Looking at her in this moment, I see the person who still loves love. She loves a good love story. She loves to see love win, to see love work out, to see people falling in love. It's kind of cute.
But the strange thing that hits me is how I have to guide her hand, so to speak, to this.
Okay, I've ranted in the past about being absolutely done with game shows. Well it took me a long long time in figuring out how to gain ownership over TV time. So it has happened where I have come home from work and declared MY TIME. I now do that on the weekends too.
I often watch home improvement shows and of course House Hunters. So my tuning to those shows seemed to introduce her to something new. At least that's what I thought. But now I actually think that sometimes it became her bargaining chip to get me to sit and watch television with her. It's like, "Look. See. I've got your show on. Now you have to sit with me and watch."
Okay, it was kind of cute so I sat and watched. But the cuteness quickly faded when it was a show that she turned to after midnight then knocked on my bedroom door begging me to come watch TV with her because House Hunters is on!!!!
Then I guided her TV viewing once again tuning in to The Golden Girls late night since that's when her game show channel plays shows and infomercials she doesn't like. A funny thing began happening though when I began changing the channels. Eventually she too began changing the channels.
It's a little thing I know but sometimes it surprises me to catch her watching something other than her favorite game show channel. Sometimes she does this because there's a marathon of a game show she doesn't like. But truthfully speaking the confused over medicated person who arrived in December 2017 would have still sat through those shows. They pacified her.
I don't exactly know when she rediscovered The Hallmark Channel, but currently I am glad she did. Now before I can change the channel she has to finish the story she's following. This finishing business is rather new and has now expanded to include a game show she's watching. Before she allowed me to change the channel regardless of what point they were at in the show.
A part of me feels like what's happening is similar to how you guide a young child to show him or her other things they may like, and then you witness them grow from there.
I see the two sides that's happening: growth in her and that growth's connectedness to me and what I do for her.
Lately (and what I am noticing as a routine pattern) she has returned to asking me to let her go back home.
The pattern is often connected to her lack of having a schedule. Her bridge groups are away this week playing in a four day tournament, and I still have to go to work so this has resurfaced.
She's telling me how she is so much better now. That she's like she used to be. Here I scratch my head but don't bother chiming in. She is better, though. I agree. But I also know why and what I do on a daily basis.
She's not returning to life in her house as she used to know it. It took me a while to bravely voice this aloud to others. Sadly it is all too easy for me to change the subject anytime she brings it up (kind of like how you can easily distract a very young child). This only further reinforces for me the mental state of my mother. She is more like a very young child than an adult, and sending her home alone would be like sending a small child home alone to an empty house. Then there are the relationships with predators that she developed who eagerly await her return home. The best thing I learned to do was to change her cellphone number and to erase their numbers from her phone book. Not even family back home will give her those numbers.
I would say my family knows this change is permanent and gets why. They seem all too relieved that she is here with me. The ones who make it hard and reenergize her want to go home are her friends back home. This even includes the ones who reached out to me out of concern for her well-being. They mostly seem to think she will get better and can go back home. They too have noticed an improvement in her, but seem to equate it with some sort of break from home. These are her friends who are close to her age or older. However her younger friends back home don't expect her to return, nor do they beg me to let her return. I think that is because they themselves are in a similar situation as I am.
My year of hate
I can't believe how angry I am so much of the time
But what I hate is..."