If they can't handle the truth, why do they call?

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Got a call from moms cousin. Uncle Ron. 7 years ago they where a pair of pure terrors. I've heard all the stories, several times.

When you ask me how she is, I will tell you the honest truth, least from my eyes.... their own mother died from AD. If you cannot handle it the truth, from my life, don't call.

Do they want me to say mom is doing awesome!!? I can't.... i simply cannot.

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Exactly, Jeanne. I think you've really got it covered; and a blog is a great idea, thank you.
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I told the truth on my CaringBridge blog. Those who were interested and could take the truth got it there, and everyone got the same message. It is interesting that more friends participated than family. Hmmmm ....

When asked, "How is Coy doing," my usual answer was "about the same," or "he's been a little under the weather this week," or "he had a good day yesterday." I never lied but I tried not to give more information than they really wanted.

It was sort of like the question, "How are you?" Sometimes it is not a question at all but a simple social convention. You say, "Fine, and you?" and then move on to real topics. But sometimes it is a real question, and then you have to differentiate between the people who need a casual answer, "Caregiving is really harder than I expected, but I'm holding up OK." and those very few who you can start to cry with!

We think and assume family should be in the select group who gets the in-depth answers. It ain't necessarily so.
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just replied to a text;

"hi, how is mom doing"?

"Fine, doing the best she can".

crickets for an hour now....
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I have found the ONLY people who are truly interested in my mother and what I go through are people who are either current caregivers, been a caregiver or is somehow in the business of caring.
Example; My longtime (37 years) BFF volunteers for hospice with her sweet little pup. She goes to homes and gives a few hours of respite to caregivers 3 times a week. She called my parent's mom and dad just like I did. Now, my SIL is also good friends with her as well...have known ALL of us for just as long. The difference? My BFF works with hospice patients, many of them AD/Dementia. She knows exactly what I am going through and has volunteered to come here (on her own) to let me go away for awhile... My SIL sends me nasty emails saying "Shame on you".
I met a nice woman my age here when I first arrived 19 months ago. She cared for her father (he passed) and now cares for her mother with COPD. Her mother used to care for hospice patients. We were visiting them last night when mom had a full out tantrum demanding she be taken home that instant, I wasn't allowed to enjoy my evening and I was to do HER bidding. I mean once again she talked of me killing her because I was making her stay and that my only intention was to make her miserable. I was mortified at her behavior. They however, didn't flinch, just gently tried to calm her and they STILL volunteer to spend a few hours in the evenings with her so I can at least take my dogs for a walk. Heck, they even said to bring one of my dogs along so mom wouldn't stress about her dogs being left alone. (they are all my dogs)...3rd example.; Met 2 wonderful older gentleman (brothers) they cared for their mom for 5 years/dementia. My friends mother used to give respite/hospice to their mom and they ALL pay it forward. When I take mom out for her birthday or just a fun night, THEY ALL attend... mom loves them (most of the time) and they GET IT.

Sorry.... if I was a nicer person, which I am working on becoming. My words would be a bit more nice. This can go back to those 3 C's that was so eloquently posted. Actually it should be 4 C's. Cause, Change, Cure or Control. No we did none of that, neither did our families. My b*tch goes towards their denial and lack of ....lack of.......heck, everything. Strangers give more than actual blood family.
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then you have my oldest sis -- she helped only when you laid down a trail of 20 dollar bills . still wasnt responsible enough to show up before 10 ; 30 to 11 am on my work days . that isnt helping , its exploiting the situation .
screw people , i aint makin excuses for them ..
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I wouldn't mind the not calling - to be really honest, it would make my life easier - if my mother didn't mind. But then again my problem isn't with her contemporaries, who are mostly pretty tough old biddies who take difficult news well (and have probably dealt with much worse things in their time); it's my siblings' attitude that gets up my nose - all that veering from straight denial, to opining that she'll be glad when she goes, to lofty pronouncements about how she can live her life better. When they bother to enquire at all, that is.

Looloo, you're right, it is very difficult suddenly to find yourself trying to be on candid, confiding terms with a person you've only ever seen to be civil to at weddings and funerals. But sometimes they can pleasantly surprise you! My family is distant emotionally and far-flung geographically, too, and most of my cousins range from stiff upper lip to nut-job repressed; but there are two who are lovely women I very much regret not having known better when I was younger. All part of the wonderful dysfunctional family dynamic, isn't it - you can't get away from the cr*p, and you don't spot the diamonds until it's almost too late.
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It is sad to witness people moving on while you're stuck. But it happens; that is life, that's how it goes.
Yes, many times, people just don't know what to do or what to say, and often that can be forgiven--and should be. And sometimes, it's when things like that happen that you see the truth of the relationship.
My mother's sister is 91 and still going. She is further along in her dementia than my mother is, and is in a board and care facility, living across the country. After receiving a very rare email from my cousin's wife (our family is simply not close, we're not really in touch, that's just how it has always been) notifying me that my aunt had taken a turn for the worse, I gave her my number and told her to call if she wanted to talk. She waited several days, then called, but it felt forced, stiff, and uncomfortable. She and her husband have never been good at 'bad news', have a very hard time 'parenting a parent', and they were the ill equipped to deal with me, and my need to not mince words, and face facts. They're good, caring people, but they can only do so much. And they can't provide what I tried to get from them. And I can't over-extend myself to someone who can't reciprocate. That is reserved for my mother right now, and no one else.
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Looloo- there is truth to what you say.
..
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Countrymouse, it's pretty much a no-win situation. Those of us who have the responsibility really don't have time or energy to indulge the ones who aren't putting forth effort, but who are popping in (via phone, email, in person, etc.) just to make an appearance. For me, it's felt like a bit of a tease -- where I'm under the mistaken impression that I can tell them the truth, possibly enlist some tangible support--even a moment of emotional support would be so nice. And then, I discover that it was mostly about THEM. THEY wanted ME to notice their effort.
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Honestly, I'm not sure what I want them to say. When I say them I mean specifically her family from long ago. They grew up together and prior to mom's AD Diagnosis and dad passing.... they spent many a summer together. I GET IT. Just don't call.... and all the sudden I hear nervous laughter and BYE. I feel bad as well. Nobody in their right mind would like this disease.... especially us caring for them. Maybe, just maybe.... I'd like to hear " Is there something I can do to help you our for just a bit"? They were in Oregon for a month... sent a card, not called. Maybe, just maybe.... well, never mind the maybe's. It is so apparent that for many of us we get left behind and forgot about... so they get a tad of guilt for me being honest.

Ditto looloo... I distance myself also but I am starting to feel a tad angry and that is not how I want to feel.

This is just my point sharynmarie... they are wired for positive lies. I'm not. Least not anymore. 95 % of the time mom does not want to speak to anyone on the phone. It is too confusing for her... she "showtimes" so hard that she's a mess afterwards, it's like her brain is so tired of "trying". Which then makes my day more difficult... no win situation and again that vicious cycle.

More often than not, I feel so bad for her that I do so far out of my way to make her happy, which she never acknowledges probably because she no longer realizes it but..... I too, at times.... feel bad, lonely forgotten and ...used a bit? I dunno.... just rotten no matter how it goes.
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