Monday, April 7, 2008

Riddled With Guilt

Instead of posting on hearing Marjane Satrapi speak on Friday (I really hope to post about it; she was really good & I took notes and pictures), I need to get some things out about how I'm feeling. I'm not experiencing mood swings; I feel as if I'm falling down a spiral staircase towards madness with no end in sight.

I feel horribly selfish for wanting to pursue a PhD while my family struggles to cope with my grandmother's passing. My brother had stepped up and was driving my mom and uncle to church and the grocery store, but his car broke down and a person who said he would help looks like he has bailed. This leaves him having to take the bus to work, but it also means that my non-driving family members have to rely on others and the bus to get to their destinations. I don't worry so much for my uncle because he's really good at just getting on a bus heading in the right direction and getting to where he needs to be, but my mom is another story. Some of the things she needs to travel to would require her to catch the bus at night, and I'm not comfortable with her doing that. My aunt (the only member of this trio who can drive) has given rides to help out, but it's turning out that she's going back to a level of unreliability that unnerves and bothers me. My mom has a book club that she was attending with my grandmother and she still goes to it. My aunt has taken her to this club meeting in the past but, for whatever reason, decided to come to the house earlier today and made herself scarce for the rest of the day. Now my mom has to ask someone else to give her a ride at the last minute.

I feel like because I'm not there, that I'm letting the family down. And that feeling makes me feel like shit.

When I went up to Cleveland on Friday, I took my uncle to the grocery stores to get his shopping done and he bought a lot so that he wouldn't have to worry about going out to get anything for awhile. Ignoring the part where some lazy employee decided to accuse me of shoplifting because I kept looking at him [He looked like a dead-ringer for my brother-in-law, if he were black], I was more than glad to take him to do his errands, but I can't help but feel as if I am doing a very bad thing by staying in Columbus to pursue what will be my last degree. If it were feasible, I would be up there every weekend to help out; alas, that would put too many miles on the car and I'm not sure that I could physically handle that kind of schedule as the months progress. My brother is frustrated that a shoe-shine man he met on the job promised to help him fix his car but is now MIA; he wants to be able to help them out (and they've missed church for the past two weeks because of this) but is stuck without a working car (not to mention still not having a place to live yet).

Meanwhile, I'm getting increasingly depressed and upset for putting myself first. I tend to place my desires aside to do for others, and college was always the one thing I insisted upon for myself. Now my family is in shambles, I'm torn about not being there for them, and I still have no idea why my grandmother had to go when she did. All this, and a baby, too.

I don't know what I'm going to do, so I'm just going to concentrate on keeping my blood pressure down and maybe go out walking today. I can use the exercise and I think I need to clear my head.

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