One of the major lessons I've learned in caring for mom is to wait to tell her I'm taking a break as long as possible. When she knows I'm leaving town she works herself up into panic mode even though she knows there will be people here to take care of her. Panic mode generally manifests itself in accusations.
"You just want to get away from don't you?"
"No mom, I just need a break from everything right now."
"It's me, I'm a burden. You want to get away from me!"
"Mom, I need a break from everything right now, work, husband, kids, you, everything. I'm tired. If I don't get some rest I won't be able to take care you, the house, work anything."
"It's me, just say it."
"MOM, NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU! SOMETIMES IT'S ABOUT ME!"
"I knew it. It's me."
This goes on nonstop until I leave so that by the time I do leave I'm in worse shape. Literally a nervous wreck. One trip in particular, by the time I left I was so upset I ran into the Home Health nurses car "parked" in my driveway which of course delayed my departure even more. It's been a standing joke here and at work ever since. Every time I can manage a weekend away I start getting "Mom's leaving tomorrow, everyone move their cars!"
They say honesty is the best policy. But I have to question that if the honesty is hurtful. But one of these days, when she accuses me of wanting to get away from her I'd like to answer her honestly...
"Yes, I want to get away from you!" My car is full of books, wine, batteries, Bocelli and my laptop. I'm going to drive to California, park the car on fault line and pray for the next big one!" I just want to make sure I'm on the island side when California breaks away from the rest of the country.