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It is funny how something as simple as a cold can mess with your brain.  I have not been thinking straight for a while, and I was absolutely certain someone else was on the schedule for tonight.  When I finally broke down and looked at the schedule, it was a shock.  These eight days of feeling sick have confused me more than I thought.

A couple of hours ago I was crying and wishing there was someone to take care of me.  I am not doing a very good job of self care.  I am not good at it when things are going well, and even worse at it when I am sick.

I grew up fast and had to care for myself on my own from a pretty young age.  And I resent that.  I resented it then and sometimes I still resent it now.  Other kids had a mom who made sure they had everything they needed, but my mom was preoccupied with other things and just assumed I could fend for myself.

I could.  But I did not want to.  I resented having to wash my own clothes and fix my own meals and do my own grocery shopping and all the other ways I basically raised myself. Sometimes when I see schmaltzy stories about little ones getting tucked in at night or having their mother fold their clothes and all the little stuff that cared-for kids take for granted, I get weepy and angry.  I had lots of friends who were also being raised by single mothers and we commiserated together about all the stuff we had to do.  So I knew I wasn't the only kid wearing a key on a string around my neck and coming home to an empty house and making myself dinner and going to bed before my mom got home from working overtime.  But it still made me jealous of kids who did not have to do that.

And when I am sick, like I am now, it causes all my loneliness to collapse on me.  It just makes me think of all the years I have struggled to care for myself and not done a very good job of it. I can never go back and have a caretaking mom.  It seems ridiculous to even keep thinking about it.  But it is a part of me.

Mom and I became very very close in the final years of her life, when we lived together and I gave her practically round the clock elder care.  I enjoyed having someone to take care of.  It gave my life greater purpose than just trying to take care of me, who did not deserve it.  Here is the convoluted logic--if I deserved to be cared for, someone would have cared for me, but since no one did, then that means I don't deserve to be cared for, even by myself.  I know it does not make sense.  But that is the thinking I am trying to overcome.

There was a time in life when I said I would never care for my mom in her old age--that I would never give my life to eldercare as I had seen other women do.  That was for people who felt they owed their mom repayment for all the care they had received as a child, and I did not have that to motivate me.  When she needed care, I would say no and laugh!  Ha!  Thereby punishing her for not giving me the care I needed when I was a child.

But when the actual time came, I felt differently.  She was so fragile and had no one but me and it moved my heart past old resentment into a place of tenderness and a deep desire to show her how much she was loved.  I was grateful to have a chance to show her that she was worth being lovingly cared for.  I was getting at the roots rather than the symptom.  Mom did not take good care of herself and I know on some level she did not feel deserving of good self care.  She passed that on to me.  So I thought that if I cared for her at the end of her life she would finally feel worthy of good care, and some of that might rub off on me too.

I am still working on it.  I perform small acts of self care everyday hoping feelings will follow actions, and that by performing good self care I will come to believe I deserve good self care.

It is a long shot, but all I have left to try.

So I can't be in this diary tonight.  I am just posting a placeholder so that people in need will have a place to gather.  I took today off and have to work at least half a day tomorrow.  So I am going to drink another cup of chicken bouillon and take my night time pills and go to bed.  

Please share whatever you are dealing with on your grief journey tonight.

Welcome, fellow travelers on the grief journey
and a special welcome to anyone new to The Grieving Room.
We meet every Monday evening.
Whether your loss is recent, or many years ago;
whether you've lost a person, or a pet;
or even if the person you're "mourning" is still alive,
("pre-grief" can be a very lonely and confusing time),
you can come to this diary and say whatever you need to say.
We can't solve each other's problems,
but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.
Unlike a private journal
here, you know: your words are read by people who
have been through their own hell.
There's no need to pretty it up or tone it down..
It just is.

Originally posted to The Grieving Room on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by CareGiving Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Please share whatever you need to share (31+ / 0-)

    even if it has nothing to do with the subject of the diary.

    As always, TGR is a grieving Open Thread.

    Participating here is an act of trust between blogfriends who know each other and between people who have never met.  We send our needs, our cries for help, our poems of loss and recovery, our honest emotions, out into the blogosphere.  We trust that someone reading our words has been in a similar place and truly understands.  We trust that someone out there will offer a kind word and stand beside us as we rant and rage about the unfairness of it all.  We read without judgment and offer presence, not advice.

    We share our experience, strength and hope.

    All future dates on the schedule are OPEN

    If you have a grief anniversary or other significant date coming up, and would like to write a diary for a particular week, please post a comment in the diary asking for the date you want, and/or send me a kosmail, and/or send an email to TrueBlueMajority AT gmail DOT com.

    The Grieving Room is open for discussion.  What is on your mind and heart tonight?

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:51:59 PM PDT

    •  sorry this is late (18+ / 0-)

      I was scheduled to write for tonight, but I have been feeling sick for days and got confused about the schedule.  Sorry AR2!  I thought you were on for tonight!  But I was wrong.  Hope to see your diary next week.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:52:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  {{{{{{{{{{TrueBlueMajority}}}}}}}}}} (10+ / 0-)

        Hugs, for whenever you can come around to see them. And, thanks again for letting me have 3/31, when it was your mom's birthday, as well as mine!

        My older son came with me and helped some friends move on Friday, though he wasn't feeling the greatest himself. It is good to have people in your life who come through for you, even when it isn't convenient. My "growing ever dearer" friend takes care of me, too, in some ways. I try to do the same for him as I can, because he, too, was not appreciated as a child as he should have been by his family and suffers low self-esteem issues. He is such a sweetheart, it pleases me to give him some of the love he's missed from his life for so long! I hope he comes to understand how worthy he truly is, just as I hope you do, too, and all of us who struggle with issues of feeling unworthy, for whatever reason those feelings were engendered in us.

        I hope you recover from the cold soon, too.

        What I want to know is, who's going to pay for these crimes against humanity that those b@st@rds are perpetrating against the rest of us?

        by Kit RMP on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:50:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  how worthy we all are (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Randomfactor, Kit RMP

          some say that if you don;t get that feeling as a small child you can never get it.

          but i don;t believe that.  I believe that good love can come along and heal that hurt place no matter how late in life.

          i did have a good first six years and I need to draw more on that feeling.  my grandparents surrounded me with love when I lived with them.  It was only when mom and I moved out on our own that things got bad.  she struggled just to keep her own self together.  I'm not even sure she knew I was feeling neglected.  I think she was feeling neglected and that was her whole world...  I'll write more about that someday.

          thanks for writing last week.  mom's birthday passed uneventfully for a change.  I wrote about her in my Monday morning diary and that was enough.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 04:31:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hi TBM . This is my song . (13+ / 0-)

    The photo looks like her .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:21:51 PM PDT

  •  I have been remembering Ed a lot this week. Last (16+ / 0-)

    Wednesday marked two years on this road. And tonight I posted a diary on a book set in one of our favorite places on earth.

    I am tired of taking care of myself. I want him around to nag me to call the doctor and to remember to take my pills. Like you, I grew up without the nurturing of a mother, although mine was absent instead of working. Not only did i have to take care of myself, by the time I was 16, I was caring for my father and two brothers, including the cooking and cleaning.

    Ed let me share the load with him. And it was hard at first, but we took care of each other. For the first time I was the most important person in someone else's life.

    I miss him.

    •  Just two years, that's tough. (5+ / 0-)

      In June it will be four years for me and just this weekend my grief caught up with me again and doubled me over.

      I know over time we somehow learn to live with our loss, but  at times I wonder how that could possibly happen.

      You better brace yourselves for a whole lotta ugly comin' at you from a neverending parade of stupid. - Motormouth Maybelle, Hairspray 2007 -

      by FlamingoGrrl on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 09:47:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  tears now (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Randomfactor, Susan from 29, Kit RMP
      For the first time I was the most important person in someone else's life.
      that struck me, because that was part of the joy of eldercare.  I was the most important person in my mom's life and she was very grateful for it.  never before had I borne such responsibility for anyone.  
      I am tired of taking care of myself. I want him around to nag me to call the doctor and to remember to take my pills
      yes yes yes.  i hear that.  i identify so deeply with that.  but when my mom did it, I did receive it as nagging rather than as an act of love.  i imagine it would be different coming from a man I was sharing my life with

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 04:19:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not very good (14+ / 0-)

    at letting someone take care of me.  I'm working on that but I still feel weak and whiny when my Superwoman cape comes off.

    I'm in the enviable position of having someone who'd take some of the load off me if I needed him to.  But admitting I can't do it all and asking for help?

    That's another matter altogether.

    There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

    by puzzled on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:29:42 PM PDT

    •  omg asking 4 help is the hardest thing in th world (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Randomfactor, Kit RMP, puzzled

      what is wrong with us?

      intellectually i know I can't do it all but I spent so many years doing it all that from a practical standpoint I am not ready to give the reins to anyone else even for a moment

      i don't even WANT to be Superwoman!  why do I do this???

      i imagine that I would enjoy having someone here to care for me while I am sick, but have I called anyone?  have I asked any friends to come over?

      maybe I am worried about being indebted to them, which would add one more name to my list of people to do things for

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 04:10:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know you do Susan (16+ / 0-)

    I feel like I am on the edge of a cliff myself.   My vet is failing very fast.   I remember Testvet's wife and me talking about how we check to see if they are still breathing.
    I see him physically and mentally getting worse EVERY single day.  Vietnam vets as you know normally do not live long lives.  I do not take care of myself as I should.. Too consumed in caregiving and worry and stress myself.
    I know I should exercise more... yet I am running here and there and pooped to do certain things..... I walk and that is about it and not very far.
    I KNow I should not drink sodas and do.
    I KNow I should not do sugar and I do.
    I know I should not puff a cigarette now and then but I do.
    I Know thar stress is not good but yet...
    Now the anniversary of both my Mother and Daddy of last year's death is approaching and the ptsd of my husband is grinding me down.   Sometimes I want to just hide.  Sometimes I want to take a breath and feel all the warmth of the sunshine surround me and I get very fearful.
    I have learned to appreciate yet dread birthdays as at 63 I worry...I still have a small one who just turned 9 who needs not just me but him as well.  
    Life is hard enough with trials and illness without all the suffering of money woes and stretching that almighty dollar that everyone in big banks and corporations have their hand out for.   I look for all the ways to just not be so afraid...but there it is every day......There it is.
    When you guys see me writing tons of diaries..you know I am jumping into advocacy or something to just not face some own reality in my own world...I honestly believe all this activism is an escape in many ways.. Yes I care.. Yes I have a voice... but when I am angry at the way things are ..I look for a way to expose the injustices and then go after it...Has nothing to do with being a warrior, has everything to do with coping with  the cards dealt me.  Lots easier to yell at the VA and other injustices than scream out loud at random strangers and people I love.. Yell at the ones screwing around with folks lives..I think it is a coping mechanism.  I think it is a way to deal with my own pain and grief.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:47:05 PM PDT

  •  Lots of people here tonight.. (15+ / 0-)

    That did not have nurturing mothers.  And I'm one of them.  Just got off of my Monday on-line bereavement group, and part of the discussion was taking care of yourself... and how to avoid having everyone think you should still be the strong one, when you have no energy left after you caregiving and loss.

    Lost my Stephen 16 months ago.  Still feels like yesterday some days.  He was the only person in my life who took care of me... especially after we retired.  He would make my dental appointments, remind me to get my mammogram, make sure the grocery list had everything on it that we needed.  So many little things I hardly knew of and took for granted.  

    I took good care of him .. on his cancer journey.  But he tried to stay independent as long as possible.  So mostly it was the emotional caregiving.. dealing with the medical system.. and trying to find food that he could tolerate.  

    I never really knew what this kind of grief was like.  Yes, my Dad died years ago.  And yes, my mother died a year before he got sick.  But it was nothing like this grief.  

    And now, I'm trying to figure out where I am going from here.  Older, but not "old".  Determined to stay independent and not be a burden on my adult children.  

    I have recently decided to start taking better care of my body.  Working on the health issues.  Trying to lose some of the weight I gained while Caregiving.  Joined a gym that has senior classes.  Still haven't made that dental appointment to get my teeth cleaned however.  And am now way behind on that mammogram.  Oh well.

  •  My mom... (10+ / 0-)

    ...is gone a year this month.  Hard to believe it's been that long.  Hugs to you, TBM.

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:59:21 PM PDT

  •  am there, doing that (10+ / 0-)
    Mom and I became very very close in the final years of her life, when we lived together and I gave her practically round the clock elder care.  I enjoyed having someone to take care of.  It gave my life greater purpose than just trying to take care of me, who did not deserve it.  Here is the convoluted logic--if I deserved to be cared for, someone would have cared for me, but since no one did, then that means I don't deserve to be cared for, even by myself.  I know it does not make sense.  But that is the thinking I am trying to overcome.
    in my case my spouse did help me with her, but my spouse's passing has made this past two years difficult beyond description

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 07:20:45 PM PDT

  •  I'm always the one getting the 2 am calls (8+ / 0-)

    ...driving folks to the doctor,  ER, etc.   Most recently a ten-hour round trip Saturday to take someone to a Veterans' hospital.  Emergency loans and pharmacy trips and whatnot.

    And of course Donna's many illnesses before she died.

    Like, what the hell else have I got to do?

    Two months ago I was laid up with a bout of food poisoning.  Drove myself home from work, stopping occasionally to puke my guts out.    

    It's always been like that.  

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 07:50:46 PM PDT

  •  Can relate to having a schedule catch up (9+ / 0-)

    and smack you a little, as I've been sleeping very little due to symptoms from what appears to be something my digestive system reacted to last week.  Didn't get into bed until 05:30AM this morning and that's just one of a few nights in a similar vein.  So, I feel it's easy to let the world go by a bit while bending with and around lousy health stuff.

    Hope that you feel better soon physically, and that you increasingly do feel worthy of the care and consideration you sincerely deserve.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 07:50:47 PM PDT

  •  Thanks TBM (4+ / 0-)

    I can certainly relate to the convoluted logical thinking you mentioned.  I still struggle with it today.

    And my own mother was not a loving sort of mother, at least not to me.  I was definately not the favorite kid.  In fact, i know for sure I was ranked at the bottom (number 6 of 6).

    I hope you get over your cold soon.  Hang in there!

    The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace – Mahatma Gandhi

    by Texnance on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 09:31:47 PM PDT

    •  six of six--i'm sorry, Texnance (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Randomfactor, Kit RMP

      even if you weren't actually sixth of six, that's the way you felt at the time, and that's what matters.

      now we have to care for ourselves, and it is so hard to feel worth it.

      as for the cold, I'm giving in and going to the doctor today

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 03:38:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this site (4+ / 0-)

    I've been lurking for a long time on DK.  I occasionally visit this site thinking that I may need it soon.  That time has come. My mom passed away on March 26.  She was 80.  And, what a great friend she was to me and so many others. She basically suffocated her last 3-4 days with COPD and congestive heart failure.  It was brutal.  Especially for her.  I thought I would have relief when she finally had relief.  However, the sadness is so heavy.  I wasn't expecting this.  So, thank you for giving me a space to talk about my achy heart.

  •  Thank you so much for this site, TBM. (3+ / 0-)

    I'm ok right now but I needed something like this big time more than once and I know I will again some time.

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:01:54 AM PDT

  •  I hope you feel better soon (3+ / 0-)

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 09:29:09 AM PDT

    •  thanks for the well wishes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JamieG from Md, Kit RMP

      i am feeling even worse today so I finally broke down and made an appointment at the urgent care clinic for tomorrow.

      finally the self care that a "normal" person would have done last week :-D

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 08:41:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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