I wrote recently in a blog about how I now had to face the point of maybe euthanizing my cat of 17 years old, because her kidneys are not functioning 100% but otherwise she is healthy. She had a seizure on New Year’s Eve and it’s the first that I am aware of so the vet said to give her a chance with some medication for now and see how it goes. She is eating and going to the loo although she is a bit quieter than normal, she is supporting herself and is purring and sitting on my lap and doesn’t appear to be uncomfortable in anyway. But I should imagine the seizure was pretty traumatic for her as I know it was for me seeing it.
This has opened up another point in me and that was back in 2002 and 2003 when I was faced with having to make the same decision for my parents.
I was a child of older parents as considered by the medical profession and society in 1968 as they were both in there mid 40’s same age as me now. So when I was in my late teens they were the age that a lot of my friend’s grandparents were and in many ways I was taking care of them to some extent although at that time the level of abuse to their physical and mental state was very early stages. My Mother was always a drinker and so was my Father and they drank heavily every day and my Dad smoked heavily too. My Mother suffered badly with anxiety and stress and didn’t cope inwardly with things even though on the outside she was always smiling/happy. My Father was a quiet man who liked his Jazz music and his football on a Saturday. My Mother worked all of her life as did my Father until he got to age 55 and he was diagnosed with Altzhimers and he slowly deteriorated until my Mother finally agreed to let him go into care when he was about 65 after trying to take care of him herself. She always told me to not let her put him in a nursing home and in the end she did and she took great pains to tell me that “I told you not to let me put him in a home “like it was my fault somehow! Any way he was in a home and by this time I was in my early twenties and tried to visit as much as I could, but I didn’t like going, he didn’t know who I was anymore and got aggressive and every time I took my Mother she would cry and cry and it was never worth the hassle. So I avoided it as much as I could. She used to moan at me to take her because she didn’t drive. Now I haven’t mentioned here my two older Brothers who were in their 50’s at this point and left home with their own families, so essential the buck stopped with me most of the time, although on occasions my Brothers and their wives would help out, especially towards the end of my parents lives.
My Mother started drinking very heavily when Dad was in care and completely destroyed herself, she lost so much weight and aged rapidly in about 5 years. Her liver was shot and her kidneys barely worked anymore and she was depressed and just drank. I would call on her every day and sometime find her sat in her own urine and excrement and many a time she had fallen and injured herself. One time she was smashed over the head with an iron bar by youths who stole her pension and she was left bleeding in her own home because she slept on the ground floor with her windows open and was so stuborn that she wouldn't take any notice of my fears for her. I really hated seeing her like this. So I had my Father in care and my Mother who couldn’t take care of herself. Eventually my Father had a heart attack and he was at the stage in 2002 where he couldn’t feed or take care of himself at all, so when the home phoned me I had no hesitation in saying don’t revive him after I had spoken to my Brothers. My Mother by this stage was also in a home with dementia and she was rapidly going downhill. So then a year later when she was taken into hospital with aggressive cancer throughout her bowel I was called again and asked “would you like us to operate?” They said if we do there is a 50% chance she will survive and recover but she would never have a good quality of life as she would have to wear a bag for her toilet business and be fed by a tube. Jesus Christ!!! Again I had a meeting with my Brothers and they basically said “It’s up to you” “Well I said if it was me I would want to go now! So that was our choice. Now back to the cat, I am faced again with this decision and I see that this time as much as I want to keep her for my own selfish needs, I see I have to do what is best for her. So I will walk the self-forgiveness on all points that come up.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hold on to the guilt of letting my parents go and that I see it as my fault in some way that I was the reason that they died.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not want to face my Father or my Mother when they were sick because of how I would find them and then within that I would go into fear of seeing them hurt or sick and I created a belief within and as me that I wouldn’t be able to cope with it and the emotions that came up, so I suppressed the emotions and preferred not to visit them. Thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to suppress and bury my emotions and to not want to cry or get upset in front of them because I saw that this just made it worse for them, so within that I would hide from myself and pretend I was strong.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to see my parents as my responsibility growing up and then within that think I was at fault when they were ill or unhappy.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be angry and frustrated with my parents as I saw that I was their carer and I had very little time for my own life and I saw that life was always a drag and I was in constant fear of how I would find them, so within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear my parents being dead if I visited them or injured in some way, like I was constantly in this state of fear.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to FEEL sorry for my Dad as he was always happy and had to put up with my Mother moaning at him all the time and because of this I blamed her for him getting ill. Therefore I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to blame my Mother for my Father’s illness and for having back chat whereby I would say it’s your fault he is sick he wants to get away from you. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hold on to the guilt of wishing my Mother ill and then within this I created a belief within and as me that I made her ill because I was nasty to her in back chat.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to worry and stress about seeing my cat have another seizure because of how she was distressed and within this I am fearful of finding her like that again, based on a memory of my own parents being sick.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel guilty that I may have done this to my cat in that, I may have been feeding her the wrong food, was there enough fresh water for her, could I have done more?
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to suppress my feelings and emotions of sadness about my Mother and my Father and within that I held back tears at the funeral and just stood there supporting my Brothers, when the whole time I felt angry inside that my Mother destroyed herself. Thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hold on to anger and hate towards my Mother and then within this FEEL guilty about it as I am supposed to ‘love and cherish’ her
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to visit my Mother because I FELT obligated to do so and the whole time I was there, have back chat and look forward to leaving again.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to diminish my Mother to my Brothers and then FEEL guilty about it and go to see her as a way to make me feel better about myself. Thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to carry the burden of guilt and within that only visit my Mother to appease my own guilt.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to take on the responsibility of my parents and to then complain and moan about it as a chore and something that I didn’t really want to do and then within this I would blame them for me missing out on my growing up and having fun.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create a belief within and as me that my Mothers drinking was somehow attributed to me and something that I had or hadn’t done and that I wasn’t fulfilling my role as daughter somehow as her words to me used to be “Well you only have one Mum” and then she would say and “I really do love you” like she was trying to manipulate me to say it back and often times I didn’t/couldn’t.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to now liken this to my cat and doing the right thing by her and within this I forgive myself that I haven’t seen/realised and understood that doing what is best for my cat is what is important here and to not make her pay for the fact that I have fears and FEEL guilty for having to let my parents go and for taking on the responsibility of the fact that I maybe could have done more. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define myself by my cat and to see her as the only one that has ever truly been there for me and within that I have a desire to keep hold of her.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to keep replaying memories of the cat having a fit and within that judge it as a good or bad fit and see that she came of it quickly, so then within that I justify it as not too bad. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hold on to hope that she will not have another fit and then within this watch her closely for any signs and then within that I see I am not relaxed and neither is she, so I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to keep myself and the cat in a state of stress.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear making the wrong decision and in the case of my Mother and Father have to face them on the other side of life. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create a belief within and me that I will be punished for giving the go ahead to let them both pass over. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear ending my cat’s life prematurely as the vet said she is still ok otherwise apart from her kidneys and she deserves a chance. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear finding my cat dead and stiff as a board and me not being there with her to say goodbye and thanks. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to wish that she would just peacefully go in her sleep and then that way I don’t have to face making the decision to put her down.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed a world where children become their parents to the actual parent without having the proper preparation to handle, cope and face this responsibility where the parents become completely dependent on their children to take care of them.
When and as I see myself going off in my mind in blame and annoyance because of how I believe that I have missed out on my formative years because I was taking care of my parents. I stop and I breathe and I bring myself here within and as the breath and I commit myself to walk a process of seven years to stop the abuse that I have allowed to exist within and as me, by correcting myself in every moment that a thought about my past arises within me. I commit myself to eradicate the character of victim and I commit myself to continue to forgive myself on all and any points that still come up, until I am walking clear and here stable within and as the breath of life.
When and as I see myself as worrying and stressing, about the cat. I stop and I breathe and I remind myself that if I am here in self honesty in every moment of breath I will always do what is best for all. I commit myself to stop stressing and worrying about something that may happen in the future by breathing and slowing myself down and trusting myself to do the best for all in the situation when the time comes.