Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself

(Ghandi)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sleeping Sickness

The last few days have passed in a blur. A lot of napping, which always makes me worried that I am slipping back into the damn hole that Black Dog keeps digging. I also tend to sleep as a way to avoid my two family members who are home during the day -- I get even more morose when I have to sit and listen to my grandmother complain about things she has seen on television, or about the fact that she has developed light freckling on her arms (she is 90 years old). My shrink reckons Nanna sounds like a classic Narcissist, or Person of The Lie as M Scott Peck described. It has taken me 38 years to realise that just because a person is elderly, white haired and knits does not make them a jolly, benign cartoon-style grandmother. My mother is the nut she is because she was raised by my even nuttier Nanna in an atmosphere that was at best ignorant, at worst truly evil. And I cut Mom some slack because of that... My mom knows no better, she mostly did her half-hearted best to raise me and the fact that I was party raised by my grandmother (while my mom worked), well... I don't think Mom had realised then just how damaging my grandmother is/was. I feel so guilty even criticising my grandmother here in my journal. But sometimes I am so angry with her and so bitter that I have to fight not to put a pillow over her head (or throw myself off the nearest building). She is perpetually complaining, criticising, ungrateful of the fact that we do EVERYTHING for her from make her tea to do her laundry, even though she is not physically disabled in the slightest. She is just lazy and used to having everything done for her. I know, I know, she's 90 years old and probably deserves some respect, but wow it is HARD to give her any. I think that respect needs to be earned, and I don't know if I can forgive her for putting my Mom (and then me) in harm's way. Jeez. Living with her is THE WORST place for me to be. I know. It's definitely contributed to the most recent mental issues I'm having. I've made a deal with Dr A that I will work towards moving out into my own place within the next 6 months.

I suppose that gives me some incentive to return to work, as disability won't cover rent and bills if I'm living alone. I had to deal with our government social security/welfare agency this week, as my leave entitlements from work are finally used up. It's a long time since I had to deal with welfare, and the recent economic downturn has meant an increase in the number of people applying for benefits and therefore the amount of time it takes to be dealt with. I got to the agency at 7:30am, knowing that the line would build up before opening time of 8am. By the time the doors opened there were 40-50 people already waiting in line. I finally left the agency just after 9am. The amount of money I will qualify for is about a quarter of what I would usually earn, so it won't cover my living expenses (hence, I am stuck living with my family for the next while). Sometimes I wonder if I would have been better off staying married... a different set of issues there I suppose. There is so much I need to learn about myself and how to deal with life, it's exhausting to the point of being incapacitating.

5 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

Dealing with the welfare system is always a traumatic experience. I had to do it because the welfare people are also the disability people and it was a really demeaning process. I used to wonder if I'd have been better off staying married, too, but I always come up with NO!

I hear you on your exhaustion. Managing an chronic illness and dealing with life IS exhausting. I feel it all the time. All we can do is push, on however.

I wish you all the the best with your home situation, too. It sounds horrible, and I'm sure it makes you feel stuck, which is never a good place to be. I don't know what else to say other than to validate your feelings about it...

Polar Bear said...

Yes, the circle of abuse, or the cycle of dysfunctional parenting goes on and on. I can see the logic in it, but I've come to also question it.

For myself, I know I will never have kids. I knew this when I was a teenager. I knew I was growing up in a dysfunctional environment and I knew I couldn't hope to raise a healthy happy child unless I worked damn hard at it. And I was not prepared to do that.

My mom is nutty, and I can accept the fact that she was raised by a nuttier mom (my grandma), but I cannot excuse her behaviour because she should have known better. Why didnt she try something different?

Borderline Lil said...

So true, both y'all. And I can't help but wonder how much this world is missing out on when we three (and lots like us) can't have our own families due to serious lack of parenting role models, and mental illness caused by said dud parents!! But like you say, Polar, where on earth would we find the strength to parent effectively when we are still trying to raise ourselves and make ourselves "right"? Sad. But like you Polar, I feel like I have made the right choice to stop the dysfunctional cycle. Thanks For Listening (hey sounds like a good name for a blog....lol)

Jena said...

Firstly, I am so sorry that you are in the position you are in with your grandmother. It sounds like she is taking advantage of you and using her age as leverage. You're right, it does lead to safety risks. I can understand why you want to move out. What a predicament! I feel like I want to give you an answer but I don't have one to give :( But I want to give you a big hug (((((Lil))))) and remind you that we're here to support you through this tough time. Hang in, the best you can.
Love, Jena xoxo

PS- There is no such thing as comment hogging! I really do appreciate all of your support, you have been so encouraging to me!

preciousrock said...

I'm glad you can pour out your feelings truthfully on this blog. It is good for you even if you feel like you shouldn't feel certain ways or share said feelings. We are all here to be supportive. I'm am sooooo grateful that I am able to work despite my illness because, as loving as they are, I think living with my parents or my sister and bro-in-law would do me in. One has to have a place to get away from it all. I really need my space as I believe does everyone who struggles with mental illness. Unhealthy situations are worse for us. I truly hope you are able to get a job and move out so you can deal with your own issues rather than be burdened with the troubles and negativity of others. I know it would be a constant uphill climb but I think it would be good for you.