I've been living with and caring for my Grandmother for around 18 months now. It was my choice, and I wanted to do it, even though its been a Really difficult journey. I became mentally unwell myself (I have a propensity for depression and mental illness), but I saw it all as worth it because she was my family and she needed help and I wouldn't have been the person I want to be if I'd turned my back on that.
Two months ago, she went into hospital. She should have been home after a couple of weeks, but Social Services were dragging their feet. Anyway, I spent that whole time doing Nothing. Nothing. Just waiting for her to come home so that I had a purpose again.
By the end of those two months, I knew I'd been driving myself daft this way; I needed to do something, so I started looking at jobs, and pursuing volunteering opportunities, and trying to see my friends more. I started enjoying my 'freedom', and I wasn't sure I wanted to continue caring after all.
Yesterday she came home. In less than 24 hours, I'd already been called stupid, silly, in the way, ridiculous, a know-it-all, useless, nasty and downright ignorant. Mostly for such shocking behaviour as suggesting we leave the door open, or saying it was half-past two, or *horror of horrors* trying to help her do a jigsaw. I know you're going to tell me to remember that she doesn't know what she's saying. But it feels so personal - and I'm the only one getting it. (so far, I know, of course...)
I don't want to hate her. I remember loving her, and caring about her, and smiling with her, and laughing with her, and cuddling with her, and ... I'm even making it worse in my head, I know I am. I don't have to take it personally. I don't have to bristle when she's sharp or bite when she's rude to me. But what I do have to do is care for her. I have to get over this. Otherwise I can see I'm going to end up hating her...