Friday, September 2, 2016

Vacation Time with My Parents

I've been busy this week packing for our vacation.  We are shoving off for a couple of weeks to the UK.  Yes, I am going to have to deal with my parents, who are both in a bad way with their health and finances, while I am visiting.

I have lost a bit of weight - 15 pounds to be exact.  I'm doing pretty well :)  I conquered my hoarding, conquered my overspending ... and now I'm conquering my overeating.  I keep losing and gaining the same 30 pounds but I am resolved to stop this yo-yo behavior once and for all.

We have some trips planned while we are there, which will not involve my parents because they are literally unable to leave the house.  I will be visiting with old school friends and family I haven't seen for a few years and I will be taking some side trips to London and here and there around the countryside.  Can't wait to see my old mates.

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I used to blog a lot about my friction filled relationship with my father because that is where I know the seeds of my destructive and addictive behaviors were sown, right there in very early childhood.  I used to live with the sort of abuse that gets people put behind bars today and I lived with it for years.  If I wanted to talk about my childhood in a sense of opportunity cost, I would say without a doubt that the scars from my childhood have cost me plenty of opportunities during my lifetime.  My parents were not well educated and, for years, I lived with the sort of stunted ignorance that comes from the 'we can't afford it' mindset.  There was no attitude of abundance, only of poverty.  That is very damaging to a child's psyche.  There is much that I haven't done and much that I still fail to do ~ but at least I have now allowed myself to be aware of my situation and, as a result, I have made some big improvements to my life and the lives around me.  I accept that I will never be the 'mover and shaker' I might've been.  My children are doing plenty of that on my behalf and it's well enough.

I suffered for years with major anxiety issues that went unaddressed because, to me, my life was 'normal'.  Everyone must've had an upbringing like mine, or so I thought.  It was painful to discover that my belief wasn't necessarily the case.  I didn't really know what constituted a happy family. I suppressed turbulent emotions until I would break out in hives and I would shut down in dread at the first inkling of conflict.  As a result, in my younger years, I just couldn't handle any type of job stress or negative vibes from co-workers.  My inability to function properly cost me jobs and promotions.  I preferred to blend into the background, to not attract attention to myself.  I'm still very much like that.

I'm wading back on to that battlefield next week but my father, the lion, has been hobbled.  His roars no longer scare me and I see him for what he is: older, weaker and somewhat cowed.  I can handle him easily now.  I am more concerned about my mother, whose health has been deteriorating for years with nothing and no one to stop the slide.  It may be too late for her now but I intend to help her as much as I possibly can while I am in the UK.  I'm going to listen to her needs and wants and try to find a middle ground that works with her and my father.  He insists on living in a large house with a very big garden that needs a lot of rehabilitation, but my mother wants something small, modern, confined.  They are both too physically limited now to deal with this sort of 'roughing it' habitation and my father must realize this fact.  He is frequently deluded and unwilling to face real life.

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Very often, we have to forgive those who trespass against us because, if we don't, we end up losing even more than we've lost already.  I have reached an age and a stage in my life that has caused me to realize that I do not need to hang on to these hurt feelings forever.  In order to grow, I must let those feelings go.  I have really worked on accomplishing the state of mind that I am currently enjoying.  It hasn't been easy, sometimes it has been extremely difficult when that depressive cloud lowers itself over me for a spell, but those spells are few and far between nowadays.  We are making progress.