Thursday, May 8, 2014

Radio Silence

It’s been hard to find my blog voice again. I’ve been struggling with grief…I had said in my last post that it wasn’t excessive & I still don’t think it is…but I’m starting to think maybe even normal, healthy grief would benefit from counseling. Maybe it’s that I already have a propensity for depression…I know I suffered PTSD after the dreadful experience with the hospital & getting basic care for my aunt the last week before she died. That time in the hospital just prior to her admittance into hospice, it was a nightmare.

All this emotion has seemed to put up a barrier between my blog & myself…I don’t seem to know how to write anymore…because it’s such a personal topic that it makes it hard for me to organize my thoughts on it all…also because I resolved a long time ago to have this blog only be about being a SMC. I really want to just write about the great things Elena is doing…I want to share what an amazing little girl Elena is becoming…but it feels fake to share all that without you knowing my mental state, to have that context…& that made me realize this struggle with grief is related to being a single parent. It is affecting me as a parent as much as it’s affecting me as person, which of course means all of this is affecting Elena.

It’s all so overwhelming…I know Elena is very keen to my state of mind. She is such an affectionate, cuddly little girl. She seems to have such a deep sense of empathy & compassion. Even the Director at her preschool has mentioned that she is deeply empathetic. When I am home, she wants to be touching me, holding my hand, hugging me, sitting on my lap…it amazes me that at such a young age, she seems to sense that I need a little taking care of…& that makes me profoundly sad. She shouldn’t have to feel this way so young. It makes me wonder if it’s about comforting herself as well. We have talked about how Gramma Lee is gone in very age appropriate ways… maybe awakening a realization that any of us could be gone, making her fear losing me?

Another layer to all this is that I have pretty much the entire contents of my aunt’s house now in my house…you can hardly move in some rooms as it is piled with furniture & boxes. Her house sold so quickly & I just haven’t come to a place yet to let go of most of it. I am also overwhelmed by her friends’ constant requests for items & mementos of her. A lot of what they ask for are items that don’t have sentimental value to me personally…but they are things that were important to my aunt’s & it hurts every time I have to let go of something…but they are grieving too…they miss their friend & are grasping onto ways to be close to her. I have to remember to be sensitive to that & not react so selfishly.

I have this overwhelming feeling of not being able to keep up…I’m on a constant uphill run & never get a chance to even just catch my breath. All day at work I have to act & behave normally, stay focused & get my work completed. When I get home I have to be on for Elena. She deserves 100% of me in those couple of hours before bedtime. It’s the one area I feel like I’m actually succeeding in, being a good parent to her. By the time she’s asleep, I’m mentally & emotionally spent. I just don’t have the mental energy to return email, peruse Facebook, write blog posts. On the best of nights, I get the laundry folded, the dishwasher loaded & maybe some toys picked up…anything beyond that makes me want to cry.

I just have to keep going tho, don’t I? The path will level out sometime, won’t it?