Night Shifts

I don’t get to sleep a lot anymore. And I don’t get to do what I want at night.

I’m not complaining. I’m not ranting. I’m most certainly not blaming anyone. I just need to share this.

Usually when I get home from work I do whatever I want at night. Basically just relaxing and de-stressing. Now I immediately go to my dad’s room and begin my “watch”. Up until past midnight. As long as my sleepy eyes would let me, I’d watch over my dad so my mom could get some rest.

I feel bad for my mom. She does this for hours. I do it at night. Although my dad doesn’t really sleep. He’s restless all the time. I can only imagine how hard it must be for my mom, doing this four hours everyday. It makes me feel guilty. Because sometimes I want to get out. Sometimes I want to have fun again. Sometimes I would get home kate on purpose. 9pm. Because I’m too depressed to take care of my dad. But when I do take over, my mom would thank me. She would audibly whisper “thank God I can finally sleep…”. I can hear the fatigue in her voice. Within seconds she’d be asleep. And all the guilt in the world would wash over me. If only I weny home earlier. Things like that.

My mom would ask me if I would watch over my dad the coming night so she could sleep. She didn’t use to. She doesn’t like forcing me to help. She knows how hard things have been for me too. But now she does. I know her. She really needs all the help she can get now. And she’s exhausted. This isn’t how life should be for her. I want her to run out of things to be sad about… sigh… random thoughts…i…

 

I don’t know again. I rarely write coherently now. Well, I only get the time when Im at home. Currently watching over my dad.

What’s wrong?

It’s 10pm. I’m in my parent’s room; watching over my dad so my mom could continue sleeping.

I helped my dad get back to bed after he used the bathroom. As I was helping him, he looked at me with eyes wide open..

Dad: “Ano problema?” (What’s wrong?)

“Hmm? Wala po” (Nothing), I said with a smile. I thought nothing much of it as I’m used to him asking random questions by now. But a few moments later he asks once more.

“Sigurado ka?” (Are you sure?)

“Ano yun? Sabihin mo na habang kaya pa.” (What is it? Say it while you still can)

I honestly don’t know what to say dad… Was it just a coincidence? Or were you able to see behind my smile..? What can I say dad? How do I say it?

How do I tell you that it hurts to see you like this? You’ve hurt me so much these past years, that this question took me by surprise. You never, ever asked me how I was before. Not this way. You never apologized for anything.

I just smiled. I urged you to sleep. I couldn’t find it in me to ask…

Have you finally accepted me..? Or are you still ashamed of me..?

I wanted to cry dad. But I couldn’t. Not in front of you. Not in front of my mom who was then sleeping beside you. But by the time I got to my room, the feelings were gone. Pushed away unintentionally. A some sort of reflex defense mechanism.

Sleep well parents. I’ll take first watch tonight.

Super Mom/Love

 

Mom, I’ve wanted to ask for a while now… How were you able to hold on for this long? Despite all the pain, the deceit and the hardships. I should know by now that you deserve someone better– you deserve a life better than this. And yet, despite being hurt and lied to countless times, you manage to forgive. You still care for him. For us. But he never changed. Up until his deathbed you remain burdened by everything.

The weight on your shoulders are starting to show by the way you walk. Your eyes, tired from the sleepless nights, sore, from all the crying. Your knees, weak from supporting someone else’s weight when you yourself find it hard to support yours. Your feet, tired from all the walking as all you do is walk around the house, catering to his needs.

If that’s what true love is,

then your capacity to love is amazing.

And that scares me.

Loving someone that much.

Mom,

I don’t say it out loud. That despite the countless times that we get into arguments and fights, I do appreciate it. Everything you do for our family.

We’re lucky to have you. I’ll make sure to remember to tell you that out loud sometime.

I don’t know

I don’t know… I think I might be scared. No. I don’t think so..? Perhaps I’m just lazy..  No. I’m not that shallow.

I really don’t know. Maybe if I continue to write this entry, the answer will come to me. So let me start off by stating what it is I’m talking about.

My dad’s condition is only getting worse. It’s gotten to the point where he needs assistance in anything he does, from eating food to going to the toilet. The thing is, my mom is his acting caregiver. It was my dad’s request to stay at home. He doesn’t want to be hospitalized anymore and he refuses any medication except painkillers.Along with this, he also refuses to be buried in a coffin. He strongly wishes to be cremated immediately and have no funeral held for him. (I just thought I should include this fact)

Now, what is it exactly I am having mixed emotions with? You see, despite my… dislike… for my dad, I still do my best to be a good son to him. I try. Always have. So I spend a lot of my free time in his room to keep him company. But the thing is, whenever he needs something, he never asks for my help. And the thing is, he doesn’t want it. But I’ll get to that later. So whenever he needs something, he’ll ask my mom for help. Sometimes nicely, sometimes, not so much. But whenever this happens, I know how hard it is for my mom. She’s not really in much better shape than my dad. She’s in her late 50’s and she’s not in good shape. Especially considering the amount of physical stress a caregiver goes through.

I hate it. I hate seeing them both struggle this much. So whenever this happens, out of discomfort, I always leave the premises. I know. “Is that what a good son does?”. But it’s not just the helping out. My dad would sometimes get cranky and rude and of course we can’t do anything about it. He would ask for plenty of things as well. Basically, she no longer has any time to herself. She can’t even get any sleep. She’s there 24/7. And that’s not an exaggeration. My dad wakes up every 15 minutes or so to ask for water, go to the bathroom, watch TV, sit on the chair, etc. And it’s hard for everyone. I’m lost. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m not even exactly sure what I’m referring to anymore. I just felt the need to write this out again. I’m sorry.. I don’t know why. I just am.

But now, I’m working even harder. I need to help. My mom cries whenever I hug her hard. And she herself is asking me for help sometimes. Sometimes she would ask me to feed dad. Because she can’t even eat unless he finishes eating. And he rarely finishes his food. Luckily, I’m a fast eater. But now I’m trying harder than that. I stay in the room to alleviate my mom temporarily. A “change of shifts” if you will. But what does she do with her free time? Work. She doesn’t rest. But at least the stress from taking care of my dad is lifted temporarily. So I too experience what my mom has experienced ever since my dad got sick. She’s been doing this for 3 years. Wow. I know my dad hasn’t always been bedridden, but my mom always took care of him. Especially during after operations and chemotherapy. Only it’s gotten worse and harder now.

But despite my efforts, there are still plenty of instances where my dad refuses my help. He would ask if my mom is busy outside. And he would choose to not do anything instead of asking for my help. Sometimes when I do help, he’d tell me to stop. So instead I have to temporarily call my mom to do what dad asks. But sometimes I do insist. Especially if those tasks are simple. Water to drink. Water to gurgle. Sit up. Move to the chair. The remote. I can do at least that. If he refuses, I’ll do it the other way around. I’ll do whatever mom is currently doing so she can tend to my father. As long as I can help. I’m not complaining. I can’t and I won’t. But I must admit that this is hard. But then I think that my mom has put up with this for years. Especially when it comes to my dad’s mood swings.

I’ve gotten off track.

What exactly am I referring to here? Perhaps it’s about being my dad’s caretaker. But I see that I’ve rambled on. I’ll stop for now.

So what exactly do I feel?

Depressed that’s for sure. But regarding the matter? I’m still unsure.

I do and I don’t

During breakfast today my mom burst into tears. Told me I should spend more time with my dad. As much as I could. She said he’s almost… gone… told me about the pain he’s going through and the changes she notices everyday.

I know she’s the one experiencing the worst. She’s with him everyday. And I know how much it hurts her.

That’s why… I feel… guilty…

No. That’s a lie.

In truth, I don’t feel anything. I tell myself that I’m just “prepared”. But I know. I just know. Too many things have happened that I just can’t feel anything anymore. And that should make me feel guilty. For not caring. But that would be either ironic or contradicting. Feeling guilt instead of sadness and remorse.

People will tell me to let go of the anger and the hatred I have. That I should do as my mom says so that I should have no regrets. But they don’t know that I do… I always do do what my mom says.

I spend a lot of time with him. Even laying around in their room just so my presence would be there. I requested that at work they let me go home one hour early JUST so I could eat dinner with my dad. They don’t know I did that. I talk to him and I always run errands for him just to help even if just a little bit.

And guys. I don’t. I do not harbor any feelings of hatred or resentment. Yes, I do rant from time to time but that’s all there is to it. I just like to rant about my problems and the things I don’t like. The things he’s done to make me depressed, anxious and insecure. I’ve been doing my best to let go of those.

But in the end. Right now.

I just don’t.

I can’t…

Feel..

Random List

My dad has cancer.

We are in debt.

The house is faulty.

We have no stable source of incone.

We need to sell the house.

We need to look for a cheaper house.

I’m personally in debt.

I have a small salary.

Deadlines at work.

Two part time jobs is kind of stressful.

Teaching takes up a lot of my energy and time.

Random anxiety attacks.

Depression hurts.

Relapsing.

Love sick.

Emotional pains.

Parents that make me feel guilty.

My dad doesn’t accept my sexuality.

He never will.

He will never get the chance to change his mind.

His cancer is stage 4.

He’s mostly bed-ridden.

He hasn’t gone outside his room for weeks.

He’s hooked up to IV fluids now.

I have a bad streak with people I like. People I fall for.

Some of my friends are insensitive.

I get judged a lot.

People think I don’t have problems.

People say I’m never sad. (HA!)

People think my life is easy.

I don’t have the right to be sad.

I’m running out of money fast. And it’s only the 2nd day of the month.

The bank ate my 1000 peso debit amount because my account was under maintaining balance for too long.

I had to buy new batteries for my vape.

I miss being in a relationship. But that’s irrelevant here I guess.

I suck at life.

Some people hate me so much they want to watch me suffer.

I lost one of my badminton groups because of the statement above.

I miss being happy.

I miss playing games.

I have to take up my masters soon.

Im afraid of having part time jobs while studying. But I have no choice. I need both. All three actually.

I’m afraid my masters might make my anxiety worse.

I’m afraid of ruining my relationships.

I’m easily hurt.

I’m insecure.

I have low self esteem when it comes to the right things I hate about myself.

My parents discourage me. They bully me too.

Image is more important than happiness. Pertaining to the statement above.

I’m seroously underpaid at work.

I’m working for 10% of what my pay is worth. Seriously.

I have to study what I teach and study new things and work too.

I want to stop. Stop everything. Living.

My sister is pregnant.

I can’t be selfish.

I’m gonna be an uncle.

I can’t hurt my family.

I can’t leave.

I miss doing other things I like doing.

I think I’m gaining weight.

My face is developing cysts AGAIN.

I might need surgery/an extraction on my face again. What’s this, the 5th time? Sigh. More pain.

I’m suffering from bad hairloss. It’s stressing me out.

My teeth aren’t fully aligned again.

No gas money.

No money for meds

Dad’s not talking straight anymore.

I can’t.

I have to.

I’m trying really hard.

And I’m trying really hard to look like I’m not trying hard.

I just wanna be normal sometimes.

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