Messy

I’ve been a little quiet since my last post. It’s been a busy week and I’ll confess I was a little afraid to come back after revealing my innermost hopes and fears. I’ve been very touched by all your messages of support. Thank you so much everyone. Again you’ve helped me through another tough time. Where would I be without you all?

My mother came to lunch today and unexpectedly brought my father with her (ugh). Thankfully I was spared toxic behaviour from either of them, although I did come out quite confused.

My father is old – he’ll be 90 in a couple of months – he’s frail and his health is not good. Last year he had a series of strokes – he was in the hospital and then rehab for many months. It was touch and go there for awhile, but by some miracle he survived and regained enough mobility to return home. He now has some (presumably mild) internal bleeding, which requires regular blood transfusions. This is on top of the heart attack he had about 25 years ago, and the first stroke about 15 years ago. Not to mention the high blood pressure, the high cholesterol, the diabetes, etc. And his lifestyle is appalling – as someone on TV once said: he’s a test driver for the lounge chair. He spends his life sitting in it, trying to tip his cholesterol into the Guinness’ Book of Records. Oh, and he has an enlarged heart that was supposed to kill him before he reached 45. I guess those doctors were wrong because that was nearly 45 years ago.

I really noticed his frailty when I saw him today – he could barely get out of the car and walk to the door. I guess he’s in decline, although I’ve thought this many times before. Part of me thinks he’s never going to die – even my therapist said she never thought he’d still be kicking by now. Rational me knows that he’ll die sometime.

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted him to die. That’s actually what drove me to therapy in the first place – thinking I was a bad person because I wanted him to die when he got sick last year. I know now that I’m not a bad person for thinking like this. As my therapist says, just because he’s a sperm donor doesn’t mean I have to love him. He sure as hell never loved me.

So, why the confusion? Well, I suppose my new-found-therapy-induced compassion kicked in a bit today seeing this old, frail man, clearly struggling with life.

Will I dance and sing when he dies? Probably not, although I thought I would. I suspect I will feel some relief that all these years of sh1t are finally over. I suspect I will also feel some sadness – not at his passing, but at my own losses. Perhaps there will be the regular sadness people experience in these situations, who knows?

I’m confused. Torn between compassion and willing his death. Feeling bad that I don’t really feel all that compassionate towards him, and bad that I want him to die. Or used to. Or still do. I’m not sure. I guess if therapy is teaching me anything, it’s that life is messy like this.

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8 thoughts on “Messy

  1. Hey Kerro,
    Boy your post really struck me! I thought, wow how well you articulated yourself. In the past you had trouble talking about, let alone writing/verbalizing your feelings. This post shows how you have worked through (albeit not completely) and processed a lot of your angst. And guess what…your ability to step back, and not get drawn in, and see a different perspective. I know this isn’t easy for you, but this post is brilliant! It really shows how hard you are trying to work this through! And don’t get down on yourself if you do get drawn back in, its not easy. Its kind of like meditation. You try to clear your head and thoughts keep popping in. It gets better the more you do it, but its never perfect no matter how good you are.

    About sharing and feeling a bit out of sorts about the buried fear…it is, after all, why we are all here! (((Kerro)))

  2. Kerro,

    A couple of weeks ago I was telling my T that it feels like my mother will never ever die. (She was hospitalized and quite sick, which triggered my comment.)
    Basically T said it doesnt matter much whether she lives or dies, but that the point is to be able to give parents the appropriate -space- and/or influence in one’s current life, independent of whether dead or alive. Only let them influence to the extent that you yourself want to accept. To me it makes sense, but I find it easier said than done. =)

  3. Thanks everyone.

    @ AntiSWer – Thanks for dropping by. You’re right, therapy is good at teaching us that life is messy, and we can deal with that. Of course, realising this and actually coping with it are different things, but I’m one step closer than I was.

    @ Marie – thank you. The honesty is hard. And confusing. But for now I’m able to sit with it, which is more than I could do six months ago. Yay for me! 🙂

    @ SN – thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. As you know, I’m quite surprised that you guys can see progress in me, when sometimes I can’t see any for myself. I know it’s there. It just gets buried sometimes.

    @ Rainbow Socks – As odd as this sounds, I’m so glad I’m not alone in this. Your T is right. We need to work out how much time, space and energy to give these people, dead or alive. For me, my father has taken so much away from me already, I don’t want to give him any more power. Easier said than done, of course, as you said. 🙂

  4. You know … I think it’s possible to feel compassion for someone’s obvious physical suffering, and still hate their f*cking guts. It’s weird, but true. I think that for most decent people, seeing another person in pain elicits a natural response of wanting to help, even when you don’t have much use for that person. So I think your response is natural, and feeling that you’ll be glad when he’s gone is equally natural.

    I also tend to think that when such people die, a big part of the grief is around the loss of what you never had … the parent you should have had, and didn’t.

  5. Hi Kerro,

    I agree with David. I know it was true for me when my mother abuser died. My loss and grief was for the mother that I never had. Her death came months after a cancer diagnosis, which made it harder to have any negative feelings sustained yet still did not elicit any love either. Seeing someone sick and in pain was hard. But she was not a good mother to me at any time and I did much more for her and had much more compassion to her in a vulnerable space than she ever did for me. I can hold my head up with pride about that. And so can you.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

  6. Pingback: Could this be it? « Kerro’s Korner

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