Eroded

I know I’m not the only one dealing with a parent with senile dementia bordering on Alzheimer’s. So how is it done? How do I keep my own sanity?

My mother has forgotten I sold her car. And she’s mad at me.

Back up to three years ago when she was admitted to hospital for pneumonia. When she came out, it was decided by the doctor that she should no longer be driving. She was 83. According to our laws she needed to go for a road test and she didn’t feel up to it. So she let her license go. We all thought it was for the best.

I hung on to her car for a year and then sold it. I didn’t need it and neither did she.

For the past three days I’ve been getting calls from her, asking:

What happened to my car?

Why didn’t you tell me you sold it?

Is nothing that’s mine, mine?

Why didn’t I have any say in the matter?

If I’d known, I wouldn’t have let you sell it.

Am I a non-person now?

Do you have anything else of mine you can sell [out from underneath me]?

I may as well die and get it over and done with…

Where’s my car?

Four or five phone calls a day, every day. Each call lasts half an hour or so and and goes around in the same circle. Same questions over and over. There’s nothing I can say to convince her she knew and agreed at the time. The logic that she didn’t need it is met with, “I wouldn’t have given up my license. I’ll just get it again, then I’ll get my car back. I want my car back.”

A couple of times I’ve managed to distract her from the cycle of questions, but she just phones back and starts again.

I’m worn out. I’m an only child and I have no other family here, so I’m on my own with her care.

I’m at a loss.

An update on the ex thing

When I got home the other day (how long has it been now? Five days?) I decided to go ahead and answer my ex’s mother about the graduation pictures she’s been waiting for, and my ex’s girlfriend about the Christmas present. I had mixed results.

I sent my ex-mother-in-law a zip file of a bunch of photos I had. I’m not sure whether or not she opened the zip file – she never answered me back. Payback maybe? Whatever.

As for the ex’s girlfriend, I wrote back and told her that my son has been asking for a Nintendo 3DS for ages, and “it would be great if you could get him that – thanks!” She replied that she talked to my son on the weekend, and he said he wanted clothes and books. Not to be outdone, I replied, “Great! You can get him the 3DS for his birthday (in two weeks) then! 😀 ” She sent back a note to say she thought he already had a DS. I said he does, but they don’t make games for it anymore. She never answered me back.

My only regret is that I’ve already bought him a laptop. The 3DS will be less than half the price. Then again, I’m not holding my breath that they’ll buy it for him.

After all that, I texted my ex and asked him for an apology. The answer I got back was, “Sorry!”

Was that, I’m so sorry I feel like I need to put an exclamation on it? Or was that, I’m sorry! Now shut up and leave me alone!? Probably the latter. You’ve just gotta laugh.

Time

I went to an interesting writer’s workshop today, during which the presenter asked us whether or not we give ourselves permission to make time to write. Because one thing that is true for almost every writer, writing isn’t all we do, and other things often take precedence over our writing. She said that if our writing is meaningful to us, we must take the time. It’s important.

I wanted to say something about our families and that THEY don’t always allow us the time to write but, ironically, we ran out of time. Now I wish I’d said something.

Skip to the present.

My ex has two of our kids right now. I’m having a weekend off. I just got a text from him to say that because I didn’t answer messages from his mother about graduation pictures, and his girlfriend about what our youngest son wants for Christmas (yes, she’s already thinking about Christmas) that he has no faith in me. I answered, “I’m still waiting for graduation pictures (care to pay for them?) and I have no idea what he wants for Xmas. Why don’t you ask him? And what do you mean you have no faith in me? Who the fuck looks after them 90% of the time? I’m sorry I forgot to reply. I was busy looking after YOUR kids. All three of them.”

To which he replied, “You were busy doing nothing but you think you were doing something. Wake up and smell the fucking life.”

I have soooo had it with him. I’m trying to get a career going, between writing and taking editing courses, but from the outside it looks like a time-wasting hobby. I know that. I already feel as guilty as fuck that I’m not doing more. But what can I do when I’m looking after two disabled kids, alone, one of which is home 24/7 since he graduated? I have no support other than a babysitter and my eldest son. I can’t go out and work. I have a hard time making decisions for my kids who can’t. And where is my ex? He moved and bought a house 3 hours’ drive away from us and he’s taken the kids this weekend for the first time in 5 weeks. Normally, when he does have them, he stays home and I have to move out of my own fucking house! Spend money on hotels and meals just so I can get a break… and he has no faith in me? In me?

I’m fucking livid.

Help wanted: woman on the edge

I think I may have figured out what my problem is of late. Yes, menopause is a bitch on ‘roids and I’m sure part of it has to do with my hormones. But I’ve been on edge for so long, stressed out, unsure whether I want to race a car around the block on foot or sleep for a week, and I think some of it at least has to do with the fact that I haven’t written anything substantial in about six months. I thought writing a fiction post every day might help, but it doesn’t. All it really does is add to my workload of editing two novels, keeping up with my main blog, as well as caring for my kids and my mother… and my house. I really should vacuum one of these years.

My little guy is going away to his dad’s for the weekend, so I’ll have time (hopefully) to get at least one editing project finished. Speaking of that, if any of you would like to volunteer to proofread a 10K romantic comedy novelette, that’d be fantastic. It’s a quick read. I should be finished my own final edit by the weekend. I’ll get it to you after that. I’m hoping to get it published in June. Once that’s out of the way, I’ll get back to working on one of the two novels I’ve started. With any luck it will lead to a happier, more pleasant, Izzy. And maybe some of the hair I’ve been yanking out by the roots can start to grow back.

Advocacy

I had so many great blogging intentions yesterday. I was all set and ready to post my first Thursday Doors post when I got a call from my youngest kid’s teacher – the school advocates were going to visit the school. So I rushed over to get their help.

Their first question (and probably yours at this point too) was what’s the problem? My son is fed by g-tube, I told them, and is being forced to go to the infirmary every day to be fed. He’s alone over there with the nurses (particularly Nurse Nancy) when he’d rather be in the cafeteria, socializing with his friends. I added that we (myself, the principal and my son’s teacher) had tried to talk to Nancy about the set-up but she refused to even meet with us. They agreed that wanting to eat with his friends was a reasonable thing to wish for, and so we all (me and four advocates) walked over to the infirmary together. It’s a five-minute walk, outside. We’re in Canada, so that means it takes longer in the winter with getting dressed for the snow and then trudging through it.

First the advocates talked to my son, who said yes, he really really wanted to be fed in the cafeteria. So they approached the nurse. She was livid, as I expected her to be. She insisted she had never heard of a meeting, let alone refused one. She said my son spends enough time in the school already and doesn’t need to be there for lunch, to which the advocate replied he’s already disabled (he’s Deaf) and so, excluded from society. Having to be excluded further by taking him away from the precious time he has to socialize with his peers is potentially damaging to his psyche.

Nancy said it would take too long to feed him at the school, and that the other kids wouldn’t wait for him to go out for recess. But that, the advocate said, would still be time he doesn’t otherwise get to socialize. Then she said he could come to the infirmary earlier to get back for more recess time – so why couldn’t he start feeding earlier at the school and be finished at the same time as the other kids? It would also cut down on the traveling time.

Then she said it’s just the way it’s done – all the other Deaf schools in the province feed the kids with g-tubes in their infirmaries, to which the advocate said it’s not so. He’s seen kids in other schools feed in the cafeterias with his own eyes. Take that, bitch!

She said his feeding pump doesn’t work properly – I told her I have a new one on order and it will arrive next week. Ha! Take that times two, bitch!!

She said his behaviour when he’s at the infirmary is bad, so it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to eat in the cafeteria. The advocate said that’s not relevant. And besides, he’s a kid!!

Her final argument is that there isn’t the nursing staff to send over to the cafeteria. So the principal’s boss is going to talk to Nancy’s boss and see what can be done. As the advocate said to me, he has a right to eat with the other kids. He shouldn’t be punished for having an extra disability.

In all the years I’ve known Nurse Nancy, I’ve never got along with her. It’s like she’s desperate not to let go of my son. With the lack of any better excuses she blamed my son, (his behaviour) and me (the pump). It was wonderful to have someone on my side who didn’t back down. She’s a real nasty piece of work – I don’t think I’m the only one who’s a bit scared of her.

So they’re going above her head. I just hope she doesn’t make my son pay the price in the meantime.

My dilemma

Okay, so here’s the deal: My ex moved three hours’ drive out of town a couple of years ago. His job requires him to work way too much, and so he can’t see the kids every other weekend like he’s supposed to. Add to this the fact that he doesn’t want to drive 12 hours every weekend that he does have them, so he moves into my house and I have to move out. At my cost. As my mother so eloquently put it, I have to pay to leave my own home. When their dad does take them to his place (actually, only one of them because he doesn’t have room for both) he expects me to drive half way to meet him. At my cost.

From the time he had the kids last, to the time he has them next, I will have had them for 5 weeks (four weekends). My dilemma is this: do I start drinking wine now? And if so, should I try to have any of the 20 bottles I have in my basement left by the time I get another weekend off (at my cost)? Or should I just throw up my hands and drink the lot?

My life seriously fucking sucks sometimes.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Mother – #SoCS

I don’t like to talk about my mother on my regular blog, but I think I’m okay to talk about her here, where I’m somewhat anonymous. I’m not sure if any of my family follows this blog. I’ve only ever mentioned it once, a long time ago.

My mother is my only parent, my dad having died when I was young. I’m an only child, so it’s just her and me. And my kids, of course. I grew up with her, my dad, and their two best friends. My mother is the only one left. I used to think she was the lucky one, to have survived everyone else. Now I wonder.

She doesn’t remember anything from one minute to the next. She can ask me the same question every 15 seconds for 10 minutes. She’s beginning to lose her long-term memory as well. So I’ve been patient. But it’s not easy.

Lately she’s taken to accusing me of selling all she owned when I moved her into a retirement home. In actuality, she was there for the whole thing. She went through all her stuff and decided what to keep and what not to, she met the auctioneer who sold all she didn’t want. But now she asks me how I could sell everything she owns–her whole life–without telling her I was going to do it. It makes me feel small, guilty even, though I know I didn’t do anything wrong.

It’s tough watching your parents forget. It’s hard to deal with the forgetfulness, the anger, the bewilderment… And yes, I feel just as guilty for saying that maybe she’s not that lucky for having to go through all this. But life is cruel. I’m bewildered myself.

SoCS badge 2015

You can find the rules for Stream of Consciousness Saturday here https://lindaghill.com/2016/05/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-716/ 

A novel idea

Okay, so there’s this woman I’ve been “friends” with on social media for about eleven years now. She’s single, close to thirty years old, still living with her parents and hating it, looking for a job, and basically spending her life living off her art and playing video games. She’s a character and a half and I soooo want to write her.

But I’m not sure I can. You see, she has a particular ailment that she’s extremely sensitive about, that is so much a part of who she is that I can’t write it out of her. So if I write a novel and use her, even though it’s fiction, I’m sure she’ll see it to be herself. The novel, even though she is the protagonist, will not be very flattering as she herself has a rather distasteful personality. What to do…

I know! Isabella Morgan may just become an author.

What would you do?

Is your son at home?

Gotta love it when the school calls to say your kid is missing. That apparently the last person to see him, spotted him outside 45 minutes ago in his jacket and with his backpack. And this from an acting temporary principal who, to his credit, sounded legitimately nervous when he apologized for losing my son. He, then, sounded a bit relieved when I told him I could contact the miscreant via cell phone. Which I did. He’s back at school now.

That he’s an Autistic 20 year old makes things difficult in regards to disciplinary actions. But hey, rules are rules. He’s probably facing the consequences as I write this.

Thank god for cell phones.

It’s My First Blogaversary!

Isabella Morgan has officially been alive for one year. Funny, I don’t feel a day less than 25.

I think about updating this blog every so often, but strangely I can never think of a thing to say when I get here. I intend to hang on to it though. Never know when I’m going to want to lash out over something that I can’t express, using my real name.

Anyhoo, I’m not saying anything here either, other than that I’m amazed it’s been a year. Maybe I should make a resolution to come back here every so often and post what I’m really thinking. Which is usually along the lines of, WHAT THE FUCK?

Happy Blogaversary to me!