As I write this article, I'm agonizingly aware that I need to practice what I preach. By nature, I'm not a bitter person. By my environment and my childhood circumstances, I am a bitter person.
I blame a certain set of persons and situations in my childhood for my now screwed up adulthood.Thankfully, I still retain part of the original me and I still retain the ability on good days to see beyond my crap to some good in my life.A few days ago, the woman whom I now call mom and I were sitting at the kitchen table with her mom, whom I call Grandma and who I do love. Her problem? She was born unhappy. She's old, her husband died a few years ago, she had a stroke, she cannot see or hear well and she literally sits on her ass every day and complains.
Granted, were I in her situation, pushing ninety, suffering from the after effects of a stroke and uprooted from my lifelong home into a mobile home, albeit a nice one, I'd be bitter as well.However. she is so bitter now that she will not see outside her tiny box of bitterness. And she drives mom up the wall.
Dad died a year ago and it's been hard on mom to be without him, plus take care of Grandma. On top of that, she's had to deal with me being out of work trying to raise two kids with no income, and babysit Grandma.On that fateful day, I'd had enough as well. Grandma was well into her woe is me crap and had driven mom to tears, and mom doesn't cry at just anything. Mom was pissed and had enough.Without realizing what it would do for me, I started reminding Grandma of what she could do, and quit focusing on what she can no longer do.
Sure, as a result of the stroke, she can no longer drive her new car, she cannot walk very far - there are many things she cannot do due to a number of factors.But there are so many things she can do yet she will not. When I started an oral list, it was like banging my head against a wall. I had a headache by the time I was done and nothing worthwhile had been accomplished. Or had it?.
I told Grandma she could see, therefore she could enjoy the yard of beautiful flowers mom has.She can hear, and we are willing to hold conversations with her and so are the birds.She can walk, and at her age, she should take advantage of that, not take it for granted. Get off that ass, I told her, and walk somewhere every day.
She can use her arms, and she likes moms dog and my brothers cat, so she can cuddle with them every day. Best friends sometimes are not of the human species.She can talk, and we all can hear and we are willing to open our ears to listen.She's alive, and that in and of itself is enough because, as a living being, she has worth and she has people who love her and care about her and want to help her, even when she feels she's a burden and would be better off dead.
The seemingly small things really can and do bring immense joy, even to people like myself and Grandma who have been beaten down by life and who no longer wish to live. We've fought our entire lives just to survive mentally and reached the point of no longer being able to take anymore and we languished and are in limbo.I made no progress with Grandma that day. I likely never will, nor will anyone.
But in trying to help her, I helped myself. The trick is to use what I learned.I have to accept that I'll be alive until my body refuses to take in another breath of air. I am learning that I must change my way of thinking or I will end up like Grandma, and I'm fast approaching her level of life, even at my age of 36.I must stop allowing my past to run my present and my future.
It's difficult, yet so necessary.I have long said I'd much rather be physically disabled than mentally disabled as I am. That's still true.
But does the fact that part of me is disabled mean I'm to let the rest of me wither away? Does the fact that I now do not enjoy life mean I'll never enjoy life?.Our parents are supposed to let us go when we are adults. I've been an adult for half my life, yet the woman who abused me when I was very young still runs my life. I've allowed that for eighteen years, and then some. Isn't it time I looked outside my own box of bitterness to bigger betterness?.
LifeWriter is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Writers.She writes frequently on issues of child abuse, mental health and animal issues.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.
By: Jacqui Odell