Iam trying to help my Aunt age 80. I went to pick her up to take her to cemetery to put flowers on her babies graves. This was planned. All I have heard for months, no one would take her. No one cared. So I called her last night and told her thats what we would do today. When I got there she felt to sick to go. She was Jeckel and Hyde the whole time I was there.
I knew she had bills to pay, so I suggested I write a check from my checking and she could pay me back when she got her check. She said NO. I ask why that wouldn't work. She screamed at me, I SAID NO N. O. Didn't I understand no.
For 3 hours it was this way. I prayed for patience more than once. She needs help, but I'm not sure she will accept mine. I do have all the papers signed that give me right to handle her account, I just have to figure how without the drama.
Today she was spiteful out to find fault with whatever I did or said.
I just needed to get this off my chest. Thanks for listening.
Your are all my friends. and I appreciate each of you more than you could ever know.
I am emotionally spent. I know stress is not good and we should avoid it. She has always been a complainer but not this bad. She lives about 25 minutes from me, other side of the county. So I can't just pop in. There is no one else that can help. or no one that will.
Marsha, You did your best to be kind to her. We have to learn not to take this stuff personally. Stress is so bad for us - I know it always increases my symptoms. Hang in there and try to relax. It does help to vent. We are there for you. SROCC20655
I echo that sentiment. You cannot do more than your best. The drive alone must have been hard for you and you had been willing to carry out her wishes when your own energy resources are in short supply.
I have had a plentiful supply of elderly relatives and I am convinced that a lot of the time when they are wanting things doing for them, all they really want is company and they think that no-one will visit unless they have a specific purpose.
One great aunt of mine had four different nieces doing grocery shopping for her on different days of the week. It could all have been done at the same time, but this way she got regular visits (they probably would have visited anyway, but this way she got a routine going).
I think that a lot of the anger they sometimes express is down to frustration at knowing that the best years are behind them, failing health, dependancy and not being able to do all the things they used to. I think that we can all sympathize with some of this! In a person who was bad-tempered to start with, it makes the situation even worse.
The bad tempers drive people away - the loneliness increases.
You are dealing with a no-win situation. Give her your company and sympathy when you can and ignore the ill humour. I people are determined to be grumpy you can't stop them. You will have done your best by her and can do no more.
I don't know how the financial things work in the USA. Don't you have to get some kind of legal action taken, with the backing of her doctor, so that you can handle her finances for her?
I am so sorry to hear that your visit didn't go as planned.
Sometimes as we age, our emotions and behavior age also. My dad currently acts like a 5 year old. I am not being sarcastic - its the truth. He says things that I cannot believe, but there it is - coming right out of his mouth. He is 80 yrs old.
As my parents' age, the world scares them. The tiniest thing will get them into a tizzy. Its not their fault per se, but it does hurt when they treat me like crap when I try to help them.
My mom had quad by-pass. I hired a house cleaner to go to their house so they could focus on her recovery and not the dirty toilet seat. I'm a single mom and this wasn't cheap. Nice thing of me to do, right?
Well, it wasn't. I got screamed at for hiring a stranger to go into their home. My dad yelled at me so badly that I decided to distance myself a bit from their personal lives.
Something about getting older, seems to slant their views on reality.
Ok, enough with the excuses for the old folks - back to you
You cannot allow that to happen again. You've been through the ringer with your treatmtent and you need to concentrate on #1 - yourself. This is your Aunt and you love her, but you have to distance yourself. She may not be aware that she's treating you badly. In her little old lady mind, she's protecting herself and something is scaring her.
It would kill me to know that I had an elderly relative close by that needed my help (my parents). It hurts and I feel GUILTY but I do stay away a bit.
If I get screamed at again (even though they may not be aware of what they are saying), I will take it personally and maybe yell back.
If she has a phone, call her and check on her.
Pack a grocery bag with stuff she may need and drop it off, but don't stay.
Call her and tell her that you can place flowers on her babies graves (how sad for her to have lost children), but that you cannot take her personally.
If she goes to church or synagogue, you can all them and ask that they help with her bills. There are free services out there to help the elderly do the monthly bills. I can't recall the name of it now - sry.
I would also think twice about legally taking control of her money. It would mean daily contact. Thats a good thing - but NOT if its upsetting you during your recovery.
You will be able to do more for her and tolerate her elderly ways much better when you are stronger.
Please take care of yourself and place your Aunt in God's hands.
It's unfortunate that your aunt dosen't realize how lucky she is to have you. It is hurtful and infuriating to have someone insult you and behave horribly toward you after you've gone way out of your way to help her, especially when you yourself have been ill.
It was certainly kind and thoughtful of you to help. However, you are under no obligation to tolerate verbal or emotional abuse from anyone. You would certainly be within your rights if you said something to the effect of "I am happy to help you but if you continue to insult me I will walk out" and did it. No reasonable person is going to fault you for that. It's just that I have seen "helpless" people be just horrid to others simply because they can get away with it through manipulation or guilt.
Do remember to take care of yourself. It is so very important to avoid unnecessary stress while recovering. Remember your life is just as important as anyone else's. If there is one thing I seem to be noticing as a common thread among a lot of Lyme patients it is a tendency to neglect oneself and sacrifice continually for others who do not value those sacrifices.
You my dear friends, have brought tears to my eyes.
I didn't call her last night as she expected, I was emotionally drained. Did call her tonight, she doesn't remember that I didn't call her last night. She is such a sad bitter person. My Mom used to say she was the one who never grew up. She is such a negative person and only hears what she wants. I am normally able to shrug off or listen with 1/2 an ear, But couldn't this time.
You all give excellent advice. I will go once a week when I am able to and do what I can. I will pick up the things that she needs. I will do what I can from a distance. I do have power of attorney but will not use it unless she gets where she cannot be left alone.
I checked yesterday before I went to see her about getting a hardship permit to place a mobilehome in my yard for her to live in. (Zoning here places so many restrictions on what you can do even on your own property) When I came home, I told Larry I would not pursue that further. Three hours turned me inside out so I know I couldn't stand more.
High point of my day today. A customer came in to get fish food and told me the fish she purchased from me last year has a PERFECT CROSS on its head. She said she named it Holly (for Holy) She's going to get me a picture of it. Now that is awesome. I know her coming today was not a co-incidence.
It is a struggle this week, 2nd week of antibotics and today I added Flagy. But if I can make it till Sat. will have a 2 wk drug holiday. We keep struggling on. Thank you to each of you who have a special place in my heart. I feel I have come to know you. Saw a picture of a duck in the paper today, and thought of Jeanne. Our fantasy room many of you remember it. We really have to have a lighter side to survive this disease.
Was asked today to teach Sunday School 1st and 2nd grade once a month in the coming year. I have taught kids in Sunday School for upteen years. Took a break this past year. Pray for me to make the right decision. This will be a small class with one that needs one on one attention which I wouldn't be able to give. I want to do what the Lord is leading, but in this case I'm not sure.
Thanks again & Prayers.....Marsha
Last edited by Pearlscale; 07-26-2006 at 09:52 PM.
Hi Pearl.....I think with this disease I (we) have had the pain, the lost memories, the no one wants to be around us...I have ALREADY been 80...and having to learn to be younger again...and just think I get to relive it all over again
Sad you had to go through that....they get frustrated...not at you but they have lost ALL they're control....remember it is NOT YOU....but the circumstance that Auntie is living in...in HER OWN MIND....
Just a little hint from one who's been there and back many times: sometimes God is easier to hear when we don't try to interpret what is being sent to us......When we enter our own guilt feelings, anger, exhaustion and everything else into waiting for an answer, it can get skewed before we really know what we've heard.....
If you have the authority legally, you might try having bills sent to your home, if she's having trouble with remembering things that appeared big to her, or him, you can get a jump start on keeping that worry in order so it doesn't lead to a bigger one....like losing a home or getting tossed out before anyone's ready for it....
Don't forget, with this disease, you can't live life, whether yours or someone else's, like a "normal" disease-free person. You just can't......keeping a hold on your life, much less anyone else's is too much right now....gotta accept it.
Also, another thought. As I hurtle towards my half century, I am already beginning to think that I don't live in the same world any more. How much more so must that be the case when you reach your eighties - and how frightening! It must sometimes feel like the Planet of the Apes!