Sick.....with disappointment

Growing up was difficult psychologically, due to my disassociative parents. My father, a WWII POW and my mother, well, that's a story in and of itself.
At about the age of twenty, I had a minor epiphany when I realized that my parents, like many others, including myself, did the very best that they could, with what they had. My mind was showered with compassion by this simple realization. My view towards people as a whole softened greatly. My home has been an open door to all. I have been aware of the depth of my sensitivity towards those around me. I often grieve because I lack anything of value or virtue that might help or heal the suffering that I see around me.
Slowly, that open door has closed. My compassion, although still present, has turned to sorrow as I feel that those most close to me have been a major disappointment. I have tried to rationalize this feeling. Perhaps I am projecting my view of self upon others. Perhaps I need to let this thought, this feeling arise, pass, and attach no significance to it.
But the truth is, and I do take some responsibility in this, bad behavior tolerated leads to license. My neighbor acted rude, bigoted and unconcerned about how his actions affected others. When I finally spoke to him about his behavior, neighbors became enemies. My older brother and sister acted as little selfish children when my mother died and we have parted ways. I am not angry. I just cannot tolerate their bad behavior any longer.
My oldest son has bi polar and is a heroin addict. I have acted well, both as a parent and as a mental health advocate. Although painful, I have made smart decisions concerning his addiction and mental health. My other son, in some ways, is a greater disappontment. I asked for his help to help retain the elder's apartment and he blew me off. I was left alone.
Left alone, God dammit. It always seems that I am left alone. To carry the burdens. To make the decisions. To have it all together. To be healthy, for those that depend on me. To meditate, because it maintains equanimity, and I must maintain being the cornerstone, the ridgepole that supports all those around me.
The epiphany that once sustained me has withered like an elderly nursemaid. I find no wisdom, no solace, no direction in the eightfold path. Friends have proven to be empty. Family is better left to themselves.
I recall a preacher of old telling of Job's tribulations and that throughout it all he refused to denounce the love of God. It is true that it is easier to hold on to your idealism, your faith, when things are well. When things are desperate and depressing, well...that is where the rubber meets the road.


caper said…
indeed tim. it is when the shit hits the fan that our beliefs are tested and seen for what they really are. i suppose that is when we develop new beliefs that hopefully will be more fruitful. i think people will let us down and we will also let them down. expectations are just that..they aren't reality. they say forgiveness is letting go of the idea that the past is going to be any different? well i still have a degree of anger at my parents mixed in with compassion...quite frustrating
capenutter said…
i hope you feel a bit more peace today...and me too and all those in a psychological quandary. but those who unravel...grow..
Loralee Choate said…
Disillusionment blows.

Being alone sucks.

Thinking of that damn cliche "That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger" when you are suffering and in despair is ridiculous...

Until things look up (even slightly).

Hold on.

steve said…
these words
cheap advice

is all
i have

are braver
than most
De.vile said…
Probably walking away (if thats what it is) doesnt help. Too much guilt, too much frustration.
Tim said…
Cape - The shit has hit the fan.
loralee - Having blogger buds does help. Thanks!
steve - easy to be hard; easy to be cold. Compassion can wane into numbness.
de.vile - runaway? Never. Walk away? When it is time....
justrose said…
thought provoking as usual. hope, despite all this, that things are looking up. was just thinking of you and wanted to say hi.

I want to offer some words of hope and encouragement while not sounding flip or patronizing (which is often hard to do via email or the internet).

Shit happens. It's part of life. We can't escape it for, if we did, we wouldn't be living.

This manner of realization is not the kind that brings us comfort. It doesn't provide us with a warm fuzzy feeling. Still we must learn to embrace the negative with the positive because, if for no other reason, our travails and tribulations provide us with the means to truly understand and appreciate our joys and moments of tranquility.

While I DO understand (more than you can ever know) the feeling of being left alone and abandoned, my belief in Tao always brings me back home. If, as Taoists posit, we are all connected to everything else, then we can never be alone.

And, my friend, the responses on this blog prove to me you are not alone. There are people here who care about you, albeit in a virtual way. You have made connections and a connection means you aren't left out on an island.
Capegirl said…
yes no island for you tim, we're all here bugging you along the tao