Mater, Mommy, Ma, Ama, Madre, Mueter, Em, Mami, Ummi, Mamma… My Mom

Boy Meets Mom…..

I wonder……………….. I wonder…………………. I wonder……………………………………………

A new development………. I’ve met a boy. Yes, a real boy who actually doesn’t care that my mom is demented. This has always been one of my greatest fears since leaving NYC: Meeting someone who would happily, openly, lovingly accept me and my family….. my mom. For every boy I’ve met over last year, there’s one thought that immediately consumes me—will he accept her? Will he accept this part of me? Will he still want to be with me after he meets the woman who physically pushed me over so she could get to her crush, the priest?

They’ve all failed….. I simply can’t picture it. I can’t picture these men coming over to my dad’s house, sitting there calmly as she spits on the living room floor.

I think this one can hang. I hope he can hang. He knows. I’ve warned him. Maybe I should have given him a more obvious OUT.

God, will he really accept her, the behaviors?

Would I…. if the roles were reversed? Would I smile sweetly? Pretend it doesn’t bother me?

You know, I don’t know what I would do. If this had never happened to her…………….. what would I be like today?

It is what it is I guess…

So when he meets her……………………………………………………………..

Will he smile when spits on the floor? Will he be patient when she points and laughs at someone because they’re overweight? Will he pat me on the back when she looks in the mirror and starts laughing uncontrollably? Will he accept that, unlike maybe his past relationships, I don’t have a typical relationship with my parents.

I, with my dad, am her keeper.

So,the new man in life is going to meet mom next week. He knows the idea of this big meeting is making incredibly nervous, mostly because I know what she’s going to say………..

Translated for those who can’t read dementia (otherwise insert the word fruita, gatos, pajaritos for every other word)………

“Do you speak Spanish?” Fair question.

“I don’t speak English.” She will likely say this in English as she always does.

“Are you going to get married?” Woman cuts to the chase fucking pronto!

“Are you going to have babies?” Jesus, mom!! Really?

“Are you going to take care of her?” I’m 32 for Christ’s sake. Minus the fact that I can’t figure out my budget and I’m over $40+ in my checking account, I’ve made it thus far just fine!

“Do you speak Spanish because I don’t speak English” Again, spoken in English.

My manfriend is very sweet and compassionate. I think he’ll do OK. I keep saying that. I can’t help it. The spitting for me is the worst part. Every single time she does it, it kills me…….. He knows she might hack one right next to him, but he says he understands, that it’s part of the disease and her behaviors are not who she is……… who are you, dude?

Still, there’s a part of me that’s scared. Not because my mom keeps pictures of my ex-husband (not my ex husband, but she can’t remember his name and that’s how she refers to my ex boyfriend) in the house—I’ve told dad to remove. ASAP—but because what if he decides it’s just too much. Too grotesque. The never-ending burden. She’ll only get worse. There is no happy ending. What if he says, listen…….. I just want a normal girl in my life…….

Normal. Normal. Normal. Normal. Normal. Normal. Normal. Pretty. Sweet. Docile. A mom. A dad. Normal. Happy. Smiling. Laughing. Lunches. Pedicures. Normal. Normal. Normal. Normal. Scottsdale. Normal. Normal. Normal. Healthy. Normal. Normal.

I feel like damaged goods. Damaged in the sense that I know that my load is a heavy one. I don’t come with one piece of carry-on, I come with several pieces of luggage that are clearly way over the weight-limit.

I don’t know how this is going to unfold. I think he’ll be OK. I think I’ve met someone really great. Kind. Patient. Understanding. I’ll post an update. Meeting is slated for next week.

Turning the BIG 33 on Thursday. It’s been 5 years since we’ve known something was wrong. Here we are. Another chapter: Boy Meets Mom.

>>Photo from Flickr’s Creative Commons ECATONCHEIRES

I ate my e-mail

Another challenging conversation with my mother. She often, and what seems like more often than before, mixes up one word with another—over and over and over. It’s like she’s thinking about doing something like e-mailing her sister in Ecuador and then says something like, “I like e-mailing the food,” or “The food has too much e-mail,” or “No, I’m not going to put e-mail in my coffee.” You get my drift.

I think one of the frustrating things about dealing with a demented parent is trying to slip into their world. You just want your parent to be like they used to be. No child of a demented mother or father wants to play the role of parent. It stinks and it’s incredibly heart-breaking, but coping sometimes involves developing strategies, like dipping your big toe into their world even for a quick moment, that may ultimately help you cope. Or maybe not. I’m just blogging about my own experience (my disclaimer).

So, instead of correcting mom repeatedly, like I did and do, I should have just, “si’d” her. It would have saved me the stress and anxiety a typical conversation with mom causes me. Moving forward, my goal is to try to let her say what she says without pulling a repeat-after-me, it’s Cho-le-ste-rol.

The A-Word

You probably, like a lot of people, don’t know what to say. You don’t know what to say about the title of this random blog, My Demented Mom, or maybe you’re disgusted by how crude the title sounds… not sure what to tell you. What I can say is that my mom has dementia. Her docs say it’s likely a mix of multi-infarct dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, although they’re not sure about the Alzheimer’s part. Regardless, she is changing into someone I barley recognize.

What I do know is that this since learning of her “diagnosis,” my life has not been the same. Let’s face it, when you think something might be wrong with your parent, you hope it’ll go away and you can cope with life and go one. But when you learn that your parent has something so awful as dementia—and there is no cure, no stopping this disease in its track—you come face to face with the inevitable. She will inevitably get worse. She will inevitable forget who I am. While my mom is thankfully happy and very busy for a demented lady (she goes to adult day care and is incredibly active with her church), I am grief stricken.

I am 31 years old and I feel cheated.

Continue reading “The A-Word”