Marriage Advocates

My Gratitude Journal

Posted By: LadyGrey

My Gratitude Journal - 01/01/17 03:24 AM

<<<Entry Number One>>>

My two older children weren't here for Christmas. It's a tough gig but it is not insurmountable if you are willing to be flexible.

Easter is a floating holiday as is Thanksgiving. We declared Christmas the same, so we had no celebration until the 27th.

I went to the grocery on the 25th, sort of oblivious to the fact that it was Christmas day. When I got home, I looked at my vape that was sitting between the seats and thought, "I'm done with that now."

And there it has sat for a week. I've had zero impulse to go get it.

Go ahead -- try to tell ME there's not a God.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 01/01/17 05:06 AM

I love it LG thanks for sharing! Way to go without the vape, more and more freedom awaits!
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 01/01/17 11:02 AM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
....Go ahead -- try to tell ME there's not a God.


I can't. smile
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 01/02/17 03:03 AM

LG so happy to see your beautiful face.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 01/31/17 02:18 AM

The vape is still history. I thought to look for it the other day and there is was, still charged and I thought "impressive battery" and put it back.

I've never been relieved of my burdens in my whole life like I have been the last 2 years. I've fought the same 20 pounds for 30 years and I've finally won. I've fought nicotine for almost 40 years and I've finally won.

But I don't put something down without picking something up. No mother does.
Posted By: LovingAnyway

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 01/31/17 04:07 AM

Hi, LG...

I admire your huge strides. I haven't shaken the vape yet--can't imagine it. It's been 14 months since my last cigarette after 33 years of smoking. I want to be you!

And your flexibility on Christmas. And your weight loss...all of it. Show me how on all of it, please.

LA
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 01/31/17 03:01 PM

LG: How dare you do that? Lose weight? Stop smoking or vaping? Next you are going to tell me you have reconciled with your Mom!

Stop it this instant! You are the female version of me. If you can make positive change in your life, then so can I. That makes it my fault and my responsibility if I don't. I simply refuse to accept that responsibility, so I demand that you reject it as well. Really, the nerve of some people. Moving forward. Making changes. Accepting themselves. Improving themselves and their attitude. What in heck is the world coming to?!?!
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 01/31/17 03:09 PM

Hold yer funny.

LG, so good to see you.

Please tell me how you won that 20 pound battle. I am getting desperate.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 01/31/17 03:29 PM

Ya know, Hold I was going to say to you that for many years you and I were compadres elsewhere. Neck and neck in the "I can't change myself or my life" camp. We were totally stuck in our fear, and couldn't budge.

And I was gonna ask you what you thought about all the tiny slow changes I've made.

And then ask you about some of the not so tiny ones I have made here recently.

I'm guessing by the way you've reacted to LG, I have my answer. You are not pleased, nor amused!
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/08/17 06:29 AM

I am grateful today for alternative facts.

Alternative facts (THANK YOU PRESIDENT TRUMP) mean I'm not responsible for anything I do or say.

Cool.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/08/17 01:45 PM

How can you be responsible for anything? Whatever someone might want to hold you accountable for, it never happened. Or if it did happen, you did not do it. If there is videotape of you doing it, the tape is a hacked phony and a plot by your enemies to undermine you. Even if you did it, it did not have the consequences the person is attaching to it. Or if it did have consequences, they aren't your fault. And if they are, it is really the other person's fault for making you do it to them.

Facts and objective reality are such limiting concepts. Don't we live in a quantum world? There is no one true reality. There are just probabilities of various outcomes. Just because the outcome you believe exists is one of the more likelier outcomes does not mean that dramatically different outcomes aren't also possible. Might occur. Already occurred.

There is so much more freedom is allowing yourself to select which of the infinite potential outcomes you declare to have occurred. Isn't the US the land of the free? Isn't more freedom everywhere and always a good thing? So why not the freedom for each American to decide for themselves which outcome happened? Why do we all have to agree that the same thing happened?

Has anyone else ever gone to marriage counselling with your spouse and fought for an hour over "what really happened"? Has anyone ever had a favorable result from having that argument? Has anyone felt their marriage was improved by having that argument?

LG, I think you are exactly right for viewing this as cool rather than as tragic. Revel in your newfound freedom.
Posted By: Fergie

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/08/17 04:47 PM

I'm grateful for President Trump too! dance

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Alternative facts (THANK YOU PRESIDENT TRUMP) mean I'm not responsible for anything I do or say.

But... you were a liberal already... That's pretty much the core philosophy. Not sure how Trump changed that...
Posted By: Fiddler

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/08/17 05:55 PM

Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/09/17 02:36 PM

My alternative facts are that Trump is not President. I am. Also, chocolate ice cream helps you lose weight.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/09/17 02:39 PM

Mine is that Fibromyalgia is actually a superpower. (I just haven't figured out what it DOES yet)
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/09/17 06:00 PM

Originally Posted By: AntigoneRisen
My alternative facts are that Trump is not President. I am. Also, chocolate ice cream helps you lose weight.


Yikes! What's in your koolaid? eek
Posted By: Squeaky Tree

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/09/17 09:27 PM

I am grateful that the majority of folks here want to protect this island from that alternative and flexible reality.


I'm slightly confused as to why the assassination hasn't yet happened? Obviously not as inevitable as I thought it would be.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/10/17 12:15 AM

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan


Yikes! What's in your koolaid? eek


Not nearly enough to see thousands of people who aren't there. grin
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/10/17 12:28 AM

Originally Posted By: AntigoneRisen
Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan


Yikes! What's in your koolaid? eek


Not nearly enough to see thousands of people who aren't there. grin


Yeah, well, last I looked Emperor Trump was butt-nekked. .
but somehow he has the magic to have a lot of folks believing he's sporting Ivanka-Wear. You can fool some of the people all of the time.. angelhorns
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/10/17 01:13 AM

Very concerned about the direction of education and governance to be had with our newly elected officials.

Math and civics doesn't seem to be a strong point. What's next? The earth is flat? Art is just a guy? English......wow......paragraphs going to be limited to 146 characters? YIKES!!!!

Also heard that the laws governing the oversight of puppy mills and the record keeping of it has been 'disappeared'. Poof......Y? What's to gain by removing the laws that keep that kind of abuse in check? Now one has to submit a request in writing instead of going on-line and finding an approved and reputable breeder?

Is this post on the wrong thread? Oops.....sorry.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/10/17 03:10 PM

The guy is doing what he said he would do. Tens of millions of people wanted what he was proposing. Some people feel these regulations hurt the economy and cost jobs to an extent that outweighs the benefits they provide. Maybe we can't afford to prevent all of the wrongs and evils and bad things in the world.

I am not a Trump supporter. I did not vote for him. But I want him to succeed, because I live here and intend to continue living here and I want our country to succeed.

If you are outraged by his policies, run for local office. School board. Town council. Get a resume that qualifies you to be a state legislator. Then you can vote for Congressional districts that aren't designed to congregate liberal voters into a small number of districts. If you are not interested in running for office, campaign for someone who is. Collect signatures to get people who share your views onto the ballot. Knock on doors. Help get out the vote. There are lots of things you can do.

None of that will result in Trump ceasing to be president until 4 years form now. But it might take 4 years to do the work to translate outrage into electoral power. So don't bemoan the fact that the next elections are so far away. Be thankful that there is enough time between now and then to organize the resistance.

And if you need a dose of consolation sooner than that, Alec Baldwin is hosting SNL tomorrow.
Posted By: Fergie

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/10/17 03:28 PM

I'm grateful this board allows this type of discussion about politics where other relationship boards ban it. smile
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/10/17 04:54 PM

Kindly,
Just because this president was elected does not mean I have to lower my moral code or belief simply for the sake of harmony for the next four years. Yes, I know ALL politicians lie - but on some fake 5th dimension the truth matters, rule of law matters.

Many liberals, TRIED to give this administration a chance, but from the onset the cabinet appointments were worse than the "worst case scenario" predicted! To some it's a meme war or clich battle for giggles. For the people I care about - it's a matter of life and death or daily survival. {threat of Federal School Lunch program being discontinued will really hurt some kids I know. Kids I see everyday.}
Posted By: Fiddler

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/10/17 06:19 PM

Please be mindful about this thread being LadyGrey's blog. Purely political discussions belong in the Thunderdome.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/12/17 02:56 AM

I'm grateful that I marched on Washington in a pink hat I was given on the metro.

I'm grateful that due to PDL (pure dumb luck) my hotel was the first stop on the metro line. It was SRO 30 seconds after the doors opened. No one on any stop after that got on the metro for hours.

I'm sad I didn't have a sign. I have never protested anything so I didn't think of a sign.

My personal favorite signs:

Free Melania

I can't believe we are still protesting this shinola.

I'm sad that my husband didn't come with me. We agreed that was a mistake.

I cleaned up my dad's crap off the bathroom floor and EVERYWHERE else (how was that even physically possible) two nights ago.

I'm grateful I didn't throw up.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/12/17 03:02 PM

I had to look up Standing Room Only. I'm happy you got to enjoy that.

How is your Dad?
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/16/17 03:22 AM

You are so kind.

My dad is 90 and had two optional heart procedures 6 days apart.

When he went into the hospital he was ambulatory and able to drive. I can't picture either of those things happening again.

I am struggling mightily with the fact that I cleaned up his crap, yet he couldn't be bothered to get out of the car when my mother did her drive by visit with the mastectomy.

Every day I say to myself "LadyGrey, do the next right thing" and I call my parents.

I decided yesterday that I would write them a letter every day and let myself up.

I'm grateful that I have the emotional energy to do that now.

Here's my day one letter:

Dear Mother and Daddy,

I have decided to try a different means of communicating with you all, one that doesnt require me to do something I hate (talking on the phone) and doesnt require you to go phone hunting at the whim of a ring.

Last night, I went to my first Womens March meeting in my county. More on that later.

Because of the way that the cars were aligned in the driveway, I couldnt get mine out of the garage so I was going to take Tommys.

People are understandably reluctant to lend their cars to me, so Tommy took me to my meeting.

On the way out of our circle, we saw a MOOSE running in the opposite lane towards the highway. We took a quick u-turn and scared the moose back into the neighborhood.

I think any day that you save the life of a moose is a good day.
Posted By: Blair

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/16/17 03:54 AM

LG, you have a heart of gold. I'm sorry to hear your dad is struggling so much. You are truly honoring your parents in spite of them not offering you the same respect when you needed it most. Hugs, sweet Lady.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 02/16/17 01:33 PM

LG

I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I'm still struggling with my husband's recovery from heart surgery and 6 months have gone by. They keep telling us these procedures take a very long time to heal from. I don't know if that's true. I hope it is because if this is my future? I don't know if I can bear it.

You are so dedicated to doing your best by everyone. I'm in awe of your beautiful soul. Your idea of writing letters vs calling each day is such a good one! Maybe just call once or twice a week now. Or even every other week? Who knows what the right intervals will be. Maybe you can write something each day and not mail it but a couple times a week. You will find something that works. You're so smart and with that conscientious heart, you're bound to figure something out.

Hugs to you for your struggle and your efforts
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/02/17 11:55 PM

I need some help.

My dad's health has continued to deteriorate -- the time between falls gets ever shorter which is a very bad omen.

As an aside here, when Ruth Bader Ginsberg was asked what exercises she did, she replied "the ones that let you get on and off the toilet because that's the difference between dependence and independence" so next time you are groaning through your squats and lunges remember that and smile 'cuz that ain't ever going to happen to you.

He's currently in cardiac rehab and will be for another week.

His doctors have said he can either go home to 24/7 care ($3500/week) or move into assisted living.

Mother doesn't want to do either of those things, is shocked and surprised at this outcome even though we have been telling them for years, and is ANGRY.

I'm going down there next Wednesday, originally for my dad's 90th but now to give my sister some much needed help.

I am committed to staying until things are stable or I shoot myself. My guess is it will be a month.

I guess I have to stay with my mother. I could stay with my sister for a while, but that feels awkward.

I'm not doing this for my parents. I'm doing it for my sister.

Any ideas on how to get stubborn parents out of a house full of stairs?

Any ideas on how I'm going to keep my sanity?

I learned something interesting from my brother when my dad had the fall where I got to clean up his crap. When there is an emergency, walk don't run. You will appear to be calm and in control which will cause the victim's blood pressure to go down.

So the next time my dad fell, I walked into his room, explained that I understood the situation, and went to get more help, all the while thinking I can't believe I have to keep seeing my dad's wee wee.
Posted By: believer

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/03/17 01:10 AM

Does your father know and remember that he falls?

My dad was 93 and still very sharp about everything, but couldn't seem to remember or admit that he kept falling.

It was a nightmare. I went to Seattle to help my mother and stayed 8 months. It was a 24 hour a day job to keep my father from falling. Luckily, I slept in the basement and the floors were creaky so I was able to wake up when I heard dad wandering around.

We tried everything, telling him to call for assistance, tying a string and bell across his doorway with a note to remind him not to walk around. Nothing worked except watching him 24 hours a day.

Dad never fell while I was there, except twice. Once I was out doing the grocery shopping early in the morning, dad fell and called 911. My mother didn't hear him fall, but woke up when the Fire Department kicked in the front door. The other time I was at a dentist appointment.

Good luck.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/03/17 01:31 AM

Assisted living. Depending on the facility can be extremely comfortable. After a short period of adjustment, residents never want to leave.

We used to own a group home. They all hated bringing granny there.. (cost, visits etc.) later, they begged us to keep them, even when they needed to go to the next step - nursing care.
If you start visiting places, maybe with mom, she may consider..
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/03/17 02:45 AM

My H talks a lot about "hip fractures waiting to happen." A hip fracture is very very very bad news.

When my mom went to assisted living she made the decision quite suddenly. It was the right decision though it made her very angry. My sister and I had been trading weeks to travel to stay with her 24/7 for a few months, and it just couldn't be sustained any longer.

When you go, you are going to have to look at both options. Interview in home aides. Wow, that is a lot of money but if they won't leave their home that is what they get to do. Then tour some assisted living facilities so you can get a feel for the ones that might work.

I can't help much with the mental stress but I know you can get through this. Put one foot in front of the other and do the necessary tasks. Pay attention to good nutrition for you and for everyone else.

I think it is common for parents to become angry and stressed when suddenly they are like children again and in need of help.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/03/17 05:36 AM

Another option is the hire a home nursing system. They come in shifts. It is expensive.

Do your parents have a long term care policy insurance policy? I know my uncle worked for the post office and didn't know he had a policy which allowed them to use it for my aunti when she could no longer live in their home (with stairs - she had the type of parkinson's where she couldn't walk.

If they are on a limited income, does your state or county have any programs for the elderly?

Take a look at: A Place for Mom

......or other facilities that can help.

I called a facility where MIL lived when she had her heart attack. I shared that contact info with 2 of her sons, in case it is needed later on.

This is hard and the family does better when all can pull together on this. It also helps when the parents are cooperative. When it isn't ideal, the focus still needs to be the same.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/03/17 04:23 PM

Consider contacting the local office of Adult Protective Services. They may be able to advise you on how to address this. Also, talk with the social worker/s assigned to your father while in rehab. They have a vested interest in assuring that folks are discharged to a viable and safe situation.

Their motivation in part is driven by the rather high penalties they face when a person is readmitted again shortly after discharge. Means the discharge time or arrangements were not adequate, and yes it has to do with the reimbursement issues ACA enacted.

I faced a similar circumstance with my mom back when. We kept her in her own home as long as logistically possible, but eventually reached the "point of no return." In her case, I contacted the local Alzheimer's Assn. and they guided us through how to stage an intervention to get her into an assisted-living facility.

There comes a time when stairs become an insurmountable hurdle, with or without supervision and assistance. Handling the inevitable vulnerability and fear they experience is a big part of getting them moved. Losing their sense of control, coupled with their inability to visualize moving to a safer space motivates much of the resistance you're facing.

Sending prayers for a gentle, expedient transition for your father and mother.
It's not easy.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/03/17 05:41 PM

I think this is where a combination of validating and boundaries are needed.

Validate that it stinks to get old. That it stinks to have less capacity. That it stinks to watch someone you love have less capacity. That it stinks when you and someone you love need help and have to give up independence. It stinks to feel dependent on others. It stinks that it is so expensive to buy help. They are entitled to rage against the coming dark. It is good to rage against it.

But that does not give them a right to take out their anger and fear on you. And you won't tolerate it.

She didn't tolerate your tantrums when you were a toddler raging against your lack of capacity. she didn't tolerate your tantrums when you were a teenager raging against your lack of independence. And you won't tolerate her tantrums.

And when she gets snarky about you accusing her of tantrums, stay calm. Validate that it irritates when someone accuses one of throwing a tantrum. But your boundary is that you won't refrain from calling her tantrums as such when they occur. If she wants to be treated as an adult, then she needs to behave like an adult. If she wants to throw tantrums, then she will be treated as the child she is emulating. Entirely her choice. Within her control. And a good way for her to exercise her agency, power and independence.
Posted By: Blair

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/04/17 01:55 AM

I don't have any suggestions. Just, know we'll be thinking of you. Hugs, sweetie. This is a tough situation all around.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/06/17 03:01 AM

After my first chemo, I laid in pools of my own vomit and shinola and urine for 10 hours. I couldnt get up. My husband was hunting, I had no way to call anyone and I had no idea who I could have called. I finally crawled my way to the bathtub and got in the hottest water I could bear. No worries about the mastectomy incision and infection.

I listened to Tommy banging on the bedroom door yelling, please let me help you Mom thinking, there is absolutely NO WAY in ANY circle of hell I will EVER allow a child of mine to see me this way. He finally gave up.

Id rather die. Thats not hyperbolic Id rather die than have one of my children see me like that.

FWIW, I do place an extremely low value on my life. Im just sure if I died tonight, everyone would move on just fine.

So, for me, in thinking back on my last visit to Dallas, *I* think the worst thing that could happen to Daddy happened. The WORST. His daughter and his son wiped his ass, his grandson got into the shower fully clothed to spray all of the crap off of him, and I almost threw up trying to empty the potty chair. That doesnt even touch on what happened two days before.

And I think it is indefensible that this witty man of dignity and grace would EVER be in that position again and I think Im the only one who sees that.

It makes me REALLY ANGRY that yall are willing to sit by and let mother dictate how this is going to go when we all know returning to that house is a looming death sentence for him brief upticks against a series of falls where he will eventually break something.

Im so discouraged to find that the meanest person doesnt just win on the national stage the meanest person my very own mother -- wins in my actual family.

Its not a level playing field between Mother and Daddy shes willing to be as mean as it takes to get what she wants and he wont. In my opinion, it is up to me to try to level that playing field for his benefit and Ill go to the mat with that woman if doing so will allow me to move forward with a clear conscience.

I do love you all SO MUCH but come on are you really OK with this?

Think of me as an advocate for Daddy. Im not trying to create a fuss between us but I do think that everyone is so focused on not pissing off that woman that youve lost sight of the fact that there is another person involved whose life would be IMMEDIATELY and MATERIALLY improved by moving to an assisted living environment.

She can sleep anywhere.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/06/17 11:00 AM

Depending on the level of care he needs now, and the increase he will likely need in the foreseeable future, you advocate for a facility that can handle that scenario.

That was a problem we had. We were assisted living, not nursing care. Many clients and potential clients really needed nursing care, but the families did not want to face that. They wanted us to provide 24 hr personal assistance to their parent.

Some facilities half and half - that is less traumatic (moving places) for the resident.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/06/17 11:08 AM

My mom and I were the primary care givers for one of my grandmothers. I did the cleaning after here and helping her bathe. It wasn't shameful, it was done out of love and I tried to keep my grandmother's dignity in tack.

The beautiful thing about my grandmother was that she never complained. We would laugh more than anything and she wold tell me about her 'watermelons' vs my tangerines or maybe persimmons. I was too small to be a cantaloupe, LOL!!!!

Whatever my grandmother needed to be comfortable was what I would try to do. I'd rather clean her up than leave her lying for any amount of time in a mess.

LG, next time you need help and your children ask to help, let them. You are teaching them to be caring.

Remember, even the Queen of England needs assistance at times. eek

I lost my shame after I gave birth. Those doctors and nurses saw everything.......I didn't want to be remembered as the patient who farted but the nurse said if I did, that's ok. She told me to be comfortable and the staff would work around it. LOL!!!! Ok, then...... wink

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/06/17 03:44 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
After my first chemo, I laid in pools of my own vomit and shinola and urine for 10 hours. I couldnt get up. My husband was hunting, I had no way to call anyone and I had no idea who I could have called. I finally crawled my way to the bathtub and got in the hottest water I could bear. No worries about the mastectomy incision and infection.

I listened to Tommy banging on the bedroom door yelling, please let me help you Mom thinking, there is absolutely NO WAY in ANY circle of hell I will EVER allow a child of mine to see me this way. He finally gave up.

Id rather die. Thats not hyperbolic Id rather die than have one of my children see me like that.

FWIW, I do place an extremely low value on my life. Im just sure if I died tonight, everyone would move on just fine.

So, for me, in thinking back on my last visit to Dallas, *I* think the worst thing that could happen to Daddy happened. The WORST. His daughter and his son wiped his ass, his grandson got into the shower fully clothed to spray all of the crap off of him, and I almost threw up trying to empty the potty chair. That doesnt even touch on what happened two days before.

And I think it is indefensible that this witty man of dignity and grace would EVER be in that position again and I think Im the only one who sees that.

It makes me REALLY ANGRY that yall are willing to sit by and let mother dictate how this is going to go when we all know returning to that house is a looming death sentence for him brief upticks against a series of falls where he will eventually break something.

Im so discouraged to find that the meanest person doesnt just win on the national stage the meanest person my very own mother -- wins in my actual family.

Its not a level playing field between Mother and Daddy shes willing to be as mean as it takes to get what she wants and he wont. In my opinion, it is up to me to try to level that playing field for his benefit and Ill go to the mat with that woman if doing so will allow me to move forward with a clear conscience.

I do love you all SO MUCH but come on are you really OK with this?

Think of me as an advocate for Daddy. Im not trying to create a fuss between us but I do think that everyone is so focused on not pissing off that woman that youve lost sight of the fact that there is another person involved whose life would be IMMEDIATELY and MATERIALLY improved by moving to an assisted living environment.

She can sleep anywhere.


Why is she refusing to get your father into assisted living? What are her reasons?
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/06/17 04:49 PM

Originally Posted By: sw
Why is she refusing to get your father into assisted living? What are her reasons?


The short answer is she needs him to take care of her -- she's unable to drive and is more or less an invalid.

She doesn't want to leave the house. Period. He'd like to move but his wants and wishes are irrelevant to her.

I know this is a common fact pattern but good God -- what an incredible mess.

I just don't think I can bring myself to deal with that again, and I fear that's what I'm looking at doing when I go on Wednesday. If I can't do it without throwing up -- and I don't think I can -- I will have let down my siblings and I can't stand that idea.

My mother slept through both of my dad's toileting mishaps, so she has no idea what it was like.

I feel a LOT better since I sent that note. I'm not sure why. I haven't heard back from any of them and don't expect to as we will discuss all when we are together.

But I'm not budging even though I know I'm going to lose.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/06/17 05:54 PM

As a lawyer you know the process to take this decision away from your father and mother. It will require immense fortitude on your part. It will be expensive and a huge time investment. It will likely create an irreparable rift with your mother and perhaps your siblings. It will undoubtedly require your siblings to take sides and likely not all will side with you. That is a huge price to pay.

Only you know if you can live with yourself for not paying that price and enduring the pain. Only you know what your conscience says you owe your father. Only you know whether putting yourself through that meat-grinder will feel like expiation for not standing up to your mother earlier. Only you know if this is the chance to once and forever cut ties with your mother. Only you can predict how you will feel when your mother bars you from ever visiting her or your father again and you have to rely on your siblings for news about your parents.

I have no idea what you should do. I feel for you. This is an excruciatingly difficult position to be in. I do know that it is an honor to be able to share your journey with you. Thank you for confiding in us.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/06/17 07:40 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
But I'm not budging even though I know I'm going to lose.


Seriously consider changing your mindset here.
Never assume you've automatically lost, or why bother in the first place?
If you hold your ground long enough, are persistent and relentless enough, sooner or later they will have to capitulate.

Remember, you can always get Adult Protective Services involved if you don't want to be the heavy in all this. Read up on guardianships. There are ways to even get them enacted on an emergency basis. Ask me how I know...

You, above anyone, can do this, LG.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/06/17 07:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Holdingontoit
As a lawyer you know the process to take this decision away from your father and mother. It will require immense fortitude on your part. It will be expensive and a huge time investment. It will likely create an irreparable rift with your mother and perhaps your siblings. It will undoubtedly require your siblings to take sides and likely not all will side with you. That is a huge price to pay.

Only you know if you can live with yourself for not paying that price and enduring the pain. Only you know what your conscience says you owe your father. Only you know whether putting yourself through that meat-grinder will feel like expiation for not standing up to your mother earlier. Only you know if this is the chance to once and forever cut ties with your mother. Only you can predict how you will feel when your mother bars you from ever visiting her or your father again and you have to rely on your siblings for news about your parents.

I have no idea what you should do. I feel for you. This is an excruciatingly difficult position to be in. I do know that it is an honor to be able to share your journey with you. Thank you for confiding in us.


Hold, depending on the state of residence, guardianship can be a pretty cut-and-dried process. In my state, Probate Court dictates the attorney fees and legal process, so there's not much wiggle room for inflating billing. You just have to find an attorney who specialized in guardianships and probate work. I got my referral from the local Alzheimer's Assn., and ended up with a superb attorney who was also on their board as well as on the board of the county Adult Protective Services. She was a former Social Worker who went on to specialize as an attorney in just this work.

As for the fortitude part, well, I won't deny that will be a big part.

As for the irreparable rift, well from all LG has shared over time, that is a given.
It's been there for ages.

Yes, heroes have plenty of folks who don't like them either.
Just the way it goes. Do what you gotta do..
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/06/17 10:50 PM

I was thinking Adult Protective Services, too.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/06/17 10:58 PM

H tried to get APS to go see his dad (dad in CA, WST in HI). They went out but MIL got all upset.

If the family is in agreement with the APS visit, it would make it easier.

May elderly fear this will make them lose their independence. Then parts of them want to be dependent and it creates so much inner and outer turmoil.

I hope APS or another agency can help your family through this process.

All the best,
Orchid
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/07/17 03:45 AM

i think what i have decided to do is keep my mouth shut, keep a journal so I have a fact based argument (as opposed to "alternative facts" which have been defined in my family as anything you can get one other person to agree with), and cook.

I'm a good cook. I will fill their freezer with edible microwavable individually packed meals.

When I'm gone I will still be there when they eat my food.

I don't think I'll go back until one of them passes. It's SO hard on me, and in turn my husband and my family. I've got the rug in front of my chair memorized from staring into space.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/07/17 03:40 PM

T_C: Was your petition opposed? I am guessing LG's Mom would vigorously oppose the appointment of anyone other than herself. If your lawyer got a guardian appointed over a spouse's opposition, quickly and for a reasonable fee, then kudos to all involved. In all events, glad to hear it worked out for you in the end.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/07/17 04:07 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
After my first chemo, I laid in pools of my own vomit and shinola and urine for 10 hours. I couldnt get up. My husband was hunting, I had no way to call anyone and I had no idea who I could have called. I finally crawled my way to the bathtub and got in the hottest water I could bear. No worries about the mastectomy incision and infection.

I listened to Tommy banging on the bedroom door yelling, please let me help you Mom thinking, there is absolutely NO WAY in ANY circle of hell I will EVER allow a child of mine to see me this way. He finally gave up.

Id rather die. Thats not hyperbolic Id rather die than have one of my children see me like that.

FWIW, I do place an extremely low value on my life. Im just sure if I died tonight, everyone would move on just fine.

So, for me, in thinking back on my last visit to Dallas, *I* think the worst thing that could happen to Daddy happened. The WORST. His daughter and his son wiped his ass, his grandson got into the shower fully clothed to spray all of the crap off of him, and I almost threw up trying to empty the potty chair. That doesnt even touch on what happened two days before.

And I think it is indefensible that this witty man of dignity and grace would EVER be in that position again and I think Im the only one who sees that.

It makes me REALLY ANGRY that yall are willing to sit by and let mother dictate how this is going to go when we all know returning to that house is a looming death sentence for him brief upticks against a series of falls where he will eventually break something.

Im so discouraged to find that the meanest person doesnt just win on the national stage the meanest person my very own mother -- wins in my actual family.

Its not a level playing field between Mother and Daddy shes willing to be as mean as it takes to get what she wants and he wont. In my opinion, it is up to me to try to level that playing field for his benefit and Ill go to the mat with that woman if doing so will allow me to move forward with a clear conscience.

I do love you all SO MUCH but come on are you really OK with this?

Think of me as an advocate for Daddy. Im not trying to create a fuss between us but I do think that everyone is so focused on not pissing off that woman that youve lost sight of the fact that there is another person involved whose life would be IMMEDIATELY and MATERIALLY improved by moving to an assisted living environment.

She can sleep anywhere.


I understand all of this down to the depths of my marrow. I live (or have lived) in a situation like this, where the meanest person gets their way. It's abhorrent. It's heinous. I would fight that too.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/07/17 04:15 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
T_C: Was your petition opposed? I am guessing LG's Mom would vigorously oppose the appointment of anyone other than herself. If your lawyer got a guardian appointed over a spouse's opposition, quickly and for a reasonable fee, then kudos to all involved. In all events, glad to hear it worked out for you in the end.


My petition happened a year after my father died. Wasn't until then that it became obvious that my mother was not rowing with both oars in the water, though she resisted any attempts at outside assistance (including her kids). Her comment was that my father had always managed everything financial, and now it was her turn at the money thing. Under attorney's advice, we cajoled her into having a psychological evaluation (which insurance covered completely, and involved almost 8 hrs. of interactive evaluation) and that was what worked for us in our petition.

I understand that LG has her mother as adversary in a petition, but my focus would be equally on her serving to obstruct LG's father from getting the care he needs. That's why I thought Adult Protective Services could help advise her through how to handle this. It surely would not be the first time they experienced it. Maybe it is she who needs evaluating in this circumstance. Onset of dementia really triggers a self-protective fear of any outside interference or loss of control.

Just my thoughts..
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/07/17 06:33 PM

Can you have your mom evaluated? Speak to her GP or geriatric physician?

If you can put professional support with you, it might bolster your plan.

Your dad needs to get to a place where he is being cared for if that is what is needed.

Needs should be prioritized over wants right now.

Your dad having assistance with basic functions is a need and should be prioritized as such.

If your mom doesn't want to leave the house but your dad needs to, arrange for him to move out. Take care of your dad first. Your mom's issues can be dealt with either by another sibling or later.

H's parents were difficult and now they are each getting to that stage where physical care will soon become a reality. MIL moved out to the middle of WI and caring for her is already difficult (she's a hoarder and has anxiety attacks amongst other health issues).

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/07/17 10:28 PM

T_C: I like your thoughts. Please keep sharing them.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/08/17 03:17 PM

Some good news. My sister and her husband met with my Dad and the doctor. The doctor told my dad no driving, ever again. WHEW!!!! I've been SO WORRIED about that.

The doctor also told my dad that if he falls again, he has to move and my dad appeared to agree. I'd give that 10 days to 2 weeks. I'm also guessing that when it happens, they will do whatever they can to hide it which is worrisome.

He also has to have someone come morning and night to put on and remove some special stockings so someone will be checking on them twice a day.

When he ignores all that and falls, I'll have a solid APS case, or at least I think so.

I REALLY appreciate all your thoughts. Mentally, they are both present and cogent so that makes it hard -- interesting that dementia triggers those reactions.

Headed to the airport -- at least after I see my dad I will have a bit more clarity on where he is.

My mother is certainly my adversary -- I'm hoping to get through the week without that coming to a head because NOTHING I say is going to matter.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/08/17 05:35 PM

Good luck, LG.
We will be thinking about you..
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/08/17 06:07 PM

Take care LG. I'm sending you strength and patience and love.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/08/17 06:53 PM

That's good progress LG. Glad the doctor can now become your father's advocate as well.

Will keep sending positive thoughts and prayers up your way.

Hugz,
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/09/17 03:37 AM

That does sound like progress. Keep busy while you wait.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/10/17 12:22 AM

Thinking of you, LG.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/14/17 11:09 PM

In a plot twist no one could have anticipated, I think my mother is addicted to codeine.

She has a vial 4 inches high by 1 inch diameter. I've never seen anything like it.

She lays on the couch all day with a visor over her eyes and sleeps.

She can get up and move around but she doesn't. She's all there mentally when she's not sleeping.

I have no way of assessing how bad her pain is or whether she is taking more than is prescribed because that vial is in her hand or right next to her all the time.

I've been on painkillers and they do make me sleepy but then I wake up and can do stuff for a while. I've never been on painkillers on a long term basis -- just after surgery or an acute injury and so I have no idea what that looks like.

I've been staying in their house for a week now so I've gotten to observe in a way I haven't ever before.

Anyone ever heard of such a thing?

I'm not sure it matters -- there is nothing I can DO about it to help my father who is sitting in his blue chair in this house all day every day NOT doing his exercises, although after a lifetime of not exercising I'm not sure how realistic it is that he's going to take up the habit at 90. He's going to fall either in the bathroom or on the two flights of stairs he insists on taking and that will be the end of that.

My dumbass doctor brothers decided to ruin the perfect situation where he had been told by a third party doctor a/k/a the Bad Guy he could NEVER drive again. One told him he couldn't drive "yet" and the other explained to him his legal rights.

Speechless I was.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/14/17 11:28 PM

Can they move to a single story no steps home?
Posted By: Blair

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/15/17 02:44 AM

What is the actual dosage? How much is she taking and how often? Has she taken this for a long time?

Take a photo of the label. Do you know when she picked up her last precription? Is it time to talk to her doctor?
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/21/17 02:15 AM

Quote:
The doctor also told my dad that if he falls again, he has to move and my dad appeared to agree. I'd give that 10 days to 2 weeks. I'm also guessing that when it happens, they will do whatever they can to hide it which is worrisome.


I'm late to the party - as per the norm. grin

For a few years, I did software for home health and hospice, and I can say that your concerns are well-grounded in fact. The Falls Risk Assessment was a huge part of what we did...and for good reason. I hope your dad's epiphany lasts longer than you predicted.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/21/17 02:53 AM

Quote:
In a plot twist no one could have anticipated, I think my mother is addicted to codeine...anyone ever heard of such a thing?


Yes. It is what I'm working on right now. Email me.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/27/17 02:42 AM

I've actually wondered for a while if your mom could be addicted to something like prescription drugs. So much of how you describe her narcissism reminds me of MIL.

See if you can get a drug history going back to when you were growing up. Take note of things like valium, sleeping pills and over-the-counter meds in addition to pain meds. It used to be standard practice to be prescribed 60 pain pills at a time for just about any complaint. It would be interesting to discover which goes back farther.... narcissism or drug use. For MIL, the history with prescription drugs went back farther longer than the complaints against her did.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/29/17 02:39 AM

Well Daddy is not wearing his stockings anymore that are meant to regulate his blood pressure so he doesn't arbitrarily pass out, and he is driving.

To maintain his license, he has to go back for a vision test when he is 93. He's quite pleased about this.

Mother told me tonight that she is going to drive tomorrow to the flower store -- she hasn't driven in 5 years.

What am I doing about this? NOTHING.

There is, literally, NOTHING I can do.

If he loses consciousness and kills someone that is so not on me or my siblings.

It's on a system that isn't nimble enough or bold enough to deal with elderly drivers.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/29/17 07:30 AM

My mom was very independent. When her diabetes prevent her from driving (eye surgery), she was furious and wanted to prove that she was still independent.

I lived in CA and she was in HI. I heard she was in an accident and it scared her. She drove into a fence. She stopped. It hurt her because now she was at the mercy of my father and yet she didn't get help.

I tried. I moved across the ocean to help her and she refused. In the end, she kept to her word that he would take care of her medically until she died. It was more of just making a point. The love they had was lost long ago due to my father's long term narcissistic A.

So LG, do what you can and be ok with that. I had to. It was hard, aggravatingly difficult. I felt like my hands were tied but she was an adult and considered competent. She was also a hurting BS who didn't know that help was right here.

We can't control all the decisions made around us. Knowing this is hard but helps me survive through each day.

I wish I had a better support advice to give. hug

Hugz,
Orchid
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/29/17 02:07 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Well Daddy is not wearing his stockings anymore that are meant to regulate his blood pressure so he doesn't arbitrarily pass out, and he is driving.

To maintain his license, he has to go back for a vision test when he is 93. He's quite pleased about this.

Mother told me tonight that she is going to drive tomorrow to the flower store -- she hasn't driven in 5 years.

What am I doing about this? NOTHING.

There is, literally, NOTHING I can do.

If he loses consciousness and kills someone that is so not on me or my siblings.

It's on a system that isn't nimble enough or bold enough to deal with elderly drivers.


My boss owns a body shop and my eyes have been opened to the dangers of elderly drivers. It is astounding how little oversight there is.

I am praying my parents get moved here before this becomes an issue with my parents. My dad is 79, my mom is 72. They do ok, but I would love for them to be near me so I can do more for them. But if they are hardheaded about it it really will not matter. I can't control them.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/29/17 04:44 PM

If I am not mistaken, the state of Florida has daily issues with Seniors and driving. There are reports almost daily of cars that just drive off the road and into something.

LG: If you are really concerned and are convinced that your father is a danger to others, you can make a report to the local police with your concerns.

Depending on the department, some will keep an eye out for the vehicle. They may pull over if car is showing any questionable maneuvers. They can not just simply pull them over for no reason.
If it is on "file" and they do get pulled over, this information could help the officer make a decision about driving competence.
One department sincerely thanked a friend for the info, they felt it was backing them up, another department refused to even take info, because no accident was committed.

That may sound underhanded, but it is your gut feeling, and if the safety of your parents and other drivers is a true risk, a report may not be that bad.

P.S. https://senior.com/uber-for-elders/

Would they consider using UBER? Not joking. A relative could relay the request for them - if they were afraid of the technology.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/30/17 03:05 PM

My sweet, sweet nephew shot himself whilst my brother and sister in law were at the Mayo clinic trying to sort out the condition that my brother has that I can't even pronounce. His brother found his body in the den.

The cleaners are coming at 9. It's astonishing how the mundane intrudes on the tragic.

My sister is going over to tell my parents this morning. I swear by everything I call holy that if my mother doesn't go to this funeral, she's dead to me.

I hate guns. This is not a good time to engage with me on that.

I don't know how my dear brother is going to survive this. I'm not sure I would even want to.

Depression is not to be trifled with.

I am grateful for my AMAZING family. No one hesitated a second -- all on the way to Houston.

I am grateful for Anne Lamott who taught me in her book Traveling Mercies that when tragedy strikes, we are called by Christ to build a shelter of love against the hurricane.

Actually, I'm going to download that book right now to read again on the plane.
Posted By: at peace

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/30/17 03:19 PM

Oh, LG..... I am so very, very sorry. frown

Lori
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/30/17 03:52 PM

Good Lord....

That brings back some terrible memories

I'm so sorry LG. I don't really know what to say to you here.

Prayers to your family in this horrible, horrible time.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/30/17 03:56 PM

Prayers to you and your family during this difficult time.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/30/17 05:04 PM

Every.single.thing I cared about 12 hours ago seems stupid and childish and vain.

Trump? Who gives a rat's ass.

I need to talk to my Dad. I need to know he's OK.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/30/17 05:45 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss, LG.

I'm glad that you have the support of your family while you offer support to your brother and his family. Remember to take good care of yourself, too.

Prayers for all.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/30/17 07:43 PM

Dear LG & family,

I'm very sorry to hear about your nephew.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

hug

Orchid
Posted By: SFB

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/31/17 12:25 AM

LG:

So sorry to hear this news. Peace to all in your family during this difficult time.

SFB
Posted By: believer

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/31/17 01:51 AM

Oh, no, such awful news, LG. Condolences to all of you.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/31/17 03:21 AM

LG, My heart goes out to your family.

Please may I share you what my sister did to help me when my son died?

She completely got it when I said "I am unable to speak." And she undertook to make every single phone call (Other than to DD30) that had to be made. And then she marshalled every single one of Jim's cousins to attend the memorial, including his closest cousin who was en route home from a visit to his wife's family in Russia. Every one! And she handled hotel arrangements and transport and just all kids of stuff, and she couldn't afford a bit of it.

There's more, but there is a start. let your brother and SIL say what they need right now and do whatever it takes to get it done. Simple, but not easy.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 03/31/17 12:12 PM

Hoping your family can find peace together in this period of strife and tribulation. Easy to feel alone and afraid. May you be each others light and warmth in a cold dark time.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/08/17 04:14 PM

I'm so sorry to hear about your nephew LG. We've had several similar tragic losses in our family, and the untimely death of a young family member is devastating.

I read this after my cousin died of an overdose--and it helped me. I share it with you:
Quote:
What I have learned is that the loss of a young person does not fade away, nor does it diminish over time, but it can be transformative. You carry a wiser, more compassionate heart because you have swum in the murky, heavy waters of grief. You understand more fully that life is dearest and most meaningful when shared with others.

Perhaps, most surprisingly, you discover that the wide-open explosion of your heart created a kind of spontaneous combustion that allows you to hold a still-point of light. You are now able to illuminate the dark for others who have been sucker-punched by grief. And this heart light will hold you steady as you breathe and step forward into a new day, knowing that you carry them with you, now and forever more.


As far as your mom and dad are concerned, I'm going to make a suggestion for you. The people at hospice were very good at helping me with the failing health of my mother, sister and brother, but in my time at all of the care facilities I've had experience with, I'm also aware of certain counselors that are available to help people in my (and now your) situation.

I looked in Dallas, and I found someone I think might be a really good resource for you.

http://agingcaresolutions.com

Kay Paggi is a geriatric counselor/manager the DFW area who helps caregivers and their parents to navigate the challenges y'all are now facing.

Quote:
As a Professional Geriatric Care Manager, I have extensive knowledge about the costs, quality and availability of aging services. I hold a Master's Degree in Counseling and every year I attend several seminars in various topics related to Eldercare. I am an Advanced Professional member of the Aging Life Care Association, having joined the original association National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers in 1994. I have been in private practice since 1996. (For more information, see my Resume)
I have been working professionally with aging adults and their adult children since 1989. I know the eldercare system, especially as it is in Dallas and the DFW area. Providing care for your parents is unpredictable, there are few people to turn to for advice, and the medical system is poorly organized. Let me help you help your care receiver.


Sending prayers and blessings your way.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/08/17 08:27 PM

Star & LG,

Star, thanks for sharing. Though I'm an ocean away, those words carry strength and the support option of a good counselor to guide you through this challenge is worth their weight in gold.

You are also quite right about how these experiences change our POVs. We learn not to be as selfish and show more care, expand our need to have empathy in our lives.

LG, you have a beautiful heart and am very sorry for what you are experiencing. Still you do have a load of support in many places around this globe.

Just know we you are in our hearts as well. smile

hug

Orchid
Posted By: wiser_now

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/10/17 12:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Chrysalis
LG, My heart goes out to your family.

Please may I share you what my sister did to help me when my son died?

She completely got it when I said "I am unable to speak." And she undertook to make every single phone call (Other than to DD30) that had to be made. And then she marshalled every single one of Jim's cousins to attend the memorial, including his closest cousin who was en route home from a visit to his wife's family in Russia. Every one! And she handled hotel arrangements and transport and just all kids of stuff, and she couldn't afford a bit of it.

There's more, but there is a start. let your brother and SIL say what they need right now and do whatever it takes to get it done. Simple, but not easy.


I completely agree.

LG... I'm so very sorry. hug
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/12/17 08:45 PM

Thank you all for everything. It is a testament to this place that I turn to you all for comfort.

My heart literally hurts. It's the strangest feeling.

My brother spoke at the funeral -- he read a letter to his beloved son. I don't know how he did it -- I wanted to stand and applaud and I deeply regret that I didn't. When I can bear to do it, I will post it.

I spoke too (with Mark's help and insights) for a lot of reasons. My mother, who has been nicknamed "Black Heart", couldn't be bothered to get in the car and drive 4 hours to support her son, and I wanted my kids to see me doing the hard things even though they are hard as hell.

Chrys -- that's exactly what I've been doing. My husband has been AMAZING. We rented VRBO's, cooked food and poured gallons of alcohol for 26 family members. Then we cleaned up my brother's yard, planted a bunch of flowers and repainted the den. Drip sprinkler system for all those flowers is next. There's a YouTube video for EVERYTHING.

My sister-in-law won't go in the house, and my husband was brilliantly coy in drawing her to the door to inspect the work and make sure everything was rehung.

I'm in Austin at a wedding but then back to Houston until ????? I wasn't exactly in my right mind when I packed so if Houston has a cold snap, I'm ready -- going to have to buy some new clothes.

My husband thinks I need to go home sooner rather than later because my kids need me -- they are suffering terribly as all the cousins are really, really close, but my brother said it helps to have me there and I think that's where I need to be because that's where I'm needed most.

What do y'all think?

I worry about my youngest -- third person his age he was close to that committed suicide. I hope that's not normal.

I also worry about my older nephew who found the body but I'm pretty sure dealing with that is way above my pay grade.

On my walk today I kept thinking, "Sam, how could you do this to your family?" and then I remembered my own experience of a profound and unshakable conviction that everyone would be better off without me such that suicide isn't something you do TO them but FOR them.

THAT IS NEVER TRUE.

This is exactly why I got so royally pissed off at the other place when they poo pooed my fears about becoming suicidal. Heartless [Bleep!].
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/12/17 09:09 PM

I think what you are doing is spectacular and sweet.

You will know when the time to go is. And hopefully people who need you elsewhere won't be shy about crying out for you.

I hope that you aren't being shy about when YOU need you either!

Take care of yourself, LG. No heart is bottomless for giving from.

I'm still saying prayers for all of you. I know firsthand what this particular kind of loss does to people. And it's not pretty or easy.

You're right about the thought process. It's incorrect, of course, but that's how it goes.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/12/17 09:32 PM

My dear LG,

What you are doing for your brother and his family is beautiful and gracious. Your family will be there for you when you get home and even though they miss you will understand.

This is a difficult time and you have rose to the occasion as a gracious supporter to your family.

What you decide to do to deal with the grief of yourself and your family is respected. What others do or don't do is their business, no disrespect intended.

Glad your H was by your side to help out from near and far.

Hugz to you and your family.
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/12/17 11:20 PM

Your kind thoughtfulness brought tears to my eyes. You are always thinking of others. Be sure to take time for you to recharge too. I'm sure your kids will need more of you as they continue to process the grief. Good for your H helping out too! Hugs, sweet lady.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/13/17 04:27 AM

I think you 'll have an idea when it is time to return home. At some point the family will have to transition to a time of more "normalcy", going back to work, deciding if they can still live in the house. I still wake up every day with a heavy weight on my chest. It's not that I can't enjoy anything; it's the weight (and aging) of terrible loss. The place where Jim ran into oncoming traffic is a place I must drive past every single day. Some days I don't process it; others it grabs me and I can't breathe.

In the meantime, would your kids come join you for a weekend and spend some more time with cousins? Might be healing for all.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/13/17 06:19 PM

I did think of one more thing. If your brother and SIL are not aware if it already, The Compassionate Friends is an international group for those who have lost children. There are specialized FB groups for those who have lost due to substance abuse or suicide, all secret and private groups. There are local chapters. For many this group provides deep understanding for this very terrible kind of loss. Lots of men in it.
Posted By: Marta

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/13/17 08:11 PM

I am so, so sorry LadyGrey!!!
Posted By: wiser_now

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/13/17 08:52 PM

LG,

You gave me a gift today. It was this:
Quote:
suicide isn't something you do TO them but FOR them.


I've never heard that before. I read that and imagined my son (who you may remember attempted suicide more than once) thought this exact thing.

Thank you.

I will also echo those who are making sure that you practice self-care. hug
Posted By: wiser_now

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/19/17 08:14 PM

I'm sorry, LG. Looks like I killed this thread...

Hope you'll come back to it.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/19/17 09:13 PM

WN,

No, the server issue dropped a lot of posts and some threads. It's being restored in sections (I believe).

Just need a bit of patience on our parts. Remember those days when da' other place used to go down and posts went poof?

It doesn't happen that often here but once in a great while.......I have faith it will be resolved. wink
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/21/17 11:28 PM

My husband got T-boned in the panhandle driving home so it was back home then back to Texas.

Have been helping my brother and sister in law navigate the world of burial -- it's unbelievable.

Now I'm going to pick out his burial clothes which comes under the heading of something no parent should ever have to do.

THIS SUCKS.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/21/17 11:41 PM

We were very fortunate with the people at the mortuary who helped us. They were very tender and kind.

My H decided that he wanted to be present when Jim was cremated, which I hadn't thought of, but it turned out to be a very symbolic last thing we were able to do for him. Very hard. That's when DS23 chose to say his good-byes as well.

Walking through this stuff is the most terrible thing I can imagine facing.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/24/17 02:10 AM

LG, I have nothing helpful to add but know that you're in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/24/17 03:16 PM

LG: Just think, if your marriage had been all rainbows and unicorns, you would not have nearly as much experience dealing with bad feelings and this series of events might crush you.

Of course, I wish life was (were?) not presenting you with so many opportunities to practice the skills you have developed in coping with bad feelings. My wish and prayer is that those opportunities diminish and your skills wither from disuse.

Sending you thoughts of peace and healing for all involved. And hope that the list of those people will decrease swiftly.
Posted By: Kayla

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 04/25/17 03:39 AM

((((HUGS))))

With all the love and strength you are giving to others, I am praying that God fills your heart with peace as well. You have been through so much, and still stay devoted to family with all you have.

((((HUGS and KINDNESS))))

Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/04/17 02:46 AM

Back home with the specter of moving to Houston for my husband's career hanging over me.

I DON'T WANT TO LIVE IN HOUSTON. It's flat and ugly and traffic is horrible and there are huge flying roaches everywhere.

But I'll do it if need be. I'm trying hard to let God work in my life and maybe she wants me in Houston with my brother and his family. I won't fight that -- at least not too hard -- but my children are all in Colorado and my daughter wants to have a baby.

Story of my life -- everyone has a rock iron hold on one of my limbs and is pulling like mad. No way to make what I want happen.

My depression is out of control. I spend my long walks mostly thinking about Sam -- his bright smile and wit -- and always circle back to the same place: why don't I have the courage to get a gun and blow my head off.

I just don't.

Another FAIL.

I am, however, standing firm in my resolve to not see a doctor. Donald Trump and the Republican party want me dead? OK by me. EVERYONE told me the Republicans wouldn't enact a health care bill that threw 24 million people (including me) off of health insurance and I maintained that they absolutely would in a New York minute to give their donors tax breaks.

I was Right.

I argue about this with my husband and my dad but I have the winning argument. You can't MAKE someone seek healthcare. I'm not going to waste this family's financial resources treating whatever so there's no reason to diagnose whatever.

I have been liberated from those pesky mammograms, doctors visits, blood tests, blood pressure checks and pelvic exams (especially) by the Trump voters.

THANK YOU TRUMPSTERS! I'm just SURE it is going to work out GREAT for you and your families!

Actually, that's not true. I hope Every.Single.Person who voted for Trump suffers agonies of uncertainty, not about themselves, but about what Trump means for the healthcare for their children and grandchildren. When their child or grandchild is diagnosed with asthma or a heart murmur or a spinal condition or autism or mental illness or bad knees or anything else that will label that child for life with a pre-existing condition, I hope they suffer agonies of regret over putting politics before their very own blood.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/04/17 03:07 AM

No you don't but I hear your frustration.

Did you see the J Kimmel show on Monday? It was heart wrenching and he reached out with those who are suffering similar medical issues but with a lot less $$$$.

I was appalled but not shocked to see how uncaring some of the comments were. Even that one congressman who denounced JK's sincere opinion.

Now Lg, please use your common sense and go see a doctor when you need to. I get you don't want to but need supercedes want, ok?

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/04/17 04:30 AM

I hear Colorado is a great place to live. If you have kids there, it might not be so bad. Can you go for an extended visit? There are other medical benefits there too. Just sayin'...
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/04/17 01:35 PM

LG: Thank you for letting us walk your walk with you. I am always impressed with your brutal honesty here. Please keep sharing.

As for torn between husband's job and grandchildren, I would fight hard to see if financially you can do both. That is, hubby only gets you to move to Houston with him if you keep a small apartment in Colorado or you help the kids buy a place large enough that there is an in-law area for you in their house. So that you can spend large blocks of time with them when the grandchildren arrive. You can push for getting part of what you want even if you can't get everything you want.

I am guilty too often of black and white thinking. All or nothing. Whatever you do, don't be like me. I know, too late. Well, it is never too late. At least that is what my Mom and wife tell me. You don't think they could be right, do you?
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/05/17 03:05 AM

Thanks to you who responded.

It had been an absolutely crappy month. My boy John is still dead every day I wake up. I tried so hard to get him to move to Colorado with us, but did I try hard enough?

He saw demons (likely looking like Mel) in the back seat of his truck that told him to go to the worst part of Houston. He called his dad (my brother) and his brother to come fetch him because he couldn't work out where he was.

He was so very, very ill and I don't understand how we all missed it. I've been suicidal and I understand the thinking clearly and I missed it.

How did I miss it? I GET it.

I thought Sam and I had a deal -- he would call me and I would call him. We had agreed that we suffered from the most extreme depression that plagues my family -- we spent hours talking about it.

Why didn't he call me before he blew his beautiful head off?

Why didn't he call SOMEONE before he blew his beautiful head off? There was no shortage of people to call -- this family is nothing if not THERE. We had 26 family members at the memorial service and I knew we were in trouble when John Collier, the Methodist minister who led the service, couldn't get through the family prayer before the service in the parlor without crying.

The cavalier response to suicidal thought at MarriageBuilders is grotesque and inhuman and demonstrates their absolute commitment to hewing to the party line in the face of acute human pain. Capital E--Evil.

THIS IS MY BLOG -- I get to say whatever I want.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/05/17 03:19 AM

So so sorry LG.

Houston is not my favorite place either. My sister and cousin--and father- live there. Well Pearland.

But ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/05/17 03:37 AM

Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/05/17 03:39 AM

Dammit. I had a special character in there! Let me rephrase

I know all about those no good, horrible, cavalier, self serving, bull crap responses to suicide. I heard ALL of them and then some when I was a young woman mourning the loss of my future husband and soul mate.

There's nothing that can be said to mitigate those unkind words.

It's brutal to deal with the loss. And the feeling that you should have DONE something. And that you weren't enough. And all the other hideous stuff that you feel.

I'm so sorry.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/05/17 04:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Miranda
Dammit. I had a special character in there! Let me rephrase

I know all about those no good, horrible, cavalier, self serving, bull crap responses to suicide. I heard ALL of them and then some when I was a young woman mourning the loss of my future husband and soul mate.

There's nothing that can be said to mitigate those unkind words.

It's brutal to deal with the loss. And the feeling that you should have DONE something. And that you weren't enough. And all the other hideous stuff that you feel.

I'm so sorry.


This.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/05/17 12:13 PM

LG: can you and I make that deal? Call before?

See, that might actually work since neither of us has any idea what the other's phone number is. We'd have to reach out to other MA-ers trying to find the number.

The other MA-ers could make it a game. Each one could say "no, sorry, I don't have Hold's/ LG's number. Why don't you call ___? I have their number, it is ____." It would be like a MA phone tree. Except functioning as a complete run-around.

I am thinking after the 3rd or 4th call saying "I want to kill myself, but I promised LG I wouldn't do it without calling her first, can you please give me her number?" that even an oblivious loon like me might catch on to the game.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/05/17 01:12 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
LG: can you and I make that deal? Call before?

See, that might actually work since neither of us has any idea what the other's phone number is. We'd have to reach out to other MA-ers trying to find the number.

The other MA-ers could make it a game. Each one could say "no, sorry, I don't have Hold's/ LG's number. Why don't you call ___? I have their number, it is ____." It would be like a MA phone tree. Except functioning as a complete run-around.

I am thinking after the 3rd or 4th call saying "I want to kill myself, but I promised LG I wouldn't do it without calling her first, can you please give me her number?" that even an oblivious loon like me might catch on to the game.


smile I like this plan.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/05/17 01:30 PM

NED has my number. I will be on the tree!
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/05/17 07:06 PM

LG,

Add me to the list, if I can be of help. I can PM my cell.

FYI: My cell has been slow with some calls in regard to text messages and some VM. Not sure why, working on getting that fixed........Just saying for now.

Other than that, I can be available. Let me know and I'll PM my #.

Hugz,
Orchid
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/06/17 04:30 AM

Bad idea. I forget from time to time how many people out there hate me.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/06/17 06:09 AM

I hope I'm not in that category. I certainly don't have bad feelings toward you.

I respect your decision but know I'm here for you as needed.

Btw, I've been in direct contact with many posters over the years. Some even in other countries. Ever hear about my Scotland Yard story? wink

Point is that we are here for you, ok? We might be able to fix all but knowing there are folks who care can often help.

Hugz,
Orchid
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/06/17 11:19 PM

P.S. I think the "pile on" situation I observed at MB was very abusive. That was years ago, though. Posters were simply not allowed to question directives given...

It was like a middle school gang beat up of very already victimized people. They couldn't see that many BS are bullied before they ever got there, and some of their postings were just as passive, implied shame and actually intimidating. Then, instead of actually moderating - the "mods" pile on too. Nightmare.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/07/17 01:32 AM

Originally Posted By: whatsupdoc?
P.S. I think the "pile on" situation I observed at MB was very abusive. That was years ago, though. Posters were simply not allowed to question directives given...


Agree. I got treated the same way there. I am familiar with many of the threads of our regulars that may have posted there. It was scathing.

You ARE enough, LG. Anyone that says otherwise needs to be left behind. Move where you want. Do what you want. It is time to create a life that you enjoy and that you love. Because you deserve that. And you are worth it.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/07/17 05:43 AM

My sister created a FB page called "Friends of James." It was intended as an outreach to people suffering from mental health or addiction issues, especially those who were afraid to reach out for help. You are all free to look it up.

I haven't have the emotional energy to spearhead anything from that but the page is still there and I am still ready 24/7 to take a call from anyone who is suffering and can identify as a "Friend of James."

James needed something more than I gave him. I guess Friends of James is my way of trying to make amends.

I got a call last week from someone who came across the memorial service "Friends of James" flyer. She's an old, dear friend with early stage Alzheimer's, and each conversation is enjoyed in the moment, because so much of memory is unreliable for her. But she is a friend of James.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/08/17 01:22 PM

Flip the bird to the ones out there who hate you.
Focus on how many "out there" (= here) love and respect you. It is a long list.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/09/17 02:01 AM

We have a deal hold.

This isn't getting any easier.

But I see how the seeds of depression have run through my family. My great aunt Heinie (yes, that was her name) had a child I never knew named, I think, Sydney, who killed himself. We never talked about it.

My mother to this day refuses to believe that depression is an actual illness. My husband came on board less than 10 years ago, and now at every twitch of my emotional self he inquires as to whether I am taking my medications.

Honestly, I can't miss a single day without consequences.

It will be interesting (!) to me to see what happens to me under Trumpcare. I am a walking pre-existing condition nightmare whilst at the same time being incredibly active and healthy for a 56 year old woman. I'm on the borderline of too thin, I walk 7-8 miles a day with my dogs, my diet never varies far from the earth and I'm medication compliant.

I've had medication controlled hypertension since the birth of my third child 22 years ago -- pregnancy induced hypertension that never went away. I got the lottery card for breast cancer, and I have depression, not to mention the weird ass throat infections I got last summer.

Yet I feel SO GUILTY that I've cost my family so much money ($42K for the cancer, 12K for the throat) while at the same time I can't figure out what I could have done about it.

I feel like screaming at the Republicans that I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG. I raised my children at zero cost to society to be educated and contributing members.

I just want to feel safe, and I am SO unsafe under this administration. They have targeted people between the ages of 50 and 65 in the individual markets to screw. We can't pay $6K a month in health insurance so ......???????
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/09/17 02:44 AM

hug

I hear you. I'm suppose to turn 60 this year. Can I reverse that? Probably not.

That being a given, I get to pay more for my required insurance? Really, how many in our age group don't have a pre-existing condition?

This should never be about who deserves healthcare. We all deserve healthcare.

Now the part of healthcare that can be up to option, is single patient room or shared? Options that can be provided at cost. But basic essential healthcare covers what we all need.

Not sure if wax in some congressmen's ears is a problem and they need to go see their proctologist to get a thorough clean-out (from one end to the other) but there is definitely clogged up over there. I find it appalling how well some of them can just lie without blinking. How much practice did they need to have or are they just that good at it?

LG, you are not alone in this trek. hug

Orchid
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/09/17 12:55 PM

LG is most certainly NOT alone in this trek.

I'm a 50 year old plethora of pre-existing conditions, and my husband is 60 and just had a MAJOR heart surgery this year, in addition to being disabled due to a back injury that required multiple surgeries, having degenerative joint disease, and several others.

Getting insurance to cover us? That we can afford on my salary? It seems like a pipe dream now. These changes mean that I'll never be able to make a career decision based on anything other than insurance. Not based on where we want to live, or career advance opportunity, or how I'll fit to the job, but just based on whether or not the insurance package is good for us. And that upsets me a great deal.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/09/17 04:56 PM

Yes, this is all very scary. Basically I have chosen to not think about it because there is nothing that I can do to change it.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/09/17 05:25 PM

Still thinking of you, LG. I'm glad that you accepted Hold's deal. You can call me any time but I must first tell you that I don't talk people out of suicide. My support goes more along the lines of helping to make sure that you've done everything important to you first and to help make sure that you've already gotten everything possible to help you deal with whatever it is.

So much on you right now, LG. Remember the basics.... nutrition, hydration, rest. Even if you don't sleep, laying down does give your body some rest.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/09/17 06:32 PM

Only halfway sarcastic idea: order all your meds online from India. Saves you big bucks. If the government catches you, plead guilty so they throw you in jail and you get free health care. Try to wrangle a deal where you get released on your 65th birthday so you can join Medicare.

And yes ladies, I hear you. As you know Mrs Hold had cancer too. So yes, I can only work where they have good health care with no pre-existing condition restrictions and generous lifetime caps.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/23/17 03:23 AM

Well, we are moving to Houston. The reason we are moving to Houston is that I don't like living in the mountains and my husband LOVES it and he won't sell this house so he has to go back to work which he seriously does not want to do -- SERIOUSLY.

So, the way I look at it is that is he is willing to go back to work to save this house, and how guilty am I meant to feel that I don't want to live here?

REALLY REALLY guilty.

But I'm a city girl. I've always, my whole life, lived in a city with grocery stores and restaurants and stores and all. I tried living in the mountains -- it is snowing like mad as I speak -- and I hate it. I have no family here and my friends are all seasonal or imported. I thought I would see my kids who live in Denver more -- WRONG. They have their own lives and almost never come up here.

REALLY REALLY guilty.

My brother -- my best friend -- had a car accident on Sunday and is in the ICU. My sister in law (whom I ADORE) has asked me to come. I MUST go tomorrow but my husband says I'm overreacting and my decisions are too impulsive and irrational. He said I decide these thing on the fly -- the only trip I have ever taken on the fly was when John killed himself and I went the actual next morning.

Was that wrong?

Are my decisions really too impulsive and on the fly or am I doing the right thing?

I wish he had said of course you have to go -- what can I do to help?

I'm so confused. SO CONFUSED.

It would have been nice to have been sent out the door with his support but instead I get his anger.

I'm still going.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/23/17 03:28 AM

Sounds like he didn't do well on the empathy course in the school of life.

Go and take care of what is important. It is the decisions we need to make and can't control the fact that we will have 100% support or agreement.

But we do what we need to do anyways, right?

Go in peace and bring help to those who need it badly. hug

Hugz,
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/23/17 03:29 AM

Your brother needs you. He is your best friend. You must go to help. You need to be there for your brother, your SIL, and for you. There should not be any issue for you to go tomorrow. Time is precious. Do not let your H's guilt sqander your time with your Loved Ones.

Hugs, Sweet Lady. You and your brother will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/23/17 03:47 AM

Of course you have to go. It may indeed increase tension in your household, but you still have to go.

Your brother's illness is likely precipitated by his son's death. I have aged drastically since Jim died. 3 years ago I hiked up a mountain with my daughter. Now there are days I have trouble with more than 100 feet, and need hiking sticks to help me on longer walks. It totally sucks. But day after day you wake up with that heavy weight of grief on your chest, and it changes you.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/23/17 11:21 AM

Thank you. I needed to hear I'm doing the right thing. I don't know how to NOT go.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/23/17 12:55 PM

LG,

your husband is reacting badly to two decisions that HAD to made quickly in a row. He is a man who doesn't do well with things that are done in a spontaneous and unplanned manner, unless I miss my guess. But sometimes life happens in ways that REQUIRE fast, spontaneous action. That's what emergencies are, spontaneous and unexpected and unplanned.

It's okay. He will get over it, you don't do reckless or crazy things as a de rigeur part of your life. You will go and do the things that need doing, for the people you love, as it should be. He will go on loving you, even though he is unable to support you, due to his own anxiety at the unexpected and unplanned nature of events. Don't let his shortcoming in this derail anything you need to do.

In less pressing matters, STOP feeling guilt about the situation with him working and the moving thing. HE refuses to sell the house. HE has a choice about that, and he's making it. So that's not on you. Drop the bag of guilt, it's not yours to carry. Yes, you have always lived in a city, ok, it's not unrealistic to want to continue to do so. Nothing to feel guilty for there, access to food shopping, medical care, services, etc, seems fairly standard and reasonable. You can let yourself off the hook, gentle lady. Take it from me. One with a serious over developed sense of obligation and guilt from way back.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/23/17 03:31 PM

I feel compelled to be snarky: you have a choice of regrets here. You can regret not being there for your brother, who is your best friend and who just suffered an unimaginable loss. Or you can regret not doing what your H would prefer. Seems like a no brainer to me.

I am striking out trying to rephrase that so it does not seem to be a negative shot at your H. It is not that I want your H to suffer. It is just that your H is asking for you to make a huge emotional sacrifice to save himself a minor inconvenience. Seems unreasonable to me. YMMV.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/24/17 12:15 AM

Well, I'm here and it is terrifying.

My brother is heavily sedated and has been intubated due to acute respiratory failure. He just lies there, twitching from time to time, completely unreachable.

He told my sister in law he was going to die before they put him under -- he's an ER doc so he knows.

He can't die. He just CAN'T. I won't let him.

I held his hand and said "I'm BAAAACK".

The Methodist minister came and we prayed over him. I held his hand. I'm learning to love the Methodists.

My husband still thinks I'm overreacting. Perhaps I should send him a picture.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/24/17 12:59 AM

Don't bother with the pictures. It's just wasting your precious energies looking for support and validation from someone who probably doesn't have it to give.

I'm praying for your brother and for you. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I wish there was something else I could say or do. If there is, please say so.
Posted By: believer

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/24/17 02:15 AM

All of my thoughts and well wishes to you, your brother and his family. Sedation and intubation is scary.

Hang in there, LG.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/24/17 05:55 AM

LG,

Glad you are there. Knowing the processes because of work makes this even harder in a way.

I recommend you take a picture and share it to your H and your children. They need to know their uncle's current status. It's important.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/24/17 07:26 AM

LG, if you want to pm me any details for some reality check I'd be glad to run them by my h, who is an internist. I told him part of the story tonight, and I forgot about the car accident, and he wanted to know the underlying reason for the respiratory failure. I had no idea what to say.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/24/17 11:45 AM

LG I am glad you are with your brother. I hope he is doing better this morning.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/24/17 04:59 PM

Thoughts and prayers are with you and your brother.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/24/17 05:10 PM

Dear sweet LG, of course you went to your brother and his family..... it's the only thing that a dear sweet person can do.

Try to be as gracious as you can toward your H..... not everyone is able to handle this much tragedy especially in such a short period of time. That can make a person minimize things for a while in order to cope. It's not really about you even though it's directed towards you.

Take extra care of yourself to replenish often.

Praying for you all.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/25/17 01:09 AM

My brother took a turn for the worse last night so they moved him to a different hospital that has heart/lung bypass equipment if he needs it. The transfer was torture because he came out of sedation with the pain from his broken back and all his numbers went to hell. But he's stable now and they are hoping he doesn't need the bypass equipment.

I'm exhausted.

I have no idea what to make of my husband. This morning my sister in law (also a physician) summoned the family together. People flying in from everywhere. She specifically asked me to tell him to come yet he won't. He's convinced that my brother is going to get better. He seizes on one number (say, pulse ox) to the exclusion of all the others and refuses to acknowledge the gravity of the situation.

I'm not pressing him to come. He has to make his own decision on this matter. He has all the facts.

But I have to admit I'm disappointed in him. He resisted coming for John's burial because he didn't see the point. He doesn't seem to get that the point is not to be here for John or my brother -- the point is to be here for everyone else and everyone else to be here for each other.

I couldn't have NOT come. I don't think I could have physically willed my body to stay home.

Scores of people came through my brother's room today - most residents and interns in the emergency department where he teaches, many of whom were quietly crying and some of whom prayed in circles holding his and one another's hands. It was very moving to see how loved he is.

I've spent most of day quietly crying with my sister in law. I don't know how to do this but I always come back to Anne Lamott's guidance that you show up and build shelter. So that's what I'm trying to do, except now I am the one who needs the shelter.

I go back and forth between yelling at God and begging him for mercy. Right now, I'm begging. Please, please, please.....don't take him from us just yet.

It feels very odd to me that i found this place years ago because I had an affair. That feels like another life to me, but i know if certain members were still posting here they would tell me my husband is reacting from that, to this day. And maybe that would be right, or sort of right, but I don't think so. I think LW is right -- he minimizes that with which he cannot deal.

John has been dead less than two months and sometimes I worry that they are treating his lungs when he really has a broken heart.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/25/17 01:47 AM

You are not defined by what you did years ago. You are defined by what you are doing now. You are shining in terrible circumstances. Allow yourself to take pride in your decisions. You are doing the correct thing. Even if your H does not see it that way. His blindness and his loss. He is missing an opportunity to be there for you. He may think he always and forever has the moral high ground. Some of us do not see it that way.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/25/17 01:48 AM

LG, the weight of grief over such a loss can be physically felt in the chest. You wake up and it is literally hard work to keep breathing.

I'm so sorry. You and your brother and your family have my prayers. And my grief and my anger and my tears and my pleading.

And I don't think your H's reaction has anything at all to do with your affair. That's just ridiculous at this point in time. It's an emotional intelligence issue. That which is too terrible to be borne must not exist.

You will get through this, whatever the outcome. And you have friends here.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/25/17 03:13 AM

Oh my friend. Your affair those many years ago does not define you. That is not how I think of you. And I highly doubt that is driving your husband's behavior now. He is just a human man, making a grave mistake, an error of judgment in his own pain.

I am praying for your brother. What a horrible thing for your family to endure.
Posted By: believer

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/25/17 04:04 AM

I'd like to be more charitable, but I think some people either have a lack of empathy or FOO issues that don't allow them to look at reality, nor be able to comfort others.

When I was newly married to my sons' father, his sister's husband's father was horribly injured in a fire on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. My sister-in-law and her family lived in Portland and were told by the doctors in San Francisco that they had hours to get to SF to see the father before he died.

They didn't have the money for the flight, so they packed up and drove. I told my MIL and my husband that we needed to wire the money for a flight, but both insisted that they would make it in time. They didn't.

The funeral was a week later. My husband, his brother, and their mother didn't go to the funeral. It turned out that they didn't see the point of funerals. I went alone to support their daughter who I didn't know and her husband.

It was very uncomfortable because they didn't recognize me and I had to keep introducing myself as her brother's wife.

When my mother was dying, my sister knew the facts, but denied them. She continued visiting only once a week for an hour.

A week before my mother died, I told my niece (sister's daughter) and her husband that they better visit mom. My sister still insisted that our mother was doing fine. My niece did come visit and there with her grandma the day she died.

My sister loved our mother and was overcome with grief when she died. I can't explain her denial and have accepted that it was nothing I could change.

"I've spent most of day quietly crying with my sister in law. I don't know how to do this but I always come back to Anne Lamott's guidance that you show up and build shelter."

Bless you, LadyGrey.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/25/17 04:51 AM

LG,

I have a message for your H and leave it up to you to deliver or not.

Mr. LG,

This is Orchid who is a BS and who has lived with a spouse that was a WS and continues to maintain the attitude of one, in a smaller way but one none-the-less. I take this time to write to you in an effort to help you understand what a treasure you have with your family.

To overcome major issues on a personal and family level is difficult. To do that multiple times going on for years and with different folks is even more difficult. As a couple, it makes it easier when one spouse is there to help and support another spouse.

Even as a Xws but still a WS at heart (in some respects), my Xws was there for me when my mom died and a few other serious occasions (when I had to help out with several uncles and aunties died over the past few years). I am grateful for that. It was difficult for me but it seemed easier than my other relatives.

It seems LG is the go to person for her family and others. She does have good qualities and skills in that regard, wouldn't you agree? That said, I want to tell you that right now, our family is minus a husband and father. We are a broken family.

See, if my Xws was 1/2 the person that LG is our marriage may have been saved. Sadly that isn't so. We are learning to deal with it and it doesn't relieve us of the responsibility of caring for family members that allow us to help care for them.

Due to my father's affair, I wasn't able to be there enough for my mom and it is a very sore spot in my life that I carry inside of me even now.

I'm writing to you so you can see the same side of events that you may have endured all those years long ago. Yet, you have a better spouse and future now than some of us.

I'm not jealous but I would like to encourage you to see the good you have in your life and not to ignore them. Don't make regret now.

I wish my spouse had the kind of care and energy towards his family that LG has shown for your family.

Now LG needs you to help her support her family through this very very difficult time. The gentle touch and supportive words mean a lot during this time. Don't be afraid to show your feelings. You may be pleasantly surprised how a little care can go a long ways.

LG knows me and if you want to find my story, it is all over this board or I can share it with you via a PM to LG.

I know I can't make you do anything that I want. It has to come from your heart.

If you can please send our hugs and thoughts for LG and her family to LG, it would be greatly appreciated.

Sending prayers of care and support from the middle of the Big Blue.

Aloha,
Orchid
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/25/17 03:01 PM

LG,

I know it's cold comfort. Not everyone has the same type of gifts. I'm learning this every day. I have a gift for certain types of intellectual pursuits, for instance, but not for artistic ones. It is what it is. I'm happy with my gifts, proud of them, even in some instances, and can marvel at the talents of those who have the artistic skills too.

In this case, you have gifts of the heart, compassion, kindness, tenderness, the ability to set your own anxieties aside and do what needs doing. You husband is not possessed of these gifts. He has a deficit. It's not a moral failing, try not to see it that way. Just as you wouldn't see it as a moral failing if someone wasn't "smart." Ok?

I wish he could be "smart" for you. I know you need it. But he can't be what he isn't. So look for it from someone who is. There's no shame to be felt in that. The best gift you can give him, yourself and your marriage is to stop expecting him to be what he isn't, imo.

I'm still praying for you, and your family. Sending you love, LG. And strength, and whatever else you need that I may possess.
Posted By: SFB

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/25/17 05:50 PM

LG:

Sorry for all the things happening. I hope for a time for peace for everyone in your family.

You asked your H to come with you. He declined. Not your circus. He made his choice. It is NOT your choice. You had to come. He does not feel that way.

Bring the shelter...

SFB
Posted By: wiser_now

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/25/17 09:05 PM

LG:

That's a lot of pain. I'm so sorry.

Keep following your true north. You're going in the right direction.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/25/17 11:47 PM

When you say to yourself, "this is the worst thing I have ever been through" you are begging the gods to prove you wrong.

This is, in fact, the worst thing I have ever been through. When my daughter went on suicide watch, I knew she was safe. When John killed himself, well.....he was dead.

But my brother is still alive, barely, and the fear OMG the FEAR is eating me alive.

He's fractionally better today. They may start weaning him from the drug that makes him paralyzed tomorrow. Maybe.

I CAN'T leave until he wakes up -- I just CAN'T. My husband doesn't understand that. He thinks that as soon as my brother is on the mend (assuming this trend continues) I should go home but I just CAN'T. I have to look in his blue eyes and see him there.

I can only do what I can do and I can't leave my brother until he is awake. Maybe that makes me all the things my husband says I am -- a guilt driven irrational reactive woman -- but if so that's just who I am.

I wish that he saw that those same characteristics will inure to his benefit as we age and he may have health problems, but at the moment all he can do is label me and dismiss me.

But this is my BROTHER. I just can't leave him. I just can't. Maybe I'm wrong but I just can't.
Posted By: believer

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/25/17 11:52 PM

You're not wrong, LG. Hang in there.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/26/17 12:12 AM

Hugs, sweet Lady. You are still in my thoughts and prayers. I'm sad that your H does not see the need of going to support you and all of the family. But, it will be his choice and his consequence to bear.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/26/17 07:31 PM

Do not doubt you are doing the correct thing by staying with your brother. The correct thing for you. The correct thing for your brother. The correct thing for your family, your karma and your place in the universe.

Your H may not agree. That does not mean you are wrong. It means he has a different view of the universe and your place in it. Experience shows that you trying to occupy the place he envisions for you leads to pain and disharmony. Resist the urge to give in.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/29/17 03:13 PM

My brother is on a heart/lung bypass machine called ECMO -- he has a 50/50 chance of surviving. He'll be on the ECMO for several days.

I am completely out of gas and have no idea when or how to recharge.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/29/17 03:34 PM

LG, I'm praying for you brother and your family. How painful to see him fight for his life after losing his son. And hard to remember how to recharge. Remember the basics, nutrition, sleep. You're a runner, right? Would that help? Maybe make a list of things you like to do, like maybe reading and listening to music and load your phone up. Self care routines can bring comfort. We're a phone call away if you need us, feel free to PM me if you need to talk.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/29/17 06:39 PM

2nd everything NED just said.

Do whatever you need to do for you. Find a green, living place. Go sit in it. Pray. Call somebody who will listen to you. Ask the hospital for the name of a spiritual assistant if you need one. They should have some on file.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/29/17 06:54 PM

Yes, u got me 2.

Thanks for the update. I was just going to ask how your brother was doing.

Ok, my contribution is tapping. Do you want me to give you the info on it? You can do it anywhere that is safe. People might look at you funny but you can do it.

Also to help open some meridians and lower blood pressure, sit up or stand straight (I prefer to stand), shoulders at attention and raise your left shoulder to just under your ear an down, raise your right should to just under your ear and down. Do that to both side 10 times alternating. Stop and take a few cleansing breathes.

Another one is to take your right thumb / pointer finger and place it on the web part of your left thumb and put slight but firm pressure for about 5 seconds. Longer if you'd like. Do that to each digit web area on both hands.

There's more but those are the easily accessible areas.

I make a concoction of oils and use it in these areas every day. I find that it helps.

Hugz,
Orchid


Posted By: AllyCat

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/29/17 10:21 PM

Hi LadyGrey,

I heard about your brother, and I wanted to pop in.

I know that you have many physicians in your family, so what I'm saying may be superfluous. In Canada it's the Cardiac Surgeons that decide on putting in and taking off ECMO, so we see and do a lot.

I assume your brother is in ARDS, and they are doing VV
(Veno venous) ECMO. I only wanted to say...please don't give up to early! I know that you live in the US, and I have no concept of how insurance works (in Canada you just keep going until you know it's futile because health is free and all inclusive) ....so maybe the limitations of resources in US makes a difference.

We've kept patients on VV-ECMO between 4-6 weeks, with COMPLETE recovery. As long as he avoids the complications of ECMO, and the rest of his organs are reasonably well, he stands a good chance. I know the 50/50 statistic is commonly quoted, but it really doesn't accurately reflect the reality. There's the question of the pathology, the comorbidities he had before etc.

I think the hardest thing for us, is when a family insists that we stop ECMO after 1-2 weeks, because they don't see an improvement. We have to abide by their wishes. But in reality, I personally don't think "amount of time spent on ECMO" should, determine anything. I think when patients are on ECMO, the only time we should give up is a) when death is 100% certain even on ECMO (and there's only a few conditions when that happens b) there's a complication where only partial functional recovery (which would be unacceptable to the patient) were to occur.

Keeping you in my thoughts. Don't forget to take care of yourself as well. Sending you lots of positive thoughts.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/30/17 01:06 AM

AlleyCat, although I don't understand most of what you said, I'm encouraged that there's still plenty of hope in your medical view.

LG, I hope that you're encouraged as well. I'm concerned that you're having difficulty replenishing your resources. There's probably someone at the hospital who can guide you...... you can't be the first person to face this hurdle.

In my thoughts and prayers.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/30/17 01:36 AM

Find small ways to recharge. Ask a local clergyman to come pray with you. Go for short walks. Take small, boquets of flowers to others in the hopsital who may not have any visitors.

Eat good food for your health. Eat comfort food for comfort. Play card games, tell jokes, share memories. Make videos to show your brother that he IS improving. Your brother knows you are there. Do things that will help him and you.

Higs, sweetie. You and your brother are still in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted By: AllyCat

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/30/17 02:06 AM

ETA

https://www.elso.org/Registry/Statistics/InternationalSummary.aspx

This is the registry of all ECMO done Internationally in 2017, by centres which are considered experienced. If you look at the table

Adult
Pulmonary

Survival of ECLS is 66% (extracorperal life support or ECMO) So more then 50%

AND there's a lot of cases, where people shouldn't be out on ECMO, but are, and that brings the survival down statistic down. For example, last week we put 2 patients on VV ECMO. For both those patients, I discussed with the ICU staff in depth. And it went something like this:

Me "the patient has a terminal condition. He/she will die. We shouldn't put them on ECMO. These are irreversible conditions"

Staff "I know they are going to die. But they are young and we have nothing else to offer"

And then we agree to do ECMO, because it's hard to let young people die. And they die a few days later as we all knew they would. These people have chronic pulmonary conditions for years, and years, that are at the terminal, and right at the end so we do ECMO. There's a lot of these cases. And they bring that statistic down. I believe that VV ECMO which is placed in PROPERLY selected patients, with reversible conditions (and ARDS is one of them) survival is probably closer to 75%. If it's for pneumonia, that statistic is lower because patients pass away from the infection.

Please stay positive, and hopeful.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/30/17 12:50 PM

Ally, he is at St. Lukes in Houston and to my understanding they do more ECMO than anyone in the country.

He does have excellent insurance or they wouldn't have offered him the therapy and if that doesn't make you sick at heart about our cruel health care system better check to see if you even HAVE a heart.

He is on the VV with pneumonia which is being treated with IV antibiotics. His other organ systems are healthy so just the single pulmonary failure. I can't tell if the pneumonia is getting better.

They are going to start withdrawing the sedation today and hopefully wake him up to check his cognitive function then re-sedate him. If he lacks cognitive function, I don't know what they can do. I do know that I am a plug puller and my sister in law is most definitely not so I hope we don't have to have that conversation.

I slept for 11 hours last night and don't feel one bit better -- in fact worse. I have a really hard time eating when I'm stressed like this so that's probably part of it. I've decided to go home today for a few days and get some good rest and let my husband pamper me.

I think I'm so depleted because this is right on the heels of John's death. I have NO energy and my brain isn't working right.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/30/17 01:07 PM

I didn't realize you were in Houston.

Would you like a short break before you go home? I work right across the street from St Luke's. I could meet you for a meal or a cup of tea or something. It might help a little, give you a little recharge, someone to talk to...

Just let me know.

ETA: I didn't mean to put you under any pressure, lots of people don't want to meet in real life, and that's cool, too. Just know that the offer stands, if you want it. smile
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/30/17 08:32 PM

Cat -- thank you for the offer. I have no problem with IRL contact. I'm headed home for a couple of days since I can't stop crying but will take you up on your offer when I get back.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/30/17 09:05 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Cat -- thank you for the offer. I have no problem with IRL contact. I'm headed home for a couple of days since I can't stop crying but will take you up on your offer when I get back.



((((LG))))
Posted By: AllyCat

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/31/17 12:52 AM

LadyGrey,

I believe St Luke's is part of Texas Heart Institute. It's a wonderful center.

I think pneumonia is a good indication for ECMO, and I think the chances are better then 50/50z Of course septic shock is a concern, but there's a lot of reasons to be hopeful.

I'm from Canada. And I'm an absolute believer that access to Heath care and medication are a RIGHT and not a privilege for the wealthy. I'm in a different province right now where medication is not covered (as it was in Quebec and I'm horrified). I can honestly say I'm 100% ok with paying the highest taxes in North America to know that every single person, regardless of their economic status has access to ECMO, surgery, or whatever else that is needed.

Keeping you in my thoughts.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/31/17 02:58 AM

Originally Posted By: allycat
I can honestly say I'm 100% ok with paying the highest taxes in North America to know that every single person, regardless of their economic status has access to ECMO, surgery, or whatever else that is needed.


I couldn't agree with you more. For profit health care is immoral and indefensible for any civil society. I felt ill when the emergency medicine physician said that he was only eligible for ECMO because he has good insurance -- I don't recognize my country anymore.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/31/17 03:50 AM

Same here. It may have been ok 100 years ago. In the 21st century, it's shameful.
Posted By: AllyCat

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 05/31/17 04:04 AM

LadyGrey,

I've often thought I could work in US if I couldn't find a job in Canada. I don't think it would be possible with something I feel so strongly about. Here in British Columbia medication isn't covered (in Quebec is 100% covered). Patients routinely ask me "How much does the medication cost if I choose this heart valve?" That question breaks my heart. I never got that question before I arrived here. I don't even think that access to perscription medication should be *for profit*

I believe, for what it's worth, that the people in the US are kind, generous and giving. If anything, I think these kinds of decisions are made with the kind of *abstract mentality* if that makes sense. That they don't see the effects, so they can live with that concept. But faced with a friend, acquatinace etc, that was ill, I believe almost every American would open their wallets and pay.

Stay strong. Keep only positive thoughts in your mind.
Posted By: ohmy_marie

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 06/02/17 12:39 AM

dear ladygrey,

i am so sorry to read of your recent heartaches.

hugs, omm
Posted By: believer

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 06/03/17 04:13 AM

Thinking of you and your brother tonight, Lady Grey.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 06/04/17 01:30 PM

He's off the ECMO which is great. Still intubated and heavily sedated. They are going to slowly withdraw the sedation over the next several days.

My daughter and I are flying to Houston today -- I bought her ticket because I need her moral support. I love my sister in law but she can be very controlling.

Just found out last night that a family member by marriage is there whom I despise. I'm not sure how I'm going to avoid this guy but my first step in self care was to rent a car so I'm not dependent on my sometimes controlling sister in law. I don't want to get stuck somewhere -- either the house or the hospital -- with this guy.

I find myself in an almost constant conversation with God about his suggestion that my brother's work here may be done -- She and I are not in agreement on this point AT ALL.

When I went through the Stuff with my daughter, I said out loud "this is the worst thing I have ever been through and when John died I said out loud "this is the worst thing I have ever been through" and I am never saying that again.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 06/04/17 01:57 PM

LG

I always get my own car. I think that's a non negotiable. No one controls my coming and going because only I can keep me safe. I think you did good there.

Bringing your daughter was also super smart.

It's always the worst thing. Until the next worst one comes. That's the nature of things. I went a good long time before anything as terrible happened as losing my soon to be husband. But something did eventually. And I'm stronger than I thought I was.

I'm always stronger than I think I am. : /
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 06/04/17 01:58 PM

That's good news.

I love that you're putting self care as a priority. Your brother will benefit from it more and more as he continues to improve.

Good thinking about renting a car! Transportation is an easy way for controllers to control..... including those asking for rides or to borrow the car. Your daughter might end up needing her own car to accomodate others so that you still have the transportation freedom that you need.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 06/04/17 02:56 PM

Great idea about the car and your daughter! Hugs. You can get through this.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 06/04/17 04:41 PM

If you're at the hospital and need a break, there's a great hamburger joint right down the street on Holcombe called Southwell's. And if you don't want to take the car out of the parking garage, there's another hamburger place called Cliff's on Main just across the street from the hospital. Though I'm not sure if they're open on Sunday.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 06/04/17 07:52 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
.....I find myself in an almost constant conversation with God about his suggestion that my brother's work here may be done -- She and I are not in agreement on this point AT ALL.........


Good news on your brother's improvement.

Learning never to say never is a 'learned thing'. Life has a way of teaching us life can get worse. Sad but true.

Your post above is just gold. Helping a family member understand the reality of a situation is difficult. How you phrased it is helpful. Constant conversation with a respected and higher authority can help our soul process these trial-some times.

Glad your daughter is there to help you and having your independence is definitely understandable. I did the same when I flew back to help with my mom during her triple by-pass surgery.

Thanks for your update, your MA ohana does care. smile

Hugz to you and your family,
Orchid
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 06/04/17 09:07 PM

That is great news LG. So glad your dd will be with you.

We are all thinking of you and hoping for the best.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 06/05/17 02:36 PM

Glad to hear your brother is making some progress and you are wisely practicing self care. Praying we will continue to get positive reports but we are here for you regardless of the news.
Posted By: wiser_now

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 06/05/17 09:07 PM

Came to check on you and your brother. Such good news, all around. Glad your daughter will be there. Add me to the throng of those wishing he and you well. hug
Posted By: believer

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings - 06/07/17 04:06 AM

Thinking of you and your brother, LG. How are things going?
Posted By: LadyGrey

Miracles happen - 06/11/17 11:18 PM

He's going to live.

I can't quite believe it. He was on ECMO for 6 days and they got him off the paralytic and slowly withdrew the sedation and he fully woke up on Tuesday with a LOT of opinions but since he was still intubated he was unable to express them.

Which started 48 hours of 20 questions, the game my family played for hours on long car drives.

Don't mean to brag but I was the best at it. He and I think a great deal alike and I was a litigator for many years and know how to phrase a yes or no question and think sequentially.

"Is there something we can do to make you more comfortable?" then you go down the body until you figure out he wants pillows under his knees to relieve the pressure on his L1 compression fracture.

His strongest opinion was that he wanted the intubation out. "HIS BODY" he screamed at me. Since i totally understood and totally agreed with him that it was his call (remember he's an ER doc so he knows the meaning of all the numbers) I had to advocate for him against his doctor and his wife's opinions. They wanted to leave it in for another day (day 17 -- after 14 days they usually do a trache) and he wasn't having it. Period.

I articulated to his attending and his wife that while we could stand there and look at him and think "yea, that really sucks" what they didn't understand was that the problem wasn't being intubated -- the problem was loss of control over his body and his medical care. He started nodding so vigorously his head was snapping.

He made like he was going to pull the damn thing out himself and the doctor relented. It was SO something I would have done. Actually, according to my daughter, it is something I actually did do last summer with the throat surgery, making like I was going to rip the IV out unless I got to talk to the surgeon.

He knows he almost died. He says it every so often like it's fresh news.

He also had to re-remember that John is dead. I said something shamefully facile to him when he spoke of it to me -- something like, "I know, but right now you have to focus on getting better" and immediately apologized and told him we were all grieving the unfathomable together.

He wasn't there for the 16 days when he was trying to die so he has no idea what we went through. He remembers nothing. Within a day of waking up, he started complaining about going home. He's convinced that if he stays in the hospital he is going to die and I pointed out that I had seen him near death and he wasn't anywhere close to that.

The man can't stand up without the assistance of two physical therapists and a walker and instead of humbly accepting the gift he's been given and embracing the therapies to get him stronger, he's whining.

In that respect, we are different. If someone told me I needed to do 100 arm lifts and 100 leg lifts a day to get strong enough to be paroled to a rehab facility, I would do 150.

Anyhoo, I left Houston for CA for a family graduation which I will celebrate but not actually attend. My niece doesn't care and I decided that unless it is one of my actual children graduating, I'm not going to any more graduations. Boundaries, right?

My husband has accepted the job in Houston on condition that he will commute for 9 months then move the company to Austin or Denver. I actually stood up for myself -- I told my husband on the day my brother went on ECMO that I didn't want to live in Houston -- it is a place of sadness and grief and enormous fear and roaches and traffic and flatness and heat and middle school.

AND I still get my apartment in Denver -- or at least that's MY position. Since he will be commuting he won't know much until I'm ready to sign the lease. Radical honesty? Maybe next year.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 06/11/17 11:53 PM

LG

Prayers get answered. What a wonderful thing.

Thanks for posting that update. I'm so relieved to be able to let up on God for a bit!
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 12:51 AM

Miracles do happen and I'm happy for you and your whole extended family that you're getting one now.

Funny, Miranda. Lol!

LG, I'm so glad to hear that you're making plans to take care of your needs while your H takes care of his business needs. You guys can get through the upheaval to your lives!
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 01:24 AM

LG that is fabulous news. So happy. Looks like Ally was right. smile
Posted By: AllyCat

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 03:28 AM

LG

It's funny that you say that "He was trying to die." I always say that. It's my trademark at work.

I find that when it comes to extubation, patients know best. I've had a handful of patients pull their own tube out, and they have never been wrong. He's so much better off without a trach etc, he's well on his way. Recovery will be long, he's decinditioned and grumpy and whiny, but that's how men ALWAYS are. I'm happy for you and your family.

Stay positive
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 03:31 AM

Ally was totally right and gave me great comfort at a REALLY scary time. God bless her.

But we live in a country where access to ECMO is dependent on your insurance status.

NOT OK.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 03:53 AM

Originally Posted By: AllyCat
LG

It's funny that you say that "He was trying to die." I always say that. It's my trademark at work.

I find that when it comes to extubation, patients know best. I've had a handful of patients pull their own tube out, and they have never been wrong. He's so much better off without a trach etc, he's well on his way. Recovery will be long, he's decinditioned and grumpy and whiny, but that's how men ALWAYS are. I'm happy for you and your family.

Stay positive


Ally, you will never understand the level of comfort you gave me here. I was SO SCARED. I really thought he was going to die and I don't know how to live in a world that doesn't have my brother in it.

God bless you.

GOD BLESS YOU.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 04:20 AM

There's no way to describe how valuable that is. She was with me every step of the way with my husband's surgery. I'll never forget it.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 04:32 AM

This is grand news! Warms my heart that there is such a great support network here. Hugs, LG. And yes, you deserve that apartment in Denver! smile
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 06:25 AM

LG, Your post made me cry!

It's such woderful news, not only that you brother has survived and will recover but that you too have survived and are recovering and making choices about your needs and your future.

There will be continued prayers for you and your brother coming from this side of the pond.

MUN
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 07:17 AM

LG,

I am happy to hear your bro' is improving. Now is the hard part, letting him work with the team that is there to help him.

From the middle of the big blue comes well wishes for you and your family. smile

Hugz,
Orchid
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 12:22 PM

LG I am confused about where you want to live. I thought you currently live in CO and you don't like it. But you said you don't want to live in Houston and you will be getting your apartment in Denver. I assume you must live somewhere in CO other than Denver right now that you don't like.


Anyway, I am just confused so maybe LG or anyone else can straighten me out.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 12:54 PM

Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
LG I am confused about where you want to live. I thought you currently live in CO and you don't like it. But you said you don't want to live in Houston and you will be getting your apartment in Denver. I assume you must live somewhere in CO other than Denver right now that you don't like.


Anyway, I am just confused so maybe LG or anyone else can straighten me out.


I live in a tiny town in the mountains and it turns out I'm a city girl!
Posted By: catperson

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 12:59 PM

I grew up in Littleton. Love Denver.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 02:13 PM

So glad to hear the good news about your brother. And nice to see you could use your professional skills on his behalf.

Also glad to hear you are standing up for yourself with your H.

Nice work all the way around.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 03:04 PM

smile
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 04:22 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
LG I am confused about where you want to live. I thought you currently live in CO and you don't like it. But you said you don't want to live in Houston and you will be getting your apartment in Denver. I assume you must live somewhere in CO other than Denver right now that you don't like.


Anyway, I am just confused so maybe LG or anyone else can straighten me out.


I live in a tiny town in the mountains and it turns out I'm a city girl!


OH I see! Ok, I get it now.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 04:32 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey


I live in a tiny town in the mountains and it turns out I'm a city girl!


I so get this. It turns out I'm a suburban lady. I don't like "big city" living, and I don't like living out in hicksville. I don't like really super "small town" living either. I want to live in a mid sized metro area. I never knew I'd be picky as hell. But I AM.

It's better to just know and acknowledge these things. Trying to hide it or fake it and being miserable is not serving anybody.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 06:04 PM

I'm so happy for all this positive news from you.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Miracles happen - 06/12/17 08:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Chrysalis
I'm so happy for all this positive news from you.


See, now this is 'what friends are for'. smile

Hugz 2 u all.
Posted By: believer

Re: Miracles happen - 06/13/17 01:42 AM

Great news, LG! And, yep, Ally made me hopeful, too.
Posted By: wiser_now

Re: Miracles happen - 06/15/17 08:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Orchid2
Originally Posted By: Chrysalis
I'm so happy for all this positive news from you.


See, now this is 'what friends are for'. smile

Hugz 2 u all.


Yes, what they said!
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 06/17/17 09:55 PM

I think I'm in post crisis let down. I've been on an adrenaline fest since March 29. My brain doesn't want to work. I don't want to talk to anyone who doesn't want to talk about the fact that John is STILL outrageously, inexplicably, intolerably DEAD and Mike is alive and what does that even mean?

[Bleep!] is John dead? How did that even happen? My brother and his wife Meg are the finest of people who do great things for the community, they have three lovely sons who have struggled with different issues and successfully overcome them, and now they have two.

I don't know who to blame. The psychiatrist told Mike and Meg to get the guns out of the house, and Mike thought that was unnecessary and Meg couldn't find anyone who would take them for storage, including the very small local police force.

I wonder what that feels like to have a mom say, "please, mr police man take these guns out of my house to keep my son safe" and then 12 days later respond to the call to that address that a 27 year old male shot himself in the family den.

What do you do with that? It seems it is childishly easy to get a gun in Texas, but more difficult to get them out of the house on a short term basis. This feels like a solvable problem -- have the police station provide check in lockers. Might be used for any number of reasons -- small children visiting, a depressed drunken relative staying for the holidays, lack of space or resources to have a proper gun safe.

I think I might be a tiny bit mad at Mike and Meg. John's room looks like an arsenal. Guns and ammunition everywhere. Clinically depressed child who has tried multiple anti-depressant regimes with varying degrees of success. What could possibly go wrong?

Then I think about the courage involved in their honesty -- admitting they were told to get the guns out of the house -- I stand in awe. I would take that secret to my grave, yet it was the very first thing my brother told me with an insanely terrified look in his eye as if to say "this really can't be happening."

When I think over my life to the times I have seen the face of God in my fellow man, his face is the first image I will recall.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Miracles happen - 06/18/17 02:26 AM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I think I'm in post crisis let down. I've been on an adrenaline fest since March 29. My brain doesn't want to work. I don't want to talk to anyone who doesn't want to talk about the fact that John is STILL outrageously, inexplicably, intolerably DEAD and Mike is alive and what does that even mean?

[Bleep!] is John dead? How did that even happen? My brother and his wife Meg are the finest of people who do great things for the community, they have three lovely sons who have struggled with different issues and successfully overcome them, and now they have two.

I don't know who to blame. The psychiatrist told Mike and Meg to get the guns out of the house, and Mike thought that was unnecessary and Meg couldn't find anyone who would take them for storage, including the very small local police force.

I wonder what that feels like to have a mom say, "please, mr police man take these guns out of my house to keep my son safe" and then 12 days later respond to the call to that address that a 27 year old male shot himself in the family den.

What do you do with that? It seems it is childishly easy to get a gun in Texas, but more difficult to get them out of the house on a short term basis. This feels like a solvable problem -- have the police station provide check in lockers. Might be used for any number of reasons -- small children visiting, a depressed drunken relative staying for the holidays, lack of space or resources to have a proper gun safe.

I think I might be a tiny bit mad at Mike and Meg. John's room looks like an arsenal. Guns and ammunition everywhere. Clinically depressed child who has tried multiple anti-depressant regimes with varying degrees of success. What could possibly go wrong?

Then I think about the courage involved in their honesty -- admitting they were told to get the guns out of the house -- I stand in awe. I would take that secret to my grave, yet it was the very first thing my brother told me with an insanely terrified look in his eye as if to say "this really can't be happening."

When I think over my life to the times I have seen the face of God in my fellow man, his face is the first image I will recall.


I am so sorry. The entire thing is horrifying.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Miracles happen - 06/18/17 08:08 PM

LG that is so tragic. Have you heard of Griefshare? There was a local group and my church and it was a great comfort to be able to grieve with folks in the same shoes as I was. While you are still remote, they have daily emails as well. I learned that grief was work, too. But it gets better.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Miracles happen - 06/18/17 08:45 PM

Hi LG,

I'm sorry you are dealing with this tragedy but grateful that you are there for your brother and his family. Life pulls us together at times and for that we should be grateful.

Also that you are sharing this with us. Please realize that we are there for you and since you are sharing it us, it is helping many of us reflect and realize how easily this could also happen to ourselves and those around us.

We are learning from this experience.

What sticks in my heart is that John's family was in a bit of denial during his depressive state at several levels. Teaches us that if we don't pay attention, we could be doing the same to ourselves and those around us.

The positive piece is that through this tragedy, your brother and SIL are willing to admit where they misjudged their circumstances. It is not about blame but about recognition. There is a difference. Learning from this may well prevent other tragedies.

Hugz to you, your immediate and extended families. They do need your love and support to guide them through this hazy times. In turn, we are here for you and you are here for us. Throw in our prayers of support and you have an ongoing circle of support to help sustain you and your family. That aid is partial but it can also be powerful.

Thank you for sharing,
Orchid
Posted By: believer

Re: Miracles happen - 06/19/17 02:48 AM

I'm sorry for what your family is going through, Lady Grey.

Who to blame happens to all of the survivors of suicide. I mostly blamed myself when my ex committed suicide. I knew he was depressed, tried to get him to seek help, and he refused over a period of months. I did talk to his only son and asked him to remove his father's gun collection. My step-son did that.

My stepson blamed himself for not doing more to help his father. He had a family and was working lots of overtime. He didn't realize how bad things were.

My step-daughter blamed herself because she was living with her father when he committed suicide and feels that she enabled him.

His twin brother feels guilty because he said he had no idea that his brother was depressed. For years after my ex died, his brother blamed me for not contacting him about my fears.

None of us will ever get an answer to the question.

Here, in Oceanside, CA, we've had a rash of young men from 17 to 22 doing suicide by train. There's been around 8 in the last 3 months. There's always a way...
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 06/23/17 02:00 AM

Mike is home. I can't quite believe what I witnessed with my very own eyes and mind and soul.

It's hard for me to write this stuff sometimes -- did I just throw dear Mike and Meg under the bus here? I sure as hell hope not because I have been suicidal and I know with certainty that I would have found a way.

In actual fact, I would have looked on any attempt to frustrate my goal as an insult to my intelligence and for sure found a way.

There you go -- you learned something about me at the exact same moment I learned something about me.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 06/23/17 02:23 AM

LG

I know what you mean, when you've made that decision you'll figure out a way.

I'm so relieved to hear your brother is recovering so fast.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Miracles happen - 06/23/17 12:05 PM

LG, it's a common thing for others to make suicide attempts when there has been a successful one. So if it's sounding like it could be a good idea for you.....

Unlike Miranda, I don't think that once the decision has been made that a way will be found.... because I couldn't find one. After much thought, I believed that I had found a way to do it without traumatizing whoever would take responsibility for removing my body but when I ran my plan by someone to make sure that I hadn't missed anything... yep, I had missed something.

I'm pretty sure that eventually I would have come up with a good enough plan if it were not for this....

Through the person I ran my plan by, I got an opportunity to talk to a counselor whose specialty was children of parents who suicided. The information I got from her about the effects on those left behind... especially children of different ages including those well into adulthood.... is the reason that I came to the conclusion that I would just have to suck it up and continue living no matter what. That left me despondent for a bit and it was years before I actually felt like I wanted to continue living.

With the hindsight that I have now, I recognize that experiencing that very dark and desolate place was a necessary part of my path to healing. I am eternally grateful that I was more concerned about those who I would be leaving than I was about myself.

LG, if you have even a fleeting thought, I urge you to visit a counselor who deals with the aftermath so that you have complete information in your decision making process.

And, my dear, sweet Lady Gray, I urge you to suck it up and continue living. No matter what. No matter how long it takes to learn all the reasons why it was and is a good idea.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 06/23/17 01:32 PM

Ah, LW, you TALKED to someone... and that made all the difference.

That tiny little act of reaching out in the darkness, it's so powerful, you have no idea. That's the one that's saved me over and over and over again. Without my even realizing it most of the time.

I agree with everything you've said here though. You're so very wise. And kind.

LG, listen to LW, she's got better things to say than I do about this.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Miracles happen - 06/23/17 02:22 PM

Miranda, I'm not sure that it's wisdom. It's just my experience.

Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words. You have no idea how many posts I start and delete because I think they're stupid. I almost didn't post this one to LG. I think that it might be the feeling of overwhelming gratitude for seeing how my previous work is affecting real change for next generations in my family that is making me hit the submit button more than the delete one. Thanks again for your kind encouragement.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 06/25/17 03:18 AM

I'm so grateful to you all I don't know what to say.

I can say with certainty that I will never consider suicide again or suggest in any way that is a viable option for me.

I know in a way I couldn't have ever before the absolute hell that follows for everyone else.

I feel like God threw me off of my path of making sure *I* did everything *I* could to ensure that Trump is either impeached or has no hope of having a second term, and, in particular, the AHCA.

I need not tell you what and how I think about the AHCA.

I thought that was my calling -- my purpose -- and then John died and Mike tried to die and I find I don't much care. If the idiot voters of this country want to give it away to an evil, narcisstic wanta-be king who am I to stop them?

And why do I even care? I won't have health insurance but so what? Why am I so entitled? Lots of places in the world doesn't have meaningful access to health care much less insurance against health crisis.

It doesn't matter how strongly I feel or how crappy the Republicans are going to be for my life because I don't have the one thing everyone in politics needs:\\\$$$
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 06/25/17 03:33 AM

I'm glad to see you say this LG

I'm sorry you had to go so through such horror to get to this place where you feel this way but I'm glad you do.
Posted By: Kayla

Re: Miracles happen - 06/26/17 11:29 AM

I've been listening to a book called "Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy " by Sheryl Sandberg to be really helpful in being with friends going thru tremendous trials and loss.

A lifetime ago I used to work in a psychiatric hospital. One of my bosses was writing his dissertation on locus of control. There is so much that can be done. I was just reading a news story about a family who built a ranch to help girls after they lost their daughter to depression and suicide. Utah family turns grief into purpose by opening ranch to help young girls
https://www.ksl.com/?sid=44787818
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Miracles happen - 06/26/17 12:43 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I'm so grateful to you all I don't know what to say.

I can say with certainty that I will never consider suicide again or suggest in any way that is a viable option for me.

I know in a way I couldn't have ever before the absolute hell that follows for everyone else.

I feel like God threw me off of my path of making sure *I* did everything *I* could to ensure that Trump is either impeached or has no hope of having a second term, and, in particular, the AHCA.

I need not tell you what and how I think about the AHCA.

I thought that was my calling -- my purpose -- and then John died and Mike tried to die and I find I don't much care. If the idiot voters of this country want to give it away to an evil, narcisstic wanta-be king who am I to stop them?

And why do I even care? I won't have health insurance but so what? Why am I so entitled? Lots of places in the world doesn't have meaningful access to health care much less insurance against health crisis.

It doesn't matter how strongly I feel or how crappy the Republicans are going to be for my life because I don't have the one thing everyone in politics needs:\\\$$$



I have felt that shift of purpose---of existence even--it is an amazing feeling to have such a burden lifted. I am glad for you LG......so sorry for the loss you are feeling,,but happy yo can let go of the other.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Miracles happen - 06/26/17 01:19 PM

I'm glad you're here with us, LG. We need you.

Sometimes I feel like we're in the same position as Little John in the old Disney Robin Hood cartoon where he says, "Who's driving this flying umbrella?" The current political mess has effects on our physical, mental, emotional, and financial well-being.
Posted By: wiser_now

Re: Miracles happen - 07/01/17 11:06 PM

There are too many of us here who know the kind of despair that leads someone to attempt suicide. The kind of pain that's left behind is devastating, even if the attempt is not successful.

It's a powerful narrative you're sharing... and brave, too. Thank you. We all learn from each other.

You're obviously very loved... it feels good, doesn't it?
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 07/26/17 03:42 AM

John is still dead. I can't come up with a single thing that softens the starkness of that.

His autopsy report, which I have mixed feelings about knowing about, reflects that he died from a single gunshot to the head. I don't know what to do with that. "At least he didn't suffer" seems flat stupid because the suffering he left behind is so frigging huge.

My brother Mike tried to die again with a bleeding ulcer that required 7 pints of blood. His take --and he knows what he is talking about -- is that a a fair percentage of people who are intubated for a long time develop bleeding ulcers. Who knew?

I'm at odds with my husband over where my boundaries are. Do I stay here with him or go take care of my family? It is a hideous place to be.

And we are back to the status quo ante where he is commuting to Houston and I am left here alone,

Nothing ever changes, not really,
Posted By: Blair

Re: Miracles happen - 07/26/17 05:16 AM

It hurts because you loved him. Because he was real. He was a precious and valued individual. Because you didn't want him to leave and because he didn't know of his real value in this life. And that part is heart=breaking. He left a huge hole in your heart. You would have done anything to keep him safe and feeling loved.

The pain of losing a loved one lessens slightly over time. Not much, but a wee bit. I can't tell you he's in a better place. But I don't think John would want you to feel hurt and pain.

In regards to your family, you do what YOU want to do and what YOU feel you must do. Your H does not need you to take care of him. He can behave like an adult and take care of himself. And if you feel you need to be with your family, you should go. My mom and dad always supported the other when it came to extended family. Always. My dad cheerfully did all the house duties and his full-time job while my Mom drove 6 hours one way to spend time taking care of her parents. Both of my parents said it was worth every minute that they could spend with them. If your family is like that, spend every minute you can. And don't look back. Because this is also about you, and what you need. Hugs, sweetie.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Miracles happen - 07/26/17 12:48 PM

If you're left alone, why bother staying?
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Miracles happen - 07/26/17 01:41 PM

Originally Posted By: catperson
If you're left alone, why bother staying?


This is what I was thinking. Just go be where you want to be.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 07/26/17 01:44 PM

Exactly. You don't have to be sitting at home "keeping things nice" for the moment of his arrival or whatever.

F that shinola! You're not a handmaiden. You're an independent being with an agenda and priorities of your own. Go live your life!
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 07/27/17 03:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Miranda
Exactly. You don't have to be sitting at home "keeping things nice" for the moment of his arrival or whatever.

F that shinola! You're not a handmaiden. You're an independent being with an agenda and priorities of your own. Go live your life!


That never occurred to me as a possible outcome. I've been doing this so long it is all I know how to do.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Miracles happen - 07/27/17 03:40 AM

LG, if nothing else, when HE is gone, YOU are gone. Ok?
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 07/27/17 03:55 AM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: Miranda
Exactly. You don't have to be sitting at home "keeping things nice" for the moment of his arrival or whatever.

F that shinola! You're not a handmaiden. You're an independent being with an agenda and priorities of your own. Go live your life!


That never occurred to me as a possible outcome. I've been doing this so long it is all I know how to do.


I know, sweetie. That's why I said that. Because I could tell it hadn't occurred to you. It would never have occurred to me either, once upon a time.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Miracles happen - 07/27/17 04:52 AM

LG,

hug

Orchid
Posted By: catperson

Re: Miracles happen - 07/27/17 12:46 PM

LG, Miranda and I used to be just like you; believing we don't have choices. Miranda has made a decision to make her life better and is doing amazing things. I'm starting to. But it starts with not letting another person - even your spouse - define you.

You come from a severely dysfunctional family, so you most likely never saw healthy choices in action. A counselor or even a good friend could help with that.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 07/27/17 01:26 PM

LG, I'm available to talk about this stuff if you want a totally uninvolved sounding board. If you want to chat. PM me, we will set up a time.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 07/27/17 03:35 PM

Or if you'd prefer we could text or email... if talking is too intrusive
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Miracles happen - 07/29/17 04:03 AM

Originally Posted By: catperson
LG, Miranda and I used to be just like you; believing we don't have choices. Miranda has made a decision to make her life better and is doing amazing things. I'm starting to.

For me, the beginning was when I learned that not only did I have real choices but that I had been making choices that I wasn't aware that I had been making.

Of course, lots of times all the choices sucked but, with practice, I slowly started learning how to pick the one that sucked the least. Even choosing a sucky option can be empowering. And if I'm aware that I'm making a choice, I can change my mind and choose another if it's not working out like I thought it might.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 08/08/17 03:19 AM

I spend a fair amount of time every day thinking about John -- about how it is possible that he is actually dead. I still don't get that but the more time I spend in Houston, the more I get it.

So I would say I'm working through denial, occasionally crossing over into anger, riding the waves of grief always.

I wonder how long this mental paralysis will last. I know it is my mind protecting me from the feelings of those early days -- the moment when my brother called me, the trip down to the airport at dawn, the staring into space on the plane, my daughter and I collapsing in tears on the beer aisle, seeing that 'this isn't happening' look in my brother's eyes, seeing Meg crunch up and say 'I just want it all to go away' when asked to choose between cremation and burial, choosing the mortuary, choosing the plot, choosing the casket, choosing the clothes, seeing the coffin set above the grave and understanding viscerally what was inside, seeing my daughter unreachable and literally prostrate with grief before the open but now not empty grave.

You can't actually live if you think about that stuff. You'll go mad.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 08/08/17 04:11 AM

The process of .... processing is time consuming. It takes as long as it takes. Surprisingly long really.

There are elements of my grief that I think I'm still processing almost 30 years later. Which seems insane when I see it written like that. Wtf is wrong with me? But as I grow as a person, I have to deal with certain parts of the loss in a whole different way. Because I'm different. So as life rolls over you, and changes you, it means that you get to yack up your grief again and muck about with it. The only thing I can say about this is that it does seem to get less raw over time. Which is a blessing.

So take your time. Let life roll over you and roll the edges of your grief smoother like a river stone. It will still be dark, and heavy. But it won't be so sharp, and you'll find you can carry it without it cutting you to bits.

I promise

You're as strong and clever as I am, at least, probably more. So I know you'll get there in time too.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Miracles happen - 08/08/17 04:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Miranda
The process of .... processing is time consuming. It takes as long as it takes. Surprisingly long really.

There are elements of my grief that I think I'm still processing almost 30 years later. Which seems insane when I see it written like that. Wtf is wrong with me? But as I grow as a person, I have to deal with certain parts of the loss in a whole different way. Because I'm different. So as life rolls over you, and changes you, it means that you get to yack up your grief again and muck about with it. The only thing I can say about this is that it does seem to get less raw over time. Which is a blessing.

So take your time. Let life roll over you and roll the edges of your grief smoother like a river stone. It will still be dark, and heavy. But it won't be so sharp, and you'll find you can carry it without it cutting you to bits.

I promise

You're as strong and clever as I am, at least, probably more. So I know you'll get there in time too.


Yes.

From me.

Still processing my friends death almost 30 years later.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Miracles happen - 08/08/17 04:19 AM

Yesterday was the second anniversary of Jim's death, and I was shocked at how raw I still am. It takes however it takes.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Miracles happen - 08/08/17 01:02 PM

We are here for all of you no matter how long it takes.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 08/09/17 03:36 AM

I sometimes worry that my blog is terribly off topic for a site with this mission statement.

I decided that what I post here is mostly about families and the bedrock of any solid family is a good marriage.

Mike and Meg are closer than ever which is statiscally unlikely. A vast majority of couples who lose a child divorce, more so with suicide. I wonder whether their shared sense of guilt and forgiveness binds them.

Neither one of them could ever find another person who would understand what it is when the youngest son shoots himself in the head in the family den. So they go it alone or together and they chose together.

I don't think I would do that. I don't think I could bear to be around anyone. I am certain I would divorce because we would each blame the other, and both be right.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Miracles happen - 08/09/17 01:40 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I sometimes worry that my blog is terribly off topic for a site with this mission statement.

I decided that what I post here is mostly about families and the bedrock of any solid family is a good marriage.

Mike and Meg are closer than ever which is statiscally unlikely. A vast majority of couples who lose a child divorce, more so with suicide. I wonder whether their shared sense of guilt and forgiveness binds them.

Neither one of them could ever find another person who would understand what it is when the youngest son shoots himself in the head in the family den. So they go it alone or together and they chose together.

I don't think I would do that. I don't think I could bear to be around anyone. I am certain I would divorce because we would each blame the other, and both be right.


I am almost positive I would have divorced my first husband had something happened to our son.

And as much as I love this husband and as different as he is from the first....I just don't know. I don't know how I could bear it.

I am so sad for your family LG. It takes real courage to survive all of this.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 08/09/17 02:20 PM

Some couples lean TOWARDS each other when the devastation hits some go inward. It's not a guarantee that those who go inward will end up divorced, but the ones that lean TOWARDS each other almost never do. A big problem is when one member tries to lean towards and the other one turns inward. That's almost 100% divorce territory, unless some kind of huge professional intervention saves them.

Thing is, you don't really know what you'll do in the fire, until the fire comes. And past kitchen fire experiences don't necessarily tell you what you'll do when the whole house goes up in a huge blaze. And one giant fire might change the way you handle the next, I don't know, I'm not sure about that one. I am a turn inward kind of girl, that's what I did before. But over the last few years I'm learning more and more to lean on others... so maybe it's not set in stone.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Miracles happen - 08/09/17 06:54 PM

Losing Jim made both H and I want to be kinder people. And as tempting as it was to cast blame on H for his part, I had my own part to own. And I know that he's lost his son, too.

That said, this last anniversary felt like it strained us a bit. H had a mandatory work thing on Saturday and I felt isolated. Sunday we went for his MRI and he spent the afternoon working on paperwork. So we didn't have any of our normal weekend stuff and it seemed to me like we were back in some old unhealthy patterns of isolation. I think it will get better as we get back to routines and away from the anniversary.

I read an interesting article the other day and it has caused me to change something. It was a report of a study in which people were asked to pray daily for their spouse. Those who did so (the control group was give other marriage-supporting tasks to do) showed a demonstrable increase in their own sense of well-being.

So now, when I catch myself having a negative thought about H, I stop and pray for his well-being. I had to battle some inner resistance to doing that. But I'm going to give it an honest run. So far it has been several times a day. Not good to harbor that much negativity.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 08/09/17 07:00 PM

Chrys

When you're doing that, you're flexing your compassion muscles. I'm not surprised it made people feel a lot better. Whenever you can shift from blame, hostility, or anger to compassion it makes a huge change in your overall mental well being.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Miracles happen - 08/09/17 09:54 PM

I did that every time I thought of my sister I would pray for her to have every blessing that I would want in my life it has brought our relationship a lot of healing
Posted By: Kayla

Re: Miracles happen - 08/10/17 02:11 AM

I had a friend go through a terrible tragedy where his son darted out into the road on a scooter and his wife was driving the car that the child darted in front of. There was no possible reaction time. They clung to each other as the storm of pain washed over them and continues to this day years later. Facebook is especially painful because of the reminders that pop up and renew the newness of the loss. Sometimes people might blame each other but it's a choice to hold tight to each other instead.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Miracles happen - 08/10/17 12:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Miranda
Some couples lean TOWARDS each other when the devastation hits some go inward. It's not a guarantee that those who go inward will end up divorced, but the ones that lean TOWARDS each other almost never do. A big problem is when one member tries to lean towards and the other one turns inward. That's almost 100% divorce territory, unless some kind of huge professional intervention saves them.

Thing is, you don't really know what you'll do in the fire, until the fire comes. And past kitchen fire experiences don't necessarily tell you what you'll do when the whole house goes up in a huge blaze. And one giant fire might change the way you handle the next, I don't know, I'm not sure about that one. I am a turn inward kind of girl, that's what I did before. But over the last few years I'm learning more and more to lean on others... so maybe it's not set in stone.

QFT^^^^
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 09/26/17 01:36 AM

Tommy, my youngest at 22, and I have spent several lovely evenings together recently choosing the "Signature Song" for various bands, the "Signature Song" being the song most emblematic of the band.

This can be harder than it sounds. People can go astray and think "Runnin' On Empty" is Jackson Brown's Signature Song, when, given the time for proper reflection, they will inevitably and rightly know that is "The Pretender."

Tommy and I are running out of bands so I invite your thoughts with annotations about the Signature Songs of the bands you love.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 09/26/17 02:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Miranda
Oh yes. This is much more difficult than it sounds. People always want to say that stairway to heaven is the seminal song by Led Zeppelin. But it most assuredly is NOT.

I would say its Kashmir, but would also accept that it a very strong case could be made for Since Ive Been Loving You or even Ramble On or The Rain Song

Ive had much debate regarding the quintessential Eagles song as well. Because Im here to tell you it ISNT Hotel California

Id be interested to hear what you and your son came up with here
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: Miracles happen - 09/26/17 07:46 AM

Mmmmmm, sounds like my sort of pastime.

I'd certainly agree about Jackson Brown - as an aside, I saw him live in June. He didn't play "Running on Empty" but did a magnificent version of "The Pretender"

And for me, the quintessential Eagles song is "Take it Easy"

It's an interesting one because signature song isn't the best known piece and it can be difficult to move past that.

So, a few thoughts having flicked through my Spotify playlist

Leonard Cohen - Alexandra Leaving
Neil Diamond - Play Me
U2 - With or without you

I'm off for a walk with my playlist - might be back later

BTW, lovely to see you back LG, hope all's good with you and yours

MUN
Posted By: catperson

Re: Miracles happen - 09/26/17 12:54 PM

Green Day = American Idiot
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 09/26/17 01:35 PM

Originally Posted By: MaidUpName
Mmmmmm, sounds like my sort of pastime.

I'd certainly agree about Jackson Brown - as an aside, I saw him live in June. He didn't play "Running on Empty" but did a magnificent version of "The Pretender"

And for me, the quintessential Eagles song is "Take it Easy"

It's an interesting one because signature song isn't the best known piece and it can be difficult to move past that.

So, a few thoughts having flicked through my Spotify playlist

Leonard Cohen - Alexandra Leaving
Neil Diamond - Play Me
U2 - With or without you

I'm off for a walk with my playlist - might be back later

BTW, lovely to see you back LG, hope all's good with you and yours

MUN


MUN, I'd like to propose that U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday might be actually more representative, given it's political bent.

I'm in total agreement on Jackson Browne, even though I really love "Shape of a Heart" and "Load Out/Stay"

Anyone want to get in a heated debate about the quintessential Queen song? That can go on for days!
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: Miracles happen - 09/26/17 01:50 PM

Quote:
MUN, I'd like to propose that U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday might be actually more representative, given it's political bent.


I disagree.

Sunday Bloody Sunday went a long way towards gaining them international,recognition - not least of all because for many years (possibly even still) Bono prefaced the song with the statement "this is not a rebel song" thus automatically positioning it as a rebel song. In this way is appealed to so many Irish who grew up in the shadows of the political unrest.

But personally I don't think that is what U2 as a band is about. I often feel that much of their music is about trying to find a place, define their identity, reach out to the less vocal, more oppressed. Somehow I feel "With or Without you" encompasses that more.

But the lovely thing about this "game" is that neither of us are wrong smile
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Miracles happen - 09/26/17 05:28 PM

Oh man I lost my post! Let me get this out there real quick before my lunch break is over

Celine Dion A New Day written for her then infant song
Whitney Houston Ill Always Love You devotes her life to her husband
Jennifer Lopez Waiting for Tonight anticipation is a common theme in her music
Queen We Are the Champions perseverance though really I dont know much about them
Michael Jackson The Way You Make Me Feel exuberant and full of life
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Miracles happen - 09/26/17 06:44 PM

Queen has a plenty. I would say Bohemian Rhapsody.
DMB = Ants Marching
Pearl Jam = Alive
Foo Fighters = Everlong (my personal favorite)
Green Day = American Idiot (close 2nd would be 'Good Riddance' even though I like 'Holiday' better)

So many out there. This is a good topic.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Miracles happen - 09/26/17 08:43 PM

Jett = Don't You Wanna Be My Girl?

Roy Orbison = Pretty Woman (though that's my least favorite of his)
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 09/28/17 09:37 PM

Originally Posted By: MaidUpName
Mmmmmm, sounds like my sort of pastime.

I'd certainly agree about Jackson Brown - as an aside, I saw him live in June. He didn't play "Running on Empty" but did a magnificent version of "The Pretender"

And for me, the quintessential Eagles song is "Take it Easy"

It's an interesting one because signature song isn't the best known piece and it can be difficult to move past that.

So, a few thoughts having flicked through my Spotify playlist

Leonard Cohen - Alexandra Leaving
Neil Diamond - Play Me
U2 - With or without you

I'm off for a walk with my playlist - might be back later

BTW, lovely to see you back LG, hope all's good with you and yours

MUN


I'll give you Cohen and U2 but Neil Diamond? Sweet Caroline!

Any thoughts on Simon & Garfunkle?
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 09/28/17 09:39 PM

Originally Posted By: catperson
Green Day = American Idiot


Hmmm...we went with Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Idiot may be worthy of a second place or HM.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 09/28/17 09:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Oblivious2678
Queen has a plenty. I would say Bohemian Rhapsody.
DMB = Ants Marching
Pearl Jam = Alive
Foo Fighters = Everlong (my personal favorite)
Green Day = American Idiot (close 2nd would be 'Good Riddance' even though I like 'Holiday' better)

So many out there. This is a good topic.


Having a hard time with DMB - we can't agree. Tommy says Crash and I say Lie in our Graves. Agreed on Queen. Have to listen to the others.
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: Miracles happen - 09/28/17 09:58 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey


I'll give you Cohen and U2 but Neil Diamond? Sweet Caroline!m

Any thoughts on Simon & Garfunkle?


Mmmmmm

My first thought on Neil Diamond was "Forever in Blue Jeans" but there's something about "Play Me" that for me sums up what/who he is. I think the reason I can't go with "Sweet Caroline" is 'cause I simply don't like it - it's kinda what makes this exercise interesting as a signature tune should transcend personal taste.

As for Simon and Garfunkle - has to be "Sound of Silence"'
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: Miracles happen - 09/28/17 10:00 PM

As for Queen - I think I'd go with "We will Rock You"
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 09/28/17 10:58 PM

Queen CANNOT be bohemian rhapsody.

It just cant. It doesnt even come close to showing what an amazing singer Freddie Mercury truly was. And its too stuffy.

And Im objecting to we will rock you for similar reasons. Anyone with a half octave range can sing it for gods sake! And additionally theres barely any harmony in it. Its just a no way.

Somebody to Love.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Miracles happen - 09/29/17 12:53 AM

Simon and Garfunkle-- Bridge over Trouble Water.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Miracles happen - 09/29/17 12:54 AM

The Beatles-- Hey Jude.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Miracles happen - 09/29/17 01:16 AM

John Lennon - Imagine
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 09/29/17 03:04 AM

Interesting conversation going on here.

Tommy and I have clashed on DMB, Springsteen, DMB and Death Cab. Death Cab is hard!
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 10/14/17 01:38 AM

I'm having a hard time dealing with my grief over John's death.

I posted elsewhere about the importance I place on the grieving process. I'm trying to sit with it and let it wash over me but ithe grief insists on rearing its head at the strangest and most inopportune times and all of the sudden I can't see anything in mind's eye but that beautiful spirit with a gun to his amazing head and

CLICK.

And I'm lost again. And I wonder if I will ever be found.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Miracles happen - 10/14/17 01:55 AM

LG,
You know you are one of my all time favorites. I love seeing you back on the board but I hate that you are hurting.

I have a nephew. I can remember the day he was born,, and the times I spent with him when he newborn, toddler and on--- he has a child of his own now. He was born 9 years before my only child. So I had years of aunt hood and he and his sister were everything to me. I can't bear the thought of him being gone and especially through suicide.

When I was 20, a boy I loved was murdered. He was 21. It was the first young death of my life and it devastated me. I well remember those waves of grief that could knock me to the ground. It took me years to stop dreaming about him. Thinking about him. Grieving. He has been gone 32 years now. It just takes a long time. You haven't had enough time yet. Not by a long shot,

Be kind to yourself.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 10/14/17 03:30 AM

SW, I appreciate your kind words more than you can know.

I stopped posting here because what do I have to say of relevance? I can appreciate the pain of the spouses who are struggling with affairs on both sides but for God's sake, everyone is still alive and the situations all seem to me to be redeemable if folks will pull their heads out of their nether regions and really LOOK at their spouses and themselves with clarity and dignity. I get agitated when I see advice that undermines the dignity and autonomy of the affairing spouse.

The unfaithful wife has to be a superstar to work towards a Major League marriage? Is there a vomitorium handy? The sports metaphors alone indicate a mysoginistic mentality that makes me nuts.

What about HIM being a superstar to retrieve his wife for a Neman Marcus marriage?

You'll never see that here.

With respect to my marriage, I have an intact family and I am content with that. That was my choice. It's frequently hideous but so what? My kids didn't ask to be born into this mess and I'll be godamned if I will put hem in a position of choosing between me, their dad and the in laws for every family event.l

You don't have to love, or even like, your spouse
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Miracles happen - 10/14/17 05:25 AM

Lady Grey, I hear you. I stayed, willing to forego superstar for the sake of children. And I lost one to suicide anyway. I'm still here, still trying to do the best I can for the people in my life, as are you. Go ahead and grieve, you have friends here who hear you. And the enemies? You know you have no obligation to play with people who aren't nice to you.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 10/14/17 02:55 PM

I am so sorry you are still caught in that web of grief, LG. I remember it well. I did all kinds of things to numb it. Better to just allow yourself to go through it, believe me. As you do, you become used to it, I guess. That is the best way I can describe it.

And yes, I know you do not feel like your perspective is appreciated or the norm here. I think you are wrong. I think it is important and I definitely think it is important. But I understand how hard it is to be that lone voice. I can see why you are not willing to trade peace to swim against that current.

And I also know what it is to have traded certain things to stay in a marriage that is not perfect by any means. Again, not the perfect solution or a popular one.

Just want you to know you are not alone. And not without support.
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: Miracles happen - 10/14/17 05:19 PM

LG, you're one of the posters here from whom I've learnt such a huge amount, don't ever feel that what you say is of no relevance! I look for your posts, I make a point of reading them and pondering them. Your perspective is a perspective which to this point I have never experienced.

I don't need someone to tell me how a BS will feel. I don't need someone to remind me how painful this experience can be, how desolate I can feel how empty and lonely this whole betrayal thing can leave me. I know this, I've lived it and wallowed in it and fought against it. I am all to familiar with the BS mindset.

However, getting an insight into the Affairing Spouses mindset has gone a huge way towards helping me let go. Being able to acknowledge that the affairing spouse is also suffering, understanding that they too are lost and in pain, accepting that the behaviour which has hurt me so much has in probability hurt him just as much has lessened the anger and softened the pain and in so doing, helped me heal and move on.

I've said it before, I'll say it again - please don't stop posting, don't ever believe that your voice is not heard and will always be shot down. In order to understand how to grow and heal and survive we need to understand (to the best of our ability) that the other person is hurting too. If we can understand that, then it is easier to feel compassion and kindness and move forward

MUN
Posted By: ohmy_marie

Re: Miracles happen - 10/14/17 09:18 PM

imy. i am so sorry to read that you are struggling. xoxo, marie
Posted By: Blair

Re: Miracles happen - 10/15/17 04:34 AM

Hugs for you, LG. You are appreciated.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Miracles happen - 10/16/17 01:28 PM

Very much appreciated. And very much missed when you disappear. Which you are completely entitled to do. Many here care for you and wish you well. If that means staying away, then stay away. But I hope you decide that staying is compatible with happiness for you. Because your perspective and contribution is invaluable.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 10/23/17 03:56 AM

Well my posts arent showing up at all so this feels like a safe time to say this.

I cant stop thinking about the night Mike called me and said I have bad news. He was at the Mayo in Rochester for a work up on his neuropathy and he had smoked a pipe - and he SMOKED it - for 30 years until he tried to die and I just knew he had cancer.

shot himself.

Stupidly, my first thought was is he going to be OK? Thankfully, I didnt say that. I have no idea what I said in that two minute conversation except I remember Mike said please, just be there.

My husband and I knew we had to tell our kids ASAP before they heard it from someone else so we called.

I paced around the house like a caged lion for a while and then it came to me I had to be in Houston immediately. I told my husband and he said I know.

When the alarm went off at 4 the next morning, I thought Why. And then I remembered John was dead.

My daughter beat me there by two hours and we were going to my other nephews house and meant to bring beer and wine and we both collapsed in the beer aisle at the HEB sobbing. On the floor in an ocean of grief. We couldnt decide shinola. Sobbing women in aisle 11 - any mental health professionals in the
house?

I have to work through this in little bites.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Miracles happen - 10/23/17 11:13 AM

That is heartbreaking LG. I am so sorry.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Miracles happen - 10/23/17 01:44 PM

LG

take it as slow as you have to. In any size bites necessary. We are here for you.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Miracles happen - 10/23/17 11:58 PM

(((((LG)))))
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 10/24/17 03:23 AM

I think google is anti marriage.

I've had many people over the years tell me I should write but I've never felt I had anything interesting to write about. I think I occasionally have a different spin on things but I don't think I'm terribly original. From time to time I think I can write, but then I read these beautiful books where I read the same paragraph three times and I understand I'm dreadfully ordinary.

I spent a lot of time recently with my middle brother's wife. I didn't know her well. The secrets we carry.

Before we collapsed on aisle 11, when I got there two hours after my daughter, I met her and my nephews at a bar. They were drinking drinks they thought John would have ordered. I wanted to vomit looking at the drinks. I wondered what people thought about this group of 5 crying and laughing and taking shots at two on a Wednesday afternoon (NOT ME - I don't shoot ANYTHING EVER and that's not a moral stance -- it just never ended well for me).

Then it was time to go pick up Mike and Meg from the airport.

I'm a TERRIBLE driver and was really scared driving to the airport even though I had only had a beer but I am one of the great followers of our time and I followed my nephew to the airport and Mike got in my car and the look in his eye ..... that look in his eye is what I know I will see in God's eye when I pass on. I don't think God takes out people gleefully -- I think God sits with us in our pain. I can't explain it. I can't intellectualize this conviction away, but there it is.

We took Mike and Meg to John's psychiatrist's office because that's where they wanted to go. I don't get it, but it wasn't my thing to get.

Then my daughter and I went to the store.

We pulled ourselves off the floor in aisle 11 and stood staring at this wall of beer. I don't know beer. My daughter doesn't know beer. And how many people are we talking about? There are 50 million different kinds of beer. I know wine. She knows wine. 50 million kinds of that too but we know. We loaded up the cart with ?. I remember mentioning we might want to get snacks and I know we stood there looking at the chips for ages and walked out with nothing.

You just can't imagine how jarring it was. I feed people. It's my ministry, and I don't say that lightly. It's not just feeding -- I'm a care giver. It's not what I do -- it's what I AM. The pay sucks and the performance reviews aren't great but you may as well ask me to change my eye color.



Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 06/05/18 02:30 AM

My father died in front of my eyes and two things happened:

1. I felt nothing. I cried when he was dying but when he died I was very much, "why are you all standing around this dead person?" I still feel nothing. He died. That's what 100% of people do. There's nothing to it as far as I could tell. They pump you full of morphine and take away your oxygen and you die. You get to make the decisions that lead to that outcome before hand.

2. I lost my faith. Like in an instant. Daddy was there and he died and I thought that's it, and stopped believing in anything. I still go through the motions but I don't believe a bit of it. I told my husband this and he asked how that made me feel, and I said

Grabby. It makes me want to grab whatever I can right now. NOW. As far as I can tell there is never any accountability for bad behavior. Our President positively rolls in this new ethical construct.

I went from the moral construct of the Abrahamic religious traditions to "I have no idea what guides me" in 3.2 seconds.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Miracles happen - 06/05/18 05:17 AM

My dear LG,

Very sorry to hear about your father's passing. I can relate a bit. I haven't been able to truly grieve the loss of both my parents and my mom died in May 2009 with my father passing last Oct.

As much as death has been a part of our lives, it is never, never easy to handle, but it is ok to know one day we will be able to work through this.

I try to keep the good memories and hope you can do the same. I hope that helps you through this difficult time.

I thought about an experience I read where a child was dying and the father was grieving the entire time. He was besides himself with grief, while with his son. It was during a time where sackcloth and ashes were a thing to show mourning. Yet when his child died, the man picked himself up, cleaned up and turned his attention to giving his son a proper burial.

One of his close friends ventured to ask why the sudden change. Most go into mourning when someone dies, yet this man did the opposite. The man stated that he fasted and prayed while his child was alive and for the child to be spared. Once the child died, there was nothing more to be done for this child and while he was mourning, he needed to get up and take care of his family.

It was a harsh reality. A story that I have learned to see in real life at times. The stress when someone we care for is losing strength, the anxiety is causes in our very being when we know the time together is short. How we each handle these times is deeply personal. Yes, some mourn a lot and others not so much. But we can't judge those feelings because those feelings are personal and belong to each person.

So I extend my sympathies to you and your family for the loss of your father. May your soul heal in a way that is safe and good for you. Was your faith tested? Yes. What does that mean, should it have been? Questions that may need to be explored when you are ready.

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: catperson

Re: Miracles happen - 06/05/18 05:27 AM

I'm so sorry.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Miracles happen - 06/05/18 12:17 PM

Condolences, LG. Hugs for you. Just lots of hugs.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Miracles happen - 06/05/18 02:09 PM

Sincere condolences. Just be glad you loved your Dad enough to miss him and mourn his passing. But like the advice we give to a BS shortly after discovery, that is cold comfort in the early stages of grief.
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Miracles happen - 06/05/18 02:20 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
I told my husband this and he asked how that made me feel, and I said Grabby. It makes me want to grab whatever I can right now. NOW. As far as I can tell there is never any accountability for bad behavior. Our President positively rolls in this new ethical construct.

I went from the moral construct of the Abrahamic religious traditions to "I have no idea what guides me" in 3.2 seconds.

I'm so sorry about your Father frown

Your moral construct is not solely based on the Abrahamic religious tradition. If it was you'd be ok with owning slaves and stoning errant children. Your moral construct is based on a secular morality evolved by our society over thousands of years to make living together more pleasant, and do the least harm possible to each other. Losing the certainty of a happy afterlife is jarring but you're absolutely right that it makes you hungry to live THIS life to the full, and grab every second of it and cling it to your bosom til you're done. In return you lose the dogma that tells you what to think, who to love, who to hate. If you ask non-believers how they feel once they have lost the shackles of their religion, they'll sum it up in one word.

Freedom.

Mg
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Miracles happen - 06/05/18 03:54 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
My father died in front of my eyes and two things happened:

1. I felt nothing. I cried when he was dying but when he died I was very much, "why are you all standing around this dead person?" I still feel nothing. He died. That's what 100% of people do. There's nothing to it as far as I could tell. They pump you full of morphine and take away your oxygen and you die. You get to make the decisions that lead to that outcome before hand.

2. I lost my faith. Like in an instant. Daddy was there and he died and I thought that's it, and stopped believing in anything. I still go through the motions but I don't believe a bit of it. I told my husband this and he asked how that made me feel, and I said

Grabby. It makes me want to grab whatever I can right now. NOW. As far as I can tell there is never any accountability for bad behavior. Our President positively rolls in this new ethical construct.

I went from the moral construct of the Abrahamic religious traditions to "I have no idea what guides me" in 3.2 seconds.


I am trying really hard to follow your thought process on #2. It seems as if you are saying your belief was strongly and maybe completely tied to your relationship with your father.

As far as # 1....well, I love Orchids reference to Kind David's reaction to the death of his child. You do what you can while you can....then when it is over you get up and move on with the practical things.

((((((((LG)))))))))
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Miracles happen - 06/05/18 08:41 PM

Some of us untethered from religious dogma feel empty and lost. If it helps LG feel free and empowered, well, I am in favor of her feeling that way however she needs to frame it to get there.
Posted By: SFB

Re: Miracles happen - 06/06/18 12:00 PM

LG:

This is YOU:
Originally Posted by LG
You just can't imagine how jarring it was. I feed people. It's my ministry, and I don't say that lightly. It's not just feeding -- I'm a care giver. It's not what I do -- it's what I AM. The pay sucks and the performance reviews aren't great but you may as well ask me to change my eye color.


Lots of things can get us unhinged, whether for a minute, days, or weeks... maybe a longer period. The point is to get back to what is true in you.

You didn't have to care for your Dad anymore. There are others.

SFB
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Miracles happen - 06/06/18 03:36 PM

Originally Posted by SFB
LG:

This is YOU:
Originally Posted by LG
You just can't imagine how jarring it was. I feed people. It's my ministry, and I don't say that lightly. It's not just feeding -- I'm a care giver. It's not what I do -- it's what I AM. The pay sucks and the performance reviews aren't great but you may as well ask me to change my eye color.


Lots of things can get us unhinged, whether for a minute, days, or weeks... maybe a longer period. The point is to get back to what is true in you.

You didn't have to care for your Dad anymore. There are others.

SFB


What a wonderful reminder to anchor myself to the core of what I am.

I posted elsewhere that it appears my job in life is to be available. All my siblings work full time. When there's a casket to be chosen, or a funeral to be arranged or an illness to be nursed, I'm it.

It's been an extremely rough 14 months. I'm trying to process it all without making any decisions about anything. If, in fact, my faith is gone forever, I have to create a construct to tether me to my values.

Right now, I feel like if Hitler and I end up in the same place -- dust -- I may as well do whatever the hell I want. I'm just not seeing a upside to ethical behavior.

The president isn't helping. He is living, breathing proof that you can lie and cheat and steal and attain the highest office in the land. Why shouldn't I lie and cheat and steal to get what I want?

Before I start on that plan, just to be on the safe side, I need to make a billion dollars. It seems like a billion dollars is what's required to insulate one from any consequences. I'll get back to you on how that's going.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Miracles happen - 06/06/18 04:04 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
Originally Posted by SFB
LG:

This is YOU:
Originally Posted by LG
You just can't imagine how jarring it was. I feed people. It's my ministry, and I don't say that lightly. It's not just feeding -- I'm a care giver. It's not what I do -- it's what I AM. The pay sucks and the performance reviews aren't great but you may as well ask me to change my eye color.


Lots of things can get us unhinged, whether for a minute, days, or weeks... maybe a longer period. The point is to get back to what is true in you.

You didn't have to care for your Dad anymore. There are others.

SFB


What a wonderful reminder to anchor myself to the core of what I am.

I posted elsewhere that it appears my job in life is to be available. All my siblings work full time. When there's a casket to be chosen, or a funeral to be arranged or an illness to be nursed, I'm it.

It's been an extremely rough 14 months. I'm trying to process it all without making any decisions about anything. If, in fact, my faith is gone forever, I have to create a construct to tether me to my values.

Right now, I feel like if Hitler and I end up in the same place -- dust -- I may as well do whatever the hell I want. I'm just not seeing a upside to ethical behavior.

The president isn't helping. He is living, breathing proof that you can lie and cheat and steal and attain the highest office in the land. Why shouldn't I lie and cheat and steal to get what I want?

Before I start on that plan, just to be on the safe side, I need to make a billion dollars. It seems like a billion dollars is what's required to insulate one from any consequences. I'll get back to you on how that's going.


The 73rd Psalms is helpful when my mind goes to the bolded.

I wonder if Kate Spade had a billion dollars.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Miracles happen - 06/06/18 04:18 PM

Originally Posted by SmilingWife
I wonder if Kate Spade had a billion dollars.


Not close. Net worth approx. 150 Million.. Poor Kate.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Miracles happen - 06/06/18 06:19 PM

LG,

You are a caregiver. Maybe not always by choice but a reliable one and that is a precious but exhausting quality to have.

Still you have benefited the lives of many right around you and even influenced a larger audience around the globe.

You have my deepest condolences. I hope that after you have time to grieve, you allow yourself time to heal.

We are here for you. hug

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: Kayla

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/07/18 01:40 AM

I was watching "Touched By An Angel" decades ago, when I first heard about "Pascal's Wager". Someone made a Youtube clip of that part of the episode.


This may figure into how you live, because you have worked so hard to live a good life, in spite of terrible adversity, and this latest adversity has brought back all the pain and struggle you've had to live and be a good person in spite of everything.

You are loved, admired, and appreciated.
Posted By: Blair

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/07/18 01:45 AM

Originally Posted by Kayla
You are loved, admired, and appreciated.


^^^ Yes!! Write this and stick it on your bathroom mirror. Say it every day until you believe it.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/07/18 02:56 AM

Originally Posted by Kayla
I was watching "Touched By An Angel" decades ago, when I first heard about "Pascal's Wager". Someone made a Youtube clip of that part of the episode.


This may figure into how you live, because you have worked so hard to live a good life, in spite of terrible adversity, and this latest adversity has brought back all the pain and struggle you've had to live and be a good person in spite of everything.

You are loved, admired, and appreciated.


What troubles me about this argument is the notion that belief is a choice. I have not found that to be so.

I held hands with my siblings and my mother whilst my dad died and spoke a prayer of love to him, wishing him Godspeed and directing him to John, and all the dogs we have ever loved. Three seconds later, I stopped believing any of it.

Daddy was well on his way to dying when he started asking for John. Everyone else viewed this as Daddy being in contact with John in the last hours of his life. I viewed it as Daddy saying, "the last time I was in this state they took me home and John got in the shower with me when I was covered -- COVERED -- in my own crap and so if John is there, they will let me go home."

He said to my nephew's wife that she had a big car and she just needed to pull it around to the circle and he would meet her there.

EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. who spoke to my Dad in his last days LIED to him. They LIED. They told him he was very sick and he had to have the medicine so he could go home in a few days.

He was never going home.

I am so incredibly pissed off about this. Lying to people who are dying is just SO BAD.

I desperately wanted to sit by his bed and hold his hand and say, "Daddy, you are dying. You are not ever going home, and I promise you we will take care of mother. You are so loved, and we will be here for you through the whole process and our love will never, ever stop any more than your love for us will stop. It's OK to let go.....It's OK."

I think my participation in the lie is one of the moments in my life when I had a choice: go along with the crowd or follow my integrity.

EPIC FAIL.

FTR, I call my mother every day. There's healing going on where I would have thought that impossible. It feels like my determination to do the next right thing might actually pay off.


Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/07/18 03:16 AM

Originally Posted by SmilingWife
Originally Posted by LadyGrey
My father died in front of my eyes and two things happened:

1. I felt nothing. I cried when he was dying but when he died I was very much, "why are you all standing around this dead person?" I still feel nothing. He died. That's what 100% of people do. There's nothing to it as far as I could tell. They pump you full of morphine and take away your oxygen and you die. You get to make the decisions that lead to that outcome before hand.

2. I lost my faith. Like in an instant. Daddy was there and he died and I thought that's it, and stopped believing in anything. I still go through the motions but I don't believe a bit of it. I told my husband this and he asked how that made me feel, and I said

Grabby. It makes me want to grab whatever I can right now. NOW. As far as I can tell there is never any accountability for bad behavior. Our President positively rolls in this new ethical construct.

I went from the moral construct of the Abrahamic religious traditions to "I have no idea what guides me" in 3.2 seconds.


I am trying really hard to follow your thought process on #2. It seems as if you are saying your belief was strongly and maybe completely tied to your relationship with your father.

As far as # 1....well, I love Orchids reference to Kind David's reaction to the death of his child. You do what you can while you can....then when it is over you get up and move on with the practical things.

((((((((LG)))))))))


I think my faith was strong and not particularly tied to my father. He wasn't a man of faith by any means but you'd be hard pressed to find a better man.

It was the dying SW. I've never seen anyone die before. It's only been a couple of months but I don't know what to make of it.

He was there and then he wasn't and everyone was standing around this dead body of this person who resembled no one I knew and all I could think was, "I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE." I was desperate.

I can't say I handled the whole thing perfectly, but the last thing my husband said to me when I got out of the car at the airport to go watch my father die was, "keep your goddamn mouth shut."

And I did.

Daddy died on the Sunday and my husband flew into Houston that day -- we were in Dallas -- and he didn't change his flight to come be with me -- with us. Everyone wanted him to come but he didn't come until the Wednesday.

He didn't come to be with me on the day I watched my father die. And he easily could have.

This is why I think the POJA is such utter crap. I wanted him there with me -- I don't actually think that's much to ask -- and he wanted me to not go at all. You just can't POJA that.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/07/18 12:39 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
FTR, I call my mother every day. There's healing going on where I would have thought that impossible. It feels like my determination to do the next right thing might actually pay off.


Super wow. And wonderful. Cherish this. And yourself. And carry on. Despite the pain. You and the work are one. Accept yourself.
Posted By: mgellan

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/07/18 02:42 PM

Originally Posted by Kayla
I was watching "Touched By An Angel" decades ago, when I first heard about "Pascal's Wager". Someone made a Youtube clip of that part of the episode.

Pascal's wager is basically saying it's better to worship a god because the downside, an eternity in hell, and the upside, heaven, is worth the bother even if it's not true. At it's core it's saying "What if you're wrong?"

First of all there's an assumption that despite the fact people generally follow the religion they're born into (in the US, probably Christian, in the near East probably muslim, in India probably Hindu etc.) that their particular flavour of god is the correct one and they will indeed reap the benefits. All the other billions of people in the world are wrong and will burn in hell (whether thats a moral position at all is also questionable.) So out of the 30000 sects of even Christianity, you're betting you're in the right one. Thats not a good bet. A better bet would be to find the least objectionable Hell with the best Heaven and worship that god. Better percentage!

Not to mention belief isn't a choice - I don't choose to be an atheist, I have come to my beliefs through lack of any evidence of existence of a diety. But Pascal's Wager says if I pretend to believe, I'm good. Pretty easy to fool your god eh?

For more in-depth analysis see: http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Pascal%27s_wager

To see what your choices are even with just Christianity see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

My favorite religious joke:

I was walking across a bridge one day, when I saw a man standing on the edge, about to leap to his death.
I immediately ran over and said "Stop! Don't do it!"
"Why shouldn't I?" he asked.
I said, "Well ... because, um ... there's so much to live for!"
"Like what?
"Well ... are you Christian or atheist?"
"Christian," he said.
"Me, too!" I said. "Protestant or Catholic?"
"Neither," he said.
"What then?" I asked.
"Undenominational," he said.
"Me, too!" I said. "Undenominational Christian Church or Undenominational Church of Christ?"
"Undenominational Church of Christ," he said.
"Me, too!" I said. "Multiple Cup Undenominational Church of Christ or One Cup Undenominational Church of Christ?"
"Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ," he said.
"Me, too!" I said. "Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ or Non-Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ?"
"Bible Class, Multiple Cup Undenominational Church of Christ," he said.
"Me, too!" I said. "Premillennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup Undenominational Church of Christ or A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ?"
"A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ," he said.
"Me, too!" I said. "Non Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ or Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ?"
"Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ," he said.
"Me, too!" I said. "Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ or Holy Spirit Dwells only through the Word, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ?"
"Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ," he said.
"Me, too!" I said. "Praise Teams in Worship, Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ or No Praise Teams in Worship, Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ?"
"Praise Teams in Worship, Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ," he said.
"Me, too!" I said. "Praise Teams Standing before the Congregation, Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ or Praise Teams seated in the front pew, Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ?"
"Praise Teams Standing before the congregation, Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ" he said.
"Me too!" I said. "Singing during the Lord’s Supper, Praise Teams Standing before the Congregation, Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ or No Singing during the Lord’s Supper, Praise Teams Standing before the Congregation, Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ or No Singing during the Lord’s Supper, Praise Teams Standing before the Congregation, Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ or No Singing during the Lord’s Supper, Praise Teams Standing before the Congregation, Direct indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ?"
"Singing During the Lord’s Supper, Praise Teams Standing before the Congregation, Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ or No Singing during the Lord’s Supper, Praise Teams Standing before the congregation, Direct Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Institutional, A-millennial, Bible Class, Multiple Cup, Undenominational Church of Christ," he said.
"Arrrgghh!!! You heretic!!!" I screamed, then pushed him over the edge, confident that he would end up where he belonged, in hell.

Mg
Posted By: mgellan

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/07/18 02:46 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
This is why I think the POJA is such utter crap. I wanted him there with me -- I don't actually think that's much to ask -- and he wanted me to not go at all. You just can't POJA that.

I think POJA requires someone to actually give a damn about your feelings and the health of your marriage. That means you have some reason to negotiate. You don't negotiate in good faith with such an a**hole. So sorry frown

(((( LG ))))

Mg
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/07/18 05:03 PM

I am so sorry that you are going through this difficult time.

Quote:
Right now, I feel like if Hitler and I end up in the same place -- dust -- I may as well do whatever the hell I want. I'm just not seeing a upside to ethical behavior.

As far as struggling with your core boundaries, it is widely believed that the basic core beliefs are formed by age 6. Your family sees you as the "care giver" because it is who you are. You probably developed these skills before exiting elementary school.
You can question it, but you can't deny it - not for long anyway.

It is perfectly normal for you to have a transition period after such a loss. It would be quite weird if you never questioned things after such an emotional situation like this. What my be indifference now may simply be a layer of grief. If you were not an indifferent for your adult life, you will probably not be an indifferent person in the future. Just consider it may be a natural growing phase, set at your own pace.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/07/18 07:12 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
I think my faith was strong and not particularly tied to my father. He wasn't a man of faith by any means but you'd be hard pressed to find a better man.

It was the dying SW. I've never seen anyone die before. It's only been a couple of months but I don't know what to make of it.

He was there and then he wasn't and everyone was standing around this dead body of this person who resembled no one I knew and all I could think was, "I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE." I was desperate.

I can't say I handled the whole thing perfectly, but the last thing my husband said to me when I got out of the car at the airport to go watch my father die was, "keep your goddamn mouth shut."

And I did.

Daddy died on the Sunday and my husband flew into Houston that day -- we were in Dallas -- and he didn't change his flight to come be with me -- with us. Everyone wanted him to come but he didn't come until the Wednesday.

He didn't come to be with me on the day I watched my father die. And he easily could have.

This is why I think the POJA is such utter crap. I wanted him there with me -- I don't actually think that's much to ask -- and he wanted me to not go at all. You just can't POJA that.


My dear LG,

I've thought a lot about your above post. I feel your words well up in my soul because those feelings are familiar.

Y? Because the first person I saw die was my grandmother. We have lost other relatives and friends over the years but my grandmother's death hit me hard. I think harder than it hit my father (she was his mom). I was close to her and when she died a part of me ripped out. Similar to when my mother died but that 1st personal experience was truly heart wrenching.

From what you posted, it sounds like what I felt. After the initial grief, there was anger. Knowing the details of my grandmother's senseless suffering because her son (my uncle) approved a procedure that caused her additional duress (it didn't work but he demanded it anyway). Plus he was the son that didn't care for his mom. Didn't even visit her though they lived in the same town and when she was in the nursing home, his lived a bit closer than we did. When she lived with us, he did not even visit except when he wanted to borrow money of which he never paid back.

There was valid reasons for my anger but I was also in mourning. Even though your reasons are different, I sense that you in that state of turmoil as well. I am very sorry.

It is your loss you are mourning and you wanted your H to be there for you. He chose not to be. That was impact #2.

What I have learned is that some people don't know how to be supportive during these difficult time and often just walk away or delay their support. Your H may be one of those kinds of folks. I know mine is to a certain degree. He can be supportive but not in a reliable way, so my losses over the years have had to find support elsewhere.

This is hard LG. It makes one question their faith and a lot more during these truly stressful times. It makes us recognize that other times of stress (what to wear, what job to take, what to buy, whom to please, where to go on vacation, where to go and eat, etc.) are minuscule in comparison.

How to soldier on when the support we need is not there from whom we need it is difficult. Remember, we are not all made the same and sometimes others disappoint us because of their limitations. Remember, we can't control the actions of others.

It forces us during a very difficult time to evaluate life and the answers are difficult to find while so much swirls in our minds and hearts.

If you are feeling that way, I recommend you allow yourself to vent. In a safe manner so that what you are experiencing (anxiety, sadness, grief, helplessness, loss, frustration, anger, deep hurt, etc.) can be managed. It won't be easy and if you experience anxiety, it can well up at anytime. Knowing this may help so that when it happens, you know what to do. Allowing that process to work through will help you heal.

You mentioned that your father is a fine man. Then his loss will hurt even more and the time to recover from that will take longer. Know this and plan for it.

There is a passage that comforted me: A good name is better than good oil, and the day of death is better than the day of birth. Better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting, for that is the end of every man, and the living should take it to heart. Better is distress than laughter, for the sadness of the face makes the heart better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning......

I've known these words for years. The ability to experience it's application hit me hard when my grandmother passed and later when both my parents died, plus others (I have lost many relatives and friends over the past 13 years since we moved here). It was a test of my faith then and now. I understand that faith is the ability to believe in the reality of what we may not fully understand but eventually come to understand.

That passage has greater meaning for me since then and as I have moved forward, I share that meaning with others in an effort that maybe, just maybe it may lessen their pain a bit.

You will also find that some may offer condolences that they think are comforting but may not be as effective because the words are empty in application. Please forgive such ones if you can. Ignorance or nervousness can make it difficult for people to know what to say. Do they mean their words? Probably, don't want to be judgmental but most probably mean it. Yet it may not be as effective but if it came from a sincere heart and that is the best they can do, then appreciate it for what it is, their best. It will take great strength on your part to do so because there may be times when having to accept or forgive these kinds of actions bring anger and hurt but before it turns to bitterness wait and know that later healing will follow while you have to put on your being gracious face. This is how turmoil feels. It is hard to even accept small good acts of kindness when there is a lot of hurt. Intermix that with a few that can be flippant during this time and it just compiles the hurt. It's a mixed bag that may stay jumbled up inside of you for a while.

I used to think about how people would come up to me and say they were sorry for my loss and I know most of them meant it. Most of them also got to walk away and I was left with the empty deep hurt. Most never knew how much internal suffering I was personally going through. Most really didn't have it within their abilities to care past the point of sharing condolences. That was the most they could do and I had to acknowledge it. It took a while but I had to realize this was my personal loss and accepted the good support freely given to me and discard what wasn't good support.

Still there was a small core group that truly understood. One of them was far away and that was the one I reached out to for the most help. His words were not empty. His words were comforting while at times a bit though to read but they actually helped me heal. I was able to meditate on them along with useful thoughts from others and during my lonely times it kept me sane so I could survive.

There is probably a lot going on within your soul right now. Adrenaline may be helping you cope now as you provide support to your mom and making arrangements. Later you will grieve as you should.

Remember all the memories and the times your father showed he cared. How he lived his life is important to know how to honor him. It may make you laugh or cry, that's ok.

I'm glad you are sharing this journey with us. You are helping more than you know even now during this difficult time in your life. Thank you.

Take care,
Orchid



Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/08/18 06:09 PM

LG,

How are you doing? I'm sure you must be very busy right now. Just wanted you to know we are thinking about you.

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/09/18 12:23 AM

Hey MG & SW,

I find your discussion interesting but this thread is about LG and we need to be here for her now.

Can you take your discussion on a separate thread maybe in TD?

Thanks,
Orchid
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/09/18 01:37 AM

Originally Posted by Orchid2
Hey MG & SW,

I find your discussion interesting but this thread is about LG and we need to be here for her now.

Can you take your discussion on a separate thread maybe in TD?

Thanks,
Orchid


Well, I think the discussion has ended naturally, but LG specifically said we should keep it going here if we wanted.
Posted By: Blair

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/09/18 03:53 AM

Hugs LG. Thinking of you.
Posted By: believer

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/10/18 04:12 AM

Sincere condolences, LG. I'm relieved that you were there.

I'm a little stunned by your husband telling you to keep your **mouth shut. You have a very rare quality. Being authentic.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/11/18 01:29 AM

Originally Posted by believer
I'm a little stunned by your husband telling you to keep your **mouth shut. You have a very rare quality. Being authentic.


Well, he was right. He's been around my family for 42 years, and he knows how it works.

The one brother is in ER doc so he's focused on keeping Daddy alive, and the other brother is a palliative care doc so he's focused on supporting Daddy through a dignified death.

My older lawyer sister is the executor and holder of powers of attorney and the only one on the scene.

I, on the other hand, am an essentially unaccomplished youngest child.

No one was in a million years going to listen to me.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/11/18 12:41 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
No one was in a million years going to listen to me.


Maybe not there. But here we listen to you. And respect you. And care about you. Not the same as "real" family but better than a punch in the nose!
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/11/18 06:48 PM

LW I saw this and it made me think of your thread here. I am not sure how you saw your H's comment, as well-meaning advice, as trying to stifle you, or something else altogether?

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/11/18 07:17 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Maybe not there. But here we listen to you. And respect you. And care about you. Not the same as "real" family but better than a punch in the nose!


Ditto!!!!
Posted By: Fiddler

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/11/18 07:57 PM

The aforementioned discussion has been moved to the Thunderdome.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/19/18 12:16 AM

One must stay ever alert to the dreaded Green Thread Killer..

I clean the lint screen on my dryer before every use. I cannot remember a time in my life when I was so cavalier — so contemptuous of the rules — that I even considered such heresy as running a second load.

I was flabbergasted that my brother’s dryer lint screen was an inch thick. After all they have been through, why take such an needless risk?

We are 0/2 on dryer fires. I’ve never known anyone who had a dryer fire or read a story, fiction or nonfiction, about a dryer fire and yet it remains a very real possibility to me.

We never, ever worry about the right stuff so I’ve created this worry rubric where I worry about stuff as a talisman against it ever happening.

Except I know that’s not the way it works.
Posted By: SFB

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/20/18 02:45 PM

LG:

We bought a new washer and dryer about 6 years ago. We clean the lint filter every time.

And the dryer was NOISY. You shuddered when you turned it on, because it was just LOUD. Close the cabinets, and then the door, and your could still hear it though out the house....

Decided to finally call a repair person. Takes it apart. Seems that something, a drivers license and some other things, got past the lint screen and was creating pressure on the blower fan...

Problem solved. Potential for a dryer fire? Really, really high...

Glad your brothers house was safe.

We do not run the dryer except when someone is home.

SFB
Posted By: Blair

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 06/21/18 01:57 AM

Originally Posted by SFB
We do not run the dryer except when someone is home.


I also don't run the dryer unless someone is home.

I know a great washer/dryer repair guy that comes and fixes everything. He told me he's found a lot of odd things in washers and dryers - socks, wallets, bolts, sticks, duck tape, etc. Get a good repair guy that can come check it out for a reasonable cost and make sure nothing else is jammed in it.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 07/07/18 03:51 PM

I have this crazy idea in the midst of Trump’s national gaslighting on a scale unknown since Hitler that everyone should have to actually live their values or they drop dead.

This is a correlary to Lady Grey’s theoretical rule that everyone should get to cause X amount of misery and then they drop dead. No one would ever know what X is but everyone would know you drop dead when you cross that line.

That would straighten people up right quick. Refuse to let someone over in traffic? That might be your X.

Lots of folks have no values or have values that are antithetical to mine, which is fine but I want to know who they are.

I hope I die soon. That may seem like a non sequiter but it’s not. We are going backwards as a nation and it is literally breaking my heart.

I had no idea how much I loved my country until she left me.

I didn’t understand AT ALL that it was possible to lose her. I’ve had to come to terms with a lot of loss over the last 16 months, and this feels the unkindest of all because I blindly, stupidly assumed I would leave my children and in turn their children in my country and they would grow and thrive.

This is NOT my country. My country doesn’t separate infants from their mothers and lose track of where their babies are whilst being able to return whatever paltry material possessions they have.

Except that’s what we did. And what you DO is who you are.

And I feel a sense of shame that is disproportionate to my blame.

I wish death would liberate me from this national nightmare but I’m disgustingly healthy.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 07/07/18 05:41 PM

Lg I was thinking of you all week because of your profession, can you help some of those 18 month olds with no legal representation? I read many toddlers are left to represent themselves.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 07/09/18 04:52 PM

The ACLU is taking volunteer attorneys and providing training in immigration law. I signed up to help with a SoCal case.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/20/18 02:10 AM

Daddy died in the spring. I was there. It was March, April or May -- likely April but I actively avoid finding our when. I have no idea why.

John and Daddy died within roughly a year of one another, and John is WAY more dead than Daddy is.

I've never seen anyone die. I saw my paternal grandmother in the coffin and vowed never again to view a dead person.

And yet there I was because what were my options? I was downstairs getting grilled cheeses for everyone -- the grilled cheeses at Baylor Heart hospital are ridiculously good -- when I got the text from my brother that they were about to turn off the oxygen.

I hesitated -- there's that lovely short order cook who has made me many grilled cheeses and will he get charged for this if I leave (that does happen) or go stand around the bed whilst Daddy died.

I chose the latter mainly because of FOMO -- I wasn't going to be left out by my siblings, period.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/20/18 03:15 AM

hug I can only imagine how hard it must’ve been to be there. I’m sure it was a comfort to your Dad to have you there with him.
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/20/18 07:31 AM

So sorry LG.

I’ve been there too recently. My Dad’s still with me, not the the broken, confused, scared Dad but the spirit of the strong, dignified rock that he was.

You're in my prayers
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/20/18 08:12 AM

Seeing and experience the death of a loved one up close and personal is hard. My grandmother was the 1st for me to experience it. I had gone to many a funeral but losing her was hard. She was a good person and a great kind of grandma. smile I miss her dearly.

My mom's passing was very hard on me for many reasons. My father's death was hard for the most offensive of reasons, which may put us as having different experiences but he was my parent and I mourned his loss.

Your experience of your dad's passing may change how you view things, may be allow you to accept and understand why we suffer as we do. Know even if we have been through these kinds of experiences whether there is more to life or not.

It does enhance one's perspective.

Several of us have lost parents recently. We gain some comfort from those around us who truly understand what we are going through and the others who are able to reach out and empathize with us and for us.

When my mother passed, I had just left the hospital. She was comatose towards the end but she was alive when I left. I had not even dropped off my friend who had stayed with me. I turned around and drove right back to the hospital.

When my grandmother passed, I was the only one at the dining table that had a twinge that shook me right as I was sitting. My mom asked me what was wrong, I couldn't really explain and later we found out that was just about the time she died. Sigh that was a shocking experience for me. My grandmother and I had a deep connection.

Does the comfort of knowing our loved ones are not suffering from their illnesses anymore? It may a bit. It also hurts a lot. Understanding both ends of that and all in-between may help.

LG, we are here for you, ok?

Hugz,
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/20/18 11:53 PM

Hugs, hon. This is heavy stuff to handle. We're thinking of you.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/21/18 02:25 PM

Our loved ones know us well. My belief is he wanted you there. He knew you needed to be even though you didn’t. It’s unexplainable to us, difficult to understand, but I find a comforting feeling knowing that even though they are no longer physically present, they are all around us spiritually. They never leave us.

Carry that comfort and love with you everywhere you go. Live the life they would want you to live. They will live it through you.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/25/18 01:55 AM

Originally Posted by Oblivious2678
Our loved ones know us well.


Did he? I have no idea.

Circa when I was 27 I was wearing a royal blue short sleeved cotton sweater and a red paisley skirt and I found myself standing in the right doorway at the back of of my parents' house and my mother said:

"Your father and I have never loved you."

I turned my gaze to my dad and asked, "is that true Daddy?"

And he said, "I don't know baby."

I should have divorced them right then. I get that such a thing is not possible, but it should be.

My relationship with my father broke long before that.

I was at the same college (Wa Hoo Wa!) that my adored older brother had attended and I had years of hearing how wonderful he was, and, in particular, to my lonely teenage self, how many friends my brother had.

So when my parents came for the one parents weekend they were able to attend, I made reservations and invited lots of friends to lots of expensive meals. I had no idea my parents lived one paycheck away from disaster for decades. It is crystal clear in hindsight.

My dad got mad, probably after a few martinis, and called me a "prima donna." Was I? Probably. Maybe. More thought needed on that point.

We parted a couple of days later and he handed me a $100 bill and I took it.

I was trying to prove to them that I had friends, just like my brother, not understanding the financial burden that my choices placed on my parents.

My dad wrote me off that day that I took the $100 to take back those words and I wrote him, and in ways myself, off when I took it in exchange for never having to talk about it again.

SAD!
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/25/18 03:52 AM

What a cruel thing for a parent to say to their child. I briefly dated a guy whose mother told him basically the same thing. It impacted his life.

I'm sorry you had to bear the brunt of such a rude attitude. You though have proved yourself to be a person who have had a positive impact on many that would make most parents proud. smile

While we don't get to choose our parents, we can improve our lot in life to some degree. I'm glad you did. smile

hug

Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/25/18 12:37 PM

Let us be very clear LG: you are enough. You are lovable. Anyone who communicated or communicates to you that you are not was and is wrong. Period. Full stop.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/25/18 08:13 PM

I’m getting there Hold. Decided that my ministry in life is being available. There’s something to be said for that. Whether they are consciously aware of it or not, I suspect the people for whom I am available get some comfort from the fact.

There was a time in my life where I would have been bitter and martyrish about that. Now I’m just grateful that providence acting through my husband has seen fit to give me that luxury. I can’t imagine how hard it was for my sister to leave my brother who was trying to die to go back to work a month after John died. I’d have had to quit.

In between being available, I’m trying to do whatever I want which is harder than it looks.

The Kavanaugh thing has got me in flashback hell, a place I thought I’d left behind long ago. I don’t WANT to remember that stuff. It was bad enough when Spanky got elected (in case you were mildly curious, when a man takes your genitals in his hand and twists it really hurts) and now we get one on the Supreme Court?

I tried not to take it seriously when I was sexually assaulted — I was drunk and so was he and what’s a few bruises on my upper arms and wrists between friends?

I can’t imagine how I would deal with it if all the sudden Bill was a SCOTUS nominee.

Kavanaugh will get confirmed because, really, I don’t care, do you?
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/25/18 08:46 PM

Yes. I do.

And it SUCKS. So much for boundaries, and respect.

I guess respect died with Aretha.

Once upon a time, I had a t-shirt that read "ERA won't go away."

Hah. God knows where that shirt ended up.

Still waiting after all these years...
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/25/18 08:47 PM

You have my sympathy. The Kavanaugh thing has been very triggering for me and for Mrs H. I hate boys and men who abuse women. Hate hate hate. Tough for me to be objective.

I think it is actually worse for me at this point. Mrs H maintains the "party line" that being assaulted or raped 3 times has no impact on her current sexuality. So for her it is "just" an awful memory. To me it is another knife in the gut, that I keep paying for what some creeps did to my wife 30 - 40 years ago. And so many of these creeps get away with it. On the other hand, there is the Bill Cosby sentence. So we got that going for us.

Hang in there. I know that there are many people value you being available, even if I do not know who they are. Certainly, the people here appreciate you being available.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/25/18 09:10 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
You have my sympathy.......

Hang in there. I know that there are many people value you being available, even if I do not know who they are. Certainly, the people here appreciate you being available.


Me 2. smile

LG, I respect and value your mind, heart and opinions.

Orchid
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/25/18 11:53 PM

LG

When I read what your dad said to you my heart sank....and I felt it in my gut....remember your value is not determined by anyone else's opinion. But also know you are well loved by many including me. smile

I have been so busy the last few days but the Kavanaugh thing has me rattled too. It is triggering......and then on one hand I find myself thinking 'should people really be judged for what they did at age 17?' Then on the other hand I remember that he continues to deny it which is where the biggest sin lies in my mind. And then on the third hand I also think, wow, I have an 18 year old and I cant imagine him assaulting a woman like Kavanaugh is accused or exposing himself to a girl at a party.

And what a joke to question why she didn't report it back then. I mean really....every woman on the planet understands that.

If the young male who tried to rape me when he was 21 was suddenly in the news as he applied for some important job.....I wonder what I would do.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/26/18 01:08 AM

This issue about persons who dismiss offensive acts by minimizing it's severity are showing their characters are not about caring or even empathizing. Rather it shows a selfish and entitled attitude.

Many sexual abuse cases take years to be brought to authorities if at all for all genders.

There are really multiple issues here that I see in 2 time categories. The actions of this person as a minor and adult.

What he did as a minor was wrong. What he did as a college student (aka: adult) is wrong. According to the law it can also be criminal. It's not a matter of if it should be criminal or not because that is determined by the laws of where it occurred.

Morally, each can have their own opinion, most of us do.

What stands out is not just what happened in the past but how remnants of that entitled attitude has morphed into other aspects of his life. The entitled shows by associating with persons who will turn a blind eye to misconduct, that being encourage to demean and be disrespectful to others is not a way to render judgement.

So may that cause one to question his current ability to judge? It could. For some it does.

Another thing, if those in denial believe that God knows all, why lie and be rewarded with job that requires honesty as a basic job requirement? Hm........

So it isn't just about his past and it has been carefully carried and nurtured into a more sophisticated methods of entitlement and arrogance, that would be a reason to consider these charges.

You know that description about putting one's hand over the mouth of another to keep it quiet, is disturbing. That act alone is terrifying. Combine that with sexual assault would be a memory one can't completely forget, though one may try.

There is a means to get these testimonies done. Yet words requesting fairness is blocked by actions that show otherwise. Was that mean to deflect?

Know any other situations that have a similar pattern on small or larger venues?
Posted By: Fergie

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/27/18 04:01 PM

Originally Posted by Orchid2
This issue about persons who dismiss offensive acts by minimizing it's severity are showing their characters are not about caring or even empathizing. Rather it shows a selfish and entitled attitude.
Sounds like you are talking about cheating spouses?
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/27/18 08:10 PM

Originally Posted by Orchid2
This issue about persons who dismiss offensive acts by minimizing it's severity are showing their characters are not about caring or even empathizing. Rather it shows a selfish and entitled attitude.


Originally Posted by Fergie
Sounds like you are talking about cheating spouses?


I believe the question can go even further to ask who this type of conduct applies to. This is about offensive acts. Ask what is included by offensive acts instead of minimizing them.

A cheating spouse is just one type of person who can be described as above. As one listens to assault victims, this definition can apply to their attackers as well.

Also it can include those who perform other relationship interacts with the same type of conduct. It can include interactions in the home, workplace, with friends, casual acquaintances, school, basically any interaction subjected to performing and condoning offensive acts.

Here are a few other questions:

1. How can we identify offensive acts and safely report them?

2. How can we recognize when we are being 'groomed' to normalize and accept offensive acts?

3. Where should our focus be without becoming unreasonable?

Victims of sexual abuse share stories that show triggers can happen anytime and anywhere. This gives a lifelong sentence to the victim. At the same time in some cases, the perpetrator goes through life maybe with triggers that they can use to justify and condone which may in turn enable that and 'other offensive practices'.

The incidents are separate issues that in some cases needs to be dealt with legally. Some incidents under the same reason of conduct may not have the option of being dealt with legally (due to laws).

That being said, the 'other offensive practices, can springboard off of acts like sexual abuse. It can allow a sense of entitlement that one may say 'I got away with that, what else can I get away with?'

So if someone takes it to another type of offensive conduct is where the path grows encompassing more victims for various situations. It can expand how one feels entitled to abuse others in different ways. This in turn grows the list of victims who for the most part are not even aware they are they are only part of a string of victims.

What does this allow? It allows further entitlement acts on the part of the perpetrator. It allows the invasion of offensive acts upon victims who in many cases don't have enough to legally take action and even more so feel they can't or don't even know they have even are a victim.

When a sexual assaulter performs an act which includes covering the mouth of a victim screaming for help, it tells a lot as to the intent and commitment to promoting offensive acts. I think we have not paid enough attention to acts like that to show the severity of sexual attacks.

This point is where I believe there are carry overs from the attitude that allowed sexual assaults move forward in a different form but ties to the same attitude. This is where we may lose track of the offender who may no longer be a direct attack sexual offender but may redirect to other areas. Think about this, those of us who have dealt and lived with a WS who still shows WS like conduct but without the affair conduct we may have seen or even become victims of other types of offensive conduct. I know I have.

Going through my experiences, watching and listening to the experiences of others has been an eye opener. I have learned that this isn't a straight line or even black and white type of situation.

We may have all have had conduct that we have made bad judgement on. It is when those bad judgements create illegal acts and victims that we must own our part in it.

Can a WS be a predator and at the same time find persons to vouch for their character? Yes. Yet the conduct that created those victims should not get minimized or buried due to good acts towards non-victims if one's attitude displays ingrained entitled attitudes which continues to make new and in many cases more hidden victims.

What is being played on the public stage this very day (testimony in front of a congressional committee) is an example of this. Will we as the public ever know the truth with all parties being on the same page? Probably not.

Pay attention to see if spin is played out and see what the motive bespeaks truth or a masquerade of truth.

Can a person maintain a sort of double life? Yes. Is this a good thing? I think not.

For example, my father is one example. He convinced his mind and heart that being a WS is who he really was and he died that way. The result of those decisions have severely impacted the lives of many people (including myself). Yet, he (my father) choose to be devoted to being a WS in mind and heart over being a good father, husband and parent. Many ignorant and those in denial assume all is good, even when one dies but I know that is not true. Damage often survives even when the perpetrator has expired.

I hope this answers your question and maybe we can take this subject off to another thread to discuss this further. If you want to move this to another thread, please let me know.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: Fergie

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/27/18 09:12 PM

Originally Posted by Orchid2
Victims of sexual abuse share stories that show triggers can happen anytime and anywhere. This gives a lifelong sentence to the victim.
Interesting. I don't presume to give different weights to peoples trauma. Their pain is personal. Pain is pain.

I don't see the difference between the pain of sexual abuse, infidelity, or even the death of a child.

I also remember many discussions on this board chiding a betrayed spouse for not getting over the pain of infidelity sooner. I guess I'm interested in finding out what pain is acceptable to dwell on and what pain is not.

Originally Posted by Orchid2
A cheating spouse is just one type of person who can be described as above. As one listens to assault victims, this definition can apply to their attackers as well.
So adulterers can be viewed in the same vein as sexual assault perpetrators? I can agree with that.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 09/27/18 11:05 PM

Originally Posted by Fergie
Interesting. I don't presume to give different weights to peoples trauma. Their pain is personal. Pain is pain.


Orchid: Well we may need to disagree Fergie. The word pain maybe used to describe suffering but there are definitely various degrees of pain. Pain is not always personal. For example, when pain of an A is inflicted on the BS, often the family (children, etc.) is affected. Even pets. Plus others like relatives, neighbors, work-mates, school, friends, acquaintances, etc.

Originally Posted by Fergie
I don't see the difference between the pain of sexual abuse, infidelity, or even the death of a child.


Orchid: I believe that's an opinion statement. Ask a parent who has lost a child to compare it to a BS, they may have different opinions. Ask a parent who has lost a child and was a BS (some of us know of a BS who was both), you may get another response.

Originally Posted by Fergie
I also remember many discussions on this board chiding a betrayed spouse for not getting over the pain of infidelity sooner. I guess I'm interested in finding out what pain is acceptable to dwell on and what pain is not.


Orchid: Good question. Getting over it is usually not fast nor permanent. I do have my opinion as to what pain may be experienced and know there is pain on both sides (Ws / BS). What I disagree with is when I hear a WS demand the BS 'just get over it'. I find that demand offensive. I also find it offensive when I was told by my then WS, 'well I'm here.' As if his physical presence fixed all.

Would be interested in hearing other posts.

Originally Posted by Fergie
So adulterers can be viewed in the same vein as sexual assault perpetrators? I can agree with that.


Orchid: In some states adultery is a crime. In all states, proven sexual assault is . crime. So they are not in the same vein, legally. So maybe we disagree with at this point.

Either way, adultery is harmful to the marriage and family. Sexual assault is harmful to the victim both inside and outside of a marriage and family arrangement. Sexual assault is a broader and more encompassing charge and covers both adults and children.

Added: LG, going to move my post to another thread in TD. This subject matter is diverting away from your thread.

Orchid


Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/10/18 01:18 AM

I told no one when I was sexually assaulted.

That's just what boys did when they got drunk.

It's not that I didn't think anyone would believe me, although I'm sure I suspected as much.

I knew no one would care, best case, and it would be turned back on me, worst case.

This weird middle ground where we are meant to believe the victim right up to, but not including, identifying her attacker was never part of my decision tree because it is just too stupid for anyone to actually believe. Seriously, literally NO ONE actually believes that.

I was absolutely 100% correct to keep my goddamn mouth shut.

My daughter heard loud and clear. My son's girlfriend heard loud and clear. My daughter's best friend heard loud and clear, and we had a wine infused night of grieving and wondering why in this country one can sexually assault women with impunity, and then attain a position where you get to decide what those very same women who have been sexually assaulted, domestically abused or raped get to do with their bodies.

[img]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b5aW08ivHU[/img]

If Bill (that was the actual name of one of my assaulters) came up for public office, I wouldn't breath a word.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/10/18 03:20 AM

Lg that is so horrible. Orchid has a thread to explore solutions maybe you would like to check it out.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/10/18 02:41 PM

Stopping by to say hi, LG.

Keep talking. It's important.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/10/18 04:24 PM

Best tweet ever in response to Kavanaugh debacle:

Ladies, I'm look for a good matte foundation, not too heavy because I don't want my pores clogged and with a bit of a sheen and now that all the men have stopped reading, we riot at midnight.

Hope that makes you laugh out loud like I did!
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/10/18 05:48 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
Best tweet ever in response to Kavanaugh debacle:

Ladies, I'm look for a good matte foundation, not too heavy because I don't want my pores clogged and with a bit of a sheen and now that all the men have stopped reading, we riot at midnight.

Hope that makes you laugh out loud like I did!


lol I did.
Posted By: Blair

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/11/18 01:38 AM

Me too! Thank you for taking a moment to share a few giggles when life has been so tough lately. I needed it. smile
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/11/18 12:59 PM

I wrote another joke from this one on my FB page:


"Coincidentally, during the duration that the establishments entitlement supersedes their constituents well being and livelihoods and now that the Trump supporters have stopped reading the three syllable words, we riot at midterms."
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/11/18 02:31 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
I told no one when I was sexually assaulted.

That's just what boys did when they got drunk.

It's not that I didn't think anyone would believe me, although I'm sure I suspected as much.

I knew no one would care, best case, and it would be turned back on me, worst case.

This weird middle ground where we are meant to believe the victim right up to, but not including, identifying her attacker was never part of my decision tree because it is just too stupid for anyone to actually believe. Seriously, literally NO ONE actually believes that.

I was absolutely 100% correct to keep my goddamn mouth shut.

My daughter heard loud and clear. My son's girlfriend heard loud and clear. My daughter's best friend heard loud and clear, and we had a wine infused night of grieving and wondering why in this country one can sexually assault women with impunity, and then attain a position where you get to decide what those very same women who have been sexually assaulted, domestically abused or raped get to do with their bodies.

[img]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b5aW08ivHU[/img]

If Bill (that was the actual name of one of my assaulters) came up for public office, I wouldn't breath a word.



I told my husband that if the man/boy that assaulted me was suddenly up for an important job I am positive I would not say a word. I mean, if my own then husband didn't believe me when he was THERE why would I expect total strangers to believe me. In fact, if my brother had not been there I might even doubt it myself.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/11/18 06:39 PM

Originally Posted by SmilingWife
I told my husband that if the man/boy that assaulted me was suddenly up for an important job I am positive I would not say a word. I mean, if my own then husband didn't believe me when he was THERE why would I expect total strangers to believe me. In fact, if my brother had not been there I might even doubt it myself.


.......and yet a very important book encourages a woman to scream for help. This may not always be possible but it is one of the resistance tactics we all have. Sometimes resistance seems to encourage the rapist. There are various methods that can be used. Once I played like I was too weak, not fighting or interaction. I became listless. That came after I was fighting off my offender. He lost interest and it didn't happen. He was angry but he released his grip enough for me to get away.

I read an article that recommends:
1. Be prepared
2. Always have an exit plan
3. Set boundaries and stick to them

Additionally I found it is helpful to:
1. Recognize peer pressure
2. Recognize signs of abuse
3. Recognize bullying
4. Know when to walk away.
5. Value yourself

Many assume that if they expose the attack, no one will believe them. While some won't, some will. Wade through the sea of contacts and find those who understand. Rape is so prevalent that many know more than we may realize.

Would I expose? Yes. I did.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/11/18 07:27 PM

Originally Posted by Orchid2
Originally Posted by SmilingWife
I told my husband that if the man/boy that assaulted me was suddenly up for an important job I am positive I would not say a word. I mean, if my own then husband didn't believe me when he was THERE why would I expect total strangers to believe me. In fact, if my brother had not been there I might even doubt it myself.


.......and yet a very important book encourages a woman to scream for help. This may not always be possible but it is one of the resistance tactics we all have. Sometimes resistance seems to encourage the rapist. There are various methods that can be used. Once I played like I was too weak, not fighting or interaction. I became listless. That came after I was fighting off my offender. He lost interest and it didn't happen. He was angry but he released his grip enough for me to get away.

I read an article that recommends:
1. Be prepared
2. Always have an exit plan
3. Set boundaries and stick to them

Additionally I found it is helpful to:
1. Recognize peer pressure
2. Recognize signs of abuse
3. Recognize bullying
4. Know when to walk away.
5. Value yourself

Many assume that if they expose the attack, no one will believe them. While some won't, some will. Wade through the sea of contacts and find those who understand. Rape is so prevalent that many know more than we may realize.

Would I expose? Yes. I did.



Scream for help? Yes during the assault for sure that is what I would have done had I been awake. But I am talking about years down the road like in the Kavanaugh situation....I would not go public with my story if the man who assaulted me was running for some public office. Those who know me do believe it happened. I have good support. But I wouldn't go to the media.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/11/18 08:44 PM

SW,

The decision to go public or not is a personal one. Respect for the person making that decision is the important point.

Public scrutiny is cruel. The predator will hide in as many places and excuses they can squeeze into. The victim doesn't have that much cover so the risk to being attacked again and triggering the experience again is high.

Still in some cases, the bold stance to do so despite knowing the harsh options have in turn benefited and encouraged those who feel they need to go public. Going public isn't always in the news, some are and many are not. Going public may be restricted to places like MA, friends, work , neighbors, school, etc which widens the pool of people who now know. It may include the utility companies, police, baby sitters, credit card companies, the tax offices, etc.

The point is that it is an option that is ok to have. Respect the victim's decision and know it can change. We do that here on MA. We respect when a BS says they are not going to tell anyone or not do anything. We may individually not agree but we respect the decision and don't browbeat the victim.

What we are able to do by their asking questions and revealing some details, it helps give an direct or general guideline so the victim(s) can make better decisions going forward.

There is no one way answer, even if we think it should be. That is part of the challenge regarding victims, their rights, their options and the choices they make.

We have been doing that primary function here on MA. Many have benefitted from this site and support. In some cases, it has helped the victim move forward and put better practices in place so the victim status lessens and becomes a teaching tool going forward.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/11/18 09:23 PM

Originally Posted by Orchid2
SW,

The decision to go public or not is a personal one. Respect for the person making that decision is the important point.

Public scrutiny is cruel. The predator will hide in as many places and excuses they can squeeze into. The victim doesn't have that much cover so the risk to being attacked again and triggering the experience again is high.

Still in some cases, the bold stance to do so despite knowing the harsh options have in turn benefited and encouraged those who feel they need to go public. Going public isn't always in the news, some are and many are not. Going public may be restricted to places like MA, friends, work , neighbors, school, etc which widens the pool of people who now know. It may include the utility companies, police, baby sitters, credit card companies, the tax offices, etc.

The point is that it is an option that is ok to have. Respect the victim's decision and know it can change. We do that here on MA. We respect when a BS says they are not going to tell anyone or not do anything. We may individually not agree but we respect the decision and don't browbeat the victim.

What we are able to do by their asking questions and revealing some details, it helps give an direct or general guideline so the victim(s) can make better decisions going forward.

There is no one way answer, even if we think it should be. That is part of the challenge regarding victims, their rights, their options and the choices they make.

We have been doing that primary function here on MA. Many have benefitted from this site and support. In some cases, it has helped the victim move forward and put better practices in place so the victim status lessens and becomes a teaching tool going forward.

jmo,
Orchid


Well sure everyone needs to do what is best for them. I was just responding to LGs point that no way she would say a word. I feel like she does. I have told all the people I think need to know.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 10/11/18 10:28 PM

Originally Posted by SmilingWife

Well sure everyone needs to do what is best for them. I was just responding to LGs point that no way she would say a word. I feel like she does. I have told all the people I think need to know.


I think our message is that it is ok to tell when you are ready. As for the consequences, be prepared for them and not be in denial about it.

The important thing is to know one's options. Being informed is important to be able to make a good decision.

The very fact that exposure should be a point to consider is because the fight to suppress the truth has strong support. The levels of suppression and victimizing others has support from the bowels of the earth (not the good kind either).

Help folks see when it is ok to stand up and speak, sit down and be patient (i.e. while gathering info), make changes in our lives and set an example for others.

Some who are quiet can help in other ways, others are able to speak up and help as well. If we each use our best skills and talents to help each other, things can be easier to handle. Work together and for each other in a positive manner.

That said, LG has helped many even if sharing details is not what she can do. In reality, we don't need to know anyone's details but only enough to know how to help.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: LadyGrey

A Great Day - 10/23/18 01:01 AM

My daughter is pregnant! I can't tell ANYONE but I can tell y'all!

Deciding to have a baby in this environment to my mind shows breathtaking hope and courage.

AND, I have been waiting almost TWO WHOLE YEARS to vote a straight democratic ticket and I got to do that today!

Take THAT dotard.

Although I have to confess that Spanky has turned me into a lazy voter -- I'll never, ever, ever EVER vote for a Republican candidate again.

OK, my loathing of Republicans has gotten out of hand, I have cut them from my life to a person. It feels really good, like excising gangrenous tissue. But this can't possibly be right. We are, after all, still Americans....

except for THEM.

Hey -- I'm self aware and working on it, but nonetheless told my husband I want nothing to do with his family. Period. End of discussion.

Which also feels good, but can't actually BE good.

If my dentist or my lady doctor were overtly R, I wouldn't do business with them. I actually try to figure that out before I commit.

I'm going to raise my grandchild to be a dem. To care about those less fortunate, to care about their community, to sacrifice being a billionaire (hey, I'm about to win the Megamillions) in favor of keeping old people from eating cat food to afford their medications.

I'm going to be Nana and all feels right with the world.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: A Great Day - 10/23/18 01:16 AM

LG,

Congrats on becoming a grandmama. What are you going to let your grandchildren call you? wink

LG, avoiding extremes is a choice.

Be safe,
Orchid
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: A Great Day - 10/23/18 01:17 AM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
My daughter is pregnant! I can't tell ANYONE but I can tell y'all!

Deciding to have a baby in this environment to my mind shows breathtaking hope and courage.

AND, I have been waiting almost TWO WHOLE YEARS to vote a straight democratic ticket and I got to do that today!

Take THAT dotard.

Although I have to confess that Spanky has turned me into a lazy voter -- I'll never, ever, ever EVER vote for a Republican candidate again.

OK, my loathing of Republicans has gotten out of hand, I have cut them from my life to a person. It feels really good, like excising gangrenous tissue. But this can't possibly be right. We are, after all, still Americans....

except for THEM.

Hey -- I'm self aware and working on it, but nonetheless told my husband I want nothing to do with his family. Period. End of discussion.

Which also feels good, but can't actually BE good.

If my dentist or my lady doctor were overtly R, I wouldn't do business with them. I actually try to figure that out before I commit.

I'm going to raise my grandchild to be a dem. To care about those less fortunate, to care about their community, to sacrifice being a billionaire (hey, I'm about to win the Megamillions) in favor of keeping old people from eating cat food to afford their medications.

I'm going to be Nana and all feels right with the world.



Congrats my friend. Focus on the baby and let the politics go. Babies are wonderful.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: A Great Day - 10/23/18 01:20 AM

That's such wonderful news. Big big congrats.

Do a search for Anne LaMott's latest blog post. That woman can write.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: A Great Day - 10/23/18 02:09 AM

Congratulations!
Posted By: catperson

Re: A Great Day - 10/23/18 03:01 AM

LG, so excited for you. And I get you about raising Democrats. I got my love for all people from my mom, who raised me to never see color, never see bad in people, and to always help anyone I see needs it. That's who I am.

And then she went to work as a nurse for the state prison system for 10 years. By the time she retired, she hated all black people, trusted nobody, and questioned (because of lawsuits) whether she would ever stop and help a wounded citizen. By the time she died at 76, she was a devout Republican and we couldn't see eye to eye on anything. It was so sad; I felt like we barely had anything we could talk about. And then Fox came along and my once-normal brother turned into a rabid attack dog, hating even the mention of Democrats. His wife even divorced him over his intolerance. It's been a rough 20 years, going through that with them.

You just never know, right?
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: A Great Day - 10/23/18 03:04 AM

Thanks for the link Chrys. I LOVE Anne Lamott.

But she's just wrong this time. Rare, but true.

Hate wins. It just does. Look at MB if you don't believe me. The coin of the realm there is hate. They seriously hate everyone. They hate the unfaithful spouse (understandable) and they hate the faithful spouse who can't or won't tow the party line.

Hate wins. I want to win.

We have to hate more than the Republicans do with their HATE of these desperate people heading to our border from the south. Brown people.

We have to hate more forcibly and vocally.

In this world at this time, you can't meet hate with love and expect you are going to come out still on the playing field.

You are a lawyer. You know how crystal clear it is that the Republican party is intent on destroying the underpinnings of our democracy for oligarch rule, like Russia. It's friggin NEON to anyone who is paying attention.

This is not a drill.

I don't believe in much of anything anymore. John shot himself, Mike tried to die and Daddy died right in front of my eyes and I stopped -- somewhat like running into a wall at 100 mph -- believing in God. I stopped believing in my country when Spanky was elected. I stopped believing in me when I had an affair. I stopped believing in my husband when I thought he was going to hit me when I paid for my daughter's puppy's hospitalization for Parvo.

Maybe I'll be energized and redeemed by the baby. I can tell you there is not.one.thing I wouldn't do for my children or theirs.

It feels weird to me that I'm part of the 1% and I still hate so much. I'd give it up tomorrow -- or at least most of it -- to see those refugees safe.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: A Great Day - 10/23/18 04:08 AM

I am terrified by the machinations of the Republicans. I don't even pretend to listen to or watch neutral news content any more. I don't think it's that we have to hate; I think that we have to be determined to take our country back.
I too, have sworn never again to vote for a Republican in this lifetime. Never.
I trained with the ACLU to go into one of our local prisons to interview detainees, but didn't get assigned before they closed that holding station.I called my senators to demand answers about the children held in LA county. I give selectively to social justice causes.

I'm deeply, deeply enraged by what I see happening. But I don't need the ugly of hate in my soul to know how to vote and whom to call and when to protest and where to contribute.

The night I saw Rachel weeping for her children on live TV, unable to finish her broadcast, broke something in me. But it made me much, much more determined.

If you don't know the reference, look it up. It might give you chills.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: A Great Day - 10/23/18 03:44 PM

Glad to hear the happy news of the grandbaby. Remember, there is no such thing as spoiling too much when you are Nana. Any fallout from your indulgence is the parent's job to counteract. If your kids complain, just tell them you are giving their kid everything that they asked for when they were young. Payback is strong medicine. wink
Posted By: Fergie

Re: A Great Day - 10/24/18 08:34 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
In this world at this time, you can't meet hate with love and expect you are going to come out still on the playing field.

You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. Right?
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: A Great Day - 10/24/18 09:45 PM

Originally Posted by Fergie
You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. Right?


Reported today (10/24/18): On Wednesday, the Secret Service said it had intercepted suspicious packages sent to former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Packages were also reported to have been mailed to CNN, billionaire George Soros, and other frequent, public targets of Trump's scorn.

Regardless of one's political stance, who is influencing the weak minded to perform the acts of violence being touted, shouted, challenged or even whispered in the dark places? How liable are those folks?

Preying on weak minded folks to perform these violent acts in behalf of their mentors is a sign of bullying and manipulation.

Can the bully himself be viewed as weak minded as well? Pay attention to the news.

One thing to watch is how persons in authority act and react to these attacks. If they show cooperation and justice as their real attitude vs blaming others, it says a lot about their true character. Then pay attention to their actions.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: A Great Day - 10/26/18 01:01 AM

Originally Posted by Fergie
Originally Posted by LadyGrey
In this world at this time, you can't meet hate with love and expect you are going to come out still on the playing field.

You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. Right?


I don't want this to be true, but fear it is.

I view this entire administration as an assault on my gender.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: A Great Day - 10/26/18 01:14 AM

Mother fell yesterday, somehow ended up under her glass coffee table and couldn't get out. She has two black eyes and carpet burns all over her face.

She looks like she was in a bar fight.

She used her "I've fallen and I can't get up" pendant to call the paramedics who took her to the hospital.

I don't understand why this horrible thing had to happen before my siblings came to an agreement that she can't go home and live alone.

I do understand why no one listens to me.

Now what? I have no idea. She has nowhere set up to go. They won't keep her in the hospital longer than is medically necessary. And in our conference call this afternoon, my siblings kept asking her what she wanted to do, going home having been taken off the table.

Her judgement has been shown to be poor and still they defer.

Don't get it. Unsure what I should do -- do I go now?

Predictably, my husband says no but I can't view his opinion as good advice. He didn't want me to go when my dad died. The only reason I was there was because I uncharacteristically dug in my heels and said "I'm going."

I just want to do the "right" thing, whatever that is.
Posted By: catperson

Re: A Great Day - 10/26/18 02:07 AM

IMO, the right thing is to go be with your mother.

LG, there was an AWESOME show on today on NPR's Forum with Max Boot, who has a new book out about why he left the Republican party. I literally had a 15-minute driveway moment because I couldn't stop listening. He is so eloquent and spot on about what's wrong with the GOP, it's scary. Exactly all the reasons I left. His book is called The Corrosion of Conservatism.
https://www.npr.org/podcasts/432307980/forum
Posted By: Blair

Re: A Great Day - 10/26/18 02:22 AM

I'm so sorry LG. Can you stay with her for a week or two so she can get in a home? Can you pay a in-home aide to stay with her until a spot opens up?

And it is time for YOU. You do what you want. Your H doesn't care about your feelings anyway, so if you want to go stay with her and spend some time with her, you do it. You decide what you want and what matters to you most.
Posted By: Fergie

Re: A Great Day - 10/26/18 03:07 PM

Originally Posted by catperson
LG, there was an AWESOME show on today on NPR's Forum with Max Boot, who has a new book out about why he left the Republican party. I literally had a 15-minute driveway moment because I couldn't stop listening. He is so eloquent and spot on about what's wrong with the GOP, it's scary.
You mean Max Boot the Neo-Con who was so spectacularly wrong about the Iraq War? For an egg-head intellectual, he has been wrong so many times why would anyone listen to him? The only person more wrong, more often would be Bill Kristol and ole Max has man-crush on him.

A couple of dubya era cronies pouting they can't talk us into more wars...
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: A Great Day - 10/26/18 04:00 PM

LG: You know what you want to do. Do it. Do not let your husband and your siblings talk you out of it.
Posted By: catperson

Re: A Great Day - 10/26/18 05:49 PM

Originally Posted by Fergie
Originally Posted by catperson
LG, there was an AWESOME show on today on NPR's Forum with Max Boot, who has a new book out about why he left the Republican party. I literally had a 15-minute driveway moment because I couldn't stop listening. He is so eloquent and spot on about what's wrong with the GOP, it's scary.
You mean Max Boot the Neo-Con who was so spectacularly wrong about the Iraq War? For an egg-head intellectual, he has been wrong so many times why would anyone listen to him? The only person more wrong, more often would be Bill Kristol and ole Max has man-crush on him.

A couple of dubya era cronies pouting they can't talk us into more wars...
Yes, exactly that Max Boot. He spends quite a bit of time in the podcast apologizing for buying into the WMD hype and helping to lead us down that path. And explaining the 'brainwashing' and hatred involved in being a Republican of the past 30 years. And I am listening to him for exactly that reason - he SEES his errors, apologizes for them, and tries to make up for them. Can we all say the same?
Posted By: catperson

Re: A Great Day - 10/26/18 05:49 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
LG: You know what you want to do. Do it. Do not let your husband and your siblings talk you out of it.
Exactly. In the end, the only thing that matters in life is living it for the right reasons and doing the right thing. Help your mom.
Posted By: Fergie

Re: A Great Day - 10/26/18 08:13 PM

Originally Posted by catperson
He spends quite a bit of time in the podcast apologizing for buying into the WMD hype and helping to lead us down that path.
So, the Ivy League educated military "expert" is full of shinola. No surprise there. The only people who would support Max Boot are the Pro-War Progressives and Never-Trumpers and they are the same thing. Maybe they can form their own party and use the dinosaur as their mascot. That's what Max and his neo-con buddies are. Dinosaurs. Can't adapt in the new Information Age where his bull-shinola is easily debunked (and his colossal wrongness has been archived forever). Dissolution of the Uniparty has left them homeless.

Can't wait for Dick Cheney to come out and profess his new found discovery of his white, male privilege. Hucksters gotta huck.
Posted By: catperson

Re: A Great Day - 10/26/18 09:44 PM

Jeez, Fergie.
Posted By: SFB

Re: A Great Day - 10/27/18 03:43 PM

Originally Posted by catperson
Originally Posted by holdingontoit
LG: You know what you want to do. Do it. Do not let your husband and your siblings talk you out of it.
Exactly. In the end, the only thing that matters in life is living it for the right reasons and doing the right thing. Help your mom.


LG:

^^^^^ This. Go where you gotta go, for as long as you need to be there.

SFB
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: A Great Day - 10/28/18 03:00 PM

Well, we had an entire 24 hours when mother had agreed to go to assisted living, then she changed her mind.

She is still in the hospital. They agreed to keep her pending transfer to an assisted living facility. Because it is not medically necessary for her to be there, it is anticipated she will be discharged today.

My long suffering saint of a sister has had enough. She is done enabling, a position I advocated when Daddy died.

My sister told mother she isn't going home on her watch, that she will have to call a cab, and that my sister is taking her name off of the LifeAlert, etc.

My sister told mother that she had promised my dad that she would take care of mother and since she won't let me sister honor that promise, my sister is no longer going to participate in a plan that puts mother in danger.

My sister also told me not to come as she doesn't want mother to think anyone is going to bale her out.

My only interest here is supporting my sister. I'm a human being so I don't want my mother to die an unnecessarily horrible death, but honestly beyond that I don't much care. I've said good bye to mother.

Time for church with my daughter!
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: A Great Day - 10/28/18 04:04 PM

Wow I am impressed with your sister! Good for her!
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: A Great Day - 10/28/18 07:06 PM

LG,

It is truly hard when a parent makes choices to hurt themselves and tries to manipulate others around them. It is very sad.

Was your mom using it as a bargaining tool to say yes so she could get you to do a plan she wanted vs needed?

Your decision is one you need to stand by knowing the consequences. I know I had to stand by my decision and it has been hurtful to watch how much one's own parent's (father in my case) was willing to die with his proud anger and hate with minions in tow.

My heart aches but my conscience is clear. That was my only take away in my case. Still if I was to do it over again with the limited knowledge I had then, the decision would have been the same. I couldn't control and help in my father's health and welfare interests because he refused to let me. I had to accept that decision even if it meant his care and estate went to a greedy wife2 and my selfish sister.

Glad you have your sister to work with and be each other's supporter. You will need to rely on each other during this time.

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: A Great Day - 10/28/18 09:59 PM

Good to hear you and your sister can back each other up. Often there is this kind of push and pull as aging parents lose independence. Hugs for you.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: A Great Day - 10/29/18 12:17 PM

LG fwiw I backed off when B’s mom decided to go live with his sister. SiL took her off all her meds and she died within 2 months. She explained it to us at the time and I thought well it’s out of my hands, but then when she died I felt I had made the wrong decision. Any home can tell you when you leave parents there who don’t want to be there, they quickly lose their will to live. Where I live folks who are well- off arrange round the clock care at home, is this an option?
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: A Great Day - 10/29/18 12:19 PM

My mom was a nurse who worked in nursing homes for 30 years and made us promise to care for her in our homes instead of sending her to a facility, so that’s the bias I bring.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: A Great Day - 10/29/18 01:45 PM

Sounds like you are dealing with progressive dementia layered on top of a difficult personality.

There is likely no poetic way of dealing with this. I found it to be an ongoing struggle to insure their safety while their resistance continues.
To LG's mother, her resistance feels like a fight to save her life. I think they fear any loss of control will kill them. I know it's not rational.
Dementia is not rational.

The only option I found when my mother went through similar, was to either choose to jump in whole-hog, or walk away entirely.

I chose to jump in and had legal guardianship. My brother chose to walk away.

Neither are comforting choices. Follow your brain and your heart.

Hugs to you, LG.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: A Great Day - 11/03/18 08:21 PM

My dear LG,

How are you doing?

You are truly in a difficult dilemma. As hard as it may be hear, you are enduring it and will survive. Please know that you are not alone in this journey.

Sending you hugz and positive thoughts from the middle of the big blue. smile

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: A Great Day - 11/08/18 07:01 PM

This gets worse and worse.

Mother fell in the shower and is in ICU with broken ribs and I am not speaking to any of my siblings over the issue. I get all my info through my husband -- that "Block Caller" feature is really handy and works!

They are OK with my mother dying trapped under the coffee table or laying cold and alone in the shower -- no skin off my nose.

In a related event, I discovered that I have a first cousin named Elizabeth from my 23 & Me results.

I don't have a first cousin. My father was an only and my mother's only brother never had children.

My flights of fancy have me adopted. It would explain a whole lot. I mean A LOT. So many things that never made sense make sense.

I know it's just a fantasy but it would be really, really cool if it were true. So very cool.

Sigh.
Posted By: Vibrissa

Re: A Great Day - 11/08/18 07:34 PM

LG very sorry to hear about your mother.

And enjoy that fantasy, I say.

.... also, it's been a while
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: A Great Day - 11/08/18 07:47 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
This gets worse and worse.

Mother fell in the shower and is in ICU with broken ribs and I am not speaking to any of my siblings over the issue. I get all my info through my husband -- that "Block Caller" feature is really handy and works!

They are OK with my mother dying trapped under the coffee table or laying cold and alone in the shower -- no skin off my nose.

In a related event, I discovered that I have a first cousin named Elizabeth from my 23 & Me results.

I don't have a first cousin. My father was an only and my mother's only brother never had children.

My flights of fancy have me adopted. It would explain a whole lot. I mean A LOT. So many things that never made sense make sense.

I know it's just a fantasy but it would be really, really cool if it were true. So very cool.

Sigh.


Wow, that is terrible about your mom. Yikes.

I am thinking your mother's only brother did indeed have a child. Have you reached out to this person yet? I did the Ancestry DNA and proved that I am my father's daughter. He has never really admitted it. Of course I don't speak to him really and now my sister isn't speaking to him, so he will still probably never 'know' for sure.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: A Great Day - 11/08/18 08:19 PM

LG,

Very sorry to hear of your mom's accident. Our experiences may vary but for those who refrain from informing family updated on the health of relatives is cruel and inhumane.

I side with telling and let the recipient decide what to do with that info. That releases blame that becomes the guilt of not telling. In my case, wife 2 and my sister made the decision not to inform me of my father's health and death. That is guilt they will carry for the rest of their lives.
I have no intention of relieving them of that guilt as long as their attitude goes in that direction.

The life of all of us is important. Not all live that way or treat others as such but we can only control how we make our choices.

I have learned I can't control all circumstances to make the best choices. I have to recognize that some will make bad choices that can turn my world upside down. My job is to keep my world right side up as much as possible.

Thanks for keeping us updated.

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: A Great Day - 11/08/18 08:25 PM

LG, what are the steps between your mom fell and your are not speaking to your siblings? It’s tragic when families blame one another when they need community the most. You’re shutting out your brother who just lost his son last year?

I’m concerned for you that you’re making decisions you can’t undo.

Are you going to go see your Mom? Do you know her prognosis?
Posted By: ohmy_marie

Re: A Great Day - 11/08/18 11:38 PM

Hey Lady! ... (reminds me of a song) ... sorry to read of your mom's recent fall, and wishing her a speedy recovery.

major congrats on your daughter's pregnancy!!!

miss you! xoxo, marie
Posted By: Blair

Re: A Great Day - 11/09/18 01:51 AM

I'm sorry to hear abouy your mom. What are you going to do if your siblings refuse to do anything?

Maybe you are adopted. Or maybe someone really did have a child. Have any of your close family also done the genetic testing and do you still match with them?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: A Great Day - 11/09/18 01:52 PM

Sorry to hear about your mother's fall. Glad to hear you took steps to insulate you from your siblings.

Also, I was struck that your husband is being the intermediary. Is your husband being protective of you, or does he feel put upon to be forced into this role?
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: A Great Day - 11/13/18 08:00 PM

I don’t think it’s either of the above Hold. He’s on the text message list is all and he asks me if I want to know.

It looks like my daughter is miscarrying although every fiber of my being — and we all know what an optimist I am /s — says she’s not. But I can’t say that when her doctor tells her it’s 99% sure.

Stupid doctor.

In a grand illustration of the irresistible force vs. the immovable object, my mother is trapped at the hospital as no one will pick her up and in any event her doctor has refused to discharge her home. She could leave against medical advice but I’m not sure she knows that and no one will pick her up. I think Adult Protective Services is now involved.

I suspect that means her choices are shrinking. My sister found a great hospice but she won’t consider it. The hospital won’t keep her forever as it’s not an old folks home. It may be that The Great State of Texas will be deciding her fate which I would guess is considerably less palatable than my sisters hospice.

Let this be a lesson to all of us. Have a plan and execute the plan.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: A Great Day - 11/14/18 03:02 PM

Are purposely not on the list because you want to keep yourself away from the drama? And is your H is on the list so there is an avenue to get the information to you if you want or need it? But filtered so you don't have to see the stuff that would bother you? And your H performs this task without complaint? If so, then I think h is protecting you. Which is nice of him. we don't get to hear many nice things about your H. Which may well be justified. But this one jumped out at me for some reason. Just my curiosity. Sometimes it is helpful to notice the nice things that our spouses do for us. Helps us to appreciate the good parts.

I hope that your mothers shrinking set of choices includes one that suits you and her.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: A Great Day - 11/30/18 06:58 PM

With the use of medication, my daughter passed her dead miscarried baby into the toilet last night. She was inconsolable. She wanted to see it. She keened, "my baby, oh god, my baby."

I woke her every hour to check her bleeding.

There are no words to adequately describe that experience.

Peter, my best friends' husband, just had emergency surgery for a brain tumor. They live in Austin. The tumor has tentacles they couldn't reach. That is very, very bad. Peter is the gentlest, kindest, most considerate man I know. I could list many people that deserve to have inoperable brain cancer. Why Peter? Why is John dead and my mother alive? Why does my brother suffer from unrelenting pain and my mother get relief from her narcotics? Why did my daughter lose her baby whilst unwed 15 year olds procreate like mad?

I must go see my mother. I must stay with my daughter. I must go to my friends. I must not be angry with my husband for going hunting this weekend. I must stop staring into space. I must take the dog on a walk and clean up the kitchen and finish the laundry and decorate the house and wrap the presents.

I must not start crying. I'll not be able to stop.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: A Great Day - 11/30/18 07:42 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
With the use of medication, my daughter passed her dead miscarried baby into the toilet last night. She was inconsolable. She wanted to see it. She keened, "my baby, oh god, my baby."

I woke her every hour to check her bleeding.

There are no words to adequately describe that experience.

Peter, my best friends' husband, just had emergency surgery for a brain tumor. They live in Austin. The tumor has tentacles they couldn't reach. That is very, very bad. Peter is the gentlest, kindest, most considerate man I know. I could list many people that deserve to have inoperable brain cancer. Why Peter? Why is John dead and my mother alive? Why does my brother suffer from unrelenting pain and my mother get relief from her narcotics? Why did my daughter lose her baby whilst unwed 15 year olds procreate like mad?

I must go see my mother. I must stay with my daughter. I must go to my friends. I must not be angry with my husband for going hunting this weekend. I must stop staring into space. I must take the dog on a walk and clean up the kitchen and finish the laundry and decorate the house and wrap the presents.

I must not start crying. I'll not be able to stop.


(((((Lady Grey))))) I have no words.
Posted By: catperson

Re: A Great Day - 11/30/18 07:56 PM

I'm here, in Houston, if you need someone to talk to, or just hold you.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: A Great Day - 11/30/18 08:12 PM

LG,

I'm very sorry for your daughter's miscarriage and loss. Glad you are there for her. I know many others need and appreciate your help but remember you can only physically be in one place at a time but you can keep in touch with all our other technological devices and that can also help others. hug

So I'd like to share with you what my cousin just sent me this morning. Not many of my relatives have anything to do with me anymore, that's ok. This cousin is a real sweetheart and what she sent is very encouraging, I'd like to share it with you but since I don't know how to post this picture, it's embedded in the link. I just posted this on OBL's thread and hope it is helpful for you as well:

My cousin just sent me this:
Coping with Anxiety Tools

I don't know how to paste just that one picture, so please disregard the additional FB tabs.

My response: Anxiety happens to more people than we know. Each person's reaction will vary. Many don't even realize they are having an anxiety attack and in some cases it can happen repeatedly for days, weeks and months. I know, it happened to me. I visited a physician who helped me by sharing some tapping techniques that helps even children. This can be added to the tools mentioned above. You can go online regarding tapping. Google 'tapping for anxiety' and watch some videos. It is free to learn the basics and sometimes that's enough to help a person cope.

Hope this helps,
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: A Great Day - 11/30/18 11:48 PM

I'm so sorry, hon. This is heart-breaking.

Your precious daughter needs you most. She needs her mum right now. Hugs for you.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: A Great Day - 12/01/18 07:08 AM

Oh LG. You and I. We just can’t catch a break can we? I’m so sorry you’re going through any of this. Especially with your daughter, on the heels of everything else you’ve endured.

Just do the next right thing. That’s what I do. One right thing at a time. Moment to moment. It’s the best I can do.

Sending you love.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: A Great Day - 12/01/18 08:02 PM

My dear LG,

How is it going for you and your daughter? I am concerned about your mom & Peter but for now, please let us know how you and your daughter are doing.

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: A Great Day - 12/03/18 08:31 PM

My daughter is in hormone hell, my mother has stopped eating and is on morphine, Peter is meeting with the neuro-oncologist today, and my husband went straight from pheasant hunting in South Dakota to Germany.

He genuinely dos not understand why I’m not OK. He doesn’t understand how flushing my I wish grandchild down the toilet was really traumatic. His emotional bandwidth is what it is,

For some reason cranking the Jackson Brown and Simon & Garfunkel and scrubbing all the cabinets and baseboards seems like the right coping mechanism until I go to Dallas on Wednesday. I should be putting up the Christmas decorations but I’m not feeling F*ing festive.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: A Great Day - 12/03/18 09:01 PM

LG,

Thanks for the update and the positive I see is that your coping skills are being tested but you are putting things in place one step at a time.

Cleaning is therapy for me as well but I don't get much therapy time. Consoling songs that help us face reality is helpful.

I've been thinking about you and your situation. Finding the right things to share.
Please keep us updated as needed.

Please take care,
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: A Great Day - 12/04/18 01:35 AM

Your H is an emotional black hole per se. He is completely unable to offer emotional support. (What support, right??)

Simon & Garfunkel and cleaning is therapeutic. I will join you doing both in about an hour.

Five minutes at a time and you can get through this. Hugs.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: A Great Day - 12/04/18 03:39 PM

My husband is the same way LG. I’m left to deal with my emotional state on my own. That’s why I’ve built a “village “ to assist me.

And yes, I’ve found coping mechanisms. I pour myself into my work. Loud music in the car. Etc.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: A Great Day - 12/05/18 03:34 PM

So sorry to hear about your losses. Real body blows. Wish your H could see that you are emotionally bruised and bleeding. But far to much water under that dam.

I heartily agree that "feeling festive" has no place on your list of "shoulds" at this time. You have more than enough shoulds demanding your attention. Focus on your DD and tell the rest to take a hike.
Posted By: Blair

Re: A Great Day - 12/06/18 12:33 AM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Gocus on your DD and tell the rest to take a hike.


Yeah, Hold!!

Hugs, LG. Lots of hugs.
Posted By: LadyGrey

So Very Tired - 12/07/18 11:40 PM

My mother died this morning. I was there with my sister. This watching old people die thing is way overrated.

It was awful. Her breathing was agony to listen to. If someone had given me an syringe full of morphine I would have without hesitation given it to her, damn the consequences.

I'm not big on hanging around dead people. I tried not to see but we had to get all of stuff out of the room, no really no way to avoid it. I can't quite decide what to make of the whole thing, i.e. my entire life as her daughter, so I can't figure out how I'm supposed to feel. It wasn't like with my dad where I kind of knew I should feel sad. "Ding, dong, the witch is dead" feels extreme, but so do tears.

Was that worse than losing my I wish grandchild into the toilet? Maybe. But what I've learned after 58 years is that painful things can happen at the same time and one is not necessarily worse than the other.

I despise cheerful people. Have I ever mentioned that? When bad things happen, people are relentless in telling you why you shouldn't be sad because you still have whatever. I want to punch them. Just leave me the hell alone and let me be sad.

I just hope no one tries to cheer me up for at least a week -- a week is nothing to ask. I may punch them.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: So Very Tired - 12/08/18 12:12 AM

I am so sorry my friend. In many ways it is more difficult to lose a parent with whom you had a bad relationship than a parent that was completely loved.

I think you have every right to be totally sad for as long as you want. Sometimes we just have to feel the feels to be able to come out the other side.

I wish I could hug you. (((Lady Grey)))))
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: So Very Tired - 12/08/18 12:48 AM

LG,

Very sorry to hear about your mom's passing.

Grieving is what our souls do. Don't suppress it but keep it a safe type of grieving. It varies by person but if you need to do so, then proceed.

hug

Those who make sometimes sincere but ineffective statements will happen. Knowing this will help (because denial just exacerbates the pain). Acknowledging it lets you know where to put it.

Don't let it stop a grieving process that you need to work through. That's what I had to do when I lost both my parents. Know that some of the sincere but severely offensive statements were difficult to take. Knowing they may happen allowed me to stay balanced and not be thrown to the ground.

We are an ocean away but I send my care and concern along with sympathy to you, your siblings and family.

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: Fiddler

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/08/18 01:02 AM

LadyGrey, I am so sorry for your losses and for all that you are feeling, whether you can "figure it out" how you feel or not.

The way I see it, feelings just are and generally resist any analytics. One cannot simply "choose" to feel other than what one feels (even writing this it seems like such a tautology that hardly bears even mentioning). This is perhaps why trying to cheer someone up generally is ineffective. So I'm totally with you in not wanting cheer (except for the punching part - I'm not down with that).

The closest I have come to "figuring out" feelings is inquiring into certain of my thoughts, which are what cause me to feel a certain way. (Keeping in mind that as a guy, feelings are the basic "primary colors" = mad, sad, glad, happy, horny [which are not the original names of the dwarfs, I would hasten to point out]). By questioning these thoughts, I often come to see that I have been believing lies, which in turn have caused me to feel badly. As they say, though, your mileage may vary.

I have always appreciated your willingness to examine ideas with a discerning eye and asking "is this really true?" Maybe you could apply that occam's razor to some of the things you are thinking now.

Again, I am so sorry for all you have been through. I hope that you do recognize that we are in your corner here.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/08/18 06:58 AM

LG

Well you’re consistent on a theme in your life just like I am. Unfortunately both of us seem to have landed on the theme of “just cannot catch a break.”

It just tears me apart to see the next in your long list of painful struggles. But I know you’ll soldier on, somehow. My thoughts are with you. Sending you much love and strength to get you through this difficult, confusing, painful time.
Posted By: Blair

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/08/18 02:03 PM

Hugs, LG. I'm so sorry.
Posted By: Kayla

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/08/18 05:07 PM

(((((HUGS))))) - It's a very emotionally healthy and honest person who wants and needs their grief space, without being artificially propped up/cheered/look-at-the-bright-side, etc. At this time the most inauthentic thing people do is try to lift someone out of their grief especially when the loss is so fresh.

My condolences.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/08/18 05:42 PM

LG, I promise not to try to cheer you up. It's all too darn much.

But I'm here, just sitting, listening.
Posted By: SFB

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/08/18 09:14 PM

LG:

Sorry about your loss. Grieve as you need too.

With Chrysalis, I will sit in silence with you.

((((LG))))

SFB
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/09/18 01:32 AM

LG, I’m sorry for your loss. The grieving process can be a strange one, that’s for sure. Thank you for sharing this news and how you’re doing.


ETA: After reading back a bit in your thread, I have no words that would convey the depth of my condolences.
Posted By: Mark1952

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/09/18 09:37 AM

LG,

I am so sorry for your double loss.

Not even going to try to cheer you up or offer advice. Been dealing with a lot of my own stuff but it pales by comparison to what you are going through.
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/09/18 10:29 AM

So sorry LG.

Like others I’m happy so sit with you as you grieve in your own way, in your own time.

My prayers are with you

MUN
Posted By: at peace

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/10/18 03:06 PM

(((((LadyGrey))))) <3
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/11/18 06:08 PM

I care. I am here. You matter. Truly.

That said, I have a slightly different take than most. I don't think you are grieving your mother's passing. Why would you grieve over that? She was horrid to you most of the time. Instead, I think you are grieving the death of hope. The loss of hope that some day she might come to her senses and apologize and ask for forgiveness for her awful behavior. Now you know there will be no apology and no request for forgiveness. Not that you expected it to happen. But there it was, a tiny shard of hope, buried deep within you. I can imagine the loss of that faint, slim hope (notwithstanding how very faint and very slim it was) feels like something cherished has been ripped from inside you. THAT is a death worth grieving over.
Posted By: Blair

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/11/18 11:27 PM

I was thinking something similar. You miss your dad. You miss the opportunity to hold a grand-baby in your arms and celebrate with your daughter.

You have a big heart, LG, and you are always helping everyone else. Give yourself time and space to help you heal your heart. Hugs.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/13/18 01:22 AM

Originally Posted by hold
The loss of hope


Yes, there is truth there. When I fled the house in the middle of the night in September, I looked at her and thought "I'll never see you alive again." That turned out not to be true, but just barely.

I committed to do the right thing by my parents -- to honor my father and mother in line with my Judeo/Christian ethos -- at great emotional cost to myself so I could sit here today and know I did the right thing.

But there is something about her one open dead eye -- she had beautiful blue eyes and one stayed open when she died -- that feels sad and accusing. I can't get it out of my mind. It's a mental movie that won't shut off.

Honestly? I mostly feel relief. I don't ever have to be scared again.

Originally Posted by Fiddler
By questioning these thoughts, I often come to see that I have been believing lies, which in turn have caused me to feel badly.


I'm not sure how to apply this to my life. I think for the first 40% of my life I believed lies -- that we were a perfect family and all exceptional -- and the cognitive dissonance made me literally crazy. I think for the last 20 years I have seen and endured the truth but it still hurt, just differently.

My mother asked when she was first in assisted living why I hadn't come to help my sister. I tried to tell her that my daughter's pregnancy was looking iffy and she said, "you have always been selfish -- never cared about anyone but yourself" and hung up on me.

It was a gut punch and no amount of not believing her lies has made a difference. She was my mother -- an unimpeachable source on my character. It was also one of the last things she ever said to me.

Thank you to everyone. This has been a beating. I can't quite sort out what to think so I'm practicing aggressive self care -- exercising, eating healthy with liberal doses of ice cream as needed, reading stupid books and sleeping a lot.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/13/18 02:06 AM

What a horrible thing to say to anyone! Ugh that makes me angry even though she is dead now,

I am so sorry LG.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/13/18 02:12 AM

She’s done hurting you in new ways now LG. You can start healing from all those hurts whenever you’re ready. You’re safe now. She has no power now.

I’m so so so sorry. Go gentle with yourself. Know we are holding you with love in our hearts.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/13/18 02:42 AM

Originally Posted by Miranda
She’s done hurting you in new ways now LG. You can start healing from all those hurts whenever you’re ready. You’re safe now. She has no power now.

I’m so so so sorry. Go gentle with yourself. Know we are holding you with love in our hearts.


So well said Miranda.
Posted By: Blair

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/13/18 05:06 AM

Nicely said, Miranda.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/27/18 04:10 AM

I had my first Christmas without my parents and I felt nothing. I bought a bunch of presents and didn't have a tree and cooked a lot of food I didn't eat and cleaned up a lot of dishes I didn't have anything to do with and de-Christmasd my daughter's house and slept ten to twelve hours a night and thought the whole thing was a huge bother.

I watched Love Actually with my husband and realized when Emma Thompson asked whether she should stay knowing her life would always be a little worse that that was what I had sentenced my husband and I to. And I looked over at him and he was crying.

I don't think anyone gets over an affair. Not really. I think the fracture runs too deep on both sides. I'm fractured because I betrayed myself and he's fractured because I betrayed him.

It's a myth that you can fix that.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/27/18 04:28 AM

He
Originally Posted by LadyGrey
I had my first Christmas without my parents and I felt nothing. I bought a bunch of presents and didn't have a tree and cooked a lot of food I didn't eat and cleaned up a lot of dishes I didn't have anything to do with and de-Christmasd my daughter's house and slept ten to twelve hours a night and thought the whole thing was a huge bother.

I watched Love Actually with my husband and realized when Emma Thompson asked whether she should stay knowing her life would always be a little worse that that was what I had sentenced my husband and I to. And I looked over at him and he was crying.

I don't think anyone gets over an affair. Not really. I think the fracture runs too deep on both sides. I'm fractured because I betrayed myself and he's fractured because I betrayed him.

It's a myth that you can fix that.


Pleas don’t define your life while you are grieving.

I have never watched that movie. Now I need too.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/27/18 02:15 PM

LG: Sympathy on your losses.

I think you posts resonate with me because we are, in some ways, making the same life mistake. We are defining ourselves based on one mistake or one characteristic. And we refuse to forgive outrselves. We view the flaw as permanent and unchangeable. Which robs us of any motivation to change and grow.

You are not defined by your affair. Neither is your relationship with your H. if you insist on defining yourself as the villain and your H as the victim - despite all the poor treatment that you have endured from him - then you consign both of you to purgatory. I know how tempting that is for those of us with martyr / masochistic tendencies. I am doing exactly the same thing.

But it is the wrong choice. For both of us. I don't expect you to choose differently based on my posting this. I do not expect to ever choose differently, either. But it needs to be said forcefully that what we believe about ourselves and what we believe about our spouses is false. We are living our lives based on known falsehoods.

I bet "smart" is an adjective many people who know us would use to describe us. if they only knew the truth.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/27/18 05:25 PM

LG

there is so much more to you and your life than the relationship between you and your husband. (This goes for you too Hold!!)

I had this problem too for awhile. I kept coming back to seeing myself only through the lens of my relationship with Daryl. I don’t do it anymore. I’m so much more. I’m everything. I don’t ever see myself through a single lens now. It keeps me from getting dragged into the abyss.

Yes I get sad moments. Mad moments. Crazy moments. But they cannot endure because I’m ALL my parts. And all my facets need my attention.

All your facets need your attention LG. That’s how you shine. And you DO shine. You’re a rare and precious thing. Don’t forget for a second that you are.
Posted By: SFB

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/28/18 11:04 PM

Originally Posted by Miranda
LG

there is so much more to you and your life than the relationship between you and your husband. (This goes for you too Hold!!)

I had this problem too for awhile. I kept coming back to seeing myself only through the lens of my relationship with Daryl. I don’t do it anymore. I’m so much more. I’m everything. I don’t ever see myself through a single lens now. It keeps me from getting dragged into the abyss.

Yes I get sad moments. Mad moments. Crazy moments. But they cannot endure because I’m ALL my parts. And all my facets need my attention.

All your facets need your attention LG. That’s how you shine. And you DO shine. You’re a rare and precious thing. Don’t forget for a second that you are.


Just WOW, M.

Wow.

SFb
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/30/18 04:42 AM

Miranda, my mother can’t hurt me anymore, ever again, unless I let her through my memories.

A stronger better adjusted person would have been able to say that whilst she was still alive.

But now I get to say it.

The relief of decompressing after 58 years of her abuse is hard to explain. I wish I felt sad, but I only feel sad about what she put my poor sister through in the end of life care.

I sleep a ridiculous amount — often 12 hours a night. The fatigue is like chemo fatigue. I went to bed at 8:19 on Christmas Eve and missed dinner.

I don’t drink near as much wine because I don’t have this pit of terror in me about when she is going t come after me next.

At great emotional cost I did the right things by my parents by calling them every day and going to visit so I didn’t have to feel the slightest bit guilty now, and I don’t.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/30/18 03:26 PM

I’m so glad to hear that you’ve set your feet upon the healing journey, LG.

Yes, you are sleeping more. It’s amazing how exhausting a lifetime of living on high alert can be. Let yourself rest. It’s a good and rejuvenating thing.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/30/18 08:10 PM

LG,

You are going through the stages of grieving that so many of us have also gone and going through.

You lived your life with some cost and reflection will show less regret than others. We all have some types of regret on some things but on this matter, you did your what you needed to do and are ok with that.

That is good progress. Like yourself, I have had to deal with a difficult parent who took things to his grave to the hurt of his family. That said, I did my best and while in my case there is more work to do, I'm ok with my decisions even if it doesn't please or fit the parameters of others.

You are ok with yourself and that is important. I'm proud of you, this is quite an accomplishment that many around you may not realize. You have taken the time to share your journey with us and it is helping while you are healing.

Thank you for sharing it with us. hug

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 12/31/18 04:07 PM

LG, glad to hear you are on the road to a better place. You are entitled to get there (even if part of you does not believe so).
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 01/03/19 03:03 AM

I still can't quite believe it.

She's dead.

I don't have to be scared anymore.

Ever again.

I can't believe my luck. I thought she would out live me.

I thought she would out mean me, that I wouldn't be able to carry on with grace much longer, that I would become her meanness to protect my soul.

I think of MelodyLane the same way -- someone who is determined to extract the greatest amount of misery out of everyone she encounters. Determined to hurt people to make a mark, to hurt for the sake of hurting because that's easy to do.

I'm giddy.

I'm happy. Happier than I can ever remember being in my life.

I'm also incredibly, weirdly tired. I sleep 10-12 hours a night.

But when my anxiety accelerator reaches out for what is wrong -- and there's a lot still wrong -- it doesn't have the usual, "I have to call that woman tonight."

Because she is dead. Did I mention that?
Posted By: Blair

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 01/03/19 03:17 AM

You can finally rest. You have been feeling so much anxiety and working so hard helping everyone else for your entire life, that you are feeling relief. Take the time to truly rest and recover from the trauma and grief.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 01/03/19 03:42 AM

Interesting comparison with ML and your mom. I sense you feel relief. It is ok to feel relief. Not everyone gets to keep a good name in their life if they haven't kept their name good. Make sense?

This means it is ok to acknowledge reality vs go into denial. There's a saying: “A name is better than good oil, and the day of death than the day of one’s being born.”

Now you get to focus on what is important in your life going forward. It is sad that your mom choose to leave the memories of her mistreating of others as her last way she is remembered. It is her choice.

In my case, my father did the same. His life ended with him not leaving good memories. His choice. Our reality.

What plans do you have or do you need a bit of recoup time before thinking about tomorrow? wink

Hugz,
Orchid
Posted By: LadyGrey

Same song... - 03/06/19 01:23 AM

It appears I have cancer in my contralateral breast. Cancer in the contralateral breast is associated with poor outcomes.

I can’t quite believe it. John has been dead less than two years, Mike tried to die 20 months ago, daddy died 11 month ago, my daughter miscarried 90 days ago, my friend was diagnosed with brain cancer 95 days ago, mother died 88 days ago. I feel like God is picking on me.

Having been through this before, I just know the numb “meh, I’m unimpressed” feeling I have will serve me well.

My husband is coming home a day early from a business trip. I hate that. I hate being a Problem SO MUCH I don’t have words for it, and I have words for everything. I feel so ashamed. I feel worse about him coming home than anything else.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Same song... - 03/06/19 01:27 AM

{{{LadyGrey}}}

Come down to MD Anderson. That way you won't have to mess with him. And I can keep you company.

But where's the shame coming from? Can you vocalize it?
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Same song... - 03/06/19 01:45 AM

Cat, I’m the problem solver, not the problem causer. I make everyone else’s lives run smoothly, I don’t disrupt theirs.

This promises to be a big problem I am causing AGAIN. The fact that it could kill me is less repellent than the fact that I’m going to need help.

It’s just so awful. I was mostly by myself last time which suited me fine but the family is promising to cluster round and I already feel claustrophobic, like “go away, let me get on with it and check in in 6 months.”

Mostly I don’t want to hear a bunch of goddamn opinions and “you are going to be fine” claptrap. There’s every possibility I’m not going to be fine.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Same song... - 03/06/19 01:51 AM

Oh honey I'm so sorry! You are not the problem. Go to Cat's hospital. It's a good place for Fighters. And you need to fight this and win against Cancer. Hugs.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Same song... - 03/06/19 02:20 AM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
Cat, I’m the problem solver, not the problem causer. I make everyone else’s lives run smoothly, I don’t disrupt theirs.

This promises to be a big problem I am causing AGAIN. The fact that it could kill me is less repellent than the fact that I’m going to need help........


..... and you human like the rest of us.

LG, you have certainly had more than your share of tough, severe issues. Your life and faith has been stress tested to extensive limits.

Learn to let others be there to help you. Be ok with accepting help. It's ok, you may learn it's not a bad thing to be helped. wink In other words, delegate, share, vent, help us help you find what works for you. Let us do so because we love and respect you.

Btw, you do make other peoples lives run smoothly and they deserve the opportunity to return the favor to you. That is a teaching time for your children, spouse and others who have the privilege and opportunity to be there for you as needed.

There's a famous saying 'there is more happiness in giving than receiving.' Often many don't get that logic until we sit on the receiving end, especially when we have been givers for so long.

So let the rest of us share in that happiness a bit. Giving in big and small ways can make what we all face a bit easier to handle.

You know we are here for you, right? Right here. hug

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: SFB

Re: Same song... - 03/06/19 02:47 AM

LG:

(((LG)))

Flamingo had cancer in one breast. She (we) decided to have them both removed. They tried to kill her, what did she have a use of them for?

Keep fighting. How ever you decide to fight. IF you wish to be alone in that, ask for that. But we will be here to hear you.

SFB
Posted By: star*fish

Re: Same song... - 03/06/19 03:16 PM

LG,

Like you, my worst nightmare is turning from the caregiver into the dependent. I don't receive help well because it is completely out of character for me, and my role as a caregiver is precisely what has shaped my adversity to receiving care from the people I love. I experience guilt about being a burden and fear about having any expectations of my family--expectations I fully expect them not to meet. Neither my husband nor my children would do well in that role--and honestly I would hate to see them in it.

I won't tell you that "you're going to be alright" when you know as well as anyone that contralateral breast cancer has worse outcomes, but I would like to point out a few things I believe are reasons to keep fighting and have hope:

*I'm pretty sure your age group has the best survival rates--very young women and very old women have the worst rates.

*The interval between recurrence matters. If it's over three years (and I think it has been), survival rates are much better.

*Because you hate receiving care so much--you are more likely (and stubborn enough) to fight particularly hard in order to be as self-sufficient and healthy as possible to avoid it. You have the kind of will that is indicative of survivors.

*Your tremendous effort to beat this disease before, is a good future indication of how strong you can be (even if you don't feel strong right now).

*You have access to some of the most outstanding hospitals, doctors and research available.

I am not trying to talk you out of your fear, anger or sadness. I am only trying to find the silver lining in this very dark cloud and to let you know that no matter what--you are precious and deserving of all of the help and care that I hope will come your way. I also live close to MD Anderson, and will help as much as you will allow.

I know you hate people to feel sorry for you--but I feel sorry for the difficult journey you have had to endure despite the fact that I believe you are warrior enough to survive it.
Posted By: at peace

Re: Same song... - 03/06/19 03:46 PM

Well, that diagnosis totally sucks.
I'm sorry you've got another fight ahead of you, LG....it does seem so unfair. I hope you find a happy medium with your family and friends that allows them to support and help you with your fight without suffocating you. Their support might be an additional strength for you during the times you really need an extra boost.

You have my prayers for peace and healing.
(((((LadyGrey)))))

Lori
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Same song... - 03/06/19 04:57 PM

Wishing you a complete recovery and as much serenity as is possible under the circumstances.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Same song... - 03/06/19 05:02 PM

Come to Houston. You can be alone there. Being the largest medical center in the world, we have amazing organizations and agencies to help people undergoing treatment. And I can treat you to some of the best food in the world. Did you know that Houston was just voted one of the best places to travel to, especially for food?
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Same song... - 03/06/19 06:02 PM

((((LadyGrey))))
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Same song... - 03/06/19 08:10 PM

I am so sorry that you have gotten this news.

I also fully understand the reluctance on your part to having to ask for, or turn into and "obligation" to your loved ones.
I've never been in your situation,
I have had friends that have.

One thing to consider is to hire domestic help and arrange home caregiver help beforehand. Many providers really like to help and need the work.

When I had my second child, I had a c section and went back to work fairly early - and I had a reflux baby who cried 10 hours a day.
I was exhausted and could not keep up with the house and chores.

My part time housekeeper saved my sanity. I did not feel like ME not being able to do it all was a burden.
It may make combating negative feelings easier.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Same song... - 03/06/19 10:57 PM

Great idea. I’d rather pay someone than owe someon.

Thanks all. I will respond to each of you when I have a bigger screen than my phone and I’ve stopped shaking.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Same song... - 03/07/19 05:40 AM

Oh my friend. I am so so sorry. I wish you peace as you fight this because I know you WILL fight it. You are a fighter.

I hope you got to,Md Anderson.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: Same song... - 03/08/19 08:49 PM

I can’t believe this. Seriously WTF.

Listen I didn’t have breasts to begin with. I was an A cup on a good day and I’m a tall woman. I breastfed my kids for 6 weeks then gave up so it’s not like they did me much good in that department.

When I was in my late thirties I got saline implants. First thing I can remember that I did for ME. One deflated when I was like 45 so I got silicone implants. Mastectomy 7 years ago and another silicone implant.

Now this.

I think God is picking on me.

I’m supposed to decide on nipple sparing mastectomy which I’m not so sure about seeing as how the whole point of a breast is to deliver to the nipple, but my husband really wants, which tells me the other one is as ugly as I thought.

I’m supposed to decide on implants vs belly fat reconstruction. Belly fat sounds hideously painful but has less complications with readiation which I have no idea if I’ll need until after the mastectomy.

Now what the hell qualifies me to make those decisions? Last time I decided something about my breasts I decided to just cut the one off because my mother would have had a double, and see how well that turned out.

The whole thing feels alternately unreal and absolutely hilarious.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Same song... - 03/08/19 09:11 PM

What do YOU want to do LG? Now is not the time to consider your parents or your husband or your children. Consider what makes YOU feel the best about this situation.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Same song... - 03/09/19 12:02 AM

Do what YOU want to do. What you want matters most. You have always put everyone else first, and LG lady. It is time for you. Hugs, hon. Or a boxing match. Whichever will help you feel better sooner. smile
Posted By: catperson

Re: Same song... - 03/09/19 12:08 AM

Envision the life YOU would want to live and make that choice.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/09/19 12:26 AM

LG, consider this..

You cannot undo a belly flap reconstruction and it screws up your belly, too.

You always have the option to undo an implant. And then if you change your mind again,
you can re-do it at your discretion.

Either way, they will likely have to do a cat scan periodically to assess for local chest wall recurrence, I believe.

Always have a Plan B in mind.

My thoughts..
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/11/19 07:10 PM

I don't have the first idea what I want. What *I* want has never been high on the list of priorities. I lack the energy to try to figure it out.

Right now I want everyone to leave me the hell alone and let me be sad. I want to sit and listen to sad music and cry and not have a single person say, "you are so strong -- you will get through this."

That's for sure not happening.

Who gives a damn if I have a nipple when they shove me into the crematorium? Really is it MY job to drag everyone kicking and screaming out of the land of denial?

Got the biopsy report. Es no bueno.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/11/19 08:55 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
I don't have the first idea what I want. What *I* want has never been high on the list of priorities. I lack the energy to try to figure it out.

Right now I want everyone to leave me the hell alone and let me be sad. I want to sit and listen to sad music and cry and not have a single person say, "you are so strong -- you will get through this."

That's for sure not happening.

Who gives a damn if I have a nipple when they shove me into the crematorium? Really is it MY job to drag everyone kicking and screaming out of the land of denial?

Got the biopsy report. Es no bueno.


What did it say?

And see you just told us what you want. You don't care about a nipple. I wouldn't either!
Posted By: star*fish

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/12/19 02:16 PM

In real life, people can just sit and listen and let you be sad--or make you a cup of tea and quietly be there for support. And I'll bet most of the people on this thread would be willing to do that.

On the forum--if we just sat and listened--your thread would be an echo chamber. No one wants you to feel alone in your sadness and vulnerability, and the options in the forum-world to let you know we hear you, are the words we write. Sometimes those words might be clumsy, but if "what we feed--grows" --I guess people are trying to feed your strengths--because feeding your sadness is unthinkable.

Please take care of yourself and know that all of us care about you.
Posted By: Kayla

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/12/19 06:54 PM

LG - your life matters. You matter. Your choices matter. You are loved, appreciated and admired. ((((LG))))
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/15/19 01:37 AM

All my boundary work is coming in very handy:

1. It is what it is and it was what it was before I ever knew there was an "it".

2. Much of what ails me has been there silently all along.

3. "That's not what happened" in the face of anything resembling second guessing.

4. I have "X" amount of energy to spend on this, this being "Y". X may be greater than or equal to Y but in no event will X be greater than Y. Y is a constant and X is the variable.

5. Boundaries, once established, do and should shift constantly, sometimes suddenly, sometimes incrementally. It's part of learning and growing.

6. "Never" is, once again, out of my vocabulary.

7. I skipped the five minutes between the time that my body was psychological enemy in telling me my body was there to look good, and my physical enemy in that (a) it's trying to kill me, and (b) putting fat where it has no business being. I need to learn to speak nicely to it. Treat is like a dear friend who needs my support.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/20/19 12:52 AM

Originally Posted by starfish
and honestly I would hate to see them in iit.


When I got so sick with the first chemo, my middle child was banging on the locked door yelling, "please mom -- let me help you."

I don't think so.

After that, I called my husband who was hunting. We have differing memories of what happened next, but I was on the freezing bathroom floor all night, and at some point I became so sick that that was it. It never crossed my mind to call anyone besides my husband for help.

My gravest fear about being ill or old is becoming dependent, but if that is to be the case, I will be dependent on people I am paying. I'm lucky that I can say that. Most families can't.

Am I really deserving of the effort my family will put in surrounding this latest? I'm not so sure. I think you could make a strong argument either way, and either way I don't want their effort. I just want to live my small life as a supportive wife and mother. I know they will all accomplish great things.

I sort of threw up in my mouth when I wrote that but I suppose somewhere along the way it became true. I always thought I would lead an interesting life and it turns out I did not. I led a privileged life in many ways, but really sort of dull and predictable, right down to the affair right after I had my eyes lifted. They need another pass by a good plastic surgeon, but at some point I think it starts to look weird and ridiculous and I want my grandkids so see kind wrinkled eyes.

Intergenerational angst caused me to do my eyes when I was 49. My husband took a selfie of us and I thought, "my eyes remind me of grandmama's eyes" and I was terrified of my grandmother. Just being different isn't enough. Looking different is now part of the calculus.

So I look grey and tired and have droopy everything (but will apparently have really perky boobs with new nipples!). I'm still showering and walking my big dog every day and the new puppy makes me laugh but someone has to house train her soon. My husband went back to Houston and I have an appointment with a reconstruction surgeon tomorrow and a breast surgeon on Thursday and it all feels so familiar and ordinary that I'm truly not upset.

I think a lot about death because who wouldn't. I don't think it is a bad thing for me to sit around thinking this is going to kill me unless I stop living in paralytic fear which I have sort of done because I refuse to think past the mastectomy, final diagnosis and oncology/radiation plan, if any.

Just between you and me, there is a hell of a lot of stuff I haven't ever done because I was going to do it "when...." I've had some "whens" in the last months and years and am flat out of "whens". I'm going to the Holy Land, a bucket list item of mine. I'm going to do a non-religious tour of the Greatest Hits.

After the mastectomy......(see how this works?)
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/20/19 01:25 PM

LG, my step sister told me once that ‘it is a privilege to care for those we love’. The context was her caring for her mother as she died of ovarian cancer. I have often recalled and repeated that phrase.

I can’t quite wrap my mind around you refusing to allow your family to help you when you were sick. I remember when I first married dh (10 weeks after I met him) I was violently ill with a stomach bug. Both ends, big mess in the bathroom. My dh was at the door asking to help me. I wouldn’t let him in. I cleaned everything up myself and got a shower. I told him I didn’t know him well enough to see all that. smile

But he would have busted the door down had I been there too long. I just know him. With a kid I know it is different...,even if they are young adult.....it is difficult to override what mom is doing or saying.

I think I have said this to you before, that you will deprive your kids of a privilege if you reject their care of you. I am happy you have money to pay for help.....but you can do both.....use paid help and also let your people care for you even in small ways.

Have you booked your trip yet?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 03/20/19 10:43 PM

My parents paid for 24/7 help during my Dad's last illness. My sister flew down once. Her son flew down once. I flew down twice. We did it for them. But we also did it for ourselves. I would have been very insulted if my Mom had said "please don't come". Not sure what I would have done. Accepted her decision with regret? Foisted myself on them? I am glad she did not make me choose. I am very glad I got to say goodbye. I hope you find a way in your heart to let them be with you.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/02/19 03:45 PM

Had the mastectomy on Friday. It is now a day surgery which bothers me, like you shouldn't be sent home the same day they cut off a body part, but that's the way it goes now. Pretty soon we will have drive by surgeries where you just tilt your bucket seat back and they come in through the window.

Pain was minimal and easily managed by codeine which puts me to sleep. Today is my first day off the pain meds and its fine. I don't feel like doing much of anything but at least I'm awake. I don't understand how people get addicted to opiods -- I couldn't stay awake long enough.

The breast itself looks a great deal like someone went after it with a ball peen hammer. I have no idea why this one is so much uglier than the other but it is quite the site. The plastic surgeon also didn't put anything in the tissue expander so it is flat and purple. The insurance company requires that 90 days pass between the initial placement of the tissue expander and filling it. I'd love to understand who came up with that arbitrary number and why but it was for sure not someone wandering around with a flat purple boob.

The drain is by far the worst part. It's this 4 inch by 3 inch bulb that hangs out of my chest, presumably stitched in somewhere under the itchy 17th century corset I'm not allowed to take off. The drain has to be emptied of "fluid", as in gross stuff, at least four times a day. It never fails to make me gag. Every so often the drain catches on something and that's one weird feeling.

My clothing options do not lend themselves to a drain. I must dress properly and put on make up everyday as part of my self care regime even if I sit on the couch all day. Mostly I look like I have a grapefruit size tumor on my side. Unfortunately, the drain will stick around for a couple of weeks.

Yesterday I got 10K steps, today the goal is 12K. Everyone argues with me but I just know exercise is the quickest route out of this nightmare.

Which leaves us with the final pathology report. That should come in in the next couple of days. The only thing I can compare it to is waiting for the jury to come back. I had clear margins and clean lymph nodes so there's reason to believe the mastectomy could be the end of it but that's what they told me last time so you will have to excuse my skepticism. I'll do radiation if needed but if they suggest chemo, I'm not at all sure I can go through that again. Maybe, but probably not. I can't tell you how much energy it takes to get through chemo. It's not just the debilitating effect of the drugs. It's having to be upbeat and cheerful through the whole goddamn thing. And I have to be upbeat and cheerful or my kids get all bummed and worried and I can't stand that.

Plus -- and this is important-- there are no bald women in Denver. You can't throw a brick without hitting a balk woman in Dallas, but I've been on the lookout and there are none. I despise being the center of attention. Scarves fool no one and wigs itch. Plus the whole idea of putting my bald head on a pillow gives me the heebie jeebies.

i keep having this weird urge to call my mother and tell her I have cancer again. It's not that I think she would give me love and comfort and support. It's more of a "see, you aren't the only one bad things happen to and watch how I handle this!" I wonder how she would react. I wonder if she would care. I wonder if she would bother to call or send me flowers. I think I know the answer to all those questions.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/02/19 05:07 PM

LG you are amazing. Funny even in adversity.
I have never reached 12k steps. 10k maybe 6 times. So that is amazing.
I think about you often.
I hope you feel better each day.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/02/19 07:29 PM

Good morning LG,

Thanks for the update and sharing your experience. It is important to get the patient's POV of procedures. wink

10K steps a day? Ok, you've got me thinking, I'm ashamed to think how long it would take me to reach that # of steps.

Sounds like that drain doing it's job even if it isn't stylish. wink

So are you letting your family help out? Are you on food restrictions for a while?

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/02/19 08:24 PM

LG: do you have to measure how much fluid comes out of the drain when you empty it? We had to do that for my wife, as you say. 4 times a day. And write down the amount and report the amount to the nurse at the surgeon's office. In the end I am not sure it made any medical difference. I think the doctor told us to do that so we would have something to focus on besides how gross it is to empty the drain bulb of fluid!
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/02/19 09:18 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
LG: do you have to measure how much fluid comes out of the drain when you empty it? We had to do that for my wife, as you say. 4 times a day. And write down the amount and report the amount to the nurse at the surgeon's office. In the end I am not sure it made any medical difference. I think the doctor told us to do that so we would have something to focus on besides how gross it is to empty the drain bulb of fluid!

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
LG: do you have to measure how much fluid comes out of the drain when you empty it? We had to do that for my wife, as you say. 4 times a day. And write down the amount and report the amount to the nurse at the surgeon's office. In the end I am not sure it made any medical difference. I think the doctor told us to do that so we would have something to focus on besides how gross it is to empty the drain bulb of fluid!


"When you have a mastectomy, your surgeon may place drains in order to prevent the buildup of fluid and help speed up your healing.

Prevention of a Seroma

This is because without drains, fluid may collect in the space where your breast or lymph nodes had been, and this can cause symptoms like pressure and pain. More seriously, when fluid collects without being drained, it may cause a seroma to develop. A seroma is a collection of clear fluid (called serous fluid) within the wound. Seromas can delay wound healing and result in infection and a poor cosmetic outcome."

copied from this article: Purpose of Surgical Drain During a Mastectomy

Usually they have you wait until the fluid amount measures consistently below 30 ml. over a 24 hour period before they pull them out. Measuring every six hours (give or take) prevents the bulb from possibly leaking and gives you a better feel for how the amount gradually decreases. Plus emptying only once a day allows for bacteria to theoretically grow in there, since the serum is nutrient-rich and the bulb is usually close to the body, which keeps it nice and warm. If you ever see the serum get suddenly cloudy and discolored, let your MD know ASAP, to prevent infection from traveling to the surgical site.

Hope this helps..
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/02/19 09:31 PM

Very informative TCM. smile

Thanks.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/02/19 10:37 PM

I am so far away from 30 mm as to be but a dream.

They had me measure the first mastectomy but didn't say anything this time, or if they did I totally missed it which is entirely possible.

Have a follow up with the plastic surgeon on Friday so I suppose I'll find out more then. I'm sort of resigned to two weeks which is find because I got this news today:

The pathology report is clear! No lymph node involvement, no nipple involvement, no invasive cancer -- just 17 cm of very angry DCIS! No more treatment of any kind!

I can't believe it -- like an entire firing squad was aiming at me in my blindfold and they all missed. I feel like I got away with something really sneaky and clever like embezzlement.

And since I am fresh out of bosoms, I don't ever have to go through this again. Not even a mammogram which everyone acts like is no big deal but I found it weird and dehumanizing to have some woman I didn't know paw at my tits. Of course, many moons ago I let a man I didn't really know do the same so I guess I can't get up on too high a horse.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/02/19 10:50 PM

Wow, that is awesome news!!! So, so happy.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/02/19 11:27 PM

LG,

This is good news. smile

Hugz,
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/02/19 11:42 PM

Really grand news, LG. Take care of yourself and pamper yourself so you can heal quickly.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/03/19 12:36 AM

Great news. Glad you got it. Thanks for sharing.

And wow, you got to keep your nipples?!?! Wonderful. My wife lost both of hers. On the other hand, now she has the advantage that she can easily go bra-less in any weather because there are no headlights to turn on!
Posted By: Miranda

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/03/19 03:15 AM

Well that’s fantastic news LG. You get to get off the crazy train sooner rather than later at least. I wouldn’t wish chemo on my most bitter enemy at this point. The whole thing just sucks goat @&$).

Thanks for updating us. I’ve been thinking about you quite a bit.
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/03/19 06:37 AM

What wonderful news

Hopefully now you ca focus on resting both you body and your mind while you recover

Le Grá
Posted By: catperson

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/03/19 12:50 PM

Wonderful.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/03/19 02:13 PM

I'm so happy for your good news. Drains are lousy but limited in time. No further treatment needed is the best news ever.
Posted By: ohmy_marie

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/06/19 02:11 AM



second try, if the youtube link doesn't post, here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GwjfUFyY6M

love you!! omm
Posted By: SFB

Re: My Gratitude Journal - 04/06/19 08:41 PM

LG:

Glad to hear of your pathology report. Keep fighting!

SFB
Posted By: LadyGrey

WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 04/09/19 03:33 PM

Yesterday was a really awful day. It's the drain of course but also that I wasn't careful enough getting out of the shower and actually saw the breast. I cannot express to you how ugly it is. It looks like they painted it yellow, plugged the shop vac into the incision and then beat on it with a hammer. I just don't see how it will ever look anything but repulsive.

I needed to get dog food but can't lift anything over five pounds so the dogs got raisin bran for breakfast. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

The PTB called and they want me to see a medical oncologist and I'm terrified he is going to try to talk me into chemo.

I don't have a wardrobe that lends itself to a hand grenade size drain and no right breast so I wear yoga type clothes with an orange sized lump on my side. I haven't stuffed a sock in there yet but it may come to that. My mother's memorial service is in two weeks and I have tried on 10 dresses and it's just so awful. The dress I thought was going to be the one looked ridiculous. I don't even understand why we are having a service. If anyone is all twisted up about her death, they are hiding it well.

I just got depressed over the whole thing. I didn't feel like fighting. I felt like crying. I felt like running away. I felt like I'd been had by doctors who told me there was no medical reason to remove both breasts 7 years ago. I felt like I was always going to have a half flat chest with a drain. I felt ugly and old and broken and irrelevant.

I watched the game with my kids who actually didn't care but I think they got together and decided that I couldn't watch it by myself (husband went turkey hunting then to Houston for work).

I sipped on a bourbon with real coke -- I haven't had a real coke in 15 years -- and patiently waited for my beloved Hoos to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. You'd have had to be a UVa fan for the last forty years to appreciate just how adept they are at blowing it.

Not this time!

My relationship with my alma mater is a complicated one. My dad had the rule that we had to go out of state to college so I always knew I would go away. I didn't appreciate until I got there what I was getting away from. My college years were a time of lightness and freedom before I voluntarily went back into the cage when I registered for law school. I wanted to major in religious studies but my brother had joined a born again cult at Stanford and my parents went nuts, not understanding the difference between studying the history of all religions and being a religious nut.

So my time in college was my time to breath, and I have fed off those years my whole life. I'm thrilled for them and for me, plus I've always been a sucker for a redemption story.

Thank you Hoos for brightening a dismal day. I don't know what might pull me out of my funk today, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to find it sitting on this couch.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 04/09/19 05:25 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
Yesterday was a really awful day. It's the drain of course but also that I wasn't careful enough getting out of the shower and actually saw the breast. I cannot express to you how ugly it is. It looks like they painted it yellow, plugged the shop vac into the incision and then beat on it with a hammer. I just don't see how it will ever look anything but repulsive.

I needed to get dog food but can't lift anything over five pounds so the dogs got raisin bran for breakfast. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

The PTB called and they want me to see a medical oncologist and I'm terrified he is going to try to talk me into chemo.

I don't have a wardrobe that lends itself to a hand grenade size drain and no right breast so I wear yoga type clothes with an orange sized lump on my side. I haven't stuffed a sock in there yet but it may come to that. My mother's memorial service is in two weeks and I have tried on 10 dresses and it's just so awful. The dress I thought was going to be the one looked ridiculous. I don't even understand why we are having a service. If anyone is all twisted up about her death, they are hiding it well.

I just got depressed over the whole thing. I didn't feel like fighting. I felt like crying. I felt like running away. I felt like I'd been had by doctors who told me there was no medical reason to remove both breasts 7 years ago. I felt like I was always going to have a half flat chest with a drain. I felt ugly and old and broken and irrelevant.

I watched the game with my kids who actually didn't care but I think they got together and decided that I couldn't watch it by myself (husband went turkey hunting then to Houston for work).

I sipped on a bourbon with real coke -- I haven't had a real coke in 15 years -- and patiently waited for my beloved Hoos to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. You'd have had to be a UVa fan for the last forty years to appreciate just how adept they are at blowing it.

Not this time!

My relationship with my alma mater is a complicated one. My dad had the rule that we had to go out of state to college so I always knew I would go away. I didn't appreciate until I got there what I was getting away from. My college years were a time of lightness and freedom before I voluntarily went back into the cage when I registered for law school. I wanted to major in religious studies but my brother had joined a born again cult at Stanford and my parents went nuts, not understanding the difference between studying the history of all religions and being a religious nut.

So my time in college was my time to breath, and I have fed off those years my whole life. I'm thrilled for them and for me, plus I've always been a sucker for a redemption story.

Thank you Hoos for brightening a dismal day. I don't know what might pull me out of my funk today, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to find it sitting on this couch.


So sorry you had such a bad day. And I agree you need to get up off that sofa and find a purpose for this day,

((((((LG)))))
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 04/09/19 08:41 PM

LG,

Besides your healing, you have a lot on your plate as well. Maybe a more open flowing dress with a pancho type of jacket? Or loose blouse, skirt and a jacket? I know you want to feel comfortable for your mom's memorial service.

As for the dog food, if one of your children can't go get it, some stores deliver now. Use those services, it won't be a bad reflection on your shopping skills. wink

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 04/09/19 11:43 PM

Breasts look like that after the kind of surgery you had, exactly as you described. I attended to my mother-in-law after her surgery because of cancer. Hers got horribly infected. I'm thankful you have a drain so it can actually drain.

What can you do today, just for you? Jumping in puddles is probably not a good idea, but maybe a bit of Rum Cake to go with that Coke?? Hugs, LG. You are worth fighting for.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 04/10/19 04:02 PM

So sorry that you had such an awful day. I hope things will be better soon.
Posted By: ohmy_marie

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 04/15/19 07:07 PM

dear lady grey,

do you remember when i first posted to marriageadvocates? i was a betrayed spouse back then ... and was mainly posting in "BS-mode", but you responded to one of my posts re my wayward husband (in what i remember as somewhat of a lightbulb moment)...

anyway, you asked me to to take a serious look at at MYSELF.

maybe i am-was the shinola (and not THE-shinola, in a good way).

maybe i seriously did "reep what i sow"...

i was so hoping for flowers.


Posted By: ohmy_marie

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 04/15/19 07:11 PM

why can't i get my posts to show-up??

:sigh:
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 04/15/19 08:56 PM

I edited out the F*** me and that seemed to do the trick. Not sure why that would keep your entire post from showing up though.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 04/23/19 05:05 PM

Originally Posted by ohmy_marie
dear lady grey,

do you remember when i first posted to marriageadvocates? i was a betrayed spouse back then ... and was mainly posting in "BS-mode", but you responded to one of my posts re my wayward husband (in what i remember as somewhat of a lightbulb moment)...

anyway, you asked me to to take a serious look at at MYSELF.

maybe i am-was the shinola (and not THE-shinola, in a good way).

maybe i seriously did "reep what i sow"...

i was so hoping for flowers.




It's incredibly confusing when someone who is supposed to love you is cruel. I tend to blame myself because if *I* am the problem, solving it is my locus of control. It's a straight shot from there to self loathing.

I remember when I first started posting on MB someone saying my husband loved me, and my reaction was "if that's love, F it."

I find the concept of love confusing as I've been told that people who are cruel to me love me.

Which leaves me with me -- I'm the only one I can control and I have to behave such that I nourish self love which is why I think it is important to keep my side of the street clean. It's not to keep other people happy -- it's to keep ME happy. Or at least content.

I am convinced that someone whose mother doesn't love them, like me, is unworthy of love. I don't think I'll ever get over that.
Posted By: catperson

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 04/23/19 05:15 PM

That doesn't make sense. Why blame the child for the mother's inability to love? The mother is the sick one.
Posted By: Blair

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 04/23/19 09:50 PM

You are of worth and you deserve to be loved. I'm sorry you didn't get that from your mother. Just because your mother chose to treat you poorly doesn't make her right in her poor behavior either. She was wrong. Very wrong.

Hugs.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 04/23/19 09:53 PM

LG,

Very sorry you are having to deal with hurtful issues from others in addition to your health and welfare issues.

To say we can only control ourselves, doesn't really show the reality of what that means. It can make us feel helpless and hurt even more but the reality of it is that some people mean to be hurtful, not sorry about it and don't care.

To be related to such folks is hurtful to all around them. I believe I can relate a bit because realizing my father turned from what I had formerly known him as a good father who later manifest himself as a very selfish and hurtful person is mind boggling which clouded the ability of many to react properly.

This meant that enabling his bad behavior caused many (including myself for a while) flowed freely for years. To finally come to the realization and remove myself from his list of enablers put me at odds with many. I call them slow learners or just hopelessly ignorant (in denial).

What I learned is that I need to be ok with my decisions. I was not put here on this earth to people please at the expense of searing my conscience. Not my style.

If that means I had to stand up against my father's hurtful actions, then that is what I must do and have done.
It doesn't mean things will be corrected or just. It means I won't enable bad behavior once I am aware of it. If others want to enable bad behavior, that's on them.

I show no favoritism to bad behavior.

I hope this helps you in regards to your mom. I'm very sorry she has not treated you well. There is no easy way to get past this but acknowledging it is a start. My father is dead, can't undo the damage he has done. Those minions he left behind promoting his bad behavior, is my next focus for legal matters. Other than that, I have no empathy for their bad allegiance. I hope they don't stay stuck on stupid but if they choose to, I won't hold their hand.

This discussion isn't experienced by all but for those of us who have experienced such events, we should share and talk this through to help each other out.

LG, please plan for some getting some resolve. Being ok with your decisions will help. It has helped me. Also, I no longer give as much weight to what other people think. I take some of it into consideration when it can help but I throw out the stupid stuff. wink

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 05/19/19 02:19 PM

So here's what I'm wondering. If you are nice to someone consistently over a long period of time when you really don't want to be that nice, does that make you a nice person or a complete hypocrite?

For example, I was nice to my mother for years whilst disliking her and being terrified of her in equal measure. I was seldom honest with her about my life and my feelings. Am I a nice person or a hypocrite? Was it better for her to die with the lie that I cared about her? Or should I have been honest? In essentially lying to her for decades, did I unfairly deprive her of information she could have used to become less hateful?

Sometimes it is impossible to be nice and honest.

I sincerely believe she had narcissistic personality disorder so personal growth wasn't in the cards for her, but was that my decision to make?

I was nice to her even when she was hateful ("you've never cared about anyone but yourself") because it was easier than calling her on her vitriol. I was protecting myself, but is that a legitimate reason to lie?

I spent a metric ton of emotional capital on doing the right thing by my parents so I never had to feel guilty, and I am not at all sure it was worth it. I'm still so emotionally worn out. Of course, I did just have my right tit cut off and you really wouldn't believe how ugly this thang looks -- it makes the other thang look positively ready for Playboy. I suspect that plays into my fatigue but don't see much I can do about it. I am going to go into the plastic surgeon this week to have them take a look and tell me this is what it is supposed to look like. Beyond that, it seems to me it is what it is and there isn't a whole lot I can do about it.

John shot himself 25 months ago and since then it has been one thing after another, each trauma quick on the heels of the last. Maybe I'm expecting too much of myself. I'm not depressed, but I am tired and I wish my husband would cut me a little slack. I don't think he has a clue what a beating this has been.
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 05/19/19 04:36 PM

I live on the basis of "If you have to choose between being kind or being right, choose being kind. That way you're right every time"

Quote
I was protecting myself, but is that a legitimate reason to lie?


Absolutely.

What would have been achieved by calling your mother out on her hatefulness? You know she wouldn't have changed and the only person it would have harmed is you. You were kind, I don't believe that is ever a bad thing.

Look after yourself LG - there are many of us here who have learned a lot from you

MUN
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 05/19/19 09:38 PM

It does not matter how she, or anyone, treats or behaves around you because you have no control of that. How you consistently responded to those actions and interactions around you that is important. That is who you really are.

You were patient, kind and willing to be helpful no matter how they behaved? For moral reasons? You may feel you were being inauthentic, I say exactly the opposite. Your dedication to being tolerant is the authentic you. Especially when it was not easy... ... that is another testament to it.

How on the green earth could that be contrived as a bad thing?
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 05/19/19 09:48 PM

I agree with Mun's general principal. However, for the sake of safety, sanity and survival, that POV doesn't always work. The fact is, there are more people in the world who we need to recognize and deal with on a realistic level. If some of them are persons we are related to, work with, go to school with, socially connected with, we need to decide how to recognize and handle such toxic relationships.

LG, you are a smart woman but like many of us that level of intelligence doesn't mean you are emotionally equipped to handle toxic relationships from the very folks who you have been brought up to respect and obey (especially for children).

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
So here's what I'm wondering. If you are nice to someone consistently over a long period of time when you really don't want to be that nice, does that make you a nice person or a complete hypocrite?


Orchid: Definition of nice will vary.
Question: Is it always nice to pet a friend's dog?
Answer: Depends on the dog and maybe even the friend.

Question: What do you call a person who is nice only because they feel they have to be?
Answer: Some would say that's being civil or polite.

Question: Does that mean you allow the other person to abuse your being civil and polite?
Answer: You have the option not to.

FYI: Pick and choose your battles wisely. I told my then H that when I care for someone, I will do my best to reach out and help as needed. When I don't care for someone, I am civil and polite but not necessarily going to stop everything I'm dong to help them.

Example: Others I have found are difficult to read in the 'good friends' department. Those folks will shy away from truly helping by their silence instead of true friendship. They often use the excuse, ' well I didn't say anything (withholding important information) because I didn't want to hurt your feelings.'

NOTE: If it was a one time minor matter, that could be chucked aside and written off as bad POV, then so be it. However, if it happens on a regular basis and/or involving a serious matter (i.e. not telling me when my father died), then it does no good to ignore bad behavior. Such persons hide their inability to speak truthfully behind phony and weak excuses.

Hard to trust someone like that. Let's not mix that up with folk who feel compelled to hide their true feelings due to abuse they have received or guilt that has been heaped upon them.

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
For example, I was nice to my mother for years whilst disliking her and being terrified of her in equal measure. I was seldom honest with her about my life and my feelings. Am I a nice person or a hypocrite? Was it better for her to die with the lie that I cared about her? Or should I have been honest? In essentially lying to her for decades, did I unfairly deprive her of information she could have used to become less hateful?


Orchid: You should have been honest but the 1st question should have been why you didn't know how to be respectfully honest and stand up for yourself.

I found letting such persons know that I am trying to respect them but their actions are making it difficult for me to do so, can be helpful. Even if such persons don't get it, the case is being made that sincere attempts to be respectful are being met by their hostility and abuse. Can't undo that once it is said out in the open.

I dealt with my father's issues that way. He went from being my father and friend that I respected to a manipulative liar and cheat who hid behind a persona of a respectable family man. He fooled a lot of folks.

I wasn't fooled and because I loved my parents, I tried to get him help. He refused and plotted against me but that was his choice. I can tell you that I have no regrets on the steps I have taken and currently taking, even if it didn't work in my favor as it should have. My goal isn't what I should have gotten, it is the conscience I have to live with. I thought long and hard before I exposed my father for the abuse he was giving my mother, myself, my family and a few others. To stay silent for me was not an option. I knew not everyone would get it but I am highly disappointed in those folks who choose to stay in denial. Still their slow or non learning curve is not my problem.

You can't control how hateful or not your mom chose to be. You can only control who you are and choose to be. My father died with a lie and his OW wife along with my sister benefited from that lie. That might seem like the odds are stacked against me. From a totally human standpoint, it would look that way but I have a higher relationship with a very powerful, just, kind, loving and wise person who I have been able to unburden my pain and suffering. I don't just receive comfort from this person. I receive the knowledge and wisdom to know how to proceed. It is amazing what I have been able to put together over time.

I'm not a patient person but have learned to be. I reflect much on what my grandmother and mother have told me over the years in addition to my other and current support persons. The truth does come out and the time of regret has been minimized. We can all do better but the world around may not be able to keep up with us. wink

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
Sometimes it is impossible to be nice and honest.


Orchid: Yes, it isn't easy and it won't be under current conditions. Knowing this is half the battle. You won't spend a lot of time in the land of shock and despair.

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
I sincerely believe she had narcissistic personality disorder so personal growth wasn't in the cards for her, but was that my decision to make?


Orchid: You are probably right and if she were alive, do you honestly believe she would admit it? That alone is a huge barrier to break down and if your mom wasn't going to cooperate, then it is on her not you.

Many who have NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) won't admit it. As you know my in-laws carry this as a family illness in varying levels of severity. It is sad. They see it in others but not themselves.

Not all of them but sadly, most of them have NPD. Most don't recognize it and even if they do, they refuse treatment. Yet they live within society with their hidden abusive tactics.

In such cases, MUN's recommended practice may not be as practical unless you temper it with boundaries. That is what I have done.

The hard part is when they fall or die, the need to beat up ourselves with guilt is strong. Sometimes such persons may even try to play the victim or die playing the victim card. That can erroneously point guilt our way. Making our lives absorbed with clearing our name or seeking justice.

Learning to not carry unwarranted guilt is hard. It requires setting strong boundaries and a constant check to make sure we don't go off the rails. It requires maturity.

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
I was nice to her even when she was hateful ("you've never cared about anyone but yourself") because it was easier than calling her on her vitriol. I was protecting myself, but is that a legitimate reason to lie?


Orchid: You were and are a good person. The then easier way 'to be nice' very firm, is part of the reason why you may feel some guilt.

Your question: I was protecting myself, but is that a legitimate reason to lie?
Answer: No. In hindsight that is easy to see but at the time, did you see it? Were you able to get assistance to see it? How would you help someone now to see it so they don't loose precious years like we have?

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
I spent a metric ton of emotional capital on doing the right thing by my parents so I never had to feel guilty, and I am not at all sure it was worth it. I'm still so emotionally worn out. Of course, I did just have my right tit cut off and you really wouldn't believe how ugly this thang looks -- it makes the other thang look positively ready for Playboy. I suspect that plays into my fatigue but don't see much I can do about it. I am going to go into the plastic surgeon this week to have them take a look and tell me this is what it is supposed to look like. Beyond that, it seems to me it is what it is and there isn't a whole lot I can do about it.


Orchid: You are reflecting now and may have some regrets. We all do. Knowing now that you can control your regrets going forward is power you have within you.

As for your surgery, that was a challenge you conquered. If I may share, I for one am proud of your scar. We may not be able to fully control diseases developing within us but conquering them whether permanently or even temporary is worth it. I would wear those scars with honor vs shame. wink

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
John shot himself 25 months ago and since then it has been one thing after another, each trauma quick on the heels of the last. Maybe I'm expecting too much of myself. I'm not depressed, but I am tired and I wish my husband would cut me a little slack. I don't think he has a clue what a beating this has been.


Orchid: I'm sorry about your nephew's decision that has hurt you and your family so much. Like yourself the trauma and drama in our lives seem to be non-ending.

Realize that all this suffering is our current reality and that some are either not capable or empathy illiterate. For those who are not aware their actions of non-care is hurtful, let them know in as loving a way as possible. If they still don't get it, walk away. That is what I have done.

Some maybe slow learners.

LG, you are working through this and not all can work at the pace or space that you current are finding yourself. Out here we say that is their 'kuleana' (Hawaiian for responsibility - referring t to a reciprocal relationship between the person who is responsible, and the thing which they are responsible for).

I have more to post but this one is long enough. wink

Hope this helps,
Orchid
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 05/20/19 01:01 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
So here's what I'm wondering. If you are nice to someone consistently over a long period of time when you really don't want to be that nice, does that make you a nice person or a complete hypocrite?

For example, I was nice to my mother for years whilst disliking her and being terrified of her in equal measure. I was seldom honest with her about my life and my feelings. Am I a nice person or a hypocrite? Was it better for her to die with the lie that I cared about her? Or should I have been honest? In essentially lying to her for decades, did I unfairly deprive her of information she could have used to become less hateful?

Sometimes it is impossible to be nice and honest.

I sincerely believe she had narcissistic personality disorder so personal growth wasn't in the cards for her, but was that my decision to make?

I was nice to her even when she was hateful ("you've never cared about anyone but yourself") because it was easier than calling her on her vitriol. I was protecting myself, but is that a legitimate reason to lie?

I spent a metric ton of emotional capital on doing the right thing by my parents so I never had to feel guilty, and I am not at all sure it was worth it. I'm still so emotionally worn out. Of course, I did just have my right tit cut off and you really wouldn't believe how ugly this thang looks -- it makes the other thang look positively ready for Playboy. I suspect that plays into my fatigue but don't see much I can do about it. I am going to go into the plastic surgeon this week to have them take a look and tell me this is what it is supposed to look like. Beyond that, it seems to me it is what it is and there isn't a whole lot I can do about it.

John shot himself 25 months ago and since then it has been one thing after another, each trauma quick on the heels of the last. Maybe I'm expecting too much of myself. I'm not depressed, but I am tired and I wish my husband would cut me a little slack. I don't think he has a clue what a beating this has been.


I would say what you did for your parents was the right thing to do, but they are gone now and you get to live your life differently now. You can model different behavior to your adult children and never again put up with being treated that way.
Posted By: SFB

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 05/20/19 05:09 PM

Originally Posted by SmilingWife
Originally Posted by LadyGrey
So here's what I'm wondering. If you are nice to someone consistently over a long period of time when you really don't want to be that nice, does that make you a nice person or a complete hypocrite?

For example, I was nice to my mother for years whilst disliking her and being terrified of her in equal measure. I was seldom honest with her about my life and my feelings. Am I a nice person or a hypocrite? Was it better for her to die with the lie that I cared about her? Or should I have been honest? In essentially lying to her for decades, did I unfairly deprive her of information she could have used to become less hateful?

Sometimes it is impossible to be nice and honest.

I sincerely believe she had narcissistic personality disorder so personal growth wasn't in the cards for her, but was that my decision to make?

I was nice to her even when she was hateful ("you've never cared about anyone but yourself") because it was easier than calling her on her vitriol. I was protecting myself, but is that a legitimate reason to lie?

I spent a metric ton of emotional capital on doing the right thing by my parents so I never had to feel guilty, and I am not at all sure it was worth it. I'm still so emotionally worn out. Of course, I did just have my right tit cut off and you really wouldn't believe how ugly this thang looks -- it makes the other thang look positively ready for Playboy. I suspect that plays into my fatigue but don't see much I can do about it. I am going to go into the plastic surgeon this week to have them take a look and tell me this is what it is supposed to look like. Beyond that, it seems to me it is what it is and there isn't a whole lot I can do about it.

John shot himself 25 months ago and since then it has been one thing after another, each trauma quick on the heels of the last. Maybe I'm expecting too much of myself. I'm not depressed, but I am tired and I wish my husband would cut me a little slack. I don't think he has a clue what a beating this has been.


I would say what you did for your parents was the right thing to do, but they are gone now and you get to live your life differently now. You can model different behavior to your adult children and never again put up with being treated that way.


QFT, SW said it well.

SFB
Posted By: Fergie

Re: WAHOOWA! Yea UVA! - 05/20/19 06:49 PM

Originally Posted by LadyGrey
I sincerely believe she had narcissistic personality disorder so personal growth wasn't in the cards for her, but was that my decision to make?

What difference does it make how you behave in a relationship that is entirely fake?

You can't be in a authentic relationship with a person you aren't allowed to disagree with. Your mother did not tolerate disagreement, so your mother did not care to know the real you, ergo it was not an authentic relationship.

So, what difference does it make how you acted in a fake relationship? Is acting fake in a fake relationship suddenly a mortal sin, even when forced to act that way?
© 2019 Marriage Advocates