Tuesday, September 6

On exhaustion

It’s a long story. Mom, grandma, and family dynamics – how do you ever make that make sense to the broader world outside of your door? Simply put, mental decline at an early age runs in my family. Sixty is about when I expected to see it in mom, maybe 55. I think it showed itself this weekend badly, instead. Maybe it’s just a nervous breakdown, maybe she will recover quickly. The flip side is that grandma never recovered once she started this slide.
So the backstory. Mom recently lost her job, more so due to her heath than anything. She is, and has always been, a homebody, so he has no real friends. She is obviously financially concerned. As far as I can tell she has no plans of attempting another job – she has said that if she does it must be a job which does not deal with the public (or people in general) and also requires no lifting, not much moving, etc. That’s a pretty narrow set of jobs. She is obviously and understandably stressed.
Saturday Phil, his bro, my bro and I all hung out. This resulted in us being at my house for a bit. Mom decided we needed to move something for her (something that was ok where it was, and that was very heavy and a pain in the butt to move) and I told her that we were not going to move it. It was her hut (carport) that is on the back patio. She wanted it moved 2 feet, which sounds simple until you realize it’s held down with approx. 30 sandbags that have spent 2 years being peed on by the dogs, rained on, etc. Not too easy. She attempted to start an argument about this, at which point I told her I was not arguing and went inside. My brother, Phil and his brother stayed outside with my mom.
Not long after, we all left. Dealing with an angry mother is no fun to anyone. We all spent the afternoon avoiding my house. Eventually I dropped my brother off (Phil’s had been returned to his house) and Phil and I went to dinner. After that, I dropped Phil off at his house (the motorcycle called) and decided I was going home to take a quiet bath.
Then all hell broke loose. Mom decided that was a good time to finish our prior argument. She told me that I had been disrespectful to her and that I think the whole world revolves around me. I am not sure how either of these is true, but that is her opinion. When I asked for specifics as to how I had been disrespectful, she could not provide them. She eventually relented and wandered off (angrily) to allow me to finish my bath. She then started with my brother.
Apparently while Phil and I were having dinner, she and Keeb (lil bro) got into an argument. He locked her downstairs as he did not want to fight. This pissed her off – rightly so. This must have been just before I got home. Now that she was upstairs, she wanted her piece heard. I missed most of it, as I was in the bath, but it ended with her proclaiming that she was ‘a piece of shit’ and ‘worthless’. She then kicked one of the dogs, manhandled another and her and Keeb almost got into a fist fight.
By this point, I. Was. Done. Phil and I had been attempting to work on some stress in our relationship, so we were both mentally tired anyway. We had already decided that if things got bad at my place that night, I could stay at his, and it was time to put this plan into motion. I happened to spot Phil on his bike on the way out of my neighborhood, and we stopped back at my house to check in on my brother.
I have never seen Keeb cry from anger before. He did. He was just as done as I was. After we got him calmed down, it was off to Phil’s. I got passive aggressive texts from my mom for the next day, and then was informed that she wrote a letter addressed to both my brother and I. It said, basically, that she plans to hide in her room and will not ‘bother’ us anymore. She will be moving all of her things that are not in her room into it, and that will be that.
Except, no. That is stupid. She is being childish. She will not speak to Keeb or I, and she even ignores Phil. I did not sleep last night trying to figure out how to get her help even though she will not consent to it. How do I explain to her (in her less than rational state) that the whole world is not against her, that she is being childish and over reacting? I do not know, but I feel like soon she will be in grandma’s state. I am not ready to have to be mom’s caretaker. I am not ready for my mom to fade into the twilight of less-than-sanity.
She is making this resemble a bad break up. There are things she and Keeb have purchased together that she is attempting to ‘buy him out of’ because she does not want to share. She now tiptoes around at dawn, attempting to do whatever she needs to do outside of her room before anyone is up. Now, if she needs help with anything she attempts to barter instead of just asking like a normal adult. I don’t know how long I can do this. I am exhausted. Phil is giving me space to deal with it, except that’s the opposite of what I need. I want him around.
I don’t know if I should be worried or angry, or both. I just need sleep. I need a break. I cannot solve everything.
Oh, and T has started messaging me again, though it has not gone past ‘Hi, how are you?’. B’s birthday is in 9 days. I had to justify B’s adoption to Phil’s mother over the weekend, after he ‘outed’ me. Then there was the argument as to whether open adoption is legally binding. I am out of give. Someone, anyone, tell me what the right answer is.

With Love Always

1 comment:

  1. I know it's not what you'd want to hear, but you may need to request a mental competency hearing for your mother. Should she, in fact, be slipping into dementia, you'll need to have her legal status resolved for medical questions and treatment.

    I'm sorry that you're having to go through this, and Phil's mother is evil for second-guessing what you did and making light of what you've been through. B has a life with his new family and hopefully when he's older, you'll be part of that life, but until he's ready, this is the right thing. I was watching a TV show on Friday where the well-meaning family ended up pressuring a woman who was ill prepared for another child to keep her baby rather than adopting the baby out as she intended and it made me heartsick to think about it. Well-meaning people can't make your decisions for you and they need to stop trying.