On Exhaustion, Strategery, and Guilt
I have not had a drink. Yet. 5 Years Sober still. 5 Years 3 months to be exact.
I’m in another country right now. My family and I live in Florida, USA. I am currently in Germany with my Dad. His German wife just passed away so I came over for the funeral and will now be assisting him closing out his affairs here and moving back to the states. My wife is all by herself with the kids back in Florida. This is a tough situation all around. My dad is stressed out by the funeral, my visit, his impending travel, and his affairs here in Germany as well as new life in Florida close to me. My wife is stressed because of course as soon as I leave she gets sick, plus running around to everything without me to help with the kids, and stuff breaks, etc, etc…. I’m stressed because I’m here handling my elderly father’s affairs. Plus I’ve developed what feels like a head cold and don’t feel all that great myself. His wife was bed ridden catatonic for years with Alzheimers, and my Dad has early onset Dementia. He attempted suicide 3 years ago when things became too difficult.
So, all that said. I’m fucking exhausted. Been here a week. Jet Lag, Funeral, going through all Dad’s things to try to understand all his accounts be they financial, Military, Insurance, etc…Sitting around all day pouring over his bank statements piles of mail, dealing with the crappy ass internet in the village he lives in (he doesn’t have internet at his house, but his neighbor has graciously allowed me to use theirs) Folks, lemme tell ya, I will find myself hard pressed to ever take 4G LTE mobile and 100Mbps home internet download speeds for granted ever again.
It’s not even anything physical. It’s just a constant, nagging stress of fight or flight adrenaline to deal with everything. Sure, I’ve got a plan and am working the plan, adjusting as needed. But still, I’m definitely out of my comfort zone. I had a sponsor once give me some great advice on how to handle a situation, and that was to treat it like a Project, since that’s what I know. Well, that’s what I’m doing.
I’m giving my Dad 50/50 to survive the stress of packing up 2 suitcases and getting on a plane back to Florida with me to his new home at a Memory Care facility. Ya, I know that sounds awful. Just trying to paint the picture.
Going through my Dad’s things, I am now aware of his financial situation. Folks, my Dad has done very well for himself. He makes more in retirement per month than a lot of people do working full time. He’s got plenty saved, and with his monthly income from savings should be able to live out his days comfortably in the Memory Care facility 15 minutes from my house, leaving me (sole heir, only child by the way) very well set up when he passes, assuming his monthly retirement income does not change. That money is going to fully fund my kids college, pay off my house, finally get to that magic 6 months expenses saved number, pay for a really nice family vacation, and then learn how to manage it and increase it exponentially.
I am here helping my Dad. He would not be able to do this himself. It is my privilege and responsibility to be here for him during this time. <hold up, waitaminute> ya sure, but what if his financial situation sucked? How would you feel then? I can honestly say I’m 90% sure I would still feel it is a privilege to help him through this time. Knowing his financial situation and my benefit at the end of it definitely helps, but still there’s that little voice dangerously close to the front of my thoughts whispering doubts and dismay. Guilt of paying myself for my trip over here from an account he has setup for me to use for my expenses for his funeral when he passes. <this is close enough right?> Guilt of realizing how fortunate I am when so many people in the world are not. Guilt of knowing I could rob him fucking blind. I “could” rob him blind. I will not. fuck you you little voice of doubt and dismay. Guilt of not doing anything about this for the last 3 years. Guilt of staring it in the face and ignoring it. Guilt of wishing he would die so I’d just have to bury him and not have to move him. Prolly a bit of not having to watch him waste away for years either, but mainly just so this self centered alcoholic wouldn’t have to do as much work. Which really doesn’t make sense. Would still have to close down his house and cars here and do a funeral instead of setting up his new living. Mainly tho, guilt of wishing he would die so it would be easier on me. fuck I hate that.
I like to think there’s a lesson in every situation. Something to learn. I saw something neat on FB a while back along the lines of the things we wish God would change for us are the things God is using to change US. dunno the validity of the quote author, but I like the quote.