"The one that adopted me, not the biological one."

It's so difficult dealing with my mother. The one that adopted me, not the biological one.

The biological mother I have is far less upsetting than the adoptive mother, in my case. I am disappointed by both but because of my ongoing, day-to-day familial connection to my adoptive mother, she's the one that hurts me almost daily, and it's not getting any better. It's worse.

I continue to work to protect myself from both women, think about my physical and mental health, as stress and emotional abuse can be harmful. It's never ending, the self-talk.

"Oh, I feel so guilty! Wait! You've done nothing to feel guilty about, just stop it. You're being manipulated by a person without real feelings or empathy. You are absolved of worrying about her feelings because SHE HAS NONE. It's wasted energy, pain for nothing, it's a cycle of abuse and you're being abused emotionally by this person. You can only control your reaction to it."

Alright. I feel a little better. But...

"Oh, I wish I could have a nicer relationship with my mom, I feel so bad that she's alone and sad. We should be able to have fun now and then, get along. Maybe if I said this, or that, did this, or that. Aw, come on, you KNOW nothing will change, no matter what you do. You've already done everything you can, and still do plenty. Nothing is enough for her, she sucks the life out of people. You have nothing to regret or feel bad about because you've been dedicated for years, for forever really. She's alone because of her, not because of you. You've done all you can do and been there for her more than anyone else in her life."

There. That always feels better. Big breath in. Big breath out. Start over, don't be affected. You can do this.

People are never emotionally separate from their parents, whether they're amazing or crap. Whether they're present or invisible. Whether they stay connected to them or shut them out.

If you're fortunate enough to be a parent to someone, be your best. Be what your son or daughter needs. If you can't put your child ahead of yourself, don't bother becoming a parent.

If you are the sort to decide to parent even though you're a selfish, narcissistic, sociopath, you won't listen to me anyway. Of this I am certain.



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.


Calcutta is My Mother Documentary

The film, Calcutta is My Mother, will document adopted person Reshma's first return to Calcutta as she explores her roots and the life she could have had had she survived in India.

Visit the KICKSTARTER page for Calcutta is My Mother to learn more about this story.


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