JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Letter from My Father

Dear [Karma],
Enclosed is a copy of the report on your mother from the neurologist. [That was two years ago - my sister and I begged him to take her.] It took me 6 weeks to get an appointment. I got there at 10:30 am for an 11am appointment and saw the doctor at 11:30am. We left there at 1:30.

The neurologist recommended Zoloft which is an SSRI. Another brand is Prozac. You were given the same medication from a pscyhiatrist a few years ago [note: more like 15 years ago]. After you checked it out you told me that if you took or continued taking this it would kill you!

Also enclosed came from the synagogue newsletter.


- - -
So, the "enclosed" is a LONG letter that some father wrote to his kids who were dating non-Jews telling them basically that they had to break up and marry someone Jewish.

I am really upset about this and not sure how to respond to my father.

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Blogger Gail Rae said...

Well, your dad's got me, too, Karma! I would have no idea how to respond either to his letter or to his enclosure. It looks like he's looking for (and, unfortunately, finding lots of) "not" excuses...excuses for him "not" to do things, excuses for you "not" to do things he doesn't want you to sounds like he's living kind of a "not" life, right now. I imagine it has something to do with his difficulty in facing what is happening to his wife; just as you mentioned, two posts previous, "Dad completely admitted to me that he's overwhelmed and kinda given up on Mom. Whatever the facility does, that's what'll happen. He thinks everything is kind of out of his hands at this point."
I agree with you, though: " And I think that this is a really dangerous thing for Mom, because the facility knows that they can ignore her issues as Dad does."
Anyway, first, regarding your Dad's most recent communication with you, I would suggest, as long as you don't know how to respond, you should "not" respond. Truly. I also think, although, at the moment, I can't figure out how, that there must be a way to sneak up on his "nottiness", when you are finally able to respond, and appear to be "notty", too, except that you won't be.
You know, I'm thinking, if your Dad has pretty much had it in regard to handling your Mom's care, there might be a way for you to approach him with the idea that if he allows you to handle it (I wouldn't use words like "take it over" with him; he appears to be attached to the power of having the final say, even if his final say is to let the doctors do whatever they please, which is usually nothing) the stress of being overwhelmed will lift and he'll be able to enjoy your mom and his own life more.
What a ticklish situation! It's too bad that there isn't a way for more than one person to be responsible for her care. Our legal system, though, isn't yet set up to recognize two or more primary guardians, especially if the primary guardian is a spouse who appears to be competent...or, is it? You might check into this. Maybe there are "Demented Person" organizations (like the Alzheimer's Association, but others, too) that have legal staff you can consult on such matters. I'd give it a try, if I were you.

Friday, April 13, 2007 1:50:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

Thanks for this thoughtful comment Gail. I think I especially appreciate it because I have this fear that my Dad is touching on this real issue that you don't disagree with the primary caregiver - especially when you're far away.

But, I know on the other hand that I've got real concerns here about my Mom. Its not just me - our whole family does. There is nothing legally to do unless I want to take my dad to court and argue neglect or something. He has power of attorney.

The hard thing too is that I'm so far away right now. I could probably have gotten Dad to agree to let ME take Mom to the doctor IF I were there to do it. But because I'm not there, I'm just adding to stuff he has to do, to HIS hassle.

But I agree - this is about my Dad trying to "NOT" have to do as much as possible in order to shield himself....and that's a not fair place to be for my Mom. We need to be focused on what we CAN do for her.

Friday, April 13, 2007 9:02:00 AM  

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