Finding Peace — Manuscript Post #47
–Sessions: 36 of 53
Monday, November 9, 2009 11:00am
Blood Donation, Apheresis, Number 305
We started this session with a review of my symptoms since our last session. Last Thursday I had the throat symptom again. The chest symptom had gone. I had been very tired and very anxious, even twitchy. I got very hungry Saturday and even worried about passing out.
During our last session I had told Elsie that my oldest son was doing great at college and she had asked me about his grades. I didn’t know what they were at that time, but since then he told us he that he got A’s on all his midterms. I told her that I had been concerned about him leaving for college, was he prepared, would he be lonely, all the normal parental concerns. Now that he had actually moved to college he appeared to be thriving. It appeared that he had found a very good fit for him. I was worried how he would adjust to living away from us and it was clear that he was doing very well..
Elsie listened as I told her about Snap wanting money for his expenses, money to make up the difference between his income and his expenses. I asked her what my moral obligation to him was. Her answer was direct. “You are not his conservator!”
I talked to her about my frustrations about volunteering for the marching band. I was tired of my suggestions being ignored while more demands were made on my time. My wife was missing our son’s performances because she was always pressured to do more at the competitions. I wanted this to stop. The parents that don’t help at all can see their students perform, it wasn’t right.
I had offered to take over various tasks for the next season. I had been told I had to do everything the same way it had been done before. I refused to take over the tasks. Elsie applauded, she started clapping.
Elsie listened to all of this. She asked me what I liked about volunteering for the band. It was a good question. I told her the specific tasks we both liked to help with. Elsie didn’t say anything. I took the silence to mean that we need to volunteer for what we like to do and tell the parents that pressure us to do more to get stuffed.
Therapy is like that sometimes. You start in, describing something that you think is really complicated, really important, and you see the therapist just looking at you. They let you ramble on for a while, letting you think you’re really getting somewhere. Then they ask you a simple question. You think about what they asked. Then you realize the therapist is looking at you like you’re a doofus. Then you realize you just answered your own question.
Several sessions ago I had told Elise about a mother of one of my younger son’s friends that called my wife to express her concerns that we were being too supportive of my son’s career plans. While I was waiting at the high school to take my son home one evening, the husband of this mother approached me in the parking lot. He got out of his car and came over to me to tell me how we should not be supporting my son’s plans. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t have enough to deal with, now that my wife had broken her ankle, I had to deal with this asshole. He wouldn’t let it go, he kept asking be why I didn’t realize my son couldn’t succeed. I was also physically exhausted from all that I was dealing with. Finally, I thought of what I wanted to say to this idiot — “Why can’t my son be one of the few that do succeed?” The husband didn’t have any reply to my question.
When my wife described her encounter with the mother of this couple, my wife speculated that this couple was projecting their job insecurity onto their child and onto our son. Now that I had been interrogated by the husband I think they were attacking us and our son because they didn’t have the balls to talk about their concerns with their son.
I asked Elsie what I should have said to this attack. She brought up that this is part of being ACA, a child that doesn’t speak up, a child that doesn’t confront anyone about anything. She told me that I should have said, referring to my son, “we support him as good parents.”
After this session, I heard from Snap that the doctors told him that it was just a matter of time until our mother died. My mother had fluid on the lungs due to pneumonia. The doctors said an artificial respirator might be needed. Snap told them that was not a good idea. The doctors advised him that it was time to let nature take its course, because she wasn’t responding to antibiotics. Snap asked if I could come to “the funeral”. It was the first time I had heard him acknowledge that she wasn’t going to go home. I told him that I wasn’t sure what days I could travel given all the commitments I had, especially since my wife was recovering from her broken ankle.
The next day he left me voicemail. He had just talked to Crackle and she was going to visit our mother in the hospital. The doctors said our mother is still not in very good shape. He told me that if I could come to see her that would be good, but if I couldn’t, that would be fine.
A day later I called Snap. He and Crackle have been talking about the situation. Our mother was awake and talking. I asked Snap to talk to Crackle about finances and funeral arrangements. I had no clue what the both of them might want for a funeral. I wanted to get them to think about what they would want, and how they planned to pay for it.
I asked Snap about the nursing home bill he was supposed to pay out of the Social Security checks. He told me he hadn’t paid this bill. I couldn’t understand why. Snap told me the Social Security checks were ‘gone.’
I went to WalMart with $500 in cash to get the money order needed to pay off the remaining credit card account. I hoped that would be enough to completely pay off this account. I stood in line thinking about all that had gone on so far, wondering what was coming next.
Snap told me that the Social Security checks went to pay off the cash advances he took from the bank. I thought those had been paid off long ago. I had to assume that when I was told how much was owed on an account, it wasn’t a reliable number. There seemed to be an endless list of old debts that always seemed to surface to take all the cash I had given him. He told me that he and Crackle would pay the nursing home bill if, in his words, “you can’t.” I knew I was being manipulated but I also knew he couldn’t pay his own bills let alone this one. I didn’t know any details about Crackle’s finances but she had told me several times that money was tight. I went ahead and paid the nursing home bill. He again told me that there would be no more moving expenses.