Melt downs can be good, unless they take over and you are unable to focus on anything other than ‘zoning’ out, then you need a mental institution. This is where I believe I should have been headed this past week. I truly felt myself melting away and felt myself going back to that place I visited back in 2007.
There was a time when life became so overwhelmingly heavy that the burdens I carried made this ‘woman of stone’ crumble. Gradually, I was able to pick up the pieces. But there were many changes after that; my lay-off, my separation, my sister’s cancer, my new job, new apartment and then my bankruptcy. Yea, many changes. All of which I felt I had to be strong through, over and around and under.
For my sister, I felt as if I had to be strong beyond anything. I don’t know why exactly, but that was how it was with our mother too. I was the one who felt I had to institute the decisions about bringing all of us together and facing the fact that she had dementia and with facing the fact that we had to move her in with one of us. I was also the one who had to tell her that she was to wear a ‘garment’ (a diaper for lack of better term; not an easy thing to say to your parent if you’ve ever had to do such a thing; trust me on this…). On the other hand, I’ve also been the one to speak with our mother when she would ask me the tough question like, “how long have I been out of it this time?”
Wow, that was a tough one to answer; and I just looked into her eyes and would gently tell her the truth. She would start to tear up and tell me how much she never wanted us to have to live with this. I would remind her, this was our time to take care of her and how she raised all of us (all four and without any help). She did remarkably well. Now, it was our turn. That is life and sometimes the tables just turn that way.
Anyway, I guess there are going to be times where we are going to have no choice BUT to crumble, rest, and take refuge in the fact that we will be able to face the challenge in time. But we don’t necessarily have to face it alone. My problem is (and has always been) asking for help. AND accepting that help. For whatever reason, I continue to think that I can do it alone.
I was talking with a co-worker and he said something that I found very interesting. He said that perhaps I’ve always watched my mother ‘go it alone’ so I must have figured that I should have been able to do the same. Hmm. Interesting. How true is that?! She did ‘go it alone’ because she had to. But that doesn’t mean that I need to follow in the same foot steps.
Wow! It is amazing to me, this is what I did in my marriage as well. I gave in to this thinking. That my mother did it on her own and didn’t ‘need’ anyone, why should I? So, I essentially pushed away the very person I should have been depending on. Now, I’m not placing all the blame on myself; no. But, I am acknowledging my part. Interesting, isn’t it?
Wow, who knew that so much could be gathered by one ‘melt-down’? I love this process!