Just who do you think has been doing it all?!
Time For Intervention
After my breakdown at church, My bishop called me into his office to talk. I explained how things were going at home. How “we” and become “me” and how overwhelmed and frustrated I was feeling. He offered to come talk to us all together.
When the bishop came to the house, the first thing my mother said was, “It’s just [Ox] being dramatic. It’s not as bad as she thinks.” I felt like she had just stabbed me in the back. I had been killing myself trying to keep things going. Bishop sat down and made assignments to divide what needed to be done more evenly. He asked if I was okay with it. My response: “If they do what they say they will.” Not the response he was looking for.
Mom’s Being Unrealistic
My mother was angry and felt insulted. Who did the Bishop think he was to come into her home and make assignments like that. She understood he was just trying to help but he had not even talked to her.
It took me two weeks to help my mother understand. She just knew that I was being overly sensitive and dramatic. If it was her she’d have done it. She always had. Apparently she was stronger and better than me. I just felt sad and hurt.
I let my mother stew on it for a few days. I didn’t even go up before bed for “our time.” Finally I went up and we talked. I had to ask my mom some hard questions.
- If she couldn’t even do the few things she had volunteered to do, how could she expect to carry the whole load? After some reality conversation she had to admit that she could not at this time in her life.
- Had she had time to grieve and rest without extra demands on her? Mom admitted that she had. “I did that,” I told her. She admitted that I had made that possible.
- Had my sister had 3 months to grieve and rest? Yes, she had. Again, “I did that.” Again my mother admitted that I had provided that opportunity for my sister.
Reality Checks Are Often Unpleasant
After these questions were answered my mother and I were able to really talk about why I felt the way I did. I had to point out some very unpleasant things that she didn’t want to acknowledge, but did in the end.
She had lied to me for the first time in my life. Mom, “No!” Me, “Yes. When you say one thing and do another it is the same as a lie.” She had taught me that. That was a hard pill for her to swallow. We then talked about how the extra things I was doing that were supposed to have been a trade with my sister and that it had been “conveniently” ignored.
Mom said that if it was too much I shouldn’t have done it. I laughed and said, sarcastically, “Yeah, right.” I then told her about all the complaining that she and my sister had been doing. How it had gotten so bad and I had gotten so frustrated with things not getting done that I had done as many as I could. The end result was what we were now dealing with.
All I Had Needed Was Help
All I had asked for was help. Help in any form. Cooking, dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, etc. Things that would not have been taxing on my sister and her poor health. Also, she was not the only one who was overly tired, grieving and physically ill. Now, it was too little and almost too late.
What I Didn’t Say
This is something I wondered by couldn’t bring myself to ask my mother and I don’t know if I ever will. (Thank goodness she doesn’t read this.) Why were you willing to sacrifice me for my sister? She may not have seen it that way, but that is definitely how it felt. I was just as tired, grieving just as much and was having stress related health issues too. I also had a 12-year-old daughter to help through the grieving process. My therapist was wanting to put me in the hospital.