My mother is 83 years old. My dad passed away in March 2017. He had dementia and could be very difficult. The honest truth is that both of my parents had always been extremely self absorbed, self centered people with grandiose delusions. As a teenager, I would butt heads with them regularly, not just teen rebellion, they were absolutely unreasonable and difficult. Fast forward to now.
My mother sold the house and moved into a 55 and older apartment complex this past March. Some of her former neighbors also live in the development and have done everything possible to make her feel welcome. She has a lot of pain from arthritis, but truthfully, I feel like she has just given up. She had shoulder replacement surgery about 3 weeks ago, and after the surgery went to rehab. She was in one of the best rehab places in the area, but still did nothing but complain the entire time she was there. I felt badly for her and visited nearly every night, did her laundry, retrieved items from her apartment and brought them to her...I also work full time at a very stressful job with a 45 minute commute each way. I am married and have two sons, who will be going back to college this weekend.
Every single time I visited, she complained nonstop, it is so difficult to keep hearing nothing but negativity over and over. She called me at work last week to tell me that the nurses aides took forever to respond and she “feels abandoned, here and at home”. Well, I lost it and told her that she better not be directing that at me, I had been there nearly every day, and then said, “I am at work, I have to go “. I have 2 brothers, one lives an hour away, the other lives 2 hours away. I live closest to her, about 15 minutes away, so I am stuck with the grunt work. She later apologized, but it really sounds so hollow. She knows where her bread is buttered, she doesn’t want to get me so upset that I will stop dealing with her altogether. She was released from rehab yesterday, and has an aide 24/7 to care for her. My husband, who is retired, picked her up and brought her home, helped her get into the apartment, met with the aide, etc. She didn’t want him to leave, but he was not going to stay there all day. Tonight, I came home from work, my husband, our older son and I picked up dinner and went to her apartment. I wanted to meet the aide and see how everything was going. Well, more complaining...she’s in pain, she has a bug, had the runs all day, blah, blah. She wanted me to listen to all of her phone messages that were left while she was in rehab, write them all down, and do various other ridiculous things. All the while with the whiny suffering voice. Then she started with the “nobody has time for me”...once again, my blood boiled and I told her that I have been running myself ragged and she was inappreciative.
I should not have lost my temper in front of the aide, but no matter what I do, it is never enough. I am exhausted and disgusted. My husband tried to calmly explain to her that I am worn out, but I don’t think anything gets through to her. I am finding myself wishing she would just die and leave me in peace. The fact is, her health is actually good, no illnesses or conditions like cholesterol or high blood pressure..nothing. It sounds awful, but I don’t want to think of what the future will bring. My nerves are so shot, I have a splitting headache and my heart is still racing. How on earth do people deal with this nonsense. What kind of coping techniques do you use when you are at the end of your rope? I decided I am not going back to visit until some time next week...I just can’t...I cannot take it. I am actually afraid for my own health at this point. Thank you for allowing me to vent.