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Family Tensions


Treebywater

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Of all of the many expected and unexpected difficult things we are dealing with now, the family tensions that are cropping up are particularly difficult. I didn't expect so much conflict and tension. It hurts so badly on top of everything else.

My aunt left early today feeling hurt and angry at us. Daddy and I didn't mean to hurt her or upset her. She seemed to think Daddy thought she had purposely over-medicated Mom. She thought we thought she was in the way. In reality, I was feeling grateful she was here (I got my head on straight eventually), Mom was really leaning on her for support. She had given us a much needed break. But... she was also having a hard time letting us be 'in the lead.' She switched into social worker/I've been here before mode and wouldn't let us in. Even with hospice. She took a lead role in discussions so that I wanted to say, "Hello... We're the ones who live here!" When the CNA came to help Mom get her bath, she took over instead and wouldn't take the suggestions the CNA gave for how to help Mom. I think it was best that she left in many ways, but it hurts me so much that she was hurt. And I was so angry at her, because while I needed to be focusing my energies on Mom, I was having to worry about her being hurt. I was left trying to smooth things over, while she was, perhaps coping with feeling she needed to leave by being angry at us.

Dad and I have had flare-ups too. Daddy is afraid Mom is being over-medicated. While I don't want Mom to be comatose, I do want to be assured her pain is managed. So we approach the pain medicine differently, and worry about the same things in different ways. We also cope in tremendously different ways. He focuses on little things to be busy with--housework being the biggie. I on the other hand grow still. IT is all I can do to do what I need to for Mom and Carolyn. All of me is focused there and housework is the farthest thing from my mind (though I am trying so hard to keep up on some of it).

Dad and I are both trying to choose the ground of peace. With the high level of emotion, it is a challenge to stay rational. It's not something I thought we would have to struggle so hard with.

So far, Daddy and I are able to get to the REAL issues at hand even when things flare up: The fact that we both love Mom and want the best for her. The fact that we need each other right now, and will need each other all the way through this. The fact that we need this house to be full of peace and love for Mom's sake.

Overall with all of the family (and more will be coming through soon) I have to remember we are all DOING THE BEST THAT WE CAN with this awful, painful situation.

Anyway, it's just a pitfall of all this I didn't see coming.

Mom seems to be slipping away so fast... It already feels like she is just a shell. She is completely bed-ridden and sleeps most of the time. It's scary. I am praying for more Mom-like moments... and if the Mom parts of her have to be gone and pain and confusion must be in their place I pray she doesn't have to linger long...

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You're post brought tears to my eyes. I feel so sad for all of you. It is so hard to let go and let God but that is what we have to do sometimes.

There is so much emotion going on in the family right now that there is bound to be some conflict. Decisions and observations are seen differently and that is hard too I am sure. You have it right though focus on the house being full of love and peace for Mom.

Maybe you could call you're Aunt and tell her how bad you feel because she is hurt. She sounds like she has all the right intentions but is used to being the person in power. Yes, she is her Sister but she does need to step back when it comes to You're Dad and you as you are her closest family right now and have been since she married you're Dad.

I pray for peace, love and togetherness through this transition.

God Bless you all,

Jane

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I don't know what to say... I truly don't. Your family is so brave and strong. Tensions grow so high during this time. When Daddy was in the hospital the last week of his life, we all maintained our composure (like you are), but little things that each of us did would drive someone else CRAZY.... There were 10 of us who camped out at the hospital night and day so like you, we were over tired and stressed and very, very sad at the same time. Thus, you have very little patience for anything anyone else might do or say. And on top of it all... you have a little one to care for.. my god I give you such credit for being able to hold it all together. I don't have answers, just know I am sending my best thoughts and prayers.

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Val,

I'm so sorry for you and that you are going thru this, especially during this special time in your life when you are a new mother and have this wonderful new miracle in your life and have little time to enjoy the beauty of new motherhood. You are indeed a tribute to your own mother and I am sure she is very proud of you. I have no advice to offer for your situation, it sounds like your calm and sensible demeanor is in full control, but my thoughts and prayers are with you for a better tomorrow.

Love,

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I think Sharyn and I have similar stories. There were a dozen of us in the hospital for 11 long days. The uncertainty and the overwhelming saddness is enough to drive even the most composed person over the edge.

You feel sort of surreal, like you are in quick sand sometimes.

We snapped at each other alot over the little things. But you know in your heart that you and your dad need each other- and that's what is holding you two together thru this very difficult time.

You are very strong. You can do this, because of how much you love your mom.

I'm saying lots of prayers for your family.

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You are a loving daughter, part of a loving family caught up in extremely difficult circumstances. I'd say you're handling things like a champ by understanding that everyone copes differently and trying to look for common ground. By making these days all about your Mom being comfortable and peaceful, you are providing a loving environment for her to make the transition between life and death. She could ask for no more.

On a different note, I know what you're saying about wanting to have more Mom moments. Towards the end, my Mom began to sleep more and became more and more disoriented when she was awake. My brother and I looked for Mom to be "normal" one more time before she died and it wasn't to be.

Looking back on it, there were glimmers of Mom in those last days. She roused herself to say my name and blow me a kiss the night before she died. I did not realize that this was the last bit of normal she could offer me and that it took all of her strength to do so. So, please, watch for the little things and little moments and savour them.

God bless you all.

Kel

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Val,

I am so sad for you and only wish we could run over to babysit or hug or just make coffee...........

On top of all you described you miss your husband........it is too much..........you are doing fine.

Your mom knows how much you love her

Your dad, too and even your aunt..........people just are still and always going to be who they are (loving, flawed, and wonderful and irksome) no matter what is going on around them.

The situations change, but people are who and how they are.

That is okay.

Just hug Carolyn and hang on your husbands emails and know that God has you firmly in His plan.

Lots of love

P

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Val~

Your post is a heartbreaker. I read it this morning and thought about it most of the day today. This disease is both a blessing and a curse...a blessing in finding the good side of ourselves and others and a curse in finding the dark side.

I'd sit down and send your aunt a card thanking her for her help and the break she gave you. Tell her it meant a lot to you and your dad to have her there.

When John was first diagnosed I had some horrible run ins with some of his family members. Things were done and said that will never be forgiven. Having others around when you are going through a bad time is awfully hard.

I hope the next round of company works out better.

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Dear Val,

You have been in my thoughts since things started getting challenging here of late with your Mom's situation.

I have NO answers for you. When I tended my own Mother there were NO family members at all to pitch in. I was feeling kind of sorry for myself...having to bear the brunt of the burden - well, the WHOLE burden actually - myself. So I guess I was suffering as you - only in a different way.

I agree with Ry. A note of thanks to Aunt perhaps will soften tensions and hearts here. I am just so sorry for you, honey. That precious face and all the feelings of new motherhood on the one hand.....then the emotions dealing with this beast of a disease with your own dear Mother on the other. Yes, life sometimes can be so cruel.

I am sorry, Val. I believe I said before that I would be so lucky to have you as a daughter. I am sure your Mother feels the same. I am certain your Aunt sees how very lucky you Mother has been to have had you as her daughter too.

I will continue to keep you and your whole family in my thoughts and prayers and most certainly in my heart at this difficult time.

Kasey

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Val, you are going through so much. I have been there. You're right --they do seem like a shell. But deep inside is their soul and they are trying to prepare for what comes next. They sleep,eat little and try to cope with their body changes and as well as the pain. Just give all the love and support you can. She knows you love her. You are doing a great job. Just hang in there and God bless you. This is not a good time in anyone's life. Nancy C

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Hi Val,

I feel so bad for your situation. So much confusion brought on by these difficult times by all involved. Even though everyone is just trying to help sometimes they don't do what is best. These are all learning experiences.

You just keep being the wonderful, loving, caring daughter that you are. You and your dad will get through these emotional times together.

A little card from you to your Aunt may be all that is needed to make her feel that her kindness did not go unnoticed. That may just be the pick me up she may need.

As for you mom. The most important thing is to keep her a comfortable as possible.

I pray for you all.

Maryanne

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Val, I am so sad to read your post. You have alot of courage and you have to know that although your Mom may not be responsive, she knows you are there. The family issues always seem to come up because everyone wants to make things better. My 4 brothers and I have always gotten along so well until now.......since my Dads lung cancer. It causes so much pain watching your parent/or loved one suffer. My thoughts and prayers are with you

NancyT

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You're having a really rough time, aren't you? So sorry you have to go through this. It's one of the biggest stressors in life and people are not always up to it.

Misunderstandings can all be repaired later. Decide to devote your concern to your aunt and others later; right now just be close to your mom any way you can.

Hope everything happens for your mom's highest good.

Leslie

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I'm so sorry for all this. you're aunt will be OK - she's probably just scared, too. you are doing SO right by your mom.

I can relate, to a smaller degree. over this weekend, in the hospital, my mom would ask for something and my brother would bodily throw himself in front of me to be the one to do it for her. :lol: after a short period of feeling pissy and ALMOST getting dragged in to the competitive stuff, I decided to let him.

that said, your mom's care is in a very different place than mine. I think it sounds like you and your dad are handling it all beautifully, conflict notwithstanding. no matter how much you fight you both remember it's about your mom's comfort. that's an amazing feat - I have seen plenty of families not manage to remember that.

hang in there girl, you are AMAZING. I'm praying for all of you.

xoxo

amie

PS. I agree, a little thank you card may just smooth things over with your aunt, so YOU don't have to worry about it.

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my god it was so painful to read your post because I literally Lived that. I swear to you word for word I lived that life the last month of moms life. Dad was literally doing housework from the floor up, even repainting the walls.

to say things were tense was a huge understatement. my sister and I fought like mortal enemies over nothing. we were tense with dad because he was in so much denial about mom and her not getting better.

All I can say to you is it is normal. I think anyway. your emotions are on overload and everyone is angry that your mom is so ill.

somehow everyone needs to understand that you all are trying to acheive the same goal. to comfort your mom.

I have you all in my prayers

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