Monday, June 23, 2008

Bosphorus Bridge pix?

Hi, I have been commissioned to do a painting for the birthday of a Turkish gentleman. It must be of the bridge over the Bosphorus. I found 2 tiny ones on wikipedia, but they are not big enough to paint from. Can anyone in blogland help? (Of course, in a perfect world, I'd just hop on a plane and use the excuse to go there myself, but for many reasons, that can't happen... )

For one thing there is the money thing.... and then there is the fact that I am currently trapped in a situation where i have to look after my father.... this sounds really mean, and I hate the fact that looking after him feels like a real unwelcome duty to me and not an act of devoted love, but if you had an idea of what a cantankerous, manipulative, selfish and demanding person he is, you might understand that this is not a task to be undertaken joyfully, relishing the last bits of time spent with an old man. (He is 90 now and says he hopes to go on for at least another 10 years.... heaven help us!)

It is amazing how one person can change the atmosphere of a place for all the others who enter it. I have often seen it in workplaces, where one sulky or manipulative person causes the whole office to be a tense place. Remove them and the whole place feels lighter, happier, more harmonious. Sadly my father is one of those people, and our normally happy and loving home transforms into a tense and stressful place as soon as he arrives.

So rather than delighting in an opportunity to spend treasured time with a parent, instead it is an agony of constant dancing on eggshells to avoid yet another pointless confrontation over his irrational and unreasonable demands. I'd love to excuse him by saying he is old and losing his mind but he has been like this throughout my life, so it basically just boils down to the fact that he is an unpleasant person, who makes my home feel like a prison. And instead of cherishing time with him, I am counting the seconds till he leaves, and I can wake up and walk around my house without a knot in my stomach. And Max and I can go back to enjoying quiet , relaxing and harmonious evenings together.

Even though Max is very supportive about all this, and never gives me reason to feel that it is just my problem... (in fact he often bales in and deals with situations when I am struggling to cope) I still feel guilty, somehow, that he has to work so hard to earn enough to not only support us, but my father too. And that he has to come home to all the stress, and unpleasantness. I am not even talking about the revolting bathroom habits etc here, because I quite understand that when one is old, nappies might be neccesary etc, although waking up to the thankless task of cleaning a house that smells like the local sewer due to an accident in the night is also not my first choice of how to start the week!! But I am talking about the horrible and unneccesary atmosphere created by a mean personality. It just seems unfair that Max has to come home to all this, when it is not even his father!

What a sad legacy, to go through life and look back at the end to discover that the only impact you have made on the planet, and the people around you, was a negative one...... that when you are finally gone, the overwhelming feeling will not be one of loss, but of relief.

When I mentioned my reservations about dad coming to stay recently, Tom left a comment "Good luck with your Dad... I have a soft spot for Jane's old mum.... it's a swamp at the bottom of the garden :O)"

hehe, I must admit, I am driving past wetlands with fresh eyes lately!

Having been brought up on many old cliches, not the least of which was the one that goes "if you haven't got something nice to say, don't say anything at all...", I have agonised about whether to post this, or just let the writing of it be a pressure release valve, and hit the delete button. But this blog is a personal space, and this particular struggle is part of my life, so I decided to post it. Maybe someone else is struggling with similar issues and beating themselves up too, about the whole thing of being expected to love and honour your parents, when they have basically gone through life giving you every reason to dislike and disrespect them. And just knowing that someone else also battles with this might make them feel better, so here goes.........

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Suzi, You are not alone in this feeling. My dad is the same way. I won't want to care for him if it were needed and I don't know what I will do if and when the time comes. I've cut myself off from him years ago but not the access to my kids. (his only grandchildren) but he would rather feel sorry for himself than try to make contact with my boys. Sad but that's the way he is. I gave up trying to like him and refused to be hurt by him anymore. You shouldln't feel bad about venting, we all need to do that.
What I do want to say though is that I think you are an awesome person and I feel like I know you. I look for your posts everyday and I love how you look at life and are so descriptive in your travels. You have such a great spirit about you and a way to make us laugh and feel good. Your paintings are wonderful and I love the relationship you have with Max. You are a great couple and are obviously very happy and devoted to each other. Not everyone gets that and I am glad you have.
So vent away and remember those of us out here in blogland love you regardless.
Kelly :)

JC said...

Suzi K, I have tears in my eyes from reading this posting. You are free to vent and I hope it helps. I was brought up on the same cliches. Fortunately, I had a wonderful Dad but not for long enough. He passed when I was eleven. My Mom died suddenly when I was 34. What I'm trying to say and not doing it very well is that I don't know what your are going though and I am thankful that I don't. I do have a friend who was the primary caretaker for her father-in-law. She told a group of ladies what a horrible person he was and how the only thing she felt when he was gone was relieve. But, along with relieve was guilt that she had those feelings. So you aren't alone even if you feel like you are. I don't know that honoring our parents means that we are to make our lives miserable in the process. I don't have an answer and I know you aren't looking for one but just know that I will keep you in my prayers. If you aren't a Christian that may not mean much but nevertheless I am going to pray. Thank you for sharing your life with me.

Suzi-k said...

thanks guys, i felt a bit bad about posting this but MAN it felt good to vent!!!

LeenaM said...

I have some photos about those bridges of Bosporus.
We were there in May and I could send them to you, if you want.

After reading your post, I really hope, that I will not live too long :)

Suzi-k said...

hi Leena, thanks so much for the offer of pix, my e-mail address is sue@elgecko.co.za
Yes, it has the same effect on me, I almost want to go back to my bad eating habits so I don't have to get so old! But that's not fair on my husband...

LeenaM said...

Hello Sue!
No, no!! We will take care of ourselves very well :)

I will send some photos of bridges to you.

Have a good day!

Müge Tekil said...

Hello Suzi,

I'm Turkish and live in Istanbul! I have some Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridges photos in my catalogue, I can send them to you and make more of them if you want.

Your message about your dad is very touching. I know and understand very well what you live because my mother lived nearly the same things with my grand-mother. But, you know what, my mother cried a lot when my grand-mother passed away because whatever they do we love our parents.

Friendly greetings from the Bosphorus,

Suzi-k said...

hi Muge, thanks so much. Yes, I know how your mom feels, it is a real mixture of emotions alright! I will send the one I saw to the client and see if it is what she had in mind.

CherryPie said...

I have just popped over from Tom's blog.

You might get some inspiration here. You might need to check out the copyright conditions if you were going to copy one exactly.