can i just say

how much I have come to abhor the month of February?

Too much happens in February for me. Lots of people have died in my family during this month…my grandmother, 35 years ago; my brother, 5 years ago; my mommy 24 days ago…I got married in February 4 years ago and have never once felt like celebrating my anniversary. I am ready for February to be over now and I think I have to rename this month or something because I’m so sick of it.

Last year, on February 1st, my mom started her second round of chemotherapy…and didn’t speak to me for an entire month because she was angry with me.

Why was she angry? Because I was scheduled for a trip to the OR to have my gall bladder removed and didn’t tell her about it until I had the date and time information for everyone.

Why didn’t she tell me she was beginning her chemotherapy? Because in the October preceding this, I’d had the nerve to tell her that I wasn’t surprised when her tumor began growing again. I wasn’t nasty about it or anything like that…she called to tell me what the CT scan had showed because I hadn’t been able to go with her to the doctor that day, and she was crying…so was I, truth be told…somehow that never seemed to matter to my mother…anyway, I told her the doctor had let us know it was expected and even though it was awful, it wasn’t surprising based on the information we’d been given.

Tonight I am crying again…do we ever run out of tears? For god’s sake, enough already.

My aunt Bonnie (mom’s sister #3) has been caring for her mother-in-law for several years now. We call the MIL “Big Bonnie” because they share a name. I’ve known this woman since I was 5 years old or so. Anyway, she is in the very end stages of Alzheimer’s Disease right now and not expected to last too many more nights. We’ve had several nights when the nurses who help care for her have thought she wouldn’t make it.

Today aunt Bonnie’s son (my cousin Nick) went into the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Nick is 9 years younger than me…I remember the day he was born, the first time I saw him, like it was yesterday. I used to babysit him too. He’s ok however it was a little freaky there for awhile.

Over the past few days I’ve become concerned about my college girl. She’s struggling with her Granny’s death and she’s so far away from home. She and her boyfriend broke up in January and I think the stress is getting to her. She’s got an anxiety disorder that is currently untreated since she’s a big girl now and won’t go to the campus counseling service or doctor. I’m afraid she’s either started cutting or is working up to it and because she is an adult now, of course no one will talk with me about it.

She’s not ever been a touchy feely kind of person…and if I were to tell you about her childhood and all the “stuff” you’d probably look at me and say “NO-freaking-WAY! That did NOT happen!” I was in a parenting class one day when she was in Head Start and I was telling the instructor what my days and nights were like with this child and he just looked at me and said “You have got to be kidding me.”

I will tell you my baby girl ran out of her kindergarten classroom one day yelling that she was going to kill herself if they didn’t find whatever it was they were looking for at the time (I think it was a baseball card) and she left the school grounds. Someone got to her before she got too far away but the teacher called me totally freaked out saying she’d never had a student do anything like that before and she didn’t know what to do.

My daughter has been part of the mental health system off and on since she was 6 years old and that’s only because of the kindergarten episode. Nobody believed me up until then…not one single person.

My mother told me last August, and I quote, “No wonder she’s the way she is, she doesn’t even have her mother behind her.” I’m not sure I could ever explain how those words felt when she said them to me. It was just another in a long line of un-mommy-like things I’d heard all my life but it broke my heart just the same and I totally went off on my mom that night. It was one of the few times that I ever told her what I thought of her and how I felt. When I say “one of the few times”, that’s a pretty accurate statement because I’m sure I can count them on one hand and still have a finger or two left over.

Logically I know that I have/had no control over the actions of either my mother or my daughter. Logically I know that my girlie will have to figure it out herself now and I pray with all I have in me that she will do just that. Logically I know/think my mom probably did the best she could with the tools she was given in her lifetime. Emotionally, I am a wreck. I am worried sick about my daughter. I still feel like I can hear my mom pointing out to me all the ways I suck at what I do, whether it’s cleaning or daughtering or mothering or working or driving or breathing. It totally pisses me off that, in spite of all this crap, I still want my mommy.

Peace.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. You watched over your daughter and got her the help she needed when she was still a minor, and you had that control. You searched for answers when there didn’t seem to be any. You did every single thing you could to get her help. There comes a time, however, when you can do no more. Oh, I know that you could physically do more if she let you, but you know that she won’t let you, which takes it out of your hands. Unfortunately, often those who have a mental illness feel that they don’t need medication or therapy. Or that it wouldn’t help anyway. But, if you believe that there is a real risk that she’ll hurt herself or someone else, you can step in and do something whether she’s an adult or not. At least in NJ you can. Don’t beat yourself up over what you can’t do now, because you did what needed to be done to help her while they were still your decisions to make.

    As for your mom, well, it doesn’t seem to me that she was a very happy person. You aren’t responsible for that. Our happiness is our own responsibility. No one can make us happy unless we’re happy with ourselves to begin with. She lashed out at you because she wasn’t happy with herself, and it was easy to bring you down. She was unhappy and frightened and I’m guessing that she didn’t know how to act or react appropriately. Don’t let that hold you down. You are so much stronger than that. Mourn her loss, and mourn the loss of the person she could have been if she’d been given the right tools, and know that you have been giving the right tools to your girls.

    You are in control of your own happiness. Own that responsibility, and take steps to get to where you deserve to be. You are strong enough, I know it.

    Send me an email and I’ll give you my AIM name. Maybe we can chat sometime.

    Reply

  2. Whoa-
    How about a hug! And no you don’t
    ever run out of tears.

    You have so many things going on
    here, and they are very difficult
    life events. Don’t doubt yourself.

    Love,
    Nikki

    Reply

  3. Oh Traci — can’t you move closer to me? If nothing else, I’d take you for coffee and we’d laugh a lot, at least for an hour or so. We might cry a little, too, but we’d laugh while we did.

    J&O is exactly right. And here in WA, the involuntary committment statute does apply if someone is a risk to themselves or others. If you want me to look into the specifics for you, just shoot me an email.

    Reply

  4. It is so hard when certain days, months, pictures, memories remind us of loss and sadness. You can say anything you need to!!!

    {{{{{{{{Sending you hugs}}}}}}}}

    Reply

  5. PushMe-PullYou. I understand. I really do.

    Sending love and hugs your way.

    Loving you,
    Lighty

    Reply

  6. Don’t judge yourself as we are not judging you. **hugs**

    Reply

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