I spent the whole day in bed again. Witnessing Miney’s death was so much like reliving J’s death (the trauma of which I still haven’t begun to process) and dealing with the blowback from outing my MIL as an abuser have done a lot to interfere with my recovery process.
I’ve lost all the progress I made in terms of having my appetite back and being able to function normally. I assume I’ll get back there again but it’s going to take a while.
Amy dealt with taking Miney’s body to a pet cremation place and cleaning up and getting her cage out of the living room and I know a lot of that was really gross. I gave her my credit card to pay for it. I’m just so glad and relieved that she could do that for me because I really would have had a tough time with it right now.
But I’m also worried about her, too. She’s stepping in and taking over a lot of the stuff J used to do and I don’t want that to be her role in our family, which I told her.
We talked for quite a bit this afternoon and she and I both acknowledged that I have a lot of learned helplessness that J enabled. I know about it and know that I need to learn how to do more things for myself to be an independently functional adult.
I know that I’m going to need to do them over the next few months. I just can’t right now.
I also talked to Amy about what it was like watching J die, in kind of an overview. I cried a lot and went through a lot of tissues.
And then I admitted to her that I have been suicidal and that I had a plan. I just really don’t want to live without J anymore. That was hard but I trusted her enough to tell her. We had a role reversal and much in the same way that I had to do the same for her when she felt the same way several years ago, she had to protect me from myself and take away my means of doing it.
Then we talked a lot about survivor’s guilt and how I’ve been feeling like it would have been better if I died and J lived instead.
She told me that if that had happened, she gave J six months tops before he became an alcoholic (he had a strong family history of it.) And he wouldn’t have talked about his feelings at all and wouldn’t have gotten Dylan into therapy and that the cycle that I’ve worked so hard to break wouldn’t ever have been broken. I have to admit that she was probably right about all of that.
The whole thing just made me feel so fucked up and dysfunctional. I still have to learn how to be a full adult, rather than a half-adult. I was too dependent on J and I know it.
But in other ways, and this is what I think Amy was trying to tell me, is that I have the potential to be the healthier parent going forward than J would have been. It was clear that she wasn’t trying to put it in those terms, as though one of us was better than the other. She has great respect for both of us.
I am still having a LOT of trouble with believing that there’s any possible advantage to the kids of having me around compared to J. I still feel like hands down he was the more capable parent with cooler interests and I am the immature second-rate version.
Amy reminded me that I still have a lot of stories to tell (quite literally, as she feels that my writing helps people) and I can work as a therapist to help heal people and it would be a very sad loss to the world if I gave up today.
I’m trying hard to believe her but I’m not quite there yet.