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, July 23, 2008

Dog Visits Mom; Karma Nightmare

I brought my dog to visit Mom. After I put the dog on her lap, I said to her "Do you like the dog?" She got this very big smile. She even sort of pet the dog as the dog gave her many kisses.

Last night, I had a nightmare. I was in Kansas City on a highway and noticed an exit to some interesting small village and thought I'd check it out. I had to get out of the car and walk across this path. There was water there, and a guy came by to offer to help me across with his upright scooter. But after I got on, he attempted to rape me. I got away and went into a diner or something. That part's a little fuzzy.

I remember needing to go meet a friend, so I got in my car and got back on the highway. My friend blew me off, so I ended up at some large stadium. I went to the bathroom, and while in the stall heard a tv report that someone at the stadium had murdered an Arab. I tried to call my dad with my cell to ask him for help since he knows chief's of police around Kansas City (this part is true), but he said he couldn't help. For some reason, my pants were outside the stall hanging up, but when I left the stall, they were gone. A woman who worked there came by to give me some weird skirt. In realization that there was going to be a retaliation against the Jews for the Arab's murder and in fear about my clothes, I started screaming.

And that's when I woke up. I was on top of the covers on the bed and cold. My dog, who had oddly decided to sleep upstairs with me that night, was under the bed hiding and immediately wanted to leave to go be with my dad. I heard Dad flush the toliet. I think I must have screamed out loud and woke him up.

This morning, I'm feeling very sleepy. I'm going to go to yoga and hopefully that will help straighten me out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Visiting Mom

So, I've come for my last visit to see Mom. I was worried to go see her and have to deal with the newest declines, but I was happily surprised to find that she responded to me in a way that she hadn't in a long time. I came around dinner time and fed her dinner. There was music on next to her, and she really enjoyed that. She made faces at me and smiled. Sometimes, when she wouldn't eat, I'd sing a bit and then she'd take another bite.

I came again tonight to feed her. This time I brought one of her favorite take-outs - Boston Market. She was super tired though, and I really had to struggle to get her to eat. She couldn't keep her focus. I didn't want to push her too hard because I've been told not to do that - that if she doesn't eat that its a sign that she wants to die or that it might be uncomfortable to eat and the she shouldn't be forced. On the other hand, I wanted to make sure that I fed her well, so it was a bit confusing on what to do exactly.

I think that I'll try again and this time get something really good - like crab cakes from the Cheesecake factory. And maybe a piece of cheesecake too. Something I know she really really likes. Its just hard too because the food gets cold because it takes so long to get her to eat.

Its a bit strange to be feeding my mother like this. She can't use her legs at all and is in a reclining wheelchair now. She's supposed to have a neck brace put on her when its meal time to help her keep her head up, but I just couldn't get myself to put that on her. Its so hard to get used to.

I met with my local Rabbi also and was comforted to find out more about what the mourning process will look like -- at least in terms of the Jewish framework for what is to be done. The rabbi told me something really interesting - that the goal or purpose for the framework is not to avoid celebrations, as I had read, but to avoid the trivial and to focus instead on honoring my mother. Jewish tradition is such that the mourning rituals for a parent last for an entire year. So, I should avoid making plans to go to concerts or the opera or vacations. It'll kind of be having my life on hold. And no big party for graduation. I'll have to rethink these things. But, most of all, I think that I should just not plan much for the next year or so.

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Newest Set of Struggles

I don't have a lot of time to blog these days. I've fled my home due to a nearby wildfire. I am very sensitive to the smoke and ash, as well as get afraid of having to wake up to an evacuation order. So I'm staying at my advisor's place while she's out of town. Tuesday, my advisor returns and I'll likely have to find somewhere else to stay. Luckily, I have several friends with floors or couches offered to me and/or my dog.

So to escape the smoke, I'm flying to Kansas City on Saturday. I'll bring my dog who will stay there when I travel to a conference the end of the month. Then, I'll fly home without my dog. I get to be at home for as long as my mom isn't dying immediately. Because at that point, I'll drive to Kansas City either alone or with my boyfriend. I'll see my mother die, mourn, and travel back home with my dog. At least, this is the plan.

Mom had a major seizure today, so my plan may be scrunched up together. If you're unsure of how this all fits, read some earlier posts about what's happening with Mom's seizures. But, to make a long story short - she gets medication for seizures which works for about 3 weeks, and then she starts having seizures again. Then the medication gets upped and we start all over again. Well, next time the meds are upped, Mom will likely be so medicated that she'll no longer be awake and then due to lack of nourishment, will pass away.

This is an extremely stressful time. I'm trying to manage my emotions, find somewhere to live, make sure that my most precious belongings are out of the house and that insurance is in order, make travel plans, back up the computer, find somewhere to be during the day where the dog can be too....needless to stay, its very stressful.

But the good news is that I have a mask now which should help with the smoke, my home appears to be safe at least for the time being, many friends have offered me shelter, I have my best friend (aka the dog) with me, Mom is comfortable (with the exception of the seizures), and my boyfriend is a sweetheart who takes good care of me.

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