Thursday, May 27, 2010


If I was back in Santa Rosa,CA ....

I feel as though I'm in a mine field. I know my daughter, Jay, who lives here permanently is very frustrated. Mum insists on buying cakes, biscuits etc she cannot possibly eat. They sit there, going stale until along come the garbage cans on two legs. We both know how to keep our own homes safe for us but Mum is the great saboteur. At 95 years, for the first time in her life, Mum no longer has weight problems. For whatever reason her excess weight has dropped off over the last few years so she can eat whatever she fancies. She fancies all kinds of treats but because of her medication she generally eats smaller portions, and they don't taste as good as she anticipated, so are often left to waste.

I fumed yesterday when she gave us her shopping list with iced buns and sweet muffins and packets of biscuits on it. At least the packets of biscuits will stay unopened while we are here. There is no way she is going to eat the buns and muffins before they are stale and dried out and these things don't freezes well either. I know TWJ will help out by eating some. We shared an iced bun after an adequate dinner. I didn't need to do that. Mum has it in her head that she needs to have all this stuff for visitors, who never come, and mini treats for herself and then tells us we are eating too much. I grew up with her mixed message so what's new! Nothing, except I hate living in her house when I feel vulnerable.

Mum also has a siege mentality. She has a huge freezer in the garage and a second smaller freezer under her fridge, both filled to over-flowing. Her pantry shelves groan with cans of soup, fruit and vegetables. There are almost always fresh veggies going off and a complete range of baking ingredients. We do our best to monitor her shopping and we often hide the weekly brochure with SuperMarket specials but we will never win. Mum has total control over what she spends and that means she orders and we shop. You could say we are enablers but it's more a matter of, 'This is her home and she is entitled to live as she wishes.' Just because she is old and needs some help does not give us the right to take her independence away.

To top off my annoyance yesterday I went back upstairs after a quiet break in the Flat, to find my niece and her husband had arrived with a big bag of Pineapple Chunks. Pineapple flavoured lollies coated with chocolate. They are one of the things guaranteed to send me down the slippery slide. We joked about them and I sat as far away as possible. I refuse to let a stupid sweet/candy get under my skin. I hate having evil things under my nose. This was bought as a treat for Mum but she has no sensitivity to the battle I have.

And I am vulnerable right now. We had a very weird call during the day, peak charging time, from our Rotorua son, who is a paraplegic. He was on the verge of losing the plot with disappointment and anger over something he imagines we have done. He is supposed to be on medication but it was obvious that he's not taking it. I spoke to him again last night and he was really struggling to stay rational. It is scary and breaks my heart to see him like this. It's the first time he hasn't trusted me. He called me a liar and was very upset, believing we have betrayed him. We are the only people in the whole world who can see what is happening and care enough to help him through. He is paranoid about all health professionals and tells us as little as possible about who he is seeing. Part of the paranoia is that if we know, we will control his life. I hate the privacy laws. They leave people like this at the mercy of their own madness. That's dangerous.

To cut a long story short we have booked into a Rotorua Hotel for Sunday and Monday nights. We got an excellent deal at Ibis, 2 nights for NZ$120. So we go home tomorrow afternoon, (Friday), have Saturday to re-group ourselves and then another 2-3 days away. I guess I knew it was only a matter of time before we had to do this but it's just another hurdle and I'm sick of them.

PITY PARTY - Why do my children live such whacko lives and I feel as though we are always picking up pieces? Why do I feel as though I'm responsible for my mother? Why is so much of our capital tied up in family situations while we live on peanuts? We are crazy to be in this situation. I see no way out and looking back all I can say is we have treated each need/demand as it came along and done the best we could in each circumstance. At the time we did count the cost in each situation and made an educated decision to pay the price. Right now I wish we'd abandoned the lot but that was and never will be an option I can live with. So having made whatever decision seemed best at the time we live with it for the long haul.

Praise God For Rainbows

I'm so glad we go home again after lunch tomorrow. I'm not strong enough to avoid all the temptations in this house.

Deep breaths and here I go with another day.


Rettakat said...

Such honesty... I can see that you give out of love and caring, even when that makes it hard on you in the long run.

Interesting about you saying you got mixed messages growing up... so did I. My Mom meant well and did her best, but I know she didn't realize that she gave mixed signals. It took me sooo long to realize that she would never change, it was ME that had to change.

I hope you get some peace and rest before the next "round". I agree about the privacy laws. My sister went thru years of instability and all they did was try out different drugs on her (one nurse admitted they had tried therapy and now all they had left was a "chemical lobotomy"). We weren't allowed to intervene due to privacy issues. So sad...

May you find peace and comfort.

Chris H said...

Grrrr to family problems! I know how they can weigh you down. {{{HUGS}}}

Kate said...

im sitting here shaking my head because i can imagine the frustrations you are feeling, its showing through in your writing, i really hope you dont get sick margieanne from all the stress!

just a quick note, about how your mum requests these foods and you are doing the shopping. my nan who passed away in feb had a similar problem, however being diabetic she wasnt over the top with food and actually didnt eat a lot in her later years. but my aunties would NOT buy her something she craved. for example, she loved those water ice blocks (you know with the flavour in them? i.e. lemonade, raspberry)and they would not buy them for her. this used to upset her as she would say, she is a grown woman, its scorching hot weather, and all she felt like was a water ice block and they would say 'mum, you dont need that'. being house bound i think this made her feel so naive. what you said made me think that buying these things, is a CONTROL thing your mum does. she likes to make sure she is still regarded as the matriarch. what do you think? xx

Margie M. said...

It isn't ranting really, MargieAnne. You are just frustrated and feeling hopeless about everything. Maybe this blog helps get that out a bit. Your Followers don't mind these "rants". If it helps...we're right there with you!

Hannah said...

I'm sorry you're going through all this. I know you're frustrated and I hope that after this you feel a little better.
My mom does the same thing. I love her to death but after lecturing me about healthy eating she would then take me out to eat at some of the worst places. I see now she was trying to stop a cycle. I hope at least you can advoid the treats.