There is a scripture that talks about a child being able to put his hand in the den of asps and not be harmed. This of course is Isaiah divining the peaceable kingdom to come. I know we aren’t living in the time of peace and harmony so why do I still stick my hand out to be bit every time I talk to Mom? She is convinced that I truly do not earn my keep, at least not the $12.33 an hour I’m supposed to work for her. I’m working from home today and she’s already planned blood draw and then her social worker is coming over which will more than use up the allotted time I’m supposed to work per day to “earn my money” but it’s not cleaning house, it’s not doing her laundry, it’s not feeding her birds, it’s not slaving for her. She wants unconditional love, unconditional devotion, and unconditional willingness to be kicked in the gut when she needs someone to hurt as much as she does so she has the illusion of control and doesn’t feel alone. Where I want to hurt myself in those situations she wants to hurt other people.
I know that, I’ve know that she’s angry and scared and is having problems adjusting to the inevitable. I know this then why is it it hurts and tears at me when she says things like “Well, it’s not like you’re earning your money. I could probably cut your hours back so K can work full time”. I know she needs and wants to keep me on “the payroll” because she’s afraid that if I didn’t need my medical so desperately, I would quit her and leave her alone to die. I think that’s what she has always expected her whole life, that she would die alone because her family doesn’t love her, that she is unlovable. She’s convinced herself her parents and siblings hated her, and if even half of what she has told me is true, it is probably the root cause of all this, her husbands have abused her, cheated on her (or so her expanding memory keeps telling her), her grandkids (except for one) hate her and she doesn’t know why, I’m only here for the money and benefits. I can’t seem to change her mind on that.
The bright side to all of this is the medications are working. I know they are because I’m not ranting about her, knowing that if I keep going on and on about how I do my job would send me into an emotional maelstrom and I would dwell on it for hours if not days. I might still pick it up from time to try to figure out what do but I’m able to divert my thoughts when I realize I’m starting to spin before I’m out of control. Amazing what happens when you take your pills every day.
The angry person that I am wants to tell her what she can do with her $12.33 and comprehensive benefits and put them somewhere the sun doesn’t shine. But honestly I couldn’t afford to pay for COBRA and also lose the pittance of a paycheck that I get from my second job. Heaven knows I’m not able to afford everything else with my first job. Pushing the anger aside I’ve been able to think clearly enough and realize that going without medical is no longer an option in the US, and ways have been provided to help those of us who can’t make their ends meet. So, what this means to me is that I don’t have to work for her any more, I can be her daughter, do what I am emotionally and physically able to do for her and take back the control I need for my own sanity. I know, I know, control is an illusion, no one has control. Despite that, I need to protect myself as much as possible as she starts to deal with her own end-of-life issues I want to be there with her and I want to help her and prepare her but not at the expense of my own sanity. If anyone is going to drive me over the crazy cliff it will be me. I am the mistress of my own fate.
So this gives me a whole new list of things to do:
- Contact Covered California for help in figuring out the system (done)
- Get the cost of COBRA
- Sign up for VHP but not on Medi-Cal.
- Medi-Cal patients are treated differently than VHP participants.
- Assign my hours over to K and then quit my job as Mom’s “caregiver” and then start taking care of her as her daughter.
I doubt she’ll stop trying to hurt me, but at least she might have to think twice because I’m not getting paid to be her personal walking and talking Damnit Doll.