Most Decidedly Here


Archive for August 2011


Oh, this year.   One of the lessons I have learned in my almost-36 years is to never ask “what else can go wrong?” Never. So, I don’t. Still, as life is wont to do, things continue to happen. Good things. Bad things.  I really wanted this new blog (my third attempt) to be something…else. A place where I can share my thoughts and feelings. I envisioned it being a wide array of emotions.  It seems, though, that this blog…at least in 2011…is going to consist of “Debbie Downer” information.

I have a favorite uncle. Sure, you’re not supposed to have favorites but, let’s me honest, we all do.  My favorite uncle – W – was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year. As far as cancer diagnoses go, it was pretty favorable.  He went through treatment (radiation) and was deemed pretty much cancer-free. (In as much as one can be declared cancer free so soon after treatment.) Then it came back. It had spread into his spine so they decided to run more tests and start radiation and chemotherapy.  My aunt told me that the doctors were taking the “wait and see” approach to his prognosis. In other words, they don’t really know how bad it is….well, didn’t know.

Aside: My mom is currently staying with my aunt and uncle while my uncle goes through radiation treatment. I should point out that my aunt/uncle are on my paternal side and, while my parents have been divorced for almost 30 years, she still remains close to his family. She would remain good friends with him were he not married to a woman full of low self-esteem and anixety and were he not fully of anxiety himself.  My mom was already in the area with her job and when the job came to a close, she decided to visit with them and help out.

My mom called me yesterday and I could tell she had to share some bad news. There has been so much going on this year that I couldn’t even harbor a guess as to what her news was so I finally just told her to spit it out.  My uncle’s cancer…the man who was more of a father to me than my biological one…is terminal.

I felt…nothing. Not even numb.

I’ve been wondering if I have some type of emotional detachment. Not one stemming from a narcissistic personality disorder but one from living a lifetime filled with anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, the news is upsetting but I feel nothing.  My friends, after I shared the news, all said their “I’m so sorrys” and asked how I was doing. I made up some feelings. Appropriate feelings for the situation.  It’s not that I am emotionless. On the contrary, I am overcome with emotion quite easily. (Case in point: parades make me cry…can’t explain that one.) It’s just that when it comes to people who are not directly in my life (meaning, in the same State as I), I have some type of emotional cutoff.  I’m sure it’ s a defense mechanism. Or are all people like that?

I have essentially cut myself off from my mother’s family.  My grandfather (her dad, whom I adore as much as, if not more than, my uncle) is probably the one exception. The last time I visited the family back East (8 years ago), however, I said my goodbyes to him.  He has been declining for the past 10 years – dementia and health – and I decided that I was done with that side of the family.  There was too much turmoil and emotional abuse (although abuse seems too harsh a word but I cannot find another word that fits) growing up that when I realized my grandfather assumed I was visiting every day (he is prone to hallucinations), I no longer needed to associate with that side of the family.  My point is this, I am supposed to want to visit and care for these people because we share a genetic code but I don’t. I feel nothing.

I have started to become reacquainted with my father’s side of the family (my father excluded). Yet I still have the emotional cutoff. I enjoy spending time with them (I have visited them a few times since moving out here 11 years ago) and enjoy calling, emailing and such. Yet I still have that emotional disconnect. If they’re in my life, that’s fine. If they’re not, that’s fine too.

I’ve never really felt as if I have belonged. I’ve always felt like an outsider. Different.  As an adult, I have realized that everyone – at some point or another – feels this way.  Do they also have the detachment?

Am I being melodramatic?

I assume it’s a proximity issue. When my mother-in-law died, I was very emotional about it. We lived only 30 minutes from her and helped take care of her in the last years of her life.  So maybe I would feel differently if I still lived near my family. (I have no desire to live near my family.)

On the brighter side, my father-in-law started gaining weight so they took him off of Hospice.  He still has his good days and bad days but that is par for the course with dementia.


Written by mellydea

August 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Posted in ramblings

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