Day 15 ~
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
~ Dr. Seuss
Cringes. Him again. He'll likely have at least one more quote on this here journey if not more, so I'll just learn to deal with it.
Quotes like this one hard for a person like me to really analyze because I am inherently an over-analyzer. I over think everything. Always have. I don't anticipate that aspect of my personality changing any time soon either. It's pretty hard wired in there.
This quote, he's basically telling me to knock it the hell off.
Which, may, in some cases, be warranted.
Here's the thing....sometimes this quote is painfully true. Other times, it's not at all.
For example (and this is a really hard example to write about, so if this is messy I apologize in advance), it was a fairly complicated question of whether I needed to go be with my father when he was dying, but a complicated answer when it came to the same question about my mother. I'll explain.
When my dad was nearing the end of his life, we had just spent several weeks there with him. My husband and I had driven there with all the kids, and ended up stuck there for a while because we were in an accident and needed to wait for the repairs to be done on the car. It was less than two weeks after we finally had returned home that he was to be placed on hospice. I struggled with the logistics of everything, with making plans to go back again, this time without the kids. I had no idea how long I would be gone for. I knew that if I went it would help in some ways and cause other problems, but there wasn't a second of hesitation in my heart.
I knew I had to go. The question was complicated, the answer was simple.
Fast forward two and a half years to when my mom was in that place. The question was the same, the logistics wouldn't have been any easier, many issues more complicated. I didn't know how long I would have needed to be gone or what would have happened or where I would have stayed. The question was even more complex than it was the first time.
The answer, though, this time...not simple.
It wasn't simple because when I stripped it down and asked myself if I felt like I needed to be there, or it I thought she wanted me there, the answer was never just yes. If it had been, I would have gone. Did I want to be there? Of course. Should I have been? Different question entirely, and the one I had to ask myself this time. The answer was complicated by a lot, mostly by the issue of whether it would do more harm than good for either one of us if I was there.
She needed more help than I could ever give her. She had deliberately taken steps to shut me out from her life for over a year before then. She kept her health conditions from us. She hurt me. A lot. She refused to allow anyone to talk to me. She told stories to anyone that would listen, stories that I can't even begin to imagine how bad they were, and those people believed her. I had developed serious anxiety and PTSD, much of which had to do with things that happened involving her. She became agitated about everything I did and said and her health status was fragile already. She was paranoid about our relationship, she lied to me, at times she said things to me that no mother should ever say to a daughter...and I'm fairly certain that she believed them.
I couldn't say whether I thought it would be good for either of us or if my being there would make it worse than it already was. If I thought for one second that I could just go and be with her and that it would have been peaceful and beneficial - even if it hurt me, but helped her - I would have gone.
I have been vilified by many people for my choice not to go. No explanation that I could give would ever be sufficient for them, and I understand that the consequences of what I did or didn't do in their eyes will be forever ingrained in their perceptions of me. I know this, and I know that it isn't worth trying to explain anything to anyone. So I don't bother. I have dealt with some horribly painful things that have been said to me, about me, around me...all reassurances in my mind that I made the right decision for my sanity, even if no one understands.
The answers might sometimes be simple.
Then there are all the other times.....
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