Thursday, August 02, 2007

My Life Is Controlled By A Crazy Person

I'm feeling frustrated today.

It's in the low 90's and quite humid. And who's out in the yard, sweating profusely, because mom can't stand any leaves on the lawn. You guessed it. Me! Or maybe you didn't guess that.

I spent about a half hour trying to convince her that it was way too hot to do any yard work. "The heat doesn't bother me," she says. Yeah, right, that's why you keep fainting in the yard. So I can't even let her do the work and pass out to teach her a lesson because she won't learn. In the end, that only hurts me since I'll be the one having to handle her situation if she's hospitalized. At least I convinced her to drink some Gatorade and eat some oatmeal before she headed out. Argh!

Instead, I have to do the work. I'm out raking the yard because a day's worth of (summer) leaves are on it. And it pisses me off. My life is being run by a woman with Alzheimer's and an obsessive compulsive gardening disorder. Now I like to garden, but at my desire and leisure, not hers.

This resentment has always been a theme in our family dynamic. Here's how it goes:

1. Parent wants something done.

2. Parent tells child to do it.

3. Child acknowledges that it needs to be done, but doesn't feel like doing it at the moment.

4. Parents yell, place guilt, have to "do it themselves," etc. to force child to do it.

5. Child feels like if you ask for a favor, you should accept the manor in which the task is handled.

6. Child feels controlled, resentful, and his spirit is broken like a wild horse.

7. Child grows up to be a hard worker but unable and unwilling to take orders to do something he doesn't want to do.

All these emotions arise within me when these scenarios play out.

Example from childhood:

Father wants me to mow the lawn. That's a big project and I don't feel like doing it at the moment. After a fight, father goes out into the backyard to do it himself. See, the grass can't wait. He has to have it mowed NOW. So the drama starts when he has to stop in spectacular fashion and take a nitroglycerin pill for his heart. Mother, watching out the window, joins the drama with hysterics. I eventually have to go out and mow the lawn.

I still harbor resentments around that.

Why can't she just stay in the house in the cool air conditioning? I know, she can't help it. Although, based on history, she'd do the same thing if she were healthy. The only difference is that I would have to be here and get drawn in. Gee, is it any wonder I moved 3,000 miles away the first chance I got?


Anonymous said...

I feel like that some days. One moment I am an adult comforting a frightened child, the next mum is the cranky parent, I am in trouble and I feel like I am five years old! It is very frustrating.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God! We were raised in the same famly! Passive agressive mind control! I am right there with you my friend. If I am doing the favor, it should always be on MY timetable...