Posts Tagged 'stress'

I’m Back

I haven’t had a real bout of depression since my post back in November 2008 titled Depression. Every November it seems like I struggle around my dad’s birthday then add the holidays, while my grief is better I just miss him terribly.

This time however my depression was different, it lasted longer.

Taking care of my aunt for the last two years had started to take a toll on me. I could no longer do the 150 miles round trip two to three times a week to deal with her issues. Every day she was either upset, arguing with someone, dying or depressed. I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I now recognize I had become codependent. I found myself adapting or ignoring her behaviors which allowed me to be involved in fewer of her conflicts.

Then you toss in my mom. I felt like there was a contract out on me and they were the hit men.

I started experiencing anxiety and a rapid heartbeat. I was stressed and on the verge of tears all the time. My family was in protect mode.

But, like I said this time was different, I realized I needed to change. I started to prioritize everything that I was dealing with. I needed to make a decision what I could deal with. Changes had to be made.

I am no longer taking care of my aunt, I can no longer ride an emotional roller coaster and deal with someone’s problems if that person is not willing to see themselves and meet me halfway. While I miss her I realize she needs to seek help, I cannot do it for her. With just this one change in the last six months I have not had a problem with anxiety attacks or rapid heartbeat.

In May I placed my mom in respite care of eight days. EIGHT DAYS of not being responsible for meals, exercise, bathing, incontinence, EIGHT DAYS of not hearing the same questions a zillion times, and the biggie EIGHT DAYS of not being insulted. I called that one week Cinco de Mayo, because it gave this Mexican independence.

I would like to say my husband and I enjoyed those eight days catching up with friends; unfortunately it was spent redoing my mom’s bedroom. We redid her ceiling; crown molding, painting, hung new pictures, new bedspread the works. When she came home she was surprised and happy, her happiness lasted two days.

It’s still rough, she still makes me cry, but when she was gone I did miss her.

I have learned the meaning of “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” I am now being selective agreeing only to take on responsibilities that I know I can handle.

I’m back and have a lot to tell you about, my white haired stalker, my two granddaughters, my husband, kids, Christmas…

I will post soon and try to post every few days, so hold on the rides about to begin…..


Dog Whisperer

All my mom wanted to eat during the month of December was sweets. Even though we weren’t having Christmas until Feb 1st. We still had guests during the month and a party on Christmas Eve for my husband’s family, so naturally we had some treats.

After Christmas, however, the treats were gone. It was at that time my mother became horrible to live with. All she wanted to do was pick on me. I pointed out the changes in her mood and thinking, I tried to explain that she needed to eat more protein so she could think more clearly. (My mother suffers a form of dementia from lack of protein; it is reversible with a balanced diet which she refuses to eat.)  Well, once I mentioned the “D” word (dementia) I was no longer safe. She was all over me.

I don’t have dementia, your butt has dementia!”
“Mom, how can my butt have dementia, it doesn’t have a brain.”
“Well, neither does your

Okay, maybe she is smarter than I give her credit for.

It’s also during this time when my mother decided to get a full-time job and work overtime. She is now my official shadow. (Stalker.) She was even more difficult to live with. When I had enough, I would get up and go to the bedroom or bathroom and lock the door. Yes, I would lock the doors. She would be right behind me still causing problems.

“Why did you lock the door?”
“I just want to be by myself.”
“Open the door, what are you afraid of?”

Well, if you must know, this fifty-five, plus-size gal is afraid of 115lbs of Craziness.

During the last week of December she was at her worst. She thought I was the only one home with her. I hadn’t been home for a few hours and when I returned, I had hell to pay.  I came into the house, said I was home, and went into the bathroom. My husband was coming into the kitchen from the garage. My mom got up, went to the bathroom door, and started to pound on the door with her open hands.

“Who’s in there?”
“Me, Mom. It’s Nancy.”
“Open the door! (pounding) Open the door! (pounding)”

She scared the hell out of me. If I could have been able to get my big you-know-what out the window, I would have. My husband was laughing and said it was like a comedy skit. If you think I’m exaggerating, have someone pound on your bathroom door. It’s really loud. I can still feel my heart pounding (okay that’s an exaggeration).

I decided to call Muriel and tell her what happened. My son, Paul, answered so I told him the scenario.

“Mom, you need to watch Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer.”
“When he has dogs that don’t behave, it’s because they want attention. Do what he does, but with Grandma, and she’ll stop.”
“Paul, as much as Grandma drives me nuts, I’m not going to hit her on the nose with a rolled up newspaper.”
“No, Mom, watch the show. He ignores them until they have the appropriate behavior. You are the only one she does it to because you react.”
“So I can’t hit her with the paper?”

Well, I’m trying to ignore her the best I can. It seems to work. I’m only trying to interact with her when she is being nice. When she gets out of hand I just say to myself: “Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.”

In all fairness to Grandma, I truly think she was going through sugar withdrawal.

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