Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Clarity has arrived...for the time being

Sometimes I don't write because what I'm feeling or going through is intensely personal. Too personal to share, especially on a blog. If I need to share, I usually do with a few select friends in an email or conversation. I've been doing that a lot over the past few days. I had some insights and realizations over the weekend after having an appointment with one of my more spiritual advisers. I won't go into all we talked about, thus the preface in this entry. However, I will share some insights.

As I've stated recently, I've been feeling in limbo...caught between two places and not wanting to give up either. These two places consisted of two physical spaces as well as two distinct roles. The physical spaces, as you know, consist of my condo and Debra's house. Should I move in now or later...after, after? Should I keep going between two places...living in limbo? Should I figure out a happy medium that works for all of us? The two roles that I've been playing are clear, too. Caretaker of Sofie and caregiver to Debra. Both roles, even on the best of days are exhausting. Throw into the mix that I have a full time job that I'm skating on thin ice on and that just adds to the strife I sometimes feel.

As someone who tends to nurture by nature, the caregiver and caretaker roles are fulfilling and make me feel useful in a rotten situation. With that said, one important person is falling to the bottom of the to do list...ME!! To some, that may sound selfish. However if you really think about it, I need to take better care of me in order to better care for my family. Taking better care of me involves simple things like eating better, moving more and keeping tabs on my core feelings. Currently, exhaustion is a core feeling I'm having. Okay, I realize exhaustion isn't really a feeling...however it is effecting how I am in the world. So to work on the exhaustion will involve dealing with some internal feelings. Finding my clarity and purpose for the next however long we have is important not only for me, but for Debra and Sofie, too.

One bit of clarity that I had this weekend...and have discussed at length with Debra...is the role that I'm really intended for. What I realized was I'm best being utilized by being a caregiver/mother to Sofie. That's not to say that I'm not going to be a caregiver to Debra...it just means I have to prioritize better and others will have to step in as this process continues. I trust that Debra has such a deep and wide circle of friends that she will want for nothing as time progresses. I can't, nor do I want to trust that the same will happen with Sofie. She's becoming my responsibility more and more and I need to focus on her to make sure she comes out on the other side of things feeling loved, supported and cared for.

The other bit of clarity was about moving in with Debra. I don't think that will best serve anyone...especially Sofie. As time progresses I think both Sofie and I will need a place to go for respite. What better place than my condo? A haven that is already familiar and safe for both of us. As Debra's disease progresses, she'll need more assistance for her daily living. In order for that to happen, there needs to be a place where those who are visiting and assisting to rest and find their own retreat. In a house with only one extra bedroom, that extra space should be reserved for those caring for Debra. I continue to spend most evenings at Debra's house, assisting with homework, bath and bedtime. I even stay and hang out with Debra once Sofie is snug in her bed. I'll continue to do that as long as it works for all of us. Unfortunately at some point, they'll need to be others stepping in to be with Debra while I concentrate more of my energy on Sofie and her well-being.

As I've always done, I trust that the universe will provide those people to be there for Debra...allowing me to fully focus on Sofie. She and I will have our own grieving, processing and moving through all of this. I know we'll get through it and be okay on the other side of things...I'm just not necessarily looking forward to some of that journey.


Rebecca said...

j - wish i were closer right now - i'd come nap with you.


Lora said...

hi there. oh. your post is so painful and so familiar to read.

my sister struggled with some of those very issues. living in this limbo land is really the worst part. well, the "after" is pretty bad too, but the "during"... it was bad. hang in there. all the things you're thinking about are right (imho). sofie always needs to know she comes first. my sister tried to do this as much as possible with her girls, and they are doing so well because of it. she is too. and that is what barry wanted too. I think it gave him so much peace to know that his children had a mom that knew this is the right thing.

I'm praying for you guys... big gigantor hug.