It's been a while since posted about mom. Things haven't changed much, except by me who, by avoiding conversations, or comments, about what's going on with her has managed find a little of the "old" mom again.
I learned that keeping calm, and standing my ground by saying such things (in a calm manner) like "you don't have the right to get angry with ME, just because you don't remember something". I've also told her that I will no longer be intimidated by her anger and disatisfaction of me and my "Type A" personality. I've also, very calmly and with precise timing, been able to tell her, in so many words, that I really don't want to hear about her physical ailments, or inability to do even some of the simplest of housekeeping tasks, when she thinks that sitting at her computer all day, in her pajamas (usually) until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, chainsmoking and playing games.
These changes came after a loud and angry argument about her contributing to at least some of the chores of the house. This isn't only for the help it would provide me, but a way too, to get her involved in something, ANYTHING besides sitting at her computer all day. She doesn't even eat well anymore due mostly to her lack of any ambition at all. This argument came down to me telling her that if that was how she wanted to live, that she should find another place to live that way.
It is SO hard to watch her, at 73, shorten her life so much and become more and more reclusive. About the only thing she seems to like to do, is shop. If she has money, she shops. She is usually good at paying bills, but in the last few months there has been a couple that she's admitted she forgot to pay. (One of them a utility bill that sent a notification to our landlord). She has a decent income with social security and a school pension, but she is constantly broke due to the over use of her credit cards.
Basically, her judgement skills are deteriorating, and quickly. Today when I asked if she was willing to help out around the house at all... I got the same angry response, "I will do what I want to do when I 'freakin' want to do it and if you don't like it, do it yourself'. The lower part of the house stinks some days, from the excess cigarette smoke, and she refuses at ALL to do anything with the floors... since, according to her, I have more pets than her and there's no reason to clean it since they (the pets) will just make it dirty again. Even her cleaning skills have deteriorated (simple things like washing dishes). Worse yet, she's remembering things that she thinks SHE did, that she didn't, hasn't done, in some time, but because I've done it, she is adament that is was her (to the point of being angry if I say anything different).
The thing is, she CAN do things, IF she wants to. She complains about her stamina, and getting SO tired when she does anything, but yet she gets angry when I suggest she pace herself, and try doing a little something everyday so that she can regain these months and months of doing next to nothing.
Now we're back at the, "I'm still looking for a place of my own" but she can't. She can't afford any more than what she pays living with me and, having given her things to me when she opted to leave our shared home before to go to another state and marry a man she met online, she doesn't have much furniture, and no appliances. (forgive me for saying that, under the circumstances, I'm not willing to give her back everything that she legally, and in writing, gave to me, when she left the first time).
I know I'm just venting here, again. But it hurt badly last week when my 51st birthday came and went and I didn't even get a card. When I mentioned the disappointment (again in a calm and respectful manner) I got "Well I forgot when I was at the store last week, and I didn't go anywhere today"... I was in school most of the day and all evening... I'm sorry, it seems like such a small thing, but there was no card (which has always been highlight of my birthday, the cards I would get from her). I wound up buying my own birthday cake and sharing it ith my classmates... bringing the leftovers home.
I'm lost. I really don't think she can afford anything more than her 400/mo expense that she pays now (certainly not one that willl let her have her cats or chain smoke at the computer all day long). I also am afraid that if she's living completely on her own, she'll shut down even more.
I've found myself doubting myself more and more about how I'm supposed to help her... and I struggle SO much with being able to just 'let go' and wait until she's physically and mentally, completely unable to care for herself. In short, I feel like the worst daughter on earth right now...