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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by plum, Aug 12, 2021.

  1. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello everyone,

    It’s been a while since I visited here and I pray you’re all hale and hearty.

    These last few months have been emotionally ferocious culminating in the death of my Mother-In-Law five weeks ago. Her funeral was this afternoon (a long time between I know, Covid etc…) and I feel the simple human need to touch base with the sweet, kind souls here who implicitly understand the deep and complex layers such transitions bring.

    TMS has kicked up a storm. Not helped by the fact that aside from the loss, the hubby and I are moving house (into his mum’s place as it goes) so I’ve been dealing with the estate, the loss, my husband’s Parkinson’s, my mum’s ever increasing decline into ill health… honestly that’s not even the half of it.

    I’m surprised that I’m not completely batshit crazy. Any gentle words or soft hugs from afar are welcome. Nothing heroic. Sometimes a “I hear you” is enough.

    Much, much love to you all ❤️

    plum xxx
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Moving. Responsibility. Financial stuff. Mortality with a technicolor reminder. More responsibility.

    That's like the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey circus of TMS. Some times when your in the circus, it's easier to fend off the symptoms because it's so freaking obvious.It's also a good time for self evaluation because everything is so raw it pushes your face into the honesty...assuming you have any time (yikes!)

    we're here for ya!

    Ellen, Cap'n Spanky and plum like this.
  3. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    Hugs and positive vibes to you Plum. Remember, you will be okay. Xo
    Ellen and plum like this.
  4. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dear @plum, so sorry to hear that life and TMS hit you hard! Sending you my thoughts, hugs and love! Just remember, it is TMS, you have beaten it many times, and you know that you have strength, wisdom and tenacity to get through it, one day at a time.

    Feel free to reach out directly to me whenever you need to talk! You have helped so many here, you deserve a deluxe 911 help!
    Ellen and plum like this.
  5. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh, hon, that is some shit storm you are weathering. Sending loving kindness.
    Ellen and plum like this.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    We were fortunate enough to spend some time with the Mother-in-Law before she passed. Long story short, she was 93, had survived Covid but was suffering long term effects, she got a chest infection, the doctor and pharmacist balled up her prescription for antibiotics, paramedics failed to clock how ill she was (twice, the third crew blue lighted her to hospital), and because of long-standing bullshit I was somewhat estranged from her and had pressured my husband into not seeing her for a while just to have a break from the kitchen sink dramas.

    The hospital waived the no-visiting Covid regulations so my hubby did get to spend some precious time with her. Heartbreakingly she said that she wanted to put right all the months where things had been wrong. Shattered deathbed hopes…and yet immediately in my heart there was nothing to forgive. It all melted away.

    And yet I have terrible moments of guilt and self-reproach. While I’m aware these are natural elements of grieving, I also know that the care I withdrew would have saved her. Earlier this year, after my husband had a brutal fall (requiring plastic surgery to his lips and dental work) and my mum’s revolving door hospital admissions, I felt completely done in and withdrew (following emotional meltdown after meltdown).

    So that’s the backdrop to standing by my MIL’s hospital bed. And all the emotional sifting fell away and I remembered the 4th column of the AA link you posted here some time back. I thought about the therapist I’d had a chat with who told me I had to learn to be selfish. I reflected upon the reams of advice given to co-dependants which is essentially the same. It never sat well with me. And here it was writ large.

    At the funeral I had the immense pleasure to spend time with my husband’s niece who was so full of love and kindness towards everyone that it made me weep. Later I said to my husband that I can’t deny who I am. I can’t shut off this caring, nurturing part of myself. I can’t be selfish.

    I read something this morning about Hermit Crabs. It said that these crabs feel pain and discomfort as they begin to outgrow their shells. The pain is the sign that it’s time to shed that shell and find a new one. The co-dependant/carer/caregiver narratives are too small shells for me. They create a perception of stress that is not helpful. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very clear about the TMS inducing pressures of being a responsible adult and how vital it is to ask for help and such, but it’s not the whole story. There’s some 4th column personal bullshit for me to face down. To do anything else is to hide and to feel like prey. Fuck that.

    If the circus is in town I’m grabbing some popcorn and taking a front row seat. Bring it on TMS. Bring it on.

    God Bless.
    Katya and backhand like this.
  7. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I doubt that very much, Plum. Chest infections in 93 year olds don't very often have a good outcome even when in receipt of the right antibiotics from the start, and it's extremely hard to persuade ambulance crews (or any medics, for that matter) to do anything that you think appropriate when they are choosing to take a different view -- I know this from my own experience of the last weeks/months leading up to my 88 year old mum's passing in 2019. I can't tell you how many ambulance crews were called out to her towards the end of her life; a few did take her to hospital, but they were actually all really loathe to take her there. And, despite her dementia -- which was evident to all who came in contact with her, but was not formally diagnosed -- one ambulance crew even got my mum to sign a form to say that she was in agreement with not being taken to hospital. This was done when I wasn't there and I couldn't be around all the time to control everything and neither could you have been as you have other responsibilities plus physical and mental health needs of your own.

    You once sent me a lovely photo of someone relaxing, floating in a turquoise sea...

    Perhaps have an imaginary 3 minute floating session in a bay in Bermuda when you can...see you there; it'll do us a power of good...www.youtube.com/watch?v=toPgFClyqjA
    Katya and plum like this.
  8. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you my dear. In my heart of hearts I know you are right…I guess my guilt is compounded by the fact that I only learned too late that her general level of care had diminished and I wish, if nothing else, that her last few weeks had been happier. For her and my husband. My dad has reminded me that there were valid reasons for the estrangement and it does no good to dwell on what ifs and I agree. In the spin of TMS I know these are factors and it feels good to say them, lay them down and let them be.

    I’m achingly sorry you endured similar experiences with your mum. It’s sad that our folk get such a rough ride at the end of their days. But that is a whole kettle of fish on it’s own.

    Ah, that bay in Bermuda hits the sweet spot. How much I would love to float in the sea with you now, nary a care in the world. Yes, I shall join you in my meditations and dreams tonight.

    Much love xxx
    Katya likes this.
  9. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's also not easy to up levels of care, so please don't beat yourself up about that either. My mum was in a nursing home for the last 2 months of her life and there were things that I did complain about and some of them got sorted, but I found that a lot of the time you're on a hiding to nothing, so it was all rather a difficult 'tightrope' to walk. (As you say, end of life care is a whole enormous topic all of its own.)
    Your dad is absolutely right!
    plum likes this.
  10. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think the lockdowns have shown that our culture has this bad habit of rating duration of life over quality. It's the same error that keeps the structural diagnosis afloat... measure, weigh, tally. Physical , external Over internal, mental/spiritual.

    We are not life....we are a part of life. We are a we. "I" (capitalized) am just a part of it. TMSers in particular tend to put the concerns of others over their own well being to a crazy extent.
    Saved her for what? From what? Did you 'withdraw it' OR was that all you could do at that moment in your life? If it was, you might as well be upset over how tall you are or what color your hair is.

    I had lots of reservations , second guesses and so forth after my Mom died when I was watching her. No one prepared me for that, I was largely alone, and I only could do what I could do with the tools I had. Maybe now I could do better, but judging even last week (the past) by my current understanding is just as silly as pulling down statues and deleting history books.... Present-ism at it's worst.

    If only I was blonde and 6 foot 3" (LOL)
    plum and BloodMoon like this.
  11. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    Hey Plum - sending love and good wishes to you! You have been very helpful to me with your suggestions and words of wisdom. Undoubtedly, you've helped many others too.

    Wow ... that's a lot to be dealing with. But with all knowledge and strength you've built, I'm sure you'll persevere and move on to greener pastures.

    Does it make me a bad person to feel better after hearing about the difficulties with your mother-in-law? I've had a few struggles of my own and it's nice to know I'm not alone. ;)
    plum likes this.
  12. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh, dearest @plum you have been so missed! I was worried you were away because of some traumatic events in your life, but hoped it was because you were listening to vinyl and belly dancing, or some other very Plum-like endeavor.

    This too shall pass. And this Forum is one of the most sane and loving places to be as the latest storms pass.

    Much love to you, dear one.
    plum likes this.
  13. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    Honestly, it was all I could do. I felt like I was drowning, like my own life had completely disappeared. I was a knot of stress and tension. So yes. It’s just perfectionism again isn’t it.

    This gives me some comfort. It really does. I remind myself that memory is emotionally skewed and we forget what a pain in the ass the situation can be, how exhausted we are, how overwhelmed and for me, resentful. I was sick of being “the one”.

    Thanks for this vital reminder that we’re doing our best while living our own lives too.
    Baseball65 likes this.
  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bless you. I appreciate those kind words. Interestingly, in the literal move to her house I inherit a garden too, which I am delighted by. I’ve never had my own garden before and I’ve wanted one for an age. It’s a humble little home and garden but it’s ours.

    I feel for you re: the mother-in-law thing. By the gods it can be wearing. It has to be one of the hardest relationships some of us ever have. Mine was the polar opposite to me and while that in itself was fine, it served to magnify the problems. Besides, it wasn’t just me. She managed to fall out with people and alienate them on a regular basis. BUT, she was also very supportive, an immensely good sport, and she had a cracking sense of humour.

    I hope you don’t get driven too nuts by your MIL. bangheada
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  15. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you so much Ellen. I have missed you and this place, a real sanctuary.

    I love that you mention vinyl because I thought of you as I admired the impressive vinyl collection we have inherited. It’s an amazing cross-section of styles: opera from my father-in-law, musicals from the mother-in-law, and from my brother-in-law at least 100 lp’s dating from the 60’s and early 70’s, classical, singer-songwriter, pop … a bit of everything. I believe we’ll find much healing balm in the music.

    Bless you my love. xxx
    Katya likes this.
  16. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tamara ❤️
    TG957 likes this.
  17. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Aye. My brother-in-law has been moved from his nursing home of three years via hospital to a new place that specialises in the late stages of dementia (he’s a casualty of the lockdown accelerating his condition, like so many, too many souls). It’s a long way from us and we’re musing on whether or not to go and see him one last time. I saw his son at yesterday’s funeral and the poor lad openly broke down when I spoke to him about his dad.

    I wish dying and death were more openly discussed and acknowledged. It’s almost a cultural taboo. Some people are wonderful but I’m astonished at the number of adults who still metaphorically cross the road rather than speak to you. That has to be a major TMS bugaboo.

    Thank you for sharing your experience my dear. I feel less alone for it x
    BloodMoon likes this.
  18. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh, another sad event came your way :=(. Sending more hugs to you, my friend!

    And you are so right about dying and death not being discussed! Should be another big thread here on the forum: how to die without anxiety, fear and pain.
    plum likes this.
  19. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Plum,

    I am glad to hear from you. It seems like you've been through a lot. I am sorry.

    I feel the emotional suffering we have is worse than TMS itself, and hearing your story I can feel the depth of your inner work right now.

    In my experience, the regret about what I did in relationship to those passed is really unbearable. You used the word perfectionism, and I guess that's a good call. It seems there is no way to "take the bad away" from the situation. The imperfect way I've treated others cannot be 'undone' and it sticks in my craw. Yet the identification of being "less than," deficient, not enough ----this is a familiar experience of the ego for me. Like an inner flavor which is looking for evidence and confirmation from the outside. Seen this way, I might help myself to see that whatever regret and guilt I have is part of a long-standing pattern. Something which I hope I can see through and not always identify with.

    So I want to recognize with you the depth of work which I imagine is arising.

    For me there can often be complete release from those identifications, but the ego is tenacious and prefers a familiar, deficient, guilty ID. It does not actually perceive the truth in a situation like this. It sees what it wants to see.

    In this, I wish us both kindness to ourselves, and I wish for us the kind of understanding we often give others, and I mean by that what I've seen in you over the years. May we know this loving nature which is us! I believe this to be our deeper truth. And the loving caretaker in us is a reflection of this truth too. Perhaps not "true and perfect," but an action which embodies our loving nature as best it can. May you know your loving self.

    backhand and plum like this.
  20. Kittyruns

    Kittyruns Peer Supporter

    Plum, you have been the most amazing, warm, loving and kind contributor and I just want to let you know that I am sending warm vibes of love, peace and healing to you!
    plum likes this.

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