Thursday, March 04, 2010

On the Brink of Madness (Chapter 2)

I’ve changed. Life can do that to you. Sometimes when you experience fear or pain you go inside of yourself and cover your feelings like a turtle hiding under his shell. With suffering and regret you hurt with tremendous agony, but you won’t express it openly. If you do, people will think you are weak.

In the past I always felt strong, like I could conquer anything. However, having a parent feeling pain or weakness, and finding that you can’t do much to help alleviate their suffering, changes you. You become the parent. You worry about them. Where are they? What are they doing? Do they have food? Have they eaten? You raise your children like your parents raised you; now the cycle has circled back. Now you must take care of your parent.

It’s hard. As a child you are accustomed to your parents protecting you and now you must reciprocate. But you do it out of love, because you want to, not because you have to. You don’t want your parents to hurt. How could they, when they healed your scars, cooed your fears, loved you until you felt confident? Now this? You don’t want this to happen to someone you love. Not my parents. They are healthy. They are good people. But illnesses have no preferences. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, good or bad. When it happens, it just does. No choice.

So you have to be gentle. Not cause them anymore harm than they are already experiencing, so you taper your emotions. You hold them in, because you have to help them. That day was hard. If your dad is seeing something that you can’t see, you know something is wrong. But because you never thought about this scenario you don’t know what it is, or what to do about it.

That day I had to keep talking to Dad. I needed to know what was happening so that I could find him the help he needed. I remember that conversation like I do my name.

“Dad, are you afraid of them?”

“No, I just want them out of my house.”

“How many are here?”

“It is three men. They are this tall.” He bends down and hold his hand flat to show me their height. They are about two feet high.

“How long have they been here?”

“About two months but I didn’t want to tell you all because I knew you would think I am crazy.”

“We know you are not crazy.”

“Can you see them?”

“No, Dad I can’t. But I believe you see them.”

“Can you help me get rid of them?”

“I can’t, but I know the doctors might be able to help.”

“What can they do?”

“They can see why they are here and where they are coming from?”

“Look at him over there by the book shelf. He’s just staring at me with them beady eyes.”

He is pointing to the shelf. I turned to look and I slowly walk to where he is pointing.

“Don’t go over there. They might hurt you.” He whispers.

“I’m not afraid of them. Get out of my Dad’s house!” I scream.

“Be quiet. Don’t say anything. They can hear you.”

This is killing me inside. I cannot stand to see my dad so vulnerable. I don’t know what to do.


Belizegial said...

My 81-year old mom is going through a similar phase, only hers is hearing things which are not there.

Anonymous said...

Your first paragraph is very telling about your own pain currently.

Take a step of faith and reach out because no one should suffer in silence.