Surrendering is hard for me.

There’s all this “stuff” going on in my life that’s challenging me.

I’m a highly sensitive person.   I don’t know if I would have been this way anyway, or if I became this way due to childhood and relationship trauma.   Probably a little from column A and a little from column B.

There’s been a LOT of challenges in the past few years.

And now my dad’s (yes, the same one I honored in this post) been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma and has been in the hospital for a week because his lungs have been filling up with fluids.  They drained 1500 ml one day and 1300 ml the next.  They just performed a procedure to be able to keep a port in place that will allow easy drainage access and they don’t have to keep putting needles into various places on his chest.

They also performed and MRI, because often, when there is lung cancer/tumors, there are also brain tumors as well.  We’ll get the results soon.

The most awful part about this is that he lives about 5 states away.  I only get updates by phone.  I have talked to my dad nearly every day and I’ve been so grateful.  Despite the severity of the illness, he sounds so upbeat.

And, while I’m not afraid of death – I know it’s a part of life.  I am saddened that I have to be so far away from my father while he’s so seriously sick.  I can’t be there to relieve my stepmother so she can get some rest.  I feel a little frustrated with that.

And, I have only seen my father and stepmother once in 33 years.  It was one wonderful weeklong trip, but our relationship has been via phone…and while it’s wonderful to have that, it’s not quite the same.

I told my sisters about it, and only one of them has contacted my father.  The other one, as far as I know, still hasn’t.  This kind of makes me feel all sorts of sad for my father.   The estrangement wasn’t his doing, but my mother, who worked hard to poison my sisters against him.

So far my recovery from childhood and marital dysfunction has been incredibly hard.  I spend many days at least breaking down in tears at least once a day if not more.  And of course, as my father’s diagnosis this month and my brother-in-law’s lethal car crash last month indicates, life does not stop while you recover.  Sometimes it continues to bring you challenge after challenge.

One way or another, you break from all this grief.

I’m in a recovery program for adult children of alcoholics and an al-anon group.  There is so much *stuff* to recover from.  But the thing is they talk about is how 1) perfectionism and 2) control are two of the MAJOR stumbling blocks for adult children of alcoholics/dysfunctional families.

I am fearful and mistrustful in response to childhood and relationship trauma.  Sometimes I think distorted thoughts, obsess about my mistakes, fear when I have nothing to fear, compulsively act without thinking and, impatiently demand that I change, NOW.

I have a great deal of trouble surrendering and turning over my will to the care of God as I understand God.

I AM willing, at least on paper.

Cognitively, I totally understand the point of surrendering.

I just can’t sometimes.

I lost trust in God a long time ago.

I have so much trouble with this, from an emotional standpoint.  And I’m struggling to let go when I’m struggling with a lot of fear and mistrust.

I’m kind of feeling like things just keep going from bad to worse…though I am pretty sure I have it no more worse than the next person.

Sometimes it’s just so hard to keep the faith when life keeps knocking me on my ass.

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About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
This entry was posted in adult child of alcoholics, adult survivors of abuse, Cancer, Compassion, Father Loss, Grief and Loss, Healing, Highly Sensitive Person and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Surrendering is hard for me.

  1. Phil says:

    Casey, so very sorry to hear about your dad’s condition. I believe you are doing the right things in keeping the connection. With regard to others in your family, all you can do is what you’ve done – make them all aware. They are responsible for their own actions, if any, that they take with this information. Focus on how your father feels about you and your interactions, and let it fill the void left by others who haven’t yet reached out. I sympathize with your plight of being so far away, but I know in my heart, the simple act of communicating with him each and every day goes a long way in meeting his need for contact.

    Blessings to you Casey.

    • Casey says:

      When I talked to my dad tonight (for a very brief time because I caught him when he was dozing off), he told me he was so glad I have been talking with him almost everyday (yesterday he had a procedure to put the port in him, so I gave him time to rest).

      I am not too worried about my sisters. I wonder if they will come for his funeral. I think it will be hard if they don’t want to go, but then again…it might be hard if they do. My sisters are NOT warm fuzzy people. They are cold and distant. I know it’s not even “them” but the dysfunctional ways they have of relating to the world. Still, it’s not like i can take comfort from them, because they just suppress their feelings.

      I was talking to my stepmother about an hour before I talked to him. She said when he dies, he wants a big party. He wants laughing and happy songs and a celebration of his life, not mourning his passing. And he wants to be cremated and his ashes thrown over a gorge in Colorado. You want to know why? So he can soar with the eagles.

      What a wonderful attitude he has. I hope I can be so graceful when I’m at the end of my days.

  2. Casey, my heart is breaking for you. It is so hard to turn over control when it seems so many things in your life are out of control. While I know it won’t lessen your pain or ease the turmoil in your life you are not alone and as an adult child of an alcoholic I share some of the traits you mentioned and have gone through my own personal hell to the point of distancing myself from God. When I reached one of my last breaking points and was brought to my knees I found myself begging Him for relief. Then a song by Whitney Houston “I Look to You” started buzzing around in my head and while it wasn’t an immediate miracle cure I’m now willing and able to trust Him.

    I tried AA and Al-anon decades ago and was so grateful that the groups have and are helping so many people. For me it was like exchanging one addiction for another by living for the next meeting along with tons of coffee and cigarettes (I’m now free of this). But they are an amazing support network and the one thing I am still learning from them is letting go of those things of which I have no control (it wastes too much brain power).

    Please know that I will keep you in my thoughts. ~Steph

    • Casey says:

      Thank you SO much. This means a lot to me. I really appreciate your kindness.

      I love Whitney Houston. I love her song The Greatest Love of All. I cried when she died, kind of a lot. I don’t know why, but her struggles always touched my heart.

      “For me it was like exchanging one addiction for another by living for the next meeting…”

      I smiled at this. Sometimes I think CHURCH is like that, so I stopped going. I hesitate to become one of the ‘old-timers’, HOWEVER, I’ve been turned onto Tony A’s version of the 12 steps…SOOO much more different than the current (Big Red Book version). I am hesitant with others still…but I’m less judgmental with each meeting I go to. There’s this really funny lady who ALWAYS cracks us up at the ACA meetings, which is nice because some of our shares are really intensely emotional.

      I’m glad you don’t have the smoking habit anymore. I’ve had other addictions (love/relationship addictions), and in some ways, that was harder to break because you can live well without cigarettes, but you can’t live very well without people.

      Yes, I totally agree that the inability to let go over the things we have no control over wastes so much brain power. Been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. I have had obsessive tendencies to dwell on the uncontrollable and make myself ill.

      I’m slowly learning to trust Him and myself again. The groups are helping me practice healthy interacting with others and unlike therapy, I don’t have to pay anyone to listen to what I’m struggling with. It feels pretty nice to know there are others that 1) struggle and 2) are committed to their own recovery and well-being.

  3. ksbeth says:

    i am so sorry that you are going through yet another trauma. my thoughts and hopes are with you and your father. hugs ) beth

    • Casey says:

      thank you so much, beth.

      the thing is…at least his diagnosis is something that’s occupying my mind while I wait for my results of my second biopsy for ‘low grade’/approaching moderate abnormalities in my cervical cells. when it rains…it pours, I guess.

      thanks for the hugs.

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