If there is one thing that truly gives me anxiety, it’s the constant efforts of my sister Rebecca to remove me from our family’s life, especially our Mother’s life. Her constant efforts to try to get Mom to move away with her, and in the last couple of years, comments by Aaron (Rebecca’s son) and Miranda to move south and live with them.
Let me first start by saying that my sister and I have never had a good relationship. We were totally different children who have grown even further apart. Her focus was friends, my focus was family. She was constantly jealous of the closeness between our Mother and I. But the funny thing is she didn’t spend long conversations talking AND listening to Mom. Her efforts were always with friends and in adult years, her in-laws. Even now, she shows more affection for friends and in-laws and she doesn’t hide that in the least. When everything crashed down in our family, after our father’s sexual abuse of Abby was discovered, Rebecca, Aaron and Miranda were always saying ’Is Meemo alright? Make sure you take care of Meemo’ Absolutely none of them came to help Mom through the hard times. I had her back through all of it. I was the one who sat through over an hour when she went to the police station after dad’s arrest, even though I told her to talk to an attorney first. For the first few months after Mom moved into my apartment and shared a bedroom, I was the one to wake her when she started crying in her sleep. I was the one to sit with her when she needed talk about everything going on and not censor herself and I was the one to give her the time and space to slowly let go of a 50yr marriage gone bad. I didn’t constantly badger her to get a divorce. I didn’t make her feel uncomfortable about talking about past and present things regarding what was happening. I never once told her what she should do or how she should act. Now that Mom’s through the hard times and all the hard work is done, Rebecca and Aaron are acting like I’m controlling her and she needs to be encouraged to leave our house. From the start, Mom said she didn’t want to live alone and that in was fortunate for us that our separation from our husbands came within such a short time of each other.
In the last 2 months, I have noticed a change in how my sister acts toward me. We had just over a year when I thought things were getting better and things might be ok with us. We had a few meals out together and a couple nights at Mom’s and my place when all 3 of us were able to talk about things a bit and try to reach an understanding of each other. I thought we were off to a good start. But then I started to notice a change, several times I mentioned it would be great go out for lunch or dinner together. She would say yes but never actually commit to. Then the day came when I realized she wasn’t talking to me about anything important anymore, in fact she was barely talking to me at all. I found out from our Mom a few weeks ago that Rebecca was accepting a position in Washington (state) and wanted to know if Mom would come visit and stay for a month. Mom said she would visit but wouldn’t be staying that long. All of a sudden, I started realizing how often Aaron and Rebecca mentioned visiting or moving away from here and it all started to make sense.
If there is anyone manipulative and controlling in our family’s lives, it’s my sister. From tantrums and silent treatments when our Mother didn’t babysit every time Rebecca wanted to the all out verbal attack on many family members at a 70th birthday party for Mom when my sister didn’t think she was being shown the proper deference. After that night, there are even weeks of text where she ranted about me and demanded that Mom apologize to her for the ‘slights’ at the party. Then another week of messages when she was told not to show up at the next birthday party for an Aunt’s because everyone believed she was just using it as an opportunity to confront everyone again, this mostly because she had never attended a birthday party for Aunt Mary ever before. If there was ever a manipulative person in our family, it was Rebecca with her tendency to use her kids as a way to control Mom or me. Taking away the privilege to spend time with them if we didn’t act according to her wishes. She took Abby away from us after the birthday party, but gave Mom limited privileges back when she realized she needed her to babysit.
Anyway, getting off point here. My point being that I don’t understand why there is this effort to move Mom away. She’s happy here with her friends, coming and going without any responsibilities holding her down. In her own home where she makes all her own decisions on how she wants to decorate, doing her gardening around the house and everything else that she loves. She doesn’t have anyone holding her down or telling her how she should act, what she’s supposed to do and what she’s allowed to talk about. So why do they want to take her away from here and put her in a house far from all of her friends and things she likes to do.
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