Saturday, May 13, 2017
One Wrong Question.
I often say to my good friend and neighbour, that I think I have a mild form of something like PTSD. Not that I have done anything as serious as people in combat or first responders but I have damaged my inner self. When my dad first became ill, we thought it was just the flue or some type of virus. I had been laid off of work at the time so I came home to help run the farm. When we realized it was cancer, I stayed to take care of him. He was slowly starving to death and the hospital insisted on feeding him greasy, fatty foods absolutely laced with salt, salt, salt. Everything made his stomach sick so we felt it was better to bring him home where we could at least give him something he could eat. There comes a point where you lose every battle, every day, every minute and you watch someone who you once idolized, die in front of you. That changes something inside, you are never the same after. .............................................. After my dad died, I took on the role of looking after my mom who was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease. Again there comes a point where you are losing every battle, every day, every minute. I had to make some of the hardest decisions ever in my life. In some ways this is worse than losing someone, when a person dies, at least you have a starting date when you pick up the pieces and begin to live a different life without them. It's also hard to watch that person slip away, even harder to see them realize something is going terrible wrong and are in stress over the confusion. Again this changes a person, it damages something inside. I tell people I'm fine, I'm ok but not really, at least not all the time. Yesterday at work one question blew a hole in the wall that I put up. A guy I work with was asking about my mom and how she was doing. He was asking me about Alzheimer and its effects on her. The question was, "does she suffer from the confusion, it must be difficult for her, she must really suffer from it" I said that she really does, I see her struggle...... suddenly the full weight of what I just said hit me. Nobody wants to see someone they love more than anything in the world suffer. I began to tremble, my hands were shaking, I was trying to change my mind, my face was trying to screw up into cry mode. I apologized and headed for the door, I was in full on emotion overload. I held it together, jammed those feelings back down to where they belong and went back to work. I was really rattled, I didn't see it coming, just one wrong question and the floodgates nearly opened, I was shaking for a long time after. Really embarrassing for me as well to lose it at work, I also don't want to be that cliche of an emotional gay man. Now I know for sure, something has changed for me, I think I have taken on more than I could cope with and something is broken inside.