When I’m under pressure and not well mentally, I panic and make HUGE, often life-altering DECISIONS. Usually on an email so there’s evidence after I’ve calmed down that I’ve lost my damn mind and should NOT have made any decisions.
I’m pretty stupid so I make the same mistakes over and over.
Today I struggled with the physical symptoms of depression and anxiety. My breathing was shallow, I couldn’t seem to take a breath and calm down. My body shook. I felt physically sick. Vomit kept rising in my throat and I would gulp it back down. I was panicking and stressed out and it was making me dizzy whenever I moved my head. My legs felt weighed down by bricks.
Mentally, I was drowning. I kept thinking the same thoughts that went around and around in a painful loop:
I need to stand up for myself and tell Jay that our tiny home can’t comfortably accommodate Mom. It should be that simple.
Mom messaged she is so excited to see me. I am not excited, I’m scared, angry, jipped, frustrated, hurting and anxious. I’d like some time to figure this out BEFORE I meet with Mom…but I didn’t tell her that. Instead I made dinner plans for Thursday night.
I’m descending into madness and I need to slow down, take time out and really consider my next steps carefully.
Around and around they went.
I love Jesus, so I’m not a very “new age” or “Spiritual” person in the sense that I don’t buy into “energies” or “shakras” or “the universe” or God forbid “manifesting” (vomit) but one thing that’s always stayed with me was that my old psychologist “George” would tell me in times of distress to sit quietly on my own and “listen to what your wise mind is saying”. At first, I blew it off “Pfft. Whatever, George” but as the years went by, I was able to try it and my “wise mind” is the voice of my intuition and the tiny part of my broken brain that still makes sense. Listening to it helps me understand what it is I truly want and need in any given situation.
When I wrote earlier about what I’d say if ever I was allowed to by my brother – who rules over myself and my Mom with a pretty heavy hand – it really resonated with me as my truth.
Mom can’t live indefinitely with us.
I’m not ready right now to see Mom.
I am only letting Mom move in with us because I’m trying desperately to get Jay’s approval. And keep Mom happy. And in some weird way, honour my Dad.
I was convinced that by putting Alun and I through intense, long-lasting discomfort and unease by having Mom move in – that I would be making everyone else happy.
But what did I want?
I wanted to be left alone.
In typical Janet fashion, I sent off the below message to Mom:
Once I hit send, my anxiety sky-rocketed.
My depression increased a hundred fold.
I was stumbling over my words at work and having to apologise to hundreds of callers because I was so anxious and afraid of what my message to my Mom would create that I couldn’t get my professional greeting out when I answered the phone and my hands were shaking so badly, I couldn’t control my mouse or type.
What have I done?
Now Mom will be angry. Jay will get angry. They’ll both hate me and from previous experience with my brother, he’ll be loading up some especially hurtful weapons against me and will be coming at me with the rage of 1000 suns.
I sat with that fear in the bottom of my stomach for 5 long hours.
Then I heard it.
My “wise mind” said in a calm, clear voice:
I was so taken aback by those words, I literally stopped in the middle of typing and just listened.
“So what?” I heard it again.
Like a thunderbolt, those words tore a thick veil from my eyes and for just a moment, I saw my situation for what it was.
I was scared because of the message I sent to Mom. I was bracing for impact and I was frightened about the unknown but expected fierce attack that was surely on it’s way from my brother.
But…my wise mind challenged that.
So what if Jay hates you? He has for 10 years, JD. It’s nothing you haven’t already experienced and here you are…a survivor. There is nothing Jay can do to hurt you any more than he already has.
So what if Mom gets angry? She’s been LIVID at me before and if she’s going to get pissed off that you can’t race to see her when she wants, that’s ok. The worst Mom can do is shout or ignore me. I’ve had that before and I survived it.
Jay has already killed me.
The best thing about being “rubbed out” (am I even using the right term? I mean ignored in so much profound depth and stubbornness by my only sibling that he’s virtually thought of me as dead to him and there I’ve remained) is that it’s already happened.
Jay can’t kill me twice.
So I’m NOT going to allow Mom to move in because quite frankly we don’t have the resources. If that makes Jay angry…then so be it.
I’m not going to alter my life to race around after Mom…I’ll see her when I’M ready.
Whatever happens from here on in, Alun will still love me, my friends will still care about me…and I’ll be OK.