I don’t know if it’s the New Year, but I woke up today and I thought: I live here too. One of the reasons I’ve been so drained psychologically is that I’m continually trying to adjust to mum’s demands and needs. It is her house after all. But this morning I went out into the garage and began to unpack my books. At the moment, they are lying over the floor in the sun lounge, but tomorrow, hopefully they will get put onto the bookshelves.
My New Year’s resolution was to be more resolute. By that I mean, I must set my own boundaries. I must set timetables and goals, things I want to achieve each day – and not get sucked into the lazy acceptance of watching tv or just dithering around, waiting for her to get up, or the carer to come – or not feeling I can get out my possessions.
Mum has always been very controlling. When I was a kid I dealt with this by being ‘absent’, daydreaming or burying my nose in a book. Then I left home and kept my life private, ‘sharing’ as little as possible. Since I moved back here, I’ve been unconsciously following the same strategies. Burying my nose in a book or my computer but also, hesitating to unpack my things. When I go to someone’s house, I always study their bookshelves, to see what sort of person they are. I don’t want anyone doing that to me here!
But when I did get out my books, it was great, like meeting old friends again. And there are so many I haven’t actually read. I look forward to reading them all. And I’ve started a diary – so that I can differentiate the days; write down things I have achieved for myself, in spite of having to clean up all kinds of mess and having the same conversation over and over again!!
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a positive 2015!
4 thoughts on “I live here too”
Just testing to see if this works. Good to see you are taking possession of your space -very important.
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Yes, I’m sure it will get easier. I just have to be determined.
I like this; it resonates. I’ve read the rest of your posts through March, but I returned to this one. I think because it feels so familiar to me. When you said: “Then I left home and kept my life private, ‘sharing’ as little as possible.” Yup, that’s it. How are you doing with setting your boundaries now? Better? I wonder if the dynamics are different when mother-daughter move to a new place together? Or into daughter’s place? Or would we still revert to our patterns and have to struggle to create greater equilibrium and self-care? I’ve been thinking about this a lot, though I’m not a carer for my mom at this time (she doesn’t need one yet, although she did move this month into a senior living community where all the widow ladies help each other out). I appreciate so much your writing of your own journey into being a carer. I’m not sure that I could ever live with my mom and be her carer (I’m 54, she’s 77). I always “disappear” when I’m in her presence; my persona vanishes into her memories, into her strong, controlling personality. Although that can happen when I’m with a lot of different people; Sara Maitland talks about this as a “thinness of self” that I can relate to. Be that as it may, I realized several months ago that I didn’t want to be caught completely off guard by my mom’s aging and situation; I wrote a little about beginning to explore this at: http://kitsnk9s.blogspot.com/2015/01/fragments.html
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Oh I so know what you mean! My persona also becomes dormant around the controlling vortex of mother, it’s just easier. I think it would have been best if she could’ve moved into a granny flat – or if I could’ve had my own daughter flat! Then I would have my own space but could still have looked after her. However….. Will check out your blog now.