The title of this post is exactly how I am feeling the last few days. Blamed.
My grandmother, whom I have lived with for the last five years, has been quite sick off and on for about 2-3 of those. At first the sickness spells were spread quite far apart and they weren’t so bad. Now they’re more frequent and more severe. She is currently in the hospital. While I love my grandmother, she is quite stubborn when it comes to her medication. She does not like to take it, so at times she just decides not to. Mostly you can tell when she has stopped taking it and the spells are preventable. Here in recent times it has become harder to predict. This last time, which has landed her in the hospital, there were no signs. She was seemingly fine. Unfortunately, this time has been the most severe out of all of the cases. I don’t think it’s fair, for her sake, to go in depth about her illness, so I won’t delve that far into things.
I found my way into the hospital yesterday and was fortunate enough to be accompanied by one of my friends. (Thank God for her or I might have lost my sanity.) The nurse, whom I very much dislike (she had a very rude way about her when she spoke to me), proceeded to tell me everything that I had already known. She didn’t know however, that I lived with my grandmother. She then proceeded to basically blame me for my grandmothers bad spells. This woman knows absolutely nothing about me, my life, my schedule, or what occurs in my grandmother and I’s residence. As the visit proceeded, more of my family arrived. Those family members also proceeded to blame me for her being in the hospital and for not taking care of her.
Here are the questions I have for them:
Do you know that I work a full time job, and am a college student?
Do you know that my grandmothers illness is not something that can be caused by another human being?
Do you know that anything my grandmother asks of me, I do?
I don’t mean to trash on my grandmother when I say this, but she has a way of telling our family members only of the times that I am not home to help her, and of the times I stay somewhere for a few days. My family members never get to hear about the things that I do do for her, or about how I was working 6 days a week for a couple months there, or that I’m going to school to be a therapist, or about the fact that I have a mental illness. I have to keep a social life in tact or I slip into a depression. I’m very much so a social butterfly…being social is what keeps me afloat. My time with my friends is very valuable to me and my mental health. (Believe that or not.)
It also seems that the same people who say I never help or never do anything for her are the same people I never see around. The same people who only show up when she’s laying in a hospital bed. I love my family very much, (also, believe it or don’t), but you cannot blame one person for the downfall of another persons internal physical health. I cannot make her liver fail. I cannot make it hard for her to walk.
In order for my grandmother to get the proper care that she needs, as expected by my family, it would require me to quit both my job and my schooling. I refuse to do that. I have goals, and dreams, and things that I want to accomplish with my life. I’m 22 years old barely surviving off of a waitress salary. She has grown capable kids, that should be helping take care of her. Granted, I understand that some of them have children and lives, but I also have a very busy life. I understand that I live with her, and I should help her, and anything she asks of me I do do, but her children should be more prominent in her life. I don’t have the financial means to take care of her like she needs. I don’t have the physical means to pick her up when she falls. I don’t have the mental capacity to take care of her on my own. I’ve had breakdowns and I beat myself up over this all of the time, and I feel as though I am nearing yet another break.
Here’s the thing, though. My family doesn’t give a single shit about me. Not a single one of them were there (aside from my grandparents) when my parents kicked me out. Not a single one of them were there when I was laying in that hospital bed on suicide watch. Not a single one of them. I wish that my family would take the time to talk to me. To keep updated. To understand what’s going on. Yet they don’t. My grandmother, in my opinion, cannot be fully there mentally. Otherwise why would she stop taking the medication that she knows keeps her alive? She vents on the phone when she’s mad to anyone who will listen (although, I think we all do the same thing.). Yet, when it comes to the good things, no one ever hears that.
It’s safe to say that I am beyond frustrated. I don’t think they know that I love my grandmother with all of my heart. My uncle, I will say, takes her to the store once a week to do her shopping and takes her to her doctors appointments. I can’t always do those things given my ever changing and very busy schedule. But at the end of the day I’m at home. Helping clean up, making sure that she’s alive, asking if she took her meds, joking around with her, giving her hugs, telling her I love her every time I walk out the door. Why don’t those things amount to anything? He has legal care of her. So at the end of the day, what he says goes. He’ll more than likely send her home, only for the same thing to happen in another month or two. Not because I’m not taking care of her, but because the situation is obviously getting worse and more unpredictable. I’m not told anything about her health. I’m not kept updated…and why aren’t the important questions being asked? The ones the doctors won’t tell me because I’m not her legal caretaker. Like, is her situation worsening with her liver?? Should she be put in a home?
I’m heartbroken. It’s a very difficult thing for me to go to the hospital and see her. Both for schedule reasons and mental health reasons. I hate seeing her that way. I hate seeing my family there, seemingly so concerned. Where are they all the other times…why does no one come visit on a random tuesdsay night?
If it were my choice, she would have round the clock care by someone who is trained and prepared. Especially with how the situations are worsening. Her children won’t do it, and I can’t, but someone needs to be with her at all times. I don’t want to see my grandma go. We’ve had our bad times, but we’ve shared so many laughs and so much love. She stepped in when my parents bailed on me. She didn’t have to do any of that. I appreciate it more than she will ever know.
People, my family included, may never understand why I don’t “do more.” But when I say that I can’t, I can’t. I am doing what I can. I’m doing what I am mentally capable of doing. This stress, of the situation and being around my family, is pushing me to a whole new edge that I am afraid to go over. While I am not close with them anymore, I don’t know how things would be with severed ties. I guess I just feel as though everyone already looks down upon me. Like I’m lazy and not doing anything, but it is so much the opposite.
Currently, I feel depressed. Worn out. Sad. Like I’m letting my grandmother down. I’m afraid that when she does die, that will be placed on my head and considered my fault, because I didn’t do enough, and I should’ve been there.
I guess my question is this:
Where are all of you…?
This is in no way to throw hate upon anyone in my family. This is simply how I am feeling in regards to this situation. At one point our family was close, and now, when everyone needs to be sticking together and everyone needs to be helping out, everyone seems so far away. Or maybe I’m the only one outside of the loop….because this negative light has been shed upon me that shouldn’t even be there.
I think I could explain my life and my reasoning and all the things that I do do for her, and it still could and would never be enough. Never enough. So I am trying very hard to find a way around all of these feelings and trying to find a way to cope. It’s very difficult. If I lose them, because of this, then were they ever really family at all?