Another Inch

A dishwasher containing clean dishes

A dishwasher containing clean dishes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have crossed another inch  through the door way of truth  tonight. I was broken-hearted. I was broken because I had to tell my brother that he could not continue doing something he had done his whole adult life. A silly thing to you and me, but a serious thing to him. One of his routine chores Mom always had him do and up until tonight he has done it here also. The dishwasher. Sounds petty doesn’t it? It isn’t though. Al is getting so weak that he can not unload the dishwasher anymore without almost falling. You asks, well can’t you help him? Of course I can help him, but he gets angry with me, not wanting my help, wanting to do it himself. With his lack of coordination from his mental challenges, he can not figure out how to use his cane and walk the correct way to help keep himself standing, nor  can he do anything with one hand only. I was outside early this evening, watching my grandkids play in the pool. Al had gotten up from his nap and went straight to the kitchen and was unloading the dishwasher.When I came in to check on him, he was in a frozen mode and his feet were not moving, he was slanted over pretty far and seemed to be in a stuck position. The cane was nowhere in sight. I did find it across the kitchen leaning up against a wall, too far for him to reach. His knees were bent more than ever and he couldn’t push himself up. I rushed over to help him, reminding him that I need to be around when he is going to try something like this. He wants his own way, and I want mine. He wants to continue to do as he used to, and I want him safe. One fall, only one, is what is going to land him in the hospital with a fractured hip. I have seen it over and over many times, patients in nursing homes for the rest of their lives over one fall. Please don’t say that I don’t understand what it is like for him to have to give up things continually. I do, this is why my heart breaks. He is not only my brother, he is my patient. I have to mix my love along side of professional care. We all ate supper together, and he remained very quiet. I knew that he was angry with me, but I tried  my best to ignore it as I didn’t want to get into another scrap with others present. After they left, I finished up cleaning the kitchen and asked Al if he could get his shower over now since I had time. He agreed. All the while he cried and cried asking me why I was being so mean to him. I kept explaining the way Parkinson’s worked, and had him look at his own knees as they were so bent from him standing so I could wash his legs. It was like a light bulb turned on for him. He sobbed even harder as he asked me if he was going to have everything taken away from him. I said no Al, there are still many things you can do. You can walk still, you can dress yourself in the mornings, you can still use the bathroom by yourself. This is not what he wanted to hear. He wanted to hear that he could undo the dishwasher. I told him he could do it if he would let me help, which made him start yelling a little bit. He was frustrated with me and the disease. He ask me if he was going to get worse. Oh my God, he had brought up my worst fear, my worst topic. I sat down on the side of the tub and continued to dry him off and said, Al, I don’t know how much further this is going to make you tired, I don’t know the future for you. He said, I want to know, you have to tell me!!! I said there is a chance that you may someday, not be able to do things for yourself, but I will be here to help you all the way. That was it. He gave in. His whole body sobbed and shook. Tears were in my eyes also, as I knew I had broken his heart one more time. You may ask, why didn’t you just lie to him? If it were you, would you want to be lied to, when you already suspected the truth? I don’t think so. I finished dressing him and helped him get his toothpaste on his toothbrush. The crying stopped as fast as it came. He is in his room watching TV. These are the moments that exhaust me. These are the moments that people do not understand that I do nothing BUT take care of Al. Al is my brother, whom I love and also my patient. He has rights to the truth, when he ask an important question. He has rights to be treated with dignity, and he has rights to be loved. I have to make some pretty heavy decisions at times. Answer his questions when he is in his ten-year mental state, or answer them when he is in his adult state of mind. Tonight, I know I did the right thing, but I have the broken heart that follows. I don’t care what illness it is, it changes all of your life from the inside out.

The Closet

Problem with exposure, I would have needed a f...

Problem with exposure, I would have needed a filter I guess (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She hid in the closet, never wanting to come out. Afraid of disappointing someone again with her words or actions. She had always needed approval from someone, anyone. She had  many disappointments in her life, and had lived with  false hopes for most of her teen and adult years. No one really knew her as well as they thought they did. They did not see this empty side in her heart. She spent many years trying to win approval from husbands, children, employers. Although she got a pat on the back at times and was sometimes given a good word, it never filled the empty bucket enough. She gave of herself often more than was needed. Her issues were not the problems of others, but the problem of her own self. She gave so much that she ended up becoming a door mat for others to walk and stomp on. People would go to her with a problem, because they knew she would figure it out, or do the job required, because they knew she was too weak to say no to them. When a person hears things about them in a negative way in their early childhood days, these words not always, but can remain for years with them. It helps the child or adult to see them for less than they really are. Can you be having a rough day, things not going the way you wish they were, but yet, you can smile and pretend to the world, that all is alright with the world? Can you let people believe that you have a perfect marriage, relationship, job, children? When deep inside, if the real gut-wrenching truth were told, the world would see that you are no different from they are? You have problems also. It is how we deal with our problems that is the key. Some believe that you can cuss someone out, getting it out of your system, snubbing them off, giving up that friendship, or relationship. Some believe that if they just bend in prayer, God will wipe all  pains away. Some abuse alcohol or and drugs to forget their pain. Some blog, some tell their best friends, and even some go to therapists to let them help sort out their pain and sorrow. I went to a therapist once in my life. It was for being afraid of the dark. When I was married to my first husband, there was a time period where he worked third shift for many months. I would do great through the day time, but when night-time fell, and the children would be fast asleep, the silence and darkness would creep into my heart and build a fear that was overwhelming.I always had the same fear, that someone was looking in my window, then coming to get me. I can remember at times I would go and wake up my oldest child and have her sleep in my room  thinking in some deformed way, that if something would happen, she could protect me. I advanced from this to taking a butcher knife to bed with me. First, keeping it under my pillow, and then at times sitting up all night long with it held in my hands, until the first day break, then exhausted, placing it back under my pillow, I would fall asleep. When husband came home, he was ready to eat breakfast, and I was ready to sleep. I would get up and fix breakfast and soon after the kids would wake up and this would start my day, and I lived like this for many months. At that time, I didn’t go to God. I relied on my own healing, which was a total failure. I went to a therapist for this fear, knowing I needed help in getting over this. Through therapy, I learned many things about myself and some reasons that validated my fears. I refused to believe these terrible things about me. It was in that same year that I had found my real mother, but at an earlier time than this time when I had to stay alone at nights. I went to my mother and questioned her as to my findings from my therapy. It was all true. Our minds have ways of covering for our  painful events. We can block them out, and then something triggers those memories, but we are not quite sure why we feel this way or that. I learned that not only had my real mother  kidnapped my brother and I when we were two and three years old, but she had actually left us alone at nights, while she did whatever she did at nights. I learned that she had used me when money was short. She worked at a fruit grove and she would brag to others about how beautiful I was, and they all agreed and had to share in the beauty. Along with the false hopes and the knowledge of what was done to me and left alone at nights, I can now understand why I have a need to be loved and accepted. Is this a sign of weakness in me? Should I be ashamed to say this out loud? Maybe I should continue to carry this inside my heart.  What good does it do me to tell you, people who do not know me, of such personal things in my life? It starts a healing process. It helps me to recognize that I am not the only person who has problems. It allows you to see a bit more of who I am, and why I write the way that I do. It allows you a better insight of my thought process. It allows me to start opening the door of the closet, I am hiding behind.