"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Breaking the block......WARNING: DARK MATTERS
It took just the tiniest bit of prodding, but I think I've figured out what is chasing lady inspiration away. I have things going on in my life that are tough and I find that I am holding back in my writing because I'm not sure I want those things to bleed through....the thing is I need to write about them. So, I'm going to. Heed the warning in the post title, there may be some tough subject matter chewed on here.
I've already divulged here that I am a recovering alcoholic. One of the reasons alcoholism continues in families is that no one talks about it. The disease becomes the elephant in the room and it's affects reverberate for generations. I find that I am standing in the middle of my own life watching the devastation of this disease in my mother, my sister, my nephew, my niece and my brother-in-law. Not only is it affecting their lives, but it overshadows so many aspects of the lives of the people they love and who love them. Breaking down how deeply this disease affects my family would take an encyclopedic sized book.
Alcoholism is insidious. I don't know the people before him, but my mother's father was the first alcoholic I knew in my family. I had only brief encounters with him when he was drunk. I loved my grandfather and loved to hang out with him at the ranch. When my grandparents bought the ranch it was to be their retirement home. My grandmother still had a few years to go before she could retire, so she finished up in So Cal while Papa moved up here and lived at the ranch. Because I loved to hang out with him at the ranch I would ask to go spend weekends with him. I was young, maybe twelve or thirteen, but even then I knew to be aware of how far away the fire station was, in case something happened out at the ranch while I was staying there. I don't know how I knew that Papa had a 'problem' with alcohol, I just knew it. Eventually my grandfather's hard living took it's toll on him and he died relatively young at the age of 67. In retrospect there were so many aspects of the things my mother and her mother did and said that made so much more sense knowing the extent of my grandfather's alcoholism.
What I believe is the crux of my current hurdle is my mother's deeper descent into her alcoholism. Her mother died in the fall of 2007, I've shared my grief here and here and in various other posts, in fact, I spent about eight months in therapy in 2008 processing my grief and various other issues. My mother, however is dealing with her grief a little differently. While I know from my own recovery work a drunk has to decide when they are ready to quit drinking, no one can decide that for them, I find myself dwelling on the well my mother is plummeting into.
I've done a lot of work for myself. I've worked the steps with a sponsor, I've seen a counselor when I felt the need, I've sought spiritual counsel, I've spent a lot of time examining my family dynamics, I know where I come from and where my mother comes from. So, the heart of the matter for me is that I am scared and terrified that my mother isn't going to survive. She is slowly killing herself because she cannot deal with 'where she came from'. It is painfully obvious to many people that my mother is deep in the throws of alcoholism and none of them knows what to do. None of them feel it is their business to intercede. Not even me. I feel impotent to help her, fearing any misstep could make things worse, perhaps alienate her from me, thus putting her in further jeopardy. I have been the care taker in our relationship, from the time I was a small kid, with my own medical problems, I remember that my mom sometimes could not function. Not only did I have to be responsible for her, but for myself. I even cared for her dying mother because she could not bring herself to do it.
What I've covered here is only the toenail of the elephant....my sister functions at a very low level and her young daughter has distanced herself from her mother, positioning herself at her dad's house....her dad an alcohlic himself, raised by a raging alcoholic....who has found out that raising an angry, confused young girl is much harder and scarier than he bargained for. Their dynamic is becoming more complicated and broken every day.
On paper, things don't look so bad, really, families have baggage. I just find myself carrying so much of the baggage....maybe because I don't want to be without my mother at a mere 43 years old and maybe because I don't want the cycle to keep repeating itself in my niece...so, I carry a few of the extra bags so they don't have to.
Then again, perhaps letting go is in the best interest of the bellhop.....putting down the bags and giving up the burden for a minute or two....writing down the tough stuff so lady inspiration can find her way back.
I still don't feel like I've gone deep enough....and that I've dressed up what is going on with a story....Otin thinks maybe I'm really sad and that I could be in a bad place, he extended a kindness I am grateful for, because he helped me look closer, but, I think that this is just my life....I have an acoholic mother, a broken sister, and a struggling teenage niece.....without any sarcasm here, "things could be worse."
I am a woman on a mission to begin the life I have taken for granted for too long. Many changes have come in the last five years and while I have weathered them, I have not seriously taken any action to make changes for the enrichment of my life. The stories of my journey will be posted here......stay tuned for daily status of finally living a life not lived.....
To really live.....quit waiting for tomorrow....what if tomorrow never comes....what if you wake up, get dressed and head off to that job you hate and you get hit by a bus on the way.....what will you regret NOT doing? Telling someone you're sorry for hurting them? Giving your kid the 'attaboy' he or she needs to get them to the next level in their growth? Telling your friends how much they mean to you? Being there for your spouse when they've had a really bad day? Or, maybe you keep saying you're going to finally become the person you were meant to be......and you missed your chance because you didn't believe that NOW IS THE RIGHT TIME!
Been There, Done THAT..........
Spend more time with the people I love Read more....lots more Finish unpacking Take more pictures Set up my bench Use my bench Use the picture editing software on my computer Own a NIKON Tend the garden.....lovingly Have more company over for food..... Go to Blog camp in Reno Go to a Monastery and listen get a new defibrillator test out of some classes for M.A. Program finish medical assistant school
On the nightstand......
ECG Interpretation - Lippincot, Williams & Wilkins