I am a caregiver to my elder mom who is now 96. I am the only child, after my sister died 5 years ago, suddenly. She and I were a team and took care of my parents at their home at the time. She and I were so very close, she was my best friend.
My father had suffered from severe depression for many years even with the tons of anti depressants his psychiatrist had him on. And my mother, well, she has always been a negative person, very insecure and self absorbed. Mom and dad fed off each other as to whom was sicker. I would go help them cook and I'd clean their house for them because it became very hard for mom.
I took care of dads medications because he would abuse them and take too many or take them at the wrong times. Mom and dad were married for 75 years before my father died from COPD 2 years this August. They never seemed to really like each other.
When my sister died I had her home to sell, my parents home to sell, and the new home my sister had just moved into close to my home so we could together care for my parents without driving a long distance daily to their home.
So after the death of my sister I put my parents in the BEST nursing assisted living facility in the area. They fought me ever step of the way but I could not care for them and sell 3 homes, grieve for my sister and everything else that was going on.
I can not explain the amount of pressure I had on me. Trying to go through so many personal items in my sisters home, my parents home, finding the best homes for my sister's dogs she loved so, even though I took one when I had already two of my own. Dealing with real estate people and lawyers...it was a nightmare.
Through the stress my husband and I came within weeks of divorce. I had always been such a positive person but this all was shattering my life. To know me you would have to understand I am a fighter. I am strong willed and I always try to find the positive in everything so I battled and I have come out on the other side still whole.
I continued to care for mom and dad in the nursing facility all the time. They had two rooms connected to one another like it was one big room. Sometimes, 4 to 5 times a week I would go spend time with them. I'd cook the foods they liked and bring them there, brought them their favorite goodies, still took them to all their doctors ect.. I'd take them both to my home often for day trips even though they constantly said they were too sick, they were dying, they would not make it through the weekend. The drama was endless.
Both in wheelchairs outings were not easy, but I continued to care for my parents and try to love them even though I never was good enough or so it seemed. I never heard I love you or thank you honey for everything you do. Or just a kind word.
My parents were not good at giving any form of compliment. Mom way worse then dad. One of the last trips to the hospital with my dad I remember was laying in the bed with him crying and he petted my head and he told me he loved me. I cried for days after that cause it meant so much to me. He did return to the facility but he died a few months later. The day before he died he yelled at me and said what the hell took me so long getting there, he needed me!!!.. He could be very loving but very mean also. I think my dad suffered from his depression from living with my mother for all those years.
I gave dad a beautiful funeral. Only the best for my dad. I though mom would be proud....yeah right.
Till this day she talks bad about dad and everyone else I know. She is judgmental and no one goes to see her not even her grandchildren.
She brings everyone down. She sucks the life out of everyone from the time they walk in the door. She has no disease, just old age. Her mind is still very sharp, she makes her own decisions for the most part. She takes no medications. The only thing she suffers from at 96 is bad arthritis in her hands and knees.
I go their happy and full of hope that today will be a good
day and some days we actually have a pretty good day, but when I have my guard down she pounces. Negative negative negative. "I CAN'T" is a word if I never hear again would be to soon. She never smiles when I get there. She refuses to eat with the others in the beautiful dining facilities, she never leaves her room but to shower and get her hair done. She doesn't think she is like the rest there.
I polish her nails and wash her clothes. I buy her pretty things for her room and she tells me why did I do that...I have no room...take it back. She loves to tell stories from years ago....bad things. About things my dad did. My sister...oh everyone.
I am so sorry I went on and on...I can tell you so much more about how she acts but talking about it is draining to me. The reason I came here in the first place is to get it out I guess. I really have no one who understands but my husband but I hate to bring all the negativity into the house after a visit with her to him.
This last visit last week was the worse. She became mean and ugly and I told her if she was going to continue to be this way I would leave. She said "Don't YOU threaten me!" I said, "Mom I am not, I just can't sit here and listen to you talk about people like this and myself". She accuses me of leaving early cause she knows I am having a affair...she points at me with this evil, evil look on her face and says the ugliest things.
She brings up the past and rubs things in your face....things that were so long ago to make you feel bad. Her grandchild who is only 47 was diagnosed 2 months ago with stage 4 cancer.. and she threw her hands up in the air like to say what do you want me do do about it and said "Oh well...we all have to go sometimes."
Everything is about my mother. No one should get attention but her. No one should be sicker then her. When we were planning my sisters funeral she was upset because we were not paying enough attention to her....could we not see how she wasn't going to make it!!?
This last visit when I told her I was leaving if she didn't stop talking this way she reached out from her wheel chair as I sat on the edge of her bed and swung at me and caught me in the face with her nail. No it was not hard cause she is weak but just seeing her want to hurt me just hurt so bad. Then she proceeded to try to pull herself off the wheelchair to the floor on her knees. I said mother what are you doing! and tried picking her up and she cried out like I was killing her. It was all for attention and the drama is more then I can take. I ran and got the nurse and aid and they got her up. I was a wreck all the way home.
I kept going over all the things she said and my guilt for not handling things the right way. I can't sleep at night worrying about her sometimes also...what is that about! But I just don't know how to handle this or her anymore without driving myself crazy.
I will continue to visit my mother not because I like her or respect her, but because she is my mom. The Italian guilt thing I guess.
I feel like I am being emotionally mugged every time I go, she sucks the life from me... but my guilt that she is there keeps me going back for more. It has been over a week since this last incident happened and I went yesterday and brought her wash but I did not go in to see her.
I heard her say where is my daughter???....why are you bringing me my cloths in??? Then I heard her say Oh nooo as if crying, like she knew I wasn't coming in to see her. It makes me so sad but at the same time I know I can not have her do this to me. So I will wait till I feel I can go back. I am hoping somehow she will realize she can not act this way. But at 96 years old do I really think she can change??? I am a very positive person, but even I don't think this miracle will occur.
Thanks for listening to my ranting.... Now after all that it is time for yoga :)