Is the laziness down to me?

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Today I had a revelation.

I realised that my Mothers behaviour must be down to me.

Now, I am not having a self wallowing moment but the evidence is making me feel like this.

I am still feeling like rubbish.   In myself, I just feel tired and weak but that is probably due to not eating properly since the op.    My ears are constantly hurting my tongue feels very swollen.    My throat is only sore when I try to swallow and eat, so while I am doing that because I have to, I am not doing it more than I really need to.

While I was in hospital, and when I got home and was in bed, Hubby said Old person was really helpful.     A friend of ours walked the boys home from school on the days Hubby was unable to, but she dropped them off with old person.    The boys said Old person was really well-behaved – might sound an odd thing to say, but D often recounts times of her off-hand behaviour and on the whole we try not to leave them alone with her.   They said she got the snacks and drinks when they got home – usually she will  just nag them from the moment they get in, that is on days she acknowledges them.

He has said that in the morning she has helped get the boys breakfast – usually she sits at the dining room table and doesn’t speak a single word while I feed the children in the morning.

He says she has cleaned and tidied.   This made me laugh.     I am amazed she knows where the hoover lives let a lone how-to use it!    The shelf under the coffee table is filled with her rubbish – mostly junk mail that she actually believes that she might have a chance to win £50,000 from – I really believed only really stupid people believed this or is that what she has become.   While there is still lots there, much has finally been moved to the recycling bucket – it usually waits until she can’t fit any more there and I get fed up and throw the lot out.

It is all very odd her behaviour, it doesn’t fit in at all with the laziness we constantly see from her.

Then I came downstairs!   I really don’t have the energy or inclination to get on with my usual, chores, but it seems my emergence has flicked a switch in her head.   She has not moved from her position on the sofa for three days.    Having been forced into laziness, it’s doing my head in, so I don’t know how she does it for hours on end every day.    I feel my brain turning to mush – and I am still doing the crossword, so what does endless hours of daytime television actually do to her?!

So why does she believe I should be her personal slave?

Is it repay for waiting on me as a child – maybe but I was the child who would get upset when I wasnt allowed to help, so I did far more than my fair share of chores around the house.

Is this payback for making her move to Scotland?   Possibly because it was at that  time she entered her rapid decline.    The problem when I was preparing to move was that I owed the house we shared down south so she had to make choices and there were to buy me out, find somewhere to live in that town, move with me, or ask my brother – he and his then wife had made it perfectly clear there was no way they would take her in, and so she decided to come with us.     While I was working, she pulled her weight,  but the more I was at home, the more she stopped doing –  is it she feels this is somebody elses house and she can’t interfere too much?   When the boys came along at time she forgot who the parent was and had to be told to back off and let us bond with our boys – maybe she took this to heart and decided if they don’t want me then I’m going to do nothing, and then she became our third child.

I think this week she proved the real her is still in there, but my problem is how do we make her more visible more often?    If she chooses to be lazy there is little or nothing I can do about it.   For almost ten years we have gone around in circles, on this one and always draw the same conclusion, and that is – it is impossible to help somebody who refuses to help themselves.

So we just carry on watching someone we love disappear because that is what they have chosen to do.

I am not feeling guilty about any of this, as we have to follow our own paths and she has made the choices that have led us this way, but it is the four or us that suffer her behaviour rather than the boys having a Grandmother they respect for who she is.    Sometimes I wish we were ambigger family so there were others to help.

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7 responses »

  1. I think it must be hard to be dependent like that on your child – financially I mean. I am not making excuses at all or saying that any of this is your fault. Just I think you are probably right with the move to Scotland. After all, you had lots going for you moving there (not everything, I hear what you are saying it’s not all rosy over the border) but for her she had nothing at all to gain from it. Sigh. It’s not easy when things are not our choice and I guess she doesn’t have the inner resolve to deal with it.

    • She had choices, and her choice has been to do nothing which is why she moved with us.
      I am definitely not taking responsibility for here behaviour, just trying to work out why someone would choose to be alive but have no life. I can not see the sense in making the decision to make no effort to do anything for 12 years. She refuses to leave thechouse – but can managed to get the bus into town when we are away. Her only contribution to helping in the house is the ironing – if I was staying in, I think id make the effort with a hand with the basic househood chore. She complains about being made to eat but makes no effort to say she would cook once in a while.
      It is unfathomable behaviour.
      If she is punishing me for taking her in, then I dont get it.

      • We are different people aren’t we? I was putting myself in your mum’s shoes too and thinking “if I was staying in…” If it were either of us, we would be different, wouldn’t we? We would be cheerful and we would make an effort to make the best of things because that is how we are. But I guess since she is more negative than positive she has got herelf into negative situations because of her outlook and things have spiralled downwards.

  2. This is so difficult, BBC1 here. My mother was exactly the same when she moved in with my sister and then with my brother. She was never a particularly active person, but she just backed off and became withdrawn and very lazy and almost selfish. But the problem was that her self imposed immobility became worse. You know what they say, use it or lose it. Not suggesting you should be ill more often, heaven fore fend! But is there a strategy you could come up with that makes her want to participate? Perhaps, just telling her how much you appreciate what she has done whilst you were ill might encourage her a little? My mum, who’s 92, is in a nursing home in Norfolk now, this is one of the reasons I want to move back east, away from Cornwall. I have had this kind of conversation with both my siblings, about giving up your independence and almost giving up on life and it’s not easy. I do feel for you. But maybe it’s a combination of things, as you suggest. So maybe a combination of strategies may alleviate it a bit. I wonder if there are some elders advice services up by you? Anyway, take care, and you’re right don’t feel guilty, it’s choices, and also counter productive. Good luck!

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