Clipping Time’s Wings

Everyone knows that time flies, and I’m getting to that rounded age to see it zoom by at super-sonic speeds.  I was looking at the calendar of this blog, how many times I wrote in one month, how when I was in crisis there would be a darkened square two to three times a week, and when things were masquerading as ‘normal’ it was lighter.  Then I saw when I birthed this baby my jaw dropped.  May 2011!!  It’s been over five years, and before that it was about five years before with round one.  I’ve been trying to grapple with this for over ten years now.

The goal of this blog was to find my way back into the light but to make sure I didn’t trip the dark fantastic again if at all possible. I know life isn’t going to be all sunshine and flowers, there will be bouts of sunburn and allergies too. Now where once there was blackness and anger there is hope and joy . I am not cured, I don’t know if there is a cure, but this is working for me, the writing thing, I just wish it didn’t need to take so freaking long. I guess I should work on my instant gratification issues too

The new goal is to re-post the enteries and figure out a plan of attack in the event of a fresh hell in the void and to shore up the processes I found helpful. Time willing it shouldn’t take another FIVE YEARS!

Entitled to Surrender

I’ve been looking for a definition that encompasses my meaning and feelings for the word entitled.  Microsoft wasn’t helpful, nor were the additional sites it sent me to.  Merriam Webster Dictionary  was accurate but didn’t quite go far enough.  I went to the Urban Dictionary and it was almost spot on but the language used on the site isn’t as refined as I would prefer it for my use here.  So, I’m going to give you my definition:

Entitled

The belief of when you are doing something that benefits the whole you should be compensated, taken care of and/or relieved from your efforts from time to time.

That said, I’ve been fighting with this concept all through the holidays.  It really hit home when my nephew gave his 18 month old nephew an iPad mini.  I’ve wanted one for like ever but I never have the money in hand at the best time to buy so I’ve just made due with my iPhone and my Kindle.  Honestly, this almost brought me to tears.  It shouldn’t but it did.  I feel like I’m completely forgotten by the outskirts of the family.  The Grandkids know what a handful their Grandmother is but as long as it doesn’t impact their schedule or cause them any hardship they deign to visit for an hour or so or call once every eclipse. [Don’t get offended, I’m not done yet.]  After I wiped the tears away about the give before anyone could see them, I started to get angry.  I’m doing all the heavy lifting both emotionally and a good portion of the time physically but the 18 month old is entitled to an iPad to help him learn his ABCs.   (I’ve got an opinion on that but it’s not suitable for this forum….I’ll have it on Psyche-Stew soon.  Then on top of all of this, my sisters have been pulling back and recognizing I need a break but only willing to dole it out in one to four hour increments.  I need a Freaking Vacation….one that doesn’t include Mom, or a massage, or even just a weekend away so I don’t have the constant static of the baby monitor hissing in my ear while I’m trying to sleep.  But mostly the recognize it but are too busy to do anything about it.

So, for kicks and giggles I sat down and figured out just what I feel I’m entitled to.  We have someone during the day to take care of Mom, which is very helpful for me. However, that leaves me with 18 hours a day M-F and 24 hours per day for the weekend when Mom is all mine.  I would want the three of us to rotate the weekends, for the sisters to come three to four times a week to spend time with Mom so she’s not completely glommed onto me all the time, help with cleaning the house and cooking [because, honestly, I suck at both]. send me to a spa on a regular basis and understanding when I reach out to them for help and/or support I don’t get a litany of the things they’re doing and a bright “Hang in there” before I hang up.

To sum it up, I want them to take over preferably all of the work and leave me with the praise and accolades I receive when people see me and I tell them what I do. Not much, really.  😉

NO ONE IS ENTITLED TO THAT.

The only thing I am entitled to is my life and my free agency.  Beyond that, if Iwant to be entitled to something Ihave to find it within myself to provide those accolades and care I crave.

That said…..

I surrender.

Merriam Webster got it right this time defining Surrender as:

Surrender

: to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed

: to give the control or use of (something) to someone else

: to allow something (such as a habit or desire) to influence or control you

I’m not talking about backing away from my commitment to my mother or to my family.  I’m not going to quit anything that I am already doing,  that is not an option unless I plan to surrender who I am entirely.  No, I mean I’m going to stop fighting with reality and waging a spiky-word warfare with unsuspecting siblings.  My life, for now, is to be here for Mom, and I can’t do that fully if I’m allowing unhelpful thoughts discourage me and distract me into thinking that I’m being taken advantage of by the whole family.  I surrender the  illusion of entitlement.  I realize everyone is doing the absolute most they feel they can do and I can’t ask, demand, or whine about them giving more.  I’m the one who volunteered for this, to be the caregiver, and I will continue to give until my service is complete  My choice.  My free agency.  And that is how it is for every persons life.  I know that kind of has an over tone of I’ll-show-them, but I’ll assure you it’s not.  I’m anxious to live my life, to get out and meet the oncoming trials head on and ready to wrestle them to the ground.  For the first time I think in ever I am going to put my needs (writing, meditation, mental health, etc.) before anyone else’s.  I will be my next caregiving opportunity, for that, I believe, I am entitled.

Honest Gratitude

I’m not alone, for the longest time I thought I was the only one in my peer group that was stuck inside the void.  Of course I had isolated myself to the point that I was the only one I saw mostly and honestly, I was ignoring me.  I shrunk away from all the love at church because I didn’t want them to know, but I knew they knew, and I was interpreting their love as pity.  I knew they knew because years ago for an essay in my genealogy class, Mom telling people to get sympathy for the heavy burden I am to her, and I’m pretty sure it’s written across my face most of the time.  But to face them, to accept their love, to say “I’m doing well” when they I was lying made me just want to stay home, so I did.

I’ve been going back to church, and I’m hoping to make it a life-long habit from here on out.  I’ve been listening to the topics of conversation, the messages between the topics and I’ve found that a lot of people that appear so happy, as if they have everything they want/need/desire are getting sucked in, stuck in the void that I’ve been in.  The insidious nature of the void is that it is a palpable darkness that your eyes are for all intensive purposes blind.  No one calls out encouragement while they’re in there because no one wants to be found or helped or comforted because we don’t deserve it.  Or, so’s my experience.  The darkness can be a blinding light to some, a red ethereal heat, or a frigid cold that burns to the touch but it is our own hell.  The trouble with having your own personal hell is that no one can help you decorate it because they can’t see it.  But they want to do something to “brighten” things up to help you.  People brighten up your hell just by being there, not by making you explain and explain and explain how things are working inside your head only for them to look at you and honestly say “I don’t get it.  Why can’t you just make up your mind to get over it?”  For me, when someone would say that, I’d want to scream and throw things at them…preferable food that stains or smells bad.

This time around, hopefully my last time around, I’ve been honest.  I’ve been truthful with people when a question is asked that I am capable to answer from my experience.  I can’t address their experiences directly because I don’t know them.  It’s like having someone explain how salt tastes to them without using the word salty.  It can be done, but it’s really hard to know the words you need to describe it.  By being honest about my depression, I’m hoping to rip the mask off the face of depression and stare at my own face and not be ashamed, to abolish the stigma from you, your family, your friends and those that just think you should get over it.  Knowing you aren’t alone, even though your experience is unique, the concept of depression is ubiquitous is a comfort to some, a sympathetic pain to other and a reality the world needs to accept, understand and get over their issues about it.

To be honest, I’m so grateful for this depression, this time around.  (yes, that’s probably the meds talking).  What I’m grateful for is the opportunity I’ve gotten to stitch the tear, rebuild the destroyed and fix the broken so I don’t end up here again.  I’m not sure that I won’t.  I’m still very easily sent of kilter if something happens or my plans are upset in any way, but I balance out faster, I gather my strength and I push forward.  Honesty and gratitude seem to be working hand-in-hand for me.  I think I need to stop using this site as a pity party on ePaper and start using it to be grateful, honest and helpful for others.  It’s just figuring out how to do that and making the time for it and not using it as a way to hide from the issues I’m dealing with

Stay tuned, boys and girls, it looks like things are going to change (for the good, I hope)…….

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.

The Best Laid Plans…….

Okay, here’s the sitch with not going to school this semester.

After Mom’s little tirades and big tirades about how I wasn’t earning my keep, how everyone keeps a 40 hour a week job and comes home and cooks dinner, does a load of laundry or two and then cleans and picks up after themselves……then swinging over to I’ll be too scared with you sleeping in a camp site with a knife for protection, they’ll just take it away from you and slice you open.  They enjoy stuff like that…..You don’t care about me.  I’m afraid I’m going to die alone and even with you here, you can’t even be helpful to me for that…..  I’m going to stop now, my head is starting to hurt.  Even with all her blustering I was set on going to school.  I figured if I could work from home on Thursday, my sister coming in the evening to take care of her I could skip the traffic and nap before class and then with chemical aids like 5 hr. energy and soda I should be able to stay awake on the way home and not have to stay at the state park.  Easy peasy.  She wasn’t going to talk me out of going to school because she was scared.  I was kind of looking forward to being that close to the beach to hear it in the morning when I got up.

I talked to my bestest friend in the world and she just simply said “There are too many moving parts to that plan to work well,” and I realized she was right.  I think if she said the exact same thing as what my Mom said I probably would have listened to her.  Yes, that sounds like an immature reaction on my end, but I know my BFF wants what’s best for me whereas my Mom just wants whats best for her, so I don’t trust any of her advise.  I realize that is part of her narcissism, and I know in some ways she can’t control it.  She has to realize something is wrong with herself before she can start changing, and she will never see the error of her ways.  So after more thought and prayer and thinking as to what I could do to move my plans forward if I didn’t attend school.

So here’s the plan:

  1. I pay for my Continuing Education Credits
  2. I study and pass the test
  3. I pay the money and fill out the form
  4. I get my certificate back

With my certificate in hand by January, I will be able to look for a blood letting job and sign up for the online course for medical terminology and put on my resume that I know my education wasn’t very accredited but I am going to an accredited college that will teach me the right stuff, and by being so proactive in my education it will make me look like a good egg.  Everyone wants good eggs, bad eggs smell to high heaven, and even if you get rid of them their odor lingers for days/weeks/months to come.

One thing I found out while researching state parks for California.  They have a special pass for the disabled.  You pay $2.50 for the form processing and then you get 1/2 off your cost for camping and day use of the park.  I looked at there definition of “disability” and depression is one of them.  I realize that as things are getting better for me in that arena I will need to apply for it soon while I’m still in this maelstrom of emotions.  I want to start camping.  Glamping for longer times in the wilderness, but camping for weekends anyway.  I can afford that, it might be all that I will be able to afford for vacations in my life so I might as well embrace it now and get the stuff that I want and need for the wilderness experience.

Om. Om. O My!

I started meditation. But not guided meditation like before. The woman’s once soothing dulcet tones were starting to annoy me. So I decided to go the more Old School traditional. So I chant…….

Om Mani Padme Hum

Yes it feels silly some times but trying to remember the sounds takes a lot of my mental concentration. Each syllable has a meaning. For example Om means generosity or hum means wisdom. I say this to myself when I need to take a pause or when I have a pause and instead of doing I chant. I can’t say that it’s miraculously cured me, dang it, but I felt the hum of wisdom this morning while I was stuck in traffic already irritatingly late to work.

I guess what it basically boils down to is I’m scared. I’m scared that I won’t be able to handle the extra load of taking classes, that I’ll drive off the twisty-windy road and plummet to my death because my eye lids were too heavy to keep open during the coming and going to class. More likely than not it will prove too much for me and I’ll have to withdraw from class and take an F or incomplete and have to start all over again. Wisdom stepped in and calmed my mind and simply said:

“Not trying is guaranteed failure. Trying and failing is practice for the time you try and achieve.”

So I’m now trying to decide which is better. Going to a semester long class close to the ocean or two quarter classes close to home. I guess I need to keep Om Mani Padme Hum spinning along with my brain until something flys out at me.

What do you think I should do?