Living with someone as old as the AP really is like existing in an alternative reality. We are servants in our own home, fetching, carrying and delivering. The AP has no sense of time anymore and just expects things to happen and seems surprised that there are times when we can’t do her bidding.
The Christmas card saga continues as she decides that she must send some as ones to her roll in. We did try to motivate her in November, knowing how long they take her and yes, I could volunteer to do them. I don’t for one very good reason, it is good for her to make an effort especially now that she has new reading glasses that have improved her ability to see the written word. It all helps to keep the brain active although I do sometimes wonder what the point is. She decided that we (that is the royal ‘We’ ) had to buy chocolate for the cupboard in the corner of the kitchen. Why? I ask. The answer is so that there is something for her grandchildren when they come at Christmas. The grandchildren are all grown up now and more than capable of buying their own chocolate and in fact we are spending Christmas Day with them but not here. The AP seemed to have forgotten this and then looked puzzled when I explained that it really wasn’t necessary. Some days she seems very on the ball but I have come to the conclusion that it is just a lucky coincidence when that happens because it doesn’t last. She is behaving herself at the moment and hasn’t been so abrasive or unpleasant and I just hope writing this isn’t casting the runes.
The LSO and I are looking forward to Christmas and to spending time with our family. It will be such a breath of fresh air and normality. Normality as we knew it, vanished nearly four years ago and I am hugely grateful to the close friends and family members who have helped us to keep our heads above water and to keep our sanity.
I need a padded room where I can hide and bang my head against the wall. Nothing we ever do is good enough and all of the AP’s frustrations are taken out on us and me in particular. I am horrified at my own feelings. I really don’t like this woman who lives with us and really do not want her under our roof.
We are back to the annual Christmas card farce where we are to blame for not sending cards to her friends for whom we have no addresses. The fact that we include her on our cards to the relevant people seems to just sail past her. Actually I think unless it directly impacts on her’ most things ‘sail’ past. The AP’s response is that SHE has the addresses said, I may add, with an overload of sarcasm. So what really is her problem? Truth be told she doesn’t want to make the effort. Her sight is very poor but no worse than last year when she did her own cards that I addressed the envelopes for and she does have new reading glasses that apparently have made a difference. Why does she feel the need to send these cards, everyone would understand the problem. The truth is that she doesn’t send them for the recipient, only for herself. everything is a reflection of self. The me-me complex is all encompassing. Remember ME, alway ME.
I know two blacks don’t make a white etc. but I really have had enough of her. She has done nothing for my self esteem or my peace of mind.
The sympathy expressed when my brother died has inevitably all but gone and she is feeling sorry for herself. The world no longer revolves around her. When asked by others how she is we have the pathetic little voice and “I am coping, some good days and some bad days, up and down but (brave little voice moment) I am getting there.” I sometimes wonder where ‘there’ is, sadly not miles from here. This is usually followed by what an awful year it has been. It doesn’t seem to occur to her that it is the LSO and I who have had to cope with what the year has thrown at us as well as deal with the AP, her multitude of appointments, her vindictiveness and selfishness as well as her innate snobbery and the ridiculous vanity.
But I refuse to wallow in self pity and I am aware that my words seem at times harsh but we must try and get a semblance of normality back into our lives. I desperately miss the fact that I cannot talk to my brother but life isn’t always fair and we were lucky to have had so much quality contact during the last 18 months.
I also am aware that it will not be easy but 2018 will be and must be a new year in more ways than one.
It really is a strange place to be and I feel as if I am living in another reality. Since the AP’s unreasonable and totally unwarranted outburst we have had our son and his partner staying for a couple of nights. It gave us all a welcome break from the rather strange calm that fills the house at the moment.
This is partly while we wait for news of my brother who remains heavily sedated. It is early days and we just have to be patient.
The AP is behaving quite rationally at the moment and we are all making an effort to keep the atmosphere light; so far it seems to be working. Perhaps the moment the AP realised we could be serious about her leaving her comfortable haven here and going to live in a Care Home was the catalyst for calm. I don’t suppose we’ll ever know the real truth. Her outburst last week reflected the fact that she confuses time and events continually and when she can’t work something out the AP makes a story up and then believes it. She can be surprisingly sly as well as quite vindictive one minute and then gushingly sweet the next.
I suppose what we are witnessing is the slow degradation of the brain that comes with such extreme old age. It is sad but that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier to deal with and somehow we need to find a solution that is not too painful for either of us. Because she is well looked after and does little except look after her personal care she thinks she can cope with anything. The truth is the opposite.
Meanwhile we will continue doing what we have been doing for the last four years and wait patiently to see what occurs. I do believe that situations can resolve themselves given time and we just need faith that our guardian angels are looking out for us.