Just Can't Do it Anymore
I feel like I've almost come to the end of myself. My father passed in 2000. My father was the type A in the family.
My mother, though she had a personality of her own always seemed to be a second class citizen in life. She felt everything was always her fault.
Just the other night I ran into the corner of a coffee table. She immediately thought it must be her fault that I did that because she left the chair to her jigsaw puzzle table out a little bit. I suspect that this might have gone back to her upbringing and not just her marriage.
When my father passed she just seemed so alone and lost that I suggested that I move in with her. She was overjoyed when I made the offer and I have lived with her ever since. That will be 15 years this October.
She has been more that generous and will take nothing from me to live here. I try to pay for things as much as I can.I was 44 when I moved in with her and have been divorced since 1992 so I guess I thought I was the obvious candidate to take care of her.
In the beginning, we took trips together and she was independent and still drove. She went to her church and activities and I mine. She has always relied solely on me for advice and what she should do.
The TV always has to be just the right volume for ME and she doesn't take the initiative for any decisions. Then about 4 years ago she had a stroke.
She rebounded well, but uses a walker all the time, has lost about 40% of her speech and doesn't drive at all. My two older brothers have taken no interested in being involved in her life to any large degree. They talk to her
occasionally and rarely visit.
We live on about 5 acres with outbuildings and lots of yard. Since my divorce I have always been happiest in an apartment or condo. I really don't enjoy yard work or landscaping or anything to do with maintaining a home like this.
I know this was my choice to move in with her, but I guess I never thought it would be for a large part of my older life. I will be 60 in January and Mom will be 88 in December.
I do occasionally take an overnight away from home, but still know that I will have to return to the same situation. There lies the enormous guilt and sadness I feel everyday.
She is a sweet woman and asks nothing for herself. How can I feel this way? What kind of a monster am I to feel that I just want to load up a few clothes in my truck and run away.
I just feel like after 15 years I have done my duty as a son and it's time for someone else to take over and let me go. I see the announcement photos in the newspapers of the couples celebrating 50 or 60 years of marriage and my heart just breaks.
I go places and see older couples walking hand in hand and just want that so much. I know that Mom could pass tomorrow or 10 years from now. I love her with all my heart, but have just had enough.
There lies the selfishness, guilt, selfishness, guilt cycle that I live everyday. Well, that's all.
I know that this situation is not going to change so I just will continue to live with a smile on my face and a helping hand for my mother.
But it does feel nice to know that I am not the only person who has reached the brick wall.