Saturday, October 3, 2009

Life is Difficult (right now)

I have missed posting this week. With all that has been going on, it has proved to be not only a difficult week, but an emotional one as well.

I am grateful that was brother was here for a few days while my mom was in the hospital. She responds better to him. He also took care of a lot of phone calls that needed to be made. We began cleaning out mom's apartment...we have only scratched the surface there. We have planned for movers to come and take everything to a storage facility at the end of this month.

The sole purpose of my brother's visit was to talk to mom and prepare her for the inevitable...that she won't be going back to her apartment. She will be in the nursing home from here on out. Of course, we didn't get to have that discussion with her, due to her fall. She has been out of it most of the week. She was released from the hospital yesterday, and is now back at the nursing home to receive rehabilitation.

The other evening, my husband and I went over to the hospital to see her. She wouldn't talk, except to ask for cigarettes, and kept her head turned away from us. The nurses told me earlier in the day "Oh, your mom is doing much better today...she is talking more and is eating more." I flagged down one of the nurses in the hall and questioned her about mom being "more talkative" and how she wouldn't speak to us. The nurse said that mom told her that (and I quote) I (meaning me) could eat sh*& and die because I made her sell her house and move away and ruined her life. Hearing this...after all that I have done for her....not only made me angry, but made me so incredibly sad. I have had a feeling that she has been mad at me for a long time. And she has.

That explains the silent treatments and blank stares that I get from her when I visit her. That explains while cleaning out her apartment, I found gifts that I have given her, unopened, shoved in the back of her closet. I ordered flowers for her on Wednesday...I looked at dozens of arrangements before choosing a basket with plants and flowers in it...and a little birds nest in it. I picked it because I knew that she would enjoy it. No comment from her. No thank you. No acknowledgement. The flowers were pricey and I really couldn't afford do it. But I wanted to cheer her up.

I am angry and hurt. Why does she have to act this way? My brother and I have been trying to do what is best for her. If we had left her alone, she would still be living in West Virginia, not going to the doctor, drinking and smoking herself to death. I am not the type of person to let this stuff roll off of my back... and hear people say "She's just angry with herself, not you...." No. I don't buy it. I have made the decision to pull away from her a little. I will go see her once a week. If she asks for me, then I will visit more. What I will NOT do is subject myself to her angry stares and short one-word answers when I try to talk to her.

Am I being terrible?


Unknown said...

life is a combination on happy and sad moments. glad to know that you are back. I have been reading your blogs for very long time. as usual, enjoyed it very much.

Lisa said...

Missy, listen to me... you need to protect your heart. Right now your Mom's behaviour will only hurt you more and more. If what you need to do is limit your visits with her, then so be it. I would make sure you have someone with you when you do visit, and know that you have done what is best FOR HER, and unfortunately she may and probably will never see it that way. You are NOT being terrible, you need to do whatever is healthy for you, and maybe it will give your Mom time to see things from a different perspective.. maybe not.

I'm so sorry this is happening to you.



The Book Chick said...

Missy, my heart actually hurts for you right now. I am so sorry that you have to go through this, and I can't even imagine how painful this is for you. I suppose that the only thing you can do is hang in there- for better or for worse, and remember that you're blogging friends are here for you whenever you need to vent!!!!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Missy, sorry this is a difficult time for you and your family. It is tough to see our parents decline to the point that we have to make decisions on their behalf. Don't be too hard on yourself. Do what feels right to you.

Unknown said...

No your not being terrible. You have to think of your well being too! Hang in there! I'll keep you and your mother in my thoughts and prayers!!

serendipity_viv said...

No, you are not being terrible. YOu are doing what is best for your mum. It is just unfortunate that she cannot see that your actions are full of good intentions. Your mum is obviously bitter about not being at home in her own surroundings and doesn't realise that she can no longer look after herself. I think you are right to pull back a bit and hope that she learns to deal with the changes. My thoughts are with you at the moment.

Judi said...

I am sure that is painful for you. At the end of the day and no matter what anyone says and what your mom is feeling, you can only do what you feel is right for you. You may go through several emotions and responses during this latest transition. My heart goes out to you now.

My father died suddenly so I never got to say goodbye and it haunted me. My mother died slowly so despite everything she did and said I just made sure I felt comfortable with myself every time I left her after a visit.

Thoughts of Joy said...

I am so sorry for the difficulties you are experiencing with your mom. Just remember that you are not responsible for her actions - you are only responsible for your own. My thoughts are with you, Missy.

Wander to the Wayside said...

I so know what you're talking about and how you're feeling! What I'm not hearing is has anyone mentioned or thought of or suspected or acknowledged or whatever ... alzheimers? My dad, as you know, was living in Texas around my step-siblings, and I kept getting reports of how he was drinking and watching porn (in his 70s), while living in an apartment by himself. On two occasions when I went to see him from Georgia, he had me in tears because he was so rude, told me not to touch his stuff, etc. I had determined - F.U., mister, I'm done! Then he went into a nursing home when he broke his hip, and that's when they discovered the alzheimers (after he detoxed from the alcohol). He acted out, acted up, was rude and mean and hateful and spiteful to everyone. Then when he got kicked out of the nursing home and I had him shipped here to a nursing home, after his initial 'I'm happier here than I've ever been',he started blaming me for making him leave Texas, selling his car, losing all his stuff, stealing the hundreds of thousands of dollars that he thought he'd had (he came to me with $132), etc. Toward the end, I had to literally force myself to visit once a week, and that was with the support of the social worker at the nursing home.

As fate would have it, the same thing happened with my mother-in-law! She lived on her own, sat if her apt. drinking and smoking, we thought she'd burn the place down, fall down stairs, etc., they took her car away, bla bla bla, and they ended up having to put her in a nursing him when she got some kind of infection ... and was diagnosed with alzheimers.

My point is...don't take it upon yourself to assume the mantle of guilt or play the blame game. I don't know what kind of relationship you've had with her over the years, but if it's only been 'bad' the last few years, I'd say that it could very well be undiagnosed alzeimers or dementia.

Even it it's not, some seniors have to blame someone other than themselves for whatever their final days brings, and you might just be the only one who's close enough to do that. Do the best you can, help her if and when you can, BUT DON'T EVER EVER EVER EVER BLAME YOURSELF OR LOOK FOR ANYTHING THAT YOU DID WRONG OR CAN DO TO FIX IT OR HER!!!!! IT IS A LOSING BATTLE!!!

Take a few steps back. Talk to the social worker at the nursing home and see what they think you should do ... it is in their best interest to know the dynamics of your relationship to your mother and tell them why you'll be coming less often if it keeps her more comfortable. In my case, they found that it was actually better for my dad if I came less often - once a week - because he didn't get riled up over the money I stole. They didn't think less of me, because they knew I had tried.

I feel so bad for you, and know how something like this can get you down, especially right now in the midst of the hip rehab and being tired getting everything done. Take care of yourself first, and Lily and Peanut (do you still have Daisy?), because the nursing home will be taking care of your mom. As long as you take care of yourself, and make sure the nursing home is taking care of her, you'll eventually come to some kind of schedule or truce or whatever is needed to get her - and you - thru these next however many months or years.

And if you need to vent, feel free to email me...

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

No you are not terrible Missy. I will share a few of favorite quotes, "If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it." "He will only give you as much as He knows you can handle."

I know this does not help much, but as far as a friend I am here for you. I won't lie to you and tell you that I know what you are going through, but I will say that I understand. I can be here for you while you go through this. My prayers will continue over you and your family. You are in my heart my friend! I am an email away.

Wander to the Wayside said...

Oh, I forgot to answer your question "Am I terrible?":


Kitten said...

You are NOT terrible! My father went through the same situation with my grandmother, and I know what you're going through. Post whenever you're able to; your family comes first!

Carol Murdock said...

This may sound cruel but your Mothers life is winding down and if she chooses to spend her last days in anger and bitterness, that's her choice. You on the other hand have much life ahead of you! You have done the very best you can for her and it is not appreciated. Do Not let her emotional problems make you an emotional wreck.God expects YOU to live your life to the fullest and not be held down by guilt. Do what is best for yourself first and stop letting her torture you! I'm praying for you both! :)

Midlife Roadtripper said...


I believe Wander to the Wayside has provided you with an ample explanation.

My heart goes out to you. Write your blog - as you do. Tomorrow.

Tif Sweeney said...

I do not think you are terrible at all . . . but, that does not make it any easier! Please know that I will be thinking of you during this difficult time and wish you the best.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Missy, I'm keeping you in my thoughts. Having watched older relatives in similar circumstances as your mother I can tell you that her words, etc are not unusual. As hard as it is, please don't take it personally.
Hugs to you.

Darlene said...

Missy, I'm so sorry you're going through such a horrible time right now. I'm thinking of you and praying things get better. Hugs.

avisannschild said...

Oh Missy, I'm so sorry to hear that this is happening to you. Like others have said, I don't think you are being terrible at all -- you really need to take care of yourself, first and foremost. My thoughts are with you and your family.


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