Well, the diet continues to stumble along and I’m not being hugely successful. I think I need a holiday preferably as far from the AP as I can get. I am discovering that her very presence seems to suck the life out of me and I don’t think it is much better for the LSO.
I feel completely useless at the moment and desperately in need of a change of lifestyle but every day is the same. It always involves the inevitable struggle to cater for everyone’s preferences and sometimes I just want to crawl into a corner and hope that everything will just go away. Looking after the AP has completely destroyed my love of cooking and experimenting and although ready meals are a great standby they should be occasional and not a regular part of your diet.
We had a friend over for dinner last night and the AP after one glass of wine, inevitably tried to hijack the evening with her usual stream of unconscious nonsense until eventually I had to encourage her to retire to bed and even then we had the comment that she must do just that, if of course nobody minded. Mind! It was a huge relief to see her depart. She really does cast a pall over the evening that lifted the minute she left the room. I have tried to understand why we feel like this and I can only come to the conclusion, sadly, that we are just utterly tired of her living in our home.
She greets these friends of ours with gushing affection which can be quite overwhelming especially for them but for the LSO and I it is ‘a fetch me the bucket’ moment. Then she resorts to random burbling usually about strange and often untrue happenings from the past or, and heaven forbid, the wonderful world of academe rears its ugly head and we adopt a superior pose and start pontificating about people and things best left alone. Finally you see the visitor’s eyes start glazing over and they stop responding. The AP continues to fill this vacuum with her claptrap until I am forced to step in.
Unfortunately there is no answer to solving this problem, we just have to make the best of it and carry on but it doesn’t stop us being utterly sick and tired of her narrow-mindedness and her shocking snobbery.
After the astonishing revelation from the AP that she has never been made welcome here since day one and the worry about my brother, I have been forced for the sake of my sanity to take a step back from everything.
This pause for thought has been an interesting exercise. I am sorry for my mother that she may yet, God forbid, out-live her son but my own emotions about her are now very detached which is the only word I can find that explains how I feel. Its a bit like looking at a stranger with an element of curiosity. I have thought long and hard about this and her attitude generally and know that she certainly was not unwelcome in the beginning but her attitude towards us as time has gone on has become progressively unpleasant and we could never understand why. We have been at times, very distressed about this but could find no reason or solution to this behaviour. She has been and is extremely well looked after and even she said that she couldn’t fault her care. This did make the LSO and I feel like servants doing her bidding and perhaps that is exactly how she sees us.
Upon reflection I think that when the AP came to live with us she expected to just slot back into a life that was similar to when I lived at home many decades ago; she would be a bit like ‘mother’ again and we would satellite around her along with our friends. But, of course this has never happened and never could as we have long since grown up, lived our lives and had little to do with our own parents in that time other than to visit, telephone and communicate on a very different level. Our lives were very separate and I do believe that this is where the whole problem stems from and why it is probably unresolvable.
She has interpreted our need to have some space without her as that she is not welcome. The AP wants us to gush over her and include her in every aspect of our lives which just cannot happen. She has over time become I think, more and more resentful of our apparent detachment and as a result has become really rather nasty with us. The lies? Well I can only put those down to the confusion of old age and the need to lash out.
I am watching to see what her next move will be. This morning she is pleasant enough, my brother has survived the night so we are praying he has the strength to continue recovering. We did have a rather strange conversation after breakfast about her reading the Kindle last night and not being able to take in a word. This was a bit of her ‘poor me’ attitude appearing and the start of more emotional manipulation but for the time being I will put that down to worry over my brother and not herself. I am aware though that leopards do not change their spots.
We will still look at care homes so that we are prepared.