Finding Peace — Manuscript Post #40
–Sessions: 27 of 53
Monday, July 20, 2009 4:00pm
I wanted to ask Elsie exactly why she found it interesting that Pop wanted to know what is going on but wouldn’t have any contact. She said if he was really not affected he wouldn’t care what was happening and she wonders if he is angry.
I was concerned that Elsie might think I was “happy” about my mother’s condition when I went to see her. I felt good and relieved to know what was happening, and because I had been asked to get involved, not good about her condition. I seemed to have accepted her situation and I hadn’t felt sad or shocked so far. I ask her if this was strange. Elsie said this was a good question and asked me why I think I wasn’t more upset or sad. It is a cliché but I had felt that my mother was dead to me for a long time. Elsie said “yes, your mother’s behavior drove you away and effectively she has been gone for a long time”.
I told her that after thinking more about my time with my son at his college orientation, that those three days with him were more time than my parents spent with me during my entire four years at college. My parents never visited me at college.
While at the college orientation I overheard conversations among the other parents. There were many concerns about how to pay for college. I wanted to pay for college the way I’m supposed to want a Ferrari. I also heard, many times, how much I’m supposed to enjoy my son leaving home, but I don’t feel it. Some parents were very vocal about wanting their child to leave home. Elsie was again direct. She said my reactions were very positive. She said “your family”, referring to myself, my wife and my two sons, are very close knit so it was no surprise I wasn’t seeing the “benefit” or my son leaving home.
My wife was starting to think about what she wanted to do in a “post empty-nest” world and was looking at various career possibilities. Elsie said this was very positive because some stay-at-home moms don’t know how to move on.
I told her about my feeling relief once I was on the shuttle bus to the airport to visit my mother, relief that the decision had been made, relief that I would be involved. I also think I felt relief that I was committed to doing what I wanted without allowing my siblings to manipulate me. Elsie simply said that my going to visit my mother was very healing for me.
I wanted her thoughts about what Pop had said when I visited him during my trip. I told her that he wanted to know if I had to deal with a therapist to get drugs, that he had been in therapy but quit because he didn’t need someone to tell him how he would react to things. Her response was direct. People want a quick fix and they assume that drugs alone can solve their issues. People need intelligence, capacity for insight and motivation to make therapy work and some find it scary.
After this session, I heard from Snap that our mother was getting better and in a few weeks the feeding tube would not be necessary. I had told him that any outstanding bills from the nursing home should be sent to me and the first one arrived at my home. It was very confusing to figure out which bill covered which vendor for what period of time. So it began.
–Sessions: 28 of 53
Monday, July 27, 2009 4:00pm
Blood Donation, Apheresis, Number 300
Last time Elsie had suggested that Pop might be angry about my mother’s situation. She also speculated that he may have been afraid of therapy. I asked her why this might be so. She said my mother’s end-of-life is something he doesn’t want to deal with and that could cause anger. As for therapy being scary, she said many people are not good candidates for therapy. He may be like my mother in that he may share her borderline personality disorder.
At this point, she told me a story. She knows it will be bad when a new patient says they have been to multiple therapists and they have all been bad. The new patient then says they expect great things from her. She says this is a sign of borderline personality. They don’t think there is a problem with them. They think everyone else has the problem. Pop doesn’t see the problem.
Last time she had told me that my trip to see my mother was healing. I asked her to explain this. She said the trip was healing for me because it resolved open issues. I was wondering what was happening and by visiting, I found out. It was healing to become involved and to help. It felt good to have these issues resolved.
I had completed my three-hundredth apheresis (blood) donation. The next time you see a gallon, of milk perhaps, think about filling thirty-seven and one-half of those. That’s how much blood I had donated. Elsie said I am unusual by helping so much, so few do anything like this. I sent flowers to the blood center, as I have for each 100 donation milestone, to thank them for their help. I hope it won’t take too long to get to 400 donations.
I had told her about the various financial situations that I learned about during my trip. She says it sounds like a mess and that my observations are logical. She says I ‘see’ the insanity for what it is, it isn’t me that is crazy.
I didn’t feel I had much to talk about this time. Therapy is like that. Some sessions you have lots to say or the therapist will want to bring things up. Other sessions, you or the therapist don’t have as much that needs to be discussed. Some weeks, not much happens in your life, and that is ok.
After this session, my mother’s condition changed for the worse and she was moved back to the hospital. The financial situation became more complex. My mother had been receiving Social Security checks for some time. The amount of these checks was being reduced because my mother had been in the nursing home. I had no idea why this was happening, and I was hearing this from Snap. I didn’t have any way to verify what was really happening or why.