All I know for certain is that I’ve most certainly done my best.
August 13, 2022 Journal Entry
I’m my mother’s full-time caregiver. She’s 84, with vascular dementia. It’s getting worse and worse, and I feel more and more ineffective.
My brother has been no help, and today, my request for support, affirmation, help, and some bit of respite fell on deaf ears. He focused instead on turning it around on me, telling me I am selfish, and he is done with me and my lack of appreciation for the situation within which he has graciously allowed me to exist. Because, as he made sure I understood, the grace he has extended me is unmerited. He believes my living here rent free, with my food and sometimes my gas paid, is sufficient exchange for the job of managing her ever increasing needs.
I asked for some time off, and that mother pay for the plane tickets. His response indicates he does not consider what I’m doing a job at all.
“You don’t get more vacations than someone that has a job…” he said, along with some other incredibly hurtful things.
I am consumed in self-pity and feelings of unworthiness. I suspect I deserve all this. That everything I’ve done, all the badness, all the sin, all the bad choices, has gotten me to this place of pain where I am forced to live in torment. There’s always some truth. I’ve no one to blame but myself. I have done some very very very bad things. And what comes around goes around. I’m paying penance, and deservedly so.
My rational mind screams that’s bullshit. But I can’t hear her well today. Maybe it’s the Klonipin. Lots and lots of Klonipin. I’ve clocked in at four so far, and that’s about the time I stop counting.
Klonipin does a good job of pushing down my truth and allowing me to succumb to the lies people tell me about myself and embrace them and make them my real truth. If I’m successful at that, if I can humbly accept the criticism and vitriol I receive from my brother, I can maintain enough equilibrium I may successfully push through. So oddly enough, numbing out on substance enables me to push through. Oddly enough, numbing out on substance has proven an effective method of self-preservation. BECAUSE IT ENABLES ME TO KEEP MY FUCKING MOUTH SHUT.
Today, my pain is unbearable. I looped in my niece, who’s had an incredibly tragic set of events she’s weathered just this past week. She doesn’t need to deal with my shit. She doesn’t need to get pulled into being my caregiver as I run the gauntlet, quite unsuccessfully as of late, of being a caregiver myself. Yet in my selfishness, and in the absence of help from any other, I laid my pain on her. She came though. As always.
I can’t share with my friends, because just as I do with them, my friends overprotect me. They’ll tell me it’s enough, that I need to walk away. For my own mental health and so I won’t end my life, they tell me it’s time to walk away. But I fear I will end my life if I do walk away. The knowledge of the incredible weight of regret I’d carry if I gave up is overwhelming. So, I can’t. I hold fast to the notion the suicidal ideation I manage in this situation, this known and predictable situation, is better than the suicidal ideation I will have to manage in an unknown, possibly much worse situation.
I’m the one who tells my friends they always have options. Yet, I feel I have none. But in truth I do have options. But they are options which are far more frightening than just staying put, hanging in, sitting quietly right here right now, while I wait for the Klonipin to ease the tight metal band encircling my chest.
I’ve got places I could go, but I haven’t the strength, emotionally and physically, to get myself gathered up in order to successfully relocate. And the cats. All those fucking cats. What’s to become of the cats? I can’t do it. I can’t leave.
Clearly, I simply haven’t enough faith in God. I’ve rejected Jesus. That is at the root of it. That is the greatest sin, and the one for which I suffer in this life and when I die, am condemned to suffer eternal conscious torment. I’m not strong enough to resist that whole notion today. If that’s my destiny, so be it.
All I know for certain is that I’ve most certainly done my best. Maybe it does not appear that way to others, but I know it in my own heart, through and through.
Sometimes, my best simply isn’t enough.
I think about dying every day I've been told that that's a little strange, yeah But I guess I've always been a little strange Another reason why I work like a motherfucker
I talk to God every single day Devils need Jesus more than someone with a halo Walk around with warpaint on my face Another reason why I work like a motherfucker
If tomorrow doesn't come, I got my guns loaded For the fight, I'll take an eye out, take it high If my days are almost done and I'm the one going I'll be alright, I'll be alright, well no-
Nobody's gonna say I didn't give it all (ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, yaaa) Tiptoeing on the cliffs I think its worth the fall (ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, yaaa) If I get there and my tank's on E, then I'll be OK Destinations like it's about the journey anyway Nobody's gonna say I didn't give it all (ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, yaaa)
I think about dying every day (he said) Fuck a 9 to 5 I'm 8 to faint (yeah) Since somebody's got it worse I don't complain Another reason why I work like a motherfucker
If tomorrow doesn't come, I got my guns loaded For the fight, I'll take an eye out, take it high If my days are almost done and I'm the one going I'll be alright, I'll be alright 'cause
Nobody's gonna say I didn't give it all (ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, yaaa) Tiptoeing on the cliffs, I think its worth the fall (ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, yaaa) If I get there and my tank's on E, then I'll be OK Destinations like it's about the journey anyway Nobody's gonna say I didn't give it all (ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, yaaa)
My daddy came from nothing So I gotta make this something Worth the nights that he stayed up fighting My momma came from nothing So I gotta make this something Worth the nights that she stayed up crying I could bet it all on me I could bet it all on me I could bet it all on me Have some heart and Work like a motherfucker Work like a motherfucker
Nobody's gonna say I didn't give it all (ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, yaaa) Tiptoeing on the cliffs, I think its worth the fall (ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, yaaa)
Bendito es el fruto de tu vientre, Jesús Santa María, Madre de Dios por nosotros, pecadores Ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte Amén
Songwriters: Timothy Suby / Jesse Reyez