Putting pressure on me to do something is the surest way to get me NOT to do it. I hate guilt trips too. I wish family, society, the world, would try to understand what it takes for some of us to simply get out of bed.
My ex-sister in law called this morning to wish us a Happy Easter!!! She is the type of person who comes across as super happy even when she isn’t. She is a big believer in, if you think positive you can do anything. She has also found religion in the last few years. I am happy for her as long as she doesn’t pressure me into anything. I am basically an Atheist. I believe in the Sun, Moon, Sky, Earth, Water, Wildlife, and the beauty I can see in things everyday. When I recently reminded my ex-sister in law of this her response was ” You are not an Atheist. I don’t believe that!”. Ok don’t. It doesn’t change my mind.
She shares her religious sayings and positivity with me and others on Facebook. I scroll on by. She told my father that my nephew is graduating from high school and is the Valedictorian. She insisted that my dad and I had to go to his graduation.
She never seems to understand what a toll things like this take on my dad and I. My dad is 73 in June. He is on Dialysis three times a week. He’s had a quadruple bypass, an aortic aneurism, and now Temporal Arteritis. He is on extremely high doses of Prednisone that make him ill and uncomfortably bloated. I’ve had my kidneys fail twice in 6 months, stents put in that have to be changed on the 31st, an infection that is being treated with 1,000 mgs of an antibiotic a day. The antibiotic is making me sick. There are few days where I actually feel healthy. Yet she still insists. There’s also the fact that they cut my brother out of everything but still invite us. I don’t like it. Instead I send a gift or a card with money in it and make sure I talk to them personally to tell them I love them. They don’t care if I’m there or not. My nieces and nephew are more concerned with boyfriends, girlfriends, and friends. It’s their mother who can’t let go.
I’m tired of having to explain myself to anyone. I shouldn’t have to. This morning a clerk at the grocery store embarrassed my dad. He can’t hear well and the Prednisone makes his hands shake. He pushed the wrong button twice. She snapped at him and yanked the machine around and said “I’ll just do it!”. Some compassion please??? I told my dad that when I go to the store now I kind of let them know that I have problems listening or lifting heavy things. I don’t come out and say “Hey, I’m Bipolar and don’t feel well physically so could you treat me with respect?” I do say something like “Wow, I hate allergy season my ear always gets blocked!” and then I laugh. Most of the time this takes them out of their “I hate working with the public” mode long enough for them to have a slight understanding that their customers are human also. I worked with the public for over 18 years. I know how difficult it can be. I also know that it doesn’t give anyone the right to take out their frustrations on me or my loved ones. I really wanted to call the store on my dad’s behalf but I didn’t.
If you have loved ones in your family that are chronically ill don’t try to force them to do things they feel they can’t do or don’t want to do. My father still feels an enormous amount of survivor’s guilt. He feels bad enjoying family things when my mom is no longer here to do it with him. It depresses him to a point where he just isolates himself more. I know it’s frustrating to other people but think how you would feel losing your best friend and the love of your life. My mom would order for him in restaurants because he’s quiet and mumbles. Plus he’s had ringing in his ears since he was in the Navy. My mom was so loud and outgoing he was happy to let her take over when it came to social situations. Then one day he was thrown into the world without her. I can think of nothing sadder than that. I have to end this now because I’m crying. Happy Easter.