I am not a fan of difficult conversations. Anxiety breeds too much chaos in my mind and body before I even begin such discussions. By the time the subject and I are together, I’m a ball of nerves. The subject matter is irrelevant. It happens every time.
I used to drink to quell the butterflies sometimes before, occasionally during and always after. That just can’t happen anymore. Especially with the conversation I need to have with my mother today. Cue the anxiety, the butterflies and maybe even some nausea.
After her release from a 10-day hospital stay and now three days at home, the time has come to present some rather harsh realities to my mom. After ignoring her health and finances for 20 plus years, she will now have medical bills she can’t afford, even with State assistance. Her health is such that I don’t know if she can ever be truly independent again. I can cook and bring her food, but I can’t care for her each day, every day. I can drive her to appointments, but will need to be present during each doctor visit, as she doesn’t tell the doctors, or me, the truth. Ever. I can pick up and deliver her prescriptions, but have no idea if she’ll actually take them. I don’t have room in my house for her to live here. I don’t have the income to supplement hers (remember that job I just left and business I’m trying to start?). I can help her navigate social services, but they will only let me do so much. She desperately needs to let me help manage her dwindling bank account, but she will be angry.
My mom’s classic reaction to ANY difficult conversation is defensiveness, blame and lashing out with the most painful and wild accusations one could imagine. I’ll be honest, I’m too drained right now to deal with this sort of nonsense and don’t have high hopes for this afternoon. I am so angry that she has let herself come to this and, frankly, she seems to be enjoying having me wait on her. At what point in a toxic relationship is it just too much? At what point are we not responsible for our parents?
This too shall pass (as I’m reminded by some kind readers). Unfortunately, today, it is like a boulder crushing my soul.