Saturday, February 27, 2010

I don't see what you're so worried about.

Last week I lost it, I blew up at my Mother. I yelled, I yelled, I cried.
"I don't see what you're so upset about."
You're not taking care of yourself.  I know you haven't taken a shower since last week.
"Yes I have."
No you haven't. If you want to live by yourself you have to take care of yourself.

I didn't tell her that I knew she hadn't taken a shower. I knew because I marked the bar of soap with a tiny dot of blue toothpaste. Ten days later it was still there.

The grapes we bought, that I washed and put in a bowl, were still there on the counter, a week later, dried and furry. The frozen meals in her freezer are all still there.

"I don't know why you're upset. I take care of myself."

I must learn not to yell at her, not to lash out when I'm frustrated and worried.
We're not having an argument, there is no back and forth. She doesn't understand why I am upset. I end up with puffy eyes, a huge headache, upset stomach, and the shakes. All she remembers is that I yelled.
Yelling at her was as effective as kicking a rock.
Yelling was never part of our relationship.


What is reality? What is truth? When does my Mother's version of truth and reality become a hazard to her living alone? Do you know what it's like to not be able to rely on the validity of a single thing she says?
Today is Saturday, in our morning conversation, about what she's doing now, what she's doing tonight, she said that her power lines were down across the driveway, they've been that way for days, and that her neighbor has snowplowed over them.
We've had a full week of extremely windy snow storms and torrential rains, so anything is possible.
If her neighbor had plowed over them, he could have either ripped them from the house or zapped himself.
I spoke to her yesterday on the phone, she didn't say anything then.
Do you have electricity? Oh yes. I've been vacuuming all morning.
If the power lines have been down for a 'few days' why didn't Mom call the power company?
Is she telling me she's vacuuming, because she want me to think that she's taking care of herself? Like during the last power outage when she led us to believe that she was OK.
I called her neighbor's cell, he's away this weekend, he said he talked with Mom Thurs night when he plowed. No lines were down.
I asked another neighbor to check to see if the lines were down. He could not get up into her driveway, because of the most recent snow. He said he could not see downed lines. His wife had visited Mom on Thursday and there were no downed lines.
I called the power company to report this "maybe lines are down" situation. However, they are in an emergency situation with thousands of people powerless in a different part of the state. The kind person on the other end ensured me that they would check on it.
Is she "seeing" the power lines down from 15 months ago? Is she seeing the large log of wet snow that fell off the power lines onto the driveway? Is she seeing the wire that runs out of the gutter for the gutter heater? Are the electrical wires really down?