Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I'm in Control

I'm over my pity party!  (previous post)

I don't often allow other people to drag me down with their drama and negativity.  In fact, its so rare, this is only the second time in my life I can remember it happening.

Nothing has changed except I decided I'm not playing this game.  I'm in control of my life.  And, I'm really happy about this.  Unfortunately, the end results remain abysmal, but there's nothing I can do about changing what's been done.  So, I'm letting it go.

Unhappily, my feelings about the people involved have not changed.  I've lost them being in my life, a sad effect of their ugliness.  Hey, who am I kidding... they don't even care that our relationship has been damaged.  They can't deal with the impacts of what they do.  They've made selfish and irresponsible decisions that will have lasting detrimental outcomes for their parents.  I can't say I don't care about this.  I do, and I probably always will. 

Being sad and drowning in drama are different things.  It's okay to be sad about how things have turned out.  It's also sad that family can't deal with problems in a respectful manner.  It's sad to see grown children deny their part in failing to preserve the dignity of elderly people who can't defend themselves.  I've really learned a great deal about how ugly, selfish and compulsive people can be.  It's such a surprise to see family members for who they really are -- flawed human beings who need to adhere to their versions of reality at all costs regardless of the outcomes.

 For me, logic and fairness and duty are critical drivers for the decisions in my life.  Who would have thought anyone could vehemently fight these core values.  Guess I have learned another life lesson, which is this:  Nobody died, ignore the drama queens and get on with my own stuff!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wasted Energy and Being Lost - Advice Please

I'm ashamed of myself.

Yes, it's true.  I've allowed other people's drama to devour my happiness and well-being.  The core of the matter lies with my steadfast belief in fairness and logic.  Thanks, Mom, you trained me well!

For the past year and a half, I've been embroiled in matters that ultimately affect the financial welfare of my beloved 90+ father- and mother-in-law.  In taking a position to uphold what is fair and logical, I've alienated my two sister-in-laws and enabled them to vilify me so my very standing in the family has been marginalized (at best.)

This has been very hurtful given my decades of involvement with my husband's family, and devotion to his aged and failing parents every weekend for the past two years.  Worse is how much damage this has done to my own happiness and well-being.  I'm finally at the point where I realize I'm more important to myself than fighting to be right in this ugly drama.

So, how to regenerate the positive energy that's been lost?

In thinking about this and doing some serious soul searching too, I realize that only I can control my behavior and master my emotions.  If I can't ignore it, then I must cut-off exposure to all of the in-law family drama.  Not much of a loss since they are being so nasty, while I have much to gain in reclaiming my happiness and peace of mind.

It's that last one -- peace of mind -- that's the catch for me.  I truly believe with all my heart and soul that my elderly in-laws are being taken advantage of and that their care and financial health is at risk.  However, there's not much I can do about it.  I've given my advice and have been told to "butt out!"  So hurtful is what's happening, this has become the daily topic of conversation between my husband and me, and at times even burdening our children.  This unhappy, dissatisfying negativity has to stop!  It's eating away at my soul!

Some would turn to prayer and put this in the hands of the Lord.  I was raised to believe the Lord helps those who help themselves, and why would I want to burden God with this nastiness!

No, I've got to fill my time, head and heart with things that are fulfilling and make me happy.  Sadly, I've concluded I  need to tune out my in-laws and leave their situation to my sisters-in-law to deal with, even if I believe their decisions are long-term harmful and driven by selfish intentions.  Obviously, I can't change their behaviors.  Since its so hard to watch, I guess I've got to remove myself from the environment and limit my visits with the old folks.

I really want to move away, start a new life, and leave them all behind...

Is that a childish reaction to being hurt or is that a good idea?

Still not sure.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankfulness is in the Eye of the Beholder

It's Thanksgiving and everyone in America is counting their blessings...and eating too much food and watching football!

For me, this is the first year Thanksgiving has become a pain instead of a pleasure.  Our family is experiencing problems that have created a rift and this holiday is forcing us to act normal.  I wish that was a true statement all around.  My niece has decided to not participate with the rest of us today because of this trouble - interestingly, she's at the center of the issue due to her immaturity and selfishness, and having no regard for her grandparents in their waning years.  I admit I am not unhappy she is not coming.

Because of this unpleasant situation, we are having our Thanksgiving dinner on neutral ground, being served instead of serving.  While its for the best, it's an affront to our traditions -- we won't have our homemade kielbasa and kapusta, nor Busia's pork dressing.  I will really miss the warm kitchen and fixing all the food.  It's a lot of work, but it's also a labor of love.

There is no love in the family this year, for which I'm not only sad, but devastated.  Even worse, I don't see a way to mend the fracture, I know this is one of our last Thanksgivings together.

Mix in my daughter will be spending the holiday alone in Chicago where she's in graduate school, and the hole just gets bigger.

My son put the exclamation point on the whole situation when he declared he loves Thanksgiving and this won't be it!  I hope his "Friendsgiving" last weekend helps make up for this sorry state.

Despite it all, I am very thankful for the way my life has turned out.  I have a fantastic husband and great children who make me very happy!  I love my job and am looking forward to many good things in the coming years.  I  only wish others in our family could realize how their selfish behaviors and misguided intentions has negatively affected us all.  But, I realize if this were possible, we wouldn't be in this strained situation.  My sadness about the disintegration of our family is shared by my father-in-law who keeps saying he thought we were stronger than this.

I thought so too, Dzia Dzia!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

RePurpose - Day 8

The sandwich generation.

Just got a big dose of learning what this mean from spending the past eight weeks carrying for my mother and helping her through three hospitalizations and two rehabilitation periods.

My mother and I have always had a different type of relationship.  If we weren't mother and daughter, we would not even be friends.  We just aren't very compatible.  Never were.  From the very start, Mom went right back to work after I was born.  My being born premature and spending my first month in the hospital may not have helped us bond.  And, I was colicy.  Nuff said!

While Mom went to work, my dad and I spent a lot of time together and I became "Daddy's girl." Five years later, my brother joined us and he aligned with my mother.  To this day, he is her favorite. And, I'm good with that.  I am happy she had him to give her the joy of mothering.  As a mother, I realize how much that means to a woman and I'd never begrudge my mother her feelings.

As things turned out, my brother has always been removed from us as his work moved him around and he left home as a teen to attend private school. I am the child who stayed close to home (though I always envisioned myself moving around and seeing the world!)  As I had my own family, we included my mother in all our family activities, resulting in her now having a close relationship with my son and daughter.  This makes me happy.  Another thing that is most wonderful is my closeness with my own daughter!  We have had our growing pains, but now are good friends.

One thing my mother did for me was ensure I was exposed to many things while growing up.  She believed childhood was a time to try new things and learn to test yourself.  My mother positioned me to become a strong woman.  As I grew up and started my career, my mother and I grew closer talking about challenges in our respective jobs.  She gave good advice and listened with interest to my tales, triumphs and blunders.  This began our nightly routine of after-dinner calls to talk about our day. More recently, the weekends have evolved into shopping trips together and finding new places to eat. I guess we were finally friends.

This health incident forced us to be together nearly all the time, in reverse roles where I am the caregiver, It didn't always go smoothly as we grew tired and our endurance was tested.  But, we made it... so far!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

RePurpose Day 7

I learned very early in life how to be still, quiet and patient.

Over all, these are highly useful skills, all necessary to be as observant as needed to scope out any situation.

My early practice was precipitated by my desire to get close to wild animals.  Ultimately, I became very good at stalking or awaiting animals and birds, then learned how to move through the woods quietly, then allowed my human energy to mingle with that of the animal to build trust, allowing us to share the same physical space.

Later, I used this "power" to watch other humans without being noticed, something that enabled me to control the situation once I did engage.  It was amazingly easy.

This is one of my lost abilities I wish to regain.  I've begun practicing with animals, and have some success recently with deer.  Oh, I can feel myself getting stronger!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Health Care Observations

I've spent the last 5 weeks assisting my mother with health issues, hospitalizations (two) and taking care of her affairs while she was in rehabilitation.  This had been an experience for us both as neither of us had, thankfully, been sick for any true length of time.

Being the sole caregiver for this period was something I did without reservation.  I've always stepped up when needed, so they're was no hesitation.  Being in this situation made me realize you need to be your own advocate for your family member who is institutionalized. 

Seems health care in general is about treatments converted by insurance and by Medicare.  Mom is entitled to visiting nurses, home health care, in-home physical therapy, and a bunch of stuff.  Well, that's just great.  Does she need all this?

Medications were switched around from place to place until it was so confused I didn't know what to do.  That's the real help we received from the visiting nurse today, helping sorry that out and calling doctors on our behalf.  It worked! 

Length of stay seemed designed around coverages, but in truth that worked out too.

I'm ready to return to life as normal, but that'll be another week or so.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

RePurpose - Day 6

I love the sound of rain on the roof.  It reminds me of summer rainy nights at camp as a child.  This sound is so restful.

Hearing is such great sense, one I am very aware of as I now need hearing aids to get along.

I have always enjoyed listening to nature and learning what creature originates each sound.  Just the other day, I sat by the local reservoir just listening.  Yesterday, I laid in my hammock, listening.  And, now I'm laying in bed listening to the gentle train on the roof.

My quest is to be attuned to my surroundings.  Listening is la major tool to make this happen.