Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I must choose to change mine...

My previous post was about judgement from the outside.  This post I'm going to talk about the judgement that comes from within me.

Somewhere along this journey, I lost some valuable things (and I don't mean my credit score).  I have lost my compassion and my patience.   

So, where did they go?  How can I look at what my mother has become and not feel compassion?  That's an easy question for me to answer.  It's because I don't have any patience left.  Those two virtues normally go hand in hand.  The compassion for another living being demands that you respond with patience.  The patience allows you the time to find compassion.  Neither is worth a darn if you don't have the other.

How many times must I clean disgusting things from walls and finger nails and clothes and linens, only to have to clean them again before I have her completely dressed again?  Today it was four times within a 30 minute period.  20 minutes into which I had already left my daughter standing across town waiting for me.  30 minutes of disgust and a person who can't follow any instructions, much less something as simple as "Don't touch that" or "Stand up".  Yes, my mind knows that she is sick.  But, my patience is trying to contain a mess that is beyond my tolerance level.  The patience is gone and the compassion is dead.

I recently watched someone deal with Mom with nothing but kindness.  Mom responded, for the most part, with what I would consider calmness, at least in comparison to her normal behavior.  I watched these 2 interact for almost 45 minutes.  I walked away from that interchange feeling like the stuff I am forced to clean up too often these days.  How much of the behavior I receive from Mom is a direct result of the impatience that I give her? 

I see videos of Alzheimer's victims and they aren't like Mom.  I know that if you've seen one Alzheimer's patient, then you've seen one Alzheimer's patient.  They are all different.  But, Mom is so very angry and bitter.  Mom is never happy.  She screams at me that I haven't fed her for 3 days as she is chewing her food and after I've spent a half an hour coaxing her to eat the food.  I spend the majority of my time ignoring her or drowning her out.  How shallow am I that I want my Mom to be nice to me?  To recognize that I've done all that I can? 

I know she cannot do either of those things. As I said at the top of my page, "She cannot change her behavior, therefore, I must choose to change mine."  The part of me that can still be fair, knows that I can do better.  It knows that I can be kind.  And, I believe that this won't be over until I've found the patience to allow compassion back into my heart.

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, Nancy...I see compassion everywhere here! Not many would be such attentive caretakers in this kind of situation.- that shows great compassion. And the fact that you look for your mother's responses and note them shows loving concern to me. The battles would have worn most out long ago - you are an exceptional caretaker, but most importantly, an exceptional daughter!