Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Trying to understand why I'm so cranky

I seem to be very cranky today. In my Bereavement Group, someone brought a cake to celebrate the birthday of the loved one who had died by suicide and for some reason this just annoyed me. I understand why this person wanted to celebrate the birthday but I just don't get doing this at the group - I know we're close but I didn't think that we were that close. It felt like an imposition to me.

I was also mad that the mom brought her month-old baby when the baby had a cold. I don't like being around sick people, even if they're only a month old. I didn't touch the baby, of course, and I tried to stay away from the mom, too. The baby was also noisy because she couldn't breathe.

I'm fairly sure that I'm over-reacting to both situations. I'm cranky. Yesterday my sisters and I found out that our mom's big debt - the student loan she'd never acknowledged or paid - has been written off and the case closed. This debt had been hanging over us and we were relieved that it's gone. But instead of feeling super-happy about the fact that the debt is gone, I've been grumpy and tense.

I used to argue about that loan with her because she just refused to pay it. She couldn't afford the full payments, and I get that, but she decided that she would stop acknowledging the debt and so she'd never have to pay. To me, that kind of thinking and behaviour was and is unethical and dishonest.

I guess I'm pissed off that she got away with not paying the debt. She got away with something I think is dishonest and that really bothers me. In some ways I feel bad because with the debt discharged, I'll receive a small pension inheritance - which means that I'm benefiting from this situation. While I'm not going to give up my small inheritance since the debt was legally discharged, I wish we'd never been put into this position in the first place.

The fact that this debt has been dealt with also means that we're one stop closer from finishing up with my mom's estate. Each time we get something done my mom's death seems more real. And in a strange way, for me it seems that the things we're doing to close up the estate somehow keeps my mom close and alive to me. Which means that as each step in closing the estate is completed, I'm feeling like my mom is being taken away. It's almost like she's dying a little bit at a time with each step.

There's nothing at all rational or logical about these ideas and feelings, I know. I don't even know if what I'm saying makes any sense to anyone but me. The trouble with feelings is that they have a mind of their own and I can't just tell them to be "normal" or to do what I want them to do. Still, having written all this out I have a better understanding of why I'm as cranky as I am, and that's a start. I think there's more to all of this - why am I associating not closing the estate with hanging on to my mom? - and I'll have to sit with those feelings for a while to figure it out.

I tell you, sitting with one's feelings and accepting them for what they are is hard. It's worthwhile, because I can start to respond to things in my environment rather than react to them, but it is not an easy process. I just hope that by looking at why I'm feeling cranky, I'll be less cranky in the days to come.

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