This 'issue' for want of a better word has been bouncing about in my heads for months and months and no matter how I try to talk myself into just forgetting about it, it doesn't work. So here it is in all its long winded glory....
Let me backtrack a bit and explain, my mother wrote me a letter before I got married (it was the first time I brought hubby with to meet her properly) and the letter pretty much made clear that she had looked after me for 16 years, so what do I have to say for myself. It cut deeply, but most of what ma said during that difficult time did. I took care of her by myself for over 8 years, as well as working full time and doing housework, errands, everything. The decision to place ma in frailcare was because I couldn't meet her needs anymore, and it put it mildly I was rather broken physically, mentally and emotionally.
So now I keep thinking about that '16 years' thing. Is that how its supposed to balance out, do my obligations end toward her once 16 years is up then - once I've 'paid off my debt to her'? I guess she never thought about that. On the heels of those thoughts are the fact that my mother may not have wanted a child when she got pregnant with me (this is based on history and documents since found that shed quite a bit of light on things). She was having a lot of fun and didn't want the responsiblity (she wasn't a teenager, she was in her early 30's when she had me) A vague and disturbing memory has me going to the lounge where my parents were drinking and me asking my mother when she was going to stop drinking so that she could make me something eat. I don't remember how old I was, but I was apparently too young to make something myself.
The Social welfare services were going to take me away as none of my parents were working, after they visited my mother twice she went and got a job in order to make them leave us alone. There was also talk of adoption, which did not happen.
With that as a backdrop I reflect on her letter and if she really feels that I 'owe' her. From my perspective I didn't ask her to get pregnant with me, I certainly didn't want her drinking while pregnant with me, or smoking for that matter (she stopped smoking when I was about 17yrs) So who owes who here? I made her have to clean up her act and get responsible. When the tables turned and I found myself the parent and she the child I wasn't resentful in the beginning. Obviously after a few years the resentment builds to epic proportion and her deeping needs and dependency on me even when she could still do a few things herself made it 100 times worse. Placing her in frail care was a train smash.. but it did finally work out and she seems to have grown accustomed, though she still says she doesn't want to die there. Sometimes I feel we are both resentful of each other and so where will there be healing?
These days I dread receiving text messages from her, there is always something wrong or something I have to do, or money that she wants. She complains bitterly that all her government supplied pension goes towards the frailcare and that money should be HERS to spend as she pleases. She doesn't get that full half of my salary goes just for what she needs and that sometimes that makes getting through the month very difficult. Trying to explain to her means a dull expression of "So?' I took care of you". Yeah, I think I brought myself up a lot during those informative years.
Resentment, the gift that keeps on giving, and giving some more.
Thanks for listening, I feel better getting that all off my chest....