The past week and a half have been emotionally draining. I can look back at the past 14 days, though, and be proud of how I've handled myself.
My father-in-law suffered a stroke about 4 months ago and I've been working with my mother-in-law to find a good nursing home to serve as a transitional living place for him. It's certainly been challenging with all of the Medicaid dos and don'ts, ins and outs, etc. I worked with 3 different social workers and only one of them seemed semi-competent in her job--it was incredibly frustrating and created so much unnecessary stress.
As if that hasn't been enough to try to stay on top of, I got a call from Mom this past Monday. She called to tell me that there were some police officers at her house to arrest her for missing a court date for a ticket for expired tags.
This is the second time she has been arrested in 4 months! My entire life (almost 30 years) the only time I know that she's been arrested was when she had a mental episode and the neighbors called the police. They came and took her to the mental hospital where she stayed for a while (I was so young, it could have been 6 months or 2 weeks) before she came home.
This time she needed someone to co-sign the $1,305 bail bond for her. My husband and I weren't comfortable doing it, so I did what I could to get it taken care of. I called my uncle and a family friend who has always helped Mom in the past.
As it turned out, a police officer (perhaps the police chief) was able to talk to her and ended up releasing her, so no one needed to mess with the bail bond.
I, however, was not looking forward to the next conversation she and I would have because she would know I didn't bail her out. Her one and only daughter. The person she called when she needed help. And yet, I knew all of that and I didn't feel guilty. There were no "but she's my mom" thoughts nagging me. There was no sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. There was no anxiety causing me to worry over what to say to her.
Sure I thought about what I'd say--it was a delicate matter. I just didn't dwell on it. I came up with an honest, not-to-revealing, rather neutral explanation (with the help of my best friend) and then let it go. As it turned out, I haven't had to use that response (yet).
I've been getting a lot of practice at letting go lately.
There was a place for me to help in the situation with my father-in-law. I stepped in and took initiative with some things, and I've questioned those decisions. There were a few things that I let bother me more than they should have and there were probably a handful of phone calls I made that were unnecessary. Overall, however, I don't regret anything. I'm proud of how I handled things.
With Mom, I was able to let things go and not let that situation keep me up all night.
I have had chest pains off and on, and earlier this week they started to restrict my movement (it tends to make the pains worse if I move my left arm much or try to take a deep breath when they get bad). I was able to close my eyes and focus on my breathing and replace the anxious thoughts statements of reality--and it worked!
Of course my mom and father-in-law haven't been the only things I've had to deal with this week and part of last. It's times like these when my kids really seem to act out and give me more of a challenge-- naturally.
A has always been sensitive to textures. There was a time when the tags in her clothes bothered her badly enough that I had to cut out the tags before she'd even think about wearing the piece of clothing. She is a dainty, girly girl and so her Nana loves to buy A fancy, frilly dresses. Unfortunately A can't stand to wear dresses with the can-can material at the bottom (even if it doesn't touch her. These days dresses are made with kids' comfort in mind and there's usually a layer of softer material under the more abrasive stuff, but that doesn't matter). She also can't stand to wear dresses or shirts that have sparkly threads running through them.
This issue has resurfaced recently and now extends to her shoes as well. Remember, reason has no place in A's world when emotions take over
So this past week while I was dealing with my mom and the situation with my father-in-law I also got to deal with A's meltdowns.
I must say I'm looking forward to some mellow days in the near future!