I just visited my mom again and my perspective has really changed. I’m not going to be upset about things anymore- or at least I’m going to try. I only have so much control. But this time I was able to stick to that idea, even though there were things that happened that could have sent me reeling.
See, the first day I saw Mom, she was amazing. She was with it, relatively lucid, a normal 80 year old woman. She had a positive attitude and was able to focus. Sure, she was forgetful and told me the same stories over and over, but that’s aging. There is no reason to be worried about something like that.
The second day… well, the second day was not the best. It started off sort of the same way, but started to go downhill from there. Mom got adamant and angry like she sometimes does and she went onto the topic that angers her the most: rhat we children took away her car. After a little while of perseverating on this topic, she let it go. Then she began telling me a story from about 35 years ago. This in itself was not a terrible thing, but she kept telling me this story all about what she did with Elizabeth. “I took Elizabeth here… Elizabeth and I did this… You should have seen Elizabeth.” Again, totally fine. Except I’m Elizabeth. Me. She was telling me the story of what she did with me and she didn’t realize that we’re the same person. I don’t know who she thought I was in those minutes, but it wasn’t me.
My reaction was just to listen and be amazed. I don’t remember the story, so that helps, though I know she had to have been talking about me. It was scary and troublesome, but I needed to acknowledge that it is part of the new normal. So I seem to have developed a distance from her confusion, even though it’s the sort of thing that would normally really upset me. I’m proud of myself even though I hate that this is all part of life now.