Still trying to figure out what’s normal

 

Anxiety vs codependency vs normal

 

Okay, so no such thing as normal so maybe the better word is healthy.

 

It goes like this. My mother was in the hospital for pneumonia. Prior to going in the hospital she was driving, going to the grocery store, cleaners, etc. She is a spunky, feisty, and very stubborn 90 year old. She has been in and out of the hospital 3-4 times over the past 3 years. Sometimes she comes home on 24/7 oxygen and sometimes she goes to rehab and then home. She always goes home and she always regains her independence. Being her only adult child that lives in the same state as her, she has played a big part in my anxiety.

She is home from rehab from a nursing home and she is back on oxygen 24/7. She was offered nursing visits, physical and occupational therapy visits. Everything was going well until she had to sign a consent form saying she agreed to having these professionals come to assist her. She declined to sign.

I wrote in my previous blog about when I was 5 years old I used to get caught in the “spin cycle” of a wave; spinning, spinning, out of control until the wave lost it’s power as it crashed into the shore.

The moment my mother declined to sign I went into an emotional “spin cycle”. It felt like the contents of my stomach were now at the top of my esophagus and standing in the ready position to launch onto my mother and the very patient nurse that was interviewing her. My heart was pleading for my mouth to release the expletives that had been storing up as I listened to my mother lie about her time in the nursing home. I could hear the committee in my head yelling, “REALLY, REALLY?”.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy and grateful that my mother is still alive. I don’t mind visiting her on my days off to help her. But not signing meant I would have to be over there ALOT more and I work full time. I have time available for parental FMLA but I am almost maxed out.  I can’t imagine life without her. And yes, there is a BUT at the end of that sentence.

Not only is she spunky, feisty, and stubborn but also very manipulative and controlling. If she were an actress she would have a houseful of Emmy’s, Oscars, and all the other acting awards. She lies like nobodies business and gets a quirky little smile when she gets away with it. As the youngest of her 6 children, I am the only one that can bear spending long periods of time with her.

Therefore I ask, what is codependent, anxiety and healthy.

Since she declined to sign, I have been advised to leave her on her own and visit her, at the most, one time a week. This advice is from people who have heard her humiliate me in front of the various medical providers she has had.

“Why do you keep helping her when she is so mean to you?”

Well, she’s my Mom. I can’t leave her to fend for herself. Besides, I get it. She has had control for all her life and now she is finding that she can’t do everything and it’s hard to accept that.

I get anxious just thinking about it. I feel like I should do so much more. Is that the co-dependent in me or is it the heart of a child for her mother. I’ve heard about people quitting their jobs to move in with an elderly parent. I’ve heard of people giving up their life as it is, putting it on hold and serving their elderly parent.

My husband and I lost our house to a short sale because we were going to move in with my mother. We sold most of our stuff and put the rest in storage. Two days before we were to move in she said she changed her mind and refused to have us move in. We made a special place in the new house we bought and she refuses to move in with us. The only thing I haven’t done is quit my job.

When she declined to sign the papers the anxious committee members in my head said she was trying to force me to quit my job to care for her.

Ugh!

Codependent, anxious, (normal) healthy response; what the hell do any of them look like cause I just can’t figure it out right now.

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