It’s Only Freaking June, People


JANUARY:

 
My father was in a psychiatric ward for three and a half weeks in which I went every night to see him, with the exception of missing three nights because…

My Aunt committed suicide

Went 7 hours away to support my mother and had to ID my Aunt.

FEBRUARY :

Hell I could be wrong, but I believe this is the month one of my best friend’s father had a really bad stroke. 

Skin cancer removed from my nose for a second time. 

Grieving. Anger approaching.

MARCH:

My dad started saying angry things to me about his situation and seemed to be blaming me for moving him into my home.
Made a trip to go through my Aunt’s home and personal items. Ugh.

Tubes tied!

My Aunt’s boyfriend had a very horrible accident in a logging truck and was pronounced brain dead. No family, so now we’ve got his things to contend with.

Feeling guilty, still grieving. 

APRIL: 

My anxiety is getting really out of whack. Counselor, hated her. Another, hated him.

My anxiety ridden son actually went to prom when asked to go. Finally a good thing. 

Found a counselor I really love.

Discovered we have a $5,000.00 medical bill our insurance isn’t going to pay for because it’s for my husband’s back. He hurt his back jumping out of a helicopter years ago, so they say it’s service connected and won’t pay it.

While visiting home , my step-father had a pretty bad heart attack after dinner. 

Grieving, angry, feeling frustrated.

MAY:  

My son’s anxiety is turning into depression. I have so much worry about him. My spouse and I are not getting along too well. We have stress? You think? He begins to come to my counseling sessions for support. 

My daughter’s car door handle fell off on the passenger side. The trunk won’t open either. 

My dad keeps acting like he’s got something to say, but he won’t say it. Finally told me he wants to move back to his house. Oh my gosh, I just can’t keep up with all of this. I quit my job to take care of him. Granted I do get money from his trustee out of his funds to help for the absence of pay, but I left a GOOD job that I’m probably never going to find again.

 My daughter graduated high school. She keeps talking about moving in with her boyfriend of three years.

 Ahhhh. Stress. I’m still grieving. I feel like I’m on a nightmare roller coaster.

JUNE: My daughter’s driver side door handle fell off. Laugh. Just laugh. 

Our Toyota died. Hysterical laughing. 

Dad treats me like a servant and all my repressed anger about being left out of the family farm corporation is building up inside me. Did my grandparents leave me out of it because I’m a female or because their son adopted me and they refuse me as blood? They’re dead and all the men in my family run the show. The shit show. None of them even speak to each other. Oh and grandma and grandpa if you’re watching down on us…. look who’s taking care of your precious bipolar son. The woman, not related to you by blood. 

Daughter’s boyfriend breaks up with her.

Son is bad, real bad. Hospital time. Someone get this kid on the right medicine. I love him so so so much. We need to move back to where we moved from because that’s the one thing we know for sure we could do to help our son be happier.

Husband stabs himself accidentally in the bicep. Yep. He was at work, I did not do it.

Oh Mr. Loan officer, you say I can’t use my trust income for the mortgage loan and so we can only use my husband’s income to buy a four bedroom home we need in order to fit us all??? FRACK.

My mother. She’s in pain both physically and emotionally and I can’t save her.

Ring…. Ring…. insurance hasn’t paid any of your counseling bills and they aren’t going to because of blah blah blah.

Ex husband modifies child support because daughter graduated and instead of 7% less he made it for 57% less and the freaking judge signed off on it so now I have to contest everyone’s stupidity.

Husband has stitches removed and was told he has to see an ortho surgeon because he’s more than likely sliced his muscle. 

Husband’s father looks like he’s having a stroke only it’s not, it’s a brain tumor. Brain surgery on Monday.

Worry. That’s number one right now, worry. Anger, grief and my own anxiety need to all get in the back seat and shut the F up. 

Panic attack, husband soothes me to the point of getting it under control. Kisses my forehead and lays down next to me. We tightened our interlaced fingers together and I say, I feel closer to you and he whispers back, so do I.

Locked keys in car along with spare.

Husband’s father has brain surgery. The tumor is malignant. 

JULY: BRING IT!

Good morning, morning.

I started counseling. I’m on my third counselor. The first woman sent me to another counselor she felt best suited for me. That’s okay, she had a mullet and I can’t take that seriously. 

The man counselor always sat with his back arched in his extendable office chair with his hands interwoven behind his head. He grunted a lot. I think he used to be a linebacker. I need a softer touch.

My new counselor has a huge office. All the furniture is Mid Century modern in the softest shades of grays and blues. The Kleenex box is inside another fancy box and I actually think she uses the real deal-Kleenex with lotion. Ahhh. 

She asked me to practice gratefulness. 

Okay-I have to admit to something. Yesterday I was in the yard pulling up weeds and just piddling around. I had this idea to be grateful for finding a four leaf clover, only I never did. 

Then I realized I was doing it again… I was trying to control. I was even controlling  my own gratitude based on what I specifically thought I should be thankful for. What a power struggle inside my mind. 

I took a moment to readjust my brain and lay on the grass for a moment in the sunshine. I said silently to myself over and over, “I am thankful for this peaceful moment and for having my own yard to have this moment in.”

I’m getting there.

Let’s Talk About This…

I’ve been pretty silent lately. I haven’t felt like writing or much of anything, if I’m being honest. Ever since my Aunt Tammie committed suicide, I’ve been in a slump. 
Then there’s my father. He got out of the hospital on Feb. 3rd. I was still down in Tennessee helping deal with my Aunt’s affairs when he was released. By the time I came home he was pretty happy I’d made it back. I was pretty happy that he was back. 

I’m possibly going to sound completely as if all my empathetic ways have been torn from my soul; but I promise they have not been, nor am I about to give up. However, as of late my father has turned into yet another character I must walk on eggshells around. I’m completely feeling as if now I’m the one out of control at times. I can’t even make a damn salad.
Two months to the day he was released from the hospital I found myself sitting in a soft leather chair in front of my father’s new psychiatrist. Just that morning my father had decided to start talking. He’d apparently decided also that he’s ready to drive his Jeep three hours on the interstate. Next week my brother is flying in from California and dad wants his Jeep there so he can “run errands”. Errands for what? Not to be rude, but there’s absolutely no reason he needs his Jeep not to mention the danger this means. 
As I witness my father being unwilling to wear proper shoes around the house, come near to falling, have dizzy spells and shake his spoon as he’s trying to eat, I wonder. Wonder why he thinks he’s ready to go from 0-60 just like that. I spoke my mind about it prior to the appointment. Now in the appointment I stayed rather quiet until the end when I mentioned the driving. The psychiatrist agreed with me. This wasn’t fitting to my father’s liking. He asked if he could possibly be taken off some of his medicine. Here we go. Again and again like the revolving doors I always expect to malfunction and rip a toenail off.
Once we got home, I was met with questions of why I had moved him into my house. Why did I not think about mowing his yard, his income taxes, his homestead exemption, his this and that and this and that. For reason I am just not willing to delve into, I’m not going to explain why all of these questions are maddening other than saying… someone at one time in the past took advantage of my father. So badly in fact, that he doesn’t even own his home. That’s right… it’s not even his. So how is that my fault? 
Somehow I feel as if it’s all my fault. My father told me that he wants his independence back and he’s thinking he may just want to move back home. I told him that unfortunately that really blows for me considering I left my job to care for him. All he could say to me was he thought I was crazy for that and you know what, I guess I was. 
I responded by explaining to him how much better his life is with us. How his diabetes is under control, his cholesterol is back to normal, he eats healthy, we’ve sacrificed for him to be able to say those things. He shrugs and says he’s sorry I feel that way. Feel what way? I haven’t sacrificed? In a little bit of anger I blurted out that it would be nice to hear a thank you to us for all we’ve done rather than demands. He shrugged again. I never got my thank you. 
So here I am wondering why I am a caring, loving daughter? Why do I give a shit? 
Damn. 
So let’s wake up tomorrow and see where we are heading… cause it seems like every few months I have a new father. I wish he could understand the world and his place a little better. How frustrating he is. How unpredictable life with him is. I wish that he would just say thank you. I wish mostly that he knew he is loved.

4:00 a.m.

I’ve been waking up lately at the same time each day. I do this often for days in a row and I can’t explain why. However, I can tell you that I love it. It’s a peaceful time for me. It’s alone time. Coffee in hand and silly iPhone games. It’s a time for my brain to chill and perceive, perceive absolutely nothing.

My father’s illness has many “faces” I guess you could say. When you add in the fact that he’s diabetic and has AFIB, its disastrous. Quite frankly put, I have no idea how he’s survived this life thus far. It has to be excruciating inside his brain. I wouldn’t wish this illness on anyone.

Since the Christmas Eve episode, my father has been waking up everyday as if he’s gone back in time to the realm of infant age. He’s gone from dancing around, making jokes, singing to moaning with each movement of his body. We’ve watched him barely be able to stand at some points. The crazy thing about witnessing this is that, we as outsiders, can see that nothing has changed. His environment is exactly the same. His physicality is all based in his brain. It’s rather fascinating, isn’t it? 

It’s probably the fact that I’ve been awake since 4:00, and I’m on my 4th cup of coffee, but I’m ramped. I can’t stop thinking. Thinking, thinking, thinking.

My ex-stepmom called me yesterday (or maybe a few days ago), and she told me something that’s a bit of an epiphany. She said, “don’t lose your identity”. Whoa. 

Whilst I’m telling my father I need to visit my only living grandmother who is 5 hours away and his response to me is, “what will I do about lunch?”, I did lose it. I felt sudden blame and shame and disgust that I’d even think about doing that. Whoa, again. I lost my identity. She had a valid point. I can’t lose that. For if I lose that, my brain will eventually go to “The Nothing” place as my father has called his existence. I kind of felt myself turning on the road it takes to get there on Christmas Eve. Stop it, Chantel. Do not go there. 

I have many other things going on besides my father “living” here. I have a son who just last night had 4 boys all the ages of 15 and 16 stay over. They are all into skateboarding, eating and slamming every cabinet or door they can come across. My son needs to drive more for his license that’s creeping up on us. 

I have an 18 year old daughter trying to make her plan of action in regards to the next step she takes in her newly found adult world. College, apartments, career path, ugh. 

My kids have a father who doesn’t seem to be on the same page of the parenting book that I’m on. Just this morning I asked him what his plans for Seth was going to be on NYE and he stated that Seth is old enough not to have to see him on NYE and that he’d just wait until the next weekend for his weekend to see him. Wait… This IS your weekend to see him. He’s oblivious. I have a calendar, perhaps I will buy him one. 

I have a husband who has ADHD and albeit I have mucho amounts of patience for my father, I will admit that ADHD drives me insane. Add his PTSD from being a combat veteran in there too. I love him so much that even thinking about how impatient I’ve been with him in the past makes me cringe. He’s the most loyal, calm, understanding man I’ve ever come across. He recently curled my hair for me because I had a fit over it. Sounds dumb, I know… But he made me feel like a queen and all was right with the world again.

My puppy chewed up my carpet that I paid 8 grand for. My dishwasher overflowed last night at 11:00. My father couldn’t cut his butter this morning to add into his oats I fixed him. As the song goes, that’s life… That’s just the way it is. I can bitch and complain all day long, but there’s not one solution I can come up with. I asked for this. I brought my father into my home on my own willingness. I don’t regret it one bit. Life flows and then it turns and zig zags for everyone. I’m not one bit special… And my father did not make anything that goes wrong happen. He’s unaware of anything I might be frustrated over. He’s eating and he’s being cared for and that is all that matters and just when I feel like I don’t matter, he says, “Chan, I need you.” I matter, after all. 

This post started at 4:12 in the morning and I’m finally finishing it at 8:51. I get there… Eventually.

“You got to saddle up your boys, you got to draw a hard line.”

Ever since I was a little girl I can remember my father always saying, “puuuuuuriiiiiize”. I hit the 10th floor today and found myself smacking the buzzer and waiting for the doors to unlock. 

There he was, my father, about to eat his lunch. He had no idea I was standing in the doorway. I found myself uttering Mr…. Puuuuuuriiiize. I was a little tight in the chest because I was forbidden to visit. I was told not to come there. I was told not to bother. How does a daughter ‘not bother’?

He was happy. I was elated. I’ve decided not to share intimate details of our conversations we had the 3 and 1/2 hours I was there. However I can say that he made me exercise, he explained what North North West meant, pointed out the Capitol to me, explained which lady in the lunch room was the most annoying and introduced me to every one of the nurses. I felt special yet felt my heart hurting. My father’s nurse Lisa told me that I seemed to be at ease to her. She said I looked at peace there. She asked me what I did for a living and then said, well there’s still time to change that. My heart started lifting back to its proper position after that. Lisa is intuitive.

As I was leaving, dad had me write this down. On his gravesite monument he wants etched the words, ‘Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses’.  My father loves that Toby Keith. 

Razzle Dazzle

I just woke up. Fixing my coffee in a foggy haze wondering why it was so dark outside still. Rowan and Alex, her boyfriend, reminded me it is only Saturday night and I don’t need to be heading to the hospital just yet.

Oh.

My father has been secured in the psychiatric ward in Springfield. He’s safe. He still has not gone to bed since I had him transported there at 4:30 A.M. on Thursday morning. Thursday right? I don’t even know anymore.

Joe is doped up on Hydrocodone and for the most part, he’s amazingly still “there”. Although he did tell me he wants to be a leprechaun at one point. This morning when the alarm went off at 4:00 screaming at me that it was time for another side dish of pain killers, he laid there in silence. Silence. I didn’t stir at first until he startled me with a loud “RAZZLE DAZZLE “. I couldn’t even chuckle, but I did so quietly in my mind.

The day is starting to come back to me now.  I know that my father refused my visit. I know that the nurse told me on the phone that he won’t sleep. I know that I am feeling more at peace now than I was just a few days ago.

To quote my father during his mania, “am I being clear, am I being concise, do you see my comma in my sentence? Do you understand me? Do you know who I am? Do you want to know the truth? Back to the comma… Back to the comma, back to the comma…”

Dad never finished his sentence.

I am now off to grab 6 boys and let them have some fun. Because fun is what life should be about.

FUN- back to the comma, may peace be with you this evening wherever you are.

Now and Possibly Never

I’m not sure where to begin. I’ve decided perhaps just starting with right now makes the most sense.

I’m sitting on my back porch and I’ve been here since 5:00 this morning. Drinking coffee and contemplating how in the hell I am going to conquer this day.

Right now my husband is in the hospital due to having sinus surgery, so I have to pick him up later this morning. I have to bring him home and spend the rest of this week taking care of him.

Meanwhile, my father is in the midst of going manic. I spent two hours on the phone with him last night listening to him speak about how he was the best coal mining supervisor that ever lived on the planet Earth. I have heard these stories a million times in my 44 years of life.  The advantage to this is that I can do other things while he’s talking and at any given point when he asks me if I’m listening, I can repeat his last sentence. I know what was said, what’s coming… It’s never a different story.

Why do I sit on the phone for two hours and listen to his manic rants? I do it because I’m three hours away, I have two teenagers needing dinner and a husband in the hospital I need to be near. I’m mostly doing it because I know where my father is. He’s on the phone with me. He’s not out. He’s not flying to Belize. He’s not in his back yard trying to yield Noah’s Arc. He had my full attention and that’s all he needs right now.

The last thing my father said to me last night was, “you know in that one movie with Harrison Ford where the guy says to him are you ever really sure of anything? Harrison Ford says back to him, yes…. A daughter’s love”.