OK, here is a great confession: I find it much easier to be cheerful, interested, and genuinely nice to the other residents at the AL than my own mother. I actually like them and get a kick out of them. I could enjoy hanging out with them for a while. To say this differently, I like myself better when I am interacting with them.
Sort of the reverse of what we are saying about elders being nice to others and trashing us, which my mother does, believe me. But who am I to complain?
I am not neglecting my mom. Yesterday I took her shopping for bras--don't even ask. It is hard to take someone shopping who doesn't remember what they tried on or liked 30 seconds ago. I finally gave up and took my mom to Victoria's Secret (LOL) and let the consultant handle it. With just one firm word from me at the end of the appointment, we walked out of there with three new bras that fit my mom and she likes them. Then we went clothes shopping and got a few cute, comfortable tops for her. She forgot the whole thing within a few hours, of course. Today, Christmas, we are going out for Chinese (LOL again!) and then we will watch old movies, which she loves.
What I mean is that I am doing all the things I am supposed to be doing (not to mention handling all of her affairs, taxes, etc.). But I do FEEL more relaxed and cheerful around the other residents than around my mom.
Maybe this is not a crime against humanity but I feel really guilty about it. I wish I could tune myself in to the empathetic channel, and I can on rare occasions, but usually I just feel just dutiful, slightly annoyed, and bored.
This is raw honesty here.