Need to vent a little-long
but I don't really know where to start. I guess I resent being a Mother to my Mother. Go ahead, beat me over the head for saying that! My Mother (Dad is too even more so than Mom) is retarded but I didn't realize just how much till she came to live with me about 3 years ago. She somehow over the years learned to cover it pretty well but the older she gets the more it shows. That's not really what I need to vent about.
Her and Dad lived together on their own pretty much unsupervised for over 50 years, (I don't know how I survived literally) and during that time Mom learned some bad habits such as manipulating and controling. She's addicted to the telephone (even though she doesn't know anything to talk about except how's your dog and how's your cat; what did you have for dinner; what are you having for supper, who died , how's the weather, do you have any news (gossip), who married who 50 years ago and who's kin to who? There's very few variates from the above conversation just depending on who she's talking to except to ask people to send her something. It's been a book, persimmons, plants, pecans and pictures. She doesn't understand what she reads, she ate one persimmon out of 6, I have to plant the plants most of what I don't even want or have a place for and we didn't need the pecans. She has pictures of people she doesn't even know! I noticed her asking people for things even when I went to visit before she came to live with us and told her she shouldn't do that and she would always say she didn't ask but I know she did. I put my foot down on that and told her I was going to start returning the packages because she shouldn't be doing that.
We live almost a thousand miles from where she lived so all her calls are long distance. The telephone has been a real problem because she stayed on it and we couldn't get any calls from anyone. We tried a seperate line for her but that wasn't a solution. Not many people want to have the same conversation with the same person everyday. Some people got answering machines so they could screen their calls. Some people would just hang up on her and she'd think something was wrong with the phone and keep calling back. I'm very protective of her and don't want to hurt her feelings so I tried limiting her calls to 4 a day especially after I saw on the phone bill where she made 22 calls in one day. I did that to keep from hurting her feelings by telling her the truth. If I ask her to stay off the phone because we are expecting an important call it doesn't matter. As soon as our backs are turned or she thinks we can't hear she's on the phone or I should say was. I threatened to take her phone out. That didn't work so I had to actually take it out for a day. One day I was in town and tried for an hour and a half to call home and couldn't. The 4 calls a day didn't work either because she'd lie about the number of calls even though I had the phone bill in my hand and I know I didn't call those people so we had to go with she has to ask to use the phone. I hate having to do that!
She doesn't want to get out and meet people probably because she knows she's different but she doesn't think of herself as being retarded. She refuses to go to the senior citizens center. Everybody that comes thru our door gets asked are you married, how many kids do you have, how old are they ect. ect.? How can I stop that without hurting her feelings?
I can't be as relaxed, loving and kind as I'd like to be with her because I have to be so firm and I resent that. If I give an inch she takes a mile! I know she can't help being retarded. She is about like a 3 year old. DH and I both have racked our brains trying to come up with some hobbies for her to get some pleasure out of life but she just doesn't know how to do anything and it's so-o-o hard to teach her anything. She did learn to quilt years ago and she still does that but she doesn't do a good job.
She tries to be so controling!!!! If she could she'd have me on a leash turning flips for her entertainment, literally!
I so much want her to be happy but the only things that make her happy is gossiping on the phone, giving orders, spending money and eating herself to death. As for spending money; it makes her feel powerful to spend money. She has more things than she needs so she wants to buy me things. I don't need anything and she gets upset when I tell her I don't need anything. When she does give a person something she won't quit talking about it. If she gave you something 2 years ago everytime she sees it she mentions she gave it to you. Get the picture?
She has a 32" TV in her room but she wants to control what's watched on my TV in the LR. I tell her if she wants to watch something different she'll have to watch it in her room but the really sad thing is, she doesn't understand what she's watching. She doesn't know the difference between the movie and a commercial!
In the beginning I took her shopping with me a lot but I gave up on that. She can never buy enough to make her happy! Nothing is ever enough.
She tries to make people think she wants to do for herself but she doesn't. She'd like it if someone did everything for her. To give you an example; I saw her sitting not 2' for the kitchen sink and call Dad to come get her a glass of water! She just wants everybody to do for her but I have her do what she can for herself because she needs the exercise. She's a diabetic and went barefoot winter and summer for several years after Daddy quit putting her shoes and socks on her simply because she refused to do it herself. (He would put them on her if she had to go to the doctor) Her floors were dirty and cold and she was all the time getting diabetic sores on her feet. Just before she came home with me she was in the hospital for a week with gangrene in her great toe. She has had one small sore within the first 6 months she was here and it healed quickly. A diabetic should not go barefooted. It's a wonder she didn't lose a leg or both. She took insulin for years but within 2 months of eating properly she doesn't have to take anything to control her sugar but the damage is already done to her heart, kidneys and nerve endings ect. She eats everything we eat except she eats in moderation and has snacks in between meals.
She wants to talk all the time but doesn't know anything to talk about and the simple talk gets on DH's nerves so bad he's practicaly living in the computer room so he doesn't have to listen to it. There's a TV in the computer room also. He only comes out to go to the bathroom, dinnertable, bed or on his way out the door. He doesn't want to hurt her feelings either. I try to spend some time with both of them so I'm back and forth. I listen to the same things over and over like I never heard them before and to what so and so had for dinner ect.
I don't have it so bad like a lot of you do except for the nerve racking part of it. We do have an aid come in 3 times a week for a couple of hours and we can get a full day on top of that if we just need to get away. She can't be left alone.
She had total knee replacemnet on the 14th of March and went to rehab afterwards. They say she will be there probably another 3 weeks. I'll be glad when she can come home but at the same time I'm enjoying the little bit of freedom. I stayed all day at the hospital with her and went to the NH twice a day for the first week but now I only go once a day. She wants to come home NOW real bad but she isn't able to yet. She needs a lot more rehab. I have some health problems myself one of them being depression and I just can't take getting up all thru the night ect.
She's had both hips replaced and I took care of her both times but it really took it's tole on me and the knee surgery is so different than the hip surgery. The first couple of days it took 4 people to handle her then 3 for several days then 2 and now it's down to one but at the NH those people go home after their shift ends. My shift wouldn't end here at home. She weighs 180 pounds. She lost 50 pounds the first year she was here.
Guess I've vented enough so now ya'll can start kicking my butt. I already know I'm so lucky compared to a lot of you.
BTW I'll never put her in a NH as long as I can take care of her. I'm so glad she's with us, I just wish she wouldn't be so controling and manipulative. My Dr. sent me to a shrink and he said we should just accept it as being her way. That's easy to say when you're not living with it. It gets old fast having someone try to tell you your every move.