"F" Revisited and a Vent

So currently I'm participating in the Pagan Blog Project 2012 this past two weeks were on the letter F.  My week I chose the word Family and did my post on that.

I've been put in a position to where I'm taking care of my mother.  We never got along well and in fact up until January we didn't even really speak.  I liked it that way.  I didn't have to deal with all the old crap from my childhood.  I could go about my life, being happy with my hubby and spending time with our dogs.

How life changes in just a few months.  It's March now and here I sit at 8 in the morning barely rested because my mother woke me at 2 in the morning confused and standing in the hallway of our house.  She didn't make any sense at all and here I am trying to get her back into bed.  Apparently she had gotten lost from the bathroom to the bedroom.  Our bathroom door and the her bedroom door are literally 3 feet from each other.

I've had to update my calendar and change everything around because just in the month of April she's has 5 appointments, as well as an eye surgery scheduled after which she'll be completely blind for a number of hours.  The sight will return but we have to go back in for another treatment where again she'll be blind for a limited time.  I went from having no connection at all to having to be someone's complete caretaker.  It's becoming daunting.

I know that it's not her fault and I want to be the type of person to help others when they are in need.  I want to be able to assist someone in their transition to the underworld.  I need to find away to separate my old emotions from the person that's here today.  I also need to find a way to stop holding expectations of others.  I would gladly be here to help my hubby should he become in a state that he needed constant care.  But he never treated me like crap.  ARRRG  All the old stuff in my head.  Dealing with all this is so stressful that I've begun to put on weight and my tummy is on fire all the time.

Last night hubby says to me, you're not the same person any more.  In my effort to assist her, I've started to lose myself.  How is it that the "family" I have around me cannot see the toll this is taking on me and try to help me? 

We know why don't we?  It's because it's easier to let someone else do the work.  It's easier to sit back and toss out directions and offer suggestions but not actually do any of the work.  Something as complicated as working with Medicaid, getting the hospital bills paid and then suggestions around what's happening to the money. 

I have responsibilities too.  I have expectations and needs.  At one point I really wanted assistance.  I wanted help.  Now I'm jaded and bitter.  Now I don't want anything.  I just want to be here, finish my sentence and become free.

It sounds awful.  It sounds too much like someone I don't want to be.  However I cannot allow myself to hold expectations for others, only to be let down time and time again.  So I'm done.  I can count on one person and one person alone.  Together we will succeed.  Just like we did when we took care of his mother.  We'll get mine off to her afterlife and then we will move on.  No more information, no more calls, no more babying the situation.  It is what it is and I am done.

Family is not permission to be uncaring and hateful.  Family is not a pass to drop your responsibility in someone's lap just because you can.   Most of all, Family is not a group of people joined by DNA.  Family are those that lift you up.  Family make you smile.  Family see your burden and come over to shoulder the load.  Family may be blood, but generally its those people around you that CHOOSE to be related to you, not the ones that are there by blood.

If you know someone one that needs a bit of a lift, take this post as a reminder to pick up the phone, send them an email.  They just might not be as strong as you think they are.

Namaste and Blessed Be


Unknown said...

Oh honey I am so sorry! It's an unfortunate truth that once someone is ailing and needs assistance, many family members don't wish to be a part of that hard work. It's so wonderful that you are taking it on but very unfair for others to expect you to do so without help and without showing the exhaustion that comes with it. I hope that somehow, you and your mom can get some healing from this. Despite the past, there is something there that needs some loving tender care between the both of you. I will be lighting a candle for you, your hubs, and your mom.

AmethJera said...

I put my life on hold for 11 years to take care of my grandmother until she passed.I thought it would never end and the day after it did I found myself standing in the middle of the living room incredulous that it had, that it had gone on so long, that no one else in the family stepped in or stepped up to help. I left my job 11 months before I would have earned full retirement so I could take care of her.In doing so I lost the health insurance I so desperately need now. Keeping us afloat all those years ate away my carefully preserved nest egg and I eventually had to sell the house my grandparents were so proud to have given me to inherit. My mother,step sister,aunt and cousins who all lived less than 40 minutes away and never visited her in her remaining years continued to carp and criticize even on the day of the funeral.None of them have ever acknowledged that they shirked their familial duties.I have had no contact with any of them since the day of the funeral and I should probably be ashamed to be saying that-but I'm not. My expectations for help and hope for support faded long before she took her last breath. Surprisingly, I am not bitter...I am just tired, even thought Mom has been dead nearly 15 years. It is what it is and it's over. The people who are my true family, the people who care about me, love and support me ,cheer me with their words surround me with their presence. They have brought grace into my life. It is enough, and although you may not feel that way now, I suspect you will some day. Love to you.

Anonymous said...

You are so right about family. It's an issue I've been dealing with in-depth lately and trying to help others understand: that a DNA bond does not mean they have a right to walk all over me.

Wishing you the best of luck with everything with your mother!

Kat of EmKatCreations said...

You have been thrown into a very difficult position. It's very understandable to have the feelings you do towards the family around you. Being a care-giver is one of the hardest things that anyone can ever do. There are resources to help you, resources that many people are totally unaware of. Google "caregiver support North Carolina" (or email me and I'll do some deeper leg-work for you. A couple places to start are:

I mean it when I say email me. I'll be happy to spend the time to look up resources to help you through this while keeping yourself 'you'.