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My....little Mother

She's very old and quite goofy now, and, we were never really close, we were truly two different types of women, we could NOT have been more different, and, we could not have looked more alike.

I think she plays with me. I think she enjoys it. She played with my father the same way. I've often thought that the fighting between them probably killed him early. I don't know. I wonder, do I enjoy blaming her? How childish, his organs shutting down in 2000 couldn't have been ALL her fault, could it?

I wash her clothes, I cook her meals, I take her to doctor appointments, I paint her nails, I do her hair. I scream so that she can hear me. I paid her bills until my niece took pity on me recently and took that duty over. I have to find people to help her when I cannot, do I want to do these things, NO!

I never remember feeling "happy" to be with her, she was quite a private woman, even with her children. Sometimes, I want to leave town, leave my own precious husband and beloved children and adored baby Grandson just so I won't have to do these things for her everyday of my life.

I remember hurtful, cold things that she said to me when I needed her most, things that cut to the bone and were intended to do so. I wonder if back then she realized that I would be the child that would bare the brunt of her elder care, I was the baby by a decade, I wonder if she ever thought she would get old and helpless?

I have always "handled" the really hard things in my family, this is just another one.

I used to judge people that didn't want to care for their elderly parents. I used to think how awful and ungrateful they were. I never once considered their reasons.

I am working through this day by day. She gets more confused when she is combative, so, I try to be gracious, I often fail.

My brother and sister are more distant than I, so, she is my baby alone to rock. So, I'm rocking her, I don't have to like it, do I?

Of course I love her, I am the spitting image of her, it would be unnatural to NOT feel empathy and sadness at her decline.

I've had much sadness in my life, but, my feelings toward my little Mother are perhaps the saddest of the lot. Because, on many levels, I still seek her approval and her love and I still feel her walls rising up against my need.

I want someone to save me from her, but, no one ever could, no one ever will.
hillbillycrone hillbillycrone 56-60, F 16 Responses Aug 17, 2011

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At this time thankfully Mom has a wonderful live in caregiver there that really lightens my responsibilities. I still do my Moms hair and shopping, but, now, our visits are much more meaningful. <br />
Thank You Ari.

You are a remarkable woman. Many in your situation would have put their mother into some home, where they would only need to visit when they cared to. I n a place like that it's likely that she would have faded away quite quickly.<br />
My father was a huge negative influence in my life, I know that had he lived long enough to become feeble and unable to care for himself, I could not of cared for him. I don't mean in practical terms, but emotionally I could never have given him the sort of dedication that you bless your mmother with.<br />
It says an awful lot about your kind, caring, empathetic character that you do what you do.<br />
You are a very special lady, peace and strenngth to you.

You have said so much here, I want to thank YOU for your thoughtful response to my post. I am touched by the athentic and powerful energy within your words. I feel heard and I feel a deep gratitude for the care in which you responded. I feel blessed to have found a kindred spirit for these sacred familiar sparks of understanding are few and far between in this life. With Tender Care I <br />
Thank You. S

I mean AUTHENTIC, excuse errors please..

I could have written your exact desc<x>ription of my relationship with my mother. I too never received the warmth and love needed by everyone. I have made every effort with my own daughter now 26 and grandson whom I love both deeply and I hope well. I am currently caring for my father in my very small 1 bdrm apt. I cook, clean, hug, reassure and love him and your recounting of your story made me realize truly that there is someone out there that does understand. We do what we know is right to do and sometimes it really is a very lonely place. I send you energy, light, love and blessings. Thank you for sharing your story.

Thank you Barb, your comment to my story truly helps me not feel alone, bless you and thank you very much.

Barbara, like Sheila you have a big heart. You know what you are doing is the right thing. When I find myself in a similiar situation I often ask myself why? Why am I doing this?
Listen carefully and you will hear that little voice in your ear tell you...Because it's the right thing to do. Many people ignore that little voice and move through their lives with no direction or moral compass and those people I feel are lost souls. Your soul is intact and God bless you for doing the right thing. It's not easy but your efforts will be rewarded. Take Care, Phillip

I feel your pain but may I suggest something? Although it is very hard, you know you are doing the right thing. I can sense that in your letter. But, when you feel like screaming, which I am sure is alot, please go outside and do so, out of ear shot of the family and your mother. It is obvious that the household is already stressed, screaming can only add to the madness.<br />
Your feelings are natural. I have an elderly mother that fights me and my older sister every step of the way even though what we are doing benifits her. We have four other siblings that can't be bothered. That is so stressful.<br />
So trust me, we feel like screaming. Sometimes I must admit we get upset with our mother but we catch ourselves before we say anything that may be hurtful.<br />
Please...I know you feel very pressured and, awful to say, burdened, but please remember she is your mother and you are doing the right thing and you know it, or you would have thrown the towel in long ago.<br />
God Bless you for taking care of her when she needs you the most. One day you may find yourself in the same situation.<br />
Pulling and praying for you.<br />
Phillip

Thanks Phillip, I appreciate your kind and thoughtful comments and I agree with every word you have sent me.....we will all be the same as our fragile parents if we live long enough, it's a humbling thought and a true one. Blessings and Care, Sheila

Caring for another person is hard enough without having to care for someone that you are not emotionally close to. I came to terms with my poor mother -daughter relationship before this stage could arrive. I figured out one day that she wasn't hurting me, I was hurting me. She only did what she could, what she knew, what her brain allowed her she thought and acted on. She didn't choose her brain any more than I chose mine. In her reality, for all I know , she may have loved me deeply in her own way and been completely unable to express it. I realised that if I kept thinking how sad it was that she said and did so many hurtful things and how I never felt good enough I was making the biggest mistake of my life because she had mothered me the only way she knew how and she hadn't got to choose my personality so she wasn't to blame for me not being able to cope with her and her attitudes. The realisation that she had completely done the best that she knew with her abilities completely released me from going over the many times I thought she'd failed to live up to my expectations and made me take responsibility for those very things. They were MY EXPECTATIONS, she wasn't to know what they were nor how to deal with them because they weren't part of her brain at all. In a different life we would all have mother's who openly loved, cherished, adored and supported us but the reality of life is so different. Release yourself from all the pain that you continuously carry by recognising that she was who she was and you were who you were and you were never going to be any different together. <br />
You are a very kind person with a huge heart to take on the responsibility of caring for her and its perfectly okay to feel you don't want to. Remind yourself daily that this too has an ending and that in the meantime you are simply amazing. A truly good person!

You are a wise soul, thank you very much.

You are a very centered soul. Thank you for this comment, blessings to you, S.

I too am a caregiver, first for my daughter, and now to my husband, and to know that there are others who have mixed feelings about this, helps to allay the guilt I feel at times. We are all only human, not saints or martys.

Thank You Very Much, smiling.....

god bless you, it is not easy caring for our parents..and i applaud you

Thank you for sharing that...you need to talk, to vent, bless you and take care, thanks for reading and for sharing. You are not alone.

I am in a very bad place with my own mother and I also still have my father, who has Alzheimer's. I, like you, consider myself to be the exact opposite of my mother. <br />
<br />
I am the ONLY caregiver and it is killing me. My mother is a right mess of a person. But my problem is worsened by the realization that I don't love her. I cannot stand her. So, yesterday when I was already pushed to my maximum for what seems like the thousandth time this year, she pulled another dandy stunt on me and I BLEW. I've never done that before but I just could not take any more of her manipulation, deceit, and abuse.<br />
<br />
Not sure what I expect out of posting this, but at least I wrote something about how I feel. Thanks for reading this.

I am coming to the place where I am trying to see HER PAIN and not just my own. It's challenging, but, I want to do it right, to get this ending better than the beginning or the middle! It's a choice, I don't have to be ruled by my emotions, but, like I have said, It's a challenge. I think maybe if I love her like I wanted her to love me, it will work out......that doesn't mean I have to be her slave, just very kind.

i bow in honor to you. your words and feelings here... hit home. omg! ...."i want to do it right, to get this ending better than the beginning or the middle!" sigh....... there i go a thinking... deep.... hmmm maybe ... i should. dog-gone-it! ;) Thank you for sharing this!

I understand this story very well. It is all so much harder if you have never had a natural closeness. <br />
I could not do it .. or maybe I should say that I would not do it.

Thank you my sweet and lovely friend. Your words are a wonderful comfort. Blessings and Care.

I was deeply touched by your post. All I can say is that I am happy that you turned out the way you did inspite of your hunger for motherly love. You have generous, warm and loving spirit that shines so brightly it lights the path of the people you chose your own.<br />
Let your love for her envelope you so that no matter how hard and tiring the things you do for her are, they will not consume you.<br />
So many people love you. Not the kind that you crave for but equally strong. <br />
Light and love to you my dear friend.