I can’t seem to stay away from the nursing home. I go seven days a week and stay anywhere from 2-4 hours. If I can’t make it, Dan goes.
Yesterday we had a Nor’Easter in Worcester that dropped 18 inches of snow. The news advised all non-necessary drivers to stay off the road. I couldn’t. I HAD to go there. The driving was treacherous in some areas but I simply could not stay away.
Where is this compulsion coming from? There is no reason for a daily check on her as she is truly in a first rate facility: She is always dressed and clean when I get there, I’ve never found her wet, and the staff is delightful. She doesn’t remember within 10 minutes of me leaving that I was even visiting. And she doesn’t seem all that interested in socializing when I’m there. So why can’t I take a day off?
Could it still be guilt? I’m sure that’s part of it. But I think it’s also due to an unhealthy connection I have to my mother. I believe that if I don’t go, both of us will suffer in some way. It’s such a deeply ingrained feeling of…dependency? I feel my time and care is something I owe her as my mother. I owe her my devotion.
My therapist said it’s perfectly fine to take a day or two off and that it is not the norm for the same family member to visit daily. That it is ok for me to have “a life.” I hear the words, I believe them, but I just can’t make the leap. It would feel all wrong.
Something stronger than I keeps me on a daily schedule and I hope I have the mental and physical fortitude to continue. Another way for me does not seem possible.