June 13, 2008

Just when you think you're doing great...

So I've been doing a lot better about keeping the apartment clean and keeping my spirits up lately. Considering my tenuous relationship with work those tend to be one in the same. I have a little chalkboard that I use to write up my to-do lists. It definitely helps me in biting off manageable, satisfying pieces of housework. Making great big slash marks through my completed tasks is fun. I also feel just the teansiest bit green doing so knowing that I'm not squandering money and resources/landfill space on my daily lists. Not a big deal exactly, but I suppose it's partly the mindset that matters.

Like I said, I've felt pretty good about all this, but lately I've been battling the tired and grouchies in a big way. And before anyone hints at anything let me say it's exactly the wrong time of the month for that -whichever one you mean. From talking to my mother-in-law it seems like underneath all this progress I've been making I've been doing more than a bit of burden bearing on the side, and it's really been weighing down my heart. As some of you know I don't have the best relationship with my parents, and I really don't get to see them much. My mom pretty much ignores I exist, but Dad will talk to me when the opportunity presents itself (like us showing up at graduation and such). Really it's for my dad that I seen to be carrying this burden. And by burden bearing I don't mean the useful sort that you can do much about. Well, I can pray, but I'm afraid I tend to forget that prayer is actually does storm heaven and therefore don't do so much of it. Nope, this is the good old heart crushing kind that consists of standing around with your hands too tied to do much of anything. You see my dad has diabetes, which can in time turn into all sorts of things if they aren't taken care of properly. Being an herbal girl I have very different feelings about what constitutes "properly." I could reel off a list of things my dad eats that he shouldn't and another list of things he could do to feel better that he doesn't. It's that age old woman's cry "If I had the feeding of him...." But I don't. And I'm not going to unless very drastic things that I don't wish on my family were to happen -and even if they did I probably wouldn't. Ok, so I can't go see him, can feed him, can't really influence the way he eats 'cause Mom sure as heck ain't listening to me. (To be very honest she'd likely say she was just returning the favor, but that's neither here not there right now.) And that's just the physical side of things. I've lived in that family. I've seen the junk, and I've been detoxing ever since. The sheer amount of brokenness that masquerades as a close, loving, evangelical family is staggering. That's not to say we weren't all those things, but we were all that and a lot more. Writing this, the last thing I want anyone to think is that I'm just pointing fingers at my family. I'm not. I'll be the first to recognize that both my mom and dad came out of vastly more broken circumstances and did what they could with what they had. It's only that here I am enjoying peace and happiness way beyond what I ever even dreamed was possible....and they don't get it. To them I'm the rebellious child who, scorning family ties, decided to make her own way. I almost feel like a character Plato's Allegory of the Cave. If you haven't heard it, it goes something like this. Once there was a group of people who lived and worked in a cave. This was their whole life. All they could see of any other world were shadows thrown against the wall by the dim light far away at the mouth of the cave. The people down there used to make up stories about the shadows -where they came from, what they were, and what they meant. Then one day, despite much jeering from his peers, a youth determinedly made his way out to the mouth of the cave and out into the world where the shadows lived. Once there he found a world so different from the one he expected, from the one he came from, that he was amazed. After living among them for a time and learning, the youth decided he must journey back into the cave and tell his friends and family of the wonders he had seen in hopes of persuading them to make the journey out into the shadowlands with him. All the way back he planned out the stories he would tell them, picking the most convincing details, selecting moving and vivid anecdotes. But when he got there and began to tell his stories all the people around him began to laugh at him. Not even his family would be believe him when he tried to tell them of the beautiful country he had found. The mocked him all the louder. Finally with a heavy heart the youth realized that he couldn't persuade anyone to return with him and made his weary way back to mouth of the cave. (My apologies to Plato for this crude retelling.) Somehow, by the grace of God, my eye were opened to a few things that I would love to go back and tell my family about, however they aren't so very interested in hearing them. It hurts with regards to my dad especially because he always seemed more sympathetic with my trials. Even though he really couldn't do anything, he always seemed to understand a bit better. Maybe also in a way he seems as trapped as I did. I suppose the thinking goes, "If I could help Dad, then Dad could help Mom, and everything would be ok." Only I don't see way for that to happen. It gets pretty heartbreaking at times with my hands tied the way they are. Sometime it's literally feels heartbreaking -like I have a heavy stone weighing down on my chest and bruising my heart. That's why I'm writing about all this. For me to write is to think and get things worked out a little instead of leaving everything to simmer inside my head. If I could bear some of their burdens and actually help my family out it would be different. As it is, the only thing that I can do to any purpose is pray. All the rest is simply a piling on of emotional bricks that can't help them and can only hurt me. Somehow I have to open my hands and say, "Even if something happened to Dad that in an ideal world I could have helped to prevent that's not my burden. It's theirs. Even though I would have shared it with them. They didn't want me to, and it's still theirs and not mine. Even if they were to somehow try to blame me, it's not my burden." Then I have to trust that if there really is something I can do that God will bring it to my attention.

You know I usually hear about this kind of thing in the context of a mother and her child. I have to sort of wonder how I ended up here. Well I can see the road, but I still wonder why this road why this struggle. Anyway, I may end up posting some more about this over the next few weeks. It's sort of what's going on at the moment.

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