1. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    5,990
    Cotswolds
    #5441 Rageddy Anne, Jun 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
    Hopefully some progress, but so much torment for MIL and you. So sorry..
    As soon as Diazepam was stopped here husband slept better at night. Then we got something called mirtazepam, or similar, and things had seemed a bit better. But then the worrying started again in earnest...to see a grown man cowering in fear is something I wouldn't wish on anyone... But he still slept better at night. Day times have got worse and he clings to me like a toddler desperate for his mum. On Saturday he was intent on walking home if I wasnt willing to go with him( can't walk far with my arthritic legs), but he insisted he would wear his pyjama trousers. Got him into proper clothes but had to get the car out and drive about. Usually that works quite quickly, but that day I must have driven about fifty miles randomly before daring to stop for a cup of tea in a tea shop. Even there, he was the victim of a plot, the village were all out to get us, and we had to leave rapidly. At last I remembered a lovely old fashioned plant nursery in an old walled kitchen garden, and he relaxed.

    After several different people chasing the CPN on our behalf, at last she's coming next week for an assessment..but if she really sees what he's like( and he can pull out all the stops to appear just a teeny bit confused in a sweet old man sort of way), what can she offer? I'm trying again to get him into some respite, but I bet it doesn't happen...the Care Home is dragging its feet, and who wouldn't? No one wants their calm Care home disrupted.And last night he was awake for hours again, begging to know what exactly was going on, and what had happened to him? Plus asking " where's Anne?" at intervals of about 30 seconds....for hours and hours.

    Ann, I hope things improve for you.....sending a big hug.....
     
  2. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    3,701
    Huge thanks to all of you for all your sympathy and kind wishes xxxx

    R-Anne - mirtazepine had only a short term affect on Mil too - initially seeming to calm her, then slowly but surely, back to the delusions. Its a horrible merry-go-round, new medication, inital high hopes then the realisation that no, the new med has had limited sucess at best and you are back to square one . My heart breaks for you at the description of what you are both going through, I have fingers, toes and everything else crossed tightly, hoping that the CPN simply does her job properly, and gets you the help and respite that you so desperately need xxxx

    Its all quite surreal here, at the moment. I have regret that the relationship I had with mum was as it was, but know that I honestly did my best for a lot of years before I had to give up. The hardest thing has been dealing with my siblings, my 3 sisters, who broke off all contact with Mum years before I did. After speaking to my step dad, I took on the job of telling 2 of them the news, though I flatly refused to deal with the so called Christian sister and strongly advised step dad not to go down that road either! Youngest sister was quite matter of fact and pragmatic, she too had sadness that she hadn't had a better relationship with her Mum, but was very clear that it was down to Mum that things were the way they were between them. She won't go to the funeral, and was very vocal about me not letting our brother or step dad 'guilt trip' me into going if I don't want too - she was very blunt, saying that I'd done my 'share' where Mum (and step dad and brother) were concerned, and that I owed none of them anything!

    Telling the next sister was awful. Her response was basically 'Good Riddance' - not totally unexpected but still awfully disturbing to hear. Followed by an out-pouring of all the bitterness and anger she has towards Mum. Their relationship was always poor, even when my sister was a child and I always knew that Mum had especially targetted her, God knows I'd stepped in and been the buffer between them so many times - but I didn't know of all the incidents and unpleasantness that had happened, and hearing my sister basically rant about all that our Mum had put her through and done to her over the years, was horrific. That is playing on my mind more than anything else. It can't be glossed over, the way Mum treated her from when she was a small child was abusive, physically on occasion, but mostly mentally and emotionally. I'd resented my sister many times, for the way she just bowed out and (it felt) left me to be the one coping with Mum - now I have the full story, I am only surprised that she tried to maintain contact for as many years as she did. Like me, it was when our Mum started to aim her nastiness at my sisters children (again, something I didn't know the full story about) that my sister said enough. She told me that it was the 'best thing' she ever did, she wished she had done it a lot sooner and no - she won't go to the funeral, and whilst she appreciated me letting her know, actually, she would prefer never to hear about or talk about her mother ever again. In all honesty I can't blame her. I keep going over in my head what she said, upset that I had no idea about the extent of what she was put through, and oddly troubled by her firm statement that the only reason that I wasn't treated the same way was because Mum knew that she needed 'someone capable' on side, to run around after her and get things done. That echo's something the other sister said, when I spoke to her - they both seemed to think that Mum pulled the wool over my eyes in order to use me, and that it was quite calculated on her part. They both felt that when I was around, Mum very deliberately toned down her worst behaviour. I feel so stupid that I hadn't realised this for myself.

    Then I had to break the news to Step-dad (who, despite him and Mum being separated, had remained her husband and stayed very close to her) that no, they would not come to the funeral. He was so sad, but said he understood the youngest sisters response as he knew that Mum hadn't 'been nice' to her after she made the decision to move a huge distance away. He said Mum had 'never forgiven' her for that. But he insisted, on and on, that he didn't understand why the second sister was so 'down' on her Mother. In the end, as he was (I felt) trying to push me into agreeing to persuade her to come to the funeral, I gave just one brief example of one of the things Mum had done (referred to my sisters son as 'the stupid one', in front of my sisters then quite young daughters - her son is severely autistic) and he sort of got it - though, as he always has, he excused the comment by saying that 'Oh - that's just what your Mum was like, Ann'. I was also quite shocked at his acceptance of why I had kept my distance - he was extremely aware that Mum had 'turned very unpleasant' with me - more so than she had ever been - and quite matter of factly told me that Mum was furiously angry that I had taken Mil in to my home to look after her. That she had not - and never would have, in his opinion - ever forgiven me for 'putting Mil before her'. That she had openly and repeatedly said that I should have put Mil in a home - not because, it seems, that she was concerned about it being too much for me, but simply because she felt that if I was to look after anyone, it should be her - not 'someone elses Mum'. She was basically jealous. I knew that she resented me looking after Mil, but step dad made it clear just how much. I got the impression that he feels that she left him, went to the lengths she did to try and persuade me that she had dementia, lied to me about her financial state and other illnesses, all to try and 'force' me to put Mil in a home and have Mum come to live with me instead. And when it didn't work, she started on my kids by way of a punishment.

    I'm not taking responsibilty for her reaction to me having Mil come to live with us - even without Mil, I know that I would never, ever have allowed Mum to live with me and my family, because even if I was stupidly oblivious to the real extent of her behaviour, I saw enough to know that I couldn't and wouldn't have her live here. I've just been left feeling absolute pity for her sad life and the way that despite all her manipulations, she ended up with all but one of her 5 kids turning their backs on her, and that she had no one but herself to blame. If anything - and I dread to think how this sounds - I am relieved that she has died. She must have been so twisted and bitter, that I can only think that death has been a release for her. I also hope that now my sisters can move on and begin to come to terms with how she treated them - especially my second sister. Going over what she told me when I broke the news is the aspect that I have found more upsetting than anything else.

    I'm going to the funeral, simply because my step dad has asked me to and so for his sake only - OH will come to support me, I've been very open with my kids and made it clear that its their choice as to whether or not they go. All of them are old enough that they had realised for themselves what their Gran was like, even my youngest. So far, all have said they will go, though like me, they are going out of respect and for the sake of Step dad, who they feel was more of a grandparent to them than my Mum was. I'm proud of them. We intend to leave as quickly as we can after the service though - alcohol played a big part in Mum's life, and Step dad and brother are also quite alcohol dependent - and neither of them are 'nice' drunks, once they have had a certain amount. From the sound of it, my brother, despite having had a triple by-pass 18 months ago, has been pretty much drunk since Mum died. I will not put me, OH or the kids at any risk of having to deal with what I feel will be almost certain 'fall out' once they have had a few down them, as (of course) it will be a case of 'all to the pub' after the service.

    I rang the hospital and explained about Mum dying to the staff there - though obviously, no mention of how complicated the actual situation is - and said that we wouldn't be visiting Mil for a few days whilst things 'got sorted'. I need a few days of a break from Mil's issues at least, whilst I deal with Mum's death - I think the hospital understood, but in all honestly, don't much care if they dont!

    Thanks again for all the support - at present I have no idea when the funeral is, just hope that its soon. I think the sooner that Mum is actually 'resting in peace', and my sisters can move on, the better. Dreadfully sad, but true.

    Take care, all xxxx
     
  3. reedysue

    reedysue Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    4,587
    Scotland
    Ann, try to give yourself some me time during the next few days, you must be feeling quite emotionally battered at the moment xx.
     
  4. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,478
    Ireland
    Good grief RA - you have just described exactly what my late husband was like back in 2011! It had been building up gradually for years, the increasing paranoia, the occasional hallucination but suddenly "exploded" into full blown psychosis. He would spend all night running around the house pushing the furniture up against the walls to bolster them, because "they" were in the attic sawing the roof off and were then going to push the walls in on us, among other things. One night he "saw" several fire engines & police cars with lights & sirens going out in our back garden, because there was a huge fight going on - but our neighbour (who is actually disabled) came and fought off the bad guys! William phoned him in the morning and thanked him, describing the whole scene to him!:eek: Evil men were, every night, torturing my daughter to death - pouring acid in her eyes. (not sure what he thought when, every morning, she bounced out of her room and went off to work!). We couldn't go outside the door, because evil children lived in the trees and screamed abuse at us and threw things. (yet, he worried about these children, and would take food out, because he was afraid no-one was feeding them, bless him!).Thankfully, William's GP was a friend of the Psych of Old Age Consultant and got him an emergency appointment - otherwise, we'd have been waiting months if not longer, with our Health Service in such a shambles over here! After several tries, he was finally, reluctantly, tried on Risperidone & trazadone, and we were lucky - it worked as if someone had flipped a switch and turned off the whole nightmare for him! And he was even more fortunate in that from then until he died (they tried a few times to reduce his dose, but the psychosis broke through immediately, so he was on it until he died last August), he never had any side effects from it.

    So - I do hope your CPN can give you some hope. I know we were very lucky, and very lucky in that although our consultant is very much a "last resort" prescriber, when he deems it necessary, he will persist until he finds what will give the best quality of life for the PWD. Hope you can too.
     
  5. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,917
    Suffolk
    Thanks for clearing in box!
     
  6. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,027
    Female
    Chester
    Please please please make sure you are comfortable with your decision, with hindsight I wouldn't have gone to FILs, I think BIL wouldn't have gone either. I went out of 'duty' and I wasn't true to myself. It is your mum's funeral, not your step dads.

    In our case on the 2nd anniversary of his death a vicar called round on MIL and asked her if she missed him and she said NO, which she related to us. FIL was not a nice person, and I'm not sure he 'missed out' as not sure he would have enjoyed any relationship anyway. MIL is the one that missed out, as in turn she lost touch with her children, as she chose (although I suspect she was so dominated emotionally by FIL she felt she had no choice) to let them be treated in this way. OH asked her why she did this and she said she'd have had to get divorced otherwise and that just wasn't acceptable behaviour, well in the 80s it was, she was a GP and could have been financially independent. She has sort of apologised to us, but due to living with FILs odd ways for years (47) she is very hard work and old fashioned (told dau off for wearing nail varnish, no TV, can't understand how I can go to work without a vest under my blouse - silly little things but creates general picture). She hasn't brought herself to say anything to BIL, who was very very hurt, not only by the losing contact but things from childhood, which I suspect we don't know in full, and OH has said she needs to apologise outright and she can't do it so no contact still.

    Sorry, a bit of a story about me - but explains background or why no funeral.

    I can sympathise with the alcohol situation, my dad's sister was a functioning alcoholic from when I was born until her death in my early 20s, and probably longer. She was very nasty to and jealous of my mum, as she had taken her brother away, and in our teens neither I or my brother would answer the phone, as she would go on and on criticising us and our parents if we picked up, and really upset us, I only found out about my brother at her funeral as I was at uni by then. We were criticised at her funeral for not looking after her, which may have led to my dad's suicide a few days later, only know what was said to my mum, not my dad. (Dad was we think undiagnosed bipolar and in a depressive phase at the time). There is not a lot you can do for an alcoholic who wants your full attention and nothing else will do and has behaved that way for over 20 years. My dad kept trying to support her through treatments at expensive drying out clinics, as he controlled his father's estate, but he never wound up the estate so he could do this with her money. Please don't put yourself in a place where others will criticise you for not doing the right thing for your mum and have the guilt monster over your head, when you probably did more for your mum than she deserved.

    Please also don't let the guilt monster get at you for being taken in and not supporting your sisters, which from reading your words it sounds like you are feeling. People who behave like your mum, only see themselves in life and are very very manipulative, OHs dad was, and it sounds like your step dad was taken in to a large extent. You and your kids are the ones that are important in all this, not pleasing anyone else.

    Feel like I've bared my soul above, I hope it helps you Ann. It is not just your sisters who need to feel able to 'move on' but you as well. Please think about you as well as others.

    Glad you aren't visiting MIL for a few days, it will do her no harm, and may make hospital take more note of issues.

    Sending you a big hug.

    Slugsta, yep we are having visitors on 18 June, 3 adults, bathroom will be done, new basin arriving on Fri or Sat, but I need all chaos moved to straighten rest of house. Spare bedroom is full of bikes, I haven't even started thinking about where they are sleeping, son's birthday is the following week so we need to fit a party for him in on the Sat afternoon before they arrive that evening. JM definitely fits. I have meal plans going through my head, oh and the Sunday is father's day and should be breakfast in bed for OH so not sure when to do that (he won't be bothered but kids will).

    I suspect your mum will need a lot of support to do the physio exercises, don't let her fob you off with having done them, but every time you visit if you can get her to show you what she has to do.

    The North West has good weather, overcast now but due to be nice and sunny again later, has been proper summer temps for a week now - above average for May and early June, avoiding sunburn has been a big issue :D:D

    Amy - I hope your weekend trip to FIL went as well as it could, I know it is very hard circumstances. Please update us when you are ready. That amount of travelling is tiring without the other issues.
     
  7. Maymab

    Maymab Registered User

    Oct 8, 2013
    216
    Staffs
    Oh Anne, what a terrible situation you have had to contend with re your mother, and then all the worry with Mil. You are a true saint in the way you have dealt with everything and if Mil was in her right mind I am sure she would feel the same. You are an absolute tower of strength to your whole family, and i wish you and them all the very best. You surely deserve it,
     
  8. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,968
    Brixham Devon
    Ann, well done to you for handling everything that is being thrown at you so well. Too much on your already overloaded plate at the moment:(

    Love,

    Lyn T XX
     
  9. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    1,162
    Ann - just to echo JM and other 'think of yourself and what you want' counsel. You owe no responsibility to any of them except your own children, and you must do what you feel is right for you, whatever that may be. --My own family was mildly dysfunctional -- nothing as compared to what you and JM have had to cope with -- but even so my brother and half-sister have really needed to unload as firstly our 'joint' mother and then my brother's and my father have died. My other half-sibling - the eldest of us - committed suicide some years ago, unable to cope with life and its vicissitudes.
    Anyway, one reason for my long process through 'grief' or whatever you want to call it over the past year is not just the whole dementia awfulness but also the discoveries I have made about my siblings' perspective and also while going through documents and papers. So what I am saying is: be very gentle on yourself for quite a while. You may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night thinking about it all, you may find yourself preoccupied by it all, and you really need the time to do this, without also being bombarded with stressful dementia-related stuff. It's been a difficult process for me and I didn't have the latter to deal with.
    R-Anne - just also to say, did not want to leave your earlier post unremarked upon -- you are amazing.
    Amy - hope FiL is okay.
     
  10. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,624
    USA
    Oh, Ann, I am so sorry to hear the whole, sad story. So very sorry.

    I understand that you feel you must do, whatever you need to do, regarding the funeral, et cetera. Do what you have to do, but then get away, and then perhaps have something pleasant planned with Mr Mac and your lovely children. Perhaps somehow you can make something good, or at least okay, out of all of this.

    I can't begin to imagine how distressing your conversations with your sisters and your stepdad were and worry you may suffer a lot of aftermath from those. The closest I can come is that some years ago (with my grandparents and great aunts and uncles being long dead), a relative felt the need to tell me some dreadful things they and another relative had suffered at the hands of some of those deceased relatives, both psychologically and physically, I am sorry to say. Given that the principal players were all deceased, as was anyone who might have had knowledge of it, there was no other family member to talk to about it, and nothing really to be done about it. However, the memory of that conversation, and the dawning horror of understanding what had happened, haunted me for years (this conversation took place 15 years ago or more) and in fact still does, and I would much rather have never heard those stories, to be honest. Sorry to take a tangent to talk about myself, but I wondered if perhaps you, Ann, might be feeling something similar (not that I am comparing myself to you or the situations to each other) about what your sister told you. It is a lot to take in and is certain to stir up a lot of emotions. I'm sorry.

    If that's the case, then please do allow yourself time to process all of it and please do whatever you need to do, to cope with all of that. I think it's very difficult to cope with the fallout of abuse/neglect by a parent, since they are the ones meant to nurture and protect children. I would not be at all surprised, if you had a certain amount of "fallout" from it all.

    I don't know if you need a therapist/counselor to talk to, or lots of trips to the zoo, or some quality time with your kids, or a good long holiday (well, I know you need that!), or a lot of pedicures, or binge watching something very silly, or many photos to edit, or what, but whatever it is that will help, please do it.

    I know everything with MIL in hospital is not ideal, but she is in a safe place and being fed and looked after (not the way you would do it, I know) and stressing yourself out by visiting her right now is the last thing you need to do, so I think it's great you rang them to tell them you won't be in for a few days.

    All this on top of MIL and your hip and Miss Mac's school issues and oh, Ann, I am so sorry. Many big hugs and warm wishes from this side of the Atlantic for you.

    For everyone who's expressed kind thoughts about my FIL and our trip this past weekend, thank you all very, very much for your good thoughts and kind wishes. I appreciate it very much. To use a British English phrase, yes, I am still knackered (please tell me that means "tired" and not something rude!) from the trip but will come back with a proper update later, I promise. He is as well as he can be right now and our visit was a good one, but tiring. We got home late Tuesday evening and I spent most of yesterday trying to catch up with things around the house, and stuff for my mother, and have much more of that to do today, plus a meeting with the bank manager and I don't know what all else. But first I must deal with some of my mother's bills and a pressing issue about a missing payment to her care home, so I will be back later on.

    Very warmest wishes to you all.
     
  11. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    7,963
    North East England
    Ann, I am so sorry that the grief you are suffering over your Mother's death has absolutely nothing to do with her loss.
    I had issues with my MIL, she accused me of having an affair when OH and I had only been married 3 years, but my Mother was nearly as bad..... she wanted to make me a ward of court to prevent me from marrying OH at all.
    I remember saying to an aunt ( after my sister died) that they loved my older sister....she was their first born; and they loved my younger sister.....she was their baby......but why did they not love me? My aunt said she didn't know , but it was a bit obvious to all that this was the case.
    Anyway enough about my silly thoughts.

    If you do go to her funeral, be prepared for all sorts of emotions to come to the fore, and make sure that OH gets you back in the car and home for tea and cakes with your darling kids.

    Absolutely none of the heartbreak caused by your Mother is your fault. None , nil, zero, zilch, nada or even niente....I think that may be the extent of my Not Guilty words....but there could be more out there. x.x.
     
  12. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,852
    England
    #5452 Katrine, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
    I think it depends where you come from Amy. :D

    I grew up in the south of England where 'knackered' means 'ready for the knacker's yard', i.e. like an old workhorse that has exhausted its strength and is going to be sent for slaughter.

    When I lived in the north of England I found out that to northerners 'knackers' means testicles :eek: so if you said you were 'knackered' it meant you were exhausted from bedroom activities! :eek:

    Similarly, in the south if I was 'knocking around, or about, with' someone, it meant something like 'hanging out with'; just keeping regular company with your friends in an aimless and companionship fashion. In the north I found that I was announcing that someone was my lover! (They weren't).
     
  13. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,917
    Suffolk
    #5453 Spamar, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
    Amy, I'm from the sw and knackered is OK, just very very tired!

    Ps, watching Springwatch Unsprung, I hope you are all following it and Springwatch. I live about 5 miles away, good coffee and cake at Minsmere.
     
  14. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,624
    USA
    Katrine, see, that'll teach me to be careful with British English. I'd stick to American English but even that gets me in trouble sometimes. For example, some idiomatic American English words for "tired" include:

    -wiped or wiped out (which doesn't have another meaning as far as I know, unless the subject is surfing)
    -pooped (which obviously can also be, er, the past tense of a bodily function verb)
    -beat
    -bushed
    -wasted (which is also very common slang for being intoxicated or under the influence of drugs)

    I know it's all about context, but maybe I should just stick to plain old tired?

    Forgive my muttering. I'm just plain tired and the day here isn't over yet!
     
  15. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,027
    Female
    Chester
    We watched it tonight, looked pretty cold there, not the warmth we've been having.

    Knackered has always seemed to be acceptably used as tired in the bit of North West England that I live in. I've heard of knackers used the way Katrine describes but not knackered.

    Wasted when I've heard it used has always meant drunk or in rougher contexts high on drugs, never heard it used to mean tired.

    Dau home at 8.30, I've dumped the contents of the case she used on her bedroom floor, and put son's stuff in as he leaves at 1.30am. Early night by my standards now.
     
  16. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    I am writing this with my vision blurred by tears - there is a lot of heartbreak in the past few posts!

    (((Ann))) I echo the advice to do what you need to in order to get through this. That includes going to the funeral - or not, as you see fit - and taking time to do things that soothe your soul. MIL is safe, warm and fed, I hope that gives you space to look after yourself.

    You are not responsible for your mother's behaviour, that includes the way she treated your sisters. It is hard for 'normal' people to accept and understand the depths of others' behaviour, that's why you did not see what was going on.

    (((Hugs))) also to JM, Amy,Craigmaid and RedLou, there is a wealth of hurt in your words.

    (((RAnne))) I still cannot understand how you can be left to deal with your OH as you are. His distress sounds heartbreaking in itself :(

    Yes, I am very aware that Mum is unlikely to remember whether she is doing her physio exercises - although, she was quite clear that she wasn't bothering with the ones given by the Falls Clinic physio! I told her that getting her wrist moving in warm water would help - she informed me that she had been doing that anyway while she was still in plaster (which I had suspected from things she had said)!

    Adult Services were supposed to be in touch within 10 working days - which :(is up tomorrow. Anyone want to lay bets on when I will actually hear from them? :rolleyes:
     
  17. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,027
    Female
    Chester
    RAnne - hugs - hope you can get some respite soon.

    Bathroom news - replacement washbasin arrived today, damaged one taken out and new one fitted, all in the space of an hour :D so when silicon dries (by morning) we will have a functioning but part decorated bathroom. Hurrah. Well shower not connected yet, but kids can do their teeth in there now.

    Very hot here again, managed longest ride of the year, still not fully over the virus I had in Jan, and riding starting to go well, but not recovering well yet.
     
  18. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    5,990
    Cotswolds
    Very sorry, Ann, to read of your Mum's death, and the sad story of your broken relationship latterly. Knowing what I do of you, that last decision must have been so very hard for you. Time heals, they say, and you will be able to go back to memories of happier times, I hope. Thinking of you, and sending a hug....
     
  19. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,917
    Suffolk
    Still not warm! Misty at the moment, though we are promised 21C by late am!
     
  20. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    3,701
    OK - tears tripping me as I read a lot of these posts - huge {{{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}} to JM, Amy, Maureen and Red, and to all of you who have had such sad family experiences. And a big thank you for sharing - once again, there is so much comfort in knowing that others have weathered what you have and are going through.

    Everything is oddly surreal here. I have all the kids at home (plus oldests' other half staying for the weekend) and it's simply life as normal, which somehow feels wrong. Yet I can't expect (and in reality, don't want) the kids to be devastated. My Mum's behaviour ensured that as they grew older they tended to naturally not want to spend a lot of time with her, as the kids themselves have said, 'Gran was only interested in herself - she didn't really want to know about us, anyway'. So its completely understandable that they are not heartbroken or dreadfully upset, but in the middle of us all sitting round the table chatting, or when the kids propose a day out or doing something nice, part of me feels awfully sad that there is no real grief and that they won't actually miss her presence in their lives. And that its wrong that we are all going on without really acknowledging that Mum has died - I keep thinking that I too should be feeling grief-stricken and desperately sad, almost wishing I could - but all that's there is sadness and regret that I can't and don't feel like that.

    I have no idea still when the funeral is. Step dad has tried a few times to get me to either try and contact the so called 'Christian' sister, or to try and persuade the other sister who lives locally to come to the funeral - I've said to him that those are the two things that I can't and won't do. I fully understand why one won't come, given how badly Mum treated her over the years and I am not going to pressure her. As for the 'Christian' sister - well, there is nothing 'Christian' about her in reality, and as I've said to Step-dad, once she knows, like her Mum, she will make it all about her and do nothing but critcise and kick off about what she wants. She has been very vocal in the past about how she believes that all of us are destined for Hell and Damnation because we are not (in her eyes) 'Christians' - she shouted loudly about that when Mum had a brush with cancer, 16 years ago, going so far as to give Mum's phone number and address to a particularly fanatical member of her church, who then proceded to bombard Mum with letters telling her to 'repent and find God' as she might now be dying and would otherwise find herself 'burning in the fires of hell' (Yes, honestly!) - I can only imagine what she might say or do now Mum is dead, and am seriously worry about the likely hurt she will cause step dad and my brother, if she decides to turn up to the funeral - which I think she is likely to do. It wouldn't be like her to miss a chance to try for centre stage and make it all about her and her religion :rolleyes:. However, step dad really feels that she should be contacted and I assume that its because I won't 'help' with that, that I'm left waiting in vain for promised phone calls and information. Well, either that or because it seems that a lot of time is being spent drowning their sorrows and they have possibly been too drunk most evenings to remember to phone - I'm more than half expecting a drunken and abusive call at some point, from either step dad or brother - and just hope that I have the sense to put the phone down without responding if it does happen. Perhaps because I can't grieve for her the way I think I should, it feels very important that no matter what anyone else does, that I behave in a way that is at least respectful to Mum, and that won't give me cause for regret at a later date.

    The hardest thing remains dealing with what my other two sisters have told me. Both have pointed out that Mum very deliberately moderated her behaviour towards them when I was around and have made it clear that they don't resent that to a large extent, I got off easier (comparitively) - in fact, one of them has very candidly admitted that it was to their benefit that Mum kept me 'on side' for so long, as it meant that I was the one who dealt with her so that they didn't have to. However, what they have said has been the thing that has kept me awake, wondering 'Why?' and wishing that I could have done something - though I have no idea what. The sheer bitterness and absolute hatred that poured out of the one sister leaves me with an awful, sickening feeling of sadness, and I find myself saying to my mum 'You stupid, stupid woman - why were you like that?'. No answers of course, the drink made her worse, but there must have been something very broken about her to start with.

    OH has been to see Mil a couple of times, and reports that she is completely detached from any sort of reality, confabulations abound every time she opens her mouth, and that although he hasn't seen much agitation, she is still displaying some pretty paranoid thinking - the 'people here' don't like her, are out to get her, say nasty things, keep having a go - different accusations all the time, none making her OTT angry or scared - but still there, all the same. There is a 'meeting' scheduled for next Wednesday - as long as the funeral doesn't clash with that, I am presuming that will be when the hospital raise the issue of discharge again. At the moment, though, I can't even think about that.

    Take care, all of you - and again, thank you so much for all the support and the good thoughts. It means such a lot, and you have no idea how much you have all helped xxxxxx
     

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