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.

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys.

Mom and I hit the rocks, then the reef, then the iceberg over the weekend.  One realization that came from it was startling, sorta dream-crushing and it needs to go through the journal process before I can share coherently.  Sorry.  The other realization is that I can’t make my mother have a happy end of life.  I can’t do it for her, I can’t ease her from her dystopian state into the station where she believes she belongs.  It’s not my job to make those choices for her.  It’s like trying to have a pet polar bear in Phoenix, just isn’t going to end well.  I will be there to help her with her choices, of course, but I’m no longer going to foist them on her.

The fight was bad, things were said, apology made but we’re still dancing around each other not sure when the other one is going to launch the next salvo of words to try and destroy the other.  Neither of us willing to admit we love the other, and there are moments when she talks to me and I wonder if I still do.  I guess I do, I haven’t called the Shady Pines to come and take her away.  She hasn’t called the police to report me for elder abuse, so I guess we are still on an even keel.

What I don’t really like about myself in this fight is the war in my head of how to behave.  I don’t want to be mean to her, yet I think bad things, and wish I had the wherewithal to do what I imagine.  I get too much pleasure out of calling her bluff and watch her try and squirm away from the consequences.  For example she believes I don’t love her because I won’t dust my room or clean the birds cage on a more regular basis because of her allergies.  So, I’m sending Sammy away to my sisters to live for a while.  My reasoning is two fold, I want the feathers that stay aloft in the air for hours, the one she breathes in, to settle down and to see how well she improves and to, mostly, call her bluff.  I won’t let her use my parrot as a wrench in her manipulation toolbox.

It’s those words, the mean words, that I want to get away from.  I know I’m angry right now and I’m working hard to keep my head from swimming in the anger and frustration.  When I start getting angry I start deep breathing and chanting in my head, but that’s ameliorating the symptoms, not ripping out the foundation of them so I can build anew.  I’m at a loss of how to do this though.  How do you plug the holes and snip off the pour spout of the venom in your brain in favor of peace, love, and …YIKES…I sound like a hippie!!  I don’t want to feel the bile bubble up or the desire for revenge or strut the I’ll-show-you posture any longer.  Part of me is hoping this declaration will be enough, that making the choice to do so will be all I need to do to become that loving, peaceful zen-like person…..I guess that is my circus and one of the many monkeys that are on my back.  Reality sucks, and it’s hard work.  Maybe I should rethink the hippie thing.

A Palpable Silence

I’ve been in such a funk these past few days.  I started reading The Homecoming by Bradshaw, I had some spare time in the early afternoon because I was between doctors appointments so I thought I would crack the book and see what is in store for me.  I got a few pages into the introduction and I had to stop.  Not just because they called my name but because I don’t think I could handle any more of hearing the letters these people were writing to their parents without pulling up the dregs of my own wounded child.  In some regards I wasn’t as horribly treated as some, but some hit so close to home and stirred up other emotions and memories that I keep forgetting I’ve buried.

I’ve gone silent.  Which in a way is good, I got some wholesale editing done today on my pinks but I’m not very talkative to Mom and she’s irritating me.  She won’t shut up and let me just have the silence.  She actually realized that I was trying to pseudo-nap today, what I call floating, that she needed to stop talking and trying to engage me into some form of conversation.  I need to get back to the basics with my anger management and I think I’m going to put Bradshaw on a shelf and re-read When Anger Hurts and actually do the journal this time.  I think I can handle adding the extra work onto my list of things to do.

What is annoying me is that this has been hanging on for two days now.  Normally I shake it off and go on like nothing happened.  I’m worried that I’m pushing back reading the book because I don’t want to dredge up the skeletons in my past and see them again, rotted flesh and vacant eyes, staring at me, accusing me for not protecting them when I was a child.  I couldn’t, I was a child, but tell that to them.

My mind has been focusing on scenarios that are never going to happen again, and I can’t seem to derail them.  It’s just the spinning and spinning and the whole “What would you do if-” BS that I don’t even need to waste my time on.  It’s family stuff, it’s annoying and it’s really never going to happen….at least not to me.

In the mean time, Mom keeps asking me why I’m so quiet and I have nothing to tell her.  She hasn’t done anything lately, all she did was leave a trail of dead bodies behind in my psyche that I need to give a proper burial to.  I don’t think there is going to be an easy route through this part of my education….Damnit!

The Anger Wins Again

The anger from the last few days has exhausted me, emotionally and mentally.  I’m sleeping, but not as much as I would like (like 15+ hrs).  The house is still a mess and I’m feeling like a slag for not getting it done.  Not to prove to my mom that I can but to prove to myself that I can.  I just want to curl up in a ball and hide from the world again.  I see nothing but manipulation spewing from my mother’s mouth.  I hate the anger and yet at the same time it’s safe, I’m safe when I have those barbed walls around me.  I wish I could just cuddle Sammy close to me and wait for the end of days, but parrots aren’t exactly the cuddling type, come to think of it, neither is anger.

Putting the Grrrr in Angggerrr

Okay, I finished When Anger Hurts, well what applied to me.  I don’t have kids to take it out on, and I’m not in an abusive spouse, I didn’t think I need to read it.  Not unless you consider caging Sammy at 7:00pm every night or calling Mom a big whiney baby when she talks about her pain.  I don’t really mean it, but according to the book I sorta do.  I’m trying to stop it, but it’s just so cute and funny, and yea, it releases some of the anger and tension.

I dropped a note to Dr. McKay about making an app for the book.  I haven’t heard back, haven’t really expected to.  He is busy releasing the rage in the rest of the world.

It is a good book, it has a lot of good advice as to how to wrangle the rage and re-align the anger into correcting the behavior to unseat the thorn that the rage is festering over.  I didn’t do the diary thing, I wanted to read through it to see how it ended first.  And now that I know what’s going to be required of me in the writing I can set me up the journal to be able to accommodate the different steps.  So, though I’ve finished reading it and tweezing out different gems for my journal discussions I will be doing,    Plus it’s kind of impossible for me to not get through the middle of a and then go to the back to make sure that everyone lives.

I’m in the middle of Living Buddha Living Christ and the Monk that wrote it is also speaking to me, calming the angry ripples in my soul and explaining more about medication, about mindfulness.  How being aware of what you eat, what you drink, the clothes you wear and the things you say, they all return back to peace and mindfulness.  I plan on making his book on Anger my next read with the WAH book again with journaling.

The bottom line is I can feel myself when I start getting out of hand, I back up, take a deep breath and the pull the puppy by its tail and let it cool down before I jump into the fray.  When I feel like I’m being judged, mostly from my mom and sister, tend to hurt the most.  I have to realize they aren’t going to change, it’s not fair of me to ask them to change. I can only change my reaction to the stimuli or back away from it and take a break until I can get to a calmer state so I can calmly negotiate things to where they need to.

Ring Around the Depression

I’m tired of the good days, then the angry days, then the sleepy days and then pray for the return of the good days.  When I’m up, I’m hopeful that the bad days are gone, and dissappointed when they aren’t.  If I over-do one day I pay for it the next.  When will I build up the mental muscles to withstand the inevitable onslaught of exhaustion from day-to-day.

Getting upset yesterday that I wasn’t heard by my family was stupid.  When Anger Hurts is correct when it says you can’t make anyone change with the anger and getting angry at something this trivial is my choice.  I am the one that suffers from this choice, not them.  They don’t even know how rude they can be, and it’s been that way for as long as I have memory.  I think it’s Einstein that said to do something over and over again expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity.  I guess I’m insane.

Anger Anger Everywhere, Yet Not A Face to Slap

Okay. here I am thinking that I’m getting my anger under control, reading my book, having safeguards in my mind in case I feel one coming on, and then BOOM knocked on my ass again.  I’m explaining to Cyndi and Mom, mostly Cyndi that my diagnosis is Sever Depression, Severe Anxiety and just a touch of OCD.  Mom cracks wise about how she’s never seen me be OCD about house cleaning, Cyndi calls me Mrs. Monk.  I explained that I’m Mild in that category but I wanted to express to them what Severe Depression meant in todays standards…..Like normally in-hospital care has been prescribed for Severe depression.  No, something else became more important….I don’t remember what, just the sting that they felt what I was going through was trivial compared to whatever it was they needed to talk about.

I know it’s who they are, I shouldn’t set my expectations so high with the two of them, but I keep hoping…….