This week has definitely been one of my more memorable emotional roller coaster rides. Now I know that there are some that LOVE roller coaster rides, the thrill, the fear, the wild feeling, the sinking feeling in your belly, and I'm not one of them. You see, I have an incredible fear of heights. I am also terrified as the car goes up and up and up with NO way to get off. Knowing there is nothing to do but endure till the end. There is no way to stop it, slow it down, derail it, or GET OFF. You have no control of what happens to you on this ride. The bumps, the jerks, the pressure, the inability to breathe, the feeling that your heart is going to explode in your chest, your mouth open in a silent scream that just won't come out because you don't have enough air to give it life... Oh wait, yeah that describes this weeks family meeting at the hospital.
I will continue to protect my parents where I can. I just need to talk about what it is like to love someone who has a mental illness. My mother is a wonderful woman. She is bright, she is loving, she is creative, she is loyal, she is kind, she is funny, WHEN she is stable. When she is not, the only way I can cope is to tell myself, "This is not my mother."
Still, even with being able to logically tell myself this, does not, I repeat NOT fix, or make easier the cruelty that comes with this disease. The manipulation, the emotional games that hold our family hostage, the hostility, the irrational behavior, the evil, vile words that are spewed all over our family, and the crushing blows that come from one who is supposed to love and nurture.
The nature of this disease uncontrolled leaves the entire family a casualty. NOBODY walks away unscathed. We are all the walking wounded. We all have the bleary eyed look of the totally bewildered, the shell shocked, the devastated. The crushing feeling of not being able to do things like this anymore, that we must find another way. The crushing reality that mom may not be able to come home ever, that she made need around the clock supervision for the rest of her life. That we as a family may have to make decisions that will make her hate us for the rest of her life in order for her to HAVE a life.
The crushing guilt of having to set the emotional boundaries with her so that you can continue to function. Of saying to yourself, "No longer will she have total access to my heart. I just can't take the pain anymore when she spews her venom." Some things, I'm sorry just doesn't cover, whether you are sick or not. The crushing guilt of making the decision that your family will not survive her living in your home. The absolute panic and fear that the hospital is going to release her while I am away at training, leaving my father alone with her.
The knowing that The Man leaves on Monday and feeling like there is not enough of me to go around. I want to be what he needs. I have one day left, and I was so exhausted, he couldn't even wake me to go to church this morning. So, I am going to finish this and then hop up and do some laundry. I am going to spend the day with my family, get ready to go for training, and soak up as much strength as I can from The Man.