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Wednesday Looking Ahead
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On the agenda for today: visiting the VA and enduring another visit with hubster, who will continue his campaign to manipulate me once more into the rescuer position, load guilt onto me and operate with emotional blackmail. I dread these visits.

I really try to approach each visit with an open mind, a neutral set of expectations, and an attitude of compassion. But as each event repeats the same old patterns, it gets harder and harder to be detached from ego expectations and to exhibit compassion--in other words, be true to my own values.

I react to being manipulated and blackmailed as though I'd been punched in the gut. I come home in exhaustion and remorse, wondering how I could have handled it better.

Though these behaviors are lifelong patterns for him, the Parkinson's has exacerbated them, as he falls back on habitual modes of being while his higher brain functions fade.

He tries to make me feel guilty that I have a life of my own that doesn't include him. And that I won't do what the VA has said is unacceptable (bring him scissors; buy an enormous easy chair being two examples). Every visit is a tug of war--literally.

My mother, who was also ill, never resorted to emotional blackmail and manipulation. If she were alive today, I'd call her up and thank her for that. She let me go, to live my life, and for that I'll be eternally grateful, even more now that I see what it's like when a loved one is manipulative and controlling, with poor judgment to boot.

This afternoon promises to be lovely and warm and calm. I'm looking forward to it!

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