That’s enough now
I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment; actually part of being overwhelmed is not really knowing how I’m feeling. And not sure where to start to explain, so this may be a bit round-about and confusing. Bear with me.
The past two years have just felt like one crisis after another, we’ve had some major things happen in our family, as well as my husband having health problems. He’s been hospitalized three times in the last six months for atrial fibrillation (he’s doing fine and it’s under control; there’s something just inherently scary about having your husband in the Coronary Care Unit). The last hospitalization took place while on vacation, which kind of put a hole in the whole “rest and refreshment” aspect of the trip. On the upside, my husband is retiring on August 1st, which is a good thing and I think will help both of us in our self-care. But it is a major life change.
Dealing with all of this on top of my own health problems, weight and body issues has brought up some very difficult themes in therapy, so I have been working very hard on healing. There’s been a lot of progress. Ironically, my last session was about understanding my motivation to be “superwoman” to ensure that I wasn’t abandoned and needing to accept an ordinary life, that even when taking care of myself and attending to my own needs, I am worthwhile. At some point (ha!) I’d like to write some longer posts on this part of my work. So I am trying to downshift, but life isn’t really co-operating.
There have also been a lot of goodbyes. Both of a dear friend’s parents, whom I was very close to, died a couple of months back. My boss of 19 years, whom I deeply respected and consider a friend as well, retired and left the company. No sooner had I got back from vacation then I got a call from another friend in the company to tell me he was leaving for another job. He’s much younger than me (by 22 years) but we had one of those weird friendships which spanned any differences. And I am in charge of throwing the goodbye parties at work, so I end up dealing with logistics in the middle of the emotional stuff (A task I am giving serious thought to stepping back from. I’ve done it for almost 20 years, might be time to let someone else give it a spin.).
I became estranged from my mother a few years back (I’ve blogged about it before), which has continued to this day. The estrangement was not my choice. I did try to mend fences, but my mother refused to acknowledge the contact, let alone try to work through anything. Once a year, on her birthday, I send a card, to let her know I’m still here, which is also ignored. She lives in Florida, on my older sister C’s land, next store to her. I am very close to my oldest sister, S, who has also done extensive therapy; we have grown together through our healing. C has never really dealt with growing up in the disaster which was our family. Like my older brother, she has turned to substance abuse to deal, while also being almost constantly enraged. I have had a … difficult relationship with her for a very long time. It’s a long, very complicated story, but the result is that we are not really in touch at all. My last attempt to contact her, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years ago (right around the time my mom cut me off) was ignored.
My sister S called me yesterday to let me know that C had a major heart attack Sunday night. They found a huge blockage and ended up doing emergency heart surgery and installing two stints. Evidently she needs a third one, which will mean more surgery down the road. C did tell my mother to let S and I know, so mom called S. I called the hospital yesterday and they said she was stable (she was still in the ICU and had no telephone) and that they expected to move her out of the ICU and into a regular room today.
Hence the confusion. She’s my sister and I do care about what happens to her. But I also have no idea what to do in this situation or even how I’m feeling. All I can come up with is a vague feeling of “upset.” Stressed and weepy come to mind also. I really feel like a session with BN would be useful to sort through this, but it’s summer time and we’re on a two and a half week break. I see him on July 13th, then he’s off for another three weeks.
It feels like I should be getting more upset, but I’m just burned out. My body has already pumped out all the cortisol and adrenaline it’s capable of, so I just feel “eh.” But I may be fooling myself and just holding off my feelings at a distance. I’m planning on sending flowers to my sister once she’s in a normal room. I am hoping that reaching out might work this time, but am prepared to be hurt again (a good bet with C and my mom).
OK, I just realized what I need to say. I HATE my family. I hate that it’s so complicated, that there’s all this pain and anger and hatred mixed up with the love. That it’s NEVER simple or clean or clear to deal with them. The truth is that my life is better, or at least a hell of a lot less complicated and painful, without my mom or C in it, but that doesn’t mean they stop being important. I wish I could make them be not important but I can’t. And it’s just shitty. I’m ok, I get that everyone has stuff to deal with and in my case, it’s my family and I’m getting healthier about doing so all the time. But it’s unfair, and crappy and I want to acknowledge that. Any good thoughts or prayers would be appreciated.