Change can be scary

The past couple of weeks have been crazy and somewhat scary.

Things haven’t changed too much in what i have been used to doing, but the reasons i am doing what i am have changed.

2 weeks ago i began a paid Casual job. This is the first paid job i have had since 2002.
It isn’t too different to what i have been doing as a volunteer for the past two years, there are a few extra tasks involved, but nothing too scary.
Now i get to handle money more, take EFTPOS payments, be more involved in allergy alert and Gluten Free food orders.

I guess the scary thing is more those tasks which have to be learnt and remembered and then be able to be done automatically without much thought going into them. Things such as delivering staff lunches to the correct staff rooms.
There are close to 10 staff rooms and knowing which lunches have to be delivered to each room is daunting to someone who isn’t aware of the workplace layout/staffroom locations. It got so bad today when i was asked to deliver the lunches on my own that i actually had an anxiety attack. I felt so ashamed. I felt inadequate. I wished the world would just open up and make me disappear. But it didn’t. What did happen? I let it get to me and let it upset me. I tried not to, but i cried. I couldn’t keep the tears away. This made me feel even worse.
Thankfully my boss is understanding and pulled me aside for a quiet chat. I told her of my worries and she said i should not have been told to take the lunches on my own this early in, how i should have had at least a week or two experience, shadowing another staff member and getting used to what i should deliver and where.

On top of that, it didn’t help that i had so much more going on in my mind.
Stress, money issues, random negative thoughts… It all snowballed and made things seem so much worse than what they were.

I have also been sick for the past month or so. It turns out i have tonsillitis. Thankfully i was recently able to see my regular doctor who gave me stronger medicine and did some tests which i am hoping will let us know what exactly is wrong with me and if it is something bad, or if my body is just run down and weak at the moment and not able to fight off simple viruses and infections.

I just feel like going for a day trip… getting back to nature. My body and soul is craving that. Going somewhere to just watch the water, watch the wind blow the leaves about in a forest, to water water ripple and ants marching in a line.
I just need time to recharge again.

I feel that my batteries are depleted. They are completely flat and no matter what i do, it just isn’t enough to give it my all each day. I am not running at the best of my ability. I am struggling.

There you go, i said it. I’m struggling. I am finding it hard to cope. Hard to cope with work. Hard to cope with life. Hard to cope with the thoughts racing through my mind- most of those thoughts which are by no means helpful to me or those who i influence.

If you are reading this and realise you or someone you know is in a similar position. Please, please stop and take some time for yourself. Take time to regenerate your soul. If you are unable to to work to the best of your ability, to be the best you know you can be, it WILL come through in your work, in your art, it will show through in your actions, your words and those who know you, will wonder what is wrong.
Do not be too proud to admit you need time out, to admit you need time to recharge.

You are worth it.

How knowledge changes things.

Last night i decided to do a little bit of random googling…
I ended up googling my grandmother’s name and found out that her assets have been sorted out and divided up and given out to those stated in her will.

All my life both my grandparents said they would look after me every way they could.
When i became an adult, my Nan told me i would be fine once she was no longer with us. She said i wouldn’t have to worry too much.
Last night i found out the will had been changed the day after her 80th birthday.
Now some of the things she was telling me when i was caring for her is starting to make sense. I am thinking she may have been forced to change her will. There are 2 family members who would not have been happy with the original will she had written and they would have pressured her into changing it. They were always like that and they still are.
The two of them always backed each other up, but it was only one of them who seemed to do all the deciding and choosing what would happen and when. She warned me about a particular family member… to be careful of that person once she was gone.
I think this is what she was meaning.

I hope those who were in her will can live their lives with a bit less financial hardship. I know there are a couple of people who will be much better off now, as long as they look after the money and spend it wisely.
There is one in particular who doesn’t need any of it but i am sure they will waste it on holidays and other material possessions. Hopefully they will divide it up among their children or grandchildren? Maybe help them out by putting it towards education or a family home?

I’m not bitter. Slightly upset that she let someone else tell her how to live her life and what to do, but not bitter.

It’s not worth it. Those people aren’t worth it.

 

When you just can’t find the words…

I think the reality of Nan’s passing is starting to really sink in now.

I still reach out for a paper or some groceries to buy for her when i am out, then i have to stop and remind myself that it is no longer needed as she is no longer here.

I still think about picking up my phone to ring her and tell her about something that made me happy or proud but then realise she can’t be reached that way.

I am still quite numb, still very sad, although i don’t know if sad is the right word… I am relieved that she is now out of pain, but i guess it is still raw at times. There are so many “If only” situations. It is too late now. I can’t get her back.
I want to blame those relatives who have turned my entire family against me.
Almost 8 weeks have past and i now feel more lonely than what i have in years… I can’t ever remember feeling this lonely, this empty, this vulnerable.

My Mum does not contact me and if i ring her, she barely says a word then makes an excuse that she can’t talk and has to go and do something.

The family members who said they would keep in contact haven’t contacted me in weeks, over a month for most of them.
It hurts to not feel wanted by your own blood family.

I feel that life is really testing me at the moment. I don’t know what for, but i hope that if i make it through these tests, that there is something good for my family and i at the other end of this. I don’t know how much longer i can continue on like this though, some days i really wish i could just disappear, just vanish into thin air, to just cease existing.

I know it is selfish of me though to think like that. I am told i should think towards the future more, stop moping around and such.

I personally don’t feel i am moping around, but i do feel that i am numb a lot of the time. It’s not sadness as such, i don’t sleep all day or cry uncontrollably, i just find it hard to think straight and function properly at times.

I plan so much in my head. Little things i could do to make myself happier, things i can do to feel better, even if it’s just for an hour or so. Things i would love to do.
But those things seldom become reality. They only seem to stay as thoughts and dreams inside my head.

I just wish there was a word to describe how i am feeling as it is sort of a mash of what i have just said, yet it isn’t any of those things… It is so hard to try and accurately explain.
If i can’t describe or explain it to myself, what hope do i have of telling someone else?

Roller Coasters and Tumble turns.

Oh boy oh boy oh boy what a past few days and weeks it has been.

I have been doing a lot of research on my biological father and have been in contact with a man who i believe to be my biological father’s brother. All the information i have fits exactly with this man i have been talking to and the information he has been sharing with me.
I am still being very careful though but i just have a gut feeling that i am on the right track. It will be interesting to see where things lead and if my Dad does want to eventually want to talk to or meet me in the future.
It’s still early days yet though, so i’m not going to count my chickens before they hatch.

 

On the flip side… i was talking to another family member yesterday and they told me my Mum mentioned that she and another sibling had been molested in their youth.
This was a HUGE shock to me. Mum wouldn’t say WHO it was that hurt her, but did say the same person hurt both her and her sibling.
I can’t believe that this would’ve happened to my Mum… why would someone feel the need to take advantage of someone like her?
I wish i knew who it was.
I have so many thoughts running through my mind, going through all the people who have been a part of my family’s lives for a long time, wondering if it was any of those people but i just don’t know.

I wish Mum trusted me enough to tell me about this herself. I would help her take things further so she could have some closure from the abuse she had to put up with.
She has every right to go to the police and report the abuse but i think she has been told to “forget about it and just get on with her life”.

That is so very wrong to say that and knowing she was told that makes me even more angrier and determined for her to be able to report the crime and bring the criminal to pay for what he did.

 

One thing which does quite concern me is ME.
I know i was conceived “by accident”… since finding out this latest piece of information, i can’t help but wonder if i was the result of her being molested or if the man i have been told is my Dad, is still actually my Dad?
Surely i wouldn’t be told a man was my Dad if he wasn’t by people who had no need to say such a lie?

The clock is ticking…

I heard from someone today that Nan was not in a very good way at all so i rang the hospital to see if they could give me any news.

I spoke to a lovely nurse who had read through the files and notes and knew what i had done and knew the predicament i was currently in.
She informed me that the priest had been called to see Nan and Nan’s condition has worsened quite a bit over the past 24hours.
She has been moved into a single bed room.

Now i just wait.
I wait for “the phone call”.
The call to inform me that my darling Nan has passed n, that she is now free and up there with her husband and our pets and other family members.

Without sounding horrible, i hope she passes soon.
However…
The greedy side of me wants her to stay here on Earth until my Mum can get to see her (hopefully tomorrow) and give her the two letters that Nan’s sister has written to her.
I was speaking to the nurse about the letters, saying if Nan is still with us, how i’d really appreciate it if a nurse/volunteer/social worker could read the two letters out to Nan. I know both Nan and her sister would really appreciate it. She said she would try and make that happen.

Until then…
the clock will continue to tick tock… tick tock… tick tock…

It’s getting close now…

I received two phone calls yesterday.
One from my Nan’s sister saying she had received a phone call saying that my Nan’s health has been deteriorating and that she is now needing strong painkillers at least every 2 hours; the second from another 2 relatives (via a “speaker phone chat”) letting me know that the cancer has now spread throughout Nan’s body, into not only more bones but also soft tissue and other organs. She has started hallucinating again, quite badly this time and is talking a lot of gibberish (possibly due to the pain relief she is on or maybe the hallucinations?).

No one could say how long she is expected to last for now, but i hope for her sake, that it isn’t too much longer as she has been saying she is ready to die for the past 5+ weeks.
I hate knowing that i have been threatened with violence by some family members if they find out i visit Nan. I don’t want them to think they have “won”, as they haven’t, i just don’t know if i want to see Nan now. In a way i do want to as i would love to have some “us time” to let her know how much i love her and just to be there with her for a little while but on the other hand, with what i have been told about her most recent health status and state of mind, i don’t think i do want to have this new memory of her. I think i would just prefer to remember her how i last saw her and moreso, about those weeks we spent together where i was able to be an extension of her and be able to care for her in between her hospital stays.

Although some people have tried to make these past few months hell for me, they have not won, nor will they get on top of me in the future.
I will not allow their childish ways to make me less of a human.
I will not let their immaturity get the better of me.

I know that what i have done for Nan over the past countless number of years (but mostly the past 2-3 years) will always be appreciated by Nan and also other family and friends who realise just how much i have actually done for her.

Most of all though, i feel so very lucky that i have spent a great deal of my life with Nan, having her to talk to whenever i wanted to, being able to have her as the first person i go to if i needed someone or if i wanted advice or needed to know how to do something.
Nan taught me so much about life, she taught me how to cook, how to clean, she taught me patience, perseverance, love, courage, she taught me to not judge a book by it’s cover, most importantly though- she taught me how to believe in myself.

 

Fluid Rocks

It sounds like it can’t be true, but that is how i would explain how i am feeling at the moment.

I feel like a rock as i have to be strong at the moment, i am trying my hardest to stay strong and not fall apart while constantly pulling myself together so i don’t fall apart in front of my children…
YET…
Fluid as i feel like i am falling apart, like i can’t contain myself. Like i can’t keep myself in one piece.
Like water in a broken glass, you can fill it up, but it will leak, water will spill out uncontrolled. I can’t seem to keep my feelings to myself. I know it is good to express oneself, but when all i can think of at the moment is negative emotions and feelings, i feel it is is a bad thing.

I have made contact with my psychologist again, for the first time this year and it was good to be able to talk freely without any judgement.
We have agreed to meet on a regular basis now with me being able to have impromptu sessions between our scheduled sessions if i feel i need them.

I scare myself knowing that i still have so much hatred within me. I am having flashbacks of moments in time from my childhood. Moments that i must have blocked out of my memory… until now.
Now they are coming back to haunt me. Coming back to taunt me and make me constantly question myself and everything i do.

I have allowed myself to empathise with those who have hurt me in recent weeks. I can understand why they are acting how they are. They are scared, they are hurting, unable to express how they are feeling for fear of not being taken seriously bu those who look up to them. I am sure that is why they are gossiping and spreading rumours about me and my family. Why they have turned my whole family against me. Every. Blood. Relative.

I have come to terms with my Nan being at the end of her life. I find it comforting knowing that she was able to see everyone she wanted to see and that she was able to do everything that she wanted to get done. Well, that’s what she told me, anyway.
I feel so very lucky to have been able to step into the role as her carer. I was an extension of her body. Doing things for her that she wasn’t able to do for herself.

I just want to feel at peace with myself but i don’t know where to start. I don’t know where to turn.

21st Century Brainwashing.

Unfortunately it does still exist.

The Uncle and Aunt who were treating me like rubbish have been brainwashing my Nan and the rest of my family over the past few weeks.

Out if at least 70 people (50 of them blood related), there is now only one person that i think i can believe and trust (apart from my husband).
All the others have been told not to trust me, they have been told that i am the cause of Nan’s ill health, that i am the reason why all the bad things have been happening to not only her, but to other family too.

Even my own mother no longer trusts me. To the point of where she was agreeable to letting her 2 bossy siblings change the locks so i no longer have access to what personal belongings i have left in my childhood bedroom.
I want to get the rest of my belongings out of the house and back here where i can go through it all and store what has to be stored.

I very much doubt Nan is even aware that her set of house keys no longer fit her door locks.

This is beyond a joke. It is disgusting that people can treat their own family like this.

I am glad that i am not one to listen to lies and take it as gospel. I know what the truth is. The truth will eventually come out and those who started the gossip and rumours will not know what to do or say once the rest of their family wake up to their tactics.

I am now happy that i spoke up for Nan when she needed me most. It has all fallen on deaf ears though as they have also brainwashed Nan. How two people could brainwash their own Mother at the end of her life is beyond comprehension, but it has happened.

I was able to see Nan one last time last week, but only for a few minutes.
The terror and fear in her eyes was heart-breaking. She kept asking “Are they still here?” and constantly repeated “You can only stay 5 minutes, you can’t be here more than 5 minutes. You’re just a grandchild, you can’t stay more than 5 minutes.”

It tore at my heart.
These words were not coming from my Nan. She would never say anything like that to ANY of her Grandkids, let alone me.
Someone has been putting those phrases into her head, someone has been saying something to her where she feels that saying those things will make things better for her.

I just wish i had hard evidence to prove it.

My Aunt and Uncle are now spoon feeding her in hospital. They are not even allowing her the chance to feed herself, they are simply shoveling food into her each meal time and telling her that if she eats up, she’ll get better.

I have been led to understand that the opposite is true. She should now be eating less as she is at the end-of-life stage. It is now time for her to listen to her body, just eat when she feels like it, rest and sleep if she wants to, just let things happen.
This is natural, It’s nothing to be scared of.
Why would the Palliative Care staff tell Nan and I one thing but tell the rest of the family the opposite?

 

Family isn’t always blood related.

Last week was just the reminder i needed.

Just because you may be related by blood to someone, it doesn’t mean they deserve to be part of your family.

Family are people who love and care for you no matter what. Family stand up for each other. Family are there for you at your lowest. Family are there for you when you need them most.

Last week i had an Aunt and Uncle (siblings) pretty much kick me out of my childhood home-the home where my Mum and Nan live, i have been helping my grandparents for as long as i can remember. For the past decade (actually longer, but approximates are fine here) i have been regularly helping my Nan with gardening, household chores, shopping, taking her to do her banking, taking her to doctor’s appointments, cooking and baking for her plus whatever else she wanted me to do for her.

When she came home from hospital last month, i became her Carer and moved back home so i could take care of her 24 hours a day. I continued to do everything i had been doing previously as well as new roles such as helping her get dressed, helping her on the toilet, getting all her meals for her, making sure she was taking her medications at the right time, helping her walk around and then also making sure her oxygen condenser was correctly in her nose and was working right. I was also putting her to bed, i was there for support and company.

At times, my caring role even extended to caring for my Mum. Helping her with things that my Nan usually did for her. Some of the things i didn’t mind doing at all, but others i believe went well and truly beyond my role.

In the past few minutes i had a friend text me asking how i was and if i needed a shoulder to cry on or if i wanted a hug.
THAT is what family is.

Now i’m off for a while to see my friend. We may not be connected by blood, but we are sisters in every other way possible.

A change of mind.

For the past week and a bit my Nan has talked about going back to hospital. This time, to die. She kept saying she had done everything she wanted to do, seen everyone she wanted to see and she was ready to go.
Each day, I’d ask her if she wanted me to make the phone call (a phone call to a specific number would start the ball rolling with her admission to the Palliative Care Ward at the hospital of her choice), but she kept saying “No, not just yet. I want to see (family/friends) one more time, they should be visiting today or tomorrow.”

Last Wednesday though, she couldn’t take it any longer, the previous two nights had been horrible. She’d barely had any sleep and had also started hallucinating. Some of the hallucinations were quite bad and to her, VERY real. She had been waking every couple of hours from nightmares, shortness of breath or hallucinations. I had been with her throughout the night as company and a reassuring voice that i would keep her safe and that she would be OK with me by her side.

She was also becoming much weaker, barely being able to walk more than about 5 metres without getting overwhelmingly exhausted.

Wednesday morning saw the Personal Care lady come as usual to bathe Nan. All went well until it came time to put the compression stockings on Nan’s legs. As Nan’s health has been deteriorating and it seems like she is aging faster, her skin has become extremely delicate. As the Care lady was putting on the stockings with her gloved hands, a skin tear occurred and as can be expected, it bled. The skin tear was seen to and dressed but Nan had been so scared by this and seeing as she was still hallucinating, she had had enough. She wanted to go to the hospital as soon as she could.

I made the phone call and the Palliative Care Nurse came out, assessed Nan, had a chat to her and arranged everything so Nan could go to hospital.

By this time my Uncle had arrived and also called his sister to come and move into Nan’s house (I still don’t know why she is now living in Nan’s house). I don’t think my Uncle or Aunt understood much about hallucinations or how Nan had been feeling as they kept telling her there was nothing else in the house and she was being silly and it was stupid how she was imagining these things. That was the last thing that my Nan (their Mum) needed to hear, and hearing them say that to her just made her more anxious, worried and stressed than she needed to be.

We got to the hospital mid afternoon and she was put directly into a bed in the Palliative Care Ward. Her medication was checked and changed, she was monitored and reassessed and had some food organised for her.

The Palliative Care staff are amazing. They are so caring, nurturing and compassionate.