November 4, 2018
We finally made it back to church since July. My mom was well behaved. I didn't have to sit on her hands or ask her to stop playing. She was really good.
So, a few weekends ago, was rocky. She had been screaming at the top of her lungs and pounding on my bedroom door Friday night into Saturday morning. She wanted stuff for her "pain." This thing she calls pain is suspicious. I am no expert, but after years of medical testing, and coming back with suggestions for alternative methods to deal with it, I suspect her "pain" to be more closely linked to anxiety and panic attacks. They're just familiar to me. I've been down the road of anxiety and panic attacks. That shit be making you think you dying and shit!!!
After her constant pounding, and wailing, and performances she put on for whoever answered their phone (but of course could never talk long because they all know her as well as I do by now), I could not take it any longer. I walked out of the apartment Saturday afternoon, went to a play (had a comp ticket), arrived late, and fell asleep. I was wiped out physically and emotionally.
What to do when I get home?
I was getting edgy and panicky. I did not want to reenter this troubling environment, my home. Then it hit me. I wrote a letter.
You are so right. I don't know your kind of pain. I am not a professional. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm over my head. Therefore, I throw in the towel and hand you over to the professionals who are trained and better equipped to help you. This weekend I am sending you to a nursing home. You will have the 24 hour care you need. We don't have much money and this is very last minute, but with our budget I can get you a bed in a shared space. I am sorry for having put you through so much for so long and for not understanding your pain.
I actually had reached out to a few facilities. It began to hit me that maybe this is all true and I can't handle this; that I may truly be over my head.
When you reach out to these places that ask for a contact number. This time I gave them hers.
I came home and gave her the note. She read it, and suddenly she was feeling much better. Her pain had magically left her. She claims it was the pain pill I gave her, and that because I was late giving it to her she was in that much more pain. The pain pill is a vitamin D3. She doesn't know that. I never told her that for months I had been giving her that instead of actual pain meds.
Her phone had been ringing. It was them.
Did you give my number to a nursing home?
Oh, the drama was not done. There was to be a part 2 to this miniseries. I overheard her on one of those calls telling them how cruel I was to keep every thing from her, to keep her locked up in this room (my one bedroom apartment), and never letting her go anywhere (except to play bridge -- she somehow managed to say). By the conclusion of the call I heard her telling the person she didn't want to go to their facility. Noooo. I'm going to stay her with my daughter.
After some time, I rushed into her room telling her I got a call from a detective investigating a case of elder abuse and that he was allowing me to walk myself over to the precinct to turn myself in. I told her Adult Protective Services were coming to pick her up for her safety.
You aparently told some lady I was abusing you and she called the police. Adult Proctective Services are coming to save you. Get dressed.
Here I packed her suitcase and put it by the front door. She quickly put on the clothes I handed her, sweats.
I have to go.
I'm not going anywhere!!! She demanded.
Ma, you told people I am here abusing you. They're coming to save you. I have to go to the precinct. The super has my apartment key and he will let the people in to save you.
I don't want to go. I'm staying here.
Then you should not have told that lady I was abusing you.
I didn't say that.
Well, then you need to think before you say such things. Bye. They'll be here sometime this afternoon.
I left and went to spend time with my friend in hospice care.
Later, I came home to find my mom wide awake, in her sweats, television off, looking worried. Her suitcase now in her room wide open.
No one came?
No one came.
Well, let me walk you down to the shelter. They want to make sure you're safe.
I don't want to go to the shelter.
I hear you but you got folks worried about you, so let's go.
Finally ... Okay.
Then I said, I could take you in the morning. We could just get some rest for now.
Yes. Let's go tomorrow.
Later she came to my room asking if she could just stay for a month because then I'd see how much better she is in behaving. Just one month.
You think I should give you another chance?
Okay. But it won't be one month. It will be day to day. I told you. I'm over my head. This is above what I know how to do. So if things get out of hand like they did this weekend then you will definitely have to go to a nursing home.
I'll go to my brothers, or S or D's place.
B, have you noticed that in all this time no one has offered to let you come stay with them despite all the things you have said about me? It's because no one wants this. This is above all of our heads and your behavior is too much. I won't deal with it. And not one other family member will step in and deal with it. I know you know this because as much as you have begged them all in the past, no one has said for you to come live with them.
She has been so much nicer since then, and miraculously her pain has been manageable with the vitamins disguised as pain meds.
This Sunday we went to church. I told her I will no longer make going to church a job for me. If she wants to go, just like she gets herself up to go play bridge, she will have to do the same on Sundays. So this Sunday she got up, watched Joel Osteen, bathed, and put on her undergarments and waited for 9:30. Then got up and fully dressed. She was so good in church too. She was so good that in fact she surprised me by walking up to the alter to join the church.
Forgive me for saying this, but there is a part of me that knows the con artist is still there behind the eyes playing me. Her behavior is so adept at playing people, but if the con wants to play me by behaving better, joining church, being more well-mannered with others, eating a healthier diet, exercising, and such...I'll take it. She still acts out on occasion but she is quick to behave. It's these things that makes me see the child that has surfaced. A child that has learned some very bad habits, and will do what's right if only to buy time, relationships and companionship.
This is going to sound creepy-ish and probably out in left field but here goes: there is negative energy associated with the house I grew up in. But the energy or entity is somehow malleable. That is it can be either bad or sometimes good. Yes, things have happened that were oftentimes unexplainable. But as my mother lived more and more in that house alone, I sensed the energy shifting to something ugly and destructive, and she had become its playground. So as she looked at me in church this Sunday, before she grabbed my hand to walk her down to the alter so that she could join, I felt like there was something else just behind her eyes. It briefly made me think of that something from my childhood home. But like at home, I recognized it and walked with it down to the alter. Really because I felt the presence of the two energies. I felt too it recognized that I recognized it as I looked it in the eyes. Crazy stuff...I know. But if I am to be won over by some unknown energy willing to be better at being a better person, then I am willing to travel this lane.
Days of Truth
Since Sunday I have come forward with the truth to my mom. I told her the woman who comes over 5 sometimes 6 days a week to take her to bridge, get her nails done, her hair done, take her to the public gardens is someone I hired. That this is the costliest of all of our expenses. That this is why we are so often without money to do things. That she is the second person I hired. That I actually had to fire the first lady.
My mom was shocked but relieved that I have finally included her in the truth. That so much did not make sense about our money but now she gets it. I told her the lady works 36 hours and sometimes more a week, and we pay her an hourly wage that is competitive so that she will stay with us. This is so very expensive. It is a huge percentage of the money we bring in each month, but I told my mom she needs it so that she can have a life. I also demonstrated for her how it really would be cheaper for us to have my mom go to a nursing home, but that she would never have the daily activities she has now, or the life she now has. She now gets it.
It's so far from perfect. She still says the wrong things at times, and is sometimes hurtful, but at least she will listen for now if only just to stay here and out of a nursing home. Oh, and she is actively trying to sell her home, my childhood home. So we've had some progress in understanding her life as she knows it is changed. Her residence is changed. Her state of residence is changed. Her home is changed. She now has a dog and a cat. It's taken us eleven months to get to where we are now, and I hear her quite often referring to my home as her home.
I'm just writing to keep from losing it.