It’s been a month since my last entry and there has been so much to choose from that I could write about. I’ll do what I trust and share what has me feeling afraid. Why would I choose to share what has me afraid? Because doing the opposite is safer and offers the least emotional obligation to the receiver, and in our human desire to be liked, loved and appreciated, it’s how we often times choose to communicate. Personally, I don’t prefer people in my life that want as little emotional obligation as possible, and I wouldn’t want to be that type of person to someone else either.
On July 1, 2013 I got a call from my fathers wife telling me that he was in the hospital. She continued to recant for me the events that lead him there which included erratic behavior, violent vocal outbursts and disorientation. This happened about a year ago and the difference in the information I received from last year to this year is so uneven. Last year I was informed that his blood sugar had drastically dropped, my father is diabetic and regulates it with medicine and diet. What I didn’t know then was that the paramedics had to restrain him to the stretcher because of how he was reacting to them. This year restraints weren’t necessary. After being admitted some of the nurses thought that it had to be more than just low blood sugar, and when those levels were checked they were normal. What has been so hard for me is not knowing what is wrong. I don’t need to know what is wrong so I can try to fix it, I WANT to know what is wrong so I can be informed, offer support and not be blindsided. My father is a proud man and he is a sensitive man. For decades he has carried with him guilt about the type of father and husband he USED to be and until recently it’s been the most pain I’ve ever seen him experience. My fear is that out of shame and embarrassment he might not be telling me everything. Can I make him tell me everything, absolutely not, he can only tell me what he’s going to tell me. And who is to say that if he did tell me everything I’d even believe that he was? I don’t know. What I do know is this, something in me has been fractured, maybe it’s the realization that he won’t be here forever and though I know that in a practical we all day someday sense, it doesn’t make it any easier emotionally.
A few years ago I had someone very close to me admit that they had seriously considered suicide after receiving some life changing health news. They were embarrassed, ashamed and afraid of so many things that ending their life seemed like a viable option. To this day, when I don’t hear from that friend for a while, I wonder if they’ve walked down that path again. I wonder why they ever felt that they couldn’t talk to me about what was happening. This is a bit selfish on my part, and I admit that. I won’t apologize for it, but I will admit it. I may never know what they were feeling specifically, but I do know from personal experience how one can move towards an act of suicide. In my time of need, they were there for me and as long as I’m able to, I’ll be there for them. I just have to be given the opportunity. I may not be that person for everyone in my life, but it doesn’t mean I’ll stop letting him or her know that I’d like to be if they need it.
Shame is deadly. It can choke the voice out of someone that may need to speak out, and it can isolate you in ways unimaginable. In keeping quiet because we are shameful, we stop others from loving us. We block out support. The people who unconditionally love you will stay that way and those that have conditions will find their way out of your life. I am guilty of this, even to this day. The more I love someone the more I am aware of shame and the more afraid I am to share myself. In writing that last sentence I realize how ridiculous we are as human beings. Any other creature has no concept of shame; their love seems to only grow with time. Humans analyze, judge, second-guess and play games. I read a post on facebook this morning from what I assume is an article from ww.TheMindUnleashed.org and it speaks nicely to my motivation for today's entry. I’ve included it in this post.
To sum up, my father is doing better and is now at home. I intend to talk with him and find out as much information as he’ll give me about what happened, what the doctors said and what can be done to avoid a three-peat.
What I would like to leave you with is this. When shame starts to make a home in your mind, acknowledge its presence, understand why it’s there and then talk to someone you care about. Share everything that is present for you in that time of shame that you can. You could save your own life, you could enrich someone else’s and you’ve shown someone a piece of your own Life Kaleidoscope. We are all made up of too much variety to only show one part of ourselves. Stand in the light of who you uniquely are and see how beautiful the world can look.