Monday, April 20, 2009

Apologies in advance for the wandering nature of this update

Yesterday when I was there, my dad was breathing on his own. He opened his eyes a few times, and when he woke up, he woke up gentle and sweet.

I said, "I love you, Dad."

And he mouthed, "I love you." And took my hand and put it to his mouth to try to kiss.

He loves me. He loves us. It's not that he doesn't. He just struggles.

There are close family friends who feel angry, who feel betrayed, who feel protective and furious on our behalf.

And the truth is, I'm just sad. It's not that I'm a bigger person - we all know I'm not - and last time I was furiously rageful. Rage is understandable.

But I've worked through a lot in the intervening time. And while it breaks my heart for all of us to go through this again, it makes me abysmally sad for him. You do this out of desperation, out of clawing for some relief. You don't do this because you rationally want to abandon your loved ones.

There's nothing rational about it in the moment.

I think there are people who get this and people who don't. And there are people who don't get it and can still support you. And there are those who can't.

What I've decided is that the people I know who have never personally experienced or dealt closely with depression don't understand. I think of them as the godancers.

Because they're the people who, when you tell them you can't go out that night because you're in a bad place, are all, "Go dancing! That'll make you feel better!"

And all it makes you feel is an overwhelming urge to kick them in the teeth.

No wonder I gravitate, over and over, towards people who get it. Who have a dark side, and who don't question mine.

Nick is mainly just sunshine. He falls in the "go dancing!" category, but tries very hard to be understanding, even though he realizes he will never see the world through the same prism.

I feel lucky lucky to have him as sunshine, as a rock. And while we've exchanged some salty words, I've not kicked him in the teeth.

As if I could reach if I tried.

But I digress.

I don't even know what I'm really talking about.

The fact is, my dad is better but not as better as I thought. His heart went from very low to crazy high. They had to give him a dose of something to bring his heart rate and blood pressure back down from scary high. He has an infection. His breathing isn't strong.

In other words, he could still die.

And to these friends who are so angry about this time, and how do we know he won't just do this again? - even thought I know it comes from a place of love and protectiveness - I just want to say, could you just support us through this for a while? Could you table your anger and frustration for a bit? Or at least not hand it to me?

Because I understand the anger, really really I do, but honestly and truly, he may be your friend and you may be hurting, but it's my dad we're talking about. Give your anger to someone else right now. Because right now, I can't fucking handle another scintilla of it.

Boy, writing that down feels better. And now, my friends, I am off to the hospital.

And thank you all again for being there for me, for caring, for offering your support. Just thank you. Thank you so much.


  1. I sit here with tears on the sides of my eyes, not quite escaping. I feel for you and will keep your father in my prayers. I lost my grandmother to suicide before I was born and know, though I never knew her, that I missed out. I hope and pray your child will never have to know that feeling. Give your dad a hug and treasure each day. {{{HUGS}}}

  2. *hugs* and good thoughts.

  3. Godancers...what a perfect way to put it.

    I understand it far too well. Your strength and courage during all this is admirable.

    Thinking nothing but positive thoughts for you and your dad.

  4. Still thinking of you all. Feel free to kick the godancers in the teeth metaphorically!

  5. I'd be happy to take care of any godancers you need to have taken care of. Just send them my way.

    My thoughts are still with you.

  6. virtual huggage - and i too want to relieve the "godancers" of their dentition.

    take care of yourself, hon.

  7. I've got mysterygirl's back (and yours). Hope the next few days are full of healing, for all parties involved. Love you!

  8. I am so, so happy to hear that you got to talk to him. And you, and your family, and your dad - you get all the support you want, from me. All of you. And if you need more, just tell me.

    Hugs and more hugs.

  9. I am so happy for you that your dad woke up gentle and sweet. I hope that his blood pressure stabilizes and his infection is treated and he continues to be sweet and not angry.

  10. You are all in my prayers.

  11. Still thinking about you and your family.

    It is hard for people to grasp and they can't fully understand all the dynamics unless they are in your shoes.

    Just know that there are people who get it and are there for you to lean on.

    I hope that your dad feels better today.

  12. You are an amazing woman... your strength and dedication and openness and love and protection and anger all at the same time makes you that much more admirable.

  13. Godancers. Hmmm. I hope they read your blog and keep their thoughts to themselves.

    I'm glad your dad woke up gentle. I pray he stays that way as he recovers.

  14. I gravitate toward the people who *get it* too. Maybe that's what first drew me into this blog? To you?

    But yes, I get it, and I'm so, so happy to hear the good news and so, so understanding of the fact that it's not over.

    I'm here if you need anything. Truly.

  15. It's difficult for those who have not experienced, either themselves or someone very close, that kind of despair. They mean well I suppose. Hang in there Lisa. Good thoughts to you and your family.

  16. It makes me smile to know you and your Dad were able to exchange I love You's. And it breaks my heart you're going through this and his life is in danger.

    I support you 110%. Biggest hug ever coming your way, and Nick's and Betty's.

  17. i'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts, and hoping for good things to come. make sure you get the rest you need, and hang in there.

  18. While there are many things I appreciate about your blog, I think the thing that moves me most is your candor about how you've experienced your dad's depression and your own dark side. I've battled depression, and am always aware of it waiting in the background for an opportunity to invade and take over, and know from too much experience that the justsmilers and godancers and whatever are living in a different world than I am. It's not something I'm able to talk about beyond a small circle of friends, so I really appreciate that you do. And I'm still putting the energy out there for you and for your dad.

  19. Glad you said this. The truth is - this isn't the time for "why doesn't he just..." or "why don't you...." or even the simple question "Why?"

    There will be time for that later. Now you need support. You've got plenty of it here and hopefully those who wish to push their sadness and anger onto you will think twice before doing it again.

  20. I wish you all the best. I truly do. I feel awful that you are at this juncture right now of balancing the care of a parent with the care and nurturing of a growing little one inside you. You are far stronger than I am. I wouldn't be able to cope. I'd be begging for a valium or something. Good wishes being sent your way!!

  21. I understand all too well the "just go dancing" people. and they don't get it. my mother has struggled with intense, deep depression for as long as I can remember. as a child i didn't get it and i got mad, but no i understand, because sometimes, i'm in that dark place too.

    anyway, i just wanted to stop by and let you know that there are so many of us out here who understand what you're going through.

    i've said a prayer for your father and your family and you guys will continue to be in my thoughts.

  22. Continuing to think of you and praying that your father recovers. I'm so happy you were able to talk to him. Love you!

  23. I completely understand that dark place! I will continue to send positive energy to you and your family!! Hugs to you!

  24. There will be a time down the road for dealing with all sorts of feelings and emotions. This isn't that time. For now, just focus on your dad getting better and surrounding him and your mom with the love and support they (and you, too) need.

    Good luck, stay strong. Sending you lots of good, warm, healing vibes.

  25. My older brother is an on-again-off-again drug addict, my father is an alcoholic, my mother has been married and divorced 3 times, and my sister recently found out her husband was shooting up. Me? I'm as close to normal as I can be coming from this family... My boyfriend is a godancer. My boyfriend...he is from the happiest, most normal family I have ever met in my life...seriously I used to be waiting for them to let the crazy out...turns out they don't have any. Anyway he and I always struggle with the "I need you to be here and listen, but not try to give advice or fix something becauseit'snotfixableandIknowitandIamnottryingtofixitIjustneedyoutolistenwhileIprocessthisorsulkorcryrightnow" conversation...and I have wanted to kick him before too.

    I am so glad that your dad has woken up. I am continuing to keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers...and I will pray for Nick too...that he can find the balance of listening and letting you handle and process things in your own way...and just be there for you without trying to fix anything or tell you how to handle it.

  26. I've been really thinking about you all and sending off lots of prayers and good wishes for you.

    Glad to read this.

  27. Lisa....All my thoughts and strength I send you and your family. One day at a time girl thats all you can do right now. Even though it may not feel like it sometimes, know you are not alone. We all stand behind you and send you our strength.

  28. :/ Oh Lisa. Your dad, your family, you are in my prayers.


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