Keep Breathing

Erica K

Erica K
Location
New Jersey, USA
Birthday
September 26
Bio
Grew up in Jackson Heights, New York, but now live in Jersey. Married and the proud owner (servant?) of 4 cats, including a little blind guy named Quincy. Jobs have included: English teacher in U.S. and abroad, cabaret performer and member of a NYC sketch comedy troupe; now a legal secretary and freelance writer. Other jobs: canvasser for NYPIRG/cannery worker in Naknek, Alaska (a fisherman told me it was "the ugliest part of Alaska")/dog kennel cleaner/member of the swine and poultry crew on a California farm. "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." Samuel Beckett Currently performing my solo show, "Alzheimer's Blues," at Stage Left Studio in NYC. http://stageleftstudio.net/ www.ericaherd.com

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JUNE 10, 2012 7:49PM

Insane in the Brain

Rate: 40 Flag

“Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

            Albert Einstein

That’s me, insane.  Einstein was a genius and he said this, so I must be.  I made a vow to myself to take a break from Mom, since my compassion meter was running on empty and my last visit with her left me more exhausted than usual.  So I didn’t see her last Sunday, and instead took a walk in the park, practiced harmonica (I’m teaching myself) and watched TV.  I was going to take today off too, since I have a bad cold, but when I called her to say I wasn’t coming, that familiar hysteria crept into her voice.

“Where are you?” she said.

“Mom?” I said.

“I can’t hear you.  Where are you?”

She was holding the phone wrong, as she does sometimes, so I shouted into the phone, “Ask the nurse to help you with the phone.”

The nurse helped her.

“Where are you?  Why aren’t you here?” she said.

“I have a bad cold; I don’t want to make you sick.  I was going to stay home.”

“No, please come, I need you,” she said.

Dutiful fool that I am, I agreed, against my husband’s wishes who said I needed to stay home and rest.  I told him I’d feel worse staying at home and wondering if she was getting worse.

I sat in GW Bridge traffic for over an hour, and made it there by the 5:00 dinner hour.  I wheeled her into the day room and gave her the cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee I brought.

She took a sip.  “It’s cold,” she said.

“Well, I was sitting in traffic for an hour.”

I asked her if she was feeling any better and she said, “Not really.”  I rubbed her shoulders intermittently.

Then, “A very nice girl helped calm me down and gave me some potato chips.”

“What’s her name?” I said.  She didn’t remember. 

The dinner trays arrived.  Dinner consisted of a beef and bean burrito, cut green beans, potato croquets, coffee, orange juice, a mixed fruit cup and a cup of Dolly Madison ice cream.  Mom cut into the burrito.

“I don’t like this,” she said, before even taking a bite.  The tortilla was a bit tough, so I cut the burrito into pieces to make it easier for her to eat.

I told her it was a burrito and that I ate a lot of them when I lived in Los Angeles with Dad.  “They sold them at the school cafeteria,” I said.

She ate a few more bites.  “It’s a burrito?”

“Yes.”

“I’ve never heard of it.”

Other people complained about their meals too.  One woman stood up and said she had ordered chicken, not what was on her plate.  Mom’s friend Lois, who sat at our table, started choking on her food and asked for water.  Nobody heard her so I told one of the aides.  Lois was alright after drinking the water.

After she was done, I wheeled Mom into her room and showed her the box of oatmeal cookies I brought her.

“Thank you, sweetheart,” she said.  Then, “Where’s that card from Rick?”

“The Mother’s Day card,” I said.

“Yes.”  It was on her side table and I gave it to her.

“Oh, thank goodness,” she said, and started reading the inside greeting.  “Although I may not say it every day, know that your son loves you today and always.”

“That means so much,” she said, with a wistful half-smile on her face.

“Yes, it does,” I said. 

I felt sick inside.

I’m glad that the card gives her comfort, but it hurt.  It hurt that this is the “chosen” card among her Mother’s Day cards and the one that gives her comfort, despite the fact that my brother hasn’t visited her since last August and has done nothing to help her over the years, and leaves all the dirty work to me.  Perhaps that makes me spiteful, but it brought me back to a childlike place, where nothing I did ever counted for much, no matter how much I did for her.  It was always Rick’s small gestures that impressed her the most.  It was an indication of who she loved most, at least that’s how it struck me.

Doing and doing and trying and trying, giving blood, sweat and tears to someone who will never really value me as much as she values her son.  I must be insane.

 

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Oh honey. Here, have a hug.....
Yep, crazy, insane, doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting different results. Writing this to the beat of the spam rap. I spent all day at my mom's house. I am a little crazy, insane, doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting different results. But somehow I don't expect anything anymore and just try to figure out what to do with all this anger inside me besides eat a package of cookies. Thanks for writing.
Thanks, Sarah. xo
No you are not.. I went through the same thing with my father. It hurts like hell. I know they love you and have problems but sometimes it just plain hurts.
HUGGGGGGGGGGGGG
zanelle, I try so hard to be zen and expect NOTHING from her and realize whe has Alzheimer's and give her the benefit of the doubt, but the old tapes often play in my head.
Yes, it does, Linda. Thanks for the support. I have a long road to travel with her yet, and sometimes, I really want to quit. xox
fyi, I researched that quote about insanity once & einstein likely never said it. it originated in alcoholics anonymous literature in the 60s or so. but its still a great quote.
It's called love. Not always roses and cherries, but you knew that. It can be a curse, or seem like it, but without it, what the hell are we? Your mom knows you love her, and that love nourishes both of you. She loves you, too. She misses your brother, but she loves you. That's my take, anyway. Maybe I'm the one who's insane.
My little brother Rick is handling all the stuff for my parents... I got my older brother Bill... I'll be traveling to Texas for two weeks in July to do the SSI, Insurance, doctor, dentist stuff... made me crazy for a while but I figured out how to get out on the other side of it. Hope you remember to ask for help when you need it:
http://open.salon.com/blog/jmac1949/2012/06/01/my_week_off_from_open_salon_-_seven_days_with_the_black_dog
But there's hope there that one day, the same input will net a different output. It's not so insane. It's what we do.
Erica this makes me sorrowful for you. You don't treat her that way because of who she is, but because that's how you treat people in general. You probably give to a lot of people, you may just be very big inside. I doubt your mom acts that way because of who you are, that's just who she is. Maybe she's only able to appreciate or miss one person, who knows?

I've read that many parents relate most to the child most like themselves, I'm an only so I don't know if my parents would have related to other children. Is your brother the most like your mom? Maybe you are so unlike her that you feel foreign. It doesn't sound like you light up her world so what's the point in running yourself down?

If this is harming you, you might consider going only once a week. You didn't cause her illness and it doesn't matter if she thinks she needs you or not, she has people there to take care of her needs. She can call her other children if she just wants someone to listen to her troubles. Stress is responsible for more illnesses than anything else, what you need is important.

This could go on a long time so consider pacing yourself. I'm overly pragmatic as life has been harsh so forgive this but, consider how many years she might live and how many times a week you're going to go through this and not let yourself be drained. Again, I'm being pragmatic but I learned the hard way, much of the energy I wasted on others I love was sooooo not worth it. I cheated those who gave a lot to me and also have the physical problems to remind me.

Okay, now I sound like a terrible person but I'm not one. Just a realist who often did more than was good for her. I hope you find sanity... and joy
Just mulling it all over while sitting in my backyard trying to calm down after a day with mom. Every word out of her mouth is something I detest. People talk of love but they don't realize what a number a mother can do on you. She drives me nuts!! Short road. Ha. Anyway. Just wanted to say again how much I appreciate you sharing this in OS. It helps.
Lovely piece, Erica.

'I’d feel worse staying at home and wondering if she was getting worse.'
Being mom to your mom must be bewildering on all kinds of levels, but you're a wonderful daughter. That's who you are.

Re. her feelings around your brother : What Matt said.
Matts comment is so good that I'll second it. She loves you. Very likely just so hurt by your brother that he has become very big in her mind.
Sending the warmest wishes and support your way. Very rough to take good care of someone so vulnerable.
Sorry you're stuck with dealing with hurtful insane. You're building up credit in heaven.....hope there's a goddam heaven.
It is possible that the card does not mean that she loves him more but she treasures it because she has seen him less....not that I am making excuses for anyone.

Keep doing the right thing. You will sleep easier for it.
I feel for you, I have two elderly parents close by, and understand the strain. The point is you are loving her and that makes you special. As I tell my daughter (when she huffs and puffs that I'm going to help her grandparents AGAIN, as only teenagers can do), that they aren't going to be around much longer and I'm not going to wake up when they are gone and resent the time I spent with them --I'll treasure the special moments we shared.
What an endearing piece, Erica, and what Matt said. R
I just don't know how I would deal with your situation. It's heart breaking. I do live with and take care of my mom but despite health problems, her mind is strong. She can be very passive aggressive, which drives me a bit bonkers, but I'm trying to put myself in her shoes, the lack of independence and feeling your body shut down slowly.

End of life issues are the toughest we face with aging parents, you seem like such a sweet soul, I pray for you to have strength and wisdom and know you are loved by your family and friends. Have peace my friend.
First, a hug from me too.

In a way this is like being the unpopular parent in a divorced family. The one who is adored, looked up to, cherished and admired is the one who stays away, letting the other do all the unpleasant work in looking after what really matters more. That person takes on a mystique celebrity-like, unreachable, above reproach, yet who reaches and honours us with occasional tokens that become icons to symbolize their false "love".

Don't allow it to get to you, Erica. You are not insane; you are an angel.

R♥
Ahh family. It can be so painful navigating your relationship with your parents. I had a similar situation with my father; he was always playing favorites with his kids. If you pleased him, he paid a lot of attention to you. If you didn't, he ignored you. It was only as an adult that I realized I wasn't at fault for the fact he never seemed to care about me.

I hope it gets better or at the very least I hope that you can arrive at some sort of acceptance. And thanks for sharing, I'm sure this was very painful to write. But you're not alone.
[r] ((((Erica))))) -- because mothers often symbiotically bond with their daughters, especially one, which means all the perfectionism self-hate (they inherited from their moms) that they have for themselves they also project onto that "special" daughter who doesn't get to be a separate human being but who the mother's bottom line expectation of is to be the PERFECT PERSONA OF THE MOTHER, that is, THE PERFECTLY MATERNAL PERFECT PERSONA OF THE MOTHER. A perfect and thankless role reversal! And no matter what you do, her ego will crap all over you fulfilling the no good deed goes unpunished adage!

KEEP BREATHING!!!

best, libby
xxxx
Would it be insane to continue doing the same thing over and over again, knowing not to expect anything different? Would it be okay to just do that? Can you find it in yourself not to judge or hate or be hurt and just give her your love?

I am not saying this as a judgment. It is a series of questions I ask myself when I find myself doing things I said I wouldn't do, because it's crazy to expect change from it. I realized at some point, though, that I can change. I can choose to do what I think is the right thing to do, drop my expectations of changing the situation and just give my love to someone not for me, not for them, necessarily, but simply because it's the most compassionate thing I can do.

Hope that helps. In the meantime, forgive your brother, it's not his fault he got more favor, apparently. The one who's responsibility that is seems to have gone to a place where not even that is her's to credit or change.

If there was justice in this world, or rational compassion, every parent would love all their children. If this were so, every child would never be made to feel less than another. If this were so, parents would never belittle or strike their children.

It's an insane world in which we live and the expectation of change in it can only come from each of us and that from within.

--r--
Dunnite ...

"Can you find it in yourself not to judge or hate or be hurt and just give her your love?"

Excuse my buddinskyism here, but you can give "your loving behavior" ... you can't DECIDE to love someone in my humble opinion (or DECIDE not to be hurt!). I believe love can not just be so simply decided to conjure up via a DECISION and especially not from advice from another. It flows from the heart spontaneously.

And to continue my buddinskyism, I don't think it is Erica's love that seems to be bottle-necked or in question here. It is mom's. Hurt feelings coincide with Erica's love for her mother because the evidence hurts that she isn't getting back what she wants. Her good will for mom sure is being tested. But the love, I don't think so. That is what makes her hurt so much (sorry Erica, I am being codependently presumptuous but I will play it out).

If Erica didn't love this woman it wouldn't sting so much to not be getting the respect and loving appreciation she deserves and feel like a second class sibllng.

"Love without honesty is sentimentality. Honesty without love is brutality." One of my favorite quotes and the word sentimentality helps me to measure judgments often made by others.

I think it would be a happier world if people would not call out people for not being SENTIMENTAL enuf, especially about other people's relationships with their parents not the judger's. To imply a person SHOULD unconditionally love their parents consistently (and I am not saying you are insisting on this dunnite..) no matter what, because they are simply their parents and seem to be owed that. Bullshit. What about the parents expected to love the children unconditionally consistently? Not as much calling out as I see it. Shame on the children who can't rise to Hallmark sentimentality on holidays or especially during the advancing years? Especially with the present circumstances with Erica's mother's condition.

Feelings are feelings, they are not right or wrong. They are emotional energy. And we can't change the dial to them at will and if we try there will be trouble. If we suppress our real emotional energy, that is when the depression and dis-ease comes. We are not being honest with ourselves and forcing what we shouldn't. We will get a backlash of guilt and shame for trying, for one thing. Since we know somewhere we are lying to ourselves.

Just a few thoughts.

I say, do the serenity prayer. And detach as much as you can when the going gets so very rough.

Best, libby
Erica, this post is an example of why you are one of my favorites here. You can take me on a visit to your mom, complete with the traffic, and I feel (and consequently get hurt) right along with you. So, as far as your writing goes, you are wonderful. Now, for that stupid card... you know that Alzheimer's patients have mixed emotional recognition... and that hurts the faithful as well as the infrequent visitor. Your mom loves you dearly, and she relates so much to you. Maybe you need a bit of support from other children of adult parents with ALZ...? In any case, you are a dear daughter; I am proud of you.
The day will come (way too soon) when you will give anything to sit next to her and cut up her rubbery burrito while she complains. You'll read something like this, and think, oh man, that woman is so lucky. Trust me. You will.
vzn, I'll look into the quote.

Matt, I suppose she loves me the best way she knows how, but she has often been cruel to me over the years and it's hard to always be the bigger person and forgive.

Jmac, thanks. I will.

Kate, I'm sure your Mom heard you. My condolences on your loss.
Nilesite, you're right. It's what we do.

L'Heure, you don't sound like a bad person at all. What you said makes perfect sense and you are right: my brother and she are most alike and she often said. "He's just like me.". Yet where is he in her hour of need? I could write a whole blog ranting on my brother but not now. Suffice it to say, we are not on speaking terms these days. My goal is to do LESS for her, to visit less, to call less, to maintain my sanity. She often makes me feel bad about myself and brings up feelings of self loathing. Thank you again for your honest comments. They help.
Kim, thank you.

Fernsy, she loves me the best way she can, but she still manages to hurt me.

Myriad, I'm not counting on heaven, LOL.

Libby, absolutely. She continues to see me as an extension of herself. When I was 12 or 13, she read my personal journal that was sitting on a chair next to my bed. She thought it was okay, because she said, "it was out in the open.". She did the same when I was an adult and she was living with me and my then boyfriend for a few months. She wrote comments and crossed words out in red pen! Well, MOm was mentally ill, so I forgave a lot and still do, but her manipulation continues, even with the Alzheimer's.

Dunniteowl, i have a lot of unresolved anger towards my brother and not sure I can forgive right now. If I wrote an extensive post about him and the rotten things he has done perhaps you would feel differently. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Tai, Anne and Thoth, thank you.
Asia, thank you, my friend.

Fusun, you hit the nail on the head. The absent sibling does take on a kind of celebrity mystique and can do no wrong. Good point. Thank you.

PMG, I thought I had come to a place of acceptance but I guess I have not. I do accept that my mother is gravely ill and will only continue to deteriorate, but I get angry sometimes that my life is being sucked away by taking care of her, as selfish as that may sound.

Green heron, I'm sure you are right.
Thank you for the kind words, Brazen. I do have a support group to go to, but have not gone in many months. Good idea. xo

Jon, thanks for reading.
Erica, I can relate to the feeling of being wanted less than your sibling. I was the middle child and no one's favorite.

Is it possible that your brother can't see your Mom like this? I couldn't. I visited Mom maybe 5 times during her 1 1/2 years in the nursing home. Too many failed expectations, I guess, and grieving the loss of the parent I was never going to know. She and I were just learning to interact as adults when she fell ill. Plus Dad made it crystal clear several times that he didn't need the help I was offering, so I quit stepping up.

You are a wonderful person and your family does appreciate what you are doing for your Mom. Maybe they appreciate you because that means they don't have to do it. maybe they appreciate you because they can't do it. Either way, You are taking care of your Mom and that is what counts.

Now, go take care of yourself.
the mother's day card and the green beans and feeling sick inside and doing the same things over and over again. This piece has it all. Thanks for writing it.
i think maybe the reason it means so much is that she
never sees the bastard. excuse the language. i have no sympathy
for kids who abandon their parents. my brother did. he never
allowed mom and dad to see their ONLY grandson. until
they were dying. the kid shows up, he's 20, he has never met
his grandma or grandpa.

now he has abandoned me and his sisters.

damn weakling of the soul...

of my two sisters, the 'favored one' went off and became a hippy.
the chubby little pleaser, my dearest friend/sis L.
stayed one town away, called 4 times a week,
came over every weekend.

finally at the end mom and dad appreciated her...

this is heartbreaking but also ...it is the way it is....

she depends on you. my parents depended on me...

luckily i was the 'baby' so i had that going for me...
just phyllis, That's a different scenario. Your Mom had your Dad to look after her and if he told you your assistance wasn't needed, however cold-hearted that was, it gave you good reason not to visit. Thank you for the support and comforting words.

Pandora, thank you for reading and commenting.

James, please, don't mince words. He is a bastard. I say it boldly. He went so low as to ask her repeatedly to mail him her Food Stamp (Medicaid) card so he get free food, despite the fact that she was losing her marbles more and more. What kind of person does that? Luckily she never sent him the card. Thanks, you validated some of my feelings, James.
I am so sorry you have to go through this. I know what it feels like to have a "King Lear" situation, where even though you're the child who does the most for a parent, they seem to prefer one of your siblings. But I have started to think a lot about it, and I think maybe people like us, people who will always be there to help and do what we can, are often taken for granted. We're probably just as loved - but not everyone realizes that though we can be selfless, it would be nice to hear kind words, too.

Another thing people don't always realize about the selfless: even they need a break. I hope you'll be able to recover from your cold and relax as much as you can soon, guilt-free (or as much as possible).
Thanks, Alysa. You're a sweetheart.
Erica, you are in a no-win situation because there is little chance your mother will learn to stop hurting you in her condition. I know how it hurts to be manipulated by a mother. I really do. All we can do is what we know is right and hope for the strength we need to get through it. You are not insane. You just need to tweak your expectations a little so you can get through it. Hang in there.

Lezlie
None of us have ever had any training in how to love our children; or our parents.

From the child's point of view it hurts like hell not to be loved as well as a sibling is. From the parent's point of view, it is impossible to control how much love one has for anyone, even one's own children. Love just isn't a controllable sort of thing. It is what it is.

One can do oneself much harm by judging how much a parent loves one compared to another child in the family. On what scale does one judge such a thing?

Also, many older people are well aware that life is running out. We North Americans avoid all mention of the ending of life and how one ought to deal with it. When our time comes - mine is approaching - it is difficult to know just how one should speak to those who are close to us. Especially if we, ourself, are in denial. Europeans seldom have this problem to the degree that we do since they seldom go into denial the way we do.

Try to find love in her great need of you. It is there. Forget about "quantities" of love. You cannot see what is in her heart; only what she shows outwardly.

You know, in your own heart, how much you love her and how much you've done for her. Let that be your memory of this difficult time in your life for that earns you great honour and high self-esteem.

Best to you.....
.
Lezlie, that's good advice: "tweaking" my expectations of her. I usually have no expectations, but sometimes they creep up on me when I least expect it.

skypixie, Thank you for your kind, comforting comments. You are right: there is no "how to" manual for children or parents. I do not try to quantify her love and/or appreciation for me, but I can't help but be disturbed at times when I see how ungrateful she is. It's hard to be selfless all the time and not feel anger about it.
Erica,
I cannot read your mom's mind so I cannot know how it is with her. That said, let me give some personal experience. Until one makes peace with the idea that one is coming to the ending of one's life it can be a terribly frightening time. Often a person who is at that time of life is terrified of both dying and of death (two VERY different things).

Yet, in our culture, they are not allowed to talk of their fears. Any mention of it, by them, elicits a response of, "Don't talk about it, you're not going to die yet." We even say words to that effect when they are clearly on their death-bed and not about to make it through the night! We think that we are "comforting them" and "easing their mind". We are not. We are isolating them inside their own fears.

That our society does not allow for this, much needed, discussion to take place, does NOT make them not want to have it - NEED to have it. But they can't. Often (this is the personal experience part) the very person we most trust and want to talk to about it is the one we feel we must try the hardest to hold back from. We can get very snarky and cutting with that person so as to keep them at arms length so we don't start blathering away about our fears. We think that it would be wrong to "lay that burden on them."

As said already, I don't know what is in your mom's mind. I just want to mention to you that there may be a reason that you don't know about for her to act that way.

Keep yer pekker up kid...... you'll do OK.
.
I'm sending a huge hug your way. Take today for yourself. xoxoxo
Sky, thank you for the clarification and support.

Ingrid, thank you.
This kind of reminds me of the movie, The Savages, in a weird way..which reminds me of my sister and me and our relationship with our parents...which makes me think of your situation...and man...oh man...I can relate.

time for a strawberry sundae--join me?
If I might over-generalize: I think mothers do tend to be hard on their daughters, almost involuntarily, unlike sons whom they tend to worship. Maybe this happens because mothers see themselves in their daughters, and in turn project what they feel about themselves onto their daughters. They expect and punish and overlook their daughters because they expect and punish and overlook themselves. It's like self sexism.
My mom, while in the early stages of Alzheimer's, once told my sister in front of me, "You are my favorite." It made my sister very uncomfortable. She said, "Sirenita is the one who takes care of you." It didn't matter one bit to me. At the moment, I didn't care if I was her favorite or she hated my guts, I would have just appreciated a break. I did not take care of her because of any reward, though there were some, I took care of her because no one else would. That's what stays with you, that's how you know who you are. When the rest of the family ran for the exits, I stayed and shouldered the burden, as you do. Mom's been dead ten years, and what I take from those years of work are those moments when she smiled, when I could relieve some discomfort, and finally that I was the one who laid her ashes to rest.
Pensive, great movie. I was thinking about it myself yesterday- how serendipitous. Only difference is in that film the brother and sister worked as a team to get their father situated in a nursing home. I got no help.

Elise, excellent point. I never considered that.

Sirenita, how awful that she said that in front of you. Yes, you were in the same situation I am in now. No one wanted to deal with and still don't want to deal with Mom and her illness, so it's all on me. I doubt my brother will even attend her burial.
oh erika what are we to believe?
what the doctors tell us? her brain is mush?
what about her soul?
is it..uh..accurate?
or..can bodily maladies deform you?
well
luckily my alzheimer dad loved me true.
not so much the other siblings, poor them.ah. what to think..
James, my faith in doctors is quite limited these days. You're right, though. What matters is what you feel in your heart. I love my Mom, despite of how she's treated me.
James, my faith in doctors is quite limited these days. You're right, though. What matters is what you feel in your heart. I love my Mom, despite of how she's treated me. Does that make me a masochist?
"my brother and she are most alike and she often said. "He's just like me.". Yet where is he in her hour of need?"

Give yourself a break Erica, you're being very hard on yourself under all this. I look at your response and remind you that this is also YOUR hour of need and you need a mother that wants you, that is glad you are her child, that you matter to. No matter what your relationship was your mother is failing and this is your last chance to have her want you, appreciate the woman you are. I was there with my dad, I hoped that he would finally give me what I needed. I didn't get it and I was completely unprepared and repeated the same painful pattern elsewhere. Now I struggle to deal with it and remind myself daily that what he couldn't give was never about me.

You're in a very complex situation, society allows you to be angry with your brother for being selfish and not caring about the needs of his family. Society has told you you're not allowed to be angry with a mother, their failings are to be excused, the childs failings are not. Especially since she didn't burn you with cigarettes and let men rape you. Anything less than brutal abuse is expected to be allowed by the child, if not, you are labeled ungrateful for having your own needs. It leaves you having to verify that you're a good person because being selfless and caring about her needs isn't what is (or was) encouraged, appreciated or rewarded. To make it more complex you love your mother and care about her well being. Even with similarities none of us can understand how you feel or know all that has passed, as can easily be seen. We all look at things based on our own experiences, this is something happening to you.

The strength of the selfless person is not limitless, they need care. I too am often the "dutiful fool" and am guilty of doing the right thing for another instead of myself, it can be used against me too. I'm glad you have a husband concerned about your needs who is there for you. You are lovable and you are loved.

Please be gentle with yourself as you walk through this time. You're in my thoughts.
L'Heure, thank you for your compassion. You seem to really understand where I'm coming from in this situation. I am trying to be better on myself but I am used to being a caretaker, I was raised that way by having a sick mother who always had NEEDS (writ large on purpose). I learned NOT to have needs or if I did, I ignored them as selfish and unworthy. When other people tell me to "put myself first" and "take care of myself" it often strikes me to respond, "How?" I am really trying to not be a dutiful fool, and to care better for myself, but it means re-learning how to be. xox
I was the child that lived when my brother died at 26. That's was hard act to follow, too. They never called me. I had to call them. God rest their souls ... been gone for several years. And in time it will be the love you remember the most.
dalria, that's a tough one. So sorry.
This was very good and sad.
Snarky, thanks for reading.
When parents play favorites, it's shocking, altho' common.
Maybe it's written in our genetic code?
Either way, it hurt you, and I'm sorry for it.
perhaps your husband was right. Maybe next time, perhaps find a gentle way to share with your mother you require some rest or you won't be able to give her your best. You deserve it, as does every loving caregiver.
R
Hey Erica! I haven't been here for awhile. Have been laid up and I have some catching up to do on everyone's posts. I just wanted to send you the biggest hug and to let you know you are always in my thoughts as you travel this road with your Mom. It is so difficult, at times. Please know I understand and you have my support.
((((((((((Erika)))))))))
Love...~Cyn~
Nope, not even close to insane. Having not been in the position you are in (yet), I can only try to imagine what it must be like. My guess is that I would feel exactly the same way and think the very same things that you are, were I in the same situation.
Erica, my dear friend, I'm so sorry. I wanted to be there for you. I've been hurt by parents with favorites, as have both my siblings. In the end, we were all their favorites. In her mixed up mind and her heart, I think your mom loves and appreciates you and loves you very much. Please be good to yourself and let yourself get some much needed rest.
xxo
OOO Big Hug!!!!!!!!!!!!
Poor Woman, VA, Cyn and Joanne, thank you for your kind words and support.
I wish I could say it will get better. Well, I could say as much, but I'd be lying. I will just wish for the courage, peace and grace you will need to get through this miserable journey.
I wish I could say it will get better. Well, I could say as much, but I'd be lying. I will just wish for the courage, peace and grace you will need to get through this miserable journey.
Thanks, Mary. You're a doll.
You don't sound like a bad person, you sound like a loving person who is part mother's daughter, part brother's sister, part husband's wife, part cat's servant and part tired of parts. And for the card - she knows she has you, your love and attention. She is not so sure of your brother, and needs the piece of paper reminder. But I hear you. It took me years to come to understand, only it was my sister, not a brother. So glad you're here. r
I come across a lot of quotes in my day job as puzzle master (i.e. puzzle magazine editor). After a while, it seems I've seen them all. One in particular, though, always makes me think of my pursuit to be a published author.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results."

I've seen this quote attributed to Albert Einstein, Rita Mae Brown, and an Alcoholics Anonymous publication. Where ever it came from, I think it's interesting that this definition of insanity could actually apply to many writers.

As writers, we are constantly sending out work and getting rejections. Then we turn right back around and send that work out again and hope for a different response. Does that make us optimistic? Persistent? Confident in our work? Well, according to the above quote, it could actually make us insane. Looking for cheapest auto insurance in Florida?