Persistent Underlying Sorrow

by Maria
(El Paso, TX USA)

My father died 2011, in June. I bought a guitar in january 2011 hoping to learn to play with my husband, so I could play for my Dad. The day he died I haven't touched that guitar. My husband keeps telling me to play but it holds nothing for me now. My Dad is gone and I did all I could but he had kidney failure and he didn't want to live anymore. He stopped treatment and then he died. Because I was so busy taking care of my family, I couldn't be there for him all the time.

I am sad that I haven't been able to help my two autistic sons have more productive lives. One works at a job, which is good. He still lives with us so he doesn't have to stress about life expenses.

The other one is more severe. We've been trying to get him disability for two years. I just want it so he can spend it on some college. He loves to learn. He wants to help children. The church ignored his request to work in the nursery so he could get some experience.

My other sons, one is trying to get into the military, he has ADD but stopped taking the medicine over a year ago. I'm in charge of helping him. I'm in charge of all my sons. I get flak if something doesn't go according to plan. I get flak if the house isn't clean enough.

I'm in charge of the finances. We just took a huge paycut this year. Like many Americans. But everytime someone asks me if they can buy this or that, it comes down to me. they ask me. I have no job. Just a mom. so it's not really my money, so I can't say no.

I never ask for anything. I feel like I have failed everyone.

My youngest son has trouble in school, I'm the one who had to go to all the meeting alone, and take him to the psychiatrist. And get all his phone calls saying the medicine was making him sick. and finally take him off the medication so he could go to school and not get sick.

I'm in charge of everyone's emotional health, physical health..everything. And there's no one there for me. They used to get irritated if I went to see my Dad. I sometimes feel like getting out of bed at night and walking into the desert and not coming back. but it would make my family sad. that's the only reason I don't do it.

Mary,

You bear the pain of sadness over the death of your father. Alongside, you lead a busy life, managing the home, its finances and emotionally helping every member of your family. All you get in return are complaints and the pressure of making decisions, where you don't even know if you are right.

Your sadness will wane over the years. You are evidently a pillar of strength for your family and your reward can only be your inner knowledge of the truth - that you did your best. As we pass through life in a few short years, all we can do is to try and do our best. Feel assured that you are doing just that. Still the guilt messages, which bother you.

Leading a busy life, with so many responsibilities thrust on you, you need to find joy in life. Set your goal to be the improvement of your performance of each of your daily tasks. They call it Mindfulness. When you have a goal, the nervous system sends dopamine to your forebrain, granting you energy and vitality. If you focus on doing each job better, any improvement in your performance will reinforce your interest in life. Spare a little time to learn to play the guitar well. Whatever life throws at us, we should be able to say I was happy and did my best.

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