I'm finally wound down from the visit, only took me 5 hours... I'd like to say the venture was pleasant, and a joy but who am I to lie to my following. This particular visit was heart wrenching and turbulent. If it were not for the roles honor for the elderly play in my social upbringing and world views I would not have stood for much that went on.
I'm not going to go into exact details, because the whole visit wasn't actually bad. However, the bad portions of this venture were almost unbearable. There is not much background I can offer which will help make you understand the abstractness of my grandmother's mind it is hard to comprehend even for professionals.
Today was the day that she decided that yet another depression pill wasn't working, which in reality it was working quite well. Her crying spells have been cut in half, less paranoia, fewer suicidal thoughts, she looked much healthier, and actually moved around. This is a far cry from the distressed and almost psychotic woman living on the couch.
One would normally think that such a drastic change would inspire someone to stay on the medication, but due to an almost irrelevant and common side effect she decided to completely give up the only drugs which have made a difference in thirty years. I'm not at liberty to discuss this one side effect, because I'm still in shock that something so trivial and manageable would cause her to give them up.
All that aside the disorders and mental vices she possesses played a very little part in her overall behavior. In fact, one would say she is her own hateful self. Besides the usual act completely disregarding my university life as a waste of time, she managed to try to manipulate me in many ways.
List of manipulations:
1.) Telling past stories about my grandfather which cast him in a truly negative light, this act is usually to promote pity or to try to get me (or someone else) to play favorites.
2.) Trying to create controversy between myself and my parents. This comes in many forms everything from digging for information, or implying themes or situations in an attempt to have one self incriminate.
3.) Radical opinions against loved ones in an effort to get one to fight back create tension, controversy, pity, or what ever chaos is needed.
Tactic number three was used in multiple ways to speak about a loved one, she used racial slurring and false accusations in an attempt to edge me on into combating her. I know better than to fall pray to this tactic, I have once and it caused so much derangement within the immediate family that it just wasn't worth the stress to me. The sad part is these uncalled for accusations and terms do not even fit. They are just said because they are shocking and hurtful.
Much of the rest of the visit was spent listening to my dear grandmother attack various other family members, I personally had no issue with this because these family members probably deserve some of this contempt. It tends to be painful to listen to after a few hours though.
This was followed by what I like to call the "advice hour", and today's topics were:
A) Children will ruin your life, don't have any... EVER!
B) Never get married, it will ruin you life.
C) Don't be like your father or grandfather.
Lovely chatter, it was actually quite amusing at times.
The rest of the visit was rather dull, it was variations my helping read the inscriptions on various auctioned antiques and admiring my grandmother's substantial jewelery collection. I must give her credit she has very good taste in antiques and jewelery.
My stay lasted an hour and a half longer than it was supposed to, which I didn't particularly mind because I was more worried about the whereabouts of my grandfather. He had been held up by poor weather, and arrived later than expected. His news upon arrival was rather bleak and depressing, his experimental eye procedures which had been working to restore the vision in one of his eyes, but another bleed in the back of his eye compromised everything. Due to a lack of funds, and no better alternative it looks like he may lose one of his eyes.
This is not good news, and I fear that the two may end up in a home or some sort of assisted living center do to their increasing inability to take care of themselves. Unfortunately our home cannot be opened to them because they cannot climb stairs, which the family home has many.
So over all, quite a testing and stressful day. So much ambiguity and torment from a genuinely good gesture.