It's All Connected

It's All Connected

Monday, March 12, 2012

Who Have I Become?

I started this post a couple of weeks ago. It is not going to be funny, and I wasn't going to post it at all. Then I read a post by my awesome reader Red, and found that I need to stop being afraid of what the truth may do to others, or myself. My family reads my blog, well, my big sister and her daughter, and I always worry that if I share how I am feeling about any of this I may hurt our relationship. Thing is, this has nothing to do with her or anyone else. I chose to do what I am doing and it is on nobody but me. So, with that said, on to what I need to say.

Today started out horribly. This post is going to be extremely personal. I completely understand if you stop reading now, or feel so uncomfortable later you decide to avoid my blog like the plague. I have decided, however, that I need to have a place to say these things or else things like this morning happen and I find myself so disgusted by my actions that I no longer want to know me.

Can I unfriend myself on facebook?

I woke up this morning, took my shower, got dressed and tested my blood sugar. I then realized that the reason it took me nearly forty minutes to do those things was because I had a blood sugar of 30. For those of you who don't know, I should be running between 80 and 180. For those of you who do know, I'm sure you're thinking, "good grief, girl, how did you not know you were that low?"

Thing is, when you have juvenile Diabetes and were diagnosed at such a young age, you tend to lose the ability to gauge your own sugar levels. I often feel great when I'm running 70, and horrible at 130. My body just doesn't understand that running 70 may feel good, but it doesn't leave me much time before I'm so low I can't function.

Normally, a sugar level that low would keep an average Diabetic from doing anything. They'd be on their face, babbling like an idiot, needing someone to help them feed themselves. But because I can't tell when I'm low, I just felt slightly low. Except for the fact that my temper was out of control.

I have always said really mean things when I'm low. I can hear myself, and in my head I am screaming, "shut up, you stupid ho!" But my mouth just keeps going.

I have been having serious issues with my current living situation. I feel extremely resentful of having to take care of my mother. I understand this makes me sound like a horrible person. I feel like a horrible person. But I do think there are some circumstances that make my feelings somewhat valid.

I raised myself. A lot of the time I raised myself while taking care of my mom. My dad died when I was ten. My brothers and sisters were out of the house and it went from a family of eight to a family of two.

My mom then had to work a lot to support me, and later, when she was dating, she often wasn't home for nights on end. I either took care of myself or stayed with a string of friends who basically saved my life.

She would leave cash or blank checks for bills. I'd ride my bike to the grocery store and buy what I could carry. My sister stayed at the house for a short time, and it was the first time in years that I felt like I was surrounded by my own family. Not that my friends's families didn't make me feel loved and accepted. They absolutely did, but it's different when it's not your home. It's not the same when you're sleeping on a couch or a floor or sharing a bed with your friend.
I would even take family vacations with my friends and their families. Anything so I wouldn't have to be alone.

Sometimes, my mom would plan a party for her friends and then not show up. I'd be left with a bunch of middle aged women, playing bunko in my living room while I played hostess instead of my mom. None of them ever offered to help me, none of them ever asked if I was okay.

I'm not saying my mom didn't love me. She did. I know that. I just think she had no clue how to be a single parent.

Often I am told that I was spoiled, never having a curfew, never being grounded, getting a car before I graduated. The thing is, there was nobody there to enforce a curfew or grounding, and I had to be able to get myself from one place to another. I wasn't spoiled. I was abandoned.

These things are not exaggerations. I even had my own rooms at some of my friends' houses. That is how often I was there. One family built me a room, bought me a bed and dresser, clothes and shoes. School supplies. I was like a foster child without being a part of the system.

I love my mom. I do. But I feel so angry that I am being expected to give up my privacy and the time a couple has when they are young to bond and connect because she has nowhere else to go. I get so angry that she can't get her shit figured out and be an adult. I had to grow up so young. I want and deserve to spend my thirties focused on my family and my future.

You all might be thinking, "but why can't you do that? Why can't you focus on yourself?"

Sometimes I can, sometimes the drama is not so extreme. But most of the time, it's like raising a teenager.

Most of the time she sulks around the house if we haven't bought her diet pepsi. Most of the time she spends days on end without taking a shower. Most of the time she can be so mean towards me and about my life I spend hours in my bathroom crying.

Well, this morning, she came downstairs in the middle of me getting ready and said something snarky about my home. I lost it.

She went upstairs and I started screaming at the ceiling. I was so angry. I was crying and yelling. Telling the kitchen ceiling to just get the fuck out.

I give a friend a ride to work everyday. I am still so ashamed that this happened in front of her. I am so sorry, Em, for you having to be a witness to my stress on numerous occasions.

So, this is where I stopped writing the post. I decided I wasn't going to publish it and thought it best to just pretend it didn't exist.

I was so worried that day at work. Terrified to come home and face my mom. I was sure she heard everything and that there would be WWIII waiting for me. To my surprise she didn't hear a thing. I suppose it's possible she pretended not to hear a thing, but she isn't really that type of person.

I know she has nowhere to go. I know she cannot take care of herself even if she should be able to.

I know she loves me.

I know that I will only get my own life once she is no longer alive.

That feels disgusting to say. I have lost a parent. I know what that loss feels like. The hole it leaves inside a person. Thing is, I think that a part of me might be relieved when it happens.

Her depression is so bad. She has said that she has nothing to live for. She does not see her children or her grandchildren as anything special. Maybe she can't. Maybe the depression is just too deep to see through. I have experienced that before. It is so sneaky, and then so persistent.

I don't want to judge her. But I do. I really do. I know how that sounds, because I judge me for judging her. Ha! What a cycle. I want her to TRY and get better. I want her to WANT to get better. But she has been this way for nearly 22 years and I know that she won't.

She is so good at hiding it for short periods of time. She goes to see her other kids and she cooks and does dishes. She gets up at decent hours and takes showers every day. She doesn't sneak cigarettes in their houses or tell them they look dumpy in their clothes. That their hair is flat and dull. She smiles and laughs. She acts like a grandma.

I wish I got to see that person for myself or my son. I wish she would pretend with me for a month, a week, a day. But I haven't seen that mom in over two decades.

Because of this I find myself so angry. I want my life to be mine again, but I feel so guilty wanting that because I know what that means for her.

Every family has it's own unique dynamic. In my family, I have always been the fixer. I took on that role myself. I embraced it. It is nobody's fault but my own that I am now stuck with it. The problem is that it leaves little time to fix me.

I have worked so hard to come back from the last nine years. The loss of my son, the death of my marriage, the depression and anger that took over my life. I finally found happiness. I found a life and a way to build a family (strange and blended as it may be) and a career that I am good at. I found myself beneath all of that darkness and I pulled her out into the light.

Did you ever watch Joss Whedon's series Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Well there's this point where Buffy has come back from the dead (no spoiler alert necessary when it's been over five years right?) and she has a hard time dealing with the harshness of life after the beauty of heaven. I feel a little like that now.

I found this peace and then a grenade went off. But then I found that there are multiple grenades set to explode at random intervals and I just don't know how to predict them. I'm not smart enough to figure out what to say or what not to do. I am living in a mine field.

It's exhausting.

That's it. I am just exhausted. I say everyday that I just can't do it anymore. I can't keep taking the abuse. I don't deserve it and my fiance most certainly doesn't. But what else do I do? If left on her own she would have been dead two years ago. She would have killed herself with fast food, cigarettes and sweets. What kind of person would I be if I just left her like that?

What kind of person am I that I sort of want to?

Wow. I said it. I really said it. I am crying as I type. Sitting on my back porch so my dogs can run free in the yard, the sun shining down on me. My fingers typing away and my eyes are clouded with tears.

I am a terrible human being. Where is my compassion? Where has my empathy gone? I know a lost person when I see one. It takes one to know one. I have been that lost in my life. I understand now how I lost my dear friend back then. This is no good to be around every damn day.

I don't know how to end this post. I guess I just needed to say it out loud so I could stop feeling like such a fraud. When I had to take her to the hospital after falling down my stairs, the nurse kept telling me what a good daughter I am. Thing is, I am not that good. I do it because I feel I should, not because I want to.

I really wish I wanted to.

Hug those babies, show them love, give them a true feeling of home but don't you judge those old enough to want something of their own. It's only natural. At least it makes me feel better to think it is.


  1. (I totally missed this post when I was in the other day. Sorry)

    You are NOT a bad person! I once told a friend that I resented...something I don't remember...that I had to do for someone I loved, and the look in her face - like how dare I resent doing that! I never say things like that out loud. But how can you not feel the weight of a burden like that when you are carrying it all your own?

    I'm forced to ask: where's your sister in all of this? A local friend of mine took in her mother when she had Alzheimers and - what's that one that effects your bowel system? That, too. Her sister stayed in Connecticut, and then wanted to see receipts for all the expenses my friend paid for health-care for their mother! Didn't lift a finger. Oh, that made me mad.

    Your feelings are your feelings. You didn't ask to be angry at your mother, you just are. Sometimes owning the emotion helps, I think.

    You talk about your mom's depression and that she doesn't see her kids and grandkids as worth living for. I've actually been there, where I didn't care how my family would react: I just wanted a way out. Fortunately I didn't take that way out, and now I know I never would, because I have recognized how I would hurt them. But it is a tough place. I don't have any advice for anyone trying to get through it.

    I hope someone steps in to help you. Even just to give you a day off or something.

    We love you even when you think you are being unlovable!

  2. In all fairness, my sister lives nearly 400 miles away and has a family of six. I understand her inability to help. My brothers live much closer, but because I have always been the fixer, they do not have the tools to deal with our mom. My youngest older brother was supposed to have her move in with him eventually, but he ended up moving in with our oldest brother and now there is no room.
    Jero is a tremendous support. Without that man I do not think my sanity would still be intact. He helps me to find humor in our life every day, and to see that though I am exhausted, so many have it so much worse.
    I so appreciate your supportive comments, you have no idea. It's a tremendous relief to hear those things from someone who does not "know" me and who is not forced to like me. Ha!