https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/punishment/What a perfect word prompt for the day. I’m laying in bed feeling punished for working out as hard as I have been. I have gained close to 30 pounds in the past year and taking it off has been way harder than I anticipated. I turned 50 this year and moved myself and my nine year old daughter into my fathers home as he needs 24 hour care with his dementia. For three months I have been spending and hour to an hour and a half four days a week killing it in the gym. I’ve only lost four and a half pounds and have had three injuries.
The first injury was my knee. I was playing racquetball and hit the floor when my knee gave out. I spent a month strengthening it, not letting me quit. Just as that was almost finished healing, I tore my rotator cuff on the assisted pull up machine. My shoulder is still healing and I’m about to start physical therapy and suddenly this groin injury sneaks up to punish me further. I punish myself enough in the gym, these injuries are just cruel. I’m laying in bed now, icing my shoulder AND my groin.
I’m still not going to let this stop me. I am determined to lose this weight and get into the best shape I’ve ever been in. Maybe this punishment is just a test to see what I can handle. To test whether or not I have the gumption to not quit. I will work through this. This punishment will not defeat me. I will heal, I will be amazing, nothing will stop me now!
That was the big question of the morning as I came down for my cup of coffee before getting my daughter off to summer day camp. “UM, I don’t know”, was my response. “I don’t eat fries and Brianne never puts anything in the dishwasher, unfortunately”. His response, “Well, I didn’t do it”.
Yes, dad, yes, you did, it was you. You are the one who methodically placed each French fry into separate silverware compartments standing up like they were something to be cleaned well.
This sounds funny, and it kind of is, but it’s also very sad. If this were a one off instance, fine, but I’m am being blamed for stains in the carpet from 10 years ago I have lived with my father for 2 months), broken screens, broken cabinets. I’m surprised I didn’t get blamed for the the piss all over his bathroom floor earlier this week.
Honestly, though, things are a lot easier then they were than when we first moved in. I still here the same stories over and over again, he still cries a lot (this from a man who I only saw cry once and that was the day his mother died). It’s a lot to take in, a lot to absorb, and a lot to adjust to. Especially alone.
I am a survivor and always will be. I am a part of the “sandwich generation”, where we are still caring for young children and now we are caring for our ailing parents. So be it. Bring it.
It’s that time of the month you know, or you don’t unless you are a woman. But you know, we get melancholy, damn right depressed, irritable, emotional and everything on God’s green earth makes us cry. I swear as we get older every symptom gets worse. I’ve had so much to say on here about so many things, but they change in an instant so the last one is less important than the next. My life is been a little more than difficult, but it’s actually been getting easier, with my dad and the dementia and all.
Tonight I just wanted to lay in bed and watch movies all night. I watched an emotional one, I watched a scary one…both made me cry, but then I ordered one that was with Ethan Hawke and had to do with the punk scene in New York. Having lived in New York I was intrigued and pressed “buy”.
I had my moments with punk rock, but to be honest it wasn’t my scene. But, it made me think of Paul, and then suddenly this kid overdoses and the next scene happened to be soundtracked with one of Pauls favorite songs and on St Marks in NYC which is where he went to score when I took him to New York. The three or four combined was more than I could take. But this happens, right? You never know when these moments will come and take your breath away. Just when you think you’re ok. Unless you’ve lost that kind of loss, it’s hard to understand.
So, I’m here in Washington now. A beautiful tourist town. I am what they call these days a part of the “sandwich generation”. In other words I am taking care of my small daughter AND my ailing father. Life just keeps getting better for me, eh? I’m not talking to many of my family or friends, because quite frankly they have no understanding in their hearts. But that’s fine. I don’t expect anything from anyone. I will survive this too, just as I have everything else. My main goal is making my daughter ok in this crazy, fucked up world.
I have so muck to say, but I haven’t been able to write. My brain is foggy from the drugs, I have sever long term hives and I am livng my life for two people, neither of which is me.
I’m sure there are plenty of seasoned caretakers of people with dementia, but this is all new to me and I don’t like it. I moved up to Washington to my dads beautiful home in the picturesque tourist town of Port Townsend to be here for him as his dementia has reached a dangerous level. I believe (according to my google research) that we are in the stage “moderate dementia”. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? It’s hell. I’m watching my once very capable father (retired hazmat Fire Captain) sink into an alcoholic, confused, repetitive man who puts the parmesan cheese in the spatula drawer and gives the dogs uncooked rice as their dogfood.
He has lost his drivers license, doesn’t do laundry, and my daughter and I are, at this point, just trying to stay out of his way. I didn’t mind in the beginning. I did his laundry, went grocery shopping, cooked meals he loves (he is a pescaterian), and listened over and over again (every 30 seconds or so) his story being a radio guy in the planes in the Navy, or going into burning buildings as a Fire Captain. I expected that, and I knew that was going to be tough, I’d have to patient as hell. What I didn’t expect was the amount of alcohol consumption and the changes that would occur after the first bottle of wine. Without going into detail, I will say, it was scary as hell. My 8 year old daughter did not need to see the things she was seeing and to be scared in her own home.
He does not like my daughter and that’s the part I cannot take. Everything else, just par for the course. I actually heard him on the phone with my mother yesterday calling my sweet, lovely, kind, fun, beautiful daughter “a bitch”. The worst thing is my mom didn’t even back us up, instead she threw me under the bus saying it was my fault. I know this because I was listening in on the other line. My daughter heard it too and tears gathered in her eyes at the words. It’s all gotten a bit much for me to take.
I’m writing this and will continue writing about my endeavors here in the “house of horrors” and if I don’t make it out, at least my story will be told! In all seriousness, I know there are others who are suffering taking care of someone with this terrible disease and maybe we can all take comfort in each others trials and tribulations.
How many of you have encountered a suicide note? It doesn’t have to be an actual written or typed out letter, but a text, a facebook cryptic message….something that you look at curiously and wonder…is this person for real? Or just needs help, attention, something? I know first hand that every cry for help, be it cryptic or in your face, should be taken seriously. In July of 2009 I got a text on a Thursday from my daughters father (he sent to to a few people) that (to paraphrase), “he was one of God’s cruel jokes and he was just going to swim out). He was a surfer and in surfer terms that means keep swimming and swimming…you get the drift. And even though I text him back begging him to stay alive for his daughter, two days later, he died.
I have a friend…well, one of Pauls friends who is putting out these messages on facebook now. I know he has been suffering in many ways as of late, but his post yesterday was final. Im not great friends with him…just through Paul and facebook, however, if he were to take his life…I would be devastated.
I understand the pain. Id love to check out myself. I can’t, ever, I have a beautiful daughter who needs a healthy mother. So I stick around. I wonder if people truly understood the deep pain I am in, that they might step in? I try to stay positive and put on a good front, but when I’m alone, I know I’m done here. But God has another plan and I will live as long as I can for my daughter and her children.
Stay strong Phil. The other way is selfish, easy and final. Stay with us. Please.
An old high school acquaintance told me recently that I was a failure. At the time we were both screaming very mean things back and forth, as it was a heated business venture that had gone terribly wrong because she’s just simply a crazy bitch. But, that’s not the point of this story. I could have taken that hard, and it might have made me take a step or two back, because this was coming from a very financially successful person. She was doing a stupid job (in my opinion which I will keep to myself in case any of you are doing the same job) and making a ton of money doing it. But at what cost? She had no husband or boyfriend (not that I do), but her mother had raised her daughter. She truly is a miserable person who has lost her ability to be compassionate, kind, sensible or even sane. We had done a business deal that I ended up making money at and she felt she should have gotten a piece of. The fact is, she didn’t realize that there was money to be made in the deal originally and gave it away, then spun out. So, to her, I’m a failure. In many rights, she is correct. I, at almost 50 years of age have nothing and can barely make rent. I manage to take care of my daughter, but sometimes our cable or phones get cut off. I told her I was not driven by money. And that is true. I don’t want to make so much money that I don’t have a life. Why? You can’t take it with you. At the end, we have our memories, our children, the life we have lived. What’s the point if we spent it all yelling and screaming at people and working endless hours?
The fact that she called me a failure brought me to an old thought I had about the word “has-been”. I just don’t understand that word. Usually it refers to celebrities or musicians that have had great success and now are out of the limelight. So that makes them a “has-been”? A “failure”? Many of these people are perfectly happy with a great family life, doing other things that are probably much more fullfilling. It’s such a societal phenomenon that people who have achieved something that most of us will never, ever hope to achieve are considered has-beens because they are no longer on the billboard charts, or winning Oscars. I think about this because I had a little success in my field. Not so much monetarily, but recognition by very influential people in my industry. Did the woman who called me a failure achieve this kind of recognition? No. So success is subjective. I don’t think we should judge people on the car they drive, the house they own or the money in their account. That all can go away at any moment. I, however, am left with amazing memories, a well adjusted child and a press book to put her life to shame.
So, I say to Bjork, Stone Roses, The Fonz, and countless others that I can no longer remember because they are forgotten, “cheers”. Here’s to the good life, to a life well lived and huge success. Life changes, we change with it, but if you have ever accomplished something you should be proud of, there is no time limit on it. Cherish it forever, chances are you are in an elite small crowd. Don’t let others call you a failure because you have moved on or aren’t still in the limelight.