Thursday, January 13, 2005


My father is doing better, but won't be out of the hospital anytime soon.

My mother can't pump gas. The card reader was out and the concept of the attendant turning on the pump and then she would pay the attendant kicked her ass.

Oh, and she can't open the mail without becoming confused and needing advice.

It's staaarrrrrtttiiinggg... I can't, can you do this for me? She ate years of my life this way. I'm done.

I told her I can't pump gas for her, and she actually did laugh. I'm floating the idea of one of those senior apartments with medical care on site. They don't need a nursing home, but every freaking crisis has happened on a weekend or a holiday, and they obviously need more medical attention than they are getting. I did not graduate from medical school last night, and I have my own demanding career and I'm trying to have a life, because, let's remember, I lost my own husband/the future I worked toward/our life's savings two years ago. I need my career, my social life, my friends, travel, happy hours talking shop, this is what keeps me functioning. I can't get sucked into caretaking, that really, truly would kill me, and fortunately, they have assets and good insurance and I should not have to. But they will demand it, because the same parents who never babysat their own grandkids will expect me to babysit THEM. Oh, wait, I'm ranting again. Boss gets it, I need to save the rants for him, because he grew up with stunningly narcissistic parents too. Sacrificing for the children? Oh, please, children are your property, they are supposed to do what YOU expect! Even when they're adults and have lives they have earned. Stop ranting, Catherine....

I'm glad tomorrow is Friday. I have a lot to do between now and carpet install on Monday, but I can get it done, and one more interior task will be done and over. After this I just pay people to fix busted shit.

Tomorrow will be another gym day, tonight I will do yoga and curl up in bed and knit three, maybe as many as four rows of something before falling asleep.


Geogrrl said...

You have my sympathy.

We've talked about a care facility like that for my mother when her husband dies. She just can't/won't cope on her own. As much as we love her (there as six of us) we don't think an arrangement with her living with any of us would last long. Strong-willed and stubborn, all of us. If you've ever seen the show, my mother is a lot like Hyacinth on "Keeping Up Appearances".

Catherine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Catherine said...

My mother is Rose on "The Golden Girls," crossed with Hyacinth. She lives in rose-colored glasses world, to the point where every time my father has one of his utterly predictable health crises, she says, "Oh, this was SUCH A SHOCK! I don't know what to do, this was such a shock!" Mind you, he had his first heart attack when Girlchild was a preschooler! There are too many stories of insanity to share, but we can go back to my own teenage years, when she was so fucked up she spent MONTHS in a darkened bedroom, making creepy moaning noises - oh, that never happened now! When my father made her the personal representative on his estate, and I said, Dad, that wasn't a good idea, he was pissed! She's fine, what's the matter with YOU? Uh, okay, so now she will melt down and I will have no legal capacity to intervene short of Baker Acting her, thanks a helluva lot there.

They were perfect parents and what the hell is wrong with me? It's like the friggin' Twilight Zone - thank God for my own kids, who made up their Addams Family song for the grandparents: "They're creepy and their spooky...." My real family saved my sanity, it's really NOT me. I'm okay, I just have to keep repeating that mantra - it's never been me, it's them.

Geogrrl said...

Ah, yes. The selective memory. I do have issues, and I have been asked by friends (and my husband) why I haven't confronted her about certain things. I tell them it's that selective memory. There's just no point. It either never happened, or happened in a totally different fashion than I remember (so I'm told). Mom's not the parent from hell necessarily--there are much, much, worse out there--but there are definitely issues. I tend to get a lot put on me because I'm the only girl. One of the reasons I tend to live at a distance from my family.

Mom had a habit of promising things to me, then if I actually tried to collect on the promise, she'd get angry with me and claim she never promised that. I've gotten so that I just respond with "mmm-hmm" when she makes one of her promises, which really annoys her.

Then there was the issue of if something I wanted to do didn't coincide with what she thought I should be, it simply was not supported/allowed.

Anyway, there's a bunch of other crap. But I think your mother outdoes mine.

Catherine said...

Oh, btw, the removed post is the same as the posted one, it just posted twice. Your mother sounds more like my father, except he never promised me anything, so there was nothing to go back on. His game was control - and no, I didn't marry the right person, have the right career, or ever do anything quite as good as I should have my entire life. Meanwhile, they forgot their grandkids' birthdays, stiffed them at Christmas, rarely visited and never babysat them, but damn, if we didn't truck across the state to see them on every holiday, WE were at fault. Boy, just putting it in writing is so helpful, it's reminding me that I really do have a right to be disgusted. Feeling like you have no right to your own feelings is also part of growing up with self-absorbed parents. "You feel that way? Well, you're WRONG!" I'm 46 and I still have to remind myself that it's not me, it's them. I'm glad I have friends who understand, and of course my kids grew up with the contrast between their friends' grandparents and their own, so they get it. But it's exhausting to deal with people who rewrite reality to suit them and don't live in the world with everybody else.

Geogrrl said...


Yup, alternate reality can be a bitch to deal with if it's not yours.