When I got to t today I told J that I wouldn’t be there next week because my mother is having surgery. I am spending the night at her house on Sunday night, taking her to the hospital Monday morning, spending the night with her in the hospital Monday night (she asked me to, but said we could play that by ear) and then taking her back to my house on Tuesday where she will spend the week.
He asked me how that would go, and I told him that it probably wouldn’t go too well, but she is my mother, so what can I do. The worst part is that she and my husband don’t like each other at all. I gave J some examples of the things my mother says so he could get an idea of what she is like. He told me I should tell my husband how much I appreciate him tolerating her, but I said he doesn’t really tolerate her, he is rude to her.
Part of my mother’s surgery is having her bladder fixed. She told me that it is my fault that she is having this surgery because it happened when she was giving birth to me. When I went with her to the doctor, she also told the doctor that it is my fault. This is what I have to deal with!
I told J that I didn’t want to spend the whole time talking about my mother. He asked me if I had an agenda and I told him what is going on with my cousin. I wrote most of the story in my last post, but on Sunday I did go over to see her. One thing we decided to do was that I called her mother, my Aunt M, to try to get her to understand what is going on, and to tell her that we needed to all be a team to support my cousin. Aunt M is very self-centered, and spent most of the time talking about how horrible her ex-husband was to the kids, and talking about her own therapy.
My cousin was feeling very bad on Sunday. It was so hard to see her that way. I stayed for about four hours or so, not doing much, just talking, just listening. I hate for her to be alone.
Then later in the evening I talked to Aunt H (the one I like, who is the sister of my cousin’s mother). Somehow she started delving into the past also, talking about something my mother and Aunt M did twelve years ago, blah blah blah. I told J that I just want to help my cousin, I don’t want to have to deal with all of this crap from the past. It is not the time right now….but they all seem to want to unload on me.
I was telling J about how I was researching inpatient programs, and I was emailing with my two aunts. I got in touch with my old crisis hotline supervisor and she gave me some leads, and I found out a program in a hospital near me. So I gave my aunts the information and I said, “Here are the names of a few places. Do you want to split up the list and we can each try to find out something?” Do you think they offered to do that? No. Neither of them offered to make one call. Aunt H even found a phone number for NIH and when she emailed it to me she said, “I know this phone number works because I tried it and got a bunch of prompts, one of which is to talk to a real person.” Well, if she got that far to reach the prompts, why didn’t she stay on the line and actually talk to the real person? I asked J if that was too much to expect, he didn’t think so.
So J and I talked about this whole situation, how to deal with my aunts, and my cousin, and my conflicting feelings about the whole thing. When I was going over to my cousin’s house on Sunday I was thinking “I don’t really want to go.” And I felt so bad for not wanting to go to her. I told him that I also feel selfish, because I like to be needed, and she needs me right now, and this shouldn’t be about me. And I also feel somewhat resentful that my aunts, one of whom is her mother, aren’t stepping up to the plate. As a matter of fact Aunt M stopped talking to my parents and me when I was a child, so we really don’t have much of a relationship. But when I talked to her last night she was crying and thanking me, and then she said, “I love you, I love you.” I told J she doesn’t love me, she just loves that I am taking control of the situation and doing something for her daughter because she can’t or won’t.
I thought J and I had a good conversation, with me expressing my fears about this whole situation, particularly that her depression would “rub off” on me (I know that sounds ridiculous.) But I don’t want to be taken advantage of by my aunts, and I let people do that, and since I am not in such a great place mentally I don’t know what affect this will all have on me. But that is beside the point, because I know I need to do whatever I can for her. And J gave me the name of hospital that he has had good experiences with.
J told me that he thinks I am having good insights about all of this, and I am aware of the emotional pitfalls and my typical behaviors that cause me trouble. He said this could be therapeutic for me, because there are many parallels between my cousin’s life and mine, and what she is going through and what I am going through, and our mothers are similar. I also told him that when this is all over I bet my cousin and Aunt M will go back to not having much to do with me. He asked why that matters, and I said it doesn’t matter, but it will hurt. He said that it is good to go into it knowing I could get hurt, and I said it seems stupid to go into a situation knowing I will get hurt in the end. He said, “Like relationships? Like owning a pet?” Yes, like that I suppose.
So I get a week off next week, but frankly I would rather go to therapy than have my mother staying here. He wished me good luck.
I know I am not keeping up with others’ blogs right now, and I feel badly about that. This situation is just occupying my time, real time and emotional time. I was up at 4:30am thinking about her and what to do for her. I promise to catch up soon.