Thursday, February 06, 2014
good morning--a little sleepy this morning--was up a lot last night worrying about my folks. even though my dad has agreed to go into a nursing home, my mom is making things ever so much worse by talking to him incessantly about it. we have all told her to "shut up" in a polite way, and she acknowledges that she understands she needs to give it a rest--and then goes right on, all the while saying she isn't talking about it. I understand she is trying to process this difficult chapter in their lives, but the way she is doing it is hurting my dad. so I got up last night after stewing around about it. finally made myself a cup of sleepytime tea and just journaled my thoughts for about 30 min. i had several realizations during this time--the most important one being that the excellent relationship that people have between each other is based in trust. and due to several factors that have impacted my life, i do not have a basic level of trust in my parents. i don't mean this as an indictment against them--it's not that they are big time liars or thieves or something. i am talking about the kind of trust where you know you are going to be treated like you have something worthwhile to say or contribute. the kind of trust that lets you be completely honest and vulnerable, even if what you have to say is harsh or sad. a knowing that your words will be listened to and understood in the spirit in which they were spoken. many of us don't have that kind of trust in the very people that should be the most worthy of it. i have that kind of trust with my friends. i love them and they love me. i would do anything for them and they know it--even if i mess up, they understand that i am trying to do what's right. i don't feel like my family can give me the benefit of that doubt. i was belittled and made fun of and criticized all my life by my dad, and my mom was always plainly embarrassed by my weight--and i have seen many examples in her life of how she feels about overweight people--and i know without her saying so, that those feelings apply to me as well. unfortunately this has damaged my ability to trust them and have the intimate emotional relationship that is needed during this time. so i am trying to do the right thing almost "by rote" rather than a complete desire to invest emotionally--which makes it all harder. so for now--because i can't control anyone's behavior i am opting to "do nothing and trust to God". when my help is called for i will chip in, but in terms of trying to interject myself into the interaction between my parents--it ain't gonna happen. all it will do is make me churn around more and sleep less. won't accomplish anything that would affect the overall outcome. i feel bad for both of them--this is a terrible thing that is happening to them--but from experience in the hospital setting i KNOW that people can surmount terrible events and still be happy and fulfilled if they choose to. but you can't make a choice for someone else. you can point the way (which i have) but that's all.
do i feel guilty about this point of view? i can honestly say i don't. i understand that my actions arise out of my life history and not malice towards anyone. i am doing the best i can, given the circumstances. i have to let the outcome be what it is--and let go of the idea that i need to somehow ride in on a white horse and "fix" the situation. my presence would be tolerated but not welcomed, and nothing would get fixed anyway.
i want my parents to be safe and happy. the safety i can do something about--the happiness i can't.