“I Luf You Mi Hijita!”

2542617388_15c21f8bd6I don’t even know why I’m writing this. I don’t know why I feel so compelled to share this with the world. My friend gave birth to her son the other day. As she was welcoming her baby boy into the world, I decided to place my mom in an assisted living facility. It’s the beginning of the end in my book. It’s a downward spiral. Thing is, we can’t care for her 24/7. We can’t keep her safe. We don’t have enough resources. I am numb. Maybe the percocet I took 72 hours ago is still working. I can’t feel a thing right now. Maybe I’m just too tired. Maybe my nervous system is systematically shutting down. Good. I don’t want to feel anything right now. I have felt enough this last year… I have cried enough this last year. I am done, but I can’t stop—even though all I want to do is stop… and then run away. Despite feeling numb, I know emotion will find me soon and it’ll overwhelm me when we actually leave her at her new home. I can’t even wrap my head around the idea of leaving her alone, scared, afraid, confused and left to the care of others. The day is coming up fast. Maybe sometime next week. She has no idea. She sat there looking at me as I called a list of homes to see if they had a room and would take our Medicaid. I looked at her and smiled. Numb. I should feel terrible. I do feel terrible, but I have to keep going. I can’t stop. I have to get through this. I have to do this. It’s for her safety and ultimate wellness… and her daughter and husband’s state of mind.

I am running through an emotional mine field.

I have found a few places that might work. One place in particular. Fingers crossed. Now, I have to figure out what to say. What do you say? How do you spin this terrible situation? I need a PR person to give me some talking points, please. I already know she’ll try to leave because she’ll want to feed her damn pigeons. Yes, she feeds pigeons—that was a fun fight. We quickly capitulated.  She’ll be scared. She’ll ask for “My Davo…” her husband, Dave. She won’t like it. When she’s upset or antsy, she’s like a child: nothing can please her… “no. no. no.” Then my mom will plead like a little girl… she does this when she wants something, “Mi hijita, why you do this? You help me? I luf you. You came from me, mi hijita. I luf you…”

Oh, Jesus.

I’ve never been in a fight. I’ve never been physically threatened. I can’t imagine a punch to my face. But I do feel like I’ve been emotionally kicked in the gut—repeatedly. Some days, I feel weird, not normal. Cold, angry, frustrated, unsure, filled with doubt, insecurity, loneliness, and fear. Other days, I can laugh. Laughter is my salvation. Make me laugh. Still, I feel like people look at me like I’m insane. I want to wear a T-shirt that reads, “I’m like this because my mom is demented, you dick!”

I hope that if life ever feels normal again, I won’t feel this way. I wonder if I have children, will I feel numb or detached, or will I love them? Most days, my heart feels like its encased in a hard, crusty calcium-covered shell.

7 Comments

  1. Dear Kathy,

    I am sending you a super hug just because it sounds like you could use it. We do the best we know how. Isn’t that what you did? The best you knew to do? You so obviously love your mom. You should take comfort in hearing that. Please know you are in my thoughts and wish you the very best.

    With Love,

    Terrilee
    ♥♥♥

    P.S. My T-Shirt reads:
    Awesome people care for the demented – which one are you?

  2. my own mom is currently in the hospital and I do not see how she will recover from her surgery and then some heart issues because her alzheimer’s makes it impossible for her to understand why she cannot pull out her tubes and do what she needs to do to get well. Today she said this is the worst train she has ever been on and she thinks she won’t go on any more vacations if they are all going to be like this. I haven’t been at this very long but I can certainly understand how exhausted you must be feeling. Be kind to yourself.

  3. Hi Kathy,

    Oh, I feel for you…it’s just so sad. My Dad has Lewy Body Dementia and Alzheimers but he isn’t as unwell, yet, as your Mom. Dad recently had his first stay in respite (I am the sole carer) and I can understand how you are feeling, the guilt, the feelings of betrayal…they’re awful, you feel like you have been run over by a truck. Then you go numb, shut off feelings because it’s the only way to cope and you also have to turn down/shut off feelings of love and this is what feels so foreign…a coldness overtakes us. It’s awful.
    Care facilities can give 24/7 care. I looked at the amount of staff where Dad stayed compared to just me doing the caring; eventually I will not be able to maintain the level of care needed and I will then be doing what you are doing now. I believe you are doing the right thing even though it may not feel like it.

    My heart goes out to you and your family and I send you lots of best wishes.

  4. you’re in my thoughts and prayers. i can’t even close to understand what you’re going through, but i’m here. hang in there, chica.

  5. God bless you. I know this is unbelievably rough for you. My mom was diagnosed with early dementia a few years ago. She was only 58 at the time. She’s got extreme short term memory loss, and conversations can become excruciating, the same questions repeated and I’m trying to calmly understand. My step-father is still with it and taking care of her now, but I know the time is coming where I’ll have to make the rough decision on “what to do with mother.” Worst of it is I’ve been mad at mom for years (least favored son) and now that she’s forgetting she can’t remember why we were mad. So a big hug to you, but don’t be too hard on yourself. You didn’t do this to your mom. You want to protect her, and you’re wise enough to know you can’t do it on your own, as much as you might want to. I watched my own mom get lost in a movie theater, so I understand the need to be vigilant, and you can’t do it twenty four hours a day. So I hope it works out, but know that you’re doing the best you can.

  6. “I’m like this because my mom is demented, you dick!”

    ..LOL.. you made me laugh! You are funny! At times, we just have to laugh or go nuts!

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