How was your weekend? Mine was blah.
Went yarn shopping, hooray! Spent much money at yarn store, blah. Then there was blah blah cleaning, blah blah laundry, blah blah bringing in firewood, blah blah my dad had a stroke and is in the hospital. And, my uncle is having health problems, resisting going to the doctor, for further blahs.
My biological father had a blockage of his right carotid artery, and he had a stroke which has paralyzed his left side. How permanently he is paralyzed, I don't know. There is talk of performing surgery to remove the blockage, and of physical therapy. There is a danger, however, of the blockage becoming dislodged which would kill him instantly.
My uncle has heart problems, and had a heart attack in December, which I didn't know about until recently. I don't know many of the details, except that my aunt is very worried and is having a hard time because he is very resistant to going to the doctor. I haven't visited them yet. I must make a plan to do so very soon.
My biological father and I, we don't have a great relationship. Visiting a relative in the hospital with whom you have a great relationship? Awkward. Can be difficult to come up with things to talk about, mostly because of the hospital milieu. Visiting a relative in the hospital with whom your relationship is tenuous? Very, very awkward and strange and weird, which becomes more so when you run out of things to talk about.
I've had several people say that it did him a lot of good for me to visit. I know the people who said this meant well. I'm even willing to agree. My reaction, however, was that I don't want to hear this. Why? After much meditation and soul searching (which means half a second later, because it's not deep but rather, simmers on the surface) I realized it's because I don't want to be made responsible for his happiness again. I feel particularly sensitive to any suggestion to that effect, no matter how normal a thing it might be to say to someone else.
As a kid, I was made to feel responsible for his happiness and I believed it. Since my parents were divorced and I visited my dad every other weekend, and he spent a lot of time feeling depressed and telling me how depressed he felt, I, in turn, felt like a failure. This is not a feeling I want to relive, and so I'm very sensitive to it. It has taken me many many years to learn how to cope with that feeling, and to come to the realization that it was not my fault, and that it was unfair to do that to a kid, and that my feelings are perfectly normal. It's a little too soon for me to stick my toe in those old waters again, even though I have new information and coping skills.
Of course, I can see how in a given situation, a visit from a relative would do someone in the hospital a lot of good. It is a normal thing for most people, but it is not normal for me. I want very badly to implement my fabulous/crappy Avoidance Tactic. That works well, except when the people whom you are avoiding, die. Then you have lost your chance to talk to them and are then left with bad, unfinished feelings.
Honestly, who the hell am I kidding? It's a sucky tactic. I am having a hard time handling it right now.