I must admit I am at a crossroads in my life.
In the last two years, since I left my home city, I somehow feel responsible for my mother’s sharp decline in her health. Her mental health, that is. All the chaos and heartbreak that ensues when she’s ill. It doesn’t make any logical sense that I feel this way, but I do.
For over 40 years, my life has been affected in one way or another by one factor which is all-encompassing.
Is she well? Is she taking her meds? Is she, in fact, becoming affected by dementia as well?
Watching And Waiting
Ever so vigilant am I. Watching and waiting for signs of her unraveling. Not that I could do much about it anyway, from over 3000 km away. Not that I have ever been able to help much anyway.
How do you help someone who doesn’t want it? It is beyond tiresome and exhausting, that my mother does not care who she hurts on her path of self-destruction.
It seems she has given up hope of any semblance or vestige of happiness whatsoever. So desperate she is to be needed and loved. She needs constant reassurance as well.
Yet, on a dime, she throws it away time and again. I’ve often wondered if she is addicted to the chaos her illness bestows on people. Does she like spending months and months in the hospital? Is this a form of negative attention-seeking at its finest?
Is the attention and sympathy like oxygen for her?
A Friendship Born From Pain and Hardship
I seem to be the one people look to for answers, yet they get to go back to their lives. Yet, I am the one stuck in this vortex with my mother.
However, there is one friend who has been greatly affected by her illness as well. With this friend, I can talk about the darkest issues as it pertains to my mother. While the friendship wasn’t made from ideal circumstances, I’m glad to have it all the same. I’m glad that we can be a source of relief in times of great stress and struggle. No one should have to shoulder a painful burden by themselves.
I was nervous and reserved the last time she was released just a few short months ago. I did not know if I wanted to invite her back into my life. I hesitated. I gave it a great deal of thought. My heart and loyalty won over yet again. I did miss her. I felt I was doing the same as everyone else If I turned my back on her.
Doctor Knows Best.
I had spoken to the doctor and nurses several times about my concerns with her being on her own. Perhaps an assisted-living complex, where she would have her independence and freedom. Instead, the doctor decided to give her one more chance… because she was doing so well.
The Revolving Door
It is incredibly infuriating and futile to ask what a loved one’s concerns are and then do quite the opposite. What is the point of the conversation? I am not so quick to trust as it is, and I am certainly not naive.
So, where does this leave me? I have my own family that I am trying my best with. I also deal with my own demons of despair. It is quite challenging to climb out of my own abyss when bombarded by memories of this ever-recurring nightmare.
I often wonder if I would better off if I cut her out of my life? I have lived most of my childhood without a true sense of home and belonging to the world. My sense of worth which I struggle with to this very day. I feel like a lost child, without her mother. Without any semblance of a close-knit birth family.
Sometimes I question if she ever truly loved me?
It pains me to think of the lost, sad and raging child that I was, knowing most people only saw the anger which was born out of fear and pain. I still have my days where I regress. However, I am now an adult. I now have choices I did not have before. I get to choose who will be in my life, and how big a part they will have in my life.
A Heavy Heart
I do love my mother. However, I need to accept, once and for all, she will never be the mother I need her to be. You cannot give what you do not have. I have finally come to this sad but very necessary, conclusion about my mother, though it pains me so. I have my own family now. In good times — and in bad — I know they have my back. They are my safe place to fall.