Back at it

It was nice to climb back, very much connected. I wasn’t sure how the session would be. I usually find it difficult to reconnect after a break. I settled in across from Beatrice and it was as if we turned the clock back two+ weeks. As I spoke of days gone by, long gone by I was struck by how comfortably uncomfortable sessions have become. I’m fine with that. Rather than hide, I hold on and ride out the roughness. I accept the fact that it is going to hurt. It is okay to hurt. I have spent my life running from pain. A lifetime of it. I didn’t want to revisit it, nor dwell amongst it. I truly understand now this is where I need to be. Just as I understand to run faster I have to break myself down and rebuild stronger than before. It is the path to getting better. I do not know how I have found peace on her couch. How I finally GOT IT. This has been years in the making. I know it was not a place I could get to quickly. It wasn’t ever going to be an overnight rash process. Though its arrival seems somehow miraculous. It was the illusive prize. Sometimes attainable, but often just out of reach. So many sessions frustrating beyond words. Frozen unspeaking despite every ounce of me desperately wanting to unburden my heart and soul. No matter how bad I wanted it, it was just not possible. I would not, could not tolerate the pain. Have I become stronger? braver? Do I have a thicker skin? no, I actually don’t think I have changed in that way. It isn’t about tougher, it is about softening. Harder is what I was for so very long. The walls built as fast as I could think of them. It was all edges, and road blocks. Bricks and mortar built of years of suffering. I understand the path to not suffering is through the same mine field I carefully lay. But if there is one thing I understand it is pain. What I didn’t know was my ability to absorb this pain. It is not like before. I see now I can sit with it and walk away after 50 minutes. To leave it at the door. Yes, I feel the pain. I feel every inch of our work that session. But it is not now. It all still sits in the past. It does not need to cripple me in the present. I see the path. We have all worked so hard to get me here. I have finally found my way. It truly feels amazing. Though I know it isn’t that easy. There will be days when my old self, so set in its defenses will be far too strong. There will be days when I just don’t have the strength to let myself accept the work. It won’t be all clear sailing from here. But at least I know I can help tack the vessel while we sail the windswept sea of my past.

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Vacation

I always marvel at how strange it is to take a break from therapy. The routine is so ingrained in me at this point. I like the steady regularity. The week in and week out structure. I know that I do far better with a rigid framework. These past two weeks have been a bit of a no man’s land for me. I’ve struggle hard with the issues and emotions about my father and the ever shifting landscape of his mind. I’ve done okay. The steadfast, one foot in front of the other has allowed me to just keep on keeping on. This may well become my standard as the weather shifts and I feel my mood changing. It is not that I am depressed, not really by my standards. It is that I am not as good. Not firing on all cylinders. Frustrating beyond measure. there is not much I can do except keep moving and try to hold the line here. Slogging through the weekly training and seeking pleasure in the pain of forcing my body to do what it doesn’t want to do. It is my way of coping, I guess. In this perpetually exhausted sore place I hide from the real questions and answers that knock at my threshold.

Reality

It takes a while for reality to sink in some times. I’ve spent the last year knowing that dad was changing. Deteriorating, for lack of a better word. Yet somehow I didn’t really get it. That changed today. I spoke with my aunt for a bit and learned that things in FL just aren’t going well. Guess they have lo-jacks for humans since dad now has one. He is wandering, and going into houses. He has been seeing a therapist. But the doctors no longer think depression, and now have settled on dementia. He has been going to a day program, since his wife claims her support group advocates for that. It is all about “what the group thinks and does”. What the fuck. Where’s the koolaid? Here we are in NY learning all this now. We have no say, no control. She has changed his life according to what some fucking group thinks is right. These are people, not neurologists, or other specialists. Just a fucking group of people who have people in their lives with dementia or Alzheimer’s. I don’t like it. Nope, not at all. But that isn’t the kicker. The really kick in the gut was she’s disconnecting his phone. It is my only connection to him. She monitors and erases any emails. Any paper mail that is sent goes unanswered. The very last thread of connection I have to him is about to evaporate. Poof. With that it is the end. The reality is so hard to accept, yet it clearly has hit the mark since I’m not really even functioning as I write this. All those stupid things I told myself to disbelieve the truth. To ignore the warning signs that were clear as day. He wasn’t going to get better. He wasn’t going to suddenly be his old self. How I could have possibly deluded myself into believing that I have no idea. I swore in my head she was drugging him. That he was really okay. I knew better, but I let myself fall into this false place for months on end. Today it was as if someone sharpened the focus, and the lens just showed me the truth of the situation. The REALITY. He’s gone. That feisty pain in the ass that always saved the day wasn’t coming back. There will be no magic trick. I sat looking at the tax filings knowing he would never be able to “fix it”, or call “somebody”. I was on my own. For real. It is scary, no I take that back. It is terrifying. I have spent my whole life sheltered, protected and defended by this man. He was larger than life, and involved in everything. Didn’t matter what was the issue he always had a guy. There was always a phone number. Always a person to turn to. The enormity of the emptiness I feel in this moment is just…I don’t have words to put on it. I feel a bit like a gourd that has been all hollowed out and hung up to dry. It is an awful feeling. I just don’t know if I can do it without him. My life has been so defined, and so fucking enmeshed with his. This emptiness in his absence…I really find myself struggling to even find a way to describe what I am experiencing. All I hear is the echo in this hollow excruciating place.

Fall?

Not sure if it is the fall like weather, or the grey dim day, but what a mood shift. Everything seemed to grind to a very slow pace. Even talking seemed to be too much effort. I forced myself to go out for an evening run. Nothing made a difference. I hope it shifts back. I don’t even feel like writing, too much of an effort to think at this point.

Melt Down

It was just a little bug. Alone, really quite meaningless. But the awful thing about fleas is there is never just one. EVER. After I had ripped the little fucker apart I found myself stomping up and down the foyer, and I mean stomping. Between the stomping were FUCKs, a lot of them. I was absolutely and completely batshit. It really was quite the outburst. I got tired of cursing and stomping about as fast as I started. Now I found myself snotting and sobbing. Okay, seriously, over a flea. yep. all over a flea. Last year was such a nightmare trying to get rid of them. All the work, and money. I just couldn’t deal thinking about it. But the reality is I don’t think my meltdown had anything to do with fleas and had a lot to do with the past two weeks. But fleas? really. I’m so fucking pissed. Need to find some chemicals and go on the warpath again.