thoughts on caregiving + purpose
I finally broke down last night. It was after writing that last blog. My roomie called me to get the scoop on Fogg, and though I was rushing because he had to go somewhere–at some point, all of it came bubbling out. All the shit I’ve been holding back. Not for too long, but long enough to count.
I wouldn’t say I’m good now. I’m not. I’m really, really not.
Mostly because she’s not. There’s reason to hope, and I think we might go vet-free today and maybe we’ll get her to her next appointment.
It’s going to be a very long road, though. She’s still getting over the shit that derailed us last week. It makes me angry that she’s going through all of this–that she’s suffering. It could take months of this, every day, to get her well-regulated. It may go away. Or it may stay for the rest of her life. And there are so many other things that could get her.
I think, last night, it all just built up. It feels like this year has been one suckerpunch after another. First cancer–fucking cancer–that didn’t kill her–and then pancreatitis–which was so foreign and almost did kill her. And now another fucking disease that almost killed her. And this battle to get food into her now tiny little body.
I told my roomie I didn’t have anything left to give. That I couldn’t do this shit anymore. That I would, of course, because I’m fucking Alma–but I didn’t know HOW.
I still don’t. I’m just spent–physically, emotionally, and maybe–most of all–spiritually. It just seems so unfair.
And I’m pissed that I feel like this because she’s still here. A luxury too many pet owners don’t get. I have my baby. She responded to treatment. So why am I fucking whining?
I’ve talked about my ptsd diagnosis in the past, and mostly, it doesn’t really hijack my life that often. I have mostly been in a good place. I do struggle with letting go. I do have a hard time being in my body. I overthink and obsess when feelings are difficult. But I’ve learned to live with these things, mostly.
This week, I realized I was in a full-on triggered state. Reliving so many crappy moments in my life where I had zero control.
Caring for my mother during her last days broke parts of me and was basically worse than actually losing her. This week has brought those feelings up–hard core–and it’s also brought up that feeling of being unsupported and abandoned–that goes all the way back to my father.
I’ve been angry, but also really heartbroken by the entire thing. But trying to be vulnerable and take care of myself. It’s been a battle. I haven’t slept well. I haven’t eaten many meals. I’ve lost 10 pounds in just a few days. And I literally just want to curl up in a ball. It feels like it’ll never be over, and I’m just so disappointed in people I love and care for.
But–like those old days–I’ve found things to give me hope. Mostly people. Like the tech who made me feel better about being so insistent about talking to someone yesterday. Like the Lyft driver who took us home–who saw us the other day and remembered us. Like my landlord who asked how I was doing. Like the kid who gave me a high five. The sun on my face. Spring. And photography. And my being kind to people for no reason at all. Like letting people get into my lane when no one else would. Like buying a homeless guy breakfast when I saw him crying on the street outside one of my many Tuesday stops.
When my Mama was sick, I used to run in the middle of the night–to purge all my anger so I could sleep–(didn’t happen)–or at least not show anger when I had to get Mama up and inspire her to keep going…on days when I didn’t think I could. She was going through so much more than I was, and here I was…being a baby–pissed off that my life was never going to be the same.
Running was good–mostly because it got me in my body–and it made me feel things indirectly. I could cry my eyes out and no one could see. I was reckless back then–didn’t give a fuck that gangbangers were in my path and routinely challenged them to stop me from doing what I needed to do. I was ruthless about it. About doing what I needed. I’ve only ever been like that when I was trying to get out of Westwood–trying to go to college–and back then–I wasn’t angry. I was just determined.
But maybe I need to tap into those feelings and let them fuel my self-care. Let them be the things that fill me up along with those random moments.
As much as those strangers had a choice to show kindness–so do I. For myself and others. I am powerful. I can show myself love when others fail. I can love others who are forgotten and find some kind of purpose in all this damn emotion. I don’t have to wither and cry about the people who make me sad. I can just let that go and embrace the love I can find in myself and others–that has nothing to do with anyone except me. I can give all of it space to breathe and let people be who they need to be. Without anger or shame or heartache. I can just accept what is and let these emotions pass.
That feels like home.