Lately when I walk into my mom's room, whether it's to take her something, gather her laundry, change her bed, or whatever, I get uptight. My heart starts to race as soon as I walk toward her door. Never know if she'll be smiling and responsive, addled and confused or combative. I realize brain injuries are like this, but adding her narcissism to the equation really smacks me upside the head. Part of me wants to be sympathetic and the other side cringes and wants outta this.
What did I say about nursing homes yesterday? My own mental health might need a rethink. Maybe somebody else needs to call the shots? Maybe I need to stop trying to save the world.
Last week, for three days in a row, I spent the afternoons with a headache, not realizing at first that they came on after I'd had a conversation with my mom in her room. Not sure if that was a coincidence or not. Seems I'm internalizing more. Not a good idea.
And it's hard to put all this into words. The daily-ness of it. Emotional rollercoaster. My girls really struggle, partly with being stuffed together, 3 of them, in a 10x10 bedroom, as I've shared. Our boys did this for years, but the pall my mom's care puts over the house makes being ordinary a bit of a stretch.
Pardon my unloading here. Trade?
I open a page to blog here, all the time feeling I need to sanitize what I say, show daughterly respect, but then I realize, my own experience is just that, my own. The critics, and I've heard some, label me unkind. I say, been here, done this? Know my mom personally, do you? Been at the receiving end of narcissm?
Sorta complicates life in general.
I second guess myself. Even the other night, which I shared about yesterday when my mom talked back...I asked oldest daughter if I handled it well. She looked at me. 'Course you did, she says. Don't let Nana cause you to doubt yourself.
Aide comes today. Mom will get bathed, I'll change her bed. Her aide will comment on Mom's swollen legs and feet. I'll say I know. She'll tell Mom to move more, elevate her legs, drink water. Mom will say, But I do, hon.
Will this ever end? Feels like the carnival came to town, dropped off the crazy lady, but left no instructions.
Funny. Last week the aide said Mom told her she was getting married. Has picked out the colors and everything. Her aide laughs and asked if I knew about it. No, I say shaking my head. Her aide follows by saying that Mom doesn't want us to know.
My husband says he'll gladly give her away.
Ah, the brain activity of the elderly with stroke damage.