Stacking Shame on Fear and Next Steps…


My only Aunt (who is 72 years old) lives 16 hours away. I talked to her yesterday and she said “Please help me. I can no longer live by myself or make decisions for myself” and “I’m going to let you go so I can get off the phone and cry.” I said “I can come get you. Can you get on a plane?” She said “No, I need you to drive me. I can make it in 1 day.” (She has not been in in a car for over an hour in 10 years. The car ride is 16 hours.) I have a job. I have been on this job for just over 2 months. These are my C’s.

My thoughts are – I love this job. I just started it. I can’t leave right now. Even if I do leave, it’s already icy where she lives (dangerous) and she wants me to drive her 16 hours in 1 day. She would have to stay with me in my home – until we find a place for her to live. I work from home – so my work might suffer. I could lose my job. If I lose my job, I’ll not only lose a job I love but also my only source of income. I will lose my house. Then my Aunt and I will be living under a bridge. She will die. If I don’t go get her, she will die. If I do go get her, she will die on the road because it’s too far. It will be my fault if she dies regardless of where she dies. I have failed her. I am the only family she has who can help her. If I go, I lose. If I don’t go, I lose. I can only lose.

So – with all of that fear of death, homelessness, etc. – I ate a TON of food. Like ALL the food. Until it hurt. I stayed up super late – because eating and staying up seemingly delayed dealing with the fear, the death, the homelessness, the guilt.

So I woke up this morning with shame. Shame for eating away my fear. So now I have fear AND shame. Shame and fear. And all of my circumstances still exist. As do my stories – plus additional self-loathing because I ate so much trying to drown out the fear.

Where should I start? Feel my shame? Then feel the fear? I’ve got so much to do in such a short period of time – it feels hard… impossible… to be active and focused and motivated – while I’m feeling terrible and scared. Do I try to model this away for now… create “focused” and “motivated”… or … thoughts? This feels terrible … terrible stacked on more terrible … and I need a bit o’ direction moving forward. Thank you.