Oi, My Mother… I love her dearly, but Oh Boy can she irritate me at times.
I am currently sitting here with my grandma in Seal Beach, and my Mom has just gone out to do her/their shopping and other errands. This is a regular thing for me to do for the past 10 months or so - ever since my grandma’s Alzheimer's/Dementia began to really kick-in.
My mother has been in residence with grandma 24/7 except when someone can come and relieve her. This has been hard on my mom… what with watching her mom deteriorate a little more ever day. The effects are beginning to pile-up on her psyche and it is getting no better (it helps not, her oldest son [me] being a Hyper, Impatient, and sometimes Extremely Grumpy type guy).
Well today I told her to take a few hours for herself… I was fine hanging out for as long as she wanted me too. “Go to a movie or a park” I said. And that started a nice convo with mom about how “You just don’t get it after 10 months, Do You?” and “I have too much to do and not enough time to take a bath much less take in a movie!”.
OK fine, “Then take 15 freaking minutes for yourself and stop by the Seal Beach pier and go for a walk over the water” I say.
Mom - “Don’t Tell Me What To Do!”
Me - “It was just a suggestion”
Oi… this is not new behavior for her though… she has always been Fiercely Independent, Straightforward (to the point of being rude), and Very Strong Willed - but there is something about accepting anything Help, Gifts, even Suggestions that she just rejects out of hand. I think that it is a combination of her strong Scandinavian spirit and a truly poor (financially) childhood that has led to this end. I have tried with little success in explaining that rejecting gifts Dishonors the giver and Diminishes herself in the process. I was more successful in converting her to Libertarian thought, so I guess it is a push overall.
She may be on the verge of a breakdown (she sure is talking about one enough), but as she has stated to me many times “As long as grandma wants to live in her home and we can help her, we will put our wants and desires on hold.”, so a change in course is more likely in Iraq than here in Grandma’s Apt., Seal Beach CA.
I just hope my mom can find a balance to this situation and not end-up some kind of Martyr to the Alter of Family Responsibility.