2006-12-31, 9:23 a.m.
So I'm reading the Holidailies the other day before I get dragged off the computer, and stumble across this.
"Is this really the message of the season, that we should give up all hopes and dreams and do only what everyone else wants? That we’re obligated to pick up the pieces when other people fuck up? And now that I think of it, maybe it’s not just the beginning. All that stuff about how everyone’s lives were better because of George? Way to absolve every single person in Bedford Falls of responsibility for their own lives and put all that weight on George. No wonder he wanted to kill himself. It’s one thing to make a difference in the lives of others, but is it really his fault is Mary becomes an old maid without him? Was George the only man in the entire town?"
Yeah, I like the first half of that movie much better than the second half. Now I think I know why.
I do have to say, though, that the message of my life sure seems to fucking be, "give up all hopes and dreams and do only what everyone else wants, and you're obligated to pick up the pieces when others fuck up," though. In the most literal way possible at times.
I am really sick of having to pick up Mom's pieces because she just can't handle life, and then insists on making things harder for herself, and for me by proxy. And I have no fucking control over her dominoes that she chooses to knock into mine. And then I'm left with (a) help her, or (b) let her drown, and I am already quite the asshole already without doing (b). I already have enough guilt in life without going that far.
And speaking of sick, I've been waiting all week for someone else's horrible illness to come and get me. Between being exposed to Kristen and Mauricio, something had to get me.
And yes, it did, on Friday, the day where I really didn't want to be having any issues because I'd be in the car all day.
Luckily, I didn't get the flu or the puking flu, but just yet another sore throat, same thing I get all the damn time in winter. I'm not even sure if one can consider that to be "a cold" or just that my throat kept drying out periodically from day to day and eventually I couldn't overcome it.
I have this stuff called friar's balsam that I get at the hippie food store here. It cures sore throats within 24 hours or so. Unfortunately, one puts it in water, and then one must drinkdrinkdrinkdrinkdrink that water in order for the cure to work.
And when I was spending oh, 7 hours or so of the day in the car, this wasn't the best thing to do, eh? I either kept gobbling lozenges or drinking...and every time I drank the damn water, my bladder was about to explode within an hour's drive.
So, today (Friday) was the end of Dad's 100 days of insurance paying for the home, and we had to go pay up $48,000 for the first month. Whee.
Mom got all pouty last night that she'd ONLY get to drop off the check and not go see him in the morning if we left here by eleven, since we had to get to Davis for the shrink appointment by 2. I groaned and bitched and said, "FINE, I'll get up by 8 a.m. and pack up my shit so we can leave by ten and you can spend an hour with him before we have to leave."
Yeah, that didn't happen, because Mom decided she wanted to work on Rotary stuff and she just couldn't get it done and we didn't leave until 11:15. This kind of freaked me out because the later we left, the odds were that at best, we'd be screeching up to the shrink's building at 2:02 p.m. Then she got out to Alameda and they told her, "Oh, you owe us even MORE money..well, uh, we'll just take your enormous check right now and we might make you pay more later." ($800 a day to keep him alive, folks.) Then, of course, there was a traffic jam.
Oh, and did I mention Mom's stupid phone? It rang while she was in the home and I COULD NOT FIND IT in her purse no matter how many times I searched and emptied the purse. I knew if I told her, "Someone called while you were out," she'd stop everything to root through the car looking for the phone, and we'd be even later...so I just didn't tell her I couldn't find the phone and hoped to god nobody called within the next few hours.
Naturally, THAT did not happen, which led to large amounts of screaming and Mom insisting it must be in the purse, under my seat, under her seat, under my feet...and me saying, "No, it is NOT, I swear it isn't there!" I ended up upending her purse (boy, was she not happy with that) just to prove it wasn't in there. It turned out to be in the back seat.
The good news is, we DID make it to the shrink's on time, with a few minutes to spare (not to mention, to look for the damn cell phone).
Anyway. The shrink visit...what to say. It was brilliant. Hard to pin down things 24 hours after the fact when I'm getting to write it, though. I think she did a great job refereeing/balancing between the two of us, where that could be done. (She admitted that my "he's not in there" and her "he's in there" is a debate that can never be resolved.) Naturally, a lot of crying went on.
The shrink basically got Mom to get that just because I can't go into the nursing home and coo over the bed lovingly every day doesn't mean I don't care and am not affected. She said that when her dad was sick, her brother couldn't bring himself to visit in the hospital and that didn't make him a total asshole. (The brother would have flashbacks to his wife's death.) Not everyone can go to the hospital and be fine with it, and it was doing more damage to drag me in unwillingly, and would Dad really want me to be that upset and beating myself up about not going all the time?
Mom did say she just wished people (me, the PITAS, etc.) would just suck it up and put their feelings aside and visit Dad and not be bothered by things. She talked about when her (long-dead, I should say) sister was in the nursing home and they didn't visit her on one Saturday and her sister was really pissed off at them for that, so everyone should just suck it up and give what the person needs. I said I HAD been doing that before he went into the hospital and once he did that, I lost my ability to pretend it was all okay. She was genuinely shocked (don't ask me why, since she's seen me all miserable at nursing homes since I was a kid) that I said I feel kind of sick while in hospitals/nursing homes.
She said she wanted me to go in there and look him in the face and tell him that I loved him and cared about him and it was good to be his daughter, etc., etc. Those aren't bad things to say...but I can't look at him any more. I wish to god I could remember him as he was instead of a wreck in the bed, and the more times I see him, the shittier he looks in my head. Mom was all, "Why is that hard for you when you don't live here to see him?", and my shrink was all, "It's a lot different when you are seeing drastic changes every time you do. When you're there every day, you don't see it."
My shrink said that it wasn't a good thing that I was beating myself up about this every single day, and would Dad really want me feeling like shit all the time? Mom said he wouldn't. (I kind of disagree, because Dad wasn't the forgiving sort, but...whatever.)
At the end of the session, Mom said she wouldn't force me to go in there again. I wouldn't believe that forever (if he ever does die, a death vigil would be required, I think), but she has been good about it in the last few months. For the moment, I think we are at a truce on this.
I think she "got it," or as much as she is likely to get it with regards to how I feel about this. And she has been acting better in the last two days.