Things have been beyond hard lately.
Dealing with the backing up sewage in the basement has given me intense feelings of powerlessness. I have had to take full responsibility for getting the mess cleaned up, but it has been bigger than I could handle, the worst situation I can think of. Feeling that way, a friend suggested that I embrace the darkness.
So I did what she said. I went to bed and just let any and all feelings arise and surface. It was so painful. My brain was free associating and a word popped into my brain. Shame. Dots got connected all over the place. That was it. The repulsiveness of the situation, the timing, the overwhelm, and the fact that it all occurred in the basement, which represents the subconscious. All of it. Shame has been a primary problem for me for years.
The immediate solution was to call Roto Rooter. They came the day after I called and had the problem solved within an hour at a price lower than I expected. It was so professional and efficient.
The next issue was to apologize to Barry. I told him how sorry and wrong I was, thinking I could handle the situation myself, if I just tried hard enough.
Now I am focusing on letting go of things I have zero control over.
We have been working on a will for him. He may get to see his grandsons next week. It is very difficult to coordinate people’s schedules that I have no influence with.
Honesty and respect are all I can offer when in over my head.
Weirdly, I feel an odd sense of invincibility now. Other things seem like such small potatoes compared to what I have been dealing with lately.
Things have been hard.
Bad stuff has, literally, been bubbling up in the basement. Dealing with it has been seriously revolting. It all comes back to the old saying, By the inch,it’s a cinch, by the yard, it’s hard. It is so metaphorical, it’s sickening.
The other aspect of this week has been doing Barry’s will and giving his grandsons some money. I am helping him to fulfill his final wishes. He is very grateful for my efforts. If he is holding on for some specific event, we are accomplishing them in a timely manner, I hope.
It reminds me of an episode of Friends, where Phoebe is haunted by a massage client that desires to experience everything before moving on. The client only leaves when Ross’s lesbian ex is at the altar with her new spouse. As soon as she gets what she is looking for, she happily moves on. Is that what Barry is doing? Is that what we are all doing?
I feel a need to cocoon.
Yesterday, I was around someone from my evangelical Christian past. The occasion was to make peanut butter balls. She is a kindly lady. But, holy cow, I am so glad to not be part of that culture anymore. I had forgotten how ignorant the mindset is. I just wanted to go somewhere else and be around people who think for themselves.
Also, for the first time, I have no urge to purchase hair conditioner, or books! I almost feel like a hoarder. My stress level has been so high, due to Barry’s doctor appointment and us planning to get a will done for him, that it has been made urgent for me to take care of myself and reduce the sensory input. The books and conditioners are my primitive attempts to care for myself.
In addition, when I started school, I felt strongly that part of my mission was to dig deeper and hopefully transform into something somehow better. Into what, I do not know.
I feel deeply that now is the time.
I’m going in.
What a difference a day makes.
I took Barry to the cancer doctor yesterday. The doc made some really good suggestions, like an appetite stimulant and putting the feeding tube back in. Barry rejected them all. He also lost another 2.7 lbs since September 22, about two and a half months ago. This means he is losing about a pound a month. This is not sustainable. Dr. Hamdan was not happy.
Barry and I had a long, honest conversation. I told him I was done pretending everything was fine. I told him I didn’t see him lasting more than a year. I can still barely believe I said that.
I woke up this morning feeling better than I have in months. The weight of pretense has been killing me. There is no one else I would have pretended so long for. And only in the name of compassion.
I even told him that I will be preparing for the next phase of my life that will not include him. It is very difficult to start preparing to be a butterfly while feeling obligated to pretend that I fully intend on remaining a caterpillar for the next five years.
I feel free for the first time in years.
Don’t get me wrong. I am still ridiculously overwhelmed and have no idea how to do many of the things I need to do. But I know I can learn.
All I want is directness and honesty. I believe in giving, but only with awareness. If you want to give to your church or charity, write that check. My problem comes from the idea of giving them your checking account info and then getting frustrated when they take out too much.
Likewise, I am fine with whatever choices Barry makes, but, good golly, let me know and not leave me guessing.
Today, a cable salesman came to my door. I didn’t really have time to chat, so he left some literature. Later, I looked at some of the packages. None included prices, which tells me that the pricing is not standardized and can be jacked up at their whim. If I see him again, I fully intend on tearing him a new one.
Many years ago, I almost became a Mormon. One of my best friends was one. So I started taking their canned presentations. I gave up, in part, because they were not giving me their full truth. I knew what they really believed. My friend and I would discuss what our planets would look like.
My personal religious experiences have always seemed to be all about my subconscious needs, which make me agree to terms that no fully aware and thinking person would ever agree to.
Last night, I went to the blessing. I love it because there is no agenda but to bless and be blessed. Is it ridiculously new agey? Definitely. And I am good with that.
Probably in the next year or two I will be a widow. Barry’s oncologist appointment is Thursday. Even if Hamdan says he is free of cancer, he is still losing weight.
All my life, I have tried to be a giver, not a taker. Perhaps I am swinging too far the other direction, but lately I have felt like I have been involuntarily taking on other people’s issues, physically even. I am at an age where people get sick for seemingly no reason. I am tired of it.
I have decided to protect myself in all ways necessary, whether emotionally, spiritually, or financially. Don’t get me wrong. I still believe in helping, but consciously and deliberately. Not everyone is entitled to my time, talents, and treasures. Period.
The Buddha was clear. We are not to blindly believe whatever others tell us. That is intellectual detachment.
Today, I saw on zenhabits free Christmas ideas, ways to opt out of the seasonal insanity. Awesome.
That’s where I am at. The power of opting out. If enough people say no to having others taking their precious resources, we can start having real conversations regarding what we are actually willing to give, as opposed to having others simply taking what they want and then being offended at the withdrawal of our participation.
No is a powerful word and I intend to use it in all ways necessary until I find something worthy of a genuine yes.
Recently, I decided to limit the influence I would allow other people and organizations to have in my life. It dawned on me that that was precisely what the youth of today are doing. This is what businesses and churches are dealing with. Young people are willing to pay to play, but are not willing to pay and not play. In other words, they demand some decision making authority go with their financial contribution. They will not subsidize the status quo.
This is the end of the old world and the beginnimg of a whole new one.
Many organizations are really ponzi schemes, feeding off the contributions of youth to maintain the older members. What happens when the new generation just says no? I see already older people doing everything and waiting for the youth to come back and get with the program. They will be waiting until they die.