Last night was the first time that I have let my self feel angry about what has happened to my mom. So far I have yet to really allow my self to feel angry. I have pushed down or anesthetized the anger from this event. Sorrow and loss would come but not anger. I don’t like anger; or rather I don’t like the image of rage that I associate with anger.
Seven years ago my mom was in a head-on car accident and was very hurt both physically and mentally. While she has recovered beyond the expectations of the doctors, she is still not the woman I grew up with.
I think in part this came from my helping her shower and get ready for her birthday dinner. There is nothing more humbling and confronting than having to physically care for a parent. It is also one of the places where I get most frustrated with my self and with her inability to function well. I could feel my voice getting harsher with her because of my feeling of failure and because of how incapable I was. Why is it that over all I can care for all the physical needs of a child or baby with relatively massive amounts of compassion and patience but not an adult, my mother who needs help just as much if not more that a child? All of her fears and physical pain come out in force. My mother has such a strong voice in spite of her brokenness; you will know when you are violating her boundaries.
As I was brushing and stylizing her hair it hit me how much she has lost, and we in turn have lost because of her loss. I kept wondering all weekend, what my family would look like now if my mom were “normal”? What would she add or what would she not bring because of that normality? I find that there is less reservation in my mother now than there was before, she used to be so bound by her self that vary rarely did she allow her wonderfully playful humor to come out. And yet now there are so many times when she chooses not engage and try to understand what is being said. She opts out, before my mother was a woman who would struggle through the confusion and try.
It just infuriated me, why does she have to deal with this. She has to suffer great pain, mental confusion, and inability to do simple things for her self. Why is this a good thing? I found my self on the verge of tears wanting to run out of the room and rage at God. So much is now required of each of us children, we are no longer children we are now caregivers. Before we are even established as individuals we are expected to stand as the decision-makers and care givers to our parents. I cannot even care for my self and yet I am being asked to become a trustee over my parents. My parents who are supposed to be fit and able are suppose to be there for me and they aren't.