We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.
This is a heartbreaking admission. One she would die-a-thousand-deaths to learn I have broadcast across the internet... But how to heal what is kept hidden?
My mother is beautiful. Fragile, elegant, fine. She is also delusional, paranoid and impossibly irrational.
I have tried, my entire life, to please and protect her. She has tormented me endlessly with her endless (yes, I know, twice in one sentence) grief, accusation, guilt and blame. I have tried, in vain, to "make up" for all the suffering and losses she endured at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. Now, in her late eighties, her mistrust and illogic have become unbearable to engage with.
Ironically, she is too sharp-witted to be declared incompetent. I have checked with numerous elder-care professionals, and they assure me that, though it is obvious she is making poor and dangerous choices for herself, no psychiatrist or judge would take her rights away, though clearly she is a danger to herself.
The tragedy is that she reaches out for me - believing I am the only one who can help her... Then, in boy-who-cried-wolf fashion, denies me when I come... It is indeed like attempting to hug a porcupine... She is a prickly minefield of unfounded angst and drama... there is no peace, no pleasure in her deeply unhappy company.
The question is, how do I live with myself? I am in a lose-lose situation. When I pick up my life, come three-thousand miles to attempt to wrest her from her hell, she fights me, and I drown in the abyss of her misery. When I stay away, I am wracked with guilt for abandoning a confused and frightened elder in decline... It is a Rubic's Cube of untenable circumstances.
The saddest thing is that I adore her. I would do anything to provide her with happy final memories of this world. Coming to terms with my inability to do so, letting go of my long-held ego identification of "good daughter" is devastating for me. Allowing her to die, bitter, heartbroken, alone - as seems to be the direction this depressing tale is heading - is a tough pill to swallow.
I realized, only recently, that I have essentially been a "battered woman" my entire life. I am traumatized by her grief and frustration. Had she not been a Holocaust-survivor, it is likely that I (and my equally battered brother) would have had nothing to do with her... But compassion, and so forgiveness, have kept us turning the other cheek, again and again and again...
For all our sakes, I admit, I am now at a point of wishing her a rapid passing. I want out of this karmic contract, that I have yet to understand why I chose. If I cannot bring her to peace, as I have dreamed of since childhood, then only God can.
Why are we given such tests?