By: Revanche

Exasperation, exacerbated

October 7, 2008

I was away all weekend, all exhausting weekend, and came back late Sunday night. It was fun, ish, but physically draining and I was looking forward to clearing up my mail, unpacking, and getting right to bed. Oh yes, and dinner, having something, anything, to eat.

Somewhere in there, my mom decided it would be a good idea to corner me with her idea of what “our problem really is.” Hm?

“The house. This house has brought us nothing but bad luck. We should, as soon as I get a little money together, move to another house that is luckier.”


1. When you get money together? You can’t work! No one in the family can begin to cover the current household expenses without me, what makes you think you can come up with the money to move without a better plan than just moving? Dad still hasn’t gotten his act together, and only through constant, consistent, reinforcement from me does my brother continue to walk the line.
2. Do you remember how much it costs to move?
3. Are you kidding me?
4. The house is not possessed. It can’t bring us bad luck, and it didn’t have anything to do with the choices we’ve made!

I didn’t say any of that, except for number 4; I normally don’t outwardly react to her ramblings as she’s been very ill, and more than a little mentally unbalanced. I definitely don’t lash out when she’s trying my patience with her latest rants of negativity and blaming everything and everyone for the current situation. She’s ill, in many ways, and needs understanding and care.

But … in just as many ways, she’s caused and created so much home-based stress, stubbornly squandering her energies, time and money on what she thinks is right to reinforce her independence. I know she’s trying to do it because she imagines her decisions will bear fruit, the harvest of which will relieve me of the burden of supporting them. But, for example, insisting on driving herself to work when her physical and mental capacities were in doubt was not helpful, it was downright scary! It took six flat tires, one severely damaged wheel and a minor accident – all in my car – before she would consent to considering restricting her activities outside the house. What if she got into a major accident? What if she was hurt, or killed? What if she hurt or killed someone else?

Anyhow. Many of the choices she made were made with good intent, and there’s nothing we can do to change them now. The thing that does get to me, though, is her insistence on trying to “make things better” while refusing to consider her health. I don’t understand how she still doesn’t understand that no amount of money in the world can buy her health back, as she continues to fight us and our trying to take care of her. So many problems stem from her refusal to take care of herself, back when she was mentally capable, despite my begging her to stop making her health worse by stressing, worrying and fretting, and so many continue because of that stubbornness. I would give it all up if she could be healthy again, but she continually sabotages any progress.

So, on top of the many challenges I’m navigating, she wants me to plan to find a new house, based on the “unluckiness” of this one. Is there a luck-o-meter out there? Seriously, without that, we may be house hopping for the rest of my natural life. Our household is in these difficulties because of the decisions we’ve made, decisions that we’ve all made, and the house we live in has so very little to do with it.

I won’t make another rash mistake by acceding to her wishes because I think it’ll make her happy; someone has to keep the big picture in mind. It’s just that some days, I feel like their admonishment from my childhood: “Just wait until you have kids of your own” has come true. What a nightmare.

Takeaway: Please take care of your health.

4 Responses to “Exasperation, exacerbated”

  1. Sadly, I can really relate.


  2. My mom believes in that lucky stuff too. IT’s only when the chips are down that she believes in luck.


  3. Sense says:

    When things are bad, and out of control, that is also when my sister grasps at random straws like luck and thoughts like “as long as I stay on disability, I won’t get sick again.” (obviously that theory is blown out of the water now!) It is so deperately irrational that it makes me want to scream.

    I know I only have a tiny taste of your frustration. She does have her heart in the right place, but that somehow only makes the frustration worse.

    I know that trying to talk people out of this kind of stuff doesn’t really work and makes you more stressed out, plus angers the person that is being irrational. Listen, but don’t give these ideas any more thought. Stay strong, keep the course.

  4. Revanche says:

    notesfromthefrugaltrenches: Thanks for the hugs … and I’m sorry that you *can* relate. 🙁

    FB: It’s always been a crutch that she’s returned to. 8 years ago, it was the same thing. Back then I was just a senior in HS so I didn’t have any control over the decisions made, or any input, but now I have to stand firm.

    sense: I won’t deny that luck plays some part, probably immeasurable, in how things turn out, but it’s certainly not the end-all. Then again, I guess I can see how a drastic, desperate leap of logic would seem to be the only resort when you’re at the end of your rope. I’ve always been the methodical, conservative one in the family so I suppose that’s why everyone else felt free to make decisions based more on instinct than numbers.

    I’m really, truly, just sad that I feel like I’ve lost my mother. This isn’t the mother I grew up with, and she’s only gotten worse over the years so I’m losing hope that she’ll ever get better. Instances like these just underscore how much things have changed, and how unlikely it is that I’ll get my mom back.

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