Adjusting to having my Mom come to live with us has not been easy for
any of us, especially not for me. Let me make myself very clear ~ I
love my Mom very much, but she is in no stretch of the imagination an
easy going person. One of the last things one of Mom's closest friends
said to me before we left Idaho is "I love your Mom but she can be
quite difficult and demanding. Stand your ground".
Not an easy thing to do.
Unfortunately Mom believes that the world revolves around her.
This morning I had the sad task of informing her that my aunt and her sister
(and only sibling) went back into the hospital for yet more spinal
compression fractures. Mom's response was oh that's too bad. I will
send some flowers. Then she switched topics and spent the next
thirty minutes discussing her own aches and pains. Mom is so
competitive. I will listen politely for a while but when I try to change
the subject to something more cheerful, she gets mad at me and sulks
I even hate to bring this up, but I am at my wit's end. A couple of days
will go by and we will get along quite well and then she is upset with me
once again. This is not a new issue. We have had this type of relationship
in the past. She wants something, and if she does not get it immediately in
her time frame, then she is unhappy. For example, a few years ago she
wanted an artificial topiary. She had me run all over town trying to find one
for her at the price she was willing to pay. When I finally found one at
Michael's and delivered it to her, she was fine and happy for a couple of
days. Then I get a phone call that she had decided she hates it and wants
me to come right over with a saw and cut it into three different sections.
When I did not have the time to get over to her house to cut the topiary per
her schedule, she got mad, threw the topiary in the garage and sulked.
What is a daughter supposed to do? Whatever I do is not enough. When my
Daddy was still alive and before the Alzheimer's took over, he brought some
rationality to the picture. Although she still sulked and carried on when she did
not get her way, he was far less tolerant and she would straighten up. Oh how I
miss him. He was always so sensible and intelligent. But he's not here anymore.
My Mom is getting older and needs help. Her eyesight has diminished because
of her macular degeneration. We have done all we can to attempt it's further
deterioration, but it there is no cure at this time. I have to read things for her.
I have to help her with her paperwork and explain what she cannot see for
herself. I am happy to do this for her. But I have another problem ~
her vanity ...
Mom is very vain. She never passes a mirror without checking her
hair and her appearance. Okay, I can live with that, but here is the rub.
Mom is getting to be quite deaf. We purchased hearing aids for her.
She seldom wears them because they interfere with her hair. So if
someones says something she can't understand or she misunderstands,
she flies off the handle. I am the one who gets the brunt of her anger.
Then there are the decorating issues. When we decided to all live together
the agreement was that she would decorate the living room, dining room,
her bedroom, bath and the hallway leading to her those rooms any way
she desired. I would be able to decorate the family room, kitchen, master
bed and bath and my little studio. The back porch and patio were a joint
affair as would be the front entry. We had a family meeting and all
agreed to that arrangement prior to moving to Texas.
Once we arrived little arguments started cropping up. As I mentioned
before, my Mom is very competitive and she is also especially
competitive with me. Once I started to set up the family room she
commented that she liked what I was doing and said she wanted some
help decorating the living room. I knew I would be walking on thin ice,
but I agreed to offer some suggestions. Keep in mind that she is a very
nervous decorator. She is always afraid of making a mistake. Sadly
for her she can't relax and just do what makes her happy. Over the years
she has spent a fortune (and I do not use that term lightly) on furniture.
Interior designers have come and gone by the dozens. Thank goodness
Daddy had to spend a good bit of his career traveling and did not have to
witness the daily decorating drama that took place at home.
To get back to my current predicament, I agreed to help her find some
new pieces for her living room. I spent hours on the internet looking at
antiques, book marking possibilities and showing them to her. We
ordered several pieces that she liked and had them shipped from Georgia,
North Carolina and Virginia. I thought everything was fine until one
day she just snapped at me and told me not to tell her what to do because
it is "her room to decorate". I said that my suggestions were only that ~
and that I only offered them at her request. Did not matter. She
scolded me called me "young lady" (always in trouble when she calls
me that) and then went to her room and started throwing things in the
I am sorry to go on like this. I just need some help. I know that I am too
close to the situation to be fully objective, or even objective at all. I so
wanted this to be a good experience for us. I hoped that we would be able
to spend her last years growing closer. It seems like I say something or do
or not do something to upset her constantly. I am getting so nervous now
and it's beginning to effect everything. I snapped at David once last week
and last night too. He does not deserve it and I don't want to be a shrew.
What I really want to do is curl up in a quilt and hide in my bed and
watch old movies. Of course I can't do that and I know it so I
have to find some kind of an acceptable solution. I need your help.
I have come to know so many of you and am continually awed by
your compassion and wisdom. I am willing to listen to any
advice you have. I need tweaking.
I am so thankful for Bentley. He is such a devoted little guy.
I love him so.
Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley