And nothing remotely kinky about it....
I am - we are - the sandwich generation. My parents are in very poor health, have been medically fragile for years now. They live in their own home, with outside help, but only just at the threshold of not managing. My sister and I live far away. It wouldn't be possible for either of us and our family to live with them in any case, nor for both of them to live with either of us. But this arrangement is tenuous.
And last week it tipped over. I spent the week sitting bedside in an ICU, hoping and praying and facing very conflicted feelings about end of life, and quality of life. I was also the comfort, support, decision maker, everything coordinator, protector and let's face it - the parent - to my mother.
Meanwhile, my family, my children and my husband, my job, my obligations and commitments of all sorts here, went on without me. Many people graciously stepped in to cover for me. But i am not good about accepting help or not meeting my responsibilities. I'm just not.
My husband, very wisely, was nothing but supportive throughout, no demands, no obligations or expectations, no rituals, just concern and encouragement. I couldn't have handled being sandwiched between any more roles, trying to meet and failing any other responsibilities.
My father is out of the woods now, we think. I'm home for a few days - trying to catch up. There's more to do there, more back and forth, more time away. But for the moment, my husband became my Master again, i returned to Him, he made that happen. And it feels very good.
The overwhelming stressors are still there though: the impossible situations, the powerlessness to help, especially from here, the not knowing, the obligations not met and catching up i need to do, the looming return to that role, when i really want to stay in this one. Yesterday on the phone my husband was offering concrete solutions to a specific problem, He was offering to cover for me - yet again. And i lost it.
I yelled at him....I don't do that, never, well, hardly ever. And he told me i should, told me to lash out and let go. That i need to. And he was right.