Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mom's Mad

I'm visiting my folks. Mom's mad at Dad.

Mom: What are we going to wear tonight?"

Dad: It's still warm. We can wear our summer pajamas.

Mom: No! What are we going to wear?

Dad and I were confused until she came to the cupboard, grabbed the vitamin jar and said "Isn't this what we usually wear?"

Dad : Oh, you mean what vitamins we take.

Mom: You say things like me like I'm stupid! (storms outside)

I swear there's an "I'll show you" gene on her side of the family. She knows if she stomps out of the house that we'll worry about her. Her mom was the same way. Worse. She'd get mad at her husband and vanish for days.
"They're really a lot alike," I told my dad, recently. "Stubborn, paranoid, and quick to strike back at any real or imagined offense. "Will I end up like that too?"
"Not for a long time" Dad said.


stray g said...

It must be so frustrating not to be able to say what you mean, not to be understood. I find the brain fascinating, even when it gets off kilter. Sometimes hours later I would realize what Dad had been trying to communicate; it usually was within a couple of degrees of separation from the intended word. It all became a giant puzzle or game show quiz. Name that object! Symbols took on a whole new meaning.

Linda said...

Stray, it's funny that you jumped to the defense of Namo's Mom. I was about to say, "Namo, your POOR DAD." The last 2 lines are funny, but maybe they also mean that your mom hasn't always been like this (I hope!) You made some comment on my blog about your mom attacking you verbally and I was so thrown off by it I don't think I responded. Has your mom always been like this? That is a gorgeous picture.

Namowal said...

Hi Stray,
The word scramble is a crazymaker for everyone involved. I can usually understand what she means through context and intuition. Talk of upcoming events is where communication breaks down.
Often she doesn't realize she's not making sense and thinks it's just us giving her a hard time. Maybe it's a defense mechanism.
It does have a puzzle or game show likeness. Reminds me of Carrol's Alice in Wonderland too.
Speaking of brains, ever read Phantoms in the Brain? It's full of odd stories of brain mischief- phantom limbs, hallucination, blindsight and otherwise normal, sane people with weird delusions.

Namowal said...

Hi Linda,
With the exception of the I'll fix you! attitude, she hasn't always been like this.
I agree that my dad puts up with a lot of nonsense. He signed her up for an expensive (but excellent) doctor who is always on call to answer questions or help out. Guess who thinks he's a quack and refuses to see him? Its ridiculous.

Linda said...

Oh Namo, I wasn't very clear. It was the "I'll fix you! attitude" I was asking about. It seems that that kind of attitude would be much harder to be around than the word scramble.

Namowal said...

I'd say the "I'll fix you!" attitude occurred maybe once a year at the most. She was usually easy going, but if a loved one got her mad (even by accident), watch out! I actually saw less of this attitude as she matured (pre-stroke). I suppose I should be glad her post-stroke angry moods don't last very long.

sal said...

Well, I also meant to add: it's crucial that the caregivers take care of themselves (time off, etc.)!

m. theresa said...

Even I would need to take frequent meditation breaks.

Namowal said...

I agree that time off is crucial, stray g.

I feel a bit guilty posting this one because after that particular "meltdown" (which followed similar meltdowns in the last few weeks), she was actually pleasant for the rest of the weekend.

m. t. said...

Never feel guilty! Caregiving is so frustrating, and posting is very therapeutic! It is part of your self care.

Namowal said...

Thanks, m.t.
What you said is very true.

Sally said...

This was tough to read. And what about your grandma? I've been on the reverse end this week, getting cranky with my daughter.

Namowal said...

My grandma never had any strokes but she had a odd personality. She could be loving and generous, but if took offense (usually at something frivolous)she'd go out of her way to punish the offender.