Sunday, March 8, 2009

Boy Am I Sick

Hard to believe it's been almost two months since I last posted. I have been in survival mode during that time. Today finds me sick as a dog in bed; my body and the universe are telling me that I have got to find another way. While I haven't been posting, I have been reading blogs of folks who seem to have become my closest friends in that there is an deep understanding of what my life looks and feels like.

Since my last post, my step mother passed away. This was not only difficult for the obvious reasons, but it also exposed some truths that I hadn't been able to face. Dad and P. (stepmother) were both alcoholics, with my father also playing the role of codie. Some things transpired during her last days and then her funeral that highlighted the sad role he had played his whole life. Dad hung on to P. with all his might; he seemed to think that if he spent enough money, that she would love him the way he hoped. And spend he did, in their 13 years together, he spent hundreds of thousands on trips, jewelry and home improvements for her house. When she passed, his name was not even mentioned in the obituary.

Now, I live in a small town and people notice this stuff. I had lots of questions from people as well as quiet whispers of "I'm sorry". I felt so awkward when folks would say this because I saw it as the manifestation of dad's illness, not his alzheimers, but rather his codependancy. How pitiful to stay with someone who didn't even want to mention you as part of their life for over a decade? Mercifully, because of Dad's state of health, he didn't seem to "get" this. For him, recovery is an impossibilty now.

I have lived a life devoid of anger. I never developed that emotion, and I really still don't even know how to identify properly when I should be angry. I am pathologically tolerant, letting my world revolve around an alcoholic, any alcoholic! So what a strangely wonderful surprise it was during this time that I recognized, maybe for the first time, how angry I was with my father for his neglect of me and my brother and sister during our lifetime. During his time with P., he neglected not only his children but also his grandchildren, developing no relationship with any of us. Now that he is in a nursing home and P. is gone, he is so utterly demanding of me and my siblings; he wants to be entertained all the time and becomes angry with us when we aren't at his beck and call! I will care for him as best I can now, but I don't have the least bit of guilt for not being up at his room all hours of the day and night.

I believe I am learning about detachment in a very real way through these situations. I love my father and I don't want him harmed, but I am so grateful that I am not trying to fix myself by spending all my time and energy on fixing him. I have already spent nearly all my life doing that. That part of my life is over and I'm glad.

1 comment:

  1. It always amazes me what we do to fix ourself...