Crossroads.

Apologies to anyone who reads my blogs. I feel that lately I’ve lost my exuberance. I keep hoping it will be found at the bottom of the biscuit tin, but to no avail!

Yesterday afternoon, I certainly lived up to my ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ title. As my Parents and I arrived back at their house, I saw Bella, their neighbour’s cat, walking towards me, (or so I thought). I picked up this beautiful girl, and carried her up the road and into my Parents’ house. This gorgeous tabby was wandering around their living room, miaowing loudly and exploring everything. I said to my Dad that I’d never noticed Bella being so vocal before. He seemed oblivious to the beautiful feline presence strolling around. With the mention of Bella, he just looked out to their Greenhouse and said “She’s quite chatty sometimes. I don’t think she’s moved from that spot all day.”… As I looked out at a sleeping Bella, it suddenly dawned on me that I’d stolen one of their other neighbour’s cats! (I can think of worse crimes!). Suffice to say, I let the gorgeous little tabby out the front door to go about her day.

My Dad had the Speech Therapist at the house yesterday morning, so I left them to it until lunchtime. When I arrived, my Dad had a horrendous cut on his lip. It had obviously bled quite heavily, as he had dried blood all around his mouth. Questioning him as to what had happened, it transpired that he’d fallen in the garden that morning. When I asked him if he was hurt anywhere else, my Mum spoke over him and said “he was fine.” I then asked the question again, and he told me he’d cut his knee badly too. It frustrates me so much that my Mum cannot see any dangers, or appreciate that someone might be hurt. Again, this is a totally new role for her, as she has always been the Mother Hen worrying over her brood.

Their garden, although very pretty, is very rocky with hidden steps. It’s so unsafe for Dad now that he is unsteady on his feet at times. I, again, found myself presenting my case to look for a bungalow for them. My Mum fought back rather ferociously, telling me that “everybody falls over in their gardens”… Do they really?!! What a pathetic argument! My Mum took a tumble a few weeks ago, whilst hanging out the washing. She cut her hand really badly, but didn’t appear to feel any pain. This worries me even more.

My Dad’s mood has not shifted, his anxieties are incredibly exacerbated right now. It’s so sad to see. Yesterday, my Mum was so abrupt and hard with Dad, this is totally heartbreaking. They’ve been inseparable and connected all their lives. Now, in their difficult chapter of life, my Mum’s own deterioration means she’s short with Dad. This then makes Dad feel guilty for feeling like he does, which, in turn, exacerbates his anxieties. So many people keep telling me that it would not be healthy for me to be their Primary Carer. However, I’ve been exactly that for the last four months. I’m learning that I have to be careful with how I handle advice. Although I’m grateful for input from anybody, I’m also fairly guarded. Only your own heart can give you to the truth. I’m a big believer in that. I feel at such a crossroads in my life right now. I feel the shittiest employee. I wouldn’t blame the staff at my school for giving up on me. I know I’ve got decisions to make. I’m always being told what the decision should be. However, nobody is living this with my parents, but me, and I don’t know if I can walk away from such a fragile and volatile situation.

My two kids were such a breeze to raise. When I think of all the rebelling I did as a teenager, I consider myself so fortunate that Hats and Louis were so good. However, right now, I feel parenting my Parents is a damn sight harder. Perhaps it’s payback for testing their patience all those years ago?!

I feel a chat with our Key Worker is imminent. I need that sounding board. My poor hubby has had to endure the Sophster’s wrath this week, I expect he’s so grateful that he goes to work each day, just to get away!

My Mum has a three hour appointment in January, for brain scan, memory tests etc. I won’t tell her about this appointment until nearer the time. January feels so far away right now, whilst I’m desperate for clarity, answers, diagnosis and so on.

Anybody else going through similar journeys with their own Parents will appreciate the conflicting emotions you encounter. Maybe we should meet up, once a week, on the top of a hill, to vent?! Please bring cake! Xxxx

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2 thoughts on “Crossroads.

  1. That was a rough blog to read, Soph, but so glad that you wrote it. I completely understand why you are being given advice not to be the Primary Carer for your parents – people love you and have your best interests at heart – but, in many ways, you are surely the best person to fight their corner for them. The fact that you are so close to them will make this journey very much harder but who else knows them like you do? Who else can see and articulate the changes that have happened to them both like you can? Yes, I think looking after elderly parents can be a lot harder than raising children, in many respects – the relationship with parents is so complex and formed over such a long time and every adult ‘child’ in your situation will be dealing with a unique set of circumstances. You are right – it is a crossroads for you, too. The volcano that was your Dad’s stroke has poured its lava over you and Clive and Hats and Lou too and life has changed for all of you. While you are still waiting for different agencies to step up to the mark and put actions in place, you are having to bear the weight of all the problems and decisions – this is horribly unfair and, in a world where those agencies were able to do their jobs properly, you would already be getting much more support. Thank goodness you have a good Key worker – lean on her, pass some of the problems to her, let her help and support you where she can. And keep letting the rest of us know just how bloody difficult this whole situation is, because it helps us to help you, too.

    As to work – that feeling of guilt is one you need to put away in a mental ‘box’ and try to forget about. Your colleagues know you well enough to understand that being away from work you love is not what you want to happen. But they will also know that, at the moment, that’s what has to happen. They will understand. Management might look at things differently, but that doesn’t need to be thought about now.

    I am here and on hand to provide cake and companionship at the top of that hill, any time you need it! Love you lots and lots xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gini, Thank you so much, as always, for your support and encouragement. I truly appreciate your words xxxxxx

      You’re completely spot on about the complexities of my Parents’ relationship. It’s an absolute tangled mess right now. My Dad told me again yesterday that he wants to be put somewhere to give them both space. All I can do is action what he says. Today, I’ve organised a meeting with him and his Mental Health Practitioner. I spent all yesterday afternoon on the phone to various services. I’m becoming really frustrated with the whole system. They listen, but they don’t see to act upon all my concerns.

      Gini, I’m truly grateful for our friendship. You’re amazing. Love you lots xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Like

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