Hello Dr. L, thank you for your quick reply. I will try to sum things up.
1. My mom is being treated for lung cancer for the second time. She is undergoing chemotherapy. I do not feel afraid or scared for her life. In fact, I think I am mad at her. If it wasn’t for her addiction to cigarettes she would not be in this situation and she would not be putting my father through this. When the doctor told us, after her lung biopsy, that the cancer was back, my dad said “She can’t catch a break.” In my head I thought, “But she did
this to herself!” How can I think like that about my own mother?
2. My grandmother (mom’s mom) is now in a nursing home full-time. She went in in February. It’ll be where she dies. She is 91 years old, senile, incontinent, mostly blind, can’t walk. She initially recognizes me but forgets in the next hour that I’d come to visit her. In her moments of coherence she will complain that she hates the nursing home and hates being there. But then I wonder if she remembers in the next hour that she’s miserable. I don’t feel sad
…once again, I am mad, because she put herself here by not accepting help and being too stubborn for in-home care. She wouldn’t move and live with my mother when they retired, instead opting to stay home by herself. When it started getting too difficult to do normal everyday things like laundry or housecleaning, she refused home-care help. So when she was all alone and fell and broke her hip and was delirious because she was malnourished and dehydrated, it really was her own fault. That I think this of my own grandmother makes me feel guilty.
3. My friend Dave from college committed suicide by shooting himself in the head a few weeks ago and was taken off his ventilator shortly after. My husband and I just saw him a month ago, we went out for dinner. I don’t have many details but it seems completely avoidable and nobody had any idea he was in any kind of desperate, depressive state. I know I should feel sad and shocked, but I don’t really feel anything…just numb. I cried when we found out about the accident but it was more crying because my husband was crying and I felt so sad for him, as he was closer to Dave than I was.
4. My husband and I purchased a new house this year and we are due to move in in August. I hear major life purchases are a stressor. In my mind I am looking forward to this event but quickly feel overwhelmed with everything that goes with in...the packing, the moving, trying to fix up the old place to rent out, dealing with finding renters, the work that will go into the new house, etc.
The good (I think):
I have noticed since these events started that I get weepy at really silly things.....good events, happy news. Have you ever watched "Restaurant Impossible"? I cry when they reveal the new restaurant to the owners, because they are so happy. If I read about a heartwarming story in the news, I tear up. This is not normal behaviour for me. How do I know if I am handling this stress
? Shouldn't I feel other than anger toward my mom and granma....like compassion or hope, not anger and guilt? I exercise 3-4 days a week and I try to eat well, but exercise doesn't seem to be helping with this right now.