Friday, November 26, 2010

Nope, it has nothing to do with polar bears.

Well, I promised that I would post more about my Turkey Day stuff, and now that I have had both time to make up for the sleep lost because of it and time to think about it all I think I can finally write about it some.

I find it hard to explain to people the relationship between my mother and I. I know that I have said that plenty of times but unless I go off on a rant for an hour about all of the things she has done in my life to make me lose my mind or make me a depressed and nervous wreck people never really get to hear about it. It's harder and harder each time I write about it not to get very emotional because, while she does all these things I always forgive her. Sometimes too much so, in my opinion.

I always worry that people are going to look at me as though I am harsh or uncaring because of the way that I feel sometimes when it comes to her. Maybe they would be right, too. I worry about venting about it at all because of that exact reason... because the truth is that I get so upset because I care too much about her, which is why I keep going back for more.

My mother has bipolar disorder. Living and loving someone with this disease is harder and harder all the time. Sometimes, for weeks on end, she cares about nothing. She won't clean her house until she is living in unlivable conditions, she doesn't shower, she doesn't eat... she doesn't care. Then the other side of the pendulum; she dates recklessly, she makes up illnesses, she spends money she doesn't have... she doesn't care and it is just as bad. Sure, there are times when she seems totally normal, and things seem great. Then it seems like out of nowhere, she swings into one extreme or another and I don't know where I stand anymore.

Reasoning with a person who has bipolar disorder when they are in a full swing is pointless, and yet I try anyway. Because of this, my mom and I fight a lot. About everything. When she gives me advice, I do the same as she does; disregard it. Because I don't have bipolar disorder myself, I find it hard to relate to her, to understand what she is going through, and to forgive her for the things she does. Because I don't have thid disease, I still hold her accountable for her actions and she thinks me unfair for that. I probably am. I am insensitive to this disease because no matter how many pamphlets she gives me, no matter how she tries to rationalize the things she does, no matter how she tries to convince me that this is a real disease, I just can't believe that a person doesn't have control over their own emotions at all.

Sometimes I think she overuses it as an excuse to do or not do things. I am not saying that it's not real, but I think she does tend to use it to her advantage at times, which will tie into Thanksgiving later on. When my mom is in when of the "valleys", as I like to call them, I will do everything I can to try and cheer her up or help her out, to the point of my own exhaustion. I have spent hours at a time cleaning a house that she hadn't touched, making sure she gets out of the house or into the shower, taking her where she needs to go, making sure she eats by going grocery shopping for her... I really do exhaust myself. I don't feel bad about it at the time, usually, unless it is expected of me every single time. It gets to the point where my brothers expect me to do everything for her because I have been the one to do it every time in the past and it just wears on me emotionally and spiritually.

Mom faked being "sick" this year on Thanksgiving because she had decided to have everyone over for Thanksgiving but forgot that that meant she would have to make sure her house was clean and that cooking was done and since she had put it off and put it off, the eve of Turkey Day came and she had a huge job on her hands. I refused to come and clean her house for her so she just gave up and passed it off on me instead. I had already invested money into the food for it, so she knew I would make sure that it got done.

After my show I had friends over at my place until about midnight, then decided to stay up and do whatever I felt like doing while the house was quiet. At about two in the morning, my mom called and told me she was too sick to do Thanksgiving. Rather than getting up early I decided to stay up, go get the turkey and fixings from her place, and get the kitchen ready for all the cooking I was about to do. Mostly it was just dishes left over from making dinner for my friends before the show, but it took me until about 4 a.m. to get everything in order for the next day. I lay there, thoughts racing about how I was going to get it all done, for another hour and a half. After cooking all I needed to cook, and getting no sleep because of all the cooking involved, I took it all to my brother's house (20 minutes away) so we could eat.

This afternoon I got a call from mom asking how it all went and, still insisting she was sick (oh yeah, *cough cough*) decides to tell me how horribly the last couple of days have been for her. Again, I had to be brisk and tell her that I have a lot going on in my own life right now. Sick or not, I still have to clean my house, and take care of the kids, and worry about bills, and try to take care of myself. She got angry with me. Because I "can't just let her vent". Well. Sorry.

Now I am venting, which I really don't want to do. I am sure that my readers have so much of their own things going on that my problems are more than even they need to deal with. I do apologize for that. Sometimes I forget that people even read this, as I see it more as a journal to myself. I have no secrets, so people that do read it are in no way violating something sacrosanct. I just appreciate the feedback when I get it. I appreciate my friends, who really are my backbone in life. They support me and make me feel stronger rather than helpless, like my mother does sometimes. I love that about them.

Trying to salvage this and end it on a positive note, going Black Friday shopping with my friend Laura was more fun than I expected it to be, and was much smoother than last year. Though we only ended up going to one store, we found a ton of deals and the girls will not want for anything this Christmas.

Laura, if you are reading this, you are an amazing friend. You're selfless and supportive, kind and generous, and one of my best friends. You know all you do, I just want you to know that I am thankful for it... more than you could ever know. One day I'll find a way to pay you back.

Have a fabulous night, readers. My love goes out to you all.


  1. Just know that you would have to vent a lot more then you do before it would even come close to over-balancing all the positive writing you do.

    I wonder if your mother and brothers realize how lucky they are to have you, and I hope you don't have to always do it all alone.

  2. What Steve said. And if you ever need to vent privately, you know how to reach me. I'm here for you.