|Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on February 19, 2022 at 7:40 PM|
*I don't know why this stupid thing keeps changing color. Having taken care of my great aunt and cousin the past
thirteen years--well, the last one passed away a year
ago,so make that twelve years) and my husband at the
same time until he passed away, I've spent a lot more
time around old, sick, feeble, dying people than most
people do. More time in nursing homes and hospitals than
most people do. Add to that my job, which teaches you one
thing rather quickly: Things die.
I think this has given me a really shitty outlook on life. So shitty, in
fact, that when I adopted my new kitten, my very first thoughts were
about how short his life was likely to be. I was thinking things like,
Well, he's only going to live to be 13-15, I'll be 59-61 by then, and
after that, I'll be too old to have a pet, so if I want another cat I'd
better adopt one now, because once you're in the nursing home it's too
late. And I immediately saw him 15 or 16 years old or something, having
his first life-threatening urinary tract blockage or dying of kidney
failure or something like that. A little kitten two months old!! WHO
thinks awful things like that when they're adopting a pet??
Somebody whose life has been absolute SHIT, that's who. Somebody who
doesn't expect A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G good anymore. Somebody who's had every
hope, every single dream crash and burn. Somebody life and relationships
have failed at every turn. Which is why I AM SO SICK of card readers
chastising people how everything is all about their outlook and how we're
supposed to just forget the past and sail on in life as if nothing ever
Because it DID happen. If we're supposed to have a happy and sunny outlook,
then maybe it would help if the absolute WORST hadn't actually come to pass
at absolutely EVERY turn.
People can pretend for only but so long. I believed my life would turn
around for the longest, longest, longest time. Wove all sorts of silly
fantasies about it. And then I had to accept the truth: I'm old. I don't
have all that youthful energy or ridiculous silliness anymore. Things do not
end well for me. And my life is pretty much over. There's nothing from here
on in except going to work, cleaning the house, paying on debt that will,
like me, never actually retire, and then the nursing home. Then death.
This is the way of all things. Speaking of which ...
Around the time of my handicapped cousin's last illness, the thought
suddenly occurred: Good grief, she's going to be 68. 68!! A person who
wasn't projected to live past 25. How long is she going to live?
And right after I thought that, she got struck down by her final illness
and was gone in two months. I recently realized my mother, of the previous
story--go back and read it if you missed it--just turned 78. And 78 is
awfully old. The thought occurred that a final illness is going to happen
soon--and, considering the history here, it's going to be uncomfortable.
Well, here we go. About a month ago, my brother, the favorite child and
the one always in mum's good graces, the one who could pick and pick and
pick and pick on me growing up and I was the "touch-me-don't"--who then
began to pick purposefully, because it was fun to see me get into trouble--
began posting on Facebook that mother had been taken to the hospital, might
have a bowel obstruction, and other serious news of that nature.
This is where healthy families drop everything and run to help.
Unfortunately for me, this is where bad memories rear their ugly heads.
There was the time my mother, pregnant with her and my stepfather's one child
she ultimately lost, went Total BPD Apeshit over something, I can't even
remember what now, and scared fifteen-year-old me to death with her
screaming and ranting. Here I am near tears, going, "But, mom, you just
get so upset." And she starts shrieking at the top of her lungs, in a
tone I found absolutely terrifying, "Then why don't you just SLAP MY
And she begins slapping herself in the face right in front of me, so hard
her whole face is red.
The time she fell out with a friend of hers because the friend called her
out on all of her complaining and blaming of other people and suggested she
needed to take some responsibility for meeting her own needs and some
responsibility for how things were going in her life. And talk about
something else for a change other than Who-Did-What-To-Her-When. She sent
me the emails complaining about how "nasty" Susie was being to HER.
And that was the first time I had the backbone to stand up to her. I wrote
back to tell her I thought Susie was not being nasty to her and I thought
she had some valid points, and it wasn't right to treat her that way. That
was when the unbelievable emails arrived I showed to my husband. He said he
would never speak to his kids that way.
After that, my brother's college graduation rolled around. It was very
special for him, because he was the only one who was doing college and police
academy at the same time, and somehow he had survived all of it.
Instead of putting our differences aside so they wouldn't ruin her son's only
college graduation, my mother simpered and cowered up to the girl he was
dating at the time, casting these pathetic looks and glances at me as if to
say, "You have to PROTECT me! She's going to ATTACK me!"
My stomach was tied up in knots the whole time. We went out to dinner
afterward, and it was just THE most uncomfortable, awful time. How selfish
of her. My mother has NO maturity at all.
After that, I just got to where the very THOUGHT of seeing her tied my
stomach in knots. I got that awful quailing sensation and bile and
indigestion just coming across her picture on the internet. My brother was
mad at me for skipping his second wedding, but all I could think about was
that graduation. Same for my own wedding. I was afraid her and me in the
same room together would ruin it.
So, you can see how afraid I am of her eventual tumble into senility and
illness and death.
And I just thought this, and ... here it is.
The first time she was hospitalized, my brother didn't call me. He just
posted about it on Facebook. At least the first time this happened I could
post and he would answer about what was going on.
Then, I read a post about how he's behind in the bills because he hasn't
been to work in three weeks and hasn't slept but three hours a night and feels
hopeless and depressed because he doesn't have the lot rent. Oh, and no family
is around to help him because everyone else is dead.
Everyone else posts things like they are praying for him and to hang in there
and platitudes of that sort. However, I know exactly what he's going through
because I just spent twelve years doing it. I posted that, although I wasn't
willing to get reentangled in problematic family relationships, I wasn't dead,
and he could, in fact, call me. I also posted that I had thought of sending
flowers, but perhaps other things would be more useful. Meals? Maid service?
I also posted all the resources I could think of that I had heard of or used
when I was taking care of my late husband and great aunt and cousin. Then he
posts she's back in the hospital again. I sent him a direct message asking if
there's any news. He's read the message, but doesn't answer.
I can only imagine the conversations going on over there. Clearly, I am the
black sheep and to be cut off. Even though he could clearly use some help.
So, here it is. My mother is finally entering the territory of old age and
And, it's going to be every bit the uncomfortable mess I was expecting.
And,my reactions are:
1.) Here's what I was scared of. Wayyy back when, when my mother was
acting so dreadfully, I used to sit and stare at the wall and go, When
she's old and infirm and dying, HOW am I going to deal with her behavior??
And I used to tell myself, "I did great aunt and cousin and my husband,
he's going to get mother and stepfather." So I'm getting my wish, not
because I'm saying no, but because they've apparently decided I'm
garbage. Even if they really need help. Which
2.) Makes me feel guilty, as if I am the bad one. When I know, when I
think back, how it all was. Like it's some black mark on your soul if your
familythinks you are so horrible no one will speak to you even if someone is
dying. Like I'm the guilty one and I should feel bad.
This is when I'm glad I read all those books about a toxic upbringing
that I have. I know my mother is mentally ill. I know no parent should
triangulate a kid into her problems and insert themselves into all the child's
relationships and tell her bad things about other relatives the way she did.
No parent should build a kid up when they agree with her and then tear her
down when they don't. No kid should have their stomachs tie themselves
up in knots at the thought of having to see them for fear of how they might
I KNOW THIS. And still here I am, feeling bad as if the problem was ME.
And the other thing I know is, Now I really AM all alone in the world.
I've been telling myself that for a while now, ever since it became clear
I'll never see this married guy again, but now it's REALLY true. I have NO
family, no close friends, NO ONE WHATSOEVER, AT ALL.
I will never have anyone who cares about me in this world, anyone I can
rely on, anyone I can fall back on, ever, ever again. No family. Nobody.
Now it really is for real. And that is sobering.
But, when family treats you like this, you never really had a family
anyway. Which makes me shake my head and marvel at JUST HOW SHITTY a life
No wonder I've lost hope for any kind of future, and don't want to try
anything any more. My whole life has pretty much been nothing but shit.
Charlie Brown is sick, sick, sick, sick of Lucy pulling the football away.
And I'm supposed to have all this wonderful hope in the future and sally
forth in hopeful spirits and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
It's just really, really hard to make myself do anything anymore. I told
myself I was going to do this book of essays, and I started, but ... I get
an idea for it, and then I have to put it down because it's time to go to
work, and I tell myself I'm going to do this and that, and then I get home
and I have NO energy, and finally I get some time on the weekend and I
distract myself goofing off because really, what's the use? Do I really
expect to put any effort into anything and have it work out?? I mean, come ON.
Just because a horoscope says I was supposed to be able to produce something
that could go somewhere right about now?
I know how your average ebook goes: It doesn't. And, thanks to the married
guy, I've seen what happens with most potentials we're born with: They do
nothing and go nowhere.
So what's the point of working so, so hard? It's been a shitty life, it
will always be a shitty life, I have no one and next to nothing, and there's
no good ending here. I've had all the good times in my life. They weren't as
good as they should have been or could have been, and they are over. All
that's left is shit.
Why try so hard? What's the point? Nothing goes my way anyway. All I was
supposed to do here was be born into a shitty life, clear bad karma, and spend
some 70+ years undoing childhood damage.
It really doesn't make for a life that feels good to live, or that anyone
would really want to live.
Categories: Current Happenings