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Family dynamics [Dec. 14th, 2016|05:51 pm]

I thought i might ought to clarify a little about the current Christine - Mom dynamics.

Mom is truly not well mentally and emotionally. Pressure to get her into therapy has yet been unsuccessful. Requests that she get a memory baseline measurement also get turned down.

She's currently in a "getting rid of stuff" mode. It's part legacy of when my sister's family was living with them and they were crowded, part worrying about downsizing for moving to something smaller. She's also very stressed and anxious, and that is definitely affecting her memory. There's an edge of panic to her.

If she is experiencing dementia i don't think the panic, stress, and anxiety are going to get any less.

So, there's that.

And there's a much longer standing inability to recognize that her intentions can be misinterpreted -- and that doesn't mean the other person is WRONG in their reaction. And Mom is really very very judgmental.

So the type rejections going on are:

After Christine's Mom died, Mom brought lots of food to Christine & her sister. Christine then gave mom a souvenir glass from an art exhibit. The very next time Mom sees Christine, she tries to give Christine back the glass. For Christine, this is a gift all tied up with her grief and memories around her mother's death. For mom it's a thing from someone. They must like the thing, thus it should be returned to them when the receiver doesn't want it.

I've just received from Mom two boxes of papers. In the first folder are inserts to candy boxes that presumably i gave her. Along with cards, emails from me she's printed out, etc. My favorite surreal returned item so far is a printed out email that was a chat transcript between me and my parents that my dad asked me to email to them.

Also, there were CDs of Christine's father's funeral and a Christmas sermon he gave. Christine sees them and, again, feels the sort of thrown back in her face sort of reaction. Christine just realized the source of the CDs sitting on the box and is reacting.

Through some miracle, my relationship with my mother healed some years back. I can be around her when she says something that can be interpreted as insulting or judgmental and it just slides past me. I worked at that healing though, very deep work, and i can't expect Christine (or my siblings) to have the equanimity i have. (Dad has done therapy too: he's found a similar place of peace with her.)


[User Picture]From: tx_cronopio
2016-12-14 11:33 pm (UTC)
I want to say this as kindly and gently as I possibly can, and I hope you will accept it in that sense.

Dealing with a parent's dementia is an incredibly stressful and painful experience. While you are being very considerate, as you always are, this is a time for loved ones to support you, not pile their own emotional issues onto you at an already difficult time.

Please do be kind to yourself, and maybe put yourself first for a bit. You do so much for everyone else, but don't forget you.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2016-12-15 03:13 am (UTC)
Probably high up there in self care is taking my antidepressants daily. Apparently i've skipped the last two days.


I've had to do a certain amount of care-taking for Christine over the past three years, too. She's been doing so much to try to get the capacity and stability to not need the care taking, and she is trying very hard to keep her issues hers and not dump them on me. She's recognizing Mom's issues too. Still, she's not at the point where she can make light of how angry or hurt she is. I don't know if she could hide it if she wanted too: we are pretty attuned to each other's state.

I suspect i'll feel better once i get the antidepressant back in my system. Oof. I can't believe i forgot two days in a row.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2016-12-15 03:13 am (UTC)

thank you.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2016-12-20 04:31 pm (UTC)
Yi. The "why don't you recognize my INTENTIONS?" is one of the most damaging thoughts that can get locked in a head. I wish I knew a way to evict it. (I mean, in normal circumstances - not when it's been there for many years.)

That is a really rough situation, and you have my sympathies.
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