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  #41  
Old 10-20-2010, 01:42 AM
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Glad you're not mad at me.
I was reluctant to call, cuz I wasn't sure how you were feeling, but I was kind of a mess.

It's possible I haven't straight up told Karma "I need you here, now," before, so I think I kind of freaked him out, which might have accounted for him not filling you in on stuff, particularly after a rough day.
I wasn't really sure you were up to company, and I just wanted some time with him, and was kind of at wit's end.

Sorry for all that.
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  #42  
Old 10-21-2010, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket View Post
Glad you're not mad at me.
I was reluctant to call, cuz I wasn't sure how you were feeling, but I was kind of a mess.

It's possible I haven't straight up told Karma "I need you here, now," before, so I think I kind of freaked him out, which might have accounted for him not filling you in on stuff, particularly after a rough day.
I wasn't really sure you were up to company, and I just wanted some time with him, and was kind of at wit's end.

Sorry for all that.
Absolutely. If the two of you could please pre-plan all of your sudden emotional meltdowns, random physical ailment flareups, unexpected family crises, and assorted other random occurences that reqiure my attention, I think everything will work much better. Ya know, just pencil that shit in on the calendar:

"Today, I will completely fall to pieces and want to murder someone for no apparent reason, because tomorrow, Mohegan is scheduled for an Unforseen Muscle Spasm in her neck that will leave her immobile all day, and Friday's out because mom and I have our scheduled snippy-comment duel."

I love you both Let's not actually plan out our crises, I'm not sure I can handle any more of them this week!
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  #43  
Old 10-21-2010, 05:33 AM
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But if we schedule, we could leave the rest of this week free and all get a chance to relax I'd love to schedule the muscle pain, cuz then I don't have to wonder how tomorrow will feel, I'll already know.

But whatever, it is what it is and it's another thing for the three of us to learn and work through. We're lucky, we have an extra level of support built it.
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  #44  
Old 10-21-2010, 07:37 PM
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I LOVED reading these last 3 posts.
I have admittedly not kept up to date (several pages behind) with what all is up in your lives.

But I thought that this little conversation was just awesome!!!
Great job on communicating and keeping a sense of humor amidst crisis.
Great job on being able/willing to go with the flow when something came up.

GREAT job sharing how a little bit of banter can go a long way to calm a heart and soul.

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  #45  
Old 10-30-2010, 04:42 PM
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Happy Halloween...Saiman...New Year...whatever it is you kids celebrate! Too bad you are not "home" to help Mo and Karma carve pumpkins. Hoping all is well.
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  #46  
Old 11-01-2010, 02:19 AM
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At what point do familial obligations become too much?

My grandma moved in with us recently, because she simply cannot take care of herself. She can't live alone. She'll die. (Sooner than she should, anyway.)

She's in her mid sixties, extremely overweight, has had some kind of cancer that tore up a lot of her digestive tract, and has emotional scarring that would make Oprah genuinely cringe.
Her depression and damage manifest themselves in a number of ways:
She's a compulsive spender, and will buy anything she wants without hesitation, and will often buy two. Because of that, she's spent all her retirement savings (years before she was eligible to retire), and is several thousand dollars in debt.
She eats. In her family, food became a weird power thing. She's obese, her sister's anorexic, there's just so much damage there I can't even touch it. But food is a comfort thing for her. If she's not smoking or sleeping, she's eating. She does all three in roughly equal measures. If she were eating healthy things, it wouldn't be an issue, but she'll buy nothing but junk food if she can get away with it.
She takes in all kinds of wounded or displaced critters. (Read: crazy cat lady) When we last went to visit her, she had 28 cats, 5 puppies and their mother living with her in her trailer. She can barely get around because she's obese, has bad knees, and doesn't exercise. So no, she didn't clean up after them much. They were mostly feral, mostly unfixed, and many were horribly ill. For the impact of this to be meaningful, you have to understand, I ADORE animals. I love them, I take care of them, there are very few that I simply cannot handle. But if she hadn't gotten rid of them, I would have pushed to have them all put down. They were all very bad-tempered, many ill, and honestly, there were only a handful that should have been re-adopted. Sarcoptic mange is not a selling point in kittens. Neither are fleas, painful and terminal heart defects, or intestinal parasites that are beyond treating. But because of her loneliness, her maternal streak, and her compassionate need to nurture, she couldn't let a single case go. She couldn't pay for treating them, either.
She's just a messy, disorganized person. It's too hard for her to get around for her to clean up after herself, so she leaves her crap everywhere, and rarely finishes anything she starts.
She's in denial of her age. Sixty, pretending to be sixteen, with a credit card, a driver's license, and a feeling that time is running out so she needs to enjoy everything she possibly can right now before it's too late because you never know when you're gonna run out of time and won't be able to indulge in little pleasures anymore.
When she gets lonely or bored, she starts drama to bring attention and entertainment. She makes poor choices in who to trust (and apparently, coming from me, that's a helluva statement) and is regularly used and manipulated because of it. People cheat her out of her money and her charity all the time, especially when she was living in a trailer park in the midwest.
She buys tons of everything, spends money she doesn't have, buys more food than she'll eat (yet still eats too much) and lets the leftovers rot because she can't/won't clean up after herself. The trailer we moved her out of is, to be brutally honest, a biohazard. It's full of waste of all kinds, infested with more pests than I can count, and I don't even want to know what else. If she'd stayed there, she would have poisoned herself. She still might if she doesn't start eating right, and get a second opinion for all of the twenty or thirty some-odd prescriptions she got from her chiropractor (who was telling her things like "Quitting smoking now is a bad idea - it's unhealthy, and your cough isn't caused by the multiple-pack-a-day habit, it's caused by mercury poisoning from your dentures.")

In a nutshell, NOT a fun person to live with. Those are just the biggest issues.
But she's family, I love her, and the whole family is clear that she cannot live alone. We also feel like it would be wrong of us to just stick her in an old folks' home because it's easier on us.
Really stressful.
The adjustment is not fun.
She's a highly confrontational, very demanding person.

Again - she's family. She's too proud to go to a home, and even if the dignity she's clinging to is just a sad illusion, she needs it, and I would not forgive myself if I took that dignity from her.
So we've moved her in with us, we're redoing the basement, and trying to give her an environment where she'll have both family to look after her, and a (false) sense of independence.
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  #47  
Old 11-01-2010, 02:19 AM
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So, in a quick change of topic, Karma has always asked that I tell him what's wrong, instead of going with habitual (and often untrue) "I'm fine."
Problem is, he's got shit going on in his life, and I feel like he doesn't need me adding to it, so really, I only vent to him when I'm completely overwhelmed, or just that fucking pissed.
Lately, he's decided he needs to focus mostly on his own needs.
Good for him.
I'm really, really glad that he's finally choosing to focus on his problems and stresses, rather than trying to save the world for the rest of us. Don't get me wrong - the need to help people is something I love about him - but I don't want to see it wearing him down the way it has.

Family's kind of a touchy topic for us, because he feels like I let my family walk all over me, I never stand up for myself, they take advantage of me, etc. That's really only true in part, but because of how our schedules are, and the fact that he just doesn't see much of the interaction between us, I can see why he'd feel that way: He really only hears about my family when I'm overwhelmed and need to vent.

He's a fighter, through and through.
I'm a negotiator, when I can be.
In spite of what he seems to see, this doesn't mean I never fight. Honestly, he doesn't see most of the fights going on in my life. I don't take shit when I feel like it's truly inexcusable.
Yeah, I've made major mistakes and taken more than I should have in the past, but I'm not the perpetual victim/doormat that he seems to see me as.
It hurts, when a loved one seems to be telling you you're always weak and never stand up for what's right.
On the flipside of the coin, I feel like he fights when there's no need to. It's like he can't not fight. I pick my battles. If I can better my own life or my loved one's lives by simply dealing with the problematic person, enduring unfairness, and then moving on, so be it. I don't fight if I don't have to, because more often than not, that exacerbates the situation.
I see that as careful thought, he seems to see it as cowardice, and failing to stand up for what's right.

So what this whole mess boils down to (at least as far as I can see) is that from his perspective, my grandmother is taking advantage of us, and we have no obligation to care for her, much less put up with her bullshit. From my perspective, this is the right thing to do.

Neither of us is very good at backing down if we're sure we're in the right.

I'm hurt and angry, because our last fight was basically about how he feels like I won't stand up for what's right, and how I feel like he makes problems into fights when they could simply be endured or outlasted.
Tonight, we fought about whether or not my grandma should be kicked out and stuck in a nursing home.
I'm tired of being criticized for not fighting the way he would.
I'm not him.
I just wish he could respect that I have made a decision based on what I think is right, as has my family. None of us like it. None of us want her here. We all love her very dearly, but none of us are really equipped to handle this stress with any semblance of grace.
We have been addressing our issues with her behaviour one at a time, politely, and with as much compassion as we can. It's hard, it's taking a long time, and we've only just gotten started. We all feel like it would be cruel to just tell her we fucking hate this that or the other, when instead, we can patiently suggest alternate diets, gently remind her to take pills, ask her not to scream at us when she's upset, and so on.
It's not fun.
It's not easy.
But I truly believe that by being direct and patient, rather than confrontational and brutally blunt, we can help her without too much pain.

Karma hates the whole thing, thinks she's a petulant child who's taking advantage of us, picking on me and my siblings, criticizing my mother unfairly, neglecting the pets, causing more trouble than she's worth, etc. I haven't actually argued those things too much. He's right, it's a pretty fucked up situation, but she's been hurt so many times she has no real notion of other people's feelings or needs, and no idea how much her demands and criticism can weigh on us.
But she does have the capacity to learn and grow - I've seen it. She's changed over the last few weeks, and I know it's slow, and painful, and I know it's gonna suck in the meantime, but the family has decided to have her here, where we can take care of her, rather than foisting her off on a stranger, and effectively rejecting our own kin just because she's a royal pain in the ass.

He says he "accepts" it. Acceptance is not the same thing as respect.
Yes I'm young, yes I've made mistakes, but that doesn't mean my choices deserve no respect.

If his problem with me is that I don't fight for what's right, why is he so mad that I'm doing it now?

I understand he misses me, and he and Mohegan and I had plans tonight. I really fuckin' wanted to go chill with them. My mother, father, brother and I went to visit family friends this weekend, and my sister and grandmother stayed behind.
Between Friday night and Sunday morning, the neighbors started a fire, the plumbers fucked up and broke the water lines so we have no water, and in the process of trying to repair it, broke the Invisible Fence wire, so the dogs can't go out in the yard anymore. My little sister had to cancel the party she'd been planning for today, and had to deal with Grandma bitching and moaning about the water, and the noise the dogs were making because of strangers tromping around in the yard and the fact they couldn't go out to pee. By the time we got home, she was in tears, on the verge of a breakdown, and grandma started shrieking and bitching before we were even out of the goddamn car.
We were all pissed, stressed, and she was taking her issues out on us.

So yeah, I would have MUCH preferred to go spend the night with Karma and Mohegan, who I actually love spending time with. Instead, I opted to stay home, and take my brother trick-or-treating, walk the dogs, and fold laundry, because my mother was about to have a complete breakdown, and Daddy was dealing with Grandma and the plumbers. I know I disappointed Mohegan and Karma, but I didn't want to leave my family on their own. And Mom wouldn't have been okay with me leaving anyway.

Instead, I'm gonna turn in early, and hope tomorrow's a little better.
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  #48  
Old 11-01-2010, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morningglory629 View Post
Happy Halloween...Saiman...New Year...whatever it is you kids celebrate! Too bad you are not "home" to help Mo and Karma carve pumpkins. Hoping all is well.
Thanks. Samhain was happy until it wasn't. lol But that seems to be the way things are in my life, right now.
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  #49  
Old 11-01-2010, 02:28 AM
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The family situation that you're in is temporary and if it really does get out of control you could always look at alternate living arrangements for yourself.
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  #50  
Old 11-01-2010, 09:21 PM
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Myzka Myzka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket View Post

I see that as careful thought, he seems to see it as cowardice, and failing to stand up for what's right.

Neither of us is very good at backing down if we're sure we're in the right.

I'm hurt and angry, because our last fight was basically about how he feels like I won't stand up for what's right, and how I feel like he makes problems into fights when they could simply be endured or outlasted.

I'm tired of being criticized for not fighting the way he would.
I'm not him.
I just wish he could respect that I have made a decision based on what I think is right, as has my family.
But I truly believe that by being direct and patient, rather than confrontational and brutally blunt, we can help her without too much pain.

But she does have the capacity to learn and grow - I've seen it. She's changed over the last few weeks, and I know it's slow, and painful, and I know it's gonna suck in the meantime, but the family has decided to have her here, where we can take care of her, rather than foisting her off on a stranger, and effectively rejecting our own kin just because she's a royal pain in the ass.

He says he "accepts" it. Acceptance is not the same thing as respect.
Yes I'm young, yes I've made mistakes, but that doesn't mean my choices deserve no respect.
I adore you, Cricket!

Some changes in life aren't easy, but we stick with them and endure.
I cannot and won't fight all battles that come my way and well, there are different methods of actually fighting. Not every battle can be resolved over night, fast and easy, some battles take time, like with your grandma, it's going to be a long process and that is what you chose to do.
The thing, that I find, with what is 'right' is that we all have a different idea what right in fact is. My 'right' for one situation may be different from your 'right' for that situation....soooo, who is right? And, does it actually matter?

You pick choices in life that you think work best, we all do, and hopefully we can accept what comes with those choices.
The two main choices here are, the grandma stays with you and you suffer and hopefully she will change and the life will be more bearable, which is quite possible, but might take a long time...or...you put her in the nursing home and, the way I see it from reading your post, you would be feeling guilty for a long time, plus, thinking you shouldn't have done it and it wasn't by your choice. So in the end, maybe it doesn't really matter what the right thing to do is, maybe it's just what makes you, Cricket, feel better about the whole situation

lots of hugs,
-m
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