It’s almost Zen like… I can see both sides of this coin at the same time.
My youngest brother was blacked out drunk when beat up my sister and her car and then he sobered up a bit went into detox and rehab last weekend. He’s been in for six days. The kid sis has been tracking this.
So far he’s sober, he’s craving, he’s confused, he’s a bit in shock and he sound’s a bit disoriented. He refuses to see or talk to our sister. He’s wavering between “It’s all her fault” and “It’s all my fault”
I can feel his guilt and remorse and confusion and self-hate and anger over the phone. He’s physically not up for visitors yet and he’s not ready to face the huge black eye he gave our sis when he was blacked out drunk.
He knows he’s lost his long time girl friend. She moved out this week and went back to her family. “It’s all her fault for leaving him, it’s all his fault for driving her away.”
He thinks he lost his job. He works at the same pool as the sis and little does he know, the kid sis called in a lot of favours and did a lot of fancy talking so he could get another chance. He’ll be placed on leave and not fired.
I remember when I was in hospital and just getting lucid and med compliant. I remember that I wasn’t ALWAYS motivated by anger when I didn’t want to see my family. Sometimes I was motivated by fear. I was afraid to see what I had done to them. Sometimes not seeing them, I was motivated by self-anger, or shame. This was in the later stages when doctors were telling me that the fact that I even cared what they thought was a huge sign for the better. Hurry for me then, but it still broke my family’s heart.
The other side of the coin: I can see how completely confused and heart broken my sis is at having her second favourite older brother treat her this way, blame her, refuse to even speak to her. These two chipmunks were always a dual act. John used to make Riley to be a cute little girl and distract the crowd while John shop lifted bags of candy. These two could get into a lot of trouble if left on their own too long.
But my sis grew up standing outside the door of the psych ward. She says logically… She’s not expecting gratitude or anything our brother isn’t capable of giving right now. Emotionally this is really breaking her heart. This is my parents fourth son and fourth round of inpatient rehab. They don’t seem surprised by most of this. So when my sis cries to them for understanding they have been a little numb. They probably have to be. But this is my kid sis’s first time as an adult doing this.
It’s an eye opener to see it from this side. I was the one in hospital so many times, I didn’t see the waiting by the phone part, or the absent but still there part, or the pacing and worry. Any suggestions from care givers on how THEY got through the wait and worry would be helpful.
She is just slightly more religious then I am. I heard her say “there’s no such thing as an atheist in a fox hole, or on a bench outside a psych ward.”
Thank you caregivers. May your loved one someday appreciate all that you have done for them. Even if they are unable to say it.