Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What the hell is going on?

Last week I wrote about my grandmother's health crisis. It's been a challenge to process everything when absolutely nothing is certain. The uncertainty is making us all feel... Off balance. Stressed. For me, this manifests itself as a constant stomach ache. I have moments where I feel fine, where I get absorbed in my daily life and responsibilities, and then it hits me. My vision blackens around the edges. My core contracts. I feel shaky.

This is so hard because we all love her. But there is conflict. I don't know what to do. I'm trying to make sense of it. I have no idea what the hell is going on. People who are scared and in pain sometimes grasp at things that in broader context, don't make any sense. I want to yell at them for that. I also want to cut of all contact with them. I also want to comfort them and make sure they're ok. I want to run up there and take care of every last detail. I also want to pull up the drawbridge, hug my babies close, and pretend none of this is happening.

Here is some steam of consciousness mind garbage that I've been thinking this week. It makes very little sense, because I've been in this heightened fight-or-flight adrenaline place for a couple of weeks now. Every time the phone rings, I jump. My brain is not braining per normal right now,, but here goes anyhow:

I can't know what happened when I wasn't there. Not now, not in 1972, not 6 months ago, not this morning.

I will do my very best to neither over-react, nor under-react, even when body is telling me to freak out. Don't listen to your body, Julie. 

I will show grace to people in pain, even if I feel disappointed in them. When people are disappointed in me, I hope they'll do the same.

God grant me the power to stand up for myself when I need to and to take responsibility for that which is my part.

Help me to distinguish between unreasonable expectations and my duty to my family.

When someone expresses their low opinion of me, forcefully and vividly, I must make a choice to listen or ignore. I will listen.

I will also choose, however, not to subject myself to ongoing verbal abuse and my children the fall-out of their mom feeling chewed up and spit out.

I will respect the choices that other adults make, even if I don't agree with them. But I will not feel responsible for those choices or for their good or bad outcomes.

I will try my very hardest not to be an asshole, today and every day.

I will not pretend things are fine when they're not fine because that makes people crazy.

I will try not to worry, with stomach churning anxiety, about things I have no control over.

I will try to recognize that there are situations where nothing I do will ever be enough.

I will find humor in every possible situation, even if it's absurd or inappropriate, like that time when my grandmother yelled at the nurse that only democrats could change her bedpan.

I will remember all that is going well. I will be grateful for the life & family I have. I will not be a big floppy, whiner cry baby about this because so many people deal with way worse every day and they don't take to the internet to moan about it.

Thank you for letting me vent all over you.

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  1. "I will do the best I am able to do, because that's all I can do. I will not beat myself up later because I will know I was doing the best I could do at the time."

  2. vent away, friend. we're praying for you.

  3. Do you need a hug? I feel like you just need a hug...

  4. So sorry you are going through this. Loss always brings out the worst in people. I have tried to encourage my grandparents to write out explicit instructions for every wish they have to avoid as much family fighting as possible, but you can't plan everything. We just lost my husbands grandfather and he was as much mine as his. There has been many harsh words among the children and none of it is very helpful. Hoping your family can find peace soon.

  5. Julie, You are one of the most amazing, honest people I have had the pleasure of "knowing" through these MommyLand years. Thanx for your venting, I need all those reminders all the time. I'm so sorry your family is going through such a painful stage and I hope it leads to great healing, at least for you =)

  6. I am so sorry you are going through this! We just lost my mother in law and did not see it coming so I feel a kinship to this post!
    I think the balance o trying to deal with our (my kids', husband's, and my own) emotions and still dealing with life as it happens is the hardest part. I don't know why one second I am fine and then in the middle of the grocery store or at the rugby field my eyes start watering and I am a mess! Ugh!
    Anyway- you have my thoughts and prayers Julie!

  7. You're doing a wonderful job. My entire life, I have seen my mother and her siblings fight about my grandmother's care. I've seen my grandmother be less than gracious. I've seen my mom and aunts and uncles come together over it. I've seen them ripped apart. It has shaped the way I feel about my grandmother. I don't think I've ever given her a fair shake, because I have seen what it was done to her children. Personally, I have vowed to not let my children see a similar struggle with my own mother. My kids should love their grandmother and form their relationships. I also want to set a good example of a parent-child relationship. That one is still hard, as my mother and I have not always seen eye to eye. It's a work in progress, but there is progress.

    Sorry for the ramble. Your stream of consciousness just reminds me of this and how great and hard family can be.




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