For those of you who have read my past posts about my sza sister that I try to stay connected with, this is my bump in the road today.
I had a total meltdown yesterday at her house and today on the phone with her. I work very hard to never do that and I guess sometimes it feels impossible to contain the bomb of emotions I suppress when I’m with her.
I try to implement what I learn from therapy, breathing and visualizing and focusing on the positive, yesterday and this morning it felt like a runaway cart careening down a steep hill.
It started because I broke my own rule and I went into her kitchen, I promised myself I wouldn’t but she mentioned a pan she had that the lid was broken and I was trying to fix it and one thing lead to another and I did the unthinkable and looked in her fridge and freezer and the amount of spoiled and improperly stored food just blew me away. In years gone by the first thing I would do is purge her kitchen because it was always full of rotten, outdated things that she would say, oh that’s still perfectly good! Anyway always a source of contention. I vowed not to do it this go around with her and yet I did.
I threw out an entire garbage can of bad food out of her freezer before she stopped me at the produce bins at the bottom. She keeps repeating over and over again how everything is fine, she’s fine, she plans to do this, she plans to do that, she just can’t do anything right now because she is soooooo busy cleaning… Cleaning, cleaning!!
She says this at least 3 dozen times every time I see her. Her apartment is never really clean, there’s no evidence she does anything other than sleep and rearrange small random items, and “cook” mystery meals that smell truly horrible.
On a typical visit, I smile, hug her, tell her repeatedly how much I love her and I’m here for her and mentally control my reactions, facial expressions and responses to everything she says, just nodding and smiling and keeping very quiet.
Yesterday, I unexpectedly imploded or exploded or both, I believe I was triggered very profoundly.
We did manage to end that visit peacefully as I apologized even though I had nothing really to apologize for except being a human being with feelings and I encouraged her to call me today as I felt like I would be “over it” by today. She surprisingly called me before I even woke up and I answered the phone kind of automatically, my big mistake!
I should never do that, talk on the phone especially to my sister when I’m half asleep.
She went right into a caffeine fueled monologue of how her fridge was so perfect now and everything is clean and perfect and she’s going to do this and that and on and on, but she has no time or money right now because she has to Clean, and pray and clean and smoke pot. I have no problem with anyone praying, trust me I don’t. She talks about praying like it’s an Olympic sport, that takes ever minute of every day and leaves her tired and exhausted and she would deny that but that’s how she is. She talks so fast, so much and with so much repetition that it starts to sound like a loud hum in my head after awhile but it’s maddening to me.
All of it except the pot smoking feels very delusional to me. I see where she lives and how she lives and I see her very realty. She seems oblivious to it and yet I feel like somewhere deep down she has a buried clue.
I understand she’s ill and unmedicated and she is unwilling to get help or listen to any advice.
I still love her though, for reasons I don’t even understand right now. I want better for her so badly it pains me.
I burst into tears on the phone with her this morning, it felt like the dam in my brain just burst. I couldn’t stop it. That type of reaction is damaging to people like her or my son and I am usually very good at controlling it. The last time this happened was probably 5 years ago. I just had no control at that moment. Through my tears I just tried to say give me time please can we talk on another day.
She said okay and hung up but that might or might not be the last time I hear from her. I never know for sure.
My hope by sharing my story today is that I can shake off these bad couple incidents off just enough to try enjoy this rare sunny and warmer winter day with my son, who is still doing very well. I’m so grateful.
For the most part I am exceptionally strong and resilient, this is a true fact, it is also a true fact that I am only one unprocessed stressful trigger away from a emotional tsunami. It’s a hard pill to swallow.