even if what she wanted was skewed towards what she needed more, but truly is that her fault?  She relied on the way she was raised, and the pain she experienced on our side of the conversation must have been worse as she believes she wasn’t loved or wanted.  Mom wanted us, she loved us to the best of her ability and with the few tools she was given, and isn’t that all what we can do?  Holding someone to a standard you hold yourself to is just as unfair, lacking compassion and sincerely extremely selfish to the point of narcissism.  True narcissism isn’t something you choose, it’s not like fat where you can go on a diet and emerge a shadow of what you used to be….Narcissists don’t believe the need help or to change, the rest of the world should.  I wish I could take this understanding, acceptance and love and share this enlightenment I’ve been given to my family but I can’t, and even if I can will they have the frame of reference of the months past to understand it with.  Or the desire to truly forgive her and let her go?
The depression and the tentacle like grip the other accessory ailments has robbed me of the ability to feel a lot of feelings.  Well all feelings except anger.  With the containment and proper placement of that merciless flame  the other emotions are coming to the surface and I can say something I never thought I would be able to say.  I love my mother.  I started this journey hating her and silently planning her funeral like a mother plans her daughters wedding.  My biggest fear was that I would hum “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” in my pew at her funeral, now I’m not afraid to loose her, or my reaction to it, but mostly that I will be unable to take care of myself without her to remind me to eat, to wake me up when I fall asleep on the couch, to guilt me into cleaning up the house. (I know, I’m a grown up, for heaven sakes, I should be be doing that for myself already).
This feeling of love for my mother and the spiritual lifting I’ve had over the last several weeks makes me wonder if that’s why I am able to feel the veil so close.  The only thing you really take with you is your knowledge and your love.  Love you give is the silken strands that weave your body for the next life and the love you receive is the decoration.  Or so is my belief.
(I’m not saying my Mom is in the throws of dying, she’s not.  I do know her body is starting to give up and betray her in ways she never thought it could.  I’m just saying there are people waiting for her and I can feel their presence.  It could happen today (better not it’s my birthday and her sister already died on my birthday) or it could happen next week/month/year/decade etc.  My nephew J has a saying “At the end of time there will be Dick Clark (rip), Grandma and cockroaches.”  There are days when I look into her eyes and see the steel will to live and I actually start to believe that he isn’t far from wrong.)

The Separate Self

This is the first section in Viorst’s book of Necessary Losses. In essence it’s about cutting the umbilical cord from Mommy and Daddy and learning to stand on your own two feet. However, it debunks the idea that you cut the cord when you turn 18, move out, go to University and then forward in your life through self-propelled societal rites of passages. So not true.

Cutting the umbilici starts the day of birth and progresses throughout life. We are expelled from our mother’s womb, hopefully without incident and brought into a world of foreign sterility, naked and cold we scream for what we have lost.

From the womb we become attached and form a sort of nirvana with our mother who feeds us and gently  ares for us in the harsh bright world we’ve been brought into. Until she leaves us, the first whack at the connection between mother and child. Papa was there eventually to fill in and to help us gain our footing, showing us that we can be one and together within the family structure. This is our first
experience with love; both giving and receiving love. Agape. Unconditional love.

As time moves forward the abandonment because more of an agreed upon  eparation and a coming back together. Again, small gnawing strikes at the ties that bind until we are a single, self-loving, self-empowered human being capable of giving and receiving love without fear of loss of love or self. Like a butterfly who has to push itself away from the chrysalis on it’s own. If you stop to help the transformed to flight it will not have the necessary strength to survive.

How does this apply to me?

  • I trip over the umbilici here at home, so we know that it hasn’t been
    severed.  But not severed by who (or isit whom? I never could get that right.)?  I realized while reading this book about how children from narcissistic parents raise narcissistic kids, and it’s a repeated thing.  I’ve somehow been put into the roll of my Mothers mother, and I am taking care of her the way she has never been taken care of before.  She is completely unencumbered by the stresses of every-day living, she doesn’t have to worry about anything, in general.  She has said several times that she’s the happiest she’s ever been.  This conflicts with my lack of maternal instinct.  Whatever desire I had to be a mother was sated by the nieces and the nephews, I don’t feel like I have it to give now. I’ve learned that love and hate are part of the same process, that thinking about the hate you have for someone you love/like doesn’t make you a bad person, acting on it does.  One must make a conscious decision not to do bad things, our choices determined who/what we are.  Like Newton’s theory of Motion…To all things there is an equal and opposite reaction.  One cannot exist without the other.
  • Despite my best efforts, I appear to be more narcissistic than I want to be.  Though self-love is vital part of ones esteem, it shouldn’t be all ncompassing to the point of drowning.  Therapy, in and of itself, is an indulgence into self, but a necessary one and I shouldn’t feel like I’m being a ‘bad’ person because of it.
  •  Being the person I want to be instead of the person I present to the world is going to take more work than just pretending I am who I say I am.
  • I need to let go of my fearful and childish black-and-white simplifications for  the difficult ambiguities of real life.  This is going to hurt.  Black and white means there is a wrong and a right (where I can be more right than wrong) and a world of ambiguities will never have that satisfaction.
  • I’ve got a freakish amount of work to be ME again.