I have several half started blog entries sitting in my saved file folder. They deal with a range of things from personal to political. However, 2016 has been a rough year, so it was hard finishing any of them. Then Wolsey prodded me gently that we should finish the chapters of the book we promised six months ago, so we can start the edit process. He is right of course, so that is what I have been working on for the last two weeks.
It finally happened though, this weekend marks the completion of the first round of rough draft for the book we have talked about. It has been a really deplorable year, marked by a lot of family/professional/political headaches. Finishing the first round of work is an awesome high for the year.
I had just finished the last chapter of the rough draft in which I dealt with the events around Wolsey’s top surgery. I think Wolsey looks great, and at no point in time have I ever had a second thought about his transition. However, I still feel bad because I can’t separate the grief of my father’s passing with Wolsey’s surgery. I can’t just celebrate Wolsey’s victory.
I didn’t realize it until I started writing that chapter about the month of February that I really haven’t gone into all the horrible details here (or even in my personal blog). When I started writing that last chapter I felt I was in control, and it would be done. By the time I finished it, I felt guilty, lost and depressed.
Evidently I can’t seem to separate the great feeling of his transition during this event, the grief of losing my father, and the horror of the circumstances around my fathers death. I really want to be able to just focus on the good. Wolsey is healthy, attractive, and most importantly happy with the results. The surgery was an absolute success in itself, but even with that knowledge it doesn’t feel like a success to me on the inside.
I have to come out and say this is the first time in the entire transition process that I want a redo. I put off talking about the details because I didn’t want to take away from Wolsey’s success. After all the surgery was about his needs, and what he wanted. However, writing that last chapter included everything that happened (but not even close to all the horrific details about my father’s death), and it brought up a lot of sludge that I thought I had pushed away.
So now I feel guilty that I am angry about the situation around the surgery. We had planned the surgery in detail. We were prepared financially, emotionally and physically. I was focused on providing anything Wolsey wanted. I wasn’t even angry other than normal grief about my father passing. However, there was (and still is) incredible anger involved in how my father passed.
Family members denied him pain medicine in his final days. There was jealousy that he had woken up out of his unconsciousness specifically to grab me, and tell Wolsey and I how much he loved us and was proud of us. Those family members that were involved in heavy drugs lost their perspective and thought by holding his pain meds back, he would wake back up and talk to them. They were partially successful after several days.
The whole time I argued with those family members, begged them to just let him sleep. Wolsey tried to explain to them the process of dying and that it can be painful (and full of anxiety) for the person. That is why they are given morphine and anti-anxiety meds. There were daily arguments each day I drove 3 hours up to his bedside.
Sadly, my mom was confused, hurt, and was stuck with those other family members for hours that I wasn’t there so she didn’t try to stop what they were doing. Wolsey spent nights when he was awake arguing with those same family members, explaining they were causing pain to my father.
Sometimes, I still wake up in the middle of the night and lay there hating myself for not having been able to have taken care of both Wolsey and my dad. Wolsey was undoubtably in more pain and uncomfortableness because of this, and my dad died a much harder death then he had to.
I don’t hold a grudge, but the family member who did this to my father came to me during my mother’s passing five months later and said that my fathers painful death still haunted them. I have to admit there is a big part of me that hopes that family member is haunted for the rest of their life. I don’t know if I can ever forgive them. Even if I forgive, I will never forget what they did.
Sadly this isn’t even all the crappy things that happened around my father’s death, you are just getting basic cliff notes (someday I will post something in depth about this), except to say it was the worst death, of the many I have witnessed. It was the worst death Wolsey had seen in ten years of nursing in the geriatric psych field.
I feel anger about the time of Wolsey’s surgery whenever I think about it. Not at Wolsey, not at the actual surgery, or even my father’s death. It is at the horrific actions of family members. The guilt comes in because I know I should have some happy emotions about this part of Wolsey’s transition. I don’t know if I ever will feel that elation, happiness or even relief. I feel like a failure of a spouse and partner that I can’t give enough support there.
I guess I just wanted to admit that I finally hit my first negative feeling about one of the transition events, and I felt with all the positivity I have expressed here, it is even more important to tell people that everyone, including me, can have a hard time with it. Even if it is for weird reasons.