When? When will my business become the success I know it can be? When will I lose the weight I want to lose? When will my parents realize that I can't always be at their beck and call? When am I going to get more sex? When will my needs be a concern to anyone, including myself? When is there joy? When is pain released? When do I get to live?
The answer is within me and only me. My business becomes a success when I work harder to make it one. I lose the weight when I stick to the plan before me. When I exercise. When I do what I have to do to make it happen. It's not a difficult concept. It's just one that I overlook sometimes. Taking care of me? Why that's just crazy talk.
My parents, well that's a different story. For the most part, I am all they've got. My brother and sister bailed on the situation before it became a situation. Now they are both happily out of state where they can call me and bark out orders about what they think I should be doing to help our parents and I get to tell them to shut the fuck up until they are back here again and living my life. They wonder why I'm not doing more. They wonder why my dad is so sedentary. They wonder why my mom is such an enabler. They can wonder until the fucking cows come home. Until you are here, walking that mile in my shoes, you have no fucking say. My other brother, the one that lives here still, he's got his hands full with two kids and a terminally ill father in law that lives with them, so I cut him some slack on picking up my slack with our parents.
The reality is, my dad lost his leg and in turn lost his interest in anything other than sitting on his magic lift chair in his living room staring at anything on the TV. I go there every Wednesday and he's watching fucking Bonanza on TV Land! His mind is turning to mush because he has zero stimulation of any kind and my mom would rather let him do whatever he wants to do because if she pushes him he gets angry and she can't deal. When he got sick and was in Florida, I did everything. I talked to the doctors, I asked questions, I prompted them for different meds, I took notes. My mother was in shock and if she hadn't been, she would have sat there passively like she was doing anyway. She comes from a time where doctor knows best and you just accept what they are saying. But I come from a time where I question everything. One thing I said over and over to my mom then was, "you have to be your own advocate" and it never sunk in. She still needs everything explained to her, over and over again. She cannot figure out the simplest things on her own. She refuses to wear her glasses when I take her shopping so if I'm not there, she's buying the wrong item, she's using an expired coupon, she's buying moldy strawberries. It's like having two almost 80 year old children in two very different ways.
My dad's three favorite words are "I can't" and "no." He is perfectly capable of many things but he would rather not do them. Until recently he would sit in bed and my mom had to bring him a basin, a cup of water and his toothbrush so he could brush his teeth in bed. He refused to stand at the bathroom sink. Why? No one knows because he has no answer other than, "I can't." Yes he can. He has a prosthetic leg and he can stand, he can walk. He does this now because he was forced back into physical therapy and was made to do it there. But he still won't stand at the bathroom sink to shave. He does this at the kitchen table. My mom won't do anything to change it and quite frankly, I refuse to get involved in it. They don't live with me anymore. They have to do these things and figure stuff out on their own.
About a month ago, some family members were driving to Chicago to see my Great Aunt L, my Grandma's last remaining sibling. They asked my parents to go and my mom was hesitant. So mom's cousin says, "why don't you get Lalia to bring you guys?" Really? I'm just available at the drop of a hat to drive my parents to Chicago because someone else wants them to go? Why didn't she volunteer to drive my parents, take care of my dad's needs, push his wheelchair, make sure everywhere we go is handicap accessible? Why do people think I'll be able to just drop whatever is going on in my life and go? It's things like this, that drive me crazy and fill me with resentment.
How does one step back from a situation that is so close to you but that is burning you out in every way possible? In three years since this new chapter of life began, it has felt like the biggest part of my life. When you're taken for granted, how do you get your life back without breaking all ties and hurting people you love? I want my life back. I want to work more, have more sex, have more fun, travel, meet people, see friends, go places. I'm 44 years old and sometimes it feels like my life is over.
The answers are within me. I just have to find them. Pity Party over.