Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blog 25: A Glass of Water and Boo!

After I moved, things were falling apart even more with my sisters.  I came back home six weeks later and I think my sisters were relieved that I was there for the next two weeks.  Things weren’t going well with them.  With me there, everyone could take a break from Mom, and each other.  
Mom was happy to see me and we had some very special and wonderful moments together during my two week visit.  I took her to Dillard’s, her favorite department store, and she quickly went over to the children’s clothing section and picked out some gifts for some of her great grandchildren. That was so sweet watching her shop and thinking about what to buy.  I guided her and helped her with the selections because she really had no idea about sizes and paid no attention to prices.  It reminded me of one of our other trips to Dillard’s, right before Christmas the year before.  Mom picked out sweaters for all of us girls.  She bought us each the same sweater, in different colors.  I will always save that sweater and treasure it because it was the last gift Mom bought for me.  I know my sisters will always treasure theirs, too.  
I was back home cooking for Mom again, taking her for drives, and just spending time sitting in the living room with her, reminiscing about our younger years.  For the most part, she was OK, but she did occasionally revert back to her old ways of wanting me to leave.  
When she would act that way it hurt my feelings.  I was there to visit her, not live with her.  I just wanted to be with my mom, but she would sometimes act like she didn’t want me there.  She was really moody.  
I slept on my make-shift bed on the floor most of the time unless she insisted I go upstairs because she wanted me out of her sight, basically.  On this one particular day, Mom was really wanting me gone.  I told her I was leaving to go back home soon and I wouldn’t see her for another six weeks, but she wanted me gone NOW.  She kept telling me if I didn’t leave she was going to call the police.  I finally just said, “Go ahead, you don’t know how to dial the number anyway!”  And she didn’t anymore.  That frustrated her.  Once in awhile she could use the phone and dial properly but that was very rare these days. She always got confused on the to dial, how to answer, how to hang up the call.  She would often call the bank or doctor’s office and proceed to talk to them when it was their automated voice system she was talking to.  
On this one particular night I went upstairs to sleep at around 11:00 pm because Mom was just being so mean to me.  She wouldn’t let me sleep on the make-shift bed on the living room floor.  I didn’t want to sleep upstairs because I didn’t trust what she might do downstairs since she was always getting up during the night to eat, take a shower or watch TV.  But at this point she didn’t even know how to turn on the TV anymore.  
Mom kept coming upstairs and turning on the bedroom light and telling me to get out of her house.  I told her to please go back downstairs and go to bed.  I told her I will leave her alone if she will just leave me alone and let me sleep.  She would go downstairs and then 10 minutes later she would come back up and yell at me again.  This went on until about 2:30 in the morning.  I couldn’t believe how she could continue that behavior for hours.  At one point she slipped on the stairs  as she was going down.  I hopped out of bed and ran to the top of the stairs and saw her standing at the bottom.  I asked her if she was ok and she said something about me not caring, and she slammed the door shut.  I went down to check on her and make sure she wasn't hurt.   

That didn't stop her though.  She continued to come up the stairs.  It got to the point that she would come into the bedroom and grab the blanket off of me and try to force me out of bed.  I thought she might try to hurt me because she was being pretty aggressive.  What if I fell asleep and didn't hear her coming?  I became scared.  Me, scared of my own Mom.  What was happening to us?  
I followed her downstairs at one point and I used the bathroom.  She sat in her rocking chair and I told her if she comes back upstairs again, she will be sorry.  I warned her and I said, “DO NOT OPEN THAT DOOR AND COME UP THOSE STAIRS AGAIN!”
I was so tired and I could see that she was, too.  I felt so sorry for her, yet I was so upset with her.  I started to doze off when I heard the door creep open and the light switch turn on downstairs, and the sound of her feet making their way up the stairs.  I mean it, I was scared of what she might do.  She was really mad at me.  She came into the bedroom, turned on the light and told me to get out of her house.  I told her I’m not leaving tonight, it’s too late to go anywhere.  After her best attempt, she huffed back down the stairs.  
Before she got a chance to come back up, I went downstairs and tried to talk to her.  She wouldn’t give up and there was nothing I could say.  I had already tried to call my sister Annie for help but couldn’t reach her.  I knew my other sisters would be asleep.  I figured I’d be up until Mom became so exhausted and would eventually fall asleep, and I went to the kitchen to pour a glass of water.  She followed me there, yelling at me to leave.  What I did, I am not proud of, but I was out of my mind, too, at that point.  I instinctively tossed the water from my glass onto her face.  It splashed all over her face and hair and down her shirt.  She blinked the water out of her eyes and spit some out of her mouth, and then she looked down at her wet shirt and with all the might she had in her she said, “You BITCH!  You got me all WET!”  

Then I walked to the living room, so upset over what I did, when I heard her in the kitchen, pouring a glass of water, and saying, "You know what I'm going to do to you?"  She came out of the kitchen holding a glass of water and walked towards me.  I couldn't believe what was happening as I ran around the dining room table.  I think she knew I could get away and the water would go everywhere, so, amazingly, she set the glass down.  
I’m sorry, if it wasn’t so sad, it’s funny.  But if it’s funny, then I’m sick.  But then, there’s more...
I raised my voice to her and I told her that I warned her if she didn’t leave me alone she would be sorry.  I said again, “Do not come up those stairs the rest of the night.”  Then I opened the door that led up the stairs and I turned around and shut it, and sat down on one of the steps and held the door shut.  I laughed and cried silently and shook my head in disbelief.  I did this to my mom, who is sick with Alzheimer’s.  What is wrong with me? I could hear Mom in her bedroom, changing her clothes and mumbling about how I got her all wet.  I heard ‘bitch’ a few times again.  
Then it got quiet.  I opened the door and saw Mom sitting in her rocking chair.  She was asleep.  But I knew that meant nothing.  She would sleep for five minutes and then bolt up and start moving.  So, I shut the door and waited.  Within 10 minutes I heard her get out of her rocker and make her way into the hallway.  She was on the other side of the door.  My heart started pounding.  I let go of the door knob.  Was she going to open it?  What would I do?  I sat on the steps and waited.
I don’t know if she hesitated, if she was thinking about it, or if she forgot what I said...but she opened the door.  Without even thinking I yelled out, “BOO!”  She jumped a few inches in the air and I never saw her eyes get so big.  I said, “I told you not to open this door!  I am shutting it now, and you are going to bed right now!”  
Yep, I lost it.  I was a bad, bad daughter.  That was the second time I lost it with Mom. The first time was the time I struggled to get the car keys out of the ignition as she sneaked out of the house and was pulling out of the driveway.  
I went back upstairs and she did not come up the rest of the night.  I should say morning, because by then, dawn was breaking.  I fell asleep and woke up a few hours later when I heard Mom moving around downstairs.  She never tried to come up there after she woke up.
I went downstairs and she seemed to have forgotten about the night.  I fixed her some breakfast and we got along fine.  However, she did remember, because she told a much different story of what happened to my sisters.  She told them I pushed her down the stairs and then I threw a bucket of water on her.  She would never bring it up to me.  My sisters didn’t believe her of course, and it would be months before I told Lynda about it, and almost two years before I would tell Annie.   When I told Lynda we both laughed, a very guilty laugh with sadness in our faces, if that makes any sense.  

1 comment:

  1. Oh my... I wonder if your mom still remembers this.

    I once worked in a nursing home where I would feed the residents at the dinner table. One particular resident had horrible behavior and she always threw food at the other residents. I know that she didn't know any better, but it irritated me that the other residents were victims of her wrath all of the time. One particular day I was feeding a lady named Isabelle. Isabelle was a sweet old blind lady who had no defense. I scooped up some food and went to put it in her mouth and splat... smashed peas hit Isabelle's face and smeared down her cheek. I was so mad. I turned to Margarate and scolded her as I always would. Margaret was holding her spoon and shaking it at me with a glaring look. I wiped off the peas and continued to feed Isabelle, then another splat. I had enough. I looked around, took a scoop of Isabelle's peas and returned the gesture, right back at Margaret. I felt bad for doing it, but I also felt really bad for Isabelle. Now, looking back, I just laugh when I think about that incident.