This is why I love blogging: not only do you have a place to put down your thoughts, but you have wonderful people inside the magic box who read them and write back to you! Seriously, your comments mean so much, I wanted to address them in a separate post.
Tucker is doing much better, we played ball for the first time in a month yesterday – you’ve never seen a happier dog! For the first couple of days after the split was taken off he continued to hold up his leg when he was standing still, and only putting weight on it intermittently. We kept telling him to “put his foot down” and now he’s starting to forget to favor it. Our other dog Bailey continues to have problems with one of his ears, an on-going infection that gets better then gets worse again once the medicine has been used up. I’m stopping by the vet today to see if they’ll give me some other treatment to try without seeing him, no need to pay for a 5 second visit when he’s already been diagnosed. *sigh* It’s always something! And I want another doggie. At least I feel like I’m taking care of living beings that need me.
Avonlea, as usual, was right on the money. She said, “My experience with depression has been that it's a feeling of loss and anger that I've pushed down as far as I can, feeling those feelings does tend to alleviate the depression.” Part of my problem with resolving depression when it hits is figuring out which one of my myriad of issues I need to tackle to access the feelings. When I went back to therapy a couple of years ago I thought it was to deal with infertility, but after a few sessions we were right back talking about dear old mom again. “This can’t be about her, AGAIN!” I cried to my doctor. Alas, she is the root out of which all the other branches sprouted.
Avonlea also said, “But always waiting for something bad to happen - that's PTSD and that's the hardest thing to deal with. It sounds like your mother's "illnesses" were a traumatic force in your life and that you grew up without a sense of security.” She could not be more right. One of the dichotomies I struggle with is how afraid of my mother I always was. She was always sick, which in my mind is a sign of weakness, but she maintained the fear level partly by physical violence.
Partly she was just plain scary sometimes. Our cat had kittens when I was maybe 7 or 8 and instead of taking them to a pet shop or trying to give them away, she put them all in a sack and drowned them in the backyard. My sister and I cried and screamed and pleaded and clung to each other like survivors on the Titanic. She was unmoved.
She had a rubber strap that she used to “spank” us. I have no idea where this thing came from, maybe she had it made special, or made it herself? It was more of a paddle than a strap I guess, one piece of half-inch thick black rubber with a hand grip, perhaps 18 inches long in total. Looked sort of like this, without the festive dots. When we moved out of our original house when I was 16 my sister and I found it in the hall closet and destroyed it.
Once, after she had used the strap on my sister and I for some minor infraction of her rules, we went together to my Dad and asked him to help us, to see if he could make her stop. He said, “I don’t want her mad at ME!” We were crushed. At the time I thought that meant he didn’t want her to hurt him, but now I realize he meant he didn’t want to upset the fragile balance of civility he tried to maintain when he was home, and also he wanted to ensure he could get laid. Sorry, I know that’s crass but it’s the truth.
Any shred of security we might have felt was gone after that day, we realized we couldn’t count on him to step in no matter what she did.
Cricket advised me to “tend myself, because nobody else will do it, and sometimes that means to pause long enough to wallow.” Wallowing tends to sink me deeper into despair, I find myself thinking constantly about whatever is bothering me and I have to literally say to myself, “No, stop thinking about that.” There’s a fine line I’ve not yet mastered yet.
Sandy said, “There is a certain joy in finally being able to experience the emotion, but it does suck to feel it.” My question is, why do I have to keep feeling the same emotions and having the same feelings over and over? How many times do I have to grieve for it to take?
Coloratura inspired me to take advantage of the beauty around me. I’ve made a point of leaving the dogs inside and just sitting on the front porch with a cup of tea or coffee every day, listening to the birds and the Yurt Family next door, to the dogs in the neighborhood communicating and the wind in the trees. The other day I was driving with the sunroof open and my senses were overwhelmed with the perfume of Spring. It smelled like Nature’s candy – a mix of jasmine, bay, eucalyptus, freshly cut grass and wet fertile soil.
Bird asked about meds…I’m hesitant to mess with my Rx but I will do some research. I started taking it when I was having debilitating panic attacks, and it has basically eliminated them so I don’t want to mess with that. It doesn’t do as good a job with the depression, obviously. My sister is bi-polar and has been on lithium for many years. One of my many fears is that one day I will become full-blown bi-polar, which is highly unlikely, but I witnessed her rapid descent into the illness and it scared me.
Fertile Soullovingly stated that I’m not my mother. I can’t hear this enough, honestly, so thanks for that.
Kross-Eyed Kitty reminded me that my mother is mentally ill and there’s no ground to be gained in trying to fix, change, reconcile or understand her.
Tiff, Kath, Sue and Chee-Chee, you continued support is greatly appreciated, especially given that all of you out there have your own issues to deal with. I’m still working on that first memoir post. I found out last night that I’m finally going to meet my step-grandson this weekend! I’ll let y’all know how that goes. Every Memorial Day in recent memory we've attended a picnic with a bunch of D's old work buddies. This year I told D I was sick of being the only childless couple there so we aren't going. We'll be attending our local Art & Wine Festival with the dogs instead. I think that counts towards taking care of myself.