1. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Took mum to the supermarket this morning (instead of just shopping for her) as she has been hankering for this for a while (I know ideally, I wouldn’t have chosen a Saturday morning to do it… but you know how it is…) On a good day, she can trundle round quite confidently, if very slowly, using one of the small trolleys for support. She has just had a couple of really good days and insisted today she wanted to choose things for herself – I thought I was on a ‘winner’. My son, as usual, is not just in tow but actively helping ‘grandma’ wherever he can…..

    Ten minutes into the trip and it is disaster… she gets ‘shirty’ with staff and then –OMG – turns on my son – telling him he is annoying, getting in her way, a ‘bloody nuisance’ etc…..this to an 11-year old who loves her dearly and I think (as a mum is allowed?!) is quite brilliant with her, and has taken on board what Grandma’s illness is all about…. but to feel embarrassed and humiliated publicly takes some getting over at 11, even if he does understand on a logical level what might have made Grandma act as she did. (This is her first ‘outburst’).

    Why did it have to be my son? Why not me? Today, she is not ‘mum’, but ‘some person’ who has distressed my child. Naturally, trip was aborted prematurely. We hadn’t got as far as the fresh bread counter and I offered to call for some en route home.. ‘No, no, I can manage…’

    Well, if she’s going to put cooked meat on an iced bun for tea why should I care? I just had to leave her to it….. I was so angry at her for upsetting my child – her beloved grandchild…. She will have no doubt forgotten about it hours ago (if she recalls at all what she did in the first place) – how long to repair the damage to my son’s relationship with her and his confidence in her love for him??????

    Feeling so hurt and confused….

    Thanks for listening, Tender Face (Karen)
  2. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience and wish there was something I could say to make you and your son feel better. The saying 'you always hurt the ones you love' is so true, especially where dementia is concerned.

    I have found that I am often disappointed when we take my mum out at how little she seems to enjoy it, so much so that we don't often do it any more. It is such hard work, especially now she is wheelchair bound, if she then moans and groans and complains then it is very upsetting indeed.

    My sister told me today that the home were looking for volunteers to take the residents over the road to the cinema tonight. It is between 8 and 10pm and my mum is usually in bed about 9 as are most of the residents so I'm afraid I'm not volunteering!

    How has your son been since this incident?
  3. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Oh Karen, what a horrible day for you both (You & Son) when you started out with good intentiions (what was that about "The road to hell being paved with good intentions")

    If your lad is his mother's son, he'll get through it & out the other side, but it must have been sooo embarassing at the time. Your Mum, on the other hand, will probably have forgotten about it already, and deny it if it is mentioned! He is having to grow up very fast, whilst Grandma is growing down into a cranky toddler!

    Hope she enjoys that Ham on doughnut, with a cherry on top!
  4. Rosalind

    Rosalind Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    I don't think you can win in that sort of situation. My husband often says he would like to do things that involve going out, and if I remind him that the last time he went anywhere he was miserable, and wanted the loo/to go home, he just denies it. I did take him to something at the Bath Literary Festival recently, as I felt guilty about going to it a lot of other events there with other people. On the way there he didnt want to go, and could not remember where we were going or why, and only wanted to know if there would be a loo when we got there. As we had time in hand, the suggestion of visiting Marks and Sparks to get him some new shirts was greeted by a Little Britain 'don't want to' but I would not take no for an answer. He then was thrilled with his 2 new shirts, and thoroughly enjoyed Roger McGough at the Festival, but by that time I was worn out with jollying him along. Afterwards, I said I was glad he enjoyed it, and that he should realise I would not drag him to something he would hate, and he denied being truculent and unenthusiastic. Now he can;t remember anything about going.

    It does make you wonder whether it is worth all the effort. And question whether you are doing it for them, or yourself in an attempt to deny just how different things are now to before. I'd be inclined not to take Mum to shops, or certainly not with your son as well.
  5. LindaD

    LindaD Registered User

    Nov 17, 2004
    Going out

    We try to take my mum out as she is used to doing a lot of walking, which she is not allowed to do on her own now cos she will get lost, pick up strangers, has give them money and had falls! She doesn't understand this.

    I have also taken her to shows like Old Time Music Hall at our local theatre or out to lunch or coffee but she always wants to go back very soon and then complains that she never goes out.

    You can't win and you know she won't remember anyway!
  6. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    You don't sometimes always know what's least expected most!
  7. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    :D I love that Dick! I wonder if I might borrow it for my new email signature? Sort of sums up something about my life at the moment :confused:
  8. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    oh dear, Karen! best laid plans, huh :(

    Things are so fragile sometimes, and so quick to change. You think the plan is one way, and often put a lot of effort into making it, and then it all goes upside down.

    It's my belief that people who can't cope with how they're feeling turn things around and make someone else feel how they feel. I think that's probably why I often feel so b****y helpless and angry with my dad .......... because HE feels so helpless and frustrated. Perhaps that's what your mum was doing to your son. Maybe she felt publicly embarassed and humiliated by not being able to do her shopping, and dealt with it by passing it on to her grandson. Maybe she trusted him enough to be able to deal with it better than she was doing?????? He sounds a lovely lad.
  9. mumof3

    mumof3 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2006
    Hi Karen

    Hope you and your son are feeling a bit better things now. I can relate entirely to you wanting to protect your son. He sounds a remarkable young man. I would be so proud of him.

    My eldest is 10 and he gets quite upset with what he sees as Grandmas strange behaviour. Today was my daughters fifth birthday and I had to reprimand my MIL for saying over and over that she just wanted to die in front of her three grandchildren. This has recently become something of a habit when it is time to go home and I am doubtful that she even realises what she is actually saying. I am just not prepared to have my children hear this. I can cope with most of the stuff that comes with this horrible illness but am not prepared to have it damage and scare my children. The youngest is only just two.

    Have had a bad week this week. Other children have their Grandma to help out at parties. My MIL forgot two out of three of her grandchildren's birthdays this month and we had to have two parties as I couldn't handle having my MIL and a dozen five year olds at the same time.

    I know in the grand scheme of things this is fairly minor but I just feel that the VaD is eating into all our lives now.
  10. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Karen,
    Mum once attacked my eldest when he was 9 or 10. I flew at her, shouting she wasn't going to do that to my son; she and dad quickly left. What do the boys remember 7 years on? "You shouted at nana mum, we'd never heard you do that before".
    I am sure that as long as our children know that grandma/ grandpa is ill, that she/he loves them dearly; that they know that they are loved by us, and they see us continuing to love grandma/grandpa, they will be unscathed, in fact more than unscathed, I think they will grow into caring individuals who have an appreciation of people with mental illness, and who can see the person beyond the illness.
    Karen and Mum of 3, don't worry, keep loving, parent and child - may make you feel rather stretched - but as the 'adult' in all this we have the responsibility to make it work.
    Love Amy
  11. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    My youngest was 15 when my mum got AD, My mother for some reason seem to pick on my middle child who was 16.

    I tend to agree with Aine when she said
    Tell that to your son

    But I never forget when my best friend in Gibraltar took me mum in her car & her son of 11, mum trun around & said to the boy, you’re so ugly. I did not know where to look; my friend still took us out, but never again with her son.

    Now I never really take mum out ,as she can not talk to will & does not want a wheelchair & when I have taken her to the café around the corner ,when she get there she just wants to go home .

    Oh but on my birthday Jan gone, with all my teenagers help ,we took her to a restaurant ,yes she did get rude with the waitress , but we all talk laugh about the past in how she was rude, hurtful , with them & now she does not do it anymore.

    I don’t feel it scares them, just don’t show you hurt feeling to your son, just your courage in dealing with it .
  12. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Thanks, all!

    First, thanks all.

    Noelphobic, thanks for asking about my son. He went out in the afternoon kicking a football/climbing trees etc with some pals…. being a ‘real’ child again (Guilt trip number one: I am expecting him to take on more than he should for his age) He was clingy in the evening – we snuggled and watched any garbage we could find on TV, stuffed ourselves with chocs – he even fell asleep in my arms – one precious moment of the day to savour!!!!! (You’ll know that ‘don’t you dare kiss me in public, I’ve got street cred to think about’!):cool:

    Lynne, I think ham on doughnuts might start a new trend! Why have I been working so hard to tempt mum to eat? Jam and pickle butties tonight then!;)

    Rosalind, thanks for sharing that. (Guilt trip number two: Who was I doing it for?) I think that was part of the sadness yesterday – public outings (certainly with son in tow) have now been removed from the ‘agenda’ – like some kind of line had been crossed and life must adapt and change yet again….

    LindaD, thanks for being so philosophical about it – reinforces the ‘who am I doing this for?’ I feel guilty (Oh, there goes number three!) that I don’t seem to get mum out of her four walls often enough… but when I make the effort is it more for my sake (who will remember the effort involved and therefore feel good about myself) than hers?:confused:

    DickG, what a superb way to look at it. (Guilt trip number four: If I’ve spent so much time on TP and elsewhere trying to ‘gen’ myself up – how come I couldn’t foresee this was almost bound to happen at some point?):eek:

    Aine, couldn’t agree more. (Guilt trip number five: I had been so pleased at how well mum had been the previous 48 hours I had allowed myself to be lulled into believing she was far more capable than I know she really is) And yes, my son IS a lovely lad (I take no credit!;) ). ‘Normal child’ (as in goes back to school tomorrow and STILL hasn’t finished his homework, attracts mud like a magnet especially when in light-coloured clothes!!!!) but charmingly loving and sensitive to others….why he would be so especially hurt .. (Guilt trip number six: I failed to protect my own child from the potential situation).:(

    Mumof3, your comments really made me start to try to put things into perspective (Guilt trip number seven: I have been so overwhelmed by what’s happening to mum I have been neglecting others) I’m sorry you’ve had a bad week, but so admire you being able to recognise there comes a point where AD and children do NOT mix. So far, son has been a star (for me as well as his grandma). I thought by him being in someway involved the fact that my attention was so diverted would mean he wasn’t ‘left out’ … and trying to help him has helped me (missing keys/porridge jugs whatever which would have been just another ‘headache’ for me became the ‘party game’ when he was with me ‘Hunt the ‘whatever’…..) (Guilt trip number eight: Have I relied on my son for my own emotional support? Guilt trip number nine: Has it been inappropriate to try to find some child-like fun in the situation?):(

    Amy, thanks for sharing that. I certainly identify with the ‘stretched’ - I think yesterday, in my especially sorry for myself mode, I felt like I was in a tug of war – only I was the ribbon in the middle. (Guilt trip (Oh, sod it, I’ve lost count): How can I be so selfish as to think where this puts me?) It really did feel like my mum and son were suddenly at opposite ends and I had to give my allegiance to one side….. yesterday I felt my son needed me more than my mum (Guilty again – I shouldn’t have felt I had to ‘abandon’ one of them in favour of the other).

    Margarita, thank you for sharing too and I’m certainly going to go along with the advice. Now the initial ‘upset’ is over, I do think my son will take on board the ‘rationale’ (if that’s the right word ever to use about AD?!) behind his grandma’s behaviour. He was adamant he didn’t want to see her today (not that he would have been expected to) but as I left this morning, did say ‘Give my love to Grandma’. I hope a couple of days ‘cooling off’ for him and he will be anxious to come and help water the plants etc again!

    Sorry to go on so much, but all your comments have really helped me start to work through this and I felt it was important to acknowledge them. Thanks again, all!:)

    Karen (TF)

    PS: How many guilt trips can you go on from one isolated incident? No, don’t tell, I’ll start getting depressed again!!!!

    PPS: Mum asked me this morning if my son was always as helpful for me as he was for her….. (laugh, cry….sigh!)
  13. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    Hi Aine

    Be my guest and when you have worked out what it means enlighten me.


  14. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    #14 Amy, Apr 23, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2006
    Hiya Karen,
    Said son is now 17.5,happily drives me (with L plates) to see nana. When in the nursing home or at home he will help walk her to the loo, and in and out of wheelchair. Quite pleased to show off his strength! Me lean on him? Frequently. When I expressed guilt to a counsellor, she said "Why? He is learning to be a man." You are very much still your son's mummy, him snuggling up with you and going to sleep. Let him support you too, and tell him how much you appreciate him for doing so. My eldest became the 'man of the house' when he was 4.5; I've worried about him, been scared that he hasn't had his childhood - but all we can do is or best, with the situation that we are in. He now revels in being taller than me, being able to pick me up (though I am not a fly weight)- and I keep telling him I wish he would treat me with the decorum and respect that a middle aged mum deserves - fat chance of that! And the day he starts doing so I'll feel really old!
  15. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    Cambridgeshire UK

    My 'kids' are 30 and 35 now and I sometimes wonder who the parent is! They treat me like a good mate and talk to me about anything which is great. Same with my daughter in law who is 39. I'm 'only' 53!!!

    Twink - Sue
  16. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Hey, Twink, thanks for that and I'm delighted for you. I wonder if the bond between the two of us (me and my son) is sometimes too great - but how can that be between mother and child(ren)? We do seem to be a bit 'me and my shadow'... lots of reasons I won't go into here... it's cool. We are gender and generation apart - and it would be far from 'cool' for son to admit I was his best mate - but I'm OK with that!!!!! (Until he gets a girlfriend....grrrrrrrrrr!!!!:D )

    Hugs, TF, x
  17. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    hmmmmmm ....... now ........ let me see ......... no, sorry, lost count somewhere past 947 :(

    tend not to do guilt trips as such .... think of them more as grand tours :eek:
  18. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya TF,
    Yup, we've hit the girlfriend stage - (he's out for a walk with her now, don't know why he won't take the dog?!) - it's difficult, but what we bring them into the world for, for them to be their own people.
  19. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    I have given up on guilt ,after 3 years don’t like the feeling anymore so have learn to change the thought, and the feeling go

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