I know a lot of you have heard me complain about my grandma. Please don't get me wrong....I love her dearly. Besides Faith, she is literally my ONLY close relative. She's been a special person in my life since I was an infant, and we've always shared a very close relationship.
Her aging has destroyed her. She has been in some form of dementia for the last couple of years, which causes her to be forgetful, given to bouts of anger and frustration, and has dropped her into a major depression. She went from independent to the extreme to being nearly unable to do anything for herself. Lately, she's gotten to where she can't even leave the house to get her mail, so we go over every day and get it for her. Today, we took her recycling in and bought groceries for her. On a daily basis, I shop, clean, pay bills, and do errands for her. If I'm lucky, I get one day a week away from it. And the phone calls.....according to our phone bill, we AVERAGED 2 1/2 hours EVERY SINGLE DAY on the phone. Her life has been full of rich and amazing adventures, but I have heard each adventure at least 10 times. Lately, she has totally turned into a crabby complainer....nobody can do anything right and nothing makes her happy. And, since I'm in her line of fire, I get the bullets. I've left her house in tears more times than I can count.
I look back 5, 10, 15 years and yearn for the relationship we used to have. It was a balanced mix of her criticism and her love. My father (who was never in my life) abandoned her and disappeared from her life, likely because of the way she treated him. Even in the best of times, she's incredibly judgmental and manipulative. She actually enjoys reminding me of the mistakes I've made (if I'm reminded again how I ruined everyone's lives by marrying my ex-husband, I may scream) and seems to purposely hurt my and Faith's feelings by making horrible comments about our appearance. I knew what she was like when I was younger and I accepted it. Now, with the helplessness thrown in, she's become RUTHLESS.
I view Facebook as something of a journal where I can express myself freely.....unfortunately, a few "friends" didn't feel that way. When I vented about my frustration with grandma, I lost several of these "friends." Before their departure, I was admonished for complaining. I'm still a little pissed about that....you don't live my life, you have no idea how hard this is. I am trying to raise a teenager, deal with my own health issues, and take on the care of my beloved grandma who seems to have disappeared behind this frail, angry person. I vent here so I can keep myself from exploding at her.
If you come away with anything from this entry, please let it be this - I love my grandma. What I don't like is the disease that has robbed her of herself. I would never abandon her or give up trying to be strong for her. The only way I can do it is to let off steam now and then.
Thanks for reading.