(Unedited) I’m sitting very much on the same spot. Beside the hummingbird feeders on our back deck. It is a cool rainy day here in NY. a pleasant respite from the heat and humidity of the past few days. My life hasn’t changed all that much. The issues I faced last June 5th are those that stare me in the face today. Is that due to a lack of growth? or an inability to make choices? Is it a failure on my part? or is it a success? Most likely some hue along the midline. This past year, just as the one before it had periods of relative stability and other periods that lacked any sense of control. We are still fighting to hang on and survive despite tremendous stress and adversity here at the farm. I can only hope that if this blog lives to 3 yrs old this will not be the case anymore. A decision will have been made and we will have moved on, or found a way to make this more doable for us both. When I read my 1 year post it was beautiful and moving. I so wanted that for today. It is not what you’re going to get. That isn’t the place I’m in.
The past few months have changed me. For almost 20 years I put my trust in Virgil.I learned to trust and with time trusted completely and unconditionally. Not a good thing in the long run. The learning to trust part was a must and had to happen. But in my screwed up way I let it go to far. I idolized her. I let myself believe she was unfallable. I placed expectations on her, those that could never be filled by either parent. Eventually it had to come crashing to the ground. Amazingly it didn’t for a long time. These months I have had it happen a couple of times and it has left me shaken and unsteady. My rock that I remained firmly attached to like barnacle wasn’t there. and like the barnacle that needs an anchor point to survive I was badly in need of some help. After the first tumble I told myself we can get it back and to some degree we started to. It didn’t last. Instinct told me to run. Ancient words told me she was no different than the rest and would leave me. A mind willing to write off 20 years of unyielding support. Just that quick I could make all that work disappear. It was a mind reeling and unable to find an anchor point. I feel terrible for how I reacted. For the anger and the judgement, as she was undeserving of either. She made an error. Not possible. Idols don’t fall down. They don’t break. they do not fail. Suddenly I saw not an idol but a human. No different than I. Struggling under work, stress and life. For the degree of perception I have I can be a complete idiot at times. We didn’t have much time to repair before the next storm swept in.
Depakote. In the days leading up to the hospitalization I was having side effects, many of them. I think I was probably too confused to even realize to what degree, or to the difficult a task faced by the doctor to sort them all out. I honestly did not even think about all of it. Instead I was scared and shaken and sad. I again let my mind deceive me. I let it tell me she just wanted to stash me in the hospital while she was moving so she didn’t have to bother with it. That I was an inconvenience. I was unimportant and just another patient on the roster. Though in actuality that is what I am. 20 years does not change that fact. I deserve no more, or less than any of them and I should know that. Walking away from the hospital and looking back I can see why I had to go. If only I had had the ability to see and hear myself from the view of those around me I’d know that. It was for my protection (not so much from myself but from the meds). The depakote dose stabilized and I came out of the haze. Though it came with a price, as all hospital visits do. I was angry and hurt. As the weeks go by and I gain some distance the emotions subside and I am left only with the aftermath. I’m left with the pieces of the idol I constructed. It cannot ever be what it was, nor should it. The imperfections and the humanity of Virgil need to remain. This is where it all changes. The first insult to shift my focus would not have given me the space, but the past few months have given me enough to hold fast and work from a different place. This is supposed to happen. They cannot stay super heroes, gods or idols no matter how much they help us. It does not matter how much they make up for all we lacked growing up. They are there to be beside us, not above. I do not know how to make that transition. I don’t even know where one begins, but I know from here out the relationship is altered. I struggle each day without her as I saw her before. Feels strange and out of synch somehow. But how could it not after 20 years of clinging to someone? There is an empty space no longer filled with a larger than life projection. Instead it is just me and a doctor with so much to do and not enough time in the day to do it. Though that probably over simplifies it a bit. She will always be more than just a dr to me.
As I step off into year 3 with the blog I can only wonder what the future holds. My parents aging. My life unsettled. My relationship strained. Can I hold all the pieces together for another year? Can Beatrice and I work through each bump and hurdle as we have done? In our steady work I find a constant. In my progress I see some hope. Not all the time, but certain days I see glimmers of who I might become. The solid patience and empathy she provides each week are often the highlights of those 7 day spans. A period where I can drop the fascade and just be. It is exhausting to create “okay” for the world when you are anything but. The blessing of having her in my life is unmeasurable. I have some confidence now. The hard stuff I once ran from I am willing to stay and tease apart with her help. Our work is so special to me, on a lot of levels and I look forward to our sessions each week. Think that alone is the mark of good therapy.
I know this is long winded, as always. I write what my heart tells me to. Even though I am not in the best place I created a decent post today. I found a way to be optimistic about this 3 year. Most of all I can let myself see the shift in the dynamic with Virgil as growth rather than destruction. It is not decay or failure. Not abandonement. This is my time to move forward. Just as the fledglings all around me are. I see them in the trees not far from their nests they left just yesterday. Sure they are yelling and begging for food. Life is scary out there and they don’t have every skill they need to survive. Yet. But they are still cared for. The adults are still nearby. They are afforded what they need to ride it out until they are strong enough to be completely on their own. It is no different for me. I cannot stay forever. I’ve come a long way from needing an idol. I didn’t realize it. I didn’t see it anymore and let it become part of my life far longer than I probably should have. As many often say, “Everything happens for a reason”. Yes, I too believe that. I could remain angry and resentful. I could rage at a human that made an error or two or many. That doesn’t help me. I see many more years. Just not years like the past 20. But damn, fledging is tough. It will take time to get through this transition and move on into the future.