Monday, January 30, 2012

Where Did This Come From?

I'm doing something a little different today. 

I'm winging it.

Usually, I try to write about a current situation or something inspirational or something amusing (like slipping Robert a veggie burger). 

Tonight . . . I don't know what's wrong with me so I'm just writing.  I was reading some posts from other caregivers and feeling very sappy and then started to cry.  I haven't cried in ages and actually started to think there might be something wrong with me.  I mean, when my dad died I thought I would eventually have a day of crying at some random, inopportune time, but that never happened.  Had I somehow hardened myself so much that I can no longer cry?  What happens to a person's tear ducts if they don't cry every now and then?  Do they seal up from lack of use? 

So, what's going on with me?  I had a productive weekend working on a project near and dear to my heart but I was pretty frustrated with Robert this weekend.   I want to make his life a bit easier but I don't want him to be so dependent on me and my husband that it's harmful to him.  He's used to stopping by Starbucks with me after I pick him for the weekend and we get a Chai tea for me, a regular ice tea for hubby and chocolate creme Frappuccino for him.  Before we even made it to the car this weekend, he asked if we were getting a chocolate shake.  It kind of bugged me because what started out as a "treat" is now something he's come to expect.  I told him we can't get that every single time I pick him up. 

"Why not?" he asked.  Well . . . because, we just can't, that's why.

Later in the weekend, he wanted me to hand him his pajama bottoms.   They were in the hallway on his walker, just outside the bathroom.  I was in a whole other room but close enough to listen for him if he had a problem. 

He asked me to hand him his pj bottoms. 

I'm in the other room.

I told him he could get them and he said, "but I'm sitting down."  Well, so am I and I'M IN THE OTHER ROOM! (Don't worry, I didn't actually yell at him).  He pondered this dilemma and then got his own pj bottoms but I don't think he was very happy about it.  I want to make his life easier (like by helping make sure he wears clean clothes or buying him shirts that close with Velcro instead of buttons) but I don't want him to be too dependent if it's not necessary.

I don't want to be taken advantage of, I guess.

Today, I had a crappy day at work.  It's been stressful at work because this is my busy season (reviews, budget, etc.) and there are just days that are tougher than others (or maybe it's just they all build up or maybe it's because I enjoyed the writing project so much this weekend and "day job" was a stark contrast to that). 

Aside from that, my mother-in-law went in for a heart procedure today (she's fine) and didn't think I was stressed about that but its possible thinking about her may have added to my doldrums.

Plus, Wayward Son is leaving in one week for Air Force boot camp.  His going away party is this weekend but then he's leaving next Monday.  He's certainly not doing anything lately to make me miss him (staying up all night playing video games, waking me up in the middle of the night as he forages in the kitchen, grunting greetings instead of using actual words).  As irritated as I am with him, maybe the thought of him leaving is bugging me too (although I'm really looking forward to using his closet).

Who knows.

All I know is I'm just down in the dumps and find myself with wet eyes at my keyboard.

I guess my tear ducts work after all.


Other Brother said...

Somebody could use a chocolate shake. And it isn't Rob!

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Haha! The cure all for everything. :-) I'm better this morning so we'll see about that chocolate shake.

Leslie Hammer said...

It's called being human, my dear. And haven't we all been there? So busy taking care of things (or in my case, handling things with humor) that it takes that one last irritation/stress/bit of bad news to push us over the edge. Glad your tear ducts are in working order now. {{{{{{}}}}}}

June Sockol said...

Life is full of so much stress but add being a caregiving on top of it, you're going to have a bad day once in awhile!

I can completely understand wanting to help Robert but not have him be completely dependent on you. I do the same thing with Garrett. Yes, he's still a child but he really is capable of doing a lot.

I think sometimes it just builds up and it gets to a point where we just have to let it out. I've had my days curled up crying. I think you feel better today because you did let it out yesterday.

It's ok to show you're human :)

Cindy said...

You 'wing it' VERY well! I could definitely relate to his entry. My tear ducts rarely work either... it seems like everything will come unglued if you allow any of that grief and loss and fear out ... if the dam breaks what may come then?! lol... not true of course, we need to acknowledge all those things and let those tears out.

Sending love and hugs to you.... it sounds like you have a lot of straw on the camel's back... take a moment for you. <3

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Cindy, I am so appreciative of your support, especially from someone who carries a lot of straw herself. :-) We're in this together!

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

June, You do understand what I mean! Robert is very much like a child in that he will let me do everything for him or come to expect things as routine that are instead meant to be treats. Obviously, keeping him safe (which involves what a friend calls "shadowing") is necessary but letting him do things he's capable of doing helps encourage independence (as you know with Garrett). I always love hearing from you -- hope you are well!

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Leslie, It is amazing how much we can handle (and you're right, with humor too!) but sometimes those tear ducts seem to have a mind of their own! Happy to know they're working. It was just a test . . . :-)

Heidi Alberti & Atticus Uncensored said...

oh, you poor kitten! I think it's healthy that you had yourself a good cry. You take on SO much responsibility and are such a woman of action that it makes sense you would need time for a mini-meltdown.

I say just ride this wave and take a little "Trish private time" to regroup. If you need private time with a lunch partner, you know who to call!! :)

Take care -
Heidi & Atticus
"commentary to give you paws..."

Jenn said...

I have plenty chocolate, tissues and an unlimited supply of hugs available at all times on the first floor.

Unknown said...

Frustration hits the best of us. It passes and we move on. We know this but when it hits it hurts. Chin up! Shoulders back! Forward Ho!!!

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

So true, Bill! You know me, I rebound quickly and am much better now. Thanks for the pep talk!

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Jenn, You're too sweet. Thanks for your support and, of course, the chocolate. :-)

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Heidi, I should be unburied any day now! (Famouse last words . . .). I am definitely doing better and back to "action." We'll do lunch soon!

keepupweb said...

We all need a good cry now and then and we all need to treat ourselves to some time away or a chocolaty treat. You do an amazing job of handling everything in your life and I think you're absolutely right in thinking that you don't want Robert to become too dependent on you and your husband. I'm glad you're feeling better now. BTW - this time of the year tends to make a lot of us susceptible to feeling blue.

Judy, The Reflective Writer said...

I love this post, Tricia! You are drawing back the curtain a bit on another part of being a caregiver--the part where you want to yell and cry and make sure you are not being taken advantage of. Completely legitimate!

I have gone through periods where crying is hard, and I don't think that's good for any of us. We need those tears.

Everyone in life needs boundaries--the caregivers and care receivers included. Parents of young children with disabilities often have trouble setting limits, and they see the problems that ensue. You are giving Robert a gift by not catering to every possible whim or desire. Learning to live with the limits and realities of life is part of human growth.

Hope you are feeling better and that you got whatever treats you wanted as well!

Judy Stone-Goldman
The Reflective Writer
Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Judy, Your insight is so spot on! Everyone does need to set boundaries and to recognize boundaries. I am feeling better, stress is falling away as projects and events are completed. I need to catch up on your life, now!

Franziska San Pedro said...

Hi Trish,

you deserve a good cry! It is absolutely normal what you are going through and I feel with you. Something is blocking you and it needs to get out. I am actually glad that tears are running because it is a good sign that you are starting to deal with yourself.
When you are taking care of others all the time you stop taking care of yourself and your needs. The tears are telling you to stop and get back in balance (because when you cry, you can't do anything else... you have to listen to yourself!).

Think about what you need. What feels good to you (and only you, nobody else involved), what would you like to have more time for?
I can sooo relate!!! I am the same type like you -we are the go-to persons for anyone's advice and help because we are always strong and seem to be able to carry more than others (and we always have a solution for everything!).

Take some time for yourself and find out what you need. Much love and many hugs

Unknown said...

Nothing is at all wrong with you, silly. These things happen. Frustrations pile up and things at work don't go smoothly and before you know it you're feeling like pulling your hair out or punching someone in the face. I think it's great that you can share how you're feeling. Not everyone has that quality. Since my dad died, I often get reminded of him and sometimes I laugh and sometimes I get really sad. So I relate.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Dennis, Your comment made me smile. You're right that frustrations and stress is so normal and, as you've experienced, soemtimes you don't know when it will hit or how you will react! I'm sorry you lost your dad. You've written about him in bits and pieces and I'd love to hear more about him. Maybe you could work it into one of your design blogs! :-)

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Franziska, Your comment was a great big hug for me! You are such a warm and compassionate person and so empathetic. I really appreciate your friendship and your kindness. "Balance" has been a theme that keeps popping up lately so I think the universe may be telling me something.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Sherryl, I thought I had responded to you but I don't see my own comment! Sorry about that. You are so right about this time of year. It's the lull after the holidays and the weather is gloomy (well, usually -- we've had an unusually mild winter this year). Things are on the upswing and I agree that it's good to make Robert not quite so dependent on us. I think he benefits when he feels more useful, too.