As this journey with my mom unfolds I'm realizing so much about our dysfunctional family dynamic.
My BIL called me the other day. I was shocked as he doesn't normally call me. He started by telling me I helped him through a rough time several years back and he felt the need to reach out to me now. I really didn't want to talk but he prodded and I finally did open up to him about my struggles. My sister ended up marrying a high school friend of my brother so my BIL has known our family including my mother for a very long time. He's seen some things to say the least.
One of the things I told him was I resented not only doing everything myself but having to worry on my own about all of the logistics. Like why wasn't anyone else having important conversations with my mom about selling some assets (her cottage and car out of state) and saving for future care?
His response to me was that everyone (meaning my sister and brother) knew that her response would be negative. He said "It's always been like that, she's difficult to approach".... got me to thinking, he's so right. Everyone has always walked on eggshells around my mom.
We all knew her behavior was dysfunctional. Having an alcoholic parent isn't normal. Yet my mother was never confronted, it was tolerated and somehow normalized.
I feel this strange pressure to "normalize" her continued dysfunctional behavior (addiction, narcissism, etc) and now even the dementia. I can't begin to think of a way to even have a conversation with her about her future care needs. Don't all sane people know that dementia is a different animal and majority of people end up needing to go to a facility? Yet this can't even be addressed. Yet at the same time my tolerance for this at this stage of my life is VERY low.
This is heavy on my mind because on Jan 4th my mom will be having an appointment with her PC. This is the doctor that I talked to when she was away last month. We had a confidential talk and I told him I was concerned that all of her doctors weren't communicating enough and I wanted to know why she needed daily opiates. He agreed there didn't appear to be any reason and he was going to talk to the pain doctor. I told him I was concerned about her cognition and he said he was going to read her evaluation. He mentioned that he may recommend an addiction specialist.
Well I got a reminder call about her appointment yesterday, and the person said she was to be seen for "mildly elevated labs (I think he will be addressing the drinking), cognitive impairment, and her pain complaints".
I'm nervous because I think there is a strong chance she will have a very negative reaction. At the same time I can't keep normalizing this stuff. The charade of independence with lack of cooperation is more and more intolerable.
Can anyone relate?