Here’s what happens when a logical type gets sideswiped by emotional drain – damage. Angry words. Stiff-necked positioning. Self protection.
In order to protect from any further impact, I put up the overall force field. I lashed out at the hospice assistant who had repeatedly cancelled days and firmly stated don’t come here if I can’t count on you — I’ll do it myself. I backed off family who gave me the response of being overwhelmed too — stop coming in early, come in later and I’ll handle it til then. I held off my boss who said cut your help and began taking back tasks, cutting help hours. Overwhelm on top of overwhelm.
The preface to it all was the final straw – the addict brother who has lost nearly everything, making another imposition, expecting that he could treat our home as his own, not asking – just taking. That drew the line in the sand and we posted no trespass signs on our properties. Then I told him to his face. Then he read it on the private family blog to keep closest family notified of the stages my father is going through. I am now enemy number one on his list. Does he remember the times I faced down guns he held? Does he remember putting my son at risk? Does he recall that I took his babies and sheltered them for a summer? No, he only takes and takers forget to pay attention.
So, the drama had unfolded, and I played victim. Overwrought, feeling the approach of a total meltdown. You likely saw the last post. I had reached the end of my endurance.
Then we went camping, hubby and I. Left on Friday afternoon, and by sundown had set up the camp and moved into full relax mode. I enjoyed my first Shabbat since my dad arrived at our home three months ago. It was simply wonderful. Cooling breeze, sounds of leaves rustling and birds and insects fluttering and futzing about. The lake water off in the distance and wafting sounds of people frolicking in the waters.
I have some reserve now. A store of patience, and some energy reserve to see us through the next steps.
We have emptied the rental house of my dad’s belongings and will now begin the last steps to prepare the house for sale. We will have to continue our day jobs and care of my dad as well, but once that is done, one major task is lifted from the plate of overwhelm.
We’ll get there, right?