We really do keep trying to not become bitter and twisted but it is an uphill struggle. AP is unreasonable and childish and reacts without thinking. Her old colleague, who is actually younger than us, has departed today and I suspect AP is exhausted having talked non-stop for three days and only nodding off a couple of times. The ex colleague was given her life history in a rather garbled and roundabout way over the three days and she did well to withstand the onslaught even managing to get the odd word in now and again. Now she has gone we are back to the ‘I know” attitude in a blink without actually knowing anything of course. I thought it might have taken a day or two but no such luck.
So it’s back to bed changing, sheet and towel washing before the next arrivals and the next onslaught of planning, shopping and cooking. Oh, and not to forget the rafts of washing up and cleaning up. I really should be a shadow of my former self but it just doesn’t work like that sadly.
At least the next visitors include the grandchildren and are our choice.
Respite – meaning among many other things, pause, break, relief, intermission, relaxation, halt, reprieve, breather, let-up. This is something we get little of for 10 months plus of the year. I did think that having AP’s old colleague here would give us one or some of the above but this is not the case.
Decided yesterday to run them in to main city near us to visit the cathedral and have a lunch there. It seemed a good plan to give them time together and also to be doing something other than occupying the living room all day, that is except when being served the requisite three meals a day. It worked for them but it meant I had to drive for 2 hours in total to have 3 hours to clear a multitude of jobs before collecting them again. Was any thanks forthcoming from AP – no, only the comment that I had arrived back spot on time to pick them up. So not only am I chief cook as husband is chief clearer and bottle washer I am now a chauffeur, all unpaid of course.
Regret – meaning among many things, be sorry, to wish you had not done, distressed, rue, bemoan, bemoan, weep. The latter is seldom far away.
Must don my cap and apron and serve lunch.
Just keep on trying to be good and to be patient, that seems to be the daily mantra and hopefully if we repeat it enough we might manage to keep things on a relatively even keel. It really is difficult especially when you feel permanently on edge in the presence of the AP. It is not a good plan to analyse these feelings but sometimes you have to try to understand what is happening. The AP is not a bad person and for some of the time she does try hard to be a nice rather dotty old lady but unfortunately the halo slips and nasty little asides come out. These are often said to others sometimes in front of us but more often behind our backs. She has also become hyper-critical. Comments about awful hair styles, unattractive voices or peoples shapes – ‘hasn’t so and so put on weight’ is always a favourite and is inevitably a sly dig at me. No, I am not paranoid but the last three years of being told what I should do about my weight has made me very, very wary.
I do need to lose weight but I cannot face cooking and eating separate meals. I also cannot let her see me do it as AP then wants the same. AP cannot afford any weight loss and would become ill if she ate less than she already does. It is important for all of us that she remains as active and as fit as possible for as long as possible. The regime she has with us has definitely done her good but my inactivity and loss of motivation has increased my weight and created other problems that are directly stress related. There is nothing easy about taking on the care of an elderly parent no matter how fit they may be. AP is remarkably well for her age even if a little doddery but some parts of her personality have gone only to expose the less attractive sides to her nature.
At the moment she has a colleague from her working days staying here with us, they are sitting in the spider infested summerhouse – desperate days. The summerhouse is a lovely space but desperately needs a good clean out, unfortunately my husbands illness this year has put that along with other jobs, on hold. It’s a great place to sit in the evenings especially when enjoying a glass or two of wine.
This wonderful foggy picture illustrates perfectly how hard it is to literally lose ones way.
Another week passes by and this time it has been relatively peaceful. Only a few snipes from the Ageing Person (from now on to be referred to as AP) to break the calm. The worst was the incident of the mislaid sunglasses. We all do this so no drama you would think but no, in this case serious accusations are made that the long suffering husband has deliberately moved them. He actually found them for her where she had left them on the table next to where she sits. Apparently she had looked there and couldn’t see them! That could be a result of poor sight owing to ARMD but AP was absolutely insistent that he had hidden them from her. Although trivial such unreasonable statements cause harm and add to the feeling of being continually besieged and trapped.
We need to challenge our own reactions to these situations which are really of no consequence but they can and do grow out of proportion. We are in danger of disliking this person who lives in our space.
Fortunately we have a busy time ahead and in the midst of this an old colleague of AP’s is coming to stay for a few days which should stem the sniping for a little while at least and also allow us to find a mental space to repair and order our thoughts and feelings.
I must also look at how I can become motivated about losing some weight. It’s so easy to know what to do but an entirely different kettle of fish to do it!