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I was sure that I had already started on April, but then with my state of mind right now, I'm not so sure of anything. I was told by a tarot reader at the beginning of this year that I was in for BIG changes on a deep spiritual level. She may have something there. She looked very young, only twenty-four, but wise beyond her years. And this year is indeed shaping up to be a year of profound change. Did she know that this would happen, or did it happen because she put the idea in my head???
I have what my mother would call "a healthy skepticism" about people who call themselves psychic. I wonder where I got it from? Although I think she believed more in esoteric things than she wanted to admit, she was a Catholic (I just said 'was', I can't seem to stop referring to her as if she is already dead, not just lost in a mind gone awry), and that made her afraid of a lot of things that she otherwise would have allowed herself to explore and believe. Most of the fear she lived with it came from her beliefs.
Both of my parents came from very Catholic families,two of his brothers were priests (well one is, one had now been "defrocked")and her parents always wished that she had become a nun.But being around them you would never really know that. They weren't preachy, and they never talked about their beliefs. But the beliefs would rear their ugly heads now and then. I remember once, my brother's wife had a deck of tarot cards, and she was going to read my cards, and my Mom suddenly said, "be careful with those cards, witchcraft is the devil's playground".
We were all so shocked that we were silent for a long while. Very unusual in my family. My mother never said anything like that, and it was almost as if she was suddenly possessed because she said it with so much intensity and fear. I can't remember what we did, I think we all just kind of laughed nervously and carried on with the reading.
If my father were still alive, today would be his 91st birthday. Wow. I am in some ways glad that he did not live to see what happened to his family.
My siblings and I have not had an awful lot of contact since my father's death. I remember talking to my sister when we finally all got together to spread his ashes (almost two years after his death)and we came to the realization that my father had been the glue that held the family together. Well,most of the family. My sister went traveling to Europe 30 years ago, and never returned. So family gatherings since then have always been minus one member. We have all since visited her several times (in Spain), but she has never once returned.
There were always excuses made. My family is full of excuses. Excuses of why my sister could never return home for a visit. She met a guy, had two children, but still no visit home. My father died and my brother, who lives in Spain half of the year near my sister, developed an elaborate scheme to get the family to pay for her trip home without actually giving her the money directly, but still she never arrived.
Before I met my husband, I did not want to look at the fact that this was strange behaviour.
My family is very talented at never looking at what is really happening. Nobody really wants the truth. My father was a great one for not wanting to deal with anything "unpleasant", and my mother just made it clear that some things just were not to be talked about. I still have a problem asking people questions about themselves because I grew up with such a strong belief that you don't pry into other people's business. This has not served me well in many instances in my life, particularly in an intimate relationship, as it looks like lack of interest.
So, back to the deep spiritual changes. In the last few days, I have been communicating via email with my siblings in the usual complicated web of craziness. It was about deciding what to do with my Mom, who is in a care home, when my brother and his wife move away to the country in a few months.It is impossible to describe the craziness. I just know that when it starts, I get this very uneasy feeling in my gut and I want to somehow make it stop. Finally, at the age of 47, I said "no more".
So many pieces of stories have been swirling around in my head lately. But I am afraid to grasp them and hold them in case they come apart in my hands. That is what I am always afraid of. That they are pretty pictures which pop up in my head, but they really have no substance. If I don't challenge them, then they remain beautiful and powerful. If I try to hold them and look at them directly and dissect them, I feel that they do not hold the promise that I am looking an hoping for. That special something.
So instead I don't do anything. Story of my life. Scared into stillness. Stagnation is more like it. I look at people on the internet and people around me that just seem to keep moving forward, they just seem to have so much faith in their ability to do, to express what is in their hearts. They seem to have no fear. Or they do not have the fear that I had. When I look back now, I realize that most of the beauty and love of my life has been experienced inside my head. Outside was often barren, cold.
Today would be my parent's 58th Wedding anniversary. Well, I guess it still is except that my father has been dead for almost 8 years, and my Mom has left us, at least in her mind. MAybe like me she decided to live the rest of her life inside her head. I hope that she is living in beautiful memories, and not the ones that made her see the world as such a place of darkness. To her, everything, every moment held incredible potential for disaster and unpleasantness. She seems strangely content now in her bewildered world of blessed dementia.
My siblings and I have been butting heads again. This time about what to do with my Mom. My brother, who lives in the same town as she does (she lives in long term care), is moving quite far away, and the question is, do we move her in her advanced state of dementia, or do we leave her where she is, and just try and visit as much as we can? I think we all had the sense of her being stranded where she is, with none of us nearby. But do we really mean anything to her anymore?
I think we all want to believe that a demented person somehow still has a connection to those they once loved. I feel this is only true if said loved ones are present consistently. I think we go back to a childlike state more than we realize. I believe that when somebody is severely demented, if they have recognition of anyone, it is a person who they see on a regular basis. In the case of my mother, one of her "paid companions" probably brings her more joy and security than one of her offspring who visits twice a year.
So I just decided this time to watch the craziness of my family unfold. Once my brother had sense the initial email, explaining that he and his wife were moving, heated conversations could be heard across the globe,not direct questioning of the information that was presented, but backtalk, gossip. He mentioned that he would shortly sending an email outlining the possible options for her care. So we all waited. As if he was Dad, and we were the kids waiting for Dad to let us in on the secret. To direct the play because he was always in charge.
I keep returning to April, trying desperately to get through the month, but I just seem to be pulled into so many different directions these days. Yet, I look at my life and can't figure out what is making me so busy. Stress. That's what people keep telling me. Stress. Stress. Stress. The catch-all problem for everything that ails us. Not that I don't think I am stressed, it's just that it frustrates me because I feel it's an excuse for all sorts of bad behaviour.I'm not talking just about others, I am talking about my own too.
So, back to my family. Once my brother, boss of everything, decided it was time to let the regular folk in on what he thought the options for our mother were, he gave us "a couple of days" to get back to him and let him know what we thought was the best option. A couple of days...what the fuck? This is not deciding where we are going for dinner, it's the rest of my mother's life, where she is going to live, how she is going to spend her final days. What the hell is wrong with him?
So then I start getting the bullshit emails from my other siblings about how I'm so smart and they want my opinion because I know about these things (old age homes) and how this will affect her, blah, blah, blah. None of them have wanted my opinion about anything in their fucking lives. Ever. I finally see the bullshit for what it really is, just that. The manipulation. It's the same old pattern that I fall into over and over again with my siblings. They want to draw me into the craziness, and they know the way to do that.
The only time my siblings want my opinion, or treat me like I have something interesting or valuable to say, is when they want to draw me into a situation where I will ultimately be held responsible for, or will take the blame for something. And they know that I fall for it every time because I am so desperate for attention and love and acceptance. This time I saw it s clearly. But I had to really think about how I was going to behave this time without getting caught up. It doesn't sound complicated, but it really is.
It's complicated because no matter what I do, I am fucked.If I ignore the whole crazy business, I will be accused of not caring about Mom, and abandoning her. Not directly, of course, but through insinuation and inference. My family has an amazing talent for saying volumes in silence. So if I am silent, I'm condemned, and no matter what I say I will be condemned. And I wonder why my stomach feels tied in knots whenever my siblings contact me. It is like trying not to stand on a land mine,knowing the place is littered with them.
As soon as they get the email, I get a call from one of my sisters, the one who lives in B.C. She has been talking to my other sister and brother in Spain, and they're all in a tizzy. This is the same sister that won't call you back for three months after you call her. And has asked me for my phone number four times over the last few months because she keeps insisting she doesn't have it, but then when she wants something (to lure me into the bitching, gossiping and backstabbing)suddenly she has it.
Immediately I notice that everybody is sending their emails individually, as if they have something to hide. It is so typical. Talking behind backs, a favorite pastime. I am starting to realize it is the only form of communication my family knows. I'm so sick of it. So I send out an email to all, saying that I wish everybody would address their emails to everybody so we can have an open, honest communication for once. And then I say that I personally feel that I need more than a couple of days to make this decision about Mom's future.
This is what everybody is bitching to me about in their individual emails, but it is also the way I feel. I also write in this email that their should not be a rush to decide, no matter what choice is made because nothing can be done quickly anyway. If she stays where she is, there is no rush, and of she is moving, she may not get a bed in another extended car home for weeks, months or even years. After this, silence foe many, many days. Then I get an email from the boss brother, and he's pissed.
One interjection to the family saga. It is my birthday today. 48 years old. Any calls from my family? No, my sister, who asked me a few days before for my number, specifically so that she could call me on my birthday, doesn't call. My husband is having a breakdown (for good reason that I won't go into)and doesn't want to speak to anybody. Get a bunch of birthday greetings from people I barely know on Facebook. What a sad fucking existence. I am not a bad person, I don't think, but somebody is trying to tell me something.
So my brother starts going on about how everybody else (other siblings) are fixated on what I said about needing more time. And as for what I said about her not getting a bed, it could happen anytime. Then he says that he was "shocked" to hear that I needed more time because he had already talked to me about this issue....about a week before. Is this how quickly he makes his life-altering decisions? The ones that alter somebody else's life? Then, he says he thought he made it clear that one options was not a good choice.
So in other words, he gave us all a couple of days to decide between two options, one of which he had supposedly made clear was not really an option. In fact then, he had not really given us anything to choose between, or make a decision on. He was actually just telling us what he had decided, in a typically dictatorial fashion, but without having the balls to say that, and pretending he was being democratic. Not to mention, of course, the little bullshit dance about wanting my opinion, and then getting angry when I give it to him.
I sat for awhile seething about this. At first read, I could feel the familiar and uncomfortable beating of my heart, the nervousness, the panic. Then I just looked directly at this and thought, what the hell? I am a grown up and the angry words of my brother, who is scolding me like a father scolds a bad child, are putting me into this state? I am actually feeling like a bad child, and that I should apologize, or I should get into a stupid argument defending my actions. Defending myself. I seem to spend my life defending myself.
So I didn't answer him for awhile. I had to try and break this cycle, but I didn't know how. How do I behave differently, and not feel like I have been walked all over. I started to think about my brother, and how much he needs to feel this kind of power. He needs to control and be in charge. I don't. What am I fighting this fight for? I am not in competition with these people, and if it is a fight, it's not one that I care about winning. So what did I write in the end?
I just simply wrote that this decision was my brother's to make, as it affected his life most directly. That my opinion was not necessary, and that wherever Mom ended up, I would visit her as much as I could afford to. Plain and simple. I could not believe how good that felt. I felt so calm afterwards. It was the best thing I could have written. I know that my brother will not make a decision that would hurt my mother, so let him make the decision. But I also wanted to get across that I see through him.
I sent this email out to all, and then there was silence. I really felt that I had made a little progress in breaking the chain of craziness. Whether their behaviour will change, or not, I don't know. But at least mine had a little bit, and I was able to really see that these were old familiar (familial) patterns, and that I did not have to fall into them again. My husband really helped me with that. He was there to help pull me back to reality when he could see me starting to get drawn back in again.
For my birthday I treated myself to a one hour tarot card reading. I needed to ask a few questions, as well as get a general sense of what I needed to know about the present and the next few months. It was an amazing reading. This girl is so young, but so wise. She talked a lot about this year is the year of a major spiritual awakening for me. That this is a very powerful time where I will be really looking inward for answers to the questions that I have. It ended up being two hours long!
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