I dread anything that arises to do with the AP’s finances, in particular the income tax she has to pay on her rented property. She has always been convinced she doesn’t need to pay any and every year when it comes to payment we go through the same rigmarole as the three previous years. We explain everything again and again and she gets more and more unpleasant as she obviously thinks we know nothing and couldn’t possibly be right either.
The AP has absolutely no grace and every time things are patiently explained to her she tells us she didn’t know these facts before and now its all clear, until next time when once again the whole scenario is repeated. She never ever says thank you for the effort made to handle all her affairs.
This lack of understanding would be easier to deal with if she was more accepting of her limitations instead of pretending she is so capable and mentally alert. I can understand that she is frustrated by being so old and forgetful but she does not help herself by talking over us all the time and telling us we haven’t told her anything. The implication of course is that everybody is out to fleece her and that must include the LSO and myself. That would be laughable if it didn’t hurt so much. The AP is basically a bully and I think always has been and her response to any adversity is to attack. She has kept this side of her nature well hidden, well from me anyway but I can only think that the deterioration of the old grey matter, through the ageing process, has stripped away the veneer of sweetness revealing a sour little monster that has lurked there all her life. She does make some effort to be a ‘dear old lady’ but these occasions are becoming less frequent and in fact are rather unpalatable as we know they are false and won’t last.
Astonishingly she seems to resent that we have done more than her in our lives and know more than her too. I am unable to comprehend this attitude; the LSO and myself are proud that all our family members have exceeded anything we have achieved and feel no resentment or jealousy, just relief and pleasure that they have done and are doing so well in life.
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.