I woke this morning a bit tired. When I walked to the bus, I was a bit chillier than the air around me, like I was getting sick. On the bus ride I felt queasy, a bit shaky, but I was able to suppress the feeling and I made it to work relatively OK. Now I have a few hours before work starts and I’m not feeling my best.
I don’t think I’m coming down with anything, but that’s me trying to put a brave face on things. I’m here. I don’t want to let my work mates down, so I’m going to plow ahead and hope I muster through the day.
The truth is I don’t want to stay at home because when I’m home it’s quiet and I start thinking about my parents. It’s an emotional roller coaster right now with them. My father is sick and it’s putting a strain on my mother. Like we always do, we’re not discussing the fear and concerns we have right now. We mask our concerns, say the things we need to say for the moment and we aren’t honest about our feelings.
OK, I really can’t say what my parents are thinking, but I know them enough to know the pattern. My mom is denying and not wanting to deal with the strain the care of my father is putting on her. My father doesn’t feel like he’s the breadwinner, the protector and provider anymore and he’s lashing out in his darkly sarcastic way.
I’m sitting on the sidelines looking at them and wondering what my future is going to hold for me. When my parents are gone, I’m the only one left. I have no significant other, no children. My only companion is a stubborn cat. Part of me questions some decisions I’ve made, wondering if I should have strived harder for the dream my parents had of me with a normal life of a partner and children. Then, I get people at work sharing about their relationship struggles and I think, why would I want to put up with it?
See, I just haven’t been motivated to think about politics, social injustice and other topics. One day, my mother calls me to say my father is in the hospital and gives me a dire diagnosis of his condition. Hours or days later, she calls up and everything is OK, other than my father’s complaining. There are weeks when I can ignore the sea change of emotions because it’s so familiar. Other weeks, I hear the reports and I can barely function. But I have to forge ahead. I can’t afford to regress to an emotional blob. I have to work and I can’t take off a day to wallow in self-pity.