Lest you all think that I’m handling this with nothing but strength and grace, I’m here to tell you that it ain’t so.
This shit is hard, and I’m finding myself dealing with all kinds of unattractive and conflicting emotions. I’m hoping that admitting them – to you and to myself – will help me to figure a way to deal with them.
Let’s start with resentment, shall we? For starters. I’m resentful as hell at Bill. A consequence of the man’s denial is that he has no idea of how dire Mom’s condition really is. He thinks it’s perfectly okay for her to be alone for upwards of two hours (I don’t want her to be alone ever). He argues with her about how often she needs to be moved or changed or have her sheets adjusted. He’s taking nearly obscene advantage of me; he takes his time coming home from work, he leaves dirty dishes in the sink and expects me to do them (I know this because he told me the other day that he doesn’t expect me to do the dishes, but he keeps leaving them, anyway. I went two days before I couldn’t stand it anymore). His grown sons are visiting next week, and he’s expecting me to come to tend to Mom on his days off (and even if he weren’t expecting it, I don’t trust him to be available to Mom because he still thinks it’s okay for her to be by herself). As a consequence, I’m having to do a lot of juggling to make sure I’m free to see that Mom is well cared-for.
Second, I’m frustrated by wondering what Mom’s waiting for. She’s miserable. Her pain meds have been adjusted three times in eight weeks, and it’s still insufficient. She only has use of one arm. She has two positions, and neither of them is accessible to her alone; she needs someone to move her. She’s literally wasting away. As far as I can tell (and I recognize that it’s not mine to tell, but still), there is almost nothing in her life that’s worth putting up with this kind of pain. Mom used to be a strong, fiercely independent woman, and seeing her like this is exceedingly difficult for me. I am willing to admit that I will be relieved when she finally decides to let go.
Third, I really miss my family. While I want the girls to visit, I don’t want them to have to be here for too long; seeing Mom like this is difficult for me, I can only imagine how hard it is for my children. Plus, there’s nothing here for them to do but watch movies and bad t.v. My husband is having to take up all the responsibilities of our household; I’m literally never home long enough to do much more than throw a couple of dishes in the dishwasher before I fall exhausted into bed. It’s especially hard on the weekends; my family went out and had fun with the Wayfarer clan yesterday, and I missed all of it. Tomorrow is our 13th anniversary, and I’ll not be able to celebrate it because I’ll be here from around 9 to a little after 8 (that’s if Bill comes right home from work). I want to go out with my girls, I want to have fun with my husband, I want to do something – anything – other than sit here waiting for my mother to die.
For as silly as it may sound, I miss my cats.
I miss my life. I’m not thinking. I’m not reading. I’m not really writing. I’m not able to see my friends or interact with people. I’m not exercising or eating right. I am entirely out of the loop about what’s going on in the world.
I hate that I feel like I am always on the verge of tears. I’m tired, and I really want this to be over.
See? Not all strength and grace.