Need courage and strength to start visiting Mom more often.

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I have to drive an hour and a half to see her. On back roads since I have a anxiety disorder. And even then I'm afraid of an accident making me detour onto Route 29. As the only way to finish driving there. I bought a GPS but the way I go if there is a detour the only way there might be to beltway or route 29.
I'm completely stressed out by mom now. Won't be driving there till March unless emergency or she goes in the hospital. Since I am afraid of bad weather without warning in winter.


Barbara

27 Comments

I thought you were trying to distance yourself from your mom. I would try to work with a counselor to get some peace. And if your mom is okay and receiving proper care and attention, why not just focus on something that is less troubling and more peaceful to you? Maybe courage and strength will come down the road later. Just be gentle with yourself and work on feelings of calm and contentment. We all need different things at different times in our lives.
Whether driving to visit your mom, or anything else, I have found the following to be a great tool. My trainer at the gym is always pushing me to do more. The way he gets me to is by saying...you can do anything for 30 seconds. At first I didn't understand but he explained saying...you can handle any situation, any amount of pain and suffering for 30 seconds, as long as you know it will stop after 30 seconds. Then when you make it through the 30 seconds you start again...say I can do anything for 30 seconds...and keep going. I am up to intervals of 60 seconds and I use it for everything that causes me issues, especially anxiety. I hope it can help you.

Angel
I was trying to distance myself. But. situation with moms arms, shoulders, and neck injury turned for the worse. The physicaltherapist started working with her last week. But mom is feeling more pain and said she can't bend her arm now. She should be at the orthopedist right now. Hopefully he has an answer for whats wrong. The therapist asked mom how often I visit. Mom said twice a year. Mom told me the therapist said I thought she was more involved in your life. So when therapist called me to say she was going to be late to her appointment with mom. I told her I was going to start visiting mom more often. The therapist said good. I had planed on visiting four times a year now that she is so frail. Before her injury. I guess I will visit even more than that. She really needs someone there at least five days a week to help dress, etc. It was a battle just to agree to see the social worker. Seriously dought she will agree to any help unless it's mostly or all paid by medicare. Which it probably won't be. Just wish my anxiety didn't get in the way. Still trying to distance myself emotionally. Trying to think of her as a client not my mother. Pretty hard to do.

Barbara
I thought she was living with your brother and that he was supposed to be responsible for her home care?
Barbara, this is what has happened most recently.

The appointment you had to jump through hoops to arrange has now taken place. During that appointment, the PT, who after all had been dealing on the phone with you, made a conversational enquiry to your mother about how often you - the person she had thought to be in charge - were there in the house. Perhaps she had expected to see you there and was surprised, mildly, that you weren't.

So later on, during a different conversation with you that had nothing to do with monitoring your attendance, when you were carrying guilt from your mother's report of that earlier conversation during the PT visit, you spontaneously told the PT that you would visit more often. And the PT said good, because she was thinking in terms of everyday scenarios and everyday relationships - which by the way, in your case you do not have - and generally speaking one likes to think of elders enjoying frequent visits. And that's *all* she meant.

So, but, tell me: did the PT say a solitary critical word to you about your "failure" (only in your eyes!) to visit your mother more frequently? No. I will put money on it that she said no such thing.

Listen. Your *anxiety* tells you that you should be physically present to tend to your mother. But reality should tell you that a) you can't, because your ability to travel is restricted and the distance too great; and b) given your brother lives with your mother; given that all of this blew up *because* the PT was dealing with your mother's pain; and given that your brother is, as you type, supposed to be taking your mother to a related appointment - there is not even any *need* for you to be physically present. Other people are there to help her. Nothing terrible will happen to her just because you can't get there very often.

What you might like to do right now is make yourself a hot drink and sit down with a book or a tv programme you enjoy. Or take a bath. Whatever will help you to switch off and get out of this anxiety tailspin.

You are living with so much FOG - Fear, Obligation, Guilt - that even the most general discussion of your role in your mother's care triggers complete panic. So. Deep breaths, relax, all is well, your mother is in good hands and there is nothing you need to contribute today. Planning journeys to your mother's house is not something you need to do now. Please, at least take this evening off and take care of yourself.


My anxiety got worse after mom told me yesterday that she can't bend her arm. And the comming blizzard with possible and probable power outages. In my area and moms. Starting tomorrow afternoon. Then all the "What Ifs" come to my mind. All really bad of cource. Part of the what ifs is me having to go to moms house or try to help by making phone calls. My energy is depleted already. Dont have any left for the comming storm. But I will get a hot drink and try to get my mind off mom and the storm.
CountryMouse sums up the situation insightfully and delicately. You're going to make yourself even more ill if you allow the perceived responsibility to dominate your thoughts, and your life.

Your brother is on site; that's his responsibility.
Sorry, I typed before seeing a PM.

I think you have a few choices:

1. Research and locate additional support for your mother while living with your brother.

2. Accept that you don't feel confident in his care and make arrangements for her to live closer to you, with all the responsibility that entails (and that wouldn't be my first recommendation).

3. Come to terms with the situation as it is.

I say this not critically, but you ARE going to become ill over all this stress.
Hadnuff, It is so easy for others to judge about how often you see your Mom! That is just wrong. You may feel worse reporting to the PT that you will visit more, then getting her answer, "Good!" That is just psychological abuse, and they don't know it. You can choose to stop reporting to people. Start thinking better of yourself.
You really have Hadnuff, that can change somehow.
Song: " From a distance, the world looks like your friend...."
Hadnuff - in your previous posts you have openly said you have an anxiety disorder. Please don't be offended here - but I think you are letting that disorder take over your actions, thoughts and perceptions. Case in point - worrying about "what ifs". If we all focused on the bad "what ifs" no one would ever leave their homes. Is there a professional counsler you can talk to - to help you get control over your anxiety? I say this with the best of intentions - it must be hard for you to go through each day imagining the worst that could happen.

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