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My husband and I visited my parents today for an early Mother's Day and she really didn't even seem happy to see us. We live two hours away (my husband and I). I am an only child. My Dad lives in their independent living apartment and my Mom was hospitalized and after that has had to move to the skilled nursing unit in the same complex as she is too weak to be in the apartment and too much for my Dad to take care of. She refuses to eat quite often and also refuses physical therapy.

I know it was part of her personality before, but I would have thought she would be happier to see us. She always seems mad at my Dad and is argumentative with him and mad that he can't hear or pretty much at whatever he does or doesn't do. She had me and my husband keep busy with things she would think of for us to do rather than just enjoying being with us.

She even did not want some of her gifts we brought..saying she didn't want this or that and to return some. It is just so hard for me to be there after a while when it seems there is nothing anyone can do to make her happy.

I understand, although I know I am not in her shoes, that her life is difficult and she has several chronic health issues going on and has at times even talked about "stopping" dialysis and must feel pretty hopeless and sad.

I feel frustrated, angry and guilty when and after I visit. I don't like her being "mean" to Dad and am disappointed when the visits go as they did today. I know there are probably not any answers and I am venting..but if you have any insight or opinions please share.

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I think anger is a fairly common reaction to bereavement, Jessie. "How could he have died first and left me with this mess!" This can occur no matter what age of the couple or how much dependency there was. It is totally illogical, of course, but logic isn't what drives grief. Most people get past the anger. Some, of course, do not.
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Well, she was mad angry, I guess, but I meant to say more angry. :)
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Some of the things my mother said after my father died may shed some light on why your mother is not treating your father well. My parents were married for 64 years. When my father died, my mother was mad angry with him than she was sad. She said how could he leave her with such a mess. He had spent too much money, not leaving her enough. The house was run down and it was his fault. She depended on him to take care of her, but here she was old and alone. She was mad at him. I think in some way that she had magical thinking that if he had been a better husband, then she would have never become old and vulnerable like she had. Women of our mothers' age depended so much on their husbands to care for them.

The reality is that my father left her plenty to live on as long as she doesn't have to go in a NH. He bought a house for her. They just hadn't kept it up. He was a wonderful provider, though in his dementia he spent a lot of their money. But he couldn't protect her from the ravages of time and the losses she was facing.
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I kind of felt that way. It was as if she needed to be able to tell someone what to do...a way control.
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My mom does the same thing. I am nearby and see her twice a week. All I hear is the staff are all liars and they don't know anything. I think it's the way to retain control.
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