Saturday, August 13, 2011

Well, that WAS an absence, wasn't it?

Hopefully I can get more regular in the old blog entries. Just don't expect it to be consistent, or knitting related all the time. Beginning today. If you're looking for an upbeat happy little yarn post, forget it. Soon, though, honest!

It is summertime. Gerbil and Girl are engaged to be married, which makes me so very happy. By next September, all four kids will be married. My how life flies by!
Everything around here is alive and growing, and some days I take a moment to look.
The garden is completely overgrown, and the house is an unmitigated disaster. Oddly, the result of this is that we have a huge number of tomatoes about to turn red, and enough dog hair to spin, once I sweep it all into bags.
The ducklings are growing and the turkeys now gobble. We've thinned down the layers, getting rid of some lazy girls and some boys big enough to eat and five ridiculously noisy Guinea Fowl. They are very tasty, moreso if you sit in relative peace and quiet on the deck while eating them!
But mostly, I am a bit low of late, waiting for my mother to die, or really still adapting to the idea that she's chosen to die. It's a harder thing than I expected in some ways. I try not to let myself rationalize it. It isn't rational and that alone could drive me bonkers trying to sort out. I have been very internal, and am just now staring to be more external again.

I went to the beach with an old friend and laid in the sand and ate lobster and steamers. I met up with my first boyfriend and shared old times and pictures and reconnected not in the old way, but in a new way, as friends. I've been turning to the past to help figure out the future and make sense of the present. Old friends, people who've known me since long before I wrote a book, people who knew me when I occasionally had orange cheese and cable television in my house, are the people who remember that my mother has always been "like this", and I find comfort in that.

Trying to decide how to "handle" this situation is difficult and fraught with pitfalls. If I do too much, I am giving in to the insatiable demands of a person whose mental health diagnosis makes her impossible to please, and in some ways makes her demand more.

Doing nothing leaves me feeling as if I should do SOMETHING, I should try harder. So I walk a fine line. I do enough to ensure that I feel like I've done as much as I could, but not so much that I give in to every whim and demand. Some days I say no. Some days I say yes. Some things I run to the store and fetch. Some things I say she doesn't really need right now. It's like parenting. I know we all meet a moment in our lives when the parent becomes the parented, and that's a normal part of life. In my case, I have been parenting this person for most, even all, of my life. I was reared by her to believe I was responsible for her comfort, for her emotions.

It's part of growing up with, living with, and caring for a person who has Borderline Personality Disorder. When you are an adult, you can separate yourself from a person who is manipulative or who is hurting you. When you are a child, and that person is one of your parents, you don't have a choice. You are not old enough to separate. You see yourself as an extension of the parent. As an adult, you can make choices to limit the damage that person does in your life, but there's always that residual feeling of responsibility. It isn't an easy row to hoe, and not one I would wish on anyone.

It is natural for me to feel responsible for others, and regardless of how that came to be, it is the way it is now. Over 40 I can look at it with different eyes, and make the healthiest choices I can possibly make for myself. Imperfect, but the best I can do for now. The good news is that even as a tween and young teen I knew the relationship was wrong. I really believe that helps now. it's not as if I one day woke and said "Gee, this is not good at ALL!" Instead, I always knew in my gut that most of the things she did and said to me were wrong, and unacceptable. I even related that on at least one occasion to "trusted adults" at a school I was attending. I was told that if it was really as bad as I said it was, I wouldn't have said anything, because truly abused kids never tell. I wish I could confront the adult who said that to me. I don't think she has any clue how much damage that statement did or how much shame it caused me. But I digress (into self-pity, just for a moment, for little 12 year old MMO, the poor kid!).

My mother is an astonishing person in one way. Her very existence given the present circumstances amazes me and many of those who care for her. No insulin for months. A diet that makes the standard American one look a little low in the carbs and refined sugars department. Refusal of all medications for all of her varied medical conditions. She's now limiting her fluid intake to sugar-based fluids only, and is trying to limit the quantity; orange juice, Coke Classic, ginger ale. Her blood sugar is through the roof. She has chronic infections of varying kinds. She has difficulty walking and talking. And yet she is still alive, against her will and wishes, she is alive.

Yoshi goes to visit regularly. The residents love him. He is very good around wheelchairs and in the elevator now. he can walk between closely-parked carts of varying size and shape without batting an eye.
Because he is JUST that perfect.

I am working on two projects for two people's books, which means that I will only be able to share swatches and snippets, but I hope to do that soon, now that you're caught up on most of the crappy stuff! ;) More soon!

13 comments:

Lorna's Laces said...

Sorry hon. This too will pass. Go play with the ducks.

sandir said...

Sending hugs your way as you navigate these rough waters.

Anne Bean said...

Thinking of you and your mother during this time.

Leslie said...

My heart goes out to you - it's a difficult time to be sure.

On a good note, I see your Canine Good Citizenship badge on the page. Congrats to Yoshi.

GerryART said...

Many, many Positive Thoughts for you, Melissa.
love & hugs,
Gerry

jerredawson said...

I am in tears reading this having grown up in a similar way. It will get better and your amazing self-awareness is very important to your healing. Hug Yoshi and make time to take care of yourself.

plasworld said...

I am so happy you have Yoshi in your life right now. Hugs to you!

S said...

hugs to you

kmkat said...

{{{hugs}}}

I don't know if this helps, but I'll pass it on anyway. Borderlines are the very worst patients for psychiatrists. Shrinks dislike them because they wear out their doctors with their eternal drama and demands and memeME. My husband is a psychiatric nurse, and our younger son for 2 years dated a young woman whom DH felt was a borderline. (Happily, son broke up with her and is now engaged to a wonderful, giving, sensitive woman.) At one point DH asked his fellow psych nurses and assistants, Which would you rather marry, an alcoholic or a borderline? and every single one chose the alcoholic. That tells you a lot about borderlines.

Sounds like you have found the sanest attitude for your situation. {{{more hugs}}}

Angela said...

Wow, Yoshi has grown. He's such a handsome young man.

I hope it helps that so many people have you in their thoughts. After 40 made a difference in how I coped with my mother's mental illness, but I still resent all those lost years when I felt responsible for her unhappiness. It's so hard seeing a 32 year old friend going through this now. She's getting there, though. At least my struggle has helped her.

Take care and it's great seeing your post!

Linda B said...

jerredawson, kmkat, & angela wisely & compassionately said just what I was thinking and feeling when I read your latest update. Along with their wise words, and everyone else's hugs and support, I will add my empathy and concurrence that yes, Melissa, you are going to come through this time with your wonderful Yoshi at your side a stronger, able to be happier, woman with many many more years of LIVING! ahead of her.

Sally M said...

It is nice to see you back here. I am sending positive energy your way and I wish I could do more. Keep your Yoshi close and let him (and everyone else!) love you.

Val said...

Keeping you in my thoughts Melissa, take comfort from your family and especially from Yoshi. My Molly is a constant support for me and my days are not as hard as yours can be.

Take care of you.