The Nightmare Before Thanksgiving

Today was the worst.

I’m standing there screaming at mom, crying, she’s mad. Fuck it all. I hate this.

She woke up confused. I get up to get her up and find her in the kitchen. I let her know that we’ll leave at 8:15 and go back to bed. A minute later she opens my door. “What do I have to do? Where am I going? Where’s that? Now what do I have to do?”

She couldn’t even get the concept that she had to get dressed, eat breakfast, and go meet her friends for coffee.

All the way there–

“Now, who’s coming for Thanksgiving? When is Thanksgiving? How’d it get to be tomorrow already? Who’s coming? What about the rest of our family? I don’t know who those people are. Who’s coming for Thanksgiving?”

I drop her off and go home. I have a productive morning. I make two loaves of quick bread, Swiss green beans, cranberry sauce, and get the sweet potatoes started.

But that’s it. The rest of the day was a waste. She gets home at 11:15, a bit earlier than usual, and the loaf of bread I wanted to give the friend that brings her home was still in the oven. So we spent more than an hour in the afternoon delivering it to her house. I made lunch. We had to go the pharmacy to get her medication, as well as pick up a couple of things from the grocery store. I decided I didn’t want to cook so we picked up food from a local Mexican restaurant. That’s it. That’s all I had time to do today. Otherwise I was answering her questions, trying to find things she can do, turning on the football game for her– again.

I thought she might help me set the table but she was doing dishes. Great. Except that when I went to put the dishes away I discovered she’d never actually washed them! She’d stacked the dirty dishes in the dish drainer as if they were clean! Fuck! One more thing for me to do.

She can’t scrub the floor, clean the bathroom, or vacuum. She can’t cook. She can’t do dishes either apparently. I asked her to dust and she started to but never finished. I had to finish it.

Fine! I don’t care if she doesn’t do anything. Don’t do anything to help!!!! I’m fine with that. What I can’t stand is her bugging me all the time to answer the same questions over and over again, turn the TV on for her again, her asking me all the time for some task or chore to do that she can’t do and won’t do anyway. Leave me alone and let me do what I need to do! Fucking hell.

I got so frustrated and aggravated I yelled at her, “Go watch the game or go to bed; I don’t care which just stay out of my way so I can get something done around here!”

The thing is, I fought back tears most of the day because of how bad her dementia was today. While we were out picking up dinner I fought back pity-party tears because of a song on the radio: “Please come home so I can be happy again” went the song, and “I’ll never be happy again” went my thoughts. Then I realized that mom hasn’t gotten COVID and died, so then I was grateful, relieved, almost happy. Followed a few hours later by me screaming at her. Fucking hell.

I don’t want her to die, she can’t die, because then I have to die because I can’t support myself. But we’re both so fucking miserable that what’s the point of living? This is not living. This is existing. We don’t have enough money to live. So we sit here in this house getting sick to death of each other.

I keep saying I’m going to change, that I’m going to fix things, that I’m going to do this that or the other thing and in the end I do nothing. Ever. Not a god damned thing. I suck.

I feel bad for screaming at mom, but she won’t remember. Isn’t that the nice thing about dementia? She won’t remember that I yelled at her. I lost my cool, which hasn’t happened in a long time, and I suck, but at least she won’t remember that it happened.

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