Navigating Landmines…

Tough and treacherous – Agreed?

When the field is family and the ticking mines are people you love…What then?

Lately the feeling has been growing on me, especially after the scary story last week. Obviously I’m nowhere near over it…don’t think I’ll ever be. It simmers within and boils over unexpectedly and in mysterious ways, when I’m least prepared and often on poor Ishaan :(I’ve become quite short with him this last week and I don’t like it. Since my usual inappropriate strategy of ‘denial’ & ‘burial’ doesn’t seem to be working…I guess I have to finally face stuff head on. Easier said than done…I hate confrontations and am a total ‘chicken’ when it comes to discussing serious issues with the family. We’re all like that actually – Ostriches!

But this living on tenterhooks – tip-toeing around issues, skirting boundaries and testing the waters – preparing ground as it were, not for any one thing in particular, but rather for everything, makes for an exhausting existence and I’m done feeling tired without any physical activity to blame! Ever since Dad’s accident, the need for ‘change’ is omniscient. I feel like I need to be doing something I’m not, being someone I’m not, changing things I’m not. I think what I mean is that I have this nagging feeling of having to ‘do’ something, anything, but without a clue as to what that something might be. In my head, vague ideas and imaginary scenarios float about, where I’ve been very clever, said & done all the right things and rather like a magician waving his wand, made everything alright, whatever ‘alright’ means. Doesn’t help much ‘coz as I’ve mentioned, all solutions at the moment are imaginary!

Yesterday unexpectedly, Mom and I had a talk. It started ‘coz Dad’s Parkinson’s was acting up more than usual and he called from the shop saying he needed help getting back home, ‘coz he felt like he was falling (a common symptom). The shop thankfully is within our compound and just a few minutes walk from our front door, so Mom rushed over with a walking stick belonging to Grandma and brought him safely home. Dad rested and the two of us sat at first silently pensive in the living room until we got to talking. As I mentioned, we are not a family of ‘talkers’, we don’t ‘discuss’ stuff with the intention of reaching consensus but merely for the enjoyment of arguments, (well my Dad & I do, my Mom hates arguments and will go to pretty much any level to stop them), and so ‘talk’ rarely helps instead leading to fights, discontent and sometimes tears. Luckily this was an unusual day and Mom, (who is otherwise one of the most reserved people I know), opened up and shared both her fears and plans for the future. As so often happens in such cases, we realized that we had both been thinking and worrying about the same things, just separately! We even seemed to agree on possible solutions! Ironic huh? But such a load off my mind and my soul 🙂 Such a relief to know that I am needed and that I am doing the right thing by my parents.

There are big changes coming. Not in a hurry but they’re coming. It’s inevitable really, coz deny as we may…the only constant in Life is change. Change by itself has never frightened me. I can go as far as to say, I’ve always enjoyed change and hated monotony. My parents however are the exact opposite (perhaps in the manner of all parents?), they abhor change of the tiniest kind and resist it with every breath in their frail bodies. It’s surprising the fight that lives in old bones! So it’s a huge comfort to know that we seem to be on the same page about what the future may hold. I would never do anything that changes my parent’s lives without their complete acceptance and agreement and so it’s good to know that I won’t be 🙂 They need time of course and their concept of time is very different from mine…I say hours, they say months, that kind of thing! Still, this time Mom seems determined and since she actually initiated the conversation, I’m daring to be hopeful 🙂

And for navigating this particular land-mine in satisfactory fashion and coming out tops…Thanks Mom!

7 thoughts on “Navigating Landmines…

  1. Oh, Harsha…I so relate to what you’re saying…

    I, too, hate conflict, and my dad is the only one in the family who’s more stubborn than I am…makes for some not-so-fun times…we spend a great deal of time dancing clumsily around “the elephant in the room.”

    I hope your family is able to come to an acceptable solution to its issues…

    Wendy

  2. Poor Harsha. This must be so hard. My grandmother had Parkinson’s, and my mother always says that no person deserves to watch a parent suffer that way. I’m sending prayers for strength and a solid solution for your family–one that feels comfortable for everyone.

    This post was lovely. It’s hard to talk about these things online, I know. Hang in there, friend.

    1. Thank-you for those prayers Maura. Need all the strength I can garner.

      This was indeed a hard post to write but I feel better, lighter somehow for having done it and lucky for having friends like you who understand and reach out 🙂 Things will get better. They must.

  3. dear Harsha, you’re so right about the ways of the elders. I’m glad you had a honest talk with your mom.. I’ve realised that although they’re stubborn in their ways, they mellow in ways we may see in glimpses. I hope that whatever it is that needs to be decided in the not so distant future, will be a good decision for everyone. I do not pray but my thoughts go out to your father and the rest of your family, hoping that all will be well. *hugs*

    1. Thanks Aarti 🙂 As is the way with the older generation, the ‘not so distant future’ can really mean anything from a day to a decade! But this time, I’m going to be firm and do the right thing for us, even if it doesn’t sit well initially with the rest of the family. If they can’t think clearly for themselves…I’m going to do it for us all. Loving the hugs and coming right back at you 🙂

  4. Harsha, sorry, I didn’t open the blog when you had written it. This was due to my being completely absorbed in your use of one word, ‘landmines’. Once earlier too, I had mentioned that since we share the same gene pool possibly use some common words. I have likened the situation around Ganesh Chaturthi to Vietam battle field with everybody a walky talky land mine or a booby trap. Once 8 years back I did get caught in a booby trap. Now I do utmost to recognize them as well, but to err is human, isn’t it??

    This year inspite of multiple mines I have succeeded in remaining safe… up to now!.

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