Thursday, October 27, 2016


My life gets all sorted out, I am zooming along then WHAM!  On occasion I feel like I have this sign on my back that says 'kick me.'  I resist change.  I want things to remain the same but they don't.  It would be a bit weird if they did stay the same.  Life throws curve balls every day.  If I am awake I am engaged in something to do.  I am enjoying the art therapy class I am doing online.  I am enjoying the mini workshop with my job on how to reach the 'troubled' student.  I am having fun playing Happy Acres on Facebook.   I was up until almost 2 AM too wired to sleep.  My mother broke her hip a couple of weeks ago.  When she was in extreme pain visits were brief and doable.  Now she is getting better.  The complaints with the expectation I could wave a magic wand and make them all go away.   Others are also hearing her complaints.  Their comments tell me more clearly then anything else how differently I was treated.  Their exclamation, "She must have dementia to be acting this way." I don't see a change, she is acting the same to me.  Her flow of criticism is not new to me.  In fact, I believe her only change is everyone else gets to see behind the mask of pleasantry that she always hid.  I thought it was me that brought out the worst in her.  Now, I understand that I was expected to resolve all these complaints and take care of her.  My life feels in turmoil because I feel like I am sliding relentlessly into this designated role that I was molded to perform from the time I was 5 years old.  I remember even then to take care of my mother.  It never occurred to anyone that someone was supposed to take care of the child.  Then sadly I watched the same pattern develop with my children when my health became so bad that I was bed ridden.  I am working at improving my health.  I don't expect my children to do it for me.  I am sorry that my mother was hurt.  But it is not my job to solve her problems.  She has lots of time to think and she is feeling regret for some situations.  She keeps asking me what she can do to fix the damage but the reality is she has no intention of changing herself she wants me to fix things.  So much in my life is really great.  Why am I letting this issue haunt me again?  I am realizing that how I behave is about my choice not her behavior.  Others are expressing their dismay in her change of behavior.  My thought, "What change?  She seems the same to me."  I was her safety valve she always unloaded on me then felt better with me shouldering her problems.  I won't do this any more.  She made poor choices.  I don't need to fix things for her.  She is an adult.  She'll figure it out.  Solutions will come.  I am working at letting things go. 


Tundra Woman said...

Yk Ruth, I don't think she feels "regret." It seems to me she's playing "busted-but!" When one truly owns their unacceptable behavior, their first step after acknowledging their culpability is to cease the behavior. So, no, she still expects you to provide her (the pooorrrr, pitiful thing!!) with a template for how she can continue to manipulate you. The "but" part is the spoken or unspoken refusal to fully accept culpability. Asking you how to fix HER behavior once again is completely off-loading her responsibility onto you through what superficially appears to be a genuine apology (oh no it isn't) and a desire for reproachment and is anything BUT that.
What a nasty person. You and your sister are much more patient than I ever could be-I couldn't do it decades ago and I sure wouldn't put up with it now. Nonetheless, if mine magically showed up today? My insides would still shake. Abuse goes beyond skin deep, beyond bone deep all the way to the cellular level.
Once again, your health and well-being is negatively impacted by her. What Tools did Kavin Counselor give you to confront erroneous beliefs? I'd start there.
Please take care. You've had a really tumultuous year-2 AM! And you have to get up for work in a few hrs. This is just brutal. I'm really sorry, Ruth. You know how to take a step back from her and another and another. The picture I have in my head is the one you had of the gorilla-"me on a diet" that best describes what I mean by stepping back. I think that clarifies the attitude I'm promoting shamelessly here

mulderfan said...

Be patient with yourself and remember that now and then a life-time of conditioning will sneak up and catch you of guard.
You and I are lucky. We can literally pull out our hearing aids and block out unwanted noise. You mother is unwanted noise. Figuratively, pull out your hearing aids and block her. Might be worth considering tuning out the others who have no idea who your mother really is.

Ruth said...

Thank you TW and mulderfan. My phone let me read your comments but won't let me publish them. Fortunately, I read them before talking myself into another visit. Instead a drove on by and ran the errands I needed for me and my husband. I feel better today. Thank you for the reminder that years of abuse and conditioning takes years of undoing. Excellent point that if a person truly regrets their behavior than they would change their behavior. Thank you both my dear friends.

Janet said...

I thought the same Ruth, when everyone was talking dementia, I'm like she seems the same to me! Hence my visit with the OT before their team meeting last week where she took lots of notes, when I was pointing out, this is just Mom, she's been this way for years, don't buy into it!

Ruth said...

She's cried 'wolf' so many times we'll be shocked if the wolf actually appears. Dementia is a possibility however it is indiscernible with all her games she plays. How do I know they are games? When I moved close to her she taught me how to use emotion to manipulate people. She was proud of her accomplishment. I felt sick to my stomach. This was before I was in counseling and understood how many things were wrong with how my mother behaved towards me and others.