My personal struggles

It’ s been a rough month, but I didn’t want let it finish without posting something.  I replaced the threshhold of my kitchen door, and took pictures of the whole process, only to find out that I had the wrong thickness threshhold, so I haven’t written that post up yet.  Usually, I love the holidays.  I love the getting together of family, I love the good will towards all of the late fall/early winter season, I love seeing the lights on all the houses.  But this year I am struggling.  I guess I just want to get this all out of me.


It started in August, when two major things started impacting my life.  First, my adult daughter moved home again.  She and I have historically had a very turbulent relationship, and she has moved out and back in three times now.  This time though, was different.  She had gone and spent a half a year with her godfamily who love her dearly, and who were not a part of the power struggles that she and I have.  They created a safe place for her, they set boundaries, they had expectations.  She had a period of self-discovery there, which vastly improved her relationship with me.  We did have a period of adjustment to having her home again.  Not just she and I, but the whole family.  Some still haven’t adjusted fully.  She and I are now doing better than ever together.


The second thing that started in August, really started materializing in September.  My ex decided he was going to play a more active role in our children’s lives.  For years he has been a very hands-off parent, then suddenly (I trace it to my refusing to be used anymore) he started writing me aggressive emails, criticizing almost every aspect of my parenting and my life, including my childhood and my parents’ financial status when I was young. He started lavishing tons of attention on some of the kids, which bothered the older kids.  I tried not to get too involved.


The aggressive emails really came to a head in October, when I started writing multi-page replies to his two paragraph accusations.  Then suddenly, they stopped.  The whole tone of our communications changed and in November, things were civil again.

In October, also, L fell while playing soccer and injured her knee badly.  We saw several doctors and eventually scheduled surgery for November.  This was very trying for her because she loves soccer so much and could not finish out the season.  Thankfully, she only missed out on the last two weeks.


In November, I got the news that my brother is dying.  He is 38 years old and the doctors say  he only 2-3 years left.  I am powerless to do anything to help him.  He is incarcerated and his health care isn’t exactly first rate.  In fact, it is so bad that he had to wait a week (6 days) before he was allowed to get a blood transfusion that his oncologist said he needed immediately.  Now that he has a terminal diagnosis, the prison seems to have decided that he will only be allowed to get palliative care until he dies.

This is so hard on me.  I cannot do anything to help him.  I can’t research alternative therapies because he won’t be allowed to try them.  I can’t make him chicken broth to help him feel better.  I can’t knit him socks or a hat to keep him warm.  There is absolutely nothing I can do to ease his pain in any way.  I can only take solace in the fact that they are finally letting him have painkillers and allowing him to see the doctor at all, which they didn’t do for a long time until he was literally writhing on the floor in agony.

Then there are days that I feel angry with him for being so helpless.  I don’t want to make phone calls to doctors for him because he doesn’t trust his prison doctor.  I don’t want to try to find treatment centers to agree to take him on the off chance that the parole board changes their mind.  I don’t want him to need me – I have enough other people who need me to mother them.  Then I feel incredibly guilty for feeling that way about my own brother.  He and our mother are the only family of origin that I have.  How can I feel angry at my brother for this?  He didn’t choose to get cancer.  He didn’t choose to be helpless.  But I only have so much energy.


I am in just such a hard place right now, and on my weakest days, my child decides to challenge my authority to maintain a safe home.  He torments his sisters and taunts me until I react with screaming and I slam his door when he keeps opening it in defiance of my orders to keep it shut.  I have to threaten him with bodily harm and physically hold his door shut in order to keep him in his room so he can’t hurt anyone else anymore.  Yes, we are in therapy for this, but therapy takes time, and we only managed to start about a month ago.

I have so much that I am trying to deal with right now.  I am so overwhelmed.  I am sad so often and I don’t want to eat nutritious food.  I want to binge on sugar for the dopamine rush I get from it.  But I know that will only make me feel worse later, so instead I pick up my knitting.  I have gotten a lot of knitting done this past month.

I started listening to a new (to me) podcast.  Jody is very insightful, and the episode I listened to last night explained why she only strives to put out B- work.  Consistency is more important that the highest quality.  B- is still excellent.  So here is my B- post for the month.  I don’t see myself returning to a thrice weekly posting schedule any time soon, but maybe I can be more consistent.  I did enjoy posting here.  I don’t know what I will focus on, but I will try to find something worth saying.

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