I can’t do this anymore. I can’t live with my mother crowding my brain all day and all night long. I need to find a way to have her exit my mind once I’ve exited the building. My health and sanity are at stake.
Today when I arrived, her CNA (certified nursing assistant) told me that Mom had a rough morning. She was asking where I was and why I had put her in a nursing home. She was very upset and confused, and the aid said she had a hard time calming her down.
By the time I got there, she seemed ok, though a little withdrawn, which is happening more and more these days. So my first thought was, “Why tell me this? The moment has passed and she is ok. Why let me know she went through a period of angst in the morning?” I was selfishly upset because I knew I would be able to think of nothing else for the next few days.
And so my mind wandered down a dark path; how often does my mother think this? How bad is she truly feeling? Does she feel abandoned all the time? How lonely is she without me and Dan and her family?
I was worked up to a point of palpitations. And that is when I realized I needed a way to turn this off. When she is there and I am here, we are separate and individual. When we are together, I can be the all-consumed daughter. I can’t sustain this level of investment 24/7. It’s going to kill me.
Yet, how can I untangle myself from my mother? If she is suffering, I am obligated to relieve it. That’s how my upbringing shaped this unshakable core belief. If there is a way, I have to be invested in changing it. I can’t just abandon her.
So where does this leave me? Depressed and hopeless. And welcome to another happy blog entry...