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The Waves

It’s hard to truly express things, when you feel like what you want to say is heavy, intense and unrelenting. It also changes every second. I fight the thoughts of my Mom and my family situation, but it’s always there, lingering. I’m not feeling very confident about the recovery process, and not feeling confident actually makes me feel like I’m betraying my mom in some way. Like I should be blindly walking through this process, totally ignoring my intuition and the signs my Mom let’s slip. I feel like by not feeling hope and faith to the story that’s unfolding, that I’m adding a level of negativity to an already black filled void. At the same time, I’m a realist and I’m way to tuned in to my Mom, to walk with such blindness. The weird thing is, is that when you do branch out to talk to people about the situation, the level of indifference or pacifying words is outstanding. By outstanding, I mean, complete bullshit responses. I realize it’s a natural instinct to say that she’ll be fine, that’s she’s a fighter and what not, since really.. I mean, what asshole would actually say anything different, right? So that level of standard social graces, I fully get. It’s the other new breed of responses, that I never knew existed till now. It makes me feel like people don’t actually listen to anything other then there own words. I know that thousands of people have had cancer and survived and I’m so thankful, and grateful that they did survive, but I would NEVER discount there experience. I’ve been told that it’s no big deal, that someone of someone’s relative had thyroid cancer, and survived, that someone else had another type of cancer and survived. I know, I get it. My mom had cancer before too, Stage 4 Hodgekins and fucking survived. But even if I don’t know you, or your sister, or your twice removed cousin, I would never dismiss there experience with a casual statement. It’s a big deal. It was a big deal when they went through it, and it was a big deal when she went through it and it’s a big deal right now. For so many years, I’ve lived in this soft little bubble of life. I truly believe the best in people and I have always always been a kind and passionate person. So it’s been shocking to me to receive such responses. I’ve realized that people don’t care unless it effects them directly, or somewhat directly and over the last year, I’ve lost a lot of the innocence that used to keep my faith in world fairly steady. The thing is, and the major thing that people don’t know… is that in order to fight something like this, you have to want to survive. That’s the biggest question my Mom is grappling with. She’s given up everything she loved in Spain, to come back and handle the Grandparents ailing health. There was an understanding that she would be taken care of because of this. Not in a massively million dollar kind of way, but enough so that she would be able to get back to Spain, get back on her feet and get back to work. It’s gone nothing like this. She doesn’t really see a light at the end of the tunnel, so what would be her reason for fighting this? That’s her question and that’s what she’s trying to figure out. The Grandmother’s dementia has progressed daily at this point, and she’s in the angry and vicious grips of it. See, there’s two ways this progresses in someone, they either are confused but in happy little daze, or there angry, confused and spiteful. That’s my Grandmother. She’s pretty much fought my Mom at every step, and has essentially beaten her down. Which is sad on multiple levels. We’re not sure what’s going to happen to her through this, but we do know that My Mom’s got cancer in her thyroid, a cluster behind her heart, her lungs and in her pelvis. Her lung has partially collapsed and her breathing is strained. She hasn’t told me what Stage the cancer is at yet, or what the recent biopsy results were. From what I’ve read on my own, there isn’t a good chance of long term survival. Which in itself, is hard to deal with and process. In addition to this, the Grandfather won’t survive either. The only reason he’s still alive is because of my Mom. They’re total proof of that statement, Daddy’s Little Girl. His will to live left him a long time ago, and he’s been waiting around to pass for awhile, but his days are brightened by Mom, and they do little things together that make his time tolerable. The sneak off to Waffle House together, or she comes to cheer him on during his Bowling day on Tues. She handles all the meds, the Dr visits, the VA, the bank accounts and the maintenance of the house. My grandmother fights all of this, yelling that Joe doesn’t need this medication, or the med makes him sleepy, she screams at my Grandfather about every possible thing, to the point that, he rarely will come out of his room, and sleeps the major portion of the day. Depression. Heavy
& Intense. When not yelling at my Grandfather, she’s yelling at my Mom. It’s so hard to see. It’s even harder to find a depth of patience that requires some major soul searching. It’s hard to remember at times that it’s the dementia that’s creating this and that my Grandmother wasn’t always so hard, mean and violent. Anyway, the point to this is that…… Mom & Grandfather, team package. Grandmother, unknown what to do. My Mom’s situation has turned my emotionally stability upside down and inside out. I ache in places I didn’t even know existed in my heart. I’ve lived through break ups that hurt so much it felt like imminent death, I’ve left people, places and things behind that left little holes in me….. but all those find a way of healing themselves. This is a new kind of ache. It’s unfamiliar, unknown and relentless. I work really hard to be at peace and to find a daily balance, but truthfully it takes all of my energy to find said balance. There’s no choice though. No matter how draining it is to be strong, and mildly together… I have to do it, for the sake of the baby. That’s a whole other situation. In the midst of the most joyous time in my life, baby, marriage, greatest man on earth, happy home life etc… I try not to let the family situation overshadow this joy. Quite frankly, I’m thankful that if times like this were unavoidable, then at least great sorrow, is tempered with great love. I can’t really explain that any other way, but there you go. I hide alot in books, and have almost completed 3 different series. I just exhausted one, and now have been frantically searching for others to fill the mental gap. I’m a thinker, and all my brain tunes into these days, is just the surrounding stress. So I escape into these little fictional worlds and keep the brain busy with anything other then life. It helps. Who knows, really… what the outcome will be. Maybe things will be fine, and life will work in the order it’s supposed to. There’s always that chance, but it just doesn’t feel probable at this point. It’s a wait and see game. In the meantime, I’ve never wished more for another career path, then I have been at this moment. I’m so tired of the sales fight. Since, it’s not just a fight with management to hit your quota, to set appts, to make sales, etc…. but you fight against an economical hatred of anything having to do with spending money. I get it people, times are hard. However, your a business for fucks sake. You have to do something. Either you advertise your business, or you advertise the sale of it. One way or another, something’s getting placed out in the world, involving your business name. People have fought me, promised me, signed forms then backed out, avoided me, given me bad credit cards, pushed me off and given me the run around, flaked on a scheduled appointment time, and in general… treated me as though less then human. I can usually take it stride, but when every feeling I have is standing on surface end, it’s hard to let such unprofessional rudeness slide. What’s worse, is that.. there never held accountable. There bad behavior is always glossed over, while we, the sales people, are raked over the coals for missing quota, or low activity. The sad thing is that I love marketing. I love the product, I love the conversation and I love seeing it work and I’m really fucking good at what I do. Leaving that field would not only drastically cut my income, but it would be equivalent to breaking up with something. You know it’s bad for you, but you just can’t let it go. What a bitch. The stress of this industry has gotten in through the usually existing life armor that I try and keep up…. anything to keep a safe distance from the drama of work and the little me. Today, I just couldn’t take it. We took yesterday off to get the marriage license, and it was the first time in weeks that felt completely and totally relaxed. I loved being with the man and experiencing something new and exciting, and something filled with joy and love, I loved sitting in the sun and playing in the pool with him, I loved dinner and the quiet time before bed. I was at peace. I woke up this morning with so much dread that I was physically maxed out before I even got breakfast going. I thought about the fight with the guy about his bad credit card (who btw, I just tried to call, but he’s dodging his work line, and avoiding his cell- so I’ll have to make the trek out to actually corner him in person. Which is just retarded. He’s a grown man, with a business and an arrangement he agreed upon. He has no right to make me feel like I’ve done something wrong. I resent being put in that position but I have to, in order to make the sale continue, in order to keep my numbers up, in order to keep mgmt happy and off my back- it’s a vicious cycle) next I thought about the mandatory call blitz to schedule appts and the little games that the southern region does in order to get people excited about it. Which usually results in my email in box being flooded with updates from the entire region- : Atlanta just scheduled 2, we’re in the lead by 4 now, come on Houston, beat that : then que Texas’s response, tempered with Charlotte’s response andddd back again. Usually I can just roll with it. I mean, there trying to make it fun, I respect that. I totally understand why we have to spend these hours doing this too, and there right.. high activity is the only way to keep sales coming in. I respect and am on board with it. Just today.. for some reason, I .. just… couldn’t. I had an actual physical reaction when I was mentally going through the steps of the day, and almost lost my breakfast. As is, I couldn’t really make it past a piece of toast and a couple bites of eggs. It doesn’t take a Mensa member to figure out that stress level was at a dangerous high. So, I talk to my boss and most likely won’t go into the office today. I felt more relaxed after he said ok to this, but I have a high work ethic, and was raised with the idea that unless your bleeding, dying or in the hospital, you have no valid reason to not follow through on a responsibility. So, now… I feel guilty and lame and quite frankly, weak. I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world who’s Mom & Grandfather aren’t well, who’s pregnant and at maximum stress level. Someone else is going through it, and survived… so I feel like I should be stronger and less of a pansy about this. Face it head on, instead of possibly not going into the office. I don’t know. I just feel like given yesterday, today and the weekend, that I’ll be calm and focused to tackle all the problems that wait for me, come Monday. Anyway…. I guess that’s it. I just wanted to talk a bit. I’m trying to get back into therapy, since I have no idea how to walk through this with a healthy and calm mindset, and I know I need to learn these skills and face the emotional intensity while it’s happening, instead of carrying it with me into the future. So, I’m actually looking forward to being back with a counselor, however, I have to wait till the current caseload opens up again, which should be next week or in July. At least I only have to flounder for a few weeks. The saddest part to all of this, was my Mom’s words when I talked to her a few nights ago. She said that all she wanted was to be a good grandmother, and a happy mother in law, that she just wanted that chance and I totally understand. I want her to have that chance too. She’s so excited over the Man, she adores him in every way, which if you knew that she’s hated, absolutely HATED any guy I’ve talked to her about, then you would know that this affection is huge. She’s never really met any guy I’ve dated, since I was in CA and she was over seas during my dating career, but I’ve talked to her about life & love and always sought her advice. She’s an intense personality and has very high expectations for me. So, that’s why it was so intense that she wanted the chance to be a mother in law to a man she respects and approves of being in my life. Plus, the baby. She wasn’t on board at all in the beginning, but has grown to be excited and a wealth of knowledge and advice, without over stepping personal spaces. She only volunteers info if I seem to be going off in a wrong direction, or if I actively seek it out from her. She’s put me at ease through a series of events during this pregnancy and has been looking forward to being a grandma. Well, I guess that’s it. I wrote alot about things I’ve already said, so I know I sound like a broken record. I just have a small family unit, and when faced with the idea of losing almost all of them at once, I’m finding myself spinning in circles trying to understand.

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2 Responses to "The Waves"

  1. Alex says:

    I’m not sure what to say other than I love you Sis! I’m always here anytime you need to bend my ear or have a relaxing swim in my pool.

  2. miker says:

    That last sentence is my recent life in a nutshell. I’m not sure there is a way to cope with such events magnificently – the best we can hope for is to cope at all.

    I can understand the incredible stresses of being involved in sales at this point in time, but marketing is pretty far out of the realm of my expertise. Not sure what advice I can offer, except to say that if the current job is getting you down, it can often be a good idea to think tangentially, looking for an alternative career where, maybe with a minimal amount of additional education/training, your existing experience and skills could be a major plus.

    As far as the other problems go, there’s nothing anyone can say to make it not be rough. The situation with your grandmother has the potential to be toxic for your mom and you – try to find ways to buffer it as best you can. Don’t let sadness about your mom prevent both of you from having great fun in whatever time may remain. That’s really the way we ought to live our lives even when illness isn’t present. :)

    If the worst does come, at least for me, there’s been a sort of numbness that happens that has helped me get through the crisis part of it. The pain will eventually come back in force, but time dulls the impact enough for us to bear it.

    You’re a woman of exceptional strength, grace and humor – I have faith that you’ll provide great comfort to your mom and emerge from this difficult time with a loving new family of your own. You really should be thankful you found a great guy – otherwise you would have had the awful task of deflecting my attentions!

    Thinking good thoughts for all of you…

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