Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's been a while

Hi, guys. It's been awhile since I've posted. While the move to Kansas is over, there is still some unpacking, there has been some decline in Bill's memory and his frame of mind, and it's been pretty stressful. My dad passed away ago the end of July to add to my emotions, and it has been a challenge keep balance in my life.

The move has been a wise one although Jack and I miss our friends and the upper peninsula of Michigan very much. I have held up pretty good until just recently, but I have reached a pivotal moment where the stress was really getting me down. Recently I have had the opportunity to reunite with many wonderful friends. I also had the opportunity to step away and take a break at a  sort of training. It was refreshing. The reunions and the trip brought back so many memories. Reconnecting with several wonderful friends from my past makes me think of an old Girl Scout song, "Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold"). I don't know. I guess it was overwhelming. Finally the dam of emotions brimmed over in an emotional moment and all these tears just started falling and falling and falling. I know it is part of healing. I know it is a necessity of life, but it is very painful. I know I always talk about the positive as a general rule, but I also know how deeply important it is to face the fear and the pain and frankly, the exhaustion. It is ugly and while it does not need an overabundance of attention, it has to be recognized.

Bill has been up and down since our move. In many ways the move has been good, but Bill has not fully recovered from it. I noticed an increase in confusion when I was packing to move. He can still pull off a conversation with a peer, and loves to talk about his students, his research, and his years working with Al and Harvey at the prison, but it is getting more and more difficult for him to keep track of things. His latest focus is on losing his wallet and his keys. He knows his days of driving are limited, and it is pissing him off. I heard him say the other day, "Goddamn it. I have a Ph.D. Why am I so confused like this?" and jusone dayt last week he said, "I don't know how much longer I can live like this. It is killing me."  He's more upset and agitated and paranoid.  I suspect he is entering into another stage. I came home to an upset son because his dad refused to take his medication the entire time I was gone. While Bill's meds help a great deal, the therapeutic levels drop very quickly- even missing a day makes a difference. And the drugs can't make you improve. It only makes the progress slower, so we took several steps backwards this week.

Jack is going through being so afraid for his dad that he will barely leave his side yet when they are together the testosterone can throw you to the floor. I usually solve this by spraying some flowery air freshner and tell them to break it up. They both hate air freshners (chemical demons) and it usually takes the focus off of who is right and who is wrong. I wish this was not the memory Jack is going to have of his dad. I try to remind Jack that it's not his dad. It's the disease.  He told me first he had to lose his grandpa, and now he's lost his dad.

So I guess it's ok for me to be pissed off and sad and to be trying to find some sort of direction and purpose in my life. Will I be enough? How do I help Jack? One friend who I reconnected with briefly this weekend shares somewhat similar issues with his spouse. You know, we talked about where is that fine line where you cross over between supporting your spouse and their authority over protecting your child. There is a line. I know there is.

It's kind of an emotional update and things will hopefully level off. It took some coaxing but I did get Mac to take at least his morning meds today. Today he doesn't know how to answer the phone and he can't work the remote on the tv and satelite. He gets focused on something and will repeat the same thing over and over. I hung his diplomas last week and he didn't know what they were. Light switches totally blow his mind. He complains a lot about light bothering him. He is up late late (sundowners, like 1 or 2) roaming around, frequently breaking things or moving them. He doesn't remember the next morning what he's done. I mean he authentically does not have a clue.

Of course I am crying as I write. Those that have stayed in contact with me over the years know I don't like jagged emotions and put up a huge fight to remain positive and to believe there is a purpose in everything.

I have gotten some wonderful relief this weekend. To finally bring up those feelings and face them was very difficult. I hold my "extreme" emotions in a locked box deep in the center of my soul and seldom let them merge. It has truly been a spiritual experience.  I have also been overwhelmed by the warm welcome home from so many of our friends. Thank  you, my friends. You make me feel safe. You make me feel loved. You remind me we really are not alone. It restores my faith. I love you all so much. 


Yeah, he loves me. Don'tch Bobby Boy?