Author Topic: Becoming "me"  (Read 17361 times)

Hopalong

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2016, 02:30:48 PM »
You can't second-guess yourself about everything, hon.
Go be present for a little while, be loving, and then go home and continue taking care of yourself.

It's not on YOU to do it all (hence, there is no need to do "too much.") Whence cometh this
Roy Rogers?

She will be smothered in love and help. A whole community of which you are one part only will hold her up.
You can contribute your proportional piece without harming yourself.

Self-compassion does not mean you are reducing your compassion for others.
You don't have to prove your compassion by "out-helping" others.

Does that make sense?

love
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2016, 09:54:27 AM »
There is little Roy Rogers left in my outward compassion, Hops. Unless I see something obvious that others are missing. (And that's rare.)

It's more I feel surrounded by tragedy; and the losses. A fear of being swept away and drowning in that sorrow. That just like the flu, sometimes a place will have more than it's share of tragedies.

It's a real good thing, lately - that there is a whole flock of bluebirds playing in my backyard.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2016, 07:42:59 PM »
I'm very sorry that RR was such an inept image, (((((((Amber))))))). ::Faceplant.::

I just heard you saying that you in some way had to leap forward to "fix this."

It's heartbreaking, what has happened to your friend. Beyond comprehension, and I can imagine how heavily it adds to the weight your heart already carries. What a sad season. I hear you.

(Just didn't want you to feel that it's on your shoulders, too.)

love to you,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2016, 08:34:46 AM »
Thanks Hops. Yes, I used to be a notorious "superhero", swoop in type. I think I've really gotten that out of my system now. You couldn't have known that. No worries. One of the local house cleaning companies here, has offered to clean Carol's place for 3 months, free. Carol gets out of the hospital today - and her closer friends aren't letting her go home. She's staying with someone else. The service for her little boy is today. I absolutely have to not go; for my own good.

Others are stepping into the superhero role; I sure don't have to. All the same it's UNFATHOMABLE to me, what she must be thinking and feeling. And the guy who struck her car, too. This state has quietly and under the radar, started to accept that sometimes accidents really do happen - and no one is really at fault. The pickup driver wasn't charged; Carol didn't see him and turned in front of him; he wasn't speeding. I've turned into the same parking lot and realized before, that one needed to take an extra second to look down the road for clues about oncoming, and then don't linger making the turn. Maybe it's greenery that limits one's view; or a slight curve or hill; I can't remember now... just know it's tricky to make a turn there and it felt tense, the times I have in the past.

They've asked that any cards stress support for Carol and the community helping her to go on, instead of a message reinforcing her loss.

I can't tell if that's a good or bad thing; I think it depends on the person. And even what day it is. I got both kinds of cards. And appreciated both. I know, I would've felt really uncomfortable dealing with an outpouring of support from people I wasn't, in actuality, close to. A couple of friends here, called. One to just chat about Christmas plans and the other asked if I'd be interested in going to a move this coming week. I was happy to know that they accepted that I was OK; that boundary; and yet still took the time to reach out & let me know they cared. I accepted the movie invit, because I like her and know she's very conscious of boundaries, while still being a warm funny person. I am determined to figure out this social connection thing, and put it to rest once and for all. It's necessary for moving forward into the next adventure.

I still have moments of grieving - just melting into sheer loss. Somewhere I heard something about how people forget the sound of voices first. And I wondered which of us had made the last recording for the voice mail. LOL, it was Mike. "You must've just missed us..." is kind of ironic and funny and sad all at the same time. On another board, someone who lost her hubby after years of illness, recently received flowers from him on their anniversary. He'd set it all up ahead of time.

Just more evidence (in my warped way of seeing the world) that grief is simply an intense dose of love. Maybe it's like super-enriched, spiked compost fertilizer?? That makes yummy food and pretty flowers grow...
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2016, 06:34:58 PM »
Oh my gosh.

Quote
grief is simply an intense dose of love

I am humbled by this.
For all I think I know about loss and grief, this simple statement never occurred to me.
Of course it is.

And in that inexpressible way, I agree, it can be beautiful. You miss him so.

Can't say another word.

love
Hops
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 04:36:18 PM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2016, 07:56:53 AM »
Just something I think I "know" from seeing things from a Taoist point of view. It's not a common understanding, I find.

But if a person can just stop everything; shut off the brain; and wade into the emotions - I think it's visible to everyone. But that's not as easy as it sounds, sometimes. Even for me.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Garbanzo

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2016, 10:50:07 PM »
I feel bad that I am not all caught up with all of this, I think I'm a slow reader  :(     Just read page one. Eating a frozen Belgium waffle while I read.

Consider living near to some place that has lots of art classes or art community    :P  

Getting a dog might be nice :)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 11:12:21 PM by Garbanzo »

sKePTiKal

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2016, 10:12:58 AM »
Garbanzo, I think about getting a dog a lot. But now is not the right moment.

Been making solid progress, every single day... then yesterday, a stupid tv issue just kind of blew my motivation out of the water. The tv just needs to go; but the logistics of that are going to be interesting; it's big and heavy... and right now, I don't have room downstair for "one more thing". I've been able to find a lot of "little things" to do for myself; and it's helping me identify my "wants"... which will help drive decisions later on. But I let that stupid tv, drag me down. Maybe I'm just tired, too. I've been getting out on a regular basis; doing things I need to do and seeing people I like and that Mike & I would hang out with. Friday, I'm driving back "home" for a long weekend (and to see snow hopefully) to hang with my girls, see my friend, and get a change of scenery. I think I need the change of scenery, since everything I see around here is all "stuff to do" - LOL.

This is going around Facebook. I'm sharing because it's something Mike and I discussed at length and in depth. Neither of us are interested in being, what he called "a science experiment" in those end days. Written from an ER doc's perspective and good food for thought. Our culture has some real neurotic hangups about death... but there is another way as described in the article. After a month of shattered hopes that Mike could get started on some kind of treatment - I started to beg the new docs to please bring up and discuss with him the facts about his situation. Gently and kindly of course... but start the conversation with "you know, you are likely dying and nothing we have in our toolkits is likely to do more than just prolong the process and the time you experience misery and separation from what is familiar to you. We can, however make you more comfortable." Why? because decisions were being made about him... and not BY HIM. Yes, I was making decisions based on my understanding from the prior discussions - but most of the time, it was the doctors with, "well we can try this surgery, or this chemo and see if we can slow down the cancer"... and they wouldn't ever address Mike and ask him if this was how he wanted to die. They just asked if he wanted to go through the uncomfortable or invasive procedures.

In the end, once he was in a hospital bed and stopped being able to eat or drink, or even help much changing him... he got what he wanted; to be at home with his blessed tv and favorite news program; and me where he could see me. Partly because I started resisting the docs rush to get him into another surgery. Partly because I was also exhausted -- even with expanding the hours I had help. Anyway, I'm still processing that part of it and the actual last 10-15 minutes. Like I could've done something differently, that would've kept death at bay. Silly me. I do second-guess calling 911 though. I guess it's just a reflex; very well programmed into my head. They used all kinds of awful things to try to revive him, since I handed them my DNR, instead of his... and with his daughter on the phone, I kept her in the loop and let her decide: should they try this? how about this? Being that she's a trauma flight nurse... she knew what the paramedics were asking (I didn't) and how realistic their chances of reviving him were. Seems like a lot of violence, for someone who has passed recently... and their spirit is still letting the body go and wanting to go in PEACE. I apologize a lot to him, for that. Now, I just gotta forgive myself. Everyone else has. I guess I was letting him go... and letting her make decisions in my place... so she could have that closure too.

I did find out, going through all this with Mike, that Dirty Harry spoke the truth: A man's gotta know his limitations. I sure found a bunch of mine, going through that.

http://exopermaculture.com/2016/01/19/how-we-used-to-die-how-we-die-now/
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 10:17:53 AM by sKePTiKal »
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Hopalong

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2016, 05:59:58 PM »
(((((Amber))))
I hear your poignant regrets about his last moments, and the imperfections of your decisions.

Oh if ever there were a time for self-compassion, this is it.

Every single one of us, and perhaps M too if your situations had been reversed, are overwhelmed with the urgency of the moment and long, long, LONG cultural training to turn it over to the professionals.

You didn't have time! Resistance to the machine takes organization, and loads of prep, plus a good night's sleep. And months if not years of planning for it.

Maybe the most important thing I can think of is that I am positive, certain, that M would never ever want you to be lashing yourself over doing the best you were able to do in those chaotic moments. He's long since joined something so very vast that such a concern is just not even....there.

Only love. He knew it and received it. All is well with him.

Human exits are imperfect and messy and I think mostly, a lot of the emergency stuff happens to us after we've already partly left, so are likely not as awful for us as for those who love us. (I want to avoid all that too, as much as possible. But our control or our advocates' control of knowledge and timing and sufficient energy and poise all coming together in the perfect momentary decisions? That's as much luck as anything...)

love to you,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2016, 05:50:23 AM »
Quick update: Headed north for G'daughters birthday. It's a great reason to give myself a quick break from the to-do's and a change of scenery.

I have "done good" on my necessary tasks here and am further along than I expected to be. Staring at the same 4 walls here is getting.... dull. And when I get back, it'll be time to get ready for the next "season" -- already got my pool contract. So will be busy again. LOL.

Hops... I wasn't lashing myself so much, as accepting what human's (and my personal) limitations are. There is perfection in imperfection, anyway. Looking at that moment, from another such "present moment" more distant in time and emotion. S'ok, you couldn't have known that I've only in the past year or two stopped beating myself up over things I can't control and am not responsible for. I was pretty regular and thorough at it, previously - huh?

I much prefer driving/travelling with a buddy... but I've done enough of it alone, to kind of look forward to the sensation of solitude that's moving through space/time... and know my route well, my destination used to be "home", and am meeting up with Mike's D & the kiddos... and Holly. That should break up the winter doldrums.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #40 on: January 30, 2016, 02:14:11 PM »
The trip and getaway sounds so wonderful. What a good idea.
Could hear the energy and anticipation humming in your words.

Hope it's a wonderful tonic. You have a lot to celebrate.

Personally, I'm awed by what you've already accomplished.
When I'm in/coming out of trauma my home is like a campsite
the bears have been partying in. I just shut down. Would be
handy to cope through constructive activity as you do, so I'll
try to use your example to get the lead out.

Look forward to hearing how the outing went. Drive safe!

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2016, 03:21:45 AM »
Glad to read that you are heading off for the weekend, Skep, and hope that it breaks those winter doldrums up a bit.


sKePTiKal

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2016, 09:09:02 AM »
LOL... well, I was a total ball of anxiety (about getting lost or getting off the highway at a wrong exit)... and making sure I'd packed appropriately (I could've used a sweater under my light jacket in 24 degree weather... duh) and then there was the awkwardness of the adults from Mike's Ex's side of the family... and Autumn's Ex's side of the family... in the same place at the same time. But, it was Mike's Ex & I who broke the ice and I made her laugh about how I sat his ashes up on the bookcase overlooking my sorting, organizing & purging area and yelled at him, about how he left me this big mess. She could certainly relate... especially to the fact that I was diving into that and enjoying every minute of it... and then <gasp! o propriety!> I asked if she wanted their wedding pictures (which of course he'd saved)... then remembered, Autumn took them. She laughed at that too. I am more than willing to share Mike's memory and that loss with other people now. Before, I really didn't want to - that WAS MY JOB; it was my role; and more than that -- I WANTED TO. That part is (I think)... "done".

The little princess had a couple of "moments" herself that resulted in tears. And it's always a dangerous thing to put Holly & I in a kid's museum that's designed to teach scientific and mechanical principals. Who knows what would've happened. We might've fit, up in the netted climbing wall, but I did worry I might pull something or get stuck. She's tall - but she can bend up pretty small - so maybe could've made it.

Mostly I just let her decide what we were going to do... etc... and well, she's 20 years younger than I am. And she's accustomed to staying up & out late at night. Me, not so much. We compromised Saturday night. I got some good sleep and didn't have to worry about what the girls were getting into "out there". And the kink in my shoulder is gone... and I feel like something has lifted. It's not there now. Not in my way... as I finish up "phase 1" and try to make decisions about what phase 2 might look like. It could be that when I drive - I don't really "think" at all - I just pay attention and drive... unless there's someone else in the car. And maybe I need a rest from my own brain. There was the reflex of checking my phone and keeping it charged -- so I could check in twice a day at home, like I've always done when travelling alone before. And making the usual stops that Mike liked to make on the trip. (I changed that up on the way back).

So, I'm kinda breaking through limitations that were externally defined. Discovering my own limitations - where my real boundaries and "hot spots" are... without having to consider anyone else's idea of what's "socially acceptable". And also forcing myself to accept what the physical limitations of my age are... and trying to push past those, back to a more fit state. Always trying to keep an eye out for those times when it's undeniable, that I'm finally comfortable in my own skin. When in a relationship, we are obligated to and want to, take into consideration the other's set of wants, needs, expectations, and boundaries - especially in public. Ain't really anyone there now, to object... I don't have to go out of my way to tiptoe so someone else doesn't think I'm being "bad"... or try to apologize or make up for doing something I wanted to be or do -- all by myself.

Comfortable in my own skin. And if other people don't like it, oh well. They don't have to. I'm not them; they're not me.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

sKePTiKal

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2016, 09:06:20 AM »
OK; yesterday was a rarity.   :wink:

I am out from under the paperwork; just have one set of stuff to fax today. I have the important stuff organized and put away behind closed doors. I'm going to make some more goodwill runs, unless we really do get snow tomorrow. I CAN ALMOST CLEAN DOWNSTAIRS!!!!! So, my new glasses were ready... I picked those up and dropped off the frames I had been using for updated lenses. I must have backups to be able to see. I visited a couple shops hubs & I used to frequent together (think country general stores where people sit & gossip & trade stories and how-tos). Put gas in the jeep, finally; it was thirsty since I hadn't filled up since my trip north. Got some un-necessary groceries just because. Thought I might want spaghetti & meatballs or a meatball sub. Came home, unloaded and loaded up 5 rolls of foam cushions and the patterns I made for the kitchen banquette... and drove those down to the upholsterer; picked out fabric based on color memory and was home by 3:30. Oh, and I'm having some preventive dental work too.

And I felt "happy" yesterday. Happy to be out from under all that paper (there is still follow-on work to do with all those accounts but it doesn't require the detective work I was doing). Happy that I had an idea of what would be good to eat. Happy that I could go hang out with with these guys at the shops and talk and tell 'em: I'm OK; just fine. Here's what I've been up to... and ask them some questions. Happy that I am FINALLY going to finish the project I envisioned 5 years ago for that hard oak banquette in the kitchen. And happy that "the worst is over" as far as purging, organizing and sorting is concerned. Yes, I still have two garages. I think they look worse than they really are simply because hubs never unpacked and really "moved in".

And then the money-guilt monster tried to ruin it: how much money have you spent in the past two weeks on dental/vision stuff... OMG... you'll go broke if you keep this up... (and I'm just getting started, dammit; I have a LONG list of "have to" maintenance things). This only happens when I'm spending money on me. I did try to ignore it; punt it into the next county. And lord, I haven't spent enough put a dent in the bank balance. I have NEVER been a miser; always accused of exactly the opposite. It's only when I spend money on me that this comes up and rains on my happy day. I wish I could simply just decide to never hear that whispery nasty little voice again - fingers in ears - lalalalalalalalalalala. And it would just GO AWAY.

But it's a minor irritation. On the whole I feel kinda like I'm opening up. I'm tired of always "putting myself in a corner" (see: Dirty Dancing). I really do enjoy my solitude; it is helping me a LOT in changing my habits, sensing the freedom to do things my way, when I want to - and stop when I feel like it - not because someone else wants me to. I've always thoroughly enjoyed change - even though it's often a lot of hard work. But it's like fitting the personal cogs into the bigger gears of life... multiplying energy... so that when I finally pick & choose out of the infinite options available to me... I'll be "off like a rocket" again.

Gawd, I'd better go do some warm-up stretches... before I pull something because of all this unfocused energy.

 8)
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Becoming "me"
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2016, 11:11:38 AM »
Glad to feel you recognized feeling "happy" , Amber.

Yours is a long, bitter sweet process, and it's such a relief when that happens. 

Did you get much snow?

Lighter