My 2017 Strategy: Save My Sanity

Denise

My 2017 Strategy: Save My Sanity

Denise
My parents and I had a rough 2016.

While they recovered from their series of health crises in 2015, they moved into a different kind of crises: self-created. And, they took me along for the rides.

Or, rather, I let them take me along for the ride.

I went on another ride with my mom this morning. On Friday, my mom told me she scheduled a visit with my cousins for tomorrow. These declarations make me crazy because the expectation is that I will be there. My mom will not ask whether or not these get-togethers are convenient for me. She just expects me to show up.

For the millionth time, I explained to my mom today that I get upset when I'm not asked. And, for the millionth time, our conversation got us nowhere.

So, for the first time, I finally figured out I engage my mom in a drama which wastes our time. Going forward, I'm available to attend. Or not. And, that's it. When my mom tells me about a get-together, I can simply say, "Great! I'll be there!" or "Darn it! I can't make it. Give them my best."

Earlier this week, I went on a trip with my dad. My parents sold their home and now focus on removing the remaining contents of the house. I am one of the remaining contents which my parents would love to box up and ship off well before the February 1 closing date. I have to have a place to land, though, and that place remains a mystery.

On Monday, the day after Christmas, my dad arrived to clean out the garage, which meant he and Kevin, the nice guy who also shovels the driveway, moved junk from the garage to the curb. "No one will pick up that junk, Dad," I said. "Let's call a service like 1-800-GOT-JUNK."

"Oh, that stuff will go," he said.

On Tuesday, when neither the garbage men nor the treasure hunters collected the junk, my dad had my nephews returned some to the garage. I brought the rest back to the yard on Friday after I said to my mom, "I told you no one would take that junk!" It doesn't matter, though, because I still have to deal with the junk.

My parents had returned on Tuesday to move my boxes out of the cubby holes (our storage) even though I have nowhere to put these boxes. So, they sit stacked, now my partners in the uncertainty of our fates. During this visit, my father lost his footing in the cubby hole, banged his head (his very delicate head since his plastic surgery after the skin cancer removal) and drew blood. I get so angry that my parents continue to put their health at risk. I get so irritated about my parents' visits, which never include a question as to their convenience, which interrupt my planned work.

And, yet, my anger and my frustration hurt me the most.

My parents can't be other than who they are. My explanations about my feelings, my requests for different, my attempts to get them to understand their impact on me will not change my frustration. So, I have to change my response to remove the frustration.

Seems so simple. Unfortunately, this insight simply eluded me in 2016.

Thank goodness, though, I gave myself an opportunity for a change.

When I change, I remove the tug-of-war which happens between me and my parents. When I simply let go and move on, I don't become the drama queen stomping my feet demanding two who can't hear listen. I've been in a war to change my parents with myself.

I need to rest my sword. I'm ruining my relationship with them and with my days.

I'm saving my sanity. I'm letting go at the same time I decide I can embrace my own choice.

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5 Comments

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Desiree

Bravo!!!!!

jan

One amazing benefit (of many benefits) of this website is our sharing with each other when the sky opens up and we get that clarity sun-bolt straight into our hearts and minds. The other amazing benefit (of many benefits) is our resilience, over and over, to recognize those clarity moments, and each moment is as important as the next.\r\nThank you for showing us what the Good Fight looks like.

frogger16

Sounds like 2016 ended good in the sense of renduring you a healthy insight to implement in 2017.\r\nA change can be a challenge at 1st, but its doable & will become second nature with practice....You will do it and reap the rewards!

Jean

Good for you! May 2017 unfold giving you smooth transitions... you deserve them. I wholeheartly agree with your direction with your parents... I know easier said than always done, but you go girl! Hugs