I had the conversation, but I don't think it will help.

@AmbiePam (50243)
United States
October 7, 2011 6:11pm CST
Some of you may remember the last discussion I posted about my dad speaking at a conference and while he is my mother (52 with dementia) will be staying with her mother. And I found out my grandmother plans to bring my mother to the conference on the night my dad is speaking. And since my dad told me he did not want my mom to be there (because he didn't think he could concentrate), I wanted some advice on whether I should say something. I think everyone who responded suggested that I tell my grandmother how my dad felt. So I called her tonight to talk to her about it. I waited, praying she'd come to that conclusion herself, but she hadn't. I told her how he felt, and told her I was worried about whether to say anything, but when I thought of how my mother would feel if she was in her right mind, I knew my mom would want me to say something. Well, I don't think my talk did any good. She assured me she would keep my mom from doing anything, but I told her that wasn't the issue. He just naturally tenses up because he constantly has to keep his eye on her. So even if she is being watched, he'd still be stressed out. My grandmother said she wanted to hear him speak at the conference too, and I told her I knew that. But I tried to point out in a respectful way that what matters most is him because he is the one who has to get up and speak. Then my grandma said she'd already told my mom she was taking her to hear him speak. And I told her my mom doesn't remember anything, so she won't even know my dad is speaking on that night unless my grandma brings it up again. So she said she was going to call my dad and talk to him about it. I told her she was welcome to do that but I guaranteed he would tell her he didn't mind, and that it was okay if she brought my mom. I told her he doesn't want to hurt her feelings so he'll say it's okay. But I know that is what she wants to hear, so I'm sure she'll just take it as fact and go ahead and take my mom to the conference. And I just feel like crying. I've got a small migraine, which thankfully I haven't had in two weeks, and I'm so disappointed that she is not taking into consideration my dad's feelings. It's not my job to make things better for my dad, but I cannot help but try. Being at there house and seeing what a burden she is on him just makes me so sad. My grandmother is not mad at me for telling her, and I don't think my dad will be upset that I told my grandmother about it. But in the end my grandmother is going to bring her, my dad will put a smile on his face and say it was no big deal, and my grandmother will incorrectly tell me everything went fine.
3 people like this
14 responses
• United States
8 Oct 11
Hi Ambie, I am so sorry you have to go through all of this with no one else to turn to. It's very heart-breaking and I really can't even imagine, as hard as I try, what I would do in your shoes. After reading your responses here, all I can think of is that maybe your grandmother should go live there for a week or so, and see what is going on first hand. Telling someone and seeing it in person are two different things. I feel so bad for your dad, but I do feel you've just about did all you can do right now, and that has to be just almost unbearably stressful for you. If you have other brothers and sisters, can they help somehow? Can they call your grandmother also and add to your conversation? I just don't know what else to say. Maybe someone here will come up with more ideas than I can, because I'm lost, and I'm sure you are too. You've done your best and I hope there's a little miracle around that will show up and take hold....xxx
@AmbiePam (50243)
• United States
8 Oct 11
My sister lives two and a half hours away from us, but about 40 minutes away from my grandmother. And I've realized because she is the only one in our immediate family living a normal and happy life, my dad does not want to bother her with stuff about my mom.
• United States
8 Oct 11
Sorry to hear that the conversation did not go as expected. Maybe your grandmother is in denial about your mothers condition. Not that she is not accepting but maybe just hoping that it was not so and feels that all will be okay. Shame that she did not see it as you had explained it. Since your father won't say what he is actually feelings, due to fear of hurting her feelings, it sounds like she will take your mother to the presentation. Perhaps with she may re-think it after all, if not then know you tried and sadly you cannot control how she is feeling. I do hope that all in all the presentation goes well for your father. Speak to him to do the best he can so that all will be well. Take care of the migraine as you know I know what this is like.
@AmbiePam (50243)
• United States
8 Oct 11
She knows how bad my mom is. She just thinks she can control her. I tried to tell her that isn't the point. My dad is just on automatic stress alert around her.
1 person likes this
@pergammano (7755)
• Canada
8 Oct 11
Ambie...I truly am so sorry that your grandmother did not seem to get the point of "how this could be a detriment to your Father!" You are so right, your Mother will not remember it's even happening unless your Grandmother intercedes and takes her! I am hurting for you (sure hope this thought doesn't make you mad) SO what if your Grandmother wants to hear your Father's speech, taking in all the circumstances, it seems "self-centred", with NO regard to the added stress this would cause your Father! This would be a wonderful break for your Father, just a little downtime from the day to day stressors and probably re-invigorate him...he needs his "health" cared for, too! Sorry, Ambie...but it almost makes me feel like I would disable (temporarily) her vehicle..of find some stumbling block to keep this from happening!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50243)
• United States
8 Oct 11
I had that thought too, so it doesn't make me mad. I wanted to say for a normally selfLESS, kind woman, you sure are being selfish when it comes to this. But I didn't. My uncle, my grandmother's son, has royally screwed up his life, and she'll make excuses all day long for him. So it stands to reason when my mom wants something my grandmother will make sure it happens. And if it means making my dad uncomfortable, then so be it. The thing was, when my mom was in her right mind, my mom was totally supportive of my dad and completely unlike her brother and unselfish to a fault. My mom in her right mind would not want herself to go to that conference like she is now. And I did tell my grandmother that. If I didn't live 2 and a half hours away, I would try to find a way to keep them from going.
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Oct 11
Sorry, Ambie, I do remember you now telling us that you lived a distance from Grandmother, and that was when there was disruption from the Uncle! I have known both sides of a very young soul, afflicted with Alzheimer,(sp) and what I found, is there is little or NO reflection of the wonderful person before being struck with this debilitating disease. So, I truly do have some concept of what you are saying. I am REALLY, REALLY sorry that your Grandmother will not/cannot understand the effects of her attendance. You have given it "your all" Ambie, and I just wished the outcome could have been different!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50243)
• United States
8 Oct 11
Oh yes, dementia in its forms seems to turn wonderful people into people one would never know were formerly terrifc human beings.
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
10 Oct 11
But the main thing is that you tried. You did the right thing my friend. I personally feel that your father is a saint and your grandmother should just try to understand but she won;t. I am so sorry but just pray that it will go well for him and that he won't get too tense. I will keep on praying for you all. You are a wonderful daughter did you receive the photos that I sent to you of my family?
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50243)
• United States
12 Oct 11
Yes, I did! I sent you an e-mail, but I'll check my draft folder in case it got in there. I've had trouble with my e-mail lately.
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
12 Oct 11
Great. I do hope that you liked them.
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
10 Oct 11
I would intercede and make sure she does not go. It's not your job, yes, but I feel that, as humans, it is our responsibility, when we see things that others need help with, that we should step in. Even if you take over watching his mom, which would be a wonderful thing that you could do.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50243)
• United States
10 Oct 11
I would love to do that. But I live 2 and 1/2 hours away from my grandmother. Now, my sister, lives just 30 minutes away from my grandmother. But my sister doesn't seem to care. If she were around my parents all the time like I am since I live so close, I think she would see things differently.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
10 Oct 11
At least you tried and that is all you can do. Don't worry so much about it...things might work out. Just make sure you are there for your dad even if you can't really help! But you were so good to try to make it right! Good for you!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50243)
• United States
10 Oct 11
Mentally, I've thrown my hands up in the air and hoped for the best.
@SomeCowgirl (32266)
• United States
9 Oct 11
sounds like any grandmother, really. Mine is the same way, I'm sure she'd do the same thing. I hate it for you, because I know that you just want to look out for your father's best interests. It sounds to me your grandmother is being selfish. If she really wants to hear your father speak, she'd find another way to do so, without your mother. However, if your father doesn't say it was no big deal, and in fact tell your grandmother how it is, that won't help either, and might make things worse. let's just hope the conference goes well, your father isn't stressed out about it all,and it goes quickly.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50243)
• United States
9 Oct 11
Thanks.
@carolscash (9500)
• United States
8 Oct 11
Sorry to hear that she doesn't take your opinion on this seriously. Maybe your mom is not as much of a burden as you feel that she is on your father. He may get tired but he may not see her as a burden because of his love for her. I would hope that he would tell your grandmother if he truly will be worried about her while she is there. It is not fair to you to have to say anything, but if you feel that you are doing the right thing, then I am proud of you for doing that. I feel that you and your dad need to have a talk about this and see how he truly feels about the entire situation.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50243)
• United States
8 Oct 11
She wakes him up in the middle of the night, pulls on his covers, and asks him why HE woke HER up. She pulls off his sleep apnea mask and sometimes stands at the foot of his bed just staring at him. She stands outside the bathroom and if he is taking too long to "do his business", she'll walk in on him. He makes her food, cuts her food, bathes her himself, dresses her,does all the housework that I don't do for them, and wipes her rear end himself. She won't leave him alone to do anything, and when someone comes in to stay with her on a rare occasion while he goes out, she insists on calling him and she starts complaining that they don't know what they are doing. She goes back and forth to the bedroom and the living room, asking him where are her glasses. But they are on her head. The other day he asked her to put her shoes on. SHe said she had them on. He told her she didn't. She stuck her bare foot out to him and said, what are these then, very sarcastically. She is showing him her bare foot, acting like he's the slow one when there isn't a shoe in sight. She yells at him, and throws a fit when she doesn't get her way. She has literally taken his will to live. And I'm not kidding, Carol. Another bad side effect of her going nuts is that he confides in me. And he does not want to live. He puts on a smile, takes great care of her, and does what he can for everyone else. But the man longs to die. And I can't help at all.
1 person likes this
@RitterSport (2452)
• Lippstadt, Germany
15 Oct 11
Dearest Ambie, I hope the migraines are over and done with and I also hope you wont sit there and fret about the whole thing any more. Easy to say that from over here, I know, and I guess I would be fretting too, but you got to keep in mind you did all you could to change the situation to the better. If your dear Grandma now will not listen to you and if she calls your dad and he wont tell her to not bring your mom along as it would disrupt him and ruin the conference speech, then its not your responsibility. You did all you could to make things work out and you could not do more Lots of hugs to you.
1 person likes this
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
13 Oct 11
I can understand the frustration you must be feeling right now. I know how difficult things can get when dealing with family. And the older ones always think they know best and just don't think they can make errors. Hopefully things will turn out all okay for everyone. Sending you best wishes for such.
1 person likes this
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
11 Oct 11
I know how that goes. I think this happens in alot of families.
1 person likes this
@katsmeow1213 (29044)
• United States
10 Oct 11
That's a real shame you can't get your grandmother to see reason. It sounds like a completely frustrating situation. I'm glad you called her at least. When is this conference to be held? Maybe you can convince your dad to let someone else be with your mom during the conference so she doesn't end up going there to see him? I hope something gives so that your dad can deliver his speech without worrying about your mom.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
10 Oct 11
Well you did what you could seems like grandma could fined somee one to stay with your mom so she can go to hear him talk
1 person likes this
@carpenter5 (6786)
• United States
31 Oct 11
I'm so far behind in my emails. I'm sure that this weekend has already happened. Please tell me how it went. I know it was frustrating for you and you were simply trying to do the right thing for everyone. But sweetie, at some point you have to let it go. You'll make yourself sick. I know because I did it to myself. Mine was my step dad who has alzheimer's. I tried to tell my mom that my kids did not want him at things because he said things that embarrassed them. It was hard and she would get mad at first, and then I would be miserable because everyone was mad and frustrated. You did the right thing telling her. Hopefully, your dad was able to be honest with her at some point.