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A Funny and A Sad Blurb From My Mom…

Went to visit my mom today at the mental health facility.

Her dementia is far more evident now that her bipolar and aggression are under control, and it is sad to realize how much she’s losing. She clutches a piece of paper with my number and my dad’s in her hand all day long.

She was happy to see us- Maisie gave her hugs and kisses. Maisie was allowed in as long as a nurse was there to supervise.

My mom’s odd, frontal temporal lobe, filter lacking sense of humor shone through when I filled her in about the dodgy assisted living home owner guy. I mentioned to her that he’d been insistent that she needed to divorce my dad.

Mom: “What did he say?!”

Me: “He said you needed to divorce dad, he was insisting and asking when this would happen”

Mom: “I don’t remember spending time with him, did I give him a blowjob or something? Why is he asking this??! I don’t remember giving him a blowjob…”

She laughed and then said “Get me out of there, I don’t like that”

A few minutes later, with a straight face, she said:

“You need to tell your dad I want a divorce”… and she was back in her sad dementia loop again.

We could only visit for an hour, as visitation is 7:30-8:30 pm only.

When I got home, she called crying, saying we left too early. She read the sign, then saw the clock and realized we left at the right time.

She was both funny and heartbreaking tonight.

I have a sick pit in my stomach.

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Court or No Court? Consent or No Consent? Panic Attack or No Panic Attack? PLUS UPDATE and VLOG

Trying not to have a panic attack right now… woke up to a call from the social worker at the psych ward my mother is currently in. Apparently, she can’t tell me much, due to some confusion as to whether or not my mother has given consent to release information.

HIPAA law is an asshole, in my opinion, at this very moment.

I am her POA (Power of Attorney). I’ve been having her ‘flag down’ a nurse every time I talk to her to give VERBAL CONSENT on the telephone since she’s been in this facility.

We did not have this type of runaround at Pine Rest, so it is very frustrating.

Things my mom’s current social worker DID/was able to tell me:

1. No, my parents aren’t compelled to divorce as per the group home owner’s questioning.

2. She is compiling a list of ‘safer’ homes that would be (in their mind) a better fit. AFC homes aren’t locked facilities. The doctor recommends a locked facility right now, as she is not stable on meds.

3. When I asked about the paper I received last night re: the mental health court hearing on the 6th, I was told that I should contact the court house- specifically a person in the probate court that the hospital itself deals with.

Apparently, there may not even BE a court hearing that day, as she was given 3 options and one was to waive the hearing- which would mean she would be agreeing to treatment.

UPDATE:

Left a message with the guy the social worker directed me to and received a call back. He confirmed that my mother had indeed met with her court-appointed lawyer the other day and signed a waiver agreeing to comply with medical treatment… when I asked if this means I should still pursue the guardianship or not, I was told to absolutely do so.

Now I have to go to visitation tonight and have her sign a written consent form to allow these people to talk to me.

I am really anxious about this, all of it.

Pursuing guardianship is a lot of work and a lot of responsibility. I do already make almost all of the health decisions and do the legwork for my parents, but not in any official sort of capacity. My sisters don’t want the responsibility- they live far away and are very ill themselves.

Leaving guardianship up to a stranger would be unhumane and irresponsible, in my opinion.

I am going to vlog the rest. This is too much too type for me this early in the morning.

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Guilt and Waking Up at 3 am

Tonight I didn’t answer the phone when my mother called repeatedly from the psych ward at Lakeland.
 
I wanted to have one night this week where we could pretend life was ‘normal’ and not falling down around our heads- so that we could all enjoy Halloween and not spend it crying.
 
She left a ton of messages on my voicemail, each wondering if I knew she was in the hospital.
 
I woke up abruptly from sleep,with this huge sense of dread and guilt weighing heavily upon me. I wouldn’t even call it guilt- it was remorse. Stomach churning, benign neglect of another human being. I have been doing this a lot lately- just to try to save my own sanity- and it makes me ill inside.
 
I could tell that she didn’t remember her previous calls and it scared me. I could clearly hear the panic and confusion in her voice, the not remembering part… and it was heartbreaking.
 
What a difference it was from our visit with R’s 93 year old grandmother tonight! She lives alone and is only a bit forgetful, but otherwise sharp as a tack. It almost served as a painful foil, a bittersweet contrast.
 
My mother is 20 years younger than Nana. This monster that has consumed her entire life, seems to be now eating away at her brain, like pac man.
 
It is hard to distinguish the bipolar, the mental illness, from the dementia- she is so clever and sad and angry and anxious and lonely. She is still HER inside of her core and it is going away bit by bit.
 
Tomorrow, I finally head to the courthouse to apply for guardianship. We had been ill (and I’ve been depressed) since the previous week, so it hasn’t been done yet.
 
If you ask me how I feel, I’d say so sad. I feel as if this is my lot to bear, not because I truly love or respect or even feel like she was or is my parent- but because she is my parent, I have to do this. I don’t know if this makes any sense to anyone else.
 
I would never want my children to feel the same apathy that I do about my parents. All of this, including Maisie being born so recently, has given me a second chance to re-examine my relationships with my family, myself, and those around me.
 
Unfortunately, I come up lacking in so many regards, but I know I can fix ME. I can’t fix her or my dad or my siblings.
 
I wish I could make them love me or me them, really.
 
I wish I had a magic wand to fix this for everyone.
 
My only solace is giving my 2 youngest kids the magical childhood- as much as I can- and love that I wish I would have had myself.
 
I thought I felt better today… and I do… but I am kind of upset to have woken up crying at 3 am, sad all over again and typing.
 
The people who know me in real life know that I am not prone to being this weepy mess- so it is really bothering me to feel this raw and exposed.
 
So, like any brave Aquarian would- I’m going to go with it and try to learn to love me and be authentic.
 
If anyone else is going through similar, I want you to know you’re not alone.
 
xo
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Why the 40s are the best years of my life

Once upon a time I was an abuse survivor- 

Once upon a time I was an abuser-

Once upon a time I was a selfish cow who believed my own hype-

Once upon a time I was chronically depressed and unhappy-

None of the above is true anymore.

None of the above applies to my current life, nor has it in almost 8 yrs.

Someone once told me that the 40s were the best years of their life- way back when I was still in my early 30s and couldn’t even FATHOM being ‘that old’.

For me it is completely true.

My 30s were pretty decadent. I had a successful career that took me all over the world. I hobnobbed with the rich and famous. I was fit and in shape.

I was miserably unhappy and chronically depressed. My relationships with my family, my loved ones, myself were so unhealthy.

My 40s brought a separation from my long-suffering spouse, 2 small strokes (TIAs), the diagnosis of lupus, many deaths of people close to me, dealing with a (then) bipolar teen son with a substance problem, the diagnosis of bipolar and dementia in my mother- also, a new partner in my life, and a baby girl at 45.

The ‘bad’ things that happened weren’t so bad.

I found out that my chronic fatigue and frequent health problems I’d suffered all my life (and depression) were caused by alarmingly low vitamin D3 levels and an autoimmune disorder.

My sisters, mother, and niece all suffer from the same things. Had I not been diagnosed, neither would they have been.

My TIAs (and frequent miscarriages in the past) were genetic and due to my hypertension and Factor V Leiden which causes ‘thick blood’ and blood clots. I now take blood thinners and blood pressure meds. I was forced to change my diet and go semi (to total, depending on my whim) vegetarian/vegan.

I started juicing, working out, quit smoking after 25 yrs and started vaping.

I had to get tough with my family regarding my son’s (and mother’s) bipolar. It was a rough few years, but now at 22 (knock wood), he is on his way to becoming the person I always knew he could be. My mom’s issues will never be resolved, really. She now has dementia, so it is all downhill from here.

I had to get tough with MYSELF about my own emotional responses and PTSD from a childhood of abuse.

Therapy was a godsend for my family and me. You just take each day as it comes and live in the now.

My new-found healthy living gained me a great partner who is understanding, kind, loving- and quite a bit younger (though his maturity level probably tops mine by a TON). It also (with the help of the said person above) got me pregnant at 45.

I started growing my own heirloom veggies and went from glamma wannabe to hippie earth-mother.

I rarely travel any more and I am ok with this. My life is cozy and happy and I am catching all the bits I missed as a young mother with children.

Being happy- being content and at peace- is it’s own reward.

If someone offered me ‘the old me’ of 13 plus years ago, I’d run away.

Life is meant to be lived with the people closest to your heart.

Anything else is meaningless.