Monday, December 31, 2012
*My apologies to Native people, who may be slightly offended by this blog*
Good evening everyone,
I am happy to write to you in very good physical health and not from Russia :) I have been home for six days now, and believe it or not it took every single one of those days to get over jet lag---my sleep pattern which is not normally a problem was horrible. Must be a sign I am not in my early twenties anymore :)
In my blog tonight I was going to write about my favourite products/food of 2012 but I need your insight, your words of comfort and support (or criticism) about how to best help or surrender to whatever is going to become of my Mom.
I'll start with the physical health factors: she is going to be 50 in March, is about 5'1 in height and approximately 280+ pounds. Clearly she is not in a healthy BMI. She is on medication for high blood pressure and has been mandated by the state to do a sleep apena study sometime early in 2013 to maintain her special driving licence.
Her average plate? Too much pork or beef and usually a potato. It's difficult to get her to eat other vegetables and she doesn't eat fruit much at all. She rarely eats breakfast and therefore eats too much at lunch....normally leftovers of her boring dinner the night before. Naturally on occassion she eats less than desirable junk food but her huge downfall is a love for the food parents cooked. The pork laden old style Bavarian (German) cooking that simply isn't good for you in this day and age; and frankly the reason why my maternal Grandfathers all died of heart attacks and heart disease.
She has seen how I have drastically changed my eating/exercise habits since August 2010 and dropped 70 pounds. She is there when I groccery shop (which is vegetarian and about 90% clean, mostly produce,) she knows I take vitamins, weigh certain food portions and track my calories. I go out of my way to show her these things....
She said that in the new year it would be cool if I did most her meal planning, groccery shopping---to get her started so that when I leave she will have a better idea of how to manage her exercise and consumption. During those Skype phone calls from Russia I was optomistic that she actually wanted to try this.
....But all of the above does not mention the black cloud, the person who has crushed all of this in the past and perhaps in 2013.
My Mom is currently a bus driver and her seniority means she makes decent money...but no she cannot support a household on her own. She never has---first she was her Father's daughter, then my Father's suffering wife and now miserable for the last six years, on and off with the same miserable man. What's worse? This man is my realtive on my Father's side.
He might as well be my Father: a controlling, alocholic, walking stereotype who I wish would just go back to the rez where that sh*t is tolerated and normal. He spends most of his nights (four since I have been back) getting completely wasted and talking to the television into the early morining. He's blasted his poor brain with so much booze and marajuana (in the past) that at 49 he is showing signs of dementia. He often makes comments (can't tell if they are serious) about wishing/waiting to be dead. I've never liked or respected this man. He might as well be my Dad, my Dad who I have yet to hear from this holiday.
Welcome to the modern Native American family.
He holds the fact that the apartment is in his name over my Mother's head. He knows she has nowhere else to go so he takes his many alocholic rants as an opportunity to insult my Mother and myself.
She tells me in private she wants out but during any sort of arguement automatically sides with him. I know she is scared so I don't blame her too much. Not much gets me to cry these days, but when she told me yesterday that I should not have come back and that things were better without me...when she put me down for having no job to go back to in Russia (and yes she knows I was bought out of my contract) I locked the doors and cried alone for a half hour. The worst part is she gets somewhat violent, throwing plates and small objects.
She's the one who asked me to come back for Christmas and she should know better than anyone else how hard my nose has been to the grindstone to secure a contract in Germany for the last two months (no word on that btw.) She doesn't know I wake up every morning wondering how my students in Russia are getting along without me, she doesn't know I already miss having somewhere to go...
Her family, her brothers quietly worry about her Why this person from a decent close knit German catholic family keeps selecting to live this way...they don't understand.
I know I'll be ok, I have the education, the savings and the ability to go back to Russia even if I have to. But what about her? This might not be the right time to start eating better and exercising. I know she feels stressed and trapped but he body is giving her clear warning signs that she cannot wait much longer. Her mind is doing her in.
Do I try and encourage her further or do I step back? For her partner's sake, he better hope she never loses the weight, gains the self esteem----because like a speeding train she'll be out of here and I'll be cheering her along.