We had a terrible fight last night. The one that left me walking out on Mom, once more. It wasn’t due to anger or not being able to take the meanness she had in store for me, as it is nothing more then frustrated efforts to hold on to the life she once knew. Her fear of losing control is overwhelming, and adjusting and accepting her new life is very slow. I’m sure she knows something is wrong, that things are not the same anymore, and I think for the first time she is realizing the seriousness of her situation. That she is not in charge anymore, and that she is not able to get herself out of the nursing home. It has dawned that she could be there forever. I imagine it has to be frightening to her, spending the rest of her days in a place she doesn’t want to be, regardless of how well she is taken care of. A prison if you will and I’m sure she views it as such. Everything is fine between us as long as no serious conversation is addressed, but more and more “I want to go home” is a regular part of any interaction. I have learned not to engage in it, and sometimes it works and she drops it, and other times she won’t.
The new bill for the upcoming month arrived a few days ago, and she knows that within this week her bank account will be charged an absurd amount of money, which is her monthly contribution part. She still cannot comprehend how much care she requires, and that life as she knew it years ago, is not the same anymore. Whole timeframes in between as her sickness progressed are lost, and she doesn’t remember. She believes she just recently went shopping and did all kinds of other activities, when in reality it has been years. The diabetes and the onset of dementia has robbed those years from her. Try to explain something to someone who doesn’t remember and thinks that they know everything. Impossible.
Yesterday was one of those days and she didn’t drop the topic of wanting to go home. It was time bound and crucial, with only a few days left until the automatic charge would occur, so how could she? It was all or nothing as it would mean having to stay another month. Her frustration about her own situation turned into blame and guilt towards me. Holding on to that straw, unimaginable things came over her lips. I was the sounding block, the only one left to blame. It was almost eerie how calm I remained as all these things were addressed and meant for me. All my faults in her eyes, the do’s and don’ts that didn’t meet her approval, leaving her behind, that things would be different if my Dad was alive, my failed marriages and what I amounted to, all came out without any effort. Sure a few words flew back in my defense, but her attacks mainly bounced off of me. Unfazed, and unwilling to accept fault for the responsibilities that were hers and for the things she knew little about. Unwilling to be dragged down to that level, I sat through it for the most part. This was not my mother talking to me, and I saw the devil doing his work through her. It’s something that I have been reminding myself of for the past week when it comes to pain from different directions. All evil, just like all good has a source and it’s been more then once that I shouted at the devil to “fuck off”and that he wasn’t going to break me. (Sorry for the language, but it’s the only way I can convey the intensity of those moments). And no, I have not gone insane yet, and shouting it out actually felt pretty good. I do have a hell of a fight to fight and I have known before entering that it would take all of me, every resource possible to come out alive of this one. I’m fighting and I’m not done….
Recently I have been explained that the devil has more of an interest in me because I’m a threat to his work. Because I want to spread love and compassion, because I want everyone to succeed and live as harmonious as possible. A huge goal with all the challenges we have today, but the only way for me.
I want to feel deeply, with my eyes wide open and it’s exactly what I got. Not always will I feel good things, but such is life, and we can’t choose to only inhale the awesome moments. The challenges are part of it and mold us into who we are. But seriously, hasn’t there been enough molding over the past six month? I could use a break from it.
Gossip is not my thing either, and it spreads hurt. People with little facts add their own information/opinions, while pulling you through the mud. Forgetting that words are far more powerful than physical contact at times. It’s betrayal each and every time it happens. Physical contact can heal, but words remain engraved forever, and most of the times there is little that is actually true. It is what it is, one sided and you don’t get a chance to put the record straight. You have to live with people’s image of you that is often the furthest from the truth. It can leave you lonely and misunderstood. Just the thought of having to defend your character leaves sadness and is wrong.
I want my conversations to be meaningful, beyond the surfaces of small talk. I guess it means to get down and personal, beyond the polite chatter. It means sharing information, give and take beyond the basics. How else could we ever get to know who we truly are? What our needs are and how we best can support each other? I know it stirs many other questions, about trust, being vulnerable and getting hurt. About nobody’s business and about lowering that wall and letting someone in. It’s an entirely different post, but it is who I strive to be most days. No pretending, no disguise, what you see is what you get. It’s just not always understood and I know it is only because it’s so different, so unusual. It takes guts and it’s not because someone doesn’t try. We all communicate in different ways, fit for us.
Have you ever noticed that you can be in a room with someone and still feel alone? That you live a life with someone and there is no connection? You merely exist next to each other, day after day?
I want an emotional connection before a rational one. Chances are no one understands your journey anyways. It’s specific to you, and your own way of handling things. Your own emotions and level of preparedness. Where you are in your own journey through life. Unless you walk in those shoes yourself, you remain a bystander and can only support what your rational mind tells you. Emotions are usually absent from this, but what I need in response. Using reversed psychology, putting yourself into that situation, considering what you would do, might present different views.
I walked out on Mom yesterday. Angered and frustrated, but not hurt. I didn’t let the attacks reach my heart. I walked out because I gave up, and because I didn’t see any chance of getting through to her. It was a lost cause, and we would just argue back and forth. There was no resolve and I knew it. I removed myself from the situation, perhaps afraid that I couldn’t hold that shield up long enough to protect myself. Perhaps because I have heard it millions of times. Perhaps because it was well noted and I would never forget, but because I didn’t need any reminders. I left her behind, unable to follow me, sitting in her wheelchair, unable to do anything but throw verbal abuses. I walked out and took that opportunity away from her by doing so. I held all the cards, I had been in charge. It was back at home that I realized this. I didn’t want to be, and I will never enjoy holding power over, or be in charge over another human being. I AM NOT SUPERIOR.
I was hungry and I made asparagus creme soup, adding tons of brown mushrooms I wanted to use up. It was late already as all those thoughts crossed my mind. I wished I hadn’t walked out. We fought, which would be followed by a few good days, tiptoeing around each other, trying to keep the peace, and then the viscous circle would all repeat itself. I had to return and let her get it all out. Perhaps resolve a few things since the subject was warm already, although I felt that nothing would miraculously fall into place. I remembered that Mom’s voice cracked during our fight, and it was the closest I have ever seen her to tears. Afraid of having to stay in the home, the emotions nearly overwhelmed her. I had overlooked it in the heat of the moment, but it became crystal clear once I was at home. It’s all I could hear and see and it nearly overwhelmed me now. The amount of fear and hurt it took for her to get to the that point had to be tremendous. She was always in so much control, keeping her feeling well under check, it definitely was obvious that she experienced a moment of vulnerability. I had to go back.
I was grateful to have my cousins car that night. I grabbed the pot of soup and returned to Mom. She was lying in bed and looked up in surprise that I was back. I didn’t know what to expect and I went without expectations, but preparing my heart for the worst. I told her to get up while placing the soup on the table. She muttered a bit, but complied. She didn’t even have her dentures in anymore, but who needs teeth eating soup? I put her shoes on and placed her into the wheelchair. Together we sat at the table, in a nearly dark room, eating out of one pot and no other mean word fell. We talked normal, and there was care and compassion in her voice. Finally at 9PM, worried that I would get locked into the nursing home (I think deep down she hoped I would have to spend the night with her according to hints and references) she thanked me for the soup, hugged me goodnight, and told me to make it home safe. These were more emotions then she shows on most days. I’m sure the situations will repeat, and chances are it wasn’t the last time Mom will struggle with the realization and acceptance of staying in the nursing home. Yet last night was progress in overcoming, working through it and returning the light in the most difficult of situations to illuminate the darkness.