Thank you

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After my first, desperate and angry post, I have spent a lot of time reading posts here. What I have learned (aside from the fact it is good to have my meds working again) is to step back and look, listen, get some distance.
In no order, when my mother says to one of my daughters, please pick up your coat and put it away, she hears, please pick up your coat and put it away. I was hearing, you terrible person, I slave away all day trying to make this house a nice place for you to live, and you are destroying my work, and by extension me.


She says, you don't need to look after me, she is saying, I don't want to be a burden. When she says, I'm going to take you to your doctor's appointment, she is saying I can still help you, not you are incompetent to drive yourself to the doctor and I need to supervise you ever minute because I don't trust you.


She grew up believing that the only justification for her life was to be of use to other people. It wasn't easy for us, her children, it wasn't easy for her, either. Now, a lot of the anger is gone. She's not, in fact, lashing out--I am adding words from the past, in my head, to what she has said.


She thinks she isn't loved because she doesn't deserve to be loved, not because my love isn't sufficient.


She is terrified of no longer being useful.


We have made adjustments. She, slowly, cleans up from breakfast after I leave for work. We work together to prepare lunch and dinner to be cooked later. She puts her laundry away--in other words, I give her space. It must have be very hard for her to be pushed aside by me all the time because I wanted to help her.


I still help with some of the ADLs, but realize that she wants to do everything she can. She is still a safe driver, though she hates driving in the dark. Now, instead of saying, no, no, you stay home and rest, when she offers to drive my daughter to PT in the day when I am home I say thank you.


I know we all have different situations here. And I learned a lot from those of many people here.


Thank you.

6 Comments

Dear Meallen
So glad that you are feeling better and that your home life has improved. I am also glad that you found this site helpful. Please come back and post and read anytime you can.
Amen.

2 sides to every coin.

3 sides to every story. (yours, mine and what really happened)

I was raised on "walk a mile in my shoes."

You sound rested - I'm so jealous, lol. Not really. If we all hung our problems on the clothesline, we'd each of us choose back our own problems.

Have an awesome holiday season Meallen!
Thank you both. Compared to most people here, I am well rested. Upon only once in the night, able to be in bed before ten 4 nights out of 5, and can sleep until 6. In that I am blessed. (Also, I recently learned when she starts sighing at night, to pretend I am asleep instead of asking what's wrong--once I do that, she works herself up about all her worries--if I don't ask, I can tell by her snoring she's asleep again in 5 or 10 minutes.)
Dear meallen,

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Its always good to try to look at both sides. I wish with my own dad, I had done more of that after his stroke. I was worn down and just took everything the wrong way and stayed in my anger. It was a terrible mistake. And now its something I regret deeply since his passing. I so badly wish I could go back and fix it.
I have to say, compared to the work most people do here, I have very little in the way for care giving for my mother, and even my daughters.
Wow! I don't know what drugs kicked in for you, Meallen, but you sure have some good insights!

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