Still coping with a difficult, aging parent. Still sane. I think.

I'm taking a break, well, a physical break, from tending to my mom today. Mentally it's tough to completely turn off when acting as caregiver to a parent who may or may not be capable of living independently but that's the plan. Actually, it's a test in a way, to see if my mom can manage on her own today without me or other family being physically present. It's been months since that's happened.

Oh, I'll be close by, just in case, and if we are successful, I'll venture a little further away tomorrow.

I'm worn down, that's a fact. It's been a long stretch of daily contact with my mother, a long stretch of focusing on staying as patient as possible, working hard not to take my mom's mistreatment and distrust of me personally while existing in what feels like a constant state of demands and crisis, a task that's tough for someone who is sensitive to others' moods and negativity. I can be a little thin skinned at times, I know it. Nothing wrong with that, but it's true, it's me. It's also what likely keeps me devoted to my mom's health and safety, dedicated to doing what I can to help her enjoy as much quality of life as is possible. Despite her.

In sitting about this morning, working on reviving my brain and self, my soul, I peeked in on my blog here and got the urge to write a bit. I can't believe my post Are You Coping With A Difficult, Aging Parent? How Do You Stay Sane? is 5 years old already. Hopefully it's helped one or two people as it's helped me today, helped me to remember to try to"...not let my difficult parent turn me into the kind of person who is a complete drag to be around.".

Yesterday I ran out of words and thoughts by the end of the day. I was numb, blank-brained, over it, toast, tout fini, after facing a minor conflict with my husband after a long day helping my mother. I walked into our bedroom in the broad daylight, crawled into our bed, and zoned out. It's not like me to resist engaging when I'm feeling wronged (see above) but I was actually incapable of uttering one more word, summoning up one more ounce of energy to engage. That's kinda big. I am so grateful my husband eventually reached out to soften his behavior and acknowledge my stress, bringing much relief and rejuvenation. So grateful.

I feel better today, have so far only had minimal phone contact with my mother, and will keep it that way if at all possible. I will work hard to stay healthy and try to look after myself better through this.

Lastly, amazingly, I'm still sane. I think.

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