New Year, New Dynamic

Mom died.

It’s been about seven weeks since her passing.  Time seems to go buy at different speeds at the same time.  I’ve hit new levels of stooopid I never knew I could.  I’m still not eating right, sleeping well or taking care of myself as I should.  The only thing I’ve been capable of doing is making crochets shawls.  I can count to 8, I can sit and watch it grow and not have to do anything else.  Since December 1, her last time to the hospital, I’ve made seven shawls.  One is my “house hold” shawl because I would rather wrap up than turn up the heat.  I seem to  keep going back to the hook for comfort.  They feel like hugs.  I’m trying to make one for all the women/girls in the family for the boat ride out to skater Mom’s ashes.  Hopefully I will be more back in the world by April.

I  haven’t really cried yet.  Maybe writing this out might break open the flood gates and release the torrent of tears that are just waiting for the opportunity to flow.  I don’t know why it seems so hard to express myself that way.  It could be the general fear of crying; if I start I won’t be able to stop.  Or it could be the medication is still providing the buffer that keeps me from completely dissolving into a puddle.  I’ve gotten the basics down in my journal but not really the emotions.  I wonder if I’m actually going to have any.  I mean, it’s not like this is out of the blue.  I’ve spent the last 12 years taking care of her as she, well not exactly slowly, declined.  The last three to five years have been the hardest, and living with her and taking care of her really tore the wellspring of hope out of me several times.  It did happen really fast, in the hospital on the 1st, back home by the 5th, then dead by the 10th.  There wasn’t  a rally coherent good by on her end due to the hypoxia from the lack of oxygen.

My team of professionals and myself have held the theory/belief that part if not most of my depression and anxiety was due to my environment.  Maybe I’m overmedicated now that the environment has changed or maybe I’m so completely overwhelmed (I had my car broken into after the memorial service and I drove myself to see my sister C. run in the Carlsbad marathon, I lost my job when I lost my mother, going back to school in February, and creditors filing suit).  I’m overwhelmed.  I guess I should stop trying to push myself so hard and try to do things one day, one task, one blog post at a time.

I’ve had some dark days, but in general I still have the light and hope for my future, so I don’t believe I’m back in the void, although, truth be told crawling back into that warm dark place to hide sounds really inviting..  I’ve had more bouts of anxiety than depression, I’m becoming more aware of my desire to take care of myself (like eat, bathe, change clothes, etc.)  In some ways I feel like I’ve been reborn into this world but I’m going to have to fend for myself.  I’ve got to find a job that pays well enough for me to write until the nectar of creativity runs dry.

My nephew gave me the best advise yesterday.  I didn’t want to go home, it felt like a trap so he told me when he feels that way he goes out into the world and tries to find something beautiful.  So, I went home briefly and grabbed Sammy and we took a trip to the coast and watched the boats in the marina and on the way home on Highway 35, I got pictures of a beautiful sunset over the foothills in the valley.  It was beautiful and my anxiety was calmed.

Lucy is an IDIOT…….5₵ Seriously?

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₵.

 

Friendly Words of Wisdom

A dear friend and fellow blogger (www.unabridgedgirl.com) Mckenzie has been going through a lot.  Lupus is the darkest and a loving supportive husband as the brightest extremes in her life.  One blog she wrote talked about how a friend of hers that made a rude comment.  In the end she made a list of things to remember in the Hard Moments.  I stole them to remember myself and share:

Here are some things I have learned.

1. When you face a hardship you learn a lot about the true nature of friends, family, and people.

2. Things can always get worse.

3. It is okay to smile, even when you feel like frowning.

4. It is extremely easy to get caught up in one’s own woes and difficulties. Basically, get over yourself. It is easier said than done, but real gratitude for those around you goes a long way.

5. Crying is okay.

6. Laughing is even better.

7. Give yourself permission to be angry.

8. Give yourself permission to forgive.

9. Rest.

10. Let your loved one rest, too.

11. It isn’t all about you.

12. Take a walk.

13. Don’t be afraid to voice your appreciation.

14. Be still.

15. And never, ever give up.

It’s All About Me……

Everyone has a favorite word or phrase.  Lately my word has been anachronistic and my favorite phrase is “It’s all about me,”  Which, really, it is.  I’m aware of the narcissistic vein that runs through my family line, have been for decades.  And I realize I struggle against that tide of self-interest on a daily basis.  It’s a bit like trying to paddle upstream with anvils as your oars.  I don’t always make a lot of headway, but it keeps me anchored when I’m too tired to row any longer. As long as I struggle to keep ahead of it, the better off I feel I am.

I bring this up because I heard a comment on Sherlock (BBC version) that I liked….”I’m not a psychopath I’m a high functioning sociopath.  Do your research,”  I have been called a sociopath before, never bothered to look up the definition because the person that called me one was just projecting and was mean-spirited child at the time. There are ten questions on the Urban Dictionary that I took, and it turns out I’m just a touch of one, but I think everyone can be everything (unless they are truly stuck in a diagnosis and can’t pry their way out with meds of EST). So, no I ‘m not a sociopath. I have a conscious, I don’t take pleasure in making people cry, I can have an acid tongue, but I use it jovially instead of as a jousting lance.

I have been known to tell people they can’t do something because I don’t like the way it will effect me, but I don’t require them to keep that in mind when they make their decisions. If they don’t want to hear me whine they should do it because my whining can make dogs ears bleed.

Of course blogging is sort of a self-fulfilled sociopathic exercise in me. I’ve said things here that I felt at the time and now I’m sorry I put them in writing. Not enough to take them down, but I am ashamed at some of the things I’ve called some of my family members, I might do some redacting to take out bits, but not the whole, so they won’t get hurt if they should read it…..I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to figure out how it’ll truly affect me either way.

Oh, and for a general update on me…..I’m down 15mg on my Lexapro and 20mg on my Buspar…..and I haven’t unraveled yet. True it’s only been two days on the Lexapro so I’m still floating at a larger dose, but still, I’m working both sides of the program….getting drug free and trying to work the 12 steps…..it’s exhausting, but I’m feeling better all the way around. I cringe at the amount of work that is left to be done, but I will do it. I’m the only one who can because, well, it’s all about me.