top

The Simmons-Lee Family Chronicles

Living with or around Mom has always been difficult. She has always displayed verbally and emotionally abusive behavior. She was the oldest of 7 children and pretty much had the caregiving role given to her. Because of her abusiveness only two of her siblings maintained constant contact. One of those siblings is now deceased. Her family primaraly live in Tennessee; though she does have two brothers living close. One hasn't contacted her in over a year and the other only three times in the last 7 months. I was told by her youngest sister that they (the "boys" especially) haven't forgiven her for her behavior during their upbringing. I'm an only child and she pretty much made my childhood miserable and was verbalry/emotionally abusive to my Father as well. She can control her behavior when she so desires. I know this because I've watched the "shift" many times from her way of treating family to her behavior when her friends or church family is around. Amazing how quickly she changes "gears". My partner and I found out aproximately 6 years ago that Mom was an Atrial Fibrilation patient. Around 2 years ago her hip broke and she fell; this seemed to be the real beginning of her mental deteriation. She never was the same after hip surgery, which seems to be common with the elderly. She was also diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure around this time. My late Father and I are also CHF patients. Dad didn't live through his last heart attack. I seem to be doing rather well. Anyway, to make a loooong story short...Mom's condition seemed to take a drastic turn for the worse around 7 months ago. I love her only because she's my "Mom". If she was just someone I happened to know; well, I wouldn't have had anything to do with her because of her abusive personaility. But, she's my Mom and does'nt have anyone else. So, Ellen and I moved in with her renting our home in Huntsville. Here we are. It's very difficult at times. I live with Bipolar Disorder; now controlled, and interestingly Mom's new doctor has also diagnosed her with BPD. That explains a lot where her behavior is concerned; though, not all of her behavior can be attributed to BPD. She's naturally bossy and domineering (oldest child syndrome?). Her Dementia seems to be causing a progressively rapid decline. She loves her home dearly and we've wanted to keep her here as long as possible. But, due to the increasing rate of decline I'm afriad we're going to have to begin looking for placement in a facility in the near future. That breaks my heart because I know placement will utterly confuse her and she will be frightened. I realize that a lot of her past behavior was due to mental illness. Her present behavior is most often beyond her control. Dementia and it's corresponding illnesses are heart-breaking. No one deserves to live their final years in a state of confusion and phantom fears. No one deserves their own private, living hell. I want to join this site to become a better caregiver and to have a place to talk to those who truly understand. This is our story; we've yet to know how it ends...