April 4, 2014 by Marj Hatzell
I think I’ve finally figured it out.
You know, the thing that has made me lose my writing mojo.
I was blaming it on the illnesses, and subsequent deaths, of my parents. The exhaustion, the sadness, the grief. Somehow it all made sense. And yet there was still something missing…
I was blaming it on Bugaboo’s sleepless nights. My inability to sleep, exercise, or take care of myself was taking a toll on me, both physically and mentally. While that certainly doesn’t help, it isn’t the only reason.
The truth is, there is something much larger. There is something that has been looming over me like a black storm cloud and affecting every part of my life.
(And thanks to my fabulous therapist, we’ve gotten to the bottom of it. The real thing that is getting in the way of my happiness and daily functioning. The thing that causes me to freeze in panic. Thanks, Dr. H!)
I’m worried about the future.
Specifically, I’m worried about Bugaboo’s future. Our future. His future without us. I’m frightened about what may happen to him when we are no longer here to take care of him. It’s the thing that causes me to lie awake at night, my heart pounding, sweating profusely. It’s the thing that causes me to snap awake when I’m taking a cat nap. It’s the thing that strikes like lightning while I’m in the car, on an overpass, waiting at a red light. It seizes me when I’m choosing apples at the grocery store and washes over me like burning pitch.
Oh, the panic attacks.
The panic attacks have been the worst part. I have been absolutely frozen with the very thought of my demise. What we have figured out is that my parents’ deaths really rocked my very core. It helped me to realize I am not going to be here forever. I mean, DUH, I KNEW THAT. But suddenly it became much more real. SO MUCH MORE. Like, HELLO! Let me hit you with this heavy red brick upside the head. You’re gonna die! When you’re gone, your kid will be left here to fend for himself! You know, the one that needs 24-hours-a-day supervision and care? THAT ONE.
So it turns out I’ve had to make a few, you know, changes? The thing I’m really, really, really not good at? CHANGE. (Apple! Tree! Again!) I’ve cut back on caffeine. I’m not totally cutting it out, that’s like asking me to give up potatoes or my first born child, yo. (though, he’s a curmudgeonly teenager now and IT IS SO TEMPTING) I have started making daily walks with my dogs and time outside in the sun a priority. The weather and illnesses this winter made it nearly impossible to keep up with the “Taking care of me” regiment.
I’m getting back into the swing of things, though, and I’m feeling better. You know, somewhat.
Sure, we have plans in place. We have a will, though we still need to get our special needs trust drawn up (which will be happening in the very near future. Like, this month, even.) and figure out who we will leave as his guardian. I’ve talked to several siblings and even a nephew. They all want to help.
I know it seems like we have a long time to figure this stuff out. But he is eleven. In ten years he will age out of the education system and lose every service we’ve fought to get him the past eleven years. We’ll actually begin planning for the adult years in the next few months, as far as getting on lists and registering for things and whatnot. We’ll have a service coordinator and we’ll begin the process. Ten years ago we were just starting this journey. In ten years we’ll have to have everything set and ready to go. It isn’t very much time, you know.
I know I cannot control everything and I certainly cannot control the future any more than I can control the past. We’re being as proactive as we can be. But I’m still terrified. I’m terrified that someone will hurt the Bugaboo or victimize him in some way. I’m terrified they won’t watch him one day and he’ll wander off and get hurt or die. I’m sick to my stomach at the possibility of him ending up institutionalized because whomever is taking care of him when I’m gone just isn’t able to do it anymore.
(Before you ask: Yes, I have stopped watching or reading the news. There are too many triggers lately. I cannot even watch television or movies, too many real-life-type story lines. Too much real life, period. I’ve got my own reality programming RIGHT HERE.)
So there you have it. Mojo stealer. Now, how to get it back? That’s what I’ve got to work on.