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#212588 - 05/04/11 05:13 PM Have feelings changed?
chatty lady Offline
Writer

Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 20267
Loc: Nevada
I was wondering due to something I heard the other day. Have your feeling changed about your parents since they have grown old and may need your care or help to live their lives now?? I heard several people talking and they were complai ning about their parents, having to drive them everywhere, visit them more, and so on, and so on. I was shocked to say the least. My mother means the world to me and there is nothing I would not do and have not done for her that I could. I want her with me all the time but she refuses to leave her lifelong home, friends, and her freedom. She did live with me when I was close by and we had a grand time. I can't understand people but then I haven't walked in their shoes either.
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#212669 - 05/06/11 04:44 PM Re: Have feelings changed? [Re: chatty lady]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2382
Loc: Arizona
You're lucky to have such a great relationship with your Mom, Chatty. My mom was one of those people who wasn't happy unless she was miserable. She had alienated all her friends and was a very unhappy person. She spent the last few years of her life living close to me but still wasn't happy no matter what I did or said. She didn't like how I lived, how I dressed, how I wore my hair, and worst of all, she didn't like that I wouldn't change to please her.

My feelings towards her changed many, many years ago when I stopped being afraid of her and stopped letting her control me. At one point, she refused any contact with me for about two years. I don't understand people like that.
_________________________
Well-behaved women rarely make history. - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
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#212962 - 05/19/11 01:43 PM Re: Have feelings changed? [Re: yonuh]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
The longer my adoptive parents are in Heaven, the more I miss
them!


My biological mother messed up 11 kids so bad, I'm not sure how I feel about her.
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
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#217256 - 05/25/12 07:53 AM Re: Have feelings changed? [Re: jabber]
CrosstitchQueen Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/05
Posts: 477
Loc: Sanford, Florida
Someone once told me that the relationships between mothers & daughters are the most complicated relationships in the world.

The relationship between my mom and me has never been "warm & fuzzy". We never did things together. When I was a kid she went back to work when I was in 3rd grade. I remember being given my own house key so I could let myself in after school. My older brother and the woman in the apartment downstairs kept an eye on me til my parents got home from work. I don't remember a lot of hugs or "I love you's".

My mom is 90 years old now. She's been living in assisted living for several years. I visit every other week or so now. I do it more out of obligation than anything else. I always bring her things she likes (books, the candy she likes, flowers to brighten up her room, I do her nails so because I think the human contact is important (she has dementia and other health issues). It gives me something to do while I am there. She still knows who I am, but never has much to say, although she'll listen to me ramble on and seems interested when I tell her news about family and whatever. Since I got my Iphone I show her pictures on it but she really doesn't know who anybody is anymore.

My attitude really changed towards her after she moved from her own apartment to the first assisted living place she lived in. As her problems have gotten worse we've had to find places that provide more and more care -- and each time she gets a slightly smaller room, she's basically down to a bed, nightstand, dresser, and recliner now. It's like with each move her world grows smaller and we get rid of more stuff til I think one of these days she'll be down to nothing and will just disappear. But when she moved out of her own apartment to the first place, at first when I would drive her to appointments or whatever she was willing to at least go out for lunch and once in a while I could talk her into shopping for some new clothes for her but not often. Mostly she wanted me to be a taxi. She didn't even want me to come into the building to get her........she'd meet me at the door, and expect me to just drop her off afterwards. I'm in awe of my friends who have daughters that the spend time with.........shopping, getting manicures together, doing fun things. My mother was NEVER that way. My friends will be out with me and see something cute and buy it for their daughters. Not my mom, ever. I'm talking about when she was younger. She was never affectionate or demonstrative about her feelings. I have friends who are SO CLOSE to their daughters, talk to them every day, do all kinds of stuff together, and sometimes I wonder what it's like to have a mom like that. I never did. I realize now as I've gotten older that of course money was an issue -- my mom had to work -- but you can be a warm,loving mom without money, and my mom just wasn't that way. And my dad was pretty demanding so most of her attention was focused on him. He was the more outgoing person that my mom never was.

This topic caught my eye because just this week Mom was taken to the hospital where she spent a few days -- several issues, gall bladder, pancreas, urinary tract infection -- they released her from the hospital yesterday to a nursing home. Supposedly this is temporary -- she's not strong enough to go back to where she was living but not sick enough to be in the hospital any longer. I don't really know if she'll ever get out of this nursing home. In the hospital she refused to take oral meds and they put her on an IV and she managed to rip it out 3 times and almost got her catheter out before they caught her. She tells me constantly -- and has for years now -- that she is ready to die, has lived too long, etc.

I will still continue to vist as long as she's within driving distance but I do it more out of obligation and because I feel guilty if I don't but she does absolutely nothing to make anyone want to come and visit her. When she moved into the most recent assisted living -- at that point the dementia was the major issue -- I started by visiting every week. Then I cut it down to every week because that one day a week was becoming such a chore. It's not a good feeling when you have to steele yourself to go visit your own mother but that's pretty much where I'm at.

I don't really know what I feel at the moment. I'd like to think she lights up a little bit when I come into the room, but I don't know if she does really or I'm imagining it, and it doesn't last but a minute. I know, given her age, and the medical issues, she probably won't be with us much longer. Sometimes I think I continue to visit and do what I can for her because I'm going to have to live with myself after she's gone and I will need to know I did what I could. Her quality of life is nothing right now and sometimes I think it will be a blessing when it's over. She has no relationships with her grandchildren or great-grandkids, nobody but me, my brother, and sister-in-law ever go to see her and I know they do it for the same reasons I do..........because they feel obligated to do so, but not because they want to.

So be glad if you have a close relationship with your mom. Because not everybody has that. I used to worry that one day that phone call would come to tell me that she's gone and now there are days that I think I wish it would, as horrible as that sounds. She's spent years now not interested in participating in anything, her life is no life. I love her because she's my mom, and I will cry when she's gone, but at this point, there will be relief too, and sometimes I feel guilty for thinking that way.
_________________________
Ann

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#217257 - 05/25/12 09:37 AM Re: Have feelings changed? [Re: CrosstitchQueen]
Eagle Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4860
Loc: Canada
Ann, I can relate to so much of what you've shared here. I don't have the energy today to go into any of the "why"s, just know that I "get" it, all of it. My Mom passed away in 2001, and I went through a lot of dark crap afterward. It was a long journey, and took quite a bit of therapy and soul-searching and "rewiring of my attic", but I'm finally (at 57 years old) at peace with my Mom. I seem to have gained a lot of understanding of who she was as her own person, not just my Mother...and I somehow moved into a place where I felt more compassion and kindredness with her than anger and hurt. I like that difference, the other (hurt and anger) were so tiring and burdensome.

Your kindness to your Mom, even if being done out of obligation, will come back to you much later after she's gone and you WILL be glad you spent that time with her. I wish with all my heart that I could have known my Mom NOW, after I've been through all this healing, I think we would be better friends. But it was pretty much impossible while she was alive, though she was much more affectionate and loving than yours appears to be with you. Still, I was too damaged to recognize and appreciate it at the time, so was never able to move past old fears and mistrust of her to be closer to her in those later years.

Now I miss her terribly, but I think it's because of the understanding and compassion that have evolved out of all of this time and therapy and healing. Like I said, I would love to be able to spend time with her as the "wiser" woman I am now.

I think that sense of relief (and guilt over feeling it) is fairly normal. Be kind to yourself in all of this...
_________________________
When you don't like a thing, change it.
If you can't change it, change the way you think about it.

(Maya Angelou)

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#217260 - 05/25/12 12:44 PM Re: Have feelings changed? [Re: Eagle Heart]
Mountain Ash Offline
Member

Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 3025
In order to understand a person the whole biography has to be known.what happened to your Mother Cross stitch long before you existed will have shaped her as a Mother.If her parents were cool then in order to survive she would have to fit in with their nurturing.Her own circle shaped her.You know that people seem to have warm relationships...did she?
People get "more like themselves" as they age..doing the right things goes a long way for our own mental health.some times it breaking away from people and at other times just continuing as things were...
I hope you build in happy events to your schedule..you deserve to have pleasures..
It sounds like you are supportive of your Mother she will know at some level...Bless you.

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#217262 - 05/25/12 03:43 PM Re: Have feelings changed? [Re: Mountain Ash]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
Wow! What a hugely important topic Chatty started a year ago! And Crosstitch, I have so much empathy and respect for you in the efforts you are making to care for our mother under your extremely trying circumstances.

I can empathize a bit, because based on your story, I believe my mother's mother was very much a woman like your mother. And I know what pain my mother went through as a child, a young woman - and as an adult.

Eventually my mother sought out counseling - which I think she needed to do to save her sanity.

The toughest thing for her was that the psychic pain my grandmother inflicted on my mother did not end when she died. (How could it? She still heard the hateful things her mother had said to her in her head.)

And some of the things still haunt her today, at 82. These were things like my grandmother telling my mother that because of the "unforgivable" thing that my mother did when she was 20 (accidentally getting pregnant with me, to be specific) she didn't deserve to have a nice house, nice clothes or a loving family.

However, after decades of counseling, I think my mother has finally learned to "turn off" the nagging voice of her mother that still exists in her head.

So I applaud you, Crossstitch, for continuing to visit your mother, as you are doing the honorable and noble thing.

But I hope you are also finding time to nurture and love yourself, and feel good about what you are doing. And I hope your family is supporting your efforts.

Eagle Heart and Mountain Ash are so correct in all the advice they gave you. And I second it.

And I also add that you should not feel guilty for your feelings.

Finally, it sounds to me like your mother wishes she were dead. But her body is not complying. I have this same situation going on with my former mother-in-law. And it also happened with my step-father's father, who thankfully, has now died.

It's a horrid situation, and one for which - given our current laws and morality - there is no winning. For now, we'll just have to agree that this is a very complex topic which we'll have to save for anther discussion.
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#217264 - 05/25/12 08:40 PM Re: Have feelings changed? [Re: Anne Holmes]
CrosstitchQueen Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/05
Posts: 477
Loc: Sanford, Florida
Thanks all for thoughts shared here. I probably got carried away this morning, since things with my Mom have escalated this week, and I guess I had a lot to let out.
It always helps to know that others have been or are in the same boat.
I definitely take time for myself. My husband is a quadraplegic (although a very independent one) and I learned a long time ago that I can't take care of him if I don't take care of myself. Same goes for dealing with my mom.
I know that a lot of the reason my mom is like she is, is because of how her mom was, and so on down the line. Got over the guilt/negative feelings -- for the most part -- a long time ago and know that I am doing the best that I can. I know my Mom loves me -- she just doesn't really know how to show it. I have a good support group of friends (including you ladies) many of whom are going thru issues with their own aging parents. I have an aunt who although she is 85 is still sharp as a tack and has always treated me like I am the smartest most wonderful woman in the world (it never hurt anybody to be treated like that!!) and who I can always count on to give me her honest opinion whether I want to hear it or not. She is my mom's sister-in-law but they've known each other since they were kids. She always tells me my mother has always been the way she is now.
I don't want to get carried away again and write as long a post as I did this morning -- but I did want to say that I do appreciate you all and it sure helps to be able to come here and let out my thoughts and feelings and know I will not be judged.
_________________________
Ann

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#217267 - 05/25/12 09:01 PM Re: Have feelings changed? [Re: CrosstitchQueen]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2382
Loc: Arizona
You're not alone, Crosstitch. And write as much as you want; that's what we're here for.
_________________________
Well-behaved women rarely make history. - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
http://ruthrainwater.wordpress.com/
http://newbeginningsgratitudejournal.wordpress.com/
http://sablewings.wordpress.com/

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#217271 - 05/27/12 04:00 PM Re: Have feelings changed? [Re: yonuh]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
I agree! I read your comments Crosstitch but don't know what to say. But I prayed 4 U!
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
Colbert & Joyce Croft

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