I am not so much of a fan of suffering any more. I have had a wake up call over the past few days that has shown me all the times I should have really stepped back from family dysfunction and how much of a hard time I gave myself as the message was that I was selfish if I didn’t get caught up in the family disease, most especially when my second oldest sister decided to try to take her life in 2013. I was the one at the hospital arguing with the nurses to take her off meds. She was already on about 5 different psychiatric medications including one for epilepsy and she could not stop trembling. When I googled some of them the side effects listed included, suicidal feelings and anxiety. This was a year or so after watching helplessly as she underwent a long course of shock therapy and was almost reduced to a comatose wreck, frozen, broken, incapable of feeling or speech. It made me SO FUCKING ANGRY, but all I could do was cry.
My sister is not in this space any more. She doesn’t do any emotional healing work only a lot of exercise but she has regained more of herself and is now the primary one supporting my Mum, due to the fact that she realises how all that she went through impacted my mother who was never one to take any psychiatric medication.
I thank God for my, by then firm sobriety. I was able to go to meetings of Al Anon and share about it and learn that I could only try my best to hand it all over and detach but some days that seemed impossible to do. There were the times I had to stand up to both my mother and sister’s lack of empathy and subtle abuse, following this, but also times I gave back far too much because I still loved them. My sister is not totally abusive and has mellowed in her approach to me over years and that is a result of me working my own programme but not always managing to detach as well as I would have liked.
Today I decided not to visit my Mum in hospital. I firmly believe her compounded health problems are due to years of emotional stress and repressed emotions. In the past few years ever since the death of my oldest sister my Mum is close to tears but only when I am around as she know that due to my own recovery and emotional work I am the one who ‘gets’ what the reality is and helps her to go there. But on some days I just cannot be that container. On some days I just have to take care of myself.
Today has been one of those days and I am so grateful that ‘just for today’ I have been able to practice detachment. Detaching doesn’t mean I am not feeling for my Mum, it just means I am honouring the limits of my power to give on certain days when my own energy reserves are not high.