This blog contains not only medical, but also psycho-social issues in dealing with the life-transformativeness nature of becoming considerably ill.
This article deals more with the psycho-social portion of the issue.
My father lays on his death-bed. We, as a family, have agreed to limited measures to keep him alive. As such, emotions in the family are riding very high.
I am the last of eight children in a large not-so-devout-anymore Roman Catholic, Cajun family. I have since left the religion and joined another. For some reason, a good portion of my siblings have decided to turn against me. It became glaringly evident when I reached out for support in the early days of my diagnosis and I hit cold air. Since then, there have been a number of occurrences that have taken my understanding that I am somewhat an out-cast, not only to my siblings, but to the extended family. I have a few nephews that talk to me, on occasion. I have two sisters of my other seven siblings that communicate with me. One, I feel I can tell anything, and she listens. The other, I can tell anything, but she doesn’t listen. I have a third sister, that is completely disjoint from the family.
Since the beginning of my internment at my house, I’ve been visited twice by blood family members.
Let me explain this clearly. My world consist of three monitors, a TV and the wildlife that I attract to my back yard. This is a back yard that I try to visit at least once a day, but sometimes that is even difficult.
Every several days, I try to make it across the street to a woman her husband that are gold. I can’t explain how these people make me feel. The husband was over here earlier today to let me cry to him. They are not young. They could be my parents or grand-parents, but instead, they chose to be my friends. For that, I am eternally grateful.
I am not sinless. I have done things that probably earned the ire of my family members. However, it would be nice, in my time of need, for a little inkling of support. Instead, I get attacked, by several members of the family. We have a family text circle. I have several members blocked for past attacks. When the topic of the family chat had strayed to attacking a cousin, I asked them not to cast stones and keep the topic on Dad.
I had to block all but two of my sisters.
One of the sisters, called crying, apologizing for the behavior of the others. I told her that I would not allow her to feel bad for them. That, whatever they said, it didn’t strike me. I was able to cheer her up. I told her about Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal that come to visit me every day. I don’t always get to talk to them, but they are in my back yard every day. They gather the seed I leave for them.
On the days that I can sit on my patio, they don’t mind coming to the feeder within 6-10 feet of where I sit to drink my coffee. My wife and mother-in-law think that they have become accustomed to me and that they understand I am no threat to them.
I tell my sister that story. She stops crying and is happy again.
I explain to her that everyday I live with the chance that I could potentially kill myself with the meds I’m taking, or that my neurological system could cause my heart to stop. I tell her that a few people that can’t say anything good to anyone will not ever ruin my day.
I have come to find that when you are scared for your life, many things cease to matter. I don’t have time for strife. If you want discord, leave. On social media, my phone, etc, I actively word to rid the negative influences from my purview.
In her apology, she said some things that confirmed what I have suspected for a while: My blood relatives don’t want me around.
I have friends that have help me realize that family is not only those that share your DNA. They are, truly, the people that share your journey. They are your true family. Your family consists of people that care for and love you. The family is not limited to the offspring of conjugal visits.
I have some wonderful people that are members of my family. I also have two dogs and, evidently, a pair of cardinals.
These people, all over the globe, are my family. As one member calls it, they are my circle of care.
People amaze me. The amount of love and caring they can possess. They are the ones I choose to focus on. I have seen Death. Death is terrifying. All other evils in this world, melt away.
Jay C. “Jazzy_J” Theriot