September 28: Mom Moved in a Long-Term Care Home

I did say – to the people who were my family of the past – that I would not see them above once a year.

It was time to leave a dysfunctional family environment. It was time for me to grow, to develop into the person I can become.

And before I left, I was certain about what I needed to do: leave home, take care of all my needs, time for only me, be independent in every way a person could be (and God knows I’ve had independent thoughts since I was 5 years old–differing in my opinions and beliefs from mom, dad and sibling) and working through a critical event that traumatized me since I was 7 and still now.

I have Complex PTSD and life is getting easier to deal with – especially in communicating with people.

I still need to work through the fact that mom didn’t do anything about it when I told her. I wasn’t close to dad, so I didn’t tell him. I’m the oldest sibling so it’s the brother who has come to me when he has personal problems he wants to talk about. Thank goodness he doesn’t anymore. I’m not even close to him.

Anyway, mom is at the long-term care home, I visited her and it wasn’t too bad. I cried a bit, mom was happy to see me, said that it looks like I have changed in a positive way.

Eight months I didn’t talk to mom, didn’t visit her at her home, didn’t even write her a letter. I used to need her approval, had needed her near me to feel better about myself and needed advice. No more!

Looks like she may need me now, a little. She sleeps better when I’m in the room with her. Still…I have a life to live and the one thing I didn’ t think would happen, happened: there is a boundary between mom and me. I know where she ends and I begin.

Leaving home regardless of how it happened was the best thing that happened to me. It’s something I am thankful for and on this Thanksgiving Day there is a lot for me to give thanks to God for.

I have a life and it still feels that as the cliché goes “the sky is the limit”. My life is paradise.

The second time I visited mom was on October 2. It was a one-hour visit. Didn’t talk much. She needed sleep. That’s the first time in my life that I cried for mom. I said her name three times, she was unresponsive. I thought she died that moment. But that’s the way it is with dementia.

This is me growing, too, because I’m aware of my feelings towards mom. When I lived with her all those years, I understand now that the way I was towards her was because I mourned her because I knew she was slowly leaving me.  I stood up for her when others took advantage of her and no regrets doing it even to the day I left home, what I now call hell, because that’s the kind of person I am: stand up for others, help them as much as I can with all the skills I have and my time.

I met a girl who has been with her parents all her life. Never worked a day in her life, couldn’t collect Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program. She’s older than 50 and I’m 43 now. I am catching up with all that I need for someone who is 43 years old. I am so not the altruistic type.

And if I ever meet The One, he’s my partner and we’re equals. He’d never expect me to sacrifice my happiness and my needs over his own.

That’s it for now. Wishing you a happy week!

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