Posts Tagged truth
Drama everywhere I look these days. Jane could have never guessed that Tarzan’s secret daughter would have been the problem she wished for instead of his problem with alcohol. I myself come from a long line of alcoholics, and I truly didn’t see this elephant in the room. To be perfectly honest though I have been wrapped up in my own menopausal woes here lately. Like most addicts Tarzan is masterful at hiding his addiction.
I hold no superior judgement on this subject. Alcoholism is no different from having any other disease in my opinion. I would not judge a person harshly for having diabetes, or any other illness in spite of a rather horrifying childhood of having an alcoholic father.
Jane herself is no stranger to life with an alcoholic. Her story differs from mine though. Her mother died from sclerosis of the liver when she was just three years old. Her father did not drink so she really doesn’t have any experience with detecting the symptoms.
So you can imagine her great surprise of finding him passed out cold on his back doorstep completely unresponsive. Having him rushed to the hospital by ambulance, and having the doctor ask you how long has he had a problem with alcohol?
Jane’s response was that he does not have a problem with alcohol. The doctor looking at Jane with an expression of great belief replied that his blood work results showed otherwise. He then strongly suggested that rehab should be the next consideration.
I went to lunch yesterday with just Jane. It was the first time in our decades long relationship that I actually felt odd. So I decided to tell her up front that my strangeness has nothing to do with her, and that I’m not really sure where it’s coming from myself. I didn’t want her to feel like it was something between us.
I told Jane that I didn’t know how to approach all of this without making her feel like I was sitting in judgement of her.She told me that she knew perfectly well what my stance would be on the infidelity side of this issue so we could just skip that part of the conversation. We’ve been friends long enough for me to know this, but somehow hearing her say the words made me feel better.
She went further to say that she knew me well enough to know that I would think it was a stupid, and self-destructive decision. Even I felt the sting of her wording, and I winced at the harshness of my own thoughts. That’s the problem with having friends like me who won’t lie to you, we are so concerned with being truthful with you that we forget how harsh the sound of those words can be.
I smiled then asked her if she didn’t need my judgement, or a harsh tongue lashing I couldn’t possibly imagine what I could do to make her feel any worse. Then we both busted out laughing, and just like that all the awkwardness disappeared. I actually felt like my former self for a while. That’s the kind of beauty that comes from listening to the opinions of others without being defensive.
It’s funny because that was the whole idea behind having this blog. A chance to vent without hiding the truth. I read very carefully the things you say, and it’s pretty enlightening to look at the world through the eyes of those who have had different experiences. You all help me look at things in a way that helps me to be a better person. I am more grateful for this gift than my words can express, so for now let me just say thank you.
I have to head off to work now but I promise to tell you the rest of what happened with Jane, and Ex-hubby when I get home.
I get that we are all imperfect human beings. I also get that you don’t pass judgement on others, especially the people you love. I just have a hard time pretending to agree with a decision that is so self-destructive. Jane knew the minute she asked me how I felt about her sex with her Ex that I am not the friend who tells you what you want to hear. This is what caused our big fight. Before I give you all the mind-blowing details let me first say that if I ask you for your opinion I want your honest opinion whether I’m going to like what you said or not. That being said here’s what happened…
Jane invited me over for dinner. Dinner for Jane is code for I did something I regret so come over, and help me hash it out. I don’t think both shoes were off my feet before she blurted out “I had sex with Ex-hubby last night!” I was stunned. I expected her to say I had sex with Tarzan…or anything else other than “sex with the Ex.” Keep in mind my people skills have been more than a little off so my first response was “Why!?” Then came the one response that always annoys me no matter who says it “It just happened.” I said “Oh I see you accidentally slipped, and fell on his erection?”
Jane was instantly annoyed with me. She shot back with “I knew you wouldn’t understand!” To which I snapped back with ” You’re right I don’t understand. Is this the same man who you left for cheating on you? The man who is now married to someone else?” Well now she’s glaring at me, and says “Well he was mine first, and besides that marriage really doesn’t count so climb down off of your high horse!” I did smirk at that one. Who says “high-horse” anymore, but quickly snapped back that “It sure as hell counted when they did it to you.” Yes I know very bitchy on my part. I can only tell you that in my current state of thinking I was annoyed that we were even having this conversation. I was annoyed that she had done such a stupid thing, rather than hearing her out like a good friend I verbally smacked her.
She stood up told me what else I could do with my’ high-horse” as she walked over to her front door holding it open for me to go. I knew I should apologize, but I didn’t I walked over slid on my shoes, and left. We haven’t spoken since. I’m not exactly sure why I just don’t want to hear this. but I don’t. I did text her that I knew I owed her an apology, that I love her, but I’m not ready yet. She texted back “I love you too asshole.” 😉
Even though I cannot deny that the whole secrecy thing struck me as a huge red flag, another part of me felt like people make mistakes. We all have a tendency to hide the things from our past that we may feel a sense of shame over. I’m not a human doormat, but I’m big on figuring out why someone would hide something before deciding not to give them a second chance. Jane says that’s a dangerous way to live.
She may be right. I think I feel this way because I cherish the idea that we can all be forgiven for making mistakes. My line in the sand is when we have explored what, and why something happened I make it clear that if the violation occurs again that it’s no longer a mistake, but a conscious choice. That is the point where I walk away. I’m not sure everyone who begins a relationship discusses their boundaries. For a lot of people it’s a journey that slowly reveals boundaries they may not have even known they had.
Jane feels like she clearly stated her boundary limits right from the start, and that Tarzan poorly chose to take a chance by crossing that line. I cannot argue that logic. I think I’m just really sad for them both. The girls, and I discussed the fact that he did not commit an infidelity. Jane’s response was that even though he had not cheated he broke an equally powerful trust agreement between them. 😉
Dealing with the family members of dying clients is like walking a circus tightrope. One has to be very careful with their choice of wording. Families are under extreme pressure trying to maintain their daily lives while dealing with a dying loved one. Yesterday was Betty Davis’s 6 month evaluation with Hospice. Her daughter came home from work early to be there with mom.
Betty’s daughter is like a blonde Liza Minnelli in appearance so we will call her Liza. I don’t deal with her very often in person. We mostly communicate through notes to each other. She is usually at work when I arrive so I meet every morning with her husband. This is Liza’s third marriage (her husband’s too), but they have been married now for 13 years. I’m not sure who the drinker is in this house, but based on the amount of Captain Morgan on hand I’m guessing both.
Both Betty, and Liza were worried that Betty would be removed from Hospice’s care. They were both equally anxious about the possibility. I tried to reassure them both that this would not be the case as gently as possible, but Liza persisted until I had to explain in the most honest way I could. The problem here is that the truth is quite brutal, and I don’t know Liza well enough to know the best way to deal with her. So I began with “Mom’s condition continues to decline, and Hospice will view this as reason enough to keep Mom under their care.”
Liza snapped back “What do you mean? Mom is not declining, have you noticed a decline since you started working here?” Now in my line of work every alarm in my head is sounding off “DANGER G-uno Danger!” So I pulled out two bar stools motioning for us both to sit (somehow sitting seems less harsh) then I softly say “Yes Liza Mom is declining.” She is still on defense mode, and says “How do you know this, why are you saying this?” So I softly say ” There are physical signs that begin to occur when someone with Mom’s illness begins to decline.”
At this point I am silently begging “The Universe” to let this be enough for Liza to let this subject rest, and of course no such luck. Liza grabs my hand, and pleads with me to just tell her what I see. Then I could feel the tears welling in my eyes, and I’m pretty sure she could hear the sound of my heart cracking. I place my other hand on top of her’s, and I say “Mom’s breathing is becoming increasingly more labored. I ask her if she noticed that Mom’s hands were changing in any ways that she may have noticed.” She said “No!” ( I want to kick “The Universe”in the balls now!) So I softly say Mom’s hands are darkening now because her lungs & heart are having a more difficult time delivering oxygen to them.”
I can see at this point that she is breakable. I hug Liza, and I tell her that she is an amazing daughter. I tell her that I am overwhelmed by her love for Mom. She began to cry she is bothered by the fact that her Mom tells me more regarding her thoughts, and health concerns. She wants to share this with her mother. She feels like my bond with her mother is becoming stronger than theirs.
I am in agony at this point, but then I know what needs to be said (Sorry “Universe” lost my faith there for a moment) so I place both hands on the sides of Liza’s face. Then looking her directly in the eyes I tell her “Your Mom is still your Mom, and she will try to protect you no matter what. She does not share these things with me out of love, I am her caregiver. She is not concerned about my feelings in this capacity. You are her world! She loves you more than life itself, and this is momma bear’s way of shielding the one she does love, and trust more than anyone else in the world.”
I saw both heartbreak, and relief in Liza’s eyes. Sometimes the truth is the only way to go. 😉
One very short year ago g2, and I started Idioglossia the blog. It was a rough start to be sure as I looked back, and read my first post. The very idea that with all the talent out there that someone would actually take the time to read any of our posts still absolutely blows me away. So first, and foremost thank you all so much! I think that my writing has improved a bit, but the truth is that this blog has been a gift that we gave to ourselves. It’s one of the few things that I do just for myself.
I will admit I do still daydream about the day one of my family members, or one of our friends find out about our secret blog. Some will be very flattered, while others will need some considerable time to find their way back from being trashed to the stone ages. Talk about titillating 😉 subject matter, but the idea was to create a place where people could share the things that happen in their lives without fear of judgement.
The lesson I’ve learned is that people are still leery about sharing their most inner thoughts in writing for the whole world to see. I love the possibility that the whole world might actually take a peek at our blog lol. Surprisingly I’ve learned a lot about myself as a person by reading the subjects I’ve written about over the last 311 posts. I’m not always proud of the way I handle the events in my life, but I am proud of my commitment to the truth about some pretty private details.
The thing that surprises me most (aside from the fact that so many of you have read our posts) is that as impossible as it is to see ourselves the way others perceive us, I think I am starting to get a better idea. The internal reviews I have of myself don’t always match the external views some of you have graciously shared through comments. Luckily for me you all have been most kind in sharing your perspective views.
I have loved every moment of this experience. Thank you for putting up with us, and for sharing your writing. I can hardly wait on most days to run to my computer to see what you’ve all have chosen to write about in your blogs. Plus I can’t wait to see who I’m going to grow up to be. 😉