Some family hold you up when you tumble. Some family drain you emotionally like a ganon of leeches.
It is almost a year since brother-in-law passed on and we are still to-ing and fro-ing between legal and financial people, trying to finalize the estate. This means a lot of contact with B’s family by blood and mine in law – a whole lot more than the usual once in a blue moon. I knew having to listen to their lies and see the squalor in which they thrive, is taking a lot out of B, stacking onto the load of depression she already carries, but I did not realize just how much.
So, last Thursday B had an appointment with her therapist. She took home her whole file of 10 years – against his will – and told him she was done with him. He texted me afterwards and told me how concerned he was by her evasive answers and action and asked me to be vigilant. B apparently planned to only tell me later that she took the file. She could not explain why she took it home, just said that she would manage on her own from then on.
I was flattened. She seemed to be coping well – and then this. I took off the next day, Friday, to talk to her and spend some time together. She still could or would not tell me why she took the file and why she thinks she does not need the therapist any more. I tried with kid gloves to get her to open up during the whole weekend, but to no avail.
By Sunday night I was pooped. I went to work on Monday, worried and tense, a migraine starting and building up to a tsunami. I crashed that evening and stayed off work for two days. I still was not comfortable going to work and leaving B, but she went back to the therapist and returned the file. Apparently they came to some sort of an agreement – he will assist in getting the Department of Social Development, or as we know it, Welfare, to help out with the family’s budgeting and spending their money on food and essentials. Good luck to them – these are people who want to sign up for satellite TV when they barely have money for a loaf of bread.
I cannot handle it when B shuts down and leaves me guessing. I had experienced two suicide attempts by her over the years, once when she stopped taking her medication abruptly and turned catatonic, once when she tried to OD – fortunately on SSRIs – anti-depressants that are not fatal in an overdose.
I need to shut down my emotions to find my inner fortress of silence, peace and strength. At this stage the strength evades me. My care-giving tank is running on empty. And yeah, I know, “The only way out is through.”
“Oh, it took three hundred days
For the timber to be raised
And the silhouette was seen for miles around
And the gables reached as high
As the eagles in the sky
But it only took one night to bring it down —
When Darby’s castle tumbled to the ground.”
~ Darby’s Castle – Kris Kristofferson