Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The One I'm Glad I Didnt Write Last Night

Because it would have consisted mostly of swearing. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but, you know, some content is a good idea.

My mother is fucked. This much we already know from previous posts such as this one or this one .

Here's another example.

3 weeks ago, when coming out of the supermarket, she gets bowled over by some dickhead who wasnt watching where he was going. She falls hard onto the concrete pavement on her left hip. Keep in mind my mum is 73. She can hardly move. She cant sit in her regular chair because she cant get in and out of it. I have to take down my walking frame for her so she can get about. She's got huge bruises on her hip and arm. She refuses to see a doctor, saying she'll wait and see how she goes.

Well for 3 weeks she has gone absolutely nowhere. She cant get dressed, she can hardly walk, she cant go to bed because it hurts too much to lift her leg the couple of inches required to get in, so she's sleeping upright every night in her crappy old armchair. Not only cant she get dressed, but she cant get her support stockings on which she needs to wear every day for her unbelieveably bad varicose veins. She has worn these stockings every day for 30 years. She needs them. She hasnt worn them in 3 weeks. This can lead to a blood clot ending up in her brain or her heart or lungs.

So The Brother agrees with me that she needs to get some medical attention. His wife, who is a Registered Nurse, also agrees that she could have a hairline fracture of the hip or some muscle damage. So, I have The Conversation with her last night. About how we all are concerned she's not getting any better and she needs medical attention to find out what is going on.

She flatly refuses. More than that, she starts yelling at me in her whiney pathetic victim voice that I cant make her go to the doctor and she's not bloody going to the doctor and to just leave her alone and leave her in peace. Kinda reminds me of me when I was in PRIMARY SCHOOL and didnt want to go to school that day. I told her she was being ridiculous and that what she was doing was not helping her heal at all and that she needed to be seen so we knew if there was anything major wrong. More whining. I told her she was behaving just like her mother by being so stubborn and selfish and expecting everyone to run around and look after her and she should bloody well get some help. At which point she tells me that no-one is running around after her.

Oh. Really. Thats not what I recall:

"Panda, you'll have to go to Coles to pick up some things for us tomorrow, we've run out of cereal and bread and this and that. Panda, you'll have to go to the bank for me because I just dont know when I'll be able to get there on my own. Panda, you'll have to do all my grocery shopping again this fortnight. Panda, you'll have to take your father to the specialist on your own tomorrow, I cant get into a car."

Yeh, and how about: Panda, I chose to bury my head in the sand about my husband's deteriorating mental state for 5 years until he's had so many bloody strokes he barely knows who I am because I'm a selfish bitch but now you can do all the things I should have done years ago.

"Is that right? Well thank you very fucking much." I hung up on her.

Of course, she rings back straight way and leaves a message telling me to not get Uppity and to leave her alone in peace.


Refuse medical attention. Accept the consequences of your selfish pig-headed attitude and dont come crying to me in 6 months when you still cant dress yourself.

Stupid cow.

Because, really, what she wants is for me to take on the role that she played with her mother. The Selfless Carer/Martyr. Only my mother wasnt that selfless. She bitched constantly about having to go down to see her mother on the bus several times a week, and lug all her grocery shopping home for her, and cook for her and clean her house, and care for her when she was ill or had people break into her house and beat her to within an inch of her life ("oh no, I dont need to see a doctor..."). Gran was almost completely blind, almost completely deaf, lived on her own without a telephone (and refused to have one connected), and expected mum to do everything for her. No outside help was allowed. No meals on wheels, no nursing visits, no home-delivered groceries.

Well she can take a flying fuck at the moon. It aint gonna happen.

I accept that I have some responsibility towards making sure my elderly parents are okay. My dad really doesnt have the capacity for taking responsibility for himself now. But my mother does. If she wont take responsibility for her own health and well-being, what can I do? My primary responsibility is towards the unborn Piglet, and that involves putting me first. My secondary responsibility is towards Monkey Boy, who will soon be having surgery on his shoulder to correct a tear in the tendon.

My primary responsibility is NOT towards a grown woman who should know better attempting to play the victim/martyr role and manipulating me into doing everything for her while she refuses to do anything to help herself, thereby making me feel physically even worse than I already do.

I'm not playing her game.


  1. Hi Panda, delurking to tell you that your mum's behaviour is infantile and completely unfair to you. It seems like a lot of old ladies behave like this, so she wouldn't be the first.

    Can your brother or SIL do anything more than you are doing? I hope she starts being sensible if only to let you get on with growing your bub(her grandchild, if that matters to her!) in relative peace! You are right, she has the capacity to help herself and she really SHOULD.

  2. Oh, Panda... this is just AWFUL. You are absolutely 100% correct and don't you dare let yourself doubt that regardless of how long your mother carries on with this irresponsible behaviour.

    Your responsibilities are to yourself, piglet, and MB... This must be your daily mantra...

    CRAP I wish I could help...

  3. I am sorry you are dealing with this, nobody should have to. Believe me when I say I know what you are going through. Good for you for hanging up on her after she proved she was going to continue to be self-destructive and nasty.

  4. figjam8:45 pm

    God mothers can be pains in the arses! Will it make you feel better that my Mum diagnosed herself with ADD recently and then decided to use her grandsons Dexamphetamines. My sister went ape at her for pinching her sons medication as it a controlled substance and very monitored. Besides of course she's taking something that's not prescribed.
    Anyway is there someway you can make sure that they get help (especially for your Dad) but not get involved?
    I have no idea which part of SA you're in but each council has good services. Burnside who I found by google has a great page on what they can do for the aged in their council
    Otherwise I would ring your Mum's GP and tell him to do a home visit.
    Other than that I wouldn't put up with the whole emotional blackmail - been there done that and you don't need it.
    Good luck with it.

  5. Wow. I'm sorry Panda. Can you call the authorities and rat her out? Tell them that she is refusing to allow you to get her medical treatment and that you think she may be a danger to herself?

    I agree with Manuela - you are 100% in the right here.

  6. cherice10:17 am

    Holy shit Panda! It sounds like you have gone above and beyond the call already! It is so frustrating when they do the whole childish martyr routine. I'm okay, don't worry about me, leave me be and then complain continuously that everyone is ignoring them.

    I don't think it's by coincidence that she is choosing to contact you and not your brother.

    She needs to take stock and realise it's not all about her and that you now have a more pressing priority and that is a guinea pig that genuinely needs to be entirely dependent upon you.

    Remember to take care of your, the monkey boy's and guinea pig's needs. You have other things to attend to now including your health and sanity.


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