Yesterday, I took my mum to the hairdresser's to get her hair relaxed and of course, when I go to pick her up, she's not quite presentable for an outside trip. I look for socks and can't find any matching pairs of course. I kneel to put on her socks for her and I realize her feet are dry. I think about looking for cream, but that would mean I would have to search high and low for one of the umpteen bottles of body cream I buy for her and risk coming up empty (things never stay put in a nursing home) and there are no care aides in sight. So I continue on with the mismatched socks and of course, one won't fit and I go in search of another one. Then I notice on one of mum's pant legs, is a big whack of snot. She has this nasty habit of blowing her nose into her hands and throwing it wherever. This latest occurrence, along with your prolonged hacking cough that they can't figure out, has prevented her from being included on bus trips and social events on the main floor. I get it, it's pretty disgusting and though I am pretty used to it, it requires constant vigilance and boxes of kleenex. So, of course, I changed her pants and finish dressing her and get her in the car and run smack dab into a traffic jam. We have one way streets downtown and there's a lot of construction so certain parts of downtown are a disaster. Now we are officially late and I thrust kleenex in her hand hoping she won't hack spit all over the dashboard. We're stuck and I don't have the hairdresser's number in my cel phone. Someone is honking his horn at me. I force myself to breathe and just let it go. She's not getting any better, she is declining, slowly but surely.
Eventually we get a parking space a block away and as we make our way down the street, I realize that I could go the gym and work off some steam. If only I had brought my workout bag and gym ID, but by the time I got back home and retrieved it and made it through all the traffic, I'd have about 20 minutes before I would have to leave and pick up mum. There was another gym closer to my house, but I usually walk there because of parking and once again, I concluded I wouldn't have sufficient time. Sigh. So, after I dropped her off and provided her half a banana, I drive back home in heavy traffic, gripping the steering wheel and fighting back tears. Unsuccessfully, I might add. In a weird way, it was a perfect moment. I was feeling panicky and out of control and trying to drive all at the same time. It occurred to me that I could have been dropping my child off at a daycare or something. But I'm not. And it just hit me. I could not go through another year of this. Working, paying off bills, buying stuff to make me feel better for 5 minutes, taking care of mum, rinse, repeat, get drunk. Somehow I made it home but even crying in the car released a bit of the stress. Screaming at the top of your lungs also works wonder - just make sure the windows are up.
I love my mum and I feel gratitude for having her with me, but at the same time, taking care of her in even the limited way that I am, makes me feel, dare I say it - cheated. I've rearranged my life to suit her - I usually see her Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays not including days I'm working, physically ill or out of town. I even try to take acting classes only on Wednesdays, so I have time for our afternoon visits. I'm thinking this might have to change. And when I'm not around, DH goes in my place.
I woke up in a snit early this morning - free flowing anxiety I'm sure - I tossed and turned and tumbled around in bed like a grumpy bear disturbed in its hibernation. DH and I had a talk about the tension creeping up around here due to lack of action on the adoption front. And of course, DH, feeling the heat in these hard economic times, is tense. The latest inquiries didn't help. He feels my misery about being surrounded by pregnancy announcements and has provided wine AND flowers. (On another note, I thought I would dive back into the networking world and attend a film premiere and then I found out the film - no shit - it's called The Baby Formula - I bought the ticket and then I cancelled it 30 minutes later. I just can't sit through a film about two married lesbians both experiencing pregnancy. Not this week. I'm sure it's a great film, but I can't take it. Even members of the crew was giving birth. I might change my mind, who knows?) However, ANXIOUS is MY bag and I don't want to share, I need to suck it up a bit and take care of him for a change. I told him that we could borrow money from one of our super generous friends and I just made it worse. He doesn't borrow - ANYTHING, least of which is money from friends. It does make sense since we can't predict when we can pay it back and it's never smart to borrow money from friends. So I booked him for a massage today. I need to show him that I can take care of myself and be a part of the solution, not the problem. Tomorrow, he leaves for another short business trip and the last thing he needs is to worry about me.
This is the year that I win. Anxiety attacks notwithstanding, I'm going to win. As I've said before, I'm going to break the back of this bitch motherfucker*.