Update on my mum’s condition

Where do I start? I have been avoiding this since August, when a stressed but seemingly happy mother phoned me to ask about my boxes, once again! This time I could hear people in the background and she quickly told me that her old classmates from school were there helping her to take things to the city dump. As usual the conversation went “what do you want to do with your things? I have just started to think about selling the house”. (Same line for two years now!) I told her to throw things away. According to her it was magazine clippings of film stars (which must have been her own from the 1940s) and royalty. Like I have room for such things in an already overcrowded house. When I got off the phone, I started to get worried. Could these friends really be trusted? What if they helped themselves to things they should not? So I wrote the trustee a quick e-mail. She has thought that my mum’s talk about friends from Skåne coming to visit her, has been just wishful thinking or dreaming. I told her that they were there now and she rushed off there to see them and check up on things. She found out that they had taken my mum to a real estate agent. A trustee looks to all the economic aspects and she was not pleased with them having gone to a new girl, that was not linked to one of the bigger firms but had started her own little office. A big firm is to your advantage in a dying town like the one my mum lives in.

I heard nothing more. The trustee did not answer my next e-mail about my sister’s worries, about her collection of fine coffee cup china and her silver spoons. I had twelve silver spoons as well which I had completely forgot about. Have no idea where they are up there?! Anyway, she did not answer and I have too much on my plate as it is, so I let it go. Then I received an e-mail where the trustee complained about my mum’s memory. The real estate people had been there to do a preliminary assessment BUT for them to come back and do a thorough assessment, my mum has to pay. When they contacted her, she was not willing to pay, she did not even remember having been to the office nor that they had been to her house once already. So the trustee had to tell them that there will not be any sale. So much for my mum going to move down here. The trustee said that my mum lives cheaply where she is, that a move down here would be too big of a change for her and that Skåne is not like 1955 anymore, when my mum moved away. And she said it was not very likely that my mum could get in to a rental flat, since the council is looking to their own, not people wanting to move in from other provinces. So things sound final with her but I am afraid that I will hear of this intended sale and move from my mum in every phone call she makes in the future and ten times in every individual call.

She also told me about my mum’s memory problems as for not knowing any current events. But the main reason why she contacted me was probably that after she has visited my mum, my mother runs off to a neighbour and talks garbage about the trustee. And this neighbour named Eva, has phoned the trustee and been rude and is now demanding to be present every time the trustee visits my mum. It is so sick. My mum’s falseness. Her passive aggressiveness. This Eva has no right at all to interfere with the trustee’s work, who is court appointed!

Last week, Wednesday to be precise, it was a mad house here. I am so exhausted from my thyroid problem. After all, the body is just working half speed, as the doctor said. T. was at a parenting meeting and the children were running wild. Then my mother phoned and talked for two hours. “Yes, I am phoning because I have received papers here and feel like a criminal and they are trying to declare me mentally incompetent and assign me a legal guardian!”. I wanted to rip my hair out and scream. Not that again!!! Every single phone call starts like this. I want a protected phone number. Why should I have to listen to this over and over and over again? She’s driving me mad! Once again I had to explain that it was the doctor that reported her to the council, that she has no memory and doesn’t understand him, the court appointed a trustee and she refused to accept this so she started a case against them. And she lost. It’s now been decided in court that the decision stands. The trustee and I had to write letters to the court and I am sorry, but I wrote that my mother needs help. The judge and I spoke and he said that we are all trying to do what is best for her out of concern for her. But she is too pigheaded to understand that. Now she was livid on the phone though, and I got more and more angry. I lost my patience. I told her that she had been to a real estate agent, that they have visited her and given her an estimate but since she doesn’t remember this and doesn’t want to pay for a real going through of the house, there will be no house sale. That HER memory has stopped her plans. She understands nothing and remembers nothing. I told her, THIS is why she needs help. Because she doesn’t remember things! And then she does it. She reads up a letter she has written to the court. “My daughter sits down in Skåne and knows nothing about me. I have had no contact with her for two years, yet she is trying to have me classified as mentally disturbed and is trying to have me declared insane and not capable of looking after myself without a legal guardian.” I got so angry with her that I screamed at her! I told her that it was a blatant lie. That she has lied to the court. I did not save my vocabulary and part of me was ready to hang up on her and NEVER speak to her again. Why should I? It’s pointless. She only remembers what I say for 10 minutes or less, anyways. And now she has falsely accused me of something I am not guilty of! That I have never been able to accept from anyone! As if it wasn’t bad enough that she made me out as a monster. She wrote many more awful things about me, she also had a paper where she had written up all sorts of awful things about the trustee. Like “she is a lying, cheating bitch that one can not trust!”.  But the trustee has not contacted me back after I wrote to her about our conversation. I would have thought that she would get worried when I told her how hostile my mother is at the moment. But nothing. That’s the thanks one gets when I get myself in to trouble on her account. I lectured up my mum and told her that if she has issues with the trustee, she ought to take it up with her in person and not run to the neighbour after she has gone home. I told her that it is not right to talk garbage about people behind their backs, and especially not in this situation. The trustee is there to help her and it is none of this Eva’s business. That Eva will get an entirely wrong view from what my mother says and can thereby hurt my mum more than help her.

And what sort of backing up do I get from my sister? She was sent all my communication with the trustee. And there has been a LONG SILENCE from Australia. When I brought all this up at scrapbooking Saturday, EVERYBODY shook their heads and said it was typical. They have all heard of such relatives. That just say “but I am on the other side of the world, you sort it”. Well, I am not healthy enough to sort out my own family or myself. Let alone a mother with Alzheimer’s five hours from here. This woman at scrapbooking, whose name I did not catch (I’ve never seen her before) said that from what she heard, my mum must be having Alzheimer’s and I agree. (This woman’s mother just died from it, after 15 years of having it, so this woman KNOWS the symptoms.) One moment, she is an aggressive person who is completely clueless and the next, she laughs when she hears what my children have been up to, and then it’s back to the aggressive unreasonable one. It’s really like talking to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde now! My children want to meet their nan again, but I am not so sure I want them to anymore. Who knows what she would say or do???

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2 responses to “Update on my mum’s condition

  1. Thank you! I am so glad you are back on internet and can read my blog again! And I am glad that someone is with me in spirit when it comes to all this. It’s her Birthday tomorrow and I can honestly say that I felt hesitant about acknowledging it at all. Yes, I sent a Birthday card yesterday and the children made their own for her. But I did not feel for buying anything that’s not appreciated anyway, but just given to the neighbours. Daniel asked if she would even know that it is her Birthday. She should, since I gave her a photo calendar for Christmas, a wall one, and it was great since I was allowed to have everybody’s Birthdays marked out on it. I put in ours but also her own and my sister’s family’s dates. It has made no difference what so ever. She has not sent any Birthday greetings and has not bothered with a phone call either. Perhaps she never looks at it?
    To phone her is out of the question. It’s pointless since I would just have to sit and explain over and over about the trustee appointment, my mum opening a case and so forth. She only talks about TWO things nowadays and over and over again: The court case and planning on moving down here. I already had a two hour conversation about this last week and I hope it will be a couple of months till I have to go through it all again. Phoning would be asking for trouble. I have “Sparky” to worry about instead!
    As for her needing help or needing to move. For her depression, I think it would have been good to move where there would be lots of people around her. But Swedish policy today is, that old people should stay home as long as possible. They just bring in more and more people in to the home. Meals-on-wheels, nurses coming in to check that medicines are taken and people coming in to clean. The rest of the time, the elderly person sits alone. Not until it takes too much effort from the council, will an elderly person be force moved! That is why it is good to sell up house while one is still mentally capable. A lot of elderly people have sense and they start by selling their big houses and moving to a smaller flat. Some will move to retired people’s housing. Then the change to a more assisted living place is not so huge, when that day comes. But we are talking about people that have sense. My mother has never belonged to that category but to the pig headed one that refuses to look at the truth in it’s face. The category that thinks nothing will happen to them because it never has before, the category that avoids to think about the inevitable! My mum has been healthy her whole life, and could never even dream of ever getting any health problems. When she saw it happen in her mother-in-law, her own parents and everybody else around her. This category people are the ones that will end up with super dirty houses, not letting anyone in, going half insane and the neighbourhood children making fun of them when they go out because they smell, dress weird, are dirty and rumours flourish about what it looks like in their homes. They are the staunt ones that basically say that “you are going to have to carry me out feet first from my house!”.
    The only way my mum would move down to Skåne was if I did EVERYTHING for her. I would have to go up and live with her in her house. Get rid of everything unecessary. Put the house on the market and wait, and wait, and wait, till the house got sold. A friend of mine in Britain has tried to sell her parents-in-law’s cottage for two years without success. You yourself know how difficult it can be even if one lowers the price, or how impossible it can be with no buyers coming looking at all! All of Europe is in financial crises so it is not a good time to sell a house and since Saab, that has kept that town alive, went belly up, let’s say, only an idiot buys a house in that town, that has no jobs. I would have to live there till the house got sold, And then she would have to move in with us till there was a flat for her here in Skåne. (You have to be written at an address already to be able to receive a flat in that area. That is, she would have to move in with us, write herself in Lund’s commune, and THEN she could put herself up in queue for a council flat. Old people cost the council so much that the council only wants to look after the ones that they already have. They don’t want new ones moving in and become a tax burden!) We who are overcrowded as it is with basically two people in every room. And why would I have a house to go home to? Or a family to go home to after abandoning them for my mother’s sake? I mean, who would look after my family when I went to take care of her?
    So the only option is to let nature take it’s course. She is the council’s problem. She has put herself in to this situation herself and as one makes one’s bed, one must lay in it. I can’t help! The distance is too far. And since we have never got along and she has always made it clear to me that I am a waste of space, I can’t say that I would be the perfect candidate to look after her in the state that she is in. If one had been raised with unconditional love, I think that one would have loved one’s mother so much that one would have been able to see beyond the disease and take anything from her. But since she has always said mean and ghastly things to me, it is difficult to put her behaviour in two categories. To me this just becomes a new form of meanness. Just a continuation of what I have been facing all my life. I know that it is her senility that is talking but in another way, this is not much different from what she has always said! So we are in catch 22!

  2. I am sorry to read this news about your mum. She does seem to be getting worse. I think the mean remarks and verbal abuse is part of her illness, so try to be patient with her. It is good there is a trustee involved, but perhaps she needs something more? My heart goes out to you , dear Camilla.