The In-Laws have arrived

My boyfriend’s father is staying with us for five weeks and after one week I am so over this new dynamic. I actually like my in laws a lot but now they are planning to move to the same city and I don’t like this new dynamic. My boyfriend’s father is from a different generation and a different country. 

He is a very nice guy but very demanding as of now. What bothers me is this new dynamic, suddenly I am getting snide comments for American dishes, all the music he wants to listen to is German polka music and he snores like a wild animal. I don’t know if I am being overly sensitive, but no thank you. I can’t last five weeks without being able to watch my cable shows like the Daily Show, eat the food I like or just generally enjoy the conforts of my home whenever I like. I got so frustrated this morning when he used up the last clean towel and I wanted to take a shower. He is extremely rude to our Pakistani neighbor, constantly complaining, I don’t really get why he wants to move here if he is complaining. The city is not the countryside and people do have mixed internationalities and backgrounds here. 

The problem I have is that if I say something I am the nagging woman. My boyfriend of course wants to make his father feel welcome and comfortable, but at the cost of our daily routine and the life we feel comfortable in ? 

I feel if I don’t look out for myself now I will just be left behind, especially if they are gonna move near us. 

My Conservative Views on the LGBT Community

The ABC series “When We Rise” inspired me to share my views. Those are my personal opinions, not intended to harm anybody.

I grew up with a generation of kids that experienced this immense shift of how LGBT people are perceived. I don’t think that most people with a disdain for gay people actually understand where their feelings are coming from. I believe that people at their core are always loving, so I was baffled how really sweet people in my community at the same time could take badly about a group of people that had never touched their lives.

I do admit that there was a time when LGBT people made me feel uneasy, it was not that they had done anything to me or said something. So I tried to understand where my feelings were coming from, just the notion of my catholic faith and upbringing felt like a cop out to me. There are countries and cultures where nobody has ever talked about the LGBT community, where this issue feels invisible if you live in that world, and I did grow up in such a world, so when LGBT became an issue in my generation, it was “unknown” to me. Very often people fear the unknown, and the easiest way to combat it is, is to talk about issues that are unknown. What made me uneasy about LGBT people was that I did not understand it. It might be easy for some people from the get-go to understand it, it was not for me. Initially I viewed the LGBT issue from the standpoint of “same-sex love”, but it made it easier for me to understand under the stand point of simply people loving each other. I thought more and more about whether it mattered when it came to the topic of love if the gender of the two individuals mattered, in the end I came to the conclusion that it did not.

My other conviction that I hold is that I can only speak for MYSELF, this may sound simple, but to me, it means that nobody is entitled to tell anybody else how to live their lives. It pains me when people with conservative family views and catholic faith speak hatefully about LGBT people, also because there is always the chance that one day there might be an LGBT person in their family or my very own. I think this is the junction where the issue of LGBT concerns us all. Every LGBT person has a family and loved ones or is a loved one to somebody, in the end we always want our loved ones to be treated well.

I know that for myself, my relationship I do want the family format of a man and a woman, hopefully one day married in a church wedding with children, but those are the wishes for my life. While I do view myself as a conservative, I think every way, however people want to live the time they have on this planet deserves respect. I love how there are different types of families, and I find it exciting. This is how I came to love the diversity in our society and I dearly hope that despite the current US presidency even more people no matter from which walk of life they come from they come to respect people with different views.

There is enough room for all of us, it is of utmost importance that we all share our stories and experiences.

 

Exam week is coming

I need a break from my mother’s illness. Surprisingly what helps me is focusing on school. I have a lot of exams coming and I really need to do well on them, or at least pass them in order to finish my degree.

Here is my fight plan to get through the next two weeks.

  1. I’m taking my notebook with my exam notes everywhere, so I can go over my notes any time.
  2. I make sure I get 8 hours of sleep.
  3. I force myself to get out of my apartment before 9, because if I don’t I won’t make it outside before 2 pm, and then half the day is already wasted.
  4. Lists… whenever I need to get something done, I need to make lists, lists, lists.
  5. I will not be going out, drink or indulge in those pleasant evenings with my neighbors. I have the sweetest neighbors in the world, but any time we get together, the evenings never end.
  6. I try to avoid cramming, instead I try to portion the material, because if I need to learn this all at once, I can bury myself right away.
  7. Eating healthy, for me this means eating enough veggies and substituting my love for soda pops with green tea.

In the weirdest way, school work is becoming my safe haven. College is giving me a space that I can be myself in separate from my mother battling cancer. Others are already leaving university, but I don’t want to yet. It is the only place that feels right to me at this moment in my life.

Helping…

The thing that is expected the most of one, when you have cancer in your family is to HELP. It is such a little word that entails so much. When my mother told me that she had cancer I wanted to do everything for her, I wanted to cook, shop, drive her everywhere, despite her being in good condition.

The situation we are in is, my mother is divorced, her father is dead, her mother is 79 and I am her only child. I do not live with her, I have my own little place and pay my own bills. My problem is her expectations of me versus what I can give her. I have bills for my car to pay, for my apartment and there are living costs I need to cover. Meanwhile I am a full time student. So, all in all I am working, studying and try to help my mother as much as possible.

So what is my problem with helping? When other people, nurses, friends of my mothers, or whoever thinks they can dictate how much I should or can be there for my mother. I spend every minute that is possible supporting her, running errands for her, taking her to a doctor. It riles me up when I have work coming up that pay my most existential bills and then there is a nurse that tells me to cancel a work appointment for one of hundreds of doctor’s appointments. Yes, every appointment is important! Yes, I am very sad for my mother that we don’t have a big family where everybody pitches in to support!

It might seem selfish, but I need to survive this cancer too. I can’t cancel work appointments and not be able to pay for my food or my car that also serves as a transportation for my mom. I cannot give up my entire life and devote 24 hours to the care of my sick mother, because sadly that is not a luxury I can afford. Only few people understand my dilemma. Most people argue that my mother is dying and I am ungrateful, I am not ungrateful. It hurts every time when people tell me I am not doing enough. Over the Christmas break I did too much, and  a lot of people might say that you cannot help your sick mother too much, especially when she is dying, but it was too much. I did not eat properly anymore nor sleep. I devoted so much time and energy that I had a terrible case of the flu which turned out to make things worse, because if you have the flu you cannot under any circumstance be around cancer patients. To cancer patients this is very dangerous. That was the point when I realized. Giving care also means that I need to look after myself properly in order to be able to help my mother. This is something I neglected for the first two months, because of a lot of bad advice, but I am getting better at this, day by day!