I can't tell you what an emotional roller coaster ride your story gave me, but I can tell you with tears streaming down my face that I have more than the deepest respect for you and the love you have shown your Mother over the years. You probably didn't see it as love but more as a damn duty......but I see a little girl still wanting to somehow please her Mom and get some kind of acknowledgement for doing it, maybe even a sincere thank you from her would be enough to make it worthwhile for you.
I don't have to tell you that your Mother is mentally ill, you already know that all I can say is Decki how can you get blood out of a turnip? I totally feel for the caring person you are just wanting a normal Mom to do normal things with and not having to be put in the position of care taking your parent for such a long time (since you were 4) I can relate to that in more ways and I will try to tell you, bare with me. I'm not sure I would have it in me to do all that you have done and not be resentful for what you don't have in a Mother. Gawd this is bring up so much in me and I'm about to bore you with my experience.....I hope it helps you.
First all resentment can eat you up, it can make you very physically, emotionally and spiritually ill and it can take years to get over it if you are lucky and it hasn't worked itself into a disease of some kind.
I have a wonderful Mom and I'm am so glad beyond words to be able to say that today it wasn't always the way I felt about her. My Mom lived a life of not only a staunch JW but also as a very codependent person all tied up in what my Dad was or wasn't doing to the neglect of us kids. Our family legacy is one of neglect. I grew up not feeling loved and at the age of 4 realized that I was pretty much on my own....I became a very independent little girl which galled my Mother to know end needless to say we didn't get along very well, my older sister was wiser at playing our Mom and learned to be a people pleaser. My younger sister became invisible and had her own "friends" she is schizophrenic and now cares for our Mom on a daily basis and our Mom cares for her as well.....not sure who's zooming who??? But it's working for them for the time being and I'm thankful for that.
Decki it took me years of therapy to get to the place where I could admit that I couldn't get blood from a turnip......or rather I couldn't get from my Mom all the things I needed (and I was an adult by this time) but she did have some things to offer me and for that I became grateful. ACOA has a saying which became my mantra "when nothing else works try gratitude."
I remember the very day, the very place, and exactly what I was doing when I finally got it and was able to accept my Mother for who she is rather than what I wanted her to be and I knew I simply knew it was enough and some thing I could work with. It was an epiphany for me and it came hard learned by an independent little girl now a woman who surly didn't want to believe I would never have the Mom I wanted. What I have is a loving Mother who is limited in what she has to offer me and what I learned is that I as a Mother am also limited in what I have to offer and what I did give my children which makes me sad but then again I have to realize where I failed my own children I also gave them determination to be and do for themselves which isn't a bad thing and the goal after all is that we bring up independent children who can function regardless of what was given them. It may be my own rationalization about my own failures but I do know I tried my best with what I had to offer and I also know I try to console myself with that because I failed them miserably and I tried so hard not to, not to be my Mother yet I was some thing else. We can't be all things to all people and we will never be able to meet every one's needs and I hate that about myself, my limitations! Grrrr!
Gratitude is a hard lesson to learn and it won't happen over night but you already have an insight on this;
I can think of a few fun things and actually even if it is a bit sick, it is pretty damn funny to me how she described trying to rip her dogs head off..
You've found humor even in it's sick way.....BTW I don't think it's sick it is what it is and can be pretty laughable unless you're the dog. Your Mom is teaching you things even if they aren't what you want right now I bet some where down the line you will draw on this experience and find you have a strength you didn't realize, it will happen. Plus I can't help but think of what YOU are teaching your children about responsibility to those whom we are related to even if we don't particularly care for them. Lesson's in life don't come when you are having a good time and every thing is wonderful those are times to just enjoy the moments, lessons life affirming lessons come when we are struggling mostly with ourselves to do the right thing when we want to run screaming from the room. We stay and do what needs to be done because it's human, it's necessary it's the right and dignified thing to do, not for our self but for someone else's benefit. You are an awesome person and you are doing a wonderful thing not for your Mother who doesn't remember, doesn't care, doesn't see but for your own children who are observing and learning from YOU!
Hang in there girl and find the humor, let go of the resentment and be grateful for the little things which IMHO are part of the bigger picture. Can you imagine in your old age needing the kind of care you are giving your Mother from your children? Life's lessons, suck eh?
You know I wish I lived closer to my Mom so I could have been there to help her as she was convalescing from her recent surgery, but no the "friends" from the KH helped her (somewhat) and my younger sister who drew from her own inner strength helped her even though it was probably hardest for her with her inabilities limited as they are helped her.
Oh one other thing I would like to share with you which this brought up for me:
I have not even hugged this woman since I was about 8 unless it was forced on me and here I am worrying if the elastic band on her panties is going to aggravate her rash ………
Before my epiphany I started doing this thing we did in our ACOA group. Every time I saw my Mom I would give her a hug, this was funny because most of the time it was at the KH and my Mom is a very stoic person who hardly hugs. Her reaction at first was awkward and I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing or even doing it right! LOL But I kept on and I also never left her without giving her a hug and telling her I love her, no matter where we were. I really think this helped me get over it......funny thing is that now she and my younger sister have a nightly ritual of hugging each other before they retire each to their own apartments (they live close by) and can't go without doing this. Hum....
Well this was a gut wrenching post for me and I hope it helps you but I mostly wanted to tell you that you are an incredible person doing an incredibly hard thing and I wish you all the strength you can draw up to continue on keep doing this:
Lately though I just go through the routine with ease and I find that singing Afroman’s song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=305vRNoofr8 while doing it keeps me laughing. She seems to like the tune and does not remember it in five minutes so it is all good.
I think that's great! Hang in there Decki!