There is always a lot going on in my head. Since I was a kid, I was hard driven to do the things that I wanted to do – because it gave me a purpose. It gave me a thrill. Or it just made me feel right. Justified. And of course, being a full grown adult now feels just wrong. Everything took a very weird trajectory. Of course, who goes down the correct path consistently? Hardly.
As I think about how things went in my life, it seems as though I was confused for so long. The traumas, the adjustments, the anxiety and depression, the misunderstandings of oh so many people…. hell, including myself. I said to school in the 90’s – fuck it. And everyone walked around me. Everyone just let me. There was no guidance to say: is everything okay with you? Why do you feel so rebellious? I know you’re going through some things and this is a safe space. However, in fairness my dad did have me see a therapist and I just wanted to talk about topical things. Nothing diving down deep. Just day to day crap that mattered not at all. I’m not excusing myself or anyone else… I’m just thinking… So bare with me.
To a point, I took care of my dad. Sure, he was overwhelmed. All but me were out of the house or gone from this life out of sheer natural cruelty that no one understood. Not until many many years later. My mom was in a coma for 6 months from October of 1991 to April of 1992 and then into a vegetative state/paralyzed from the neck down. (I can’t spell the actual word… but you get my drift) That drove my dad into a deep sadness that I cannot comprehend. He didn’t show it to me, and honestly didn’t really talk about it with anyone that I knew until much later. And even that I don’t think I knew until he was sick or dying. He was strong. But let’s think about this for a minute. When my mom went into the coma, we didn’t do anything for ourselves as far as home maintenance. We pretty much were under the impression that my mom was going to get up and come do it for us. And eventually my dad still didn’t do anything for the home, he just came home from work and retreated into his books and tv or newspapers. We conversed, surely. But it was always topical stuff. Nothing in depth. If my dad helped with my homework, he became frustrated because I wasn’t understanding. Eventually, I stopped asking. And of course that just made it harder for me to contemplate doing homework. I was angry because I, of all my siblings, was dumb. I didn’t comprehend math worth a damn, I was incredibly depressed and withdrawn, and nothing in life felt right. My siblings were going to go somewhere with their lives. Dianne would have done something great with her life. Had she had the opportunity to live. Me? I was destined for … mediocrity. And that is unfortunate, but my reality.
I started doing the dishes. And believe me, it was only what dishes I NEEDED to eat. Then eventually the dishes piled up. And piled up pretty incredibly. My dad always got Dawn dishsoap… and of course I didn’t realize that I was allergic to the soap until years later when I tried Palmolive and it didn’t cause my hands to burn and itch after I did the dishes. Despite all of that, I hated doing the dishes. Matter of fact, eventually I grew to loathe doing the dishes. Maybe it reminded me of that time. That very sad time.
I wish my dad had let me in. Unfortunately I guess I knew why he didn’t. I don’t think I could have handled him telling me what he was thinking. When Eric bares his heart and soul to me, I cry. Because when all is said and done, I know he’s miserable too. So I have no misgivings about the fact that despite how afraid I was of my dad, I loved him and was connected to him and never wanted to see him hurt. He shielded that from me. Instead, when people asked him how he was doing, he’d just reply “Steady by jerks.” People would often smile, or laugh. And I’d even question him as to why he’d say that because I found it silly. I guess I get it now. And it probably wasn’t that silly. Just sounded it at the time.
I think about the things I probably should have learned in school. Budgeting, saving money, learning about how to balance a checkbook, the boring normal stuff that people on a regular basis have to do to live their adult lives. And although it’s boring, it’s important. I know how to do none of that.
My dad and in his wisdom put Eric in a precarious position. And I KNOW he didn’t intend for this to happen. But the monies that were gifted in death from him caused us to have assets that are over abundant to what poverty level means. Granted, the assets are not able to be cashed out without a serious penalty by the government (and believe me, we’re learning that now to a point… as that was how we bought our home) What still exists is sitting until we eventually are retirement age. So despite that it’s not able to be accessed, it’s counting against Eric to the point that he won’t be able to get medical insurance and his SSI (because it’s income/assets based… needs based) well, he doesn’t qualify anymore. I’m angry, he’s angry. I could only imagine that he’s more than angry. And speaking of, his physical ailments are just getting worse. I watch him decline and I worry. I worry about what our future will look like. If there is a future to be had. I obviously know that I will need to be mindful of what we have now, but think about that for a minute. If every moment I’m with him is spent with him in pain and not able to exist without incredible difficulty – what does that say for our existence? Does it speak to something I should look forward to?
In your vows, it says in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer. I am well aware that you need to be serious when you agree to this. Honestly, getting married is so romanticized that I don’t think people really “GET” what these vows mean. They are unlikely to every really think about it until it happens to them. Hell, I didn’t know my husband was going to be diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia, alcoholism, and bipolar with near renal failure at not even 40 years old. I never realized I’d be going to the hospital with him at 4 am to take him for ECT or to have him lose his ability to draw or paint because he’s had ulnar nerve surgery and while IN surgery, the surgeon finds more damage than they anticipated. Therefore, Eric loses the ability to hold things at random points in his day. It just goes numb without warning. I think he’s on his 8th Amazon Kindle. Fortunately this one has a warranty. I never imagined that the only way he’d be able to sustain his day was by smoking pot. And sometimes even that doesn’t help. Keep in mind, I LOVE HIM. None of this changes my resolve. The one thing I am ashamed of saying is that I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated that I have to up my game, even considering the fact that I’m depressed about our financial situation. I’m frustrated about having to take care of a home because Eric is down for the count most days lately. I’m tired of being the responsible one. And I know… I’m 41 years old. I get that I’m a grown up. I just feel resentful that this is what my present life looks like. It’s not for the lack of love for him. That has nothing to do with anything. I guess I just really am tired of fighting for everything – when I can comprehend what is going on in my life.
I am not expecting pity. By no means is this a pity party. I’m just venting.
The last thing I’m going to put on here is that there are so many things that I want to learn or want to study… or just do . I am so used to doing things for other people that I just don’t do it. Hell, most of the time, I can’t justify going upstairs out of Eric’s reach because I feel like when I am at home I need to be around him. I know he doesn’t need me to be at his beck and call. I just can’t seem to separate myself from him. I have no idea why. I want to learn about natural medicine since Eric can’t take anti-inflammatories like diclofenac or ibuprofen based meds. I would like to learn Tarot cards. I would like to learn about how to do things more simply – not spend so much money. Figure out how to navigate. Of course, I get frustrated easily and overthink wayyyy too much. The simplest idea becomes overtly complicated very quickly. So eventually I just give up. Maybe it’s because I try to do for myself and I don’t allow myself to. I’m always used to doing for everyone else. So why do I play stupid internet games that really function not at all for my day to day (besides time wasters?)? And let me just say that I have difficulty talking about any of this for a few reasons. 1) My dad and I never really communicated anything to anyone when I was growing up. If things were problematic, you just sucked it up. 2) I feel like a burden, or like I’m going to depress any number of people I mention things to. 3) I have difficulty talking to people, so mostly I message people either on my phone or through facebook messaging. So anything I say can be and has been used against me. My wonderful daughter, Ashleigh taught me about that. So I be careful as to what I say in the event I get looked at in a negative regard. You have to build up your guard sometimes.
That’s it for now. I’m sure it’s quite a mouthful.
Thanks for reading!