For the longest time, part of my psychosis has been never being able to accept that I have value. My belief structure has always revolved around the fact that family have to love. They have to help. The have to accept you. So it doesn’t matter how broken you are. They are there and it is a given.
But what happens when they are not?
What do you do when you are the one left behind?
When you are faced with a place that has no family and the ties of blood?
What do you do when you are the one left holding the buck?
When a parent gets old and frail and ill and you alone must carry that emotional weight? A weight you are ill equipped to carry. Most of the time I cannot even carry my own emotions. Most of the time the fake it fools everyone into thinking I have made it. Sometimes it even fools me.
Last night the very carefully constructed walls that keep me functioning came down for a moment and my nephew and I engaged in a shouting, door slamming, swearing, remote throwing argument. I have never argued with my nephew before. Not to this degree.
He is as lost as I am, in a different way, and last night 7 months of trying too hard, being more than I am, stress and responsibility collided with his pain and anger and Mount Vesuvius was revisited.
For a moment the loss of stability, the loss of love, the loss of someone to talk to, the responsibly that is my nature to take on, the difficulty in living with people, the just plain emptiness of no blood ties shattered me. Shattered my nephew. Luckily we managed to calm the seas, and hopefully there is an understanding now.
What saves my nephew is that he is moving towards a family I no longer have. Towards a life I really do not begrudge him. I want him to be as happy as he can be, in whatever he chooses for himself. As long as it is his choice.
What saves me? Fledgling relationships and Hope. Hope for something better. Hope that it will get better. Hope that when the day comes and I need someone – I won’t stand alone. Hope that when my mom goes – someone will hold my hand.
She is almost permanently ill now, with one bug or another, one flu or the other. She forgets things. She loses things. She cries allot. She lost her family too. And her loss is harder to bear.
Or – in her loss and in her psychosis, am I allowing her to manipulate my feelings once again? Is she truly as ill as she thinks she is? Or is depression and a lifetime of chosen sorrow reality now? A mantle she can no longer take off? One which blurs my vision? My objectivity? My emotions?
I hope … I hope for something better. Whatever it may be. For me, for her, for my family.
But what do you do when all you can do is watch?
Watch the leaving.
All the while, standing still.