1. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    Last month my mother announced that she was off to live in a city 21hours drive from Dad for 5 months. The reason she was going was because my brother, usually a stay at home Dad was off to work in England for 5 months so she was going to go help look after his kids while his pregnant wife continued to work. I don't know why Mum had to go, because they can afford day care and my brother's wife's Mum and family all live near them :confused: ....but anyway...(she announced this after she had just been away for 3 weeks on holiday all round the country).

    Dad was put in a home in April, because Mum couldn't care for him anymore it was too hard, which was fair enough, I was happy for him to go in as i was also concerned about her becoming slightly abusive towards him no doubt because of the stress and the fact that they had always had a fiery relationship with lots of fights anyway. I felt she resented him for his illness, but it is all very confusing because I know she loves him in her own (possibly not healthy way). And he loves her (also possibly not in a healthy way but from years of association and in recent times dependency).

    Anyway she tells me yesterday that as my brother's job fell through he is no longer going and so nor is she. She failed to tell me this news until yesterday despite knowing since last week some time because 'oh sorry I forgot'. Meanwhile I had been steeling myself for taking on the role of being the sole person responsible for Dad, aware that I might have to deal with his death or any illnesses etc as well as any day to day care issues...

    This made me so mad, I was quite upset by her leaving Dad, was trying so hard to understand because I would think that if it were my husband of 40 years and he was in Stage 7 of the disease I would want to be there, and afterall she professes to love him so much. I always feel so guilty for being angry with her for not caring for Dad as much as I would expect her to, knowing that it must be very very hard for her to deal with Dad's illness, but I can't help worrying about how Dad must feel to only see her once a week now if he's lucky and then as I said she was going to leave for 5 months as well....

    And now she mentions in passing conversation that she isn't leaving afterall....? I'm down, I'm up, I don't know where I am??

    Am I weird for feeling confused, angry, guilty, worried for Dad and god knows what else? Also yesterday when Mum visited Dad she got all teary (she told my partner last year when I was teary about Dad when I visited him at their home that I should get over it)...and that just makes me more confused because then i feel sorry for her, feel worse about my treacherous feelings, wonder if I'm the evil one for thinking that she doesn't care enough..what the hey does it all mean??

    Any advice would be appreciated, can anyone explain to me why Mum behaves like this, is it me being a ....u-know what, am I completely an insensitive daughter, how can I be a better daughter?? If its not hard enough dealing with what is happening to Dad, I don't know how to take Mum's behaviour.

    Sorry if this doesn't make much sense, I'm in a bit of a state of confusion here so it all just came out without my usual panache/flair for words. :(
     
  2. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Hi Nat,

    This is going to sound a bit trite, but I guess your Mum is trying to come to terms with your Dad's illness, just like you. Everyone does this in different ways, getting angry or running away - the 'fight or flight' reflex. You're fighting, while your Mum is flighting! But at least it sounds as if she's not giving up on him, maybe just taking a little longer than you to adjust to the huge changes. She's also having to deal with her own guilt about your Dad going into the home - and that is only a few months ago.

    If it's any consolation I used to have a bit of an up-and-down relationship with my Mum. I'd always seem to understand Dad's side in any spat between them, (not that there were many). I hated it when she seemed 'naggy' and was trying to tell Dad what to do - and then afterwards I'd feel guilty when I thought about how kind and caring she's always been towards me and everyone.

    Nowadays I have a great relationship with my Mum, we've both learnt so much. I know it's hard when one parent is ill and then the other one appears to be showing off, but perhaps you need to give your Mum more time to come to terms? I had a sudden, probably stupid thought - maybe a little part of it is that your Mum is slightly jealous of all the attention you're giving your Dad? Yeah - okay, perhaps that's stupid. Just hope some of this helps and doesn't confuse further!
     
  3. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    Not a stupid thought

    Wasn't a stupid thought Hazel, my mum's been telling me since I was four that it is dangerous for little girls to favour their Dad's because their Mum's get jealous. Last year, in fact I suspect that because I paid too much attention to Dad (the time I cried and was supposed to get over it, by the way the photo I have of me and dad as my avatar was taken that weekend) she retaliated by not bringing him to visit me for 3 months and was never available when i wanted to visit.

    I've tried to be sensitive, I make sure I give Mum equal amounts of attention and hugs, I've apologised for paying so much attention to Dad and perhaps not enough to her, telling her I realise it is wrong because she could get hit by a bus tomorrow and here I am wrapped up in Dad. I've explained that I'm doing it not because I love her any less but because my brain just sees Dad all needy and I can't help it. When she cries I comfort her, when she hit Dad I comforted her, when she tells me what a creep he was when they were younger i comfort her. When she tells me she's going away for 5 months I tell her don't worry Dad will be okay. What else do i have to do? :confused:
     
  4. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    Nutty Nat

    Dear Nat,

    As noone else can give much comfort I guess I'm going to have to do it for us. Should have known,.... there's a reason they say 'mum's the word', you've run into this problem all your life, everybody feels uncomfortable when someone suggests a mother could be well,...faulty. Its okay to criticise brother, fathers and even sisters, but no don't dare to say anything about a mum. :eek:

    Natalie, your mother has been selfish, she has not cared for your feelings and if this were the first time in your life then I'd just put it down to the stress she's going through with your father's illness. However this is obviously not the first time as we know how strong and able to cope you appear in most other areas yet apparently this seemingly 'small' incident with your mother has sent you reeling.

    I understand why it hurts so much Natalie, you're losing the father you always loved and your mother is simply confirming as she always has that there is no soft place to land for you. He is practically gone and you're becoming an orphan despite still having a living parent. You are going to have to battle this on your own, just like you have all your life. I understand Natalie, you just want to cry and have someone hug you, you've got your husband to be for that yes, but sometimes, just once you'd like to be able to rely on your Mum.

    You're tired Natalie, so tired, you know once you have a chance to get some rest you'll be fine again, you always have been. Put the little girl inside you who just wants to sit on Mummy's lap and suck her thumb, away, and be a grown up again like you have been all your life.

    Last but not least, I'd like to say thank-you Natalie, thank-you for being brave enough to talk about this feeling of abandonment. You knew when you posted that most would think what an 'ungrateful daughter' can't she understand what her mother is going through? Of course you bloomin' well understand, sheesh few are able to see such situations so clearly as you can, nor empathise as deeply! Don't listen to society, don't listen to the years of guilt your mother trained into you. She should be your mother and she is not. Your father has become your child because of his illness and your mother has always been the child in your relationship with her. What's really hard is that you love her anyway and damn that hurts. You're not expecting her to carry you, you understand that she has troubles, a little common courtesy however is not that much to ask for.

    P.S. To those who think uh-oh she's really losing it now, talking to herself and giving herself advice, don't worry I'm not. ;) I'm just peeved at my mother for being who's she's always been and I'm peeved at society for once again giving her permission to be that person.
     
  5. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Hi Nat,

    Just because people (me) look for reasons why your Mum is the way she is, it doesn't mean there's no justification for you to be as you are. And what you are, it's not an 'ungrateful daughter' - it's just one who is hurting with stuff from the past and stuff in the present.

    You're entitled to feel the way you do, because of all the reasons that you told yourself. We're all brave sometimes, yet we're all vulnerable, so you're not really a lot different to everyone else (sorry!!!) I know that sometimes I just want to shut everyone out and wallow in my own self-pity but I couldn't ever tell the world that (whoops ;) )

    What makes you unique (among many other things) is your ability to be able to express how you're feeling and that you're not frightened to face up to the unhappy bits, the bits with your Dad and with your Mum - even though they hurt like hell.
     
  6. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    Christmas

    Mum suggested yesterday that she leave Dad in the home on Christmas day, as 'he probably won't know that its Christmas day and it really is too much trouble'. Well, I'm afraid he is coming out for Christmas day (unless he goes down hill rapidly) and if the rest of the family don't want him, I will have him at my house, he can spend Christmas with us.
     
  7. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    I'd guess she was sounding you out as to whether you feel up to a hands-on Christmas that will of course be difficult for all concerned. She may think you need a break [and that she may also] and thus was offering a way out.

    Silly Mum. She should know your mettle by now!

    But people should always ask, and not simply take things for granted.
    I guess the only question is [and you are the only one to know the answer] is - will it confuse or upset Dad to be taken home, then taken away again?

    At Christmas when Jan was at first at her home, I couldn't go there for the meal itself, it was too upsetting seeing all the enforced gaiety. I would visit for several hours after lunch, taking both of us into a quiet area because the noise disturbed her.

    These days I go along and feed her lunch, and it is better, but it takes such a time to adjust to changed circumstances!
     
  8. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Now that my family has expanded and my children/grandchildren also go to visit in-laws etc, I've learnt over the years not to expect Christmas Day to necessarily be on Christmas Day, if you see what I mean.

    Last year, at Dad's Home they had a big Christmas party a couple of weeks before Christmas. Lots of the relations came, there was much jollity, dancing and Father Christmas etc. Christmas Day itself was a fairly quiet affair at the Home. We visited after lunch, (so I'm not sure about that), but the afternoon was pretty much a usual visit.

    I agree about the possible confusion. Yesterday at Dad's 'party', at one stage he took himself off to the resident's lounge and sat at a table for his tea with all the others, I suppose because it is familiar to him.

    That's not to say that it wouldn't be good to bring your Dad home for Christmas , Nat, I'm just saying how it is in our case.
     
  9. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    The real situation

    Oh ye of too much faith, I guess I am the only one who really knows my mother.

    She wasn't sounding me out or seeing how I might cope, she was basically saying I'm not going to take Dad out, if you want him out, you do it. If she was sounding me out she was seeing whether I would berate her for not bothering with Dad, as usual I shut my mouth because it is not for me to demand that she do more than she can. That would be a horrible thing for a daughter to say, afterall she is one to be cajoled and coddled poor dear has a husband with dementia. Doesn't matter that in all honesty she doesn't really give a damn about him.It wouldn't do any good anyway because then she would break down in tears and tell everyone about how mean I was. She knew what my response would be and so used the occasion to wash her hands of him and any guilt I could have put on her. She can now say that Natalie understood that it was all too much for her, so it must be all too much for her.

    Dad will be fine out, he likes to get out, unfortunately most of the time I can't get him out because he is too strong and big for me to manage on my own, ie. once he decides he wants to cross the road, he will go there, whether I want him to or not and whether there are cars zooming along it or not. Luckily for me, on Christmas day I will have Keith (my husband by then) to help me out and he has already volunteered. Generally though Keith is not available as he works 14 hours a day.

    Thanks for trying to see the nice side of mum though. I guess I have really big problems with my Mum because she isn't as strong as me, which sounds like a terrible reason to hold a grudge. But thats also why I am angry with her, its because of her that I've always had to be so strong. I've never had an option.
     
  10. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Nat

    yes of course it is your call on this, so our best wishes for Christmas!

    Now to the other important thing..... you neatly dropped in the fact you will have married Keith by Christmas.

    I hope you were intending to invite us to the pre-wedding Internet thrash [as per Magic's] so we can all give our good wishes, and Norman can dust off his dancing shoes...... ;)
     
  11. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    700
    Oklahoma,USA
    Hi Nat,
    I'm really sorry for you difficulties with your mother. AD is hard enough without straining relationships. I have been very angry with my step sisters because they pay so little attention to their Dad and have left his looking after to me...the step daughter ! ( He is ill with other things, it is my Mom with AD)
    I just decided I am not going to be angry anymore because it takes energy to be mad, probably more than to be happy and I don't have that much energy to give to it. That and it will eat at you and make you sick eventually. If not physically, then spiritually, emotionally, etc.
    Your Mom is just human, maybe not rising to this occasion or doing what she should, but she is human. Try to forgive her and put your energy into your Dad, your wedding ( congratulations by the way) and surround yourself with as many positives as you can. Your Mom can only make you feel guilty if you let her.
    Take care Nat, you are dong a fine job and your folks are lucky to have such a great daughter.

    Debbie
     
  12. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    Thanks for responding guys

    Thanks Debbie, for your sound words of advice, I agree with them entirely. Thats why I post this stuff awful as it may sound about my mum here because I need to get it out of me and let the anger go. Unfortunately I have great difficulties in doing so I believe because my mum and I have had a very co-dependent relationship all my life since I was little. I know that logically I shouldn't let it all get to me, but 30 years of training, makes it very difficult for me to do what is obviosuly logical. As i said in one of my earlier posts, despite who she is I love my mother. And yes I let her make me feel guilty because thats the way life has always been. :( Its hard to change habits of a lifetime and its hard to think that maybe you're right when its your mother who has always defined your boundaries as to what is right and wrong behaviour. It wasn't until i got older that I started to question these boundaries and question whether such things were appropriate or not.

    Brucie, the wedding date is December the 17th, just me Keith and my stepdaughter Nadine, going to fly to another state far far away and get married then have a holiday to celebrate! I've been putting it off for ages because of Dad's condition and knowing I would miss him and be upset about him not being part of my wedding. This way on our own will make it easier I think. So get out your dancing shoes.... :p

    Last but not least, I guess its not about Dad knowing its Christmas, its about treating him like a family member. Afterall how much do babies understand Christmas yet so many of us, shower them with gifts, make a big fuss over them at xmas, take some time out to show the people we love how much we do love them? I just want him to know he hasn't been forgotten, that he is worth the trouble and that he's still loved, because I believe he's still there. And even if he's not there, the man that is there gets a really goofy grin on his face when I ask to hug him and then he wraps his arms around me, when i do hug him. :)
     

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