Had you asked me before dad died, I would have told you what a close family we are. I mean know my sister and I would fight like cat and dog when we spent too long together, I would have always said I we were close and that no matter what happened I could rely on them.
Sadly, I now know that to not be true.
I continue to struggle with my sisters lack of willingness to take on any sort of care role for my mother, but today my blog post is not about that. it’s about my Aunty who, until last night, I would have said was more like a second mother to me and the one person in the world I can rely on and who really knows me. Turns out I was wrong.
I don’t regret giving up work to care for mum. However, since I gave up work the free time I had hoped I would gain hasn’t materialised. Lack of me time has been the only thing that mum and I argue about. I have taken to lying about when I need to leave her house in hope I can leave at a reasonable hour, and never knowing for definite when my next day off will be is really beginning to take it toll. However, despite all this I don’t regret it for a moment and even if I could go back in time, knowing everything I know now, I would still hand in my notice and take on this role.
My friends and S are constantly nagging at me about making more time for myself, they are worried I am going to have a nervous breakdown and so, this week, I booked the first week off since I gave up work in April. Or at least I tried, can’t find care cover for the full week so I am working Friday and as mum and I are heading off on “holiday’ next week together I am going to hers on Thursday morning to do a holiday shop and start her packing. But even so I am looking at the most time off I have ever had. This week was picked as it coincides with S’s holiday and so we were hoping we could spend some time together. Which we have but that’s another story.
I had managed the weekend and Monday, before I got a phone call from mum’s carer who had had a misunderstanding with Mum, who I then rang to find her in tears. In the end it has all worked out, but it was still an hour out of my day dealing with stresses and strains and work stuff. About 10 minutes after this phone call I get a text message from my Aunt, who was the reason for the misunderstanding between my mum and her carer, which reads a little like she is having a go. My friend decided it would be better for me to talk to her then try and converse over text so I give her a ring and she goes bat shit crazy at me. She tells me I am selfish, taking advantage of my mum and then hangs up on me as ‘she doesn’t want to get into an argument’ and between you and me. I think she was probably well aware that she doesn’t have a leg to stand on as every single time my mum or I have asked her for any support she has let us down. Every. Single. Time. Also, this is the Aunt who couldn’t be bothered to come up and for my mums birthday earlier in the year despite this being the first birthday since my dads death. She didn’t come and visit mum when she was in hospital last week, although did throw at me that mum being in hospital was my holiday (we will over look that on the Tuesday she was taken in I was with her from 1.30am to 5am, then back at 2.30 until 8pm and for the rest of the week I was with mum for the entirety of visiting hours. The only visitor she had for those days).
I will be honest. Her phone call and comments have hit me hard. My friend and S were fantastic. I have never seen S so mad and my friend turned to me and said “you do know she is wrong, don’t you?” but it hasn’t helped. It’s like she doesn’t know me, like she has never known me. There is no way I would do what she is accusing me off, I am not like that. And I don’t think I should feel guilty for wanting to take some time for me.
I think I am just going to have to accept that the close family I thought I grew up with has disintegrated following my dads death. But that’s easier said than done.