I feel depleted, resourceless and empty. I have nothing to offer. I hang on to this extremely unhealthy environment trying to fix it, organize it, hold it together. Helplessly.

I have completely forgotten about myself. I am surrounded with needy people who does not know how to nurture or take care of themselves.

In my dreams at night, I am constantly trying to fix people in some way or another, trying to sort their lives out, so I can finally live mine. Instead, I keep on recreating my unhealthy family with the help of various people I end up living with. I never got married or had a family because I hoped to avoid making the mistakes I grew up with. I started running away from the madness early on but I arrived to more madness and delicacy eventually. I found myself living with drug addicts, a dementia patient, a recovering alcoholic, a manic depressive, a grieving daughter and a dying cat amongst many.

Each situation forced me to adopt the carer and the sane role. I was the one who had to stand two feet on the ground so to manage and stay alive. My needs were never on the table. There was no time, no energy or any interest in them. Neither could I reinforce them since my companions were mostly so troubled that they could hardly recognize their own neediness.

I grew up with a sense of confidence that I can handle it all. And life has thrown many curved balls at me that did prove my case. So, I became strong and emotionless. Practically, an iceberg.

As I am sitting here looking around and I see not change. I am once again the mother of 4 raging children. Each one of them is deeply wounded and in need of a lot of attention and support. I feel for them. Unfortunately, I am in no possession of anything that they need. The only thing I can offer is a loud and angry woman who time to time reprimands them and those who threaten them. Then I crawl back into my shell licking my own unattended wounds.

While I reinsure their confidence and abilities I lose mine. In return they are defiant. They fight for their freedom. I am exhausted and just want to run. Run away. But I only run into another unhealthy ‘family’ structure that will support me to stay a carer, stay unattended, stay angry and eventually want to flee …

I wonder if it makes any difference? I wonder if all my efforts are in vain or maybe used efficiently. Nevertheless, it is a sacrifice on my behalf. My teacher, once, implied that it was time that I took care of myself instead of chaperoning others.

Still, I must recognize that this is my personal story of the unforgiven prodigal son. Others are mere players acting according to their own scripts. I can, in every minute, decide if I continue with the play or say a tearful good-bye and move onto greener pastures.