Friday, October 18, 2013

I Have a Life

I've had to go through this my whole adult life.  The idea by others that I don't have a life because either I'm not married, or I don't have kids, or I don't have a job.   Well here's a newsflash, I have a fucking life!!!  I have a pretty full life in fact.  I'm so tired of that mentality I could just scream.  I guess because right now, this minute, it is happening again.

I don't get a say in what time holidays are celebrated because before I was married, I was single and had no life.  Now it's because I don't have kids and have no life.  My plans, my life, they are never considered when family plans are made.  And now it's because I don't have a job.

If you're a regular reader to this blog, you probably know that my father is ill.  He is not going to get better but he could make things easier on himself if he actually did the things the doctors suggested.  He doesn't. When people ask me if he's given up, I tend to say yes.  He has a very poor quality of life which consists of sleeping, eating occasionally, sitting in chair and watching Bonanza reruns or sports, and going to doctors.

Most of his care falls on my mother, and then me.  My mother needs someone to help her get him to appointments.  He is a lot to deal with and she is 82 years old.  He has lost one leg, wears a prosthetic and uses a walker or wheelchair.  He is now facing losing part of his good leg, so there are a lot of doctors and tests and appointments.  It's endless, tiring, stressful.

Herein lies the issue.  Because I don't have a job, it is automatically assumed that I am available to go to these appointments with my mother.  I have 3 siblings, but 2 of them live out of state.  So ideally and logically, these appointments should be split between my brother and I.  I am even willing to take on more because I don't work.  But my brother seems to think that I should do everything.  And when I ask him to do something, he has 100 excuses why he can't.  In fact, he does nothing in regards to helping out with my father.  Nothing.  Last year my mom asked me to take her to Chicago for her aunt's 90th birthday party.  Bro never even offered to come check on OUR father.  And when asked, it was the same thing occurred, more excuses.  Mom had to hire people to come in and check on him, make him meals, etc.

Yesterday was the first of what is going to be many appointments trying to safe dad's leg.  This appointment was 6 hours long.  About 4 hours longer than I had anticipated.  Anything I had planned for that day was void.  When we were leaving that appointment we were told that he will need another next week, and basically to plan on a long visit then too.  Yesterday's appointment was extremely emotionally taxing.  I'm glad I can be there to support them, but I shouldn't have to do everything all the time.  When I got home yesterday I was spent.  Physically drained, emotionally overwrought and truly not in the best of moods.  So I poured myself a glass of wine and went to go relax.  I promptly missed the coaster and the wine went flying.  poured on me, all over the rug, and the glass shattered on the coffee table.  And it was red.  It's at this point that I sat there in a puddle of wine and cried and cried.  It was all too much.

I am not an only child.  I have a life.   I am trying to find a job.  I do job searches every single day.  I apply for jobs almost every day.  I am having trouble with my marriage.  It's all so emotionally draining and I need for someone (ahem.... my brother), to take some of the burden off me.  And he won't.   He just won't.  And it's not fair.  Yesterday I told him he needs to go to some of these appointments and that I can't do it all the time.  His reply was, "you can do it easier than I can!"  So there it is.  I don't have a job, therefore I have no life and this is what... my obligation?

What happens when I finally do get a job?  True I've been looking for a year and half.  But eventually I do expect to get a job.  Then what?   My mom acts the martyr.  While she does understand that we need my brother to step up, if I ever say I can't do it, she will either cancel the appointment he needs or she will say something absurd like they'll just take a cab to the appointment.  But its not just about driving.  It's about going into the exam room with them and listening, taking notes, asking questions.  My mom does none of that.  She is of a generation that blindly accepts whatever the doctors say.  You cannot be that way in this day and age.  I have told her endlessly that she needs to be an advocate but you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.  And here's the clincher... bro's wife is a nurse.  If they went to some of these appointments with them, they would know much better what questions to ask.  As it is, when I do go to appointments, he asks me a million questions and did I ask this, did I ask that.  It's all so fucking annoying and stressful.

How do you get through to people who don't want to listen, don't to step up and do what they should, and then act like it is someone elses (i.e., mine) obligation?