Thursday, April 17, 2008

What I Deserve

Today I had to engage the tough love machine again. It isn't easy, but my home has become hellish. Instead of being my sanctuary, it is my house of horrors. Sleep has been a problem. My usual routine is blown. That is all about to end.

This will be the third time I have had to use the tough love machine. Three different individuals in my family have done this to me (admittedly, I invited them into my home). They have come in, accepted my help and generosity (each one of them spewing promises they would never keep), and crapped all over me. I don't think I deserve that.

What makes it hard for me is that I want to help my family. I want them to do and be better. Each one of these people has had a drug problem, though, and mental instability to boot. I found out last night that some of my medication has been disappearing. This person also "traded" some of her anti-anxiety meds with a friend for sleeping pills--after accusing the pharmacist of shorting the number of pills in the bottle. This person has a long history of lying. My shrink suggested that I go to Al-Anon because, even though this family member has a narcotics addiction instead of an alcohol addiction, the principles will help me to put it all into perspective so that I won't blame myself for their failures and problems.

Last night I had to take this person to the ER. S/he refused to even put shoes on, put on a huge show of being terribly ill (we had had an argument) and very likely took a lot of pills to effect the grogginess (which looked like blood loss) and the tachycardia. S/he knows how to do that; s/he has done it many times. I finally had to leave. The drama was ridiculous. One a.m. rolled around and the phone began ringing off the hook for a ride home. My son was good enough to swing by the hospital, as he was on his way home from a friend's house.

Off and on all night, s/he knocked on our door or our son's door, trying to explain the pretense and lies. We were all done listening.

I long for the peace that was my household. I long for stretches of time in which I can write without interruption or can just meditate. I want to be able to have little snack foods in the house that won't disappear overnight. I want to get a full night's sleep with no one knocking on the door wanting to ask me something. I want to stop having to hide my money, my medication, and my valuables. I deserve better.

At one point my husband was so frustrated that he said, "We're not doing this again. If you do this again, I will leave until (insert name here) is gone." I wanted to say, "Take me with you!"

But I brought this on myself with my misguided generosity. Instead of expecting my family members to fend for themselves. I want to be the one who helps them out. But I deserve a household free from this kind of stress and abuse. It's almost over, though. This person is leaving this weekend. If this person wakes me up tonight, though, s/he will find the bags out the door. I can't keep going this way.

I'm tired of
...idle threats
...suicide threats
...this person eating everything in my house (while we're sleeping)
...verbally abusing us
...hogging the phone
...and the list could go on for pages and pages.

I hate putting this all out there, but I'm off my game right now. I'm unable to write anything interesting. I'm really thinking of taking my shrink's advice about the Al-Anon group. I need to know that I did everything I could do and that I'm not responsible for this. It certainly feels like I could have done something, but I can't think of what.

I am going to pray my way into the weekend, looking for some peace and guidance. They say that no good deed goes unpunished. It is the most fitting idiom for this situation.

I wish you peace - D


CrazyCath said...

Momma - I've been there. Your shrink is right. However, al-anon didn't work for me because my addict was addicted to alcohol and drugs. Al-anon will not discuss drugs. This made it very hard if I was not allowed to even say the word, but this could have been the individual group. Then I found Families Anonymous. Same principle but for substance addicts - including alcohol - usually dealing with a number of substances.

This virtually saved my sanity. It is hard to hear what they have to say sometimes, but no one tells you what to do. It is a share of personal experiences. You get very empathic people there, and one or two bitter. But on the whole, it is a very positive experience. You need to keep going, week after week after week. It takes some time to work through it all. But you start to realise that you are actually quite insane yourself at that moment in time when you do things you normally would never do, like take your purse in the shower because otherwise, there'll be no money or cards in it when you get out of the shower. It is a crazy world we live in when surrounded by this dysfunction and chaos. It rules not just their lives, but ours.

I am so with you on this. I so feel for you. It is a hard road to taking control back but well worth it. YOU are worth it. YOU deserve better.

Throw him/her out and go to a meeting. (FA are connected to Narcotics Anonymous so a local NA group may have contact for an FA group). Ordinary people go there. People like you and me who end up damaged by some one else's issues. You'd be surprised.

Whatever you do, guard those meetings (once you start going - IF you decide to go) like they are gold. They are YOUR meetings, YOUR time and see them as vital to your sanity.

Sorry for the long comment. Just compelled to write off the top of my head straight away because I just know... [exactly where you are coming from]

Prayers are with you.

Sandy said...

Oh dear. I don't know what to say except that I will pray for you. I am so glad you stopped by my spot and I made you laugh.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Oh god, D. I am so sorry your life has become this hellish facsimile of what is was. I do not have the experience to give you any kind of advice, but CrazyCath seems to know what she is talking about. I hope you get some help for yourself. Not for anyone else, but for YOU. You need to find peace. You need to find a way through this. You have been a well of generosity, but it sounds as if everyone has been partaking. The thing is, if it never rains the well runs dry. Go and find your rain.

quilly said...

The stealing, the cheating, the lying ... I was married to an alcoholic for 14 years. I suffered countless moves,evictions, homelessness, hunger, and mental cruelty while trying to help him with his problem. It wasn't until I insisted he join me for a counseling session (it only took one)that I learned HE didn't have a problem with his lifestyle. He was completely content with himself, thank you, (his own words) and if anyone had a problem with his life choices, it was me.

I realized immediately that I couldn't help him, but I could certainly help me. And I did. He is probably happily living in a gutter somewhere. I have a lovely condo in Hawaii, a good job, and all my bills paid.

So, while you are thinking, meditating and praying this weekend, ask God to clarify in your mind whose problem this really is, and how you can handle it in a way that best meets the needs of yourself, your children and your spouse.

Momma said...

Thank you all for your support and kind words. I am looking forward to tomorrow, when hopefully the living situation will end. Then I can begin to put my life back together.

I so appreciate each of you taking the time to read and comment on this post. I know that it was a downer, but that's the mood I was in. I'm trying to stay positive today, but it isn't easy.

Have a nice day - Peace - D

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

How did I miss this post?!?!? Because I was so wrapped up in my own non-drama, I wasn't reading any blogs late last week.

I'm so sorry, hon, that you had to go through this again with your family. That's the worst. I'm glad you got it out on the blog and that we're here to help and to listen! Love you!