Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fear Or Paranoia?

My neighbors invited me next door for dinner on Sunday evening. I can keep an eye out for Mom from there so I don't have to worry too much about her.

Yesterday at lunch time, I was relating a conversation we had that night to my brother, and my mother was sitting in the chair listening to me re-tell the story. The neighbor's daughter recently broke up with her boyfriend and he had re-contacted her a month later to retrieve some of "his things," and I told them my philosophy on break ups.

Me: [To my brother, mom listening.] I told them that leaving something behind is a classic ploy. When you break up with someone, you pack up all their shit and mail it to them. That way you never have to see them again.

Mom: [To my brother.] That's what he's going to do to me. [She tips her head in my direction, pursing her lips.]

Me: [To mom.] No! I wasn't talking about you. I was talking about the girl next door and how she shouldn't see the boyfriend again or she'll get sucked back in to a bad relationship.

Mom: [Looking away with a grimace.] Mm-hmmm.

I'm not sure where that came from but you could see her demeanor change completely as soon as the idea crossed her mind. I wonder if all elderly folks worry about being placed in an assisted-care facility / nursing home? Does this cross her mind often, or just when something is said that triggers it?

3 comments:

Greg said...

Ouch...as someone who did place his Mom in such a place, that was uncomfortable reading.

Mine suddenly started accusing me of wanting to beat her or push her down the stairs. Like you say, where do those thoughts come from? It's so hurtful to hear someone for whom you've done so much ascribe mean motivations to you.

rodger said...

I know this isn't Alzheimer's related but when my mother was dying of cancer, and heavily medicated, she wouldn't eat, drink or take meds from my father or sister. She was sure they were trying to kill her and wanted her put away so they didn't have to care for her.

It makes me wonder if they are still aware enough, under the circumstances, to push our buttons knowing we'll feel guilty enough to not do what they fear most.

Just a thought.

Y | O | Y said...

Yes, I know she is capable of pushing my buttons, whether intentional to me or just internal to get what she wants. I hate to say it, but a lot of the time, she's faking the level of how sick she feels and wants attention and sympathy. She'll mumble that she can't talk because her tongue is swollen, but if I mention the cats, and she snaps right out of it and talks like nothing is wrong in the next breath!