I know this is all going to be very confusing after my last post. I know. I haven’t exactly had time to wrap my head around everything as yes myself.
Let me begin by stating as a matter of record how very human I am. I err. I fight. I feel, good or bad. I do however have this new found maturity (crikey, getting old) where I no longer wish to fight. I don’t want negative energy in my space and don’t want negative people in my life.
Enter the shocker.
In September, my mother was admitted to the hospital for the second time as the result of what amounts to a nervous breakdown. She has been diagnosed with severe manic depression. She is very ill. I spoke briefly with my sister and made the call to go and see her in the hospital. I do not have enough words in my vocabulary to successfully explain the number of feelings I had during the trip to the hospital. I was surprised when she was happy to see me and think she was surprised to see me at all.
Now to be fair, this doesn’t undo my feelings. I have not forgotten my childhood and her lack of presence in it. I am not stupid though. As I sat, watching my aggressor, the voice who always said I couldn’t look old and frail and terribly sad I had to recognize the potential for that to be me one day. I was forced to take stock of the damage holding onto all that anger and resentment can cause and I choose not to be that person. I choose to forgive and leave the past where it belongs. I choose to love my mother and to care for her because I can see how much she needs that right now. It has not been easy. I have swallowed my pride and labored through the noise in my mind to reach peace after this decision. I was left emotionally bankrupt at some point this year. I have let go of all the bad and now find I have so much more space for good emotions. I feel like a different person than I was when this year started.
So my mother is very ill. She has trouble telling the difference between being awake and asleep. She is driving dangerously and has been advised not to. She is anxious and almost child-like and I have accepted, having spoken to her doctor, she is never going to recover fully. She cannot be alone although it is all she wants (symptom of depression) we suggested selling up her house and moving into a retirement village, her doctor is against it as he says that is where people go to die. She needs some positivity. She wanted my younger sister to move in and after some discussion it was ruled out as an option. She is young and doesn’t have kids yet and deserves all of that rather than being resigned to taking care of my mom. So after much back and forth and many alternatives we have decided that we will convert her garage into a flat for her and we will rent the house from her. That way we all have our space but we are close enough to help and keep an eye.
This has not come without its challenges. Having my intentions and character questioned. Being accused of having ulterior motives and again being the bitch by my family. Then the polar opposite and major concern for our well-being etc by D’s family. I have decided to let people feel what they feel and say what they need. This is not about them. It’s not about me. D’s dad died as a result of the illness my mother is suffering from and we jointly refuse to do nothing and let it happen again.
This is only the beginning and it’s going to be hard. I will however stand up for my mother every step of the way. She needs an advocate and though I may seem the least likely candidate I am here and I am doing it. Also, letting myself out from beneath the burden of resentment and hurt feelings has been one of the most freeing experiences of my life.
I don’t need approval for any of this. I don’t ask for understanding. I have heard every warning and threat for every possible outcome. At the core of everything is humanity. I want to live as an example to my children rather than taking the ‘do what I say and not what I do’ approach. I want them to know that people are good and deserve second chances. I hope that they are watching.