Struggle & Love

I have spent the last week feeling like one more teeny tiny microscopic thing is going to be what does me in. I have dealt with so much suffering — or if I want to look at it from an enlightened angle, growth — in the last few months… I mean, the Struggle is Real people.

I am absolutely delighted that I am no longer the same person I was a year ago, really. But what that means is that every single one of my relationships is shifting into something it’s never been. I am no longer responding how I used to. I am no longer talking and acting as I used to, so people don’t know how to react to me anymore. I am no longer camping out in front of a bonsai tree waiting for life to happen to me. This is it. I’m living it.

I read last week that when you’re evolving as a person, it’s completely normal and okay to feel “lost” as that is the most common feeling when you’re in a place you’ve never been before.

My therapist has been asking me “Where is the love in this situation?” anytime we talk about anything. The love? Well it’s right there in the middle of it all, holding hands with struggle.

There has been a court session where my barely adult child had to give testimony of her experience of the stalking an ex boyfriend was doing, right in front of him, a judge, and a courtroom. I am so proud that she decided to stand up for herself. She was awarded a No Contact Order for a year, but the consequent pain and turmoil that it had the entire family in during the wait for the court date was horrible, and the experience inside the court one of the most brutal experiences I’ve ever witnessed. There was also beauty and love to be found in the situation: the family rallied together and took shifts hanging out at her work so she’d never be alone; following her to the friend’s house she was hiding at to make sure the guy wasn’t following her; the night when after lawyers couldn’t “find” him to serve his papers during an entire week of having them, the women in my life joined together in one of the most beautiful expressions on the divine feminine I’ve ever seen, and served the papers within about three hours of getting them back from the lawyers; the love and support that was showered over my child; and the phenomenal organization we found, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services, that was a group of the most empathetic people I’ve ever met, that not only listened to our story multiple times, but cried with us, listened to us and cared, gave safety tips, and even sent a Court Advocate to be with her in the “lawyer box” and be a stand for her safety. There was so much love amidst such nastiness, how can you not be grateful?

Then there was the falling out between my brother, who is 40 years old, who plays Minecraft once a week with my 9 year old daughter (I mean how amazing is THAT, that he would take the time to connect with her in such a way?), which truly broke apart her foundation and sent our whole family into a tailspin. The love in this experience is showing itself, with a deep and open-hearted conversation between my husband, my brother, and myself that just happened yesterday, where apologies were made and awareness was present. I’m not entirely sure if their playing together in the future is going to be a safe place for her, so I will need to continue in this inquiry.

The last several months I have been struggling with my situation at work. I have worked the same job for 17 years and I do love what I do, but I have lost the love I had for my boss. I have seen things from a new awareness, and I do not like who I have been in the matter. We have opened up a dialogue these last few weeks at least, and I have been able to express some of my truths. I am unhappy and cannot continue to work there as things are. They had asked me if I was interested in purchasing the business a couple of years ago, and said they want to stay for 5-6 more years before retirement. I was able to say that I can’t do this for another 5-6 years and they said I could buy them out at anytime, which is great news, but I am now back to the questions; 1) do I want to own a business?, and 2) is this what I want to do with myself? I have a choice, and it’s a big one.

One of the most difficult things that just came up this last week began with a text I received from my mom, saying that my dad was having a seizure or a stroke Wednesday morning, but that she was on her way to him (he works a couple hours south right now on a building project) and we’d find out more later.

He has a rare disorder called dystonia, which is closely related to Parkinson’s disease, however without the tremors. The body freezes up due to lack of chemicals firing in the brain, usually dopamine and serotonin levels. He has spent close to a decade working through all the various natural remedies for the disease; chelation (the process of eliminating harmful heavy metals that have built up in your system and effect your brain), essential oils (which, since they are 100% natural like your body is, are one of the only things in existence that can cross the blood-brain barrier and reach the brain itself), and similar treatments. He has been taking a slurry/shake full of amino acids the last 3-4 years at various intervals during the day to increase brain chemical firing and improve physical movement to get through the day, but at the end of every evening he’s had an unbearable come-down from the medicine that results in painful flailing and tremors for 15 minutes to 2 hours. His quality of life has been going downhill quickly, and the only other option we feel is left is resorting to synthetic medicines that people like Michael J. Fox find success on for 5-7 years at a time, and then rotate to another one. The side effects of these drugs is unbelievable; organ deterioration, insomnia, muscle pain, diarrhea, flu like symptoms, even dementia.

Watching a man that was larger than life and a powerful physical being become a little man sitting in a chair that can barely feed himself has been hard. My mom went on a trip a few months ago to visit a friend, and I spent a lot of time with him during those weeks. I was able to see how far downhill he’d become over a very short time period and I think that was when I broke down and accepted this new reality and did my grieving. Since this episode happened on Wednesday, my two sisters have been processing their grief and it’s been very sad to see. I have strangely been emotionally stable (very out of character!) and I can only credit it to the fact that I spent time with him those months ago. Maybe my sisters were still in denial until now.

My dad ended up having a severe reaction to the medicine, and got very out of balance. He was actually hallucinating, sleep walking, stumbling around, falling, and banging his head, and since he wasn’t coherent to reality and time, was taking too much medicine at the wrong times. Throwing up, not eating due to nausea, not drinking water, taking sleeping pills, bouts of alcohol use, no wonder he wasn’t completely aware. He’s currently detoxing and they’re working on getting him to a doctor to get on these synthetic drugs, as we see no other step to take.

Meanwhile the baby sister of my family had her 29th birthday on Thursday, which she spent sobbing, and then we attempted to have a family BBQ yesterday at the beloved family property my parents might have to sell now if my dad can’t continue to work. It has been bitter-sweet.

The love has shown up in my dad’s story every step of the way. His apology for not taking care of himself, us kids not blaming him one bit for his mental state, my cousin being there to take care of and love him, a family friend offering to do Gen Shen sessions on him two times a day this week to help enhance the detox and healing, and the way we’ve rallied to his side to talk with him and comfort him. This is a long walk still ahead of him and my mom, and I am sad for the loss of many things they held the vision of experiencing still, but I know that our family is strong enough to make sure that no one is left alone or suffering alone.

Love just is. It’s everything. It’s in every cell of every thing that lives. It’s in the creation of every thing that has been invented. It is in the weeds that persist through the concrete. Love will prevail because Love is the Truth and all there is. “The finger that points to the moon is not the moon,” just as no words can describe the Truth no matter how much we try to write about it. It’s an awareness, a consciousness, a state of being, an essence. Love is who we are. It just is.

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