Letter To a Friend

Dear Sandy,

How are you doing this week? How is your world? Mine sucks.

I've been Steppin' and Fetchin' for mom daily. Yesterday I went to 5 or 6 stores, it's just ridiculous. She runs out of salmon oil vitamins, I have to run get them. She needs hand lotion, go get it. She writes a letter or pays a bill, out it must go. I wish we lived in the boonies, she would've learned a long time ago, that shopping trips are once a week. You make a list, shop one day, and if you forgot something, you do without until next week.

Every time she sends me out, as soon as I step in the door, schlepping twenty plastic bags hanging all off my body, sweating like a pig, she says, "Do you know what we forgot?". Yeah, I forgot to keep driving on past the house and never return.

I need a vacation in the mountains sooooo bad.

I try to maintain but you know there is no fooling your body and spirit when it comes to stress. I can take two walks a day, ride my bike, do things with friends, but if there is stress, then there is stress. I can feel it building in me. And I wonder what the hell toll it is taking on my health, mental and physical, when I just have to stuff it and keep on doing the very things that are causing it.

I know these are the things big diseases are made of. I need to unwind, relax, decompress, not have to think of my mother for....well, a minute would be nice. Imagine what a day or two would feel like.

Oh boy, this week is going to be rough, trying to wrap up work at my job and wanting to leave and having to do fifty thousand things for my mom. And then she always gets on this kick that she has to have like a Bunker-Militia-Doomsday list of supplies in the house before I leave in case she runs out of chap stick or something.

I'm going to have to step back and take a breath. I think acknowledging the stress I'm feeling and not trying to fake it helps a lot more than being in denial and placating myself with some stupid affirmation like "be here now". Yeah, right, just where I want to be.

Last night I had this dream that I took mom to some meeting of some group she belonged to and she sat up front and I sat in the back and I saw you and a bunch of our friends all come in and sit on the same row as her. And I thought, God, I'm so out of the loop that my mom belongs to the same group as my friends!

What does it mean, grasshopper?

Serenity Now

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Stop the Madness
by: Ultimate

I have read the comments regarding these demanding and emotionally draining elderly parents and have one myself.

My mother is 84 and is excellent health, but she goes non stop to different doctors...hand specialist for a bruised finger, eye doctor because her vision isn't 20/20, ear doctor because she hears "something" that isn't right, regular doctor with a laundry list of imaginary aches and pains.....etc., etc.

My mother survived a colon cancer bout around 8 years ago. The doctor's removed part of her colon and gave her a clean bill of health. She has something not right with her iron so the doctor sends her for infusions once per month. Off she goes to her infusions with patients who are receiving chemo and carries on as though she has some major illness.

The woman is disgusting. Instead of giving thanks for her good health (longevity in her family line) and maybe doing something to help others, she spends her time finding reasons to run to doctor offices.

She is so bad that when she goes for one appointment, she "stops in" at all the rest of her other doctor's offices and gives them a run down of what the first doctor said, which basically is there is nothing wrong with you. She doesn't drive so I for over 4 years have been taking her shopping.

It takes this woman over 5 hours to grocery shop as she has to stop and talk to all the African Americans she sees, and she is a bigot and hates this race. She has a laundry list of I need this fixed and that fixed and I have this ailment and that ailment every time I go there.

I despise her selfishness and inconsideration.

She talks to me with such sarcasm and disrespect (has my whole life) that I just hate every moment with her. I work 60 plus hours a week, have 9 grandchildren, 3 of which I try to spend a lot of time with, as my son was killed in a car accident 4 years ago, and other responsibilities.

The woman could be a help but instead chooses to be a needy, selfish, and disrespectful human being. I pray everyday for the strength to "honor" my mother, and then reel from guilt after seeing her because I can't wait to get away from her. I have finally decided to just go through the motions of taking her to the stores and get the "heck" out of there as soon as possible and not call or check on this mean, disrespectful abusive woman until I need to return again.

I stay away from her as much as possible and just listen and don't talk to her about her imaginary illnesses. God Help all that have these selfish individuals to care for.........and give me the strength to not be a burden on my own children in my older years.

I must be sure to have everything in order to have me put in a home when or if I become such a burden, so as to not torture my children in this way.

So Funny, so True
by: Anonymous

I had a couple of good guffaws reading this. I don't live with my mother, but I am at her house all the time. I never walk in the door when she doesn't say "I'm so glad you're here, I have a list of things I need you to do."

I'm so familiar with that neediness. My mother can be appreciative, but it is rare and it doesn't take the stress off of me. I have a brother who lives in Florida, and is unable to be here to help,even if he was, I'd still be on my own because they don't get along at all.

There is no amount of "be in the now" or "take a nice long bath," or "remember to take care of yourself" that will alleviate this stress. I've read all the web sites and heard all of the advice. Sorry guy (to the people who write this junk on the web sites) but this is it until they are gone. Cold as that is, that's the truth.

I took care of a husband dying of pancreatic cancer and the "respite" didn't come until he was gone. It's difficult to explain to anyone who doesn't have to deal with this, just what kind of emotional vampires these people can become (no fault of their own, I guess -- not sure yet on that) when you are at their beck and call. They become so dependent -- my mother says "i don't know what I'd do without you." No pressure there, eh?

I'm sorry for you and I feel your pain. Thanks for giving me a good laugh in the meantime!

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