Thinking out loud on a Sunday afternoon

I’m spending a rare moment with no family obligations (that term has taken on a whole new meeting in the past few weeks and months) getting in some basement time: cleaning up, working on assorted projects, listening to Canadian radio, etc.

Had things gone as planned, I would have probably been on the way back from my Thanksgiving trip to Canada today. That trip had to be delayed due to some work issues, which was kind of a drag because it means I’ll be going during a time when the weather and daylight are less cooperative, among other issues. But I’m really in need of a vacation tight now and I’ve rescheduled for what it my final realistic travel date until the spring thaw. I should be leaving on Friday.

But…

Mom’s still in the hospital. Again. It’s nothing life-threatening, just another scenic detour on the Alzheimer’s highway. I’m not sure when she’ll be released. Maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. Maybe not. And I’m not sure what kind of drama–if any–will ensue with her assisted living facility when that release comes. But if there is drama, I know for sure that my dad won’t be capable of dealing with what needs to be done. So my life is on hold again. Assuming, that is, that I’m even allowed to have a life anymore.

I feel really guilty being so resentful of things that my parents can’t help. But I’m really tired and I feel really trapped–like can’t do the one thing that I really enjoy doing–and that’s making for a pretty miserable existence right now. At the ripe old age of forty-eight, I find myself lying to my dad like a sixteen-year-old and saying I have to work on weekends just to get some time to myself at home. I have in fact even lied about trips, saying that there’s a work component involved, just so I can justify dong something that needs no fucking justification to begin with. It’s kind of pathetic.

It’s really kind of starting to make me regret ever having moved back here. That sounds horrible but it’s how I feel. Had I kept my distance, I’d at least have an excuse not to be so personally involved every fucking day with every fucking decision. In person. I love my parents and I’m heartbroken about what’s happening to them. Unless you’ve been through it, you simply can’t imagine what it’s like to watch someone who raised you deteriorate into complete incoherence and lose the ability to accomplish the simplest tasks. They’re scared, their lives are quite hellish now, and they don’t have much control over it it. My mom, who doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with he due to the disease, keeps talking about how she’s being punished “in jail” even though she never hurt anyone.

But I’m pretty alarmed at what’s happening to me too. I feel like I haven’t had control over my own life for the past two years or so, either. Too much of my existence has been defined by other people’s problems, needs, and decisions (not just those of my parents) and too much of my time has been spent dealing with things about which I was never really given any choice nor input. And it sucks.

 

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