Finding Peace — Manuscript Post #48
–Sessions: 36a 11/19
November 19, 2009, my wife’s ankle surgery
I was scheduled to have a session on this date, but my wife had to have surgery to set the bones in her ankle. When she first broke her ankle we went to urgent care where the doctor looked at the x-rays and told us that she just needed to stay off it for six weeks. Several weeks after that we saw an orthopedic surgeon who looked at the x-rays and said the bones should have been in a cast since day one. Surgery was scheduled and the recovery period started all over again. That was a huge emotional disappointment. We both thought she was within a week or two of being back on her feet when the surgeon told us she had to have surgery to have the best recovery. It was yet another stress on top of everything else that was going on.
–Sessions: 37 of 53
Monday, December 2, 2009 8:30am
We had talked about my frustrations with all the volunteering I had been doing. I decided to not volunteer for the next fund raising activity for the band. It wasn’t a significant reduction in my level of volunteering but it was a start.
I wanted to talk to Elsie about the many things that had happened regarding my mother and my siblings since our last session.
I got an email from Crackle that described how close she and Snap were. Her email was happy talk, it didn’t address any of the obvious issues that had to be dealt with in the very near future. I was annoyed by this. I wondered if they were so close, did Snap ask her for money?
I decided not to travel to see my mother again. I had thought about this decision carefully. I had seen her back in June and from what I saw during that trip and what I was hearing, through Snap, from the doctors, was that there would be a funeral soon. I felt I had talked to my mother about everything I wanted to during my last visit. I decided that I couldn’t be out of town with all the responsibilities I had at home. If a funeral was coming soon, I would travel then.
I was mad at myself because it didn’t even occur to me to ask Crackle or Pop about money. With all the expenses for my mother and Snap, why didn’t I even think to ask them to help? Was I afraid that would have upset them? Why don’t they have to be part of the financial issues? I emailed Crackle and Snap asking them about money, specifically how ‘we’ would pay for a funeral. I hadn’t received a reply so far. I planned to ask Pop about money.
I was stressed due to my wife’s surgery, which also meant her recovery time was starting over. I was angry sometimes. I was angry that the parents that never volunteered to help the marching band got to attend the championship competition. They got to enjoy the result of the hard work of the few parents that did help.
Elsie listened to all my concerns and frustrations. She was supportive, she understood why I was stressed and she agreed that it wasn’t fair that most of the band parents didn’t help and still got to enjoy the band performances. She agreed that more of the parents should be helping more.
Sometimes you go to a session and the therapist helps you understand something you never understood before. Sometimes they want to ask you why you did what you did. Sometimes they just want to hear what happened to you since last time, and provide a supportive environment for you to vent your frustrations.
–Sessions: 38 of 53
Monday, December 14, 2009 11:00am
Blood Donation, Apheresis, Number 307
Since our last session I did receive a reply to my email from Crackle. She told me how she had been paying for things in the past. She didn’t mention any amounts so I have no idea how much she paid. She didn’t mention the nursing home bills, the payday loan bills, the unpaid credit card accounts or the fact that Snap had expenses that far exceeded his income. In her email she was clearly trying to educate me when in fact she didn’t seem to know most of what was actually happening. Since no one would talk about what was really going on, none of this really mattered.
I got a Christmas card from a relative. In the card I was told that Pop had visited this relative. Given where this relative lived, that was quite a long trip, much longer than visiting me. This relative told me that Pop was ‘so nice’, no mention of his refusal to help with his mother’s care or expenses. I wanted to know what Elsie would make of this. She was, as she often was, insightful and succinct. She was referring to Pop when she said, “he goes to visit the relatives that offer milk and cookies.”
I thought about this after this session. Visiting me would force Pop to discuss what was happening with our mother. Actually discussing what was actually happening was not something any of my siblings would do. It would bring up all kinds of unpleasant things.
–Sessions: 39 of 53
Monday, December 28, 2009 11:00am
Blood Donation, Apheresis, Number 308
I had another interaction with the parents that had told both my wife and myself that we were wrong to support our son’s career plans. The specifics don’t matter, it was much the same as before, they felt they had the right and the need to tell me what to do. I was so angry, when I got home, I actually started screaming. I wondered what Elsie would make of this. She said these parents had a ‘misplaced sense of entitlement’, and that the father was ‘an ass’.
We talked about what symptoms I had experienced recently. I told her that the day after my wife found out she had to have surgery for her ankle I lost it. I couldn’t keep it under control and I just broke down and cried. I was surprised how the emotions suddenly became overwhelming. Afterwards I was very tired.
I told her there was one day recently that was bad. My throat was tight all day. One day I was fine until late in the evening when I suddenly felt terrible. I told her that anytime I was focused on something, like driving or practicing guitar, I didn’t notice my symptoms.
Elsie said that was not unusual since I had been under a lot of stress due to my wife’s injury.
I had emailed Pop asking him to help me with our mother’s care. I got a reply. He couldn’t help me because he had given all the money he had to one of his children. In the same email he told me he would soon be taking two separate vacations. I had no clue what I was supposed get from that.
I told Elsie that I had replied to a Christmas card I had received from another relative. Since this relative had asked what I was up to I told them about all the things I had been doing regarding my mother’s end of life care. I told them that since I was not allowed to participate or even know about my father’s last days I couldn’t understand how anyone could choose to not be involved in their parent’s end of life care. I was curious what they would say to this.