Jump to content

Reality Is Hitting Me...hard.


SillyString
 Share

Recommended Posts

I found out today after taking my Dad to the ER last night that he has several blockages and infection in his intestines and will need to have a portion of them removed tomorrow. They don't know what the blockages are, but cancer is a real possibility. He is extremely sick and cannot eat or drink. He has lost a good bit of weight. I've never seen him like this. He's scared, and so am I.

 

I feel lost and helpless. My thoughts are racing, I'm in some kind of weird fog that I can't explain really. I can't sleep for very long - I fall asleep for a short while and then wake up in a panic. I'm trying to be strong for him, but I don't have the comfort anymore of believing that all will be fine. I can't look at him and say, "Everything will be okay". I can't say to anyone, "please pray for my Daddy". When I was going through my deconversion, I was afraid that god would punish me somehow for my disbelief. I know it's messed up, but the thoughts that this is my punishment keep crossing my mind - even though I know that doesn't really make sense.

 

I'm hoping for the best but at the same time trying to prepare myself for the worst. I've never had to face something this serious in my entire life. I don't quite know how to cope.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(((((Beth)))))

 

Keeping fingers crossed... :(

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know it's messed up, but the thoughts that this is my punishment keep crossing my mind - even though I know that doesn't really make sense.

 

Beth, I think what you're experiencing is normal. It's a terrible, frightening thing to contemplate the loss of a parent, and I believe all of us who've gone through that experience have, in one way or another, questioned if something we did or didn't do might have altered our parent's situation: "If only I'd done the laundry like he told me to..." or "I knew I shouldn't have forgotten to call him on Fathers' Day..." or "This happened because I had an affair." In your case, this normal response of self-questioning just happens to concern your deconversion.

 

At any rate, please treat yourself kindly, now, because that will translate into your being a stronger person for your father, and I truly hope his outcome is a better one than you're worried about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beth:

 

Your rational self knows that there is no god and what is happening is purely random, but your emotional self is still being influenced by old beliefs. This is perfectly normal. The childhood imprinting of beliefs is very hard to overcome. I'm sure you know this, but your rational self will prevail in time. It's hard to say how long it might take but much of what you are experiencing is due to the uncertainty. Once you know what is happening, you will be able to get a handle on it.

 

Take some comfort in knowing that your Dad is being cared for by folks whose knowledge and skill is rooted in science, not superstition. They will do everything they can for him, which is much more today than even ten years ago.

 

Keep us posted.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try not to worry. I know that's easier said than done but even if cancer is in the picture it can be dealt with. My dad has had various cancers in the past decade and beaten them all. The latest was skin cancer just a couple years back. They ultimately removed a considerable amount of skin to make sure they caught it all and he recovered quite quickly. Prior to that he had other aggressive cancers in other parts of his body as well as requiring a couple of brain surgeries (the latest in a long line) to deal with other issues (he still has a "tumor" of some undiagnosed sort in his head and all this has caused some frontal lobe issues which can't be treated). My mom just got through an operation on her spine roughly 5 or 6 weeks ago. I'm the guy who gets to drive my parents to most of these things since they won't drive in "the city."

 

So while it can be scary having your parents go through these things try to keep calm. No "god" is out to get you or your family. Shitty things can just happen and they tend to happen more as we all get older. Just be there for your parents. That's about all they really want.

 

mwc

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beth, I went through the fear that God was going to retaliate during my deconversion also. I mentioned it to a close friend of mine who left fundamentalism years ago and he helped me realize that it was not an irrational fear, because of how I (we) had been taught that God is. It's certain to me that your dad would be in the identical situation right now, regardless of whether you left the faith or not. Am hoping for a good outcome to all of this.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

Oh Beth, I remember when reality broke open the 'bubble' I was living in. Terrible, but wonderful. No god that is punishing your dad for any reason. He is (sadly) sick because he is human. Very, very unfortunate and heartbreaking, but we are going to hope that your dad gets to see the best doctor ever to perform the best surgery for him.You got him today girl - go 'love on him' liked you've never loved before. God is not retaliating - this is all part of life, the good and the bad..............

 

We are all here, to help you to get through this scary time, my dear friend Beth.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beth, I wish you, your family, and your father all the best. Place your faith where it belongs, in your love for your father and in medical science which has come a long way in treating whatever it is that is wrong with your father, even if it turns out to be cancer.

 

When I was going through my deconversion, I was afraid that god would punish me somehow for my disbelief. I know it's messed up, but the thoughts that this is my punishment keep crossing my mind - even though I know that doesn't really make sense.

 

I know that intellectually you know god is not punishing you, but I also know it can be difficult to face fearful circumstances perhaps for the first time without having belief that there is a god out there to whom you can go and beg for mercy. But what you say does make sense when you put it into proper perspective. You were conditioned during your Christian years to see bible god as both merciful and harshly judgmental. Perhaps one of the worst "sins" was said to be apostasy and that Christian conditioning made you (and me, too) worry that just maybe we are wrong and god will strike back at us for daring to leave the religion. When we face tough situations, and until we are able to overcome the conditioning, we may have fears that those tough times are the retribution visited on us by the harsh god of the bible. What I have learned is that the best thing to do is to recognize the fear for what it is and move on. Don't worry, your fears that god may be punishing you are normal, but you will overcome them.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm hoping for the best but at the same time trying to prepare myself for the worst. I've never had to face something this serious in my entire life. I don't quite know how to cope.

You seem to be fearing the worst -- and there are two things about "the worst". One, you don't know that's going to happen in the first place, and two, if it does, you are way stronger than you think you are. The human animal is built to suffer. Since you fear "the worst", let me speak to you from the other side so it's a little less mysterious to you.

 

Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst is, when you think about it, the way we all have to live, if we're living consciously and effectively. I've lost virtually everything and everyone I've ever cared about, either completely or in some fairly major way, and I'm in jeopardy in that regard right now. I always seem to be riding a train where the wheels are threatening to come off, or actually have come off.

 

There is a crazy freedom in having nothing to lose. I'm aware that anything can be taken from me at any time for any reason or for no reason, and yes, that sucks and blows, but -- nothing can really harm me worse than I've already been harmed, either. Sometimes in my alone moments, if you were a fly on the wall, you'd hear maniacal laughter coming from my office, for no particular reason, because the worst has already happened and whatever motherfucker is (not) driving this train can run it right off a cliff and it couldn't possibly bother me more than I'm already bothered. Take that, sucka! You made a big mistake screwing me over because now you can't screw me anymore! And I'm too cussed to give up!

 

Last night I met a guy who got out of prison six months ago and has been in addiction treatment ever since. He is family-less, friendless, in ill health and broke, and he's the most serene person I've met in some time. Nothing can touch him.

 

So, you see, you win, one way or the other. All you need is flexibility in your thinking. Flexibility to accept anything and just say, okay, next? Life just deals you another card each day, and you just keep playing them. Life goes on. Even if your life completely changes and your past self from two years ago wouldn't recognize it, you continue, you adapt. You can do that. In all probability, life won't demand from you or me as much as it has from that guy I met last night who can spin stories all night that make your life and mine seem like a cakewalk. Of course, it's all relative, and your problems seem like a big deal to you, because they are ... but in the bigger picture I can tell you that there is really nothing you can't absorb.

 

I have a tendency around here to whimper about this process like a little girl but the truth is that I actually live quite well from moment to moment. I don't like what's become of me but I still love myself -- which is why I want myself to be treated better than this by life -- but at the end of the day I'm up for it all. So are you. You'll be okay -- for some given value of okay. Your Dad has been dying since the day he was born -- but since the day YOU were born he's been embedding himself in you, the good and bad, warts and all, so that one day when he's physically absent you'll still carry the best parts of him around. For now, just continue to savor those best parts, be present for him, don't blow any sunshine up his ass but just support him, and I can promise that you'll hold your head up high when it's all over, no matter how it gets resolved.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My father just passed away from cancer last Nov so I can relate. By the way my father was a very devout Christian who thought God was going to cure him, (he said he was always praying about it) but it didn't happen. It was very sad actually because at one point he mentioned to me that he couldn't understand why God hadn't cured him yet. Part of me wanted to say "uhhh, are you serious?" but I really didn't think that was appropriate so I kept my mouth shut. So doesn't matter if you're deconverted or not, or even if the person who is ill is Christian or not, the reality of life is that when it's your time to go, that's how life goes.

 

Hope your dad improves, at least you have medical science on your side.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I echo Mike's thoughts. I lost my dad in June after a long illness. I certainly hope your dad improves but if and when the time comes you'll find inner strength you didn't know you had, and won't miss the non-existent shoulder to lean on. Best wishes to your family.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beth,

 

It is not your fault.

 

You are in a fog because of the uncertaincy of the situation. It is seemingly happening all at once.

 

Be there for your dad. Cry with him. Let him know that you care.

 

Being strong doesn't mean not showing emotion. Sometimes the greatest strength is being able to express the emotions you need.

 

Should the worst happen.....

 

It is not your fault.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

I'm hoping for the best but at the same time trying to prepare myself for the worst. I've never had to face something this serious in my entire life. I don't quite know how to cope.

You seem to be fearing the worst -- and there are two things about "the worst". One, you don't know that's going to happen in the first place, and two, if it does, you are way stronger than you think you are. The human animal is built to suffer. Since you fear "the worst", let me speak to you from the other side so it's a little less mysterious to you.

 

Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst is, when you think about it, the way we all have to live, if we're living consciously and effectively. I've lost virtually everything and everyone I've ever cared about, either completely or in some fairly major way, and I'm in jeopardy in that regard right now. I always seem to be riding a train where the wheels are threatening to come off, or actually have come off.

 

There is a crazy freedom in having nothing to lose. I'm aware that anything can be taken from me at any time for any reason or for no reason, and yes, that sucks and blows, but -- nothing can really harm me worse than I've already been harmed, either. Sometimes in my alone moments, if you were a fly on the wall, you'd hear maniacal laughter coming from my office, for no particular reason, because the worst has already happened and whatever motherfucker is (not) driving this train can run it right off a cliff and it couldn't possibly bother me more than I'm already bothered. Take that, sucka! You made a big mistake screwing me over because now you can't screw me anymore! And I'm too cussed to give up!

 

Last night I met a guy who got out of prison six months ago and has been in addiction treatment ever since. He is family-less, friendless, in ill health and broke, and he's the most serene person I've met in some time. Nothing can touch him.

 

So, you see, you win, one way or the other. All you need is flexibility in your thinking. Flexibility to accept anything and just say, okay, next? Life just deals you another card each day, and you just keep playing them. Life goes on. Even if your life completely changes and your past self from two years ago wouldn't recognize it, you continue, you adapt. You can do that. In all probability, life won't demand from you or me as much as it has from that guy I met last night who can spin stories all night that make your life and mine seem like a cakewalk. Of course, it's all relative, and your problems seem like a big deal to you, because they are ... but in the bigger picture I can tell you that there is really nothing you can't absorb.

 

I have a tendency around here to whimper about this process like a little girl but the truth is that I actually live quite well from moment to moment. I don't like what's become of me but I still love myself -- which is why I want myself to be treated better than this by life -- but at the end of the day I'm up for it all. So are you. You'll be okay -- for some given value of okay. Your Dad has been dying since the day he was born -- but since the day YOU were born he's been embedding himself in you, the good and bad, warts and all, so that one day when he's physically absent you'll still carry the best parts of him around. For now, just continue to savor those best parts, be present for him, don't blow any sunshine up his ass but just support him, and I can promise that you'll hold your head up high when it's all over, no matter how it gets resolved.

 

Bob, this is good. Very good. This reminds me of something florduh said recently, ''I just accept the way life is - not the way I wish it was!!''

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes, being strong means accepting the things that cannot be helped. The only thing I can advise is to just provide the emotion, physical, and financial support your father needs at this trying time, but try not to worry about the exact condition of his health because you do not have the power to reverse it. This may sound fatalistic, but why waste your emotional energy when it should be directed to helping your father and the doctors.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beth,

 

I'll pray for you and your Dad because even though I don't go to church, I still believe in God. Hope that helps......and you are not offended. I wish you peace.

 

~freespirit

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beth

 

There are other possibilities besides cancer. Both Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis are normally diagnosed in the 18 to 25 year old age group. But both of these diseases have a second peak in the older age groups. What you are describing could easily be Crohns disease - not a pleasant diagnosis, but it is a treatable disease.

 

There will be other illnesses as well that I don't know about.

 

Hope this helps. Sure sounds like a horrible time for you at the moment.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the encouragement. Just wanted to give a quick update on his condition...

 

He made it through surgery and did well during the procedure. They weren't able to clean out all of the infection, but they removed a mass and did have to remove some of his colon - I'm not exactly sure yet how much. Hopefully I'll be able to speak with the doctor in the morning in person to get more details about exactly what was going on. Thankfully, they didn't see any other spots on nearby organs, at least they didn't mention any. They sent the mass off for biopsy so we will know those results in a few more days. He's in ICU because his blood pressure is low, but the surgery was extensive so I guess that is to be expected.

 

He's going to have a long recovery at the hospital but I'm hopeful that he will make it through this. I just spoke with the nurse and he said that my Dad was doing better than they expected considering how extensive the surgery was. He's not in any pain and is trying to get some rest. They're letting him have ice chips and he's pretty happy about that after not having any liquid in his mouth for a couple days.

 

I've always been one to imagine worst case scenarios and ruminate on those, and before the surgery all I could think was that I was about to lose my Dad. I just panicked. I felt so helpless and scared.

 

Now, I'm going to try my best to push those thoughts away and just help my Dad recover.

 

Thanks again everybody, y'all are the best. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

So, you see, you win, one way or the other. All you need is flexibility in your thinking. Flexibility to accept anything and just say, okay, next? Life just deals you another card each day, and you just keep playing them. Life goes on. Even if your life completely changes and your past self from two years ago wouldn't recognize it, you continue, you adapt. You can do that. In all probability, life won't demand from you or me as much as it has from that guy I met last night who can spin stories all night that make your life and mine seem like a cakewalk. Of course, it's all relative, and your problems seem like a big deal to you, because they are ... but in the bigger picture I can tell you that there is really nothing you can't absorb.

 

I have a tendency around here to whimper about this process like a little girl but the truth is that I actually live quite well from moment to moment. I don't like what's become of me but I still love myself -- which is why I want myself to be treated better than this by life -- but at the end of the day I'm up for it all. So are you. You'll be okay -- for some given value of okay. Your Dad has been dying since the day he was born -- but since the day YOU were born he's been embedding himself in you, the good and bad, warts and all, so that one day when he's physically absent you'll still carry the best parts of him around. For now, just continue to savor those best parts, be present for him, don't blow any sunshine up his ass but just support him, and I can promise that you'll hold your head up high when it's all over, no matter how it gets resolved.

 

Thanks for this DesertBob!

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad to hear your dad (and you ;) ) made it through alright. Hope the biopsy is good and they can clear the infection with some antibiotics.

 

I know my parents were both happy when the ice chips came and were thrilled when actual clear liquids were allowed. I can imagine your dad feels the same. :)

 

mwc

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope your dad soon returns to health. You must be terribly worried and upset. That's normal, but don't forget to take care of yourself. Take your vitamins and stuff, go for walks. Your dad will need you to be O.K.

 

And Stryper is right about crying. If you feel like it, you probably should and you will feel better after.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm hoping for the best but at the same time trying to prepare myself for the worst. I've never had to face something this serious in my entire life. I don't quite know how to cope.

You seem to be fearing the worst -- and there are two things about "the worst". One, you don't know that's going to happen in the first place, and two, if it does, you are way stronger than you think you are. The human animal is built to suffer. Since you fear "the worst", let me speak to you from the other side so it's a little less mysterious to you.

 

Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst is, when you think about it, the way we all have to live, if we're living consciously and effectively. I've lost virtually everything and everyone I've ever cared about, either completely or in some fairly major way, and I'm in jeopardy in that regard right now. I always seem to be riding a train where the wheels are threatening to come off, or actually have come off.

 

There is a crazy freedom in having nothing to lose. I'm aware that anything can be taken from me at any time for any reason or for no reason, and yes, that sucks and blows, but -- nothing can really harm me worse than I've already been harmed, either. Sometimes in my alone moments, if you were a fly on the wall, you'd hear maniacal laughter coming from my office, for no particular reason, because the worst has already happened and whatever motherfucker is (not) driving this train can run it right off a cliff and it couldn't possibly bother me more than I'm already bothered. Take that, sucka! You made a big mistake screwing me over because now you can't screw me anymore! And I'm too cussed to give up!

 

Last night I met a guy who got out of prison six months ago and has been in addiction treatment ever since. He is family-less, friendless, in ill health and broke, and he's the most serene person I've met in some time. Nothing can touch him.

 

So, you see, you win, one way or the other. All you need is flexibility in your thinking. Flexibility to accept anything and just say, okay, next? Life just deals you another card each day, and you just keep playing them. Life goes on. Even if your life completely changes and your past self from two years ago wouldn't recognize it, you continue, you adapt. You can do that. In all probability, life won't demand from you or me as much as it has from that guy I met last night who can spin stories all night that make your life and mine seem like a cakewalk. Of course, it's all relative, and your problems seem like a big deal to you, because they are ... but in the bigger picture I can tell you that there is really nothing you can't absorb.

 

I have a tendency around here to whimper about this process like a little girl but the truth is that I actually live quite well from moment to moment. I don't like what's become of me but I still love myself -- which is why I want myself to be treated better than this by life -- but at the end of the day I'm up for it all. So are you. You'll be okay -- for some given value of okay. Your Dad has been dying since the day he was born -- but since the day YOU were born he's been embedding himself in you, the good and bad, warts and all, so that one day when he's physically absent you'll still carry the best parts of him around. For now, just continue to savor those best parts, be present for him, don't blow any sunshine up his ass but just support him, and I can promise that you'll hold your head up high when it's all over, no matter how it gets resolved.

 

This BOB! Every word of it! You can't imagine I think how much courage and comfort you give to us "whimpering little girls" with your compassionate stoic advice. THANK YOU! Please accept my gratitude and love. You should write a book(or several). But maybe you do it best responding to a fellow suffering human animal in need. Either way, you make a difference.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.