Now hiring, new family scapegoat. 

I’ve always felt different than a lot of the women in my family. I attribute that to my mom because she had grown up with three sisters and always felt like the black sheep. I was a tom boy as a kid and preferred hanging out with my brother and my cousin Benny at family parties over my female cousins. It wasn’t until recently that I realized i didn’t just feel different, I was different. I just have a different way of seeing things and viewing the world. It doesn’t mean I’m better than them, it just means I am different. 

Back in 2005 when the story came out that my older cousin Benny (who was in his late 20’s) had been sexually molesting one of our younger female cousins, I have felt tension between me and many members of my family, especially my Aunt Bea and Uncle Bob, Benny’s parents I think they blamed me for the embarrassment their family suffered as a result of the story coming to light. 
I was 24 at the time when the victim came to me and told me what was going on. That was an incredibly powerful secret and I was forced to make one of the most difficult decisions in my life. Either I tell her secret or risk more girls in the family being victimized. I really didn’t know how to handle the situation and so I reached out to get opinions from the people I trusted the most. Unfortunately they also lacked the know-how when it came to handling these types of situations and so they reached out to others for the same exact reason. Before you knew it, the whole family was involved in this crisis. 
When you have a really close extended family like the one I had, it’s hard to keep secrets. Growing up, I hid a lot from my mom because I knew my mom was always going to tell everyone what happened. My aunts and uncles always preached forgiveness, unconditional love and loyalty to the family, but those things go out the window, when something like his happens. Before I told anyone, I knew the magnitude of secret like this could potentially ruin the family. Naively, I believed it could be settled within the confines of our own family. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case.
I was not happy with the way things turned out. Not only was my cousin victimized she lost her entire family. The situation became something completely different than what it actually was. It became about who’s liked more and who does more for who. The fact that a little girl was victimized got completely lost in all the bullshit. I felt different than most of my family and when the topic came up, I had no problems discussing how I felt, even of how I felt was not how everyone else felt. The only ones who saw eve to eye on my was my Aunt Dana and her husband. 

That situation changed so much about me, but what’s more is it changed the way I looked at my family and likewise for them.
No one has ever exactly said that they blame me or are angry with me, but they also didn’t say they weren’t. All I knew was after that day, the way I was treated by certain members of my family was different. I earned a reputation as a big mouth because I wasn’t afraid to share my feelings and how wrong I thought it was that the victim was being re-victimized, time and time again, by the rest of her family. They blamed EVERYTHING on my Aunt Annie; the victim’s mother. It was all HER fault. Similar to what happened to me in the last year, my aunt was dealing with an extremely emotional and traumatic situation and my aunts overstepped their boundaries, causing my aunt Annie to lash out at them. Once my aunt Annie lashed out, that was it. It was all over. No one tried to call her and reason with her. No one apologized to her for being insensitive. Instead, they lit the torches up and grabbed the pitchforks. 
I am completely convinced that my Aunt Bea is a narcissist and my Aunt Debbie is one of her flying monkeys. They did the same thing to me that they did to my Aunt Annie. They intrusively overstepped boundaries and didn’t respect me, during a time I was going through the most emotionally devastating thing in my life. I said some words, I spit some truth at them, and it bruised their fragile little egos and because I didn’t apologize or kiss their asses, I became the bad guy. I am now the family scapegoat and EVERYTHING that goes wrong in their lives, is MY FAULT. 
I want to share with you guys some of the shit I have been blamed for in the last few months. From what I’ve read, this is typical in families where personality disorders exist. This is all stuff I’ve heard from other family members and most of it came from my aunt Bea. Although I have not interacted with them in slightly over a year, they are still blaming me for everything. . Their avoidance of talking to me and/or dealing with me is because they have guilt about things. Instead of facing their own guilt and shortcomings, they deflect everything on me.
Aunt Bea claims I robbed her of “precious moments” with my mom and she is angry with me for “leaving the hospital room” when her and my Aunt Debbie came to visit mom. 
This is just total and utter bullshit. I didn’t rob her of anything. I was not up at the hospital 24/7. There was plenty of time that she could’ve jumped in her car and drove out here by herself to spend quality, alone time with my mom. My aunt Bea cannot function without her husband and will only drive locally by herself. Anything out of the 5 mile radius of her town, she needs my uncle Bob to drive her. She could’ve driven herself to my mom’s house at anytime when she was home and spent the day with her but she always had to wait for my uncle. That is NOT my fault. The same goes for Aunt Debbie. She hardly made it to see my mom in the hospital. She would come once or twice a week at the same time as Aunt Bea. To. E honest, I was seriously shocked that she wasn’t there way more. Aunt Debbie is a very independent woman. She was a single mother for years and ran a household and worked a full-time job. 
As far as me leaving the hospital room while she was there…..I made a very conscious decision to do that and there were various reasons why. For starters there was tension there and my mom was already aware of the tension. For her sake, I felt it was better if I left so that she didn’t have to feel uncomfortable. I also didn’t want to be blamed for breathing down anyone’s neck and/or not allowing them time with my mom. They deserved private time with her too. Also, although I wasn’t there 24/7 I did spend the majority of my time there and so it was nice to get a break when someone else came to keep her company. I knew I was going to be blamed for something either way and so I went with the route that made ME the most comfortable. She only has herself to blame if she didn’t get enough time with my mom. She told my husband that she’d be at the hospital more, but she had to go home and feed her dogs. She has a grown adult daughter and son-in-law, living in an apartment adjacent to her house. I’m

Sure they could’ve filled in here and there and fed her dogs. It’s a sad excuse and while sometimes I like animals better than I like people, her and my mom supposedly were the closest of all the sisters. 
I am also blamed for my mom being angry with both her and my Aunt Debbie. Again, this is just total bullshit. My mom had been angry with my Aunt Bea since before she even knew she had cancer and it was because of the way Aunt Bea spoke to her and how Aunt Bea completely disregarded her feelings. When my mom died I found several argumentative messages between them. This all started with Aunt Bea being friends with my brother’s wife, who I call, Satan whom my mom and I were not getting along with. on Facebook. My mom felt like Aunt Bea wasn’t being supportive of her. Satan unfriended my mom on Facebook way back in the very beginning around the time my brother and her got married. My mom felt it was wrong of Aunt Bea to be friends with Satan on Facebook and to be complimenting her by commenting her on all her photos. Aunt Bea was well aware of all the fighting and disrespectfulness Satan showed towards my mom. My mom felt like my aunt B was sending a message to Satan that she thought my mom was an asshole too. Aunt B was made aware by several people, several times that what she was doing was upsetting my mom but she continued to do it. She had a choice to stop. She he had a choice to support her sister but she chose not to. To make matters worse she got in several arguments with my mom both on the phone and via Facebook messages. My mom would hang up with her and call me to complain about how Aunt Bea would make her feel like she was a horrible mother for being angry with her son. 
Probably one of the most ridiculous reasons that they are upset with me for, is because supposedly I upset my mother. Apparently my mom “complained” about me to them. Whatever it was, it was just a mother venting. We were so close that we were bound to get on one another’s nerves, and guess what? I complained about her too. It is called life. If I had to take a guess at what she was talking about, I would have to say it was all this bullshit with my brother. Im not going to lie, as hard as I tried to keep it out of her hospital room there were days it was obviously taking a toll on me and I brought it into her room. I was always real with my mom and so it was hard not to discuss those things. My mom didn’t want to deal with it. She didn’t want to deal with anything…her cancer, her kidney failure and me and my brother being estranged. She didn’t want to hear the very legitimate reasons I had because she wanted to die thinking we’d be ok and we’d be there for one another. Regardless of what my mom complained about, I know what I did and didn’t do to her. There’s nothing that she could’ve said about me that could excuse them or justify the way they’ve been treating me 
For a long time I started to think that maybe something was wrong with me. Maybe I was a horrible person. Maybe I was this animal who was going around starting shit with people for no good reason. It took me a very long time to come to the place where I am now, and where I am now is that I know I am not 100% to blame. I do bear responsibility and mostly for the way I reacted to things. In some cases I may have over reacted. I don’t want to make excuses but the reality was, I was dealing with the overwhelming stress of watching my mother die a slow and painful death. My mind wasn’t right. The fact that my aunts have absolutely no compassion for that is beyond appalling.
They can no longer blame my aunt Annie for the breakdown and deterioration of the family. She hasn’t been around in over a decade. Naturally someone had to step into her place as the new family scapegoat. They can keep pointing the blame on me for as long as they want because I truly believe in and one day the universe will get them back worse than I ever could.

How to deal with toxic people…


We made it to present day here….well pretty much, and I am going to finish up the story and give you all the current bullshit that’s going on with my toxic family, but I wanted to take a break from all that and give you all some tips for dealing with Toxic people, whether they are psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists or whatever. I should probably preface this with telling you guys that I am (very obviously) not a doctor or qualified mental health practitioner. I am just sharing with you guys what has and hasn’t worked for me, and how I respond to the negativity, the baiting, the antagonizing, the word twisting, the gaslighting, the projection and just straight up, bullshit lies and psychoticness. (That is so not a word, but you get it). So I am going to explain to you guys, how I’ve responded in the past and I’m going to give you all some tips that I have learned along the way. 

Tip #1: KNOW WHO YOU ARE



You guys may think I sound crazy here, and are saying to yourselves, “but it’s not me, it’s them”, and you’re right, most of the time it is them.  Bear with me for a moment. You need to step out of yourself, be honest and try to look how you contribute to the toxicity, because you do contribute to it.  I know this sounds crazy, but NONE of us are perfect. We all have one or two traits that when we read about Narcs, psycho’s and Socio’s we start bugging out, and for a split second we think, “shit, am I the narcissist, here?”. Most likely, the answer is NO. Reason being is that no narcissist, sociopath or psychopath is going to even be reading that kind of shit! They do not care enough about other human beings to truly understand them. I followed the Jodi Arias trial EXTENSIVELY and I remember watching a psychologist’s commentary on the Dr. Drew show on HLN, about the case. He basically said that there is no such thing as “all good” and “all bad”. (That is called “splitting” and that’s how narcs, socio’s and psychopath’s view things). As hard as it to believe even the most evil of beings have one or two good qualities…..even Jodi Arias….ok not her, she’s pure fucking evil. Anyway, I agree with him, and so while we, “the victims” are probably mostly all good, we do possess a few bad qualities ourselves. 
The other thing to keep in mind here is that we cannot change other people. We cannot simply tell a narcissist to stop being a narcissist. God, if only it were that easy! We are only responsible for our own actions, and so with that said, we need to realize how we add to the bullshit, and we need to adjust our behaviors accordingly. I consider myself someone who is exceptionally self aware, good and bad. I have an innate ability to push people’s buttons. I am sarcastic. I am impulsive. I don’t always think before I speak, and at times I don’t know when to stop or how to filter my language. While I always knew these things about myself, I was not able to see how those things contributed to my relationships with the toxic people in my life, and how I was making things even more toxic, until recently when I took a step back and analyzed my relationships with these people. Unfortunately when tragedy strikes, you see people’s true colors. 

A perfect example of how I contribute to the toxicity; I cannot take when people think they are getting one over on me. It fucking kills me. I don’t like when people think that I’m stupid and cannot read between the lines. I am a venter. I need to express my feelings. If something is wrong, I feel like it HAS to be known, I cannot hold back.  Back before my mom passed, I was taking my anger out in an unhealthy, passive aggressive way. I would see quotes and stuff on Facebook, and feel like I could relate them to what I was going through with my family, and so I’d post them. My aunts (and their guilty consciences) being the same way, they would see my posts and then they’d go seek out their own posts or make passive aggressive comments. It got to a point where I stopped, but they kept going. It’s very hard for me not to jump down their throats and call out their contradictions and/or hypocrisy. I didn’t need the added stress at that time of fighting with them, and so I made the decision to unfriend all of them on Facebook so their posts would no longer show up on my newsfeed. I know I have issues with impulse control (thanks ADHD) and so me not seeing them would help me control MY behavior. If I don’t have the temptation there then I can better control how I react to them. 
Tip #2: YOU AREN’T OBLIGATED TO RESPOND



This sounds so simple and if you’re anything like me, it’s not that easy to do. You have to remember that toxic people like to fight, argue, disrupt, inflame, incite riots, and cause chaos, that’s what makes them toxic. 9 out 10 times they are trying to draw you out of your fox hole so they can fulfill that need, or so they can further exploit you. If you don’t respond, you are not adding more gasoline to their fire….. you are putting out their flame. In the past four months I have held back and bit my tongue, and I have noticed that the more I ignore the toxic people in my life, the more angry and starved for attention they become, just like a flame needs oxygen to keep burning. 

If you want to piss them off, ignore them! The worst thing for a narcissist or psychopath is losing their “supply”. Don’t be their supply.

 I am normally very reactive, but I completely switched up my game. I was in a lose/lose situation with my family. I started to realize that it doesn’t really matter how gently  I approached them, I am always in the wrong. I am the family scapegoat. They’ve been antagonizing me because they want to prove to everyone that they are right, and I am the asshole. The more I ignore it and press on with what I have to do, the more angry and desperate they become, and now instead of exposing me, they are exposing themselves, and the people around them are starting to see the sickness without me saying or doing anything. 

Now, keep in mind, I am not saying that you should never respond, or stick up for yourself, or that you should walk on eggshells, and tip toe around them, not at all. I’m trying to tell you that you need to control if and how you’re going to respond to them because your responses are what’s going to dictate how the conversation goes and how much abuse you receive in return. When you are dealing with people who are just going to twist whatever you say around, it’s not worth your time to try to convince them of your side. I had to learn this the hard way. 

Deaf people do not listen! 
Tip #3: RESPOND, BUT DON’T RESPOND 
This blog is one big response to the toxic people in my life. Writing is what kept me sane during my horribly hormonal, high school years. I kept a journal and I wrote in it every night. I stopped writing somewhere around my last year of college and I realized recently that it was a great and safe way to for me to cope with what I am going through.

I have received a few letters from my brother and my aunts in the last few months and I now realize that responding to them and giving them a dose of reality does absolutely nothing, because all they will do is deflect, deny or disregard the truth.  They have no interest in the truth. I now realize that my best option is write them back, but never send it to them! It helps me get out the things I want to say, but I don’t have to deal with the backlash or bullshit that comes with it. I don’t have to deal with the frustration of their lack of acknowledgement or accountability. Trust me. I would love nothing more than tearing these toxic assholes to SHREDS, but I’ve realized now that it does me absolutely no good. I will never get back the honest reply that I am hoping for. I will never get validated by them, and so with that I take care of my urge to respond, but I don’t feed the beast. 

Tip #4:KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE AND YOUR ENEMIES EVEN CLOSER

Ok not really close. By close I mean, know who they are. Really take a look at the people you are dealing with and ask yourself, is it me or them? My aunt Debbie is a great example here. I was very close with my Aunt Debbie’s daughter Tina. I would spend hours on the phone with Tina as she complained about aunt Debbie and how Aunt Debbie treated her. I sat back one day and really analyzed Aunt Debbie  as aperson and I saw who she really was. Aunt Debbie has been married twice, and has had a long string of failed relationships in the last decade. She is 60 years old, lonely and bitter. She is constantly surrounded by conflict, because I think she actually enjoys the conflict. It gives her something to do and something to talk about since her life is so pathetic.  My mom and Aunt Debbie talked every day and my mom would always tell me how Aunt Debbie always seems to be fighting with someone. She has MANY friends with whom she has had fights with, and hasn’t spoken to in years. She stops talking to them for years at a time and some she cuts off completely, and it doesn’t matter how long they’ve known one another.  Usually it’s over something really stupid and trivial. Aunt Debbie is spiteful and vindictive, even with her own daughter.  Knowing this about her helps me know that it’s not me. She has a high conflict personality. She always needs to be right even if it means cutting off her nose to spite her own face.  I have never met someone who has fights with their friends the way she does. So you need to look at the toxic person and ask if they are surrounded by conflict. Once you determine that, you know that most likely this is a person who isn’t going to take anything that you have to say to heart. Even if you are right, they will never admit it because they are too stubborn. Trying to point out the truth or trying to resolve issues with a person like that is going to be very difficult unless you just completely give in, kiss their asses and grovel for forgiveness, even if all you did was defend yourself against one of their cruel and senseless attacks. 

Tip #5 DON’T RESPOND EVEN BY PROXY

 
Most people you’d deem toxic in your life are also highly manipulative. They also like to “triangulate” and/or recruit others into their battles and crusades. If you truly don’t want to deal with their drama, don’t talk about them with mutual friends or other family members.  If you do, don’t talk shit about them. Don’t give them anything to hold against you. A lot of people will pretend and play both sides of the fence because let’s face it, sometimes it’s straight up entertainment to hear other people’s drama and bullshit. Your words may get skewed and taken out of context like a big ol game of telephone. Just remember those who gossip with you, probably gossip about you. You never know if they will slip up and tell them something you said about the toxic person. 

My aunts and my brother have been trying to reach me but I haven’t responded because at this point in the game, my lawyer has told me not to respond and not to put anything in writing. First my brother wrote me and email and then Aunt Bea. When that didn’t work Aunt Debbie tried to speak through my Aunt Dana who is in no way involved in our conflict. Her attempt to contact me was meant to be manipulative to both me and Aunt Dana. She was trying to get Aunt Dana to “talk some sense into me” and so she asked her to deliver a message. My response to Aunt Dana was, my name and phone number and the name and phone number of my lawyer. I told aunt Dana that I will NOT be communicating through her. When aunt Dana gave Aunt Debbie my response,she said, “that’s all she had to say?”. That right there showed me that she was looking for more from me. She wanted me to respond to the drama but I refused. 

Tip #6 – KEEP RECORDS

 
This tip is probably the single, most important tip I can give you. Of course it’s just not possible to record every single conversation you have, but if you are involved in conflict with a toxic personality or you are sensing a conflict with them, you are going to want to start keeping record of conversations. This was probably the absolute smartest thing I could do when it came to my family. I tried to keep all of our conversations in texts. If I was speaking with my brother there were times he’d try to call and I’d make some excuse up and tell him I was unable to answer my phone. Sure my storage on my phone is full all of the time, but I have a record of every word that was said. If someone tries to twist and obscure my words or even their own words, I have solid proof. When my brother went and lied to a lawyer about my mom having no will, he had sent my husband a text telling him that I can either hand over the will that names my aunt’s as executors or he will be filing for letters of administration. When he filed for letters of administration, he signed a sworn affidavit that said he did a diligent search for the will and determined that no will had ever existed. Clearly he was lying since he had acknowledged it in his text. Keeping records will help keep your sanity! 
Tip #7 KEEP IT BUSINESS
I realize that most of these tips are basically saying not to respond and not to feed into it, but there are times and situations in life where you have no choice but to converse with them. If and when you must communicate with them, keep it short and sweet, and to the point. Do not give them any more than what you have to give them. This leaves them with very little room to distract, deflect or twist words. Do not write to them or speak to them with any emotion or feeling about whatever topic you are discussing. Remember that toxic people do not care about your feelings, they only care about their feelings.  You almost have to be robotic when dealing with them. Do not give them too much detail or make it too lengthy. I’ve noticed that NONE of the toxic people in my life seem to know how to read or listen. I can tell by their responses that they aren’t fully paying attention. If they try to change the subject, stay the course, but do so without emotions or criticizing them. It took me a VERY long time to learn this, but I promise you, it is worth while. If you don’t come out of your face with them, they don’t know how to respond. They get really tripped up when you are calm, cool and collected. There were a few times I felt I had to share information with my aunts, in the last few months, and so I just wrote very short emails to them, got to the point, stayed real cordial and didn’t take any of their bait to try to reel me into an argument.  For instance, one of my mom’s neighbors saw a red SUV parked in my mom’s driveway, one day. I know aunt Debbie is the ONLY person who would be in her driveway, who has a red SUV. I was at the house around that time and noticed that someone had taken some boxes of my brother’s stuff from the house, that he left behind the night I caught him and his wife removing items off the property. I assumed my aunt Debbie, thinking she was the named executor of my mom’s will, thought she could remove the items from the property, and I couldn’t say shit to her about it. The reality was though, while she was the named executor, she hadn’t been appointed by the courts yet, and so legally she had no authority to do so. I wrote her an email letting her know that she was seen at the house removing items, and I reminded her that she hadn’t been appointed yet and shouldn’t be removing items from the property. I had tried to peacefully and amicably reach out to her in the weeks following my mom’s death,  and she refused to respond to me. Of course once she was being accused of something, she answered right away. She denied being there, and so when I responded, I kept it very short. I told her that if it wasn’t her, I apologize, and that I should probably contact the police and have them look into it since, I don’t know anyone else with a red SUV who’d be at my mom’s home. She responded back, “Good idea.(that I call the police)”, and that was it…..or so I thought. A day or so later I got this lengthy, “how dare you”, ” I would never do that”, “I am insulted”, bullshit, argumentative email. She didn’t get the rise out of me that she was hoping for, the first time, and so she got angry and wrote me an inflammatory, email. I never responded to that last one. There was no need. It was just bait to try to suck me in so she could further antagonize me and argue with me. I refused to give her what she wanted. Don’t take the bait, my friends! 

 
  
Tip #8 STOP FEELING GUILTY! 

Ok so this one isn’t so much a tip for dealing with them, but it’s something to consider….I grew up in an Italian- American family that preached “family first”, “family always sticks together” and “unconditional love”, but I’ve realized in the past year that they don’t practice what they preach. I’ve also learned in the last few years that, that way of thinking is completely unhealthy. If someone is disrespecting you, crossing your boundaries and/or treating you badly, it doesn’t matter who they are, or how you know them, if they’re treating you like shit, they gotta go! You don’t have to take ANYONE’S abuse. You also don’t have to feel guilty for making decisions that are best for your life. 
Going no contact is not easy and especially so when you are doing it with your family. Trust me, I know this. I held onto my family for the past ten years. I felt resentful towards them. I couldn’t understand how they could stand behind someone who perpetrated a crime against another member of the family. I stuck it out and tried to forgive people because I wanted to respect my mother. My aunt Bea saved my mom’s life by donating her kidney to her, and so I felt obligated to be there for her when her son molested my younger cousin. I will always admire what she did for my mom, but I realize now that it didn’t give her a pass to treat me or my mom like shit. I didn’t ask her to do that for my mom. That was her choice in life, not mine. She did that for my mom, not for me. I don’t owe her anything. I am not obligated to do anything for her, and quite frankly, she has some nerve being angry with me about “outing” her son. I didn’t ask him to molest my cousin. She will deny, deny, deny, that she has any resentment towards me but her actions speak louder than her words.

As much as I know it would upset my mom, cutting half of my extend family and my brother, out of my life, I know my mom would want me to do what’s best for me. If she could see all that they’ve been doing for the past four months since she died, I think she’d understand. You cannot feel guilty for cutting toxic people from your life……Period. 
I hope this has helped 

Big brother is watching (part b) 

It was around 10:30pm the night of cameragate 2016 and I was home trying to forget the fucked up day I had. I felt terribly defeated at that point and I really just didn’t know what the fuck was going on or why. I tried to unwind and get my mind off all the stupid camera bullshit when suddenly I get a text from my brother that read, “why did you take the camera that I GAVE to mom?”. Noticed the emphasis on the word, “GAVE” and make note of it because it’s going to become important later in this story. I was so angry and so over it that I didn’t even answer him. I was done talking about cameras for the day. If he gave my mom the camera then it shouldn’t even be a concern of his. It’s no longer his possession. Who tracks gifts after they give them to someone? I didn’t feel I owed him any type of explanation. It was in my mom’s house and therefore it was her property. On top of that I know myself all too well and I was working on self control and I knew the conversation wasn’t going to go anywhere good, had I answered him. #adulting 
That night once again I went to bed thinking, “well today was by far the most fucked up day, it can’t get any worse than this.”. I was seriously afraid to wake up. I went to the hospital on Sunday to find out that my brother and Satan were off at her daughter’s Regatta race that was out of state. My mom told me she had to talk to me about something and so I sat down and listened. I don’t remember if this conversation took place the day of the camera incident, or that Sunday morning but my mom told me that she had conversation with my brother and she had asked Satan to take a step back. She explained to my brother that she was sort of over stepping her boundaries and she reminded him that she was a virtual stranger to me and also to my mom and it was very uncomfortable that she was so heavily involved in this personal shit. She explained that I am her daughter and I have been caring for her and surprisingly Satan agreed to take a step back, and it was a peaceful conversation. Of course they were going to play like they were the peaceful ones to her because they had something to lose in all of this. My brother on the other hand had to be his usual manipulative self and he took her house key off his key chain and gave it back to my mom, and told her that he won’t be going to her house to help out anymore.  
I heard from the neighbor too the next day and sure enough she told me my brother was at the house around 10:30 that night. He probably realized he couldn’t see his camera feed and so he went there to see what happened to it. Of course that’s not what he told my mom. He told her he went there to get this hoop that holds firewood. Yeah at 10:30 at night it was an emergency to have somewhere to store his firewood. I’m sure! 
I decided that day that I was no longer going to let what they do, come into my mom’s hospital room and effect my attitude or relationship with her. They were trying to take my focus off of her and put it on to them and I was not going to let that happen. From there on out I would no longer discuss them in her hospital room. I saw what they were trying to do and I wasn’t going to let them win. 
No one came to see my mom that whole weekend and I was pretty surprised. My mom seemed to be doing slightly better mentally but physically it seemed like she was getting worse and more and more discouraged because she still couldn’t sit up unsupported in her bed, or stand up and walk. I guess her slight improvement was enough to make everyone forget that she was still in very bad shape and I could tell once again that it hurt my mom that none of her family cared enough to come see her on their weekend. I think her youngest sister and her husband came one night but only stayed for a short time. 
It was Monday, November 10th and it had been another quiet day. My mom and I are sitting there talking when suddenly I hear talking in the hallway. I look up and in walks Aunt Debbie, Aunt Bea, Uncle Bob, my grandmother and my brother, all at the same time. What was the chances that they all arrived at the hospital at the very same time? I felt bad leaving the room when my grandmother was there but I just couldn’t sit there, feeling like I was completely outnumbered and I especially didn’t want to be in the same room as my brother. I walked out and told my mom I’d be back in a little while. 
I walked down into the parking garage and called my husband and told them how my brother came walking in the room with all of them as if they all came together. I looked around the parking garage and his car was not there, so either he came with them because he is a little bitch or he was dropped off by Satan? My husband was heading out to get dinner and so he told me to come meet him and my son. It was the first time I had eaten dinner with them in weeks. As I finished up eating I got a nasty text from my mom. I could tell she was angry that I had left. At this point in time I couldn’t explain why and so I just told her I wanted to eat dinner with my family. She told me not to bother coming back up but I did anyway. I wasn’t going to leave her uncomfortable for the night. 
By time I got there my mom was over it. 

As I’m up there I get a text from my husband. Apparently my brother had text him, “I texted [my name] but she never answered. I want the camera back that she took from my mom’s house. When can I come pick it up?”. I had just seen him at the hospital. He could’ve asked me then but like the coward he is, he waited until he went home and texted my husband. Why was he bothering my husband with this stupid bullshit? My husband answered him back, “I don’t know where it is. Didn’t you just see her at the hospital? Should of asked her.”. My brother responded, “She left the room when I got there and I am not fighting with her in front of my mother. I asked her for it the other day. She shouldn’t have stolen MY PROPERTY! Just find out from her where it is and let me know when I could get it. I don’t want to talk to her about it.” 
To reiterate, that night he sent me a text asking my why I took the camera that he GAVE to my mom. Here it is days later and now it’s HIS and not only is it HIS but it’s now HIS STOLEN PROPERTY. Now it made sense why he came up to the hospital with protection. He didn’t want to talk to me about it because he didn’t want to be confronted with the truth. He didn’t want me asking questions or telling him how absolutely fucked up it was that be planted a camera in my mom’s house. 
My husband called me and he was flipping out. He told me to go get the camera and just leave it in my moms hospital room because he didn’t want any trouble. There was no hiding it from my mom. I went down to my car and got the camera out of my trunk. Before I gave it back, I took a photo of it front and back because I could imagine Satan destroying the camera and saying I smashed it into a million pieces. I brought it up to the room and left it in the closet and told my mom to let him know it was in there. I helped her clean up for bed and I left for the night. 

I text my brother that night, “Do me a favor, don’t get my husband involved in this ridiculous bullshit. Don’t contact us anymore. We have enough stress worrying about mommy, as we have been for the past few years. I have seriously had it with the lies and the sneaky bullshit. Whatever you’re trying to do, you aren’t hurting me. You are hurting mommy. Who are you? You are not the same person you used to be. If you wanted the camera that you gave to mommy as a “gift”, then you should’ve asked me like a MAN when you just saw me in the hospital. Really, get your priorities in order. Is this shit really that important right now?” He responded to me, “don’t worry, I won’t be contacting you anymore.” I could wish that was the truth.

(To be continued in my next post)

Big Brother is watching.. (part A) 

It was the first Saturday in the month of Novemeber. Time was flying by and the holidays were right around the corner. I was really hoping my mom could come home for Christmas but I knew she had a very long road until she’d be out of any type of hospital environment. Mentally she seemed a lot better without all of the pain meds and I was actually able to have more normal conversations with her. My mom was very much into the presidential elections. The whole time she was in the hospital Fox News was playing in the background. She was really rooting for Donald Trump and getting her vote in was extremely important to her but it didn’t look like she was going to be home in time to cast her ballot. I knew how much it meant to my mom to participate in the vote and so I started looking into how you would go about casting an absentee ballot. I realized by the time I started looking into it, it was past the deadline for the mail-in ballots. In the previous two weeks when she was in really bad pain and had the pain pump, I didn’t think I would have time to go down to our county’s election board, in person and get an absentee ballot for her. I knew she was really going to be crushed if she was unable to vote and so I came up with a better plan. I have always voted in every presidential election since I was 18 but this year since I wasn’t really following and didn’t care too much for either candidate, I wasn’t planning on voting. While I’m registered as independent, I mostly vote democrat but I wasn’t too thrilled with Hilary Clinton as the democratic candidate. With that said, I decided to sacrifice my vote for hers. I promised her that I would vote Donald Trump , even though personally, from what I did heard and saw, I really didn’t think he was fit for the job, for her and it would be like she was voting. She was cool with that. The next day after I told her that I came up to the hospital and saw some paperwork on her table about absentee ballots. I asked her where they came from and she told me that she told my brother that I was going to forfeit my vote for her and he then said he was going to go down to the election board and get her ballot. I was kind of upset and disappointed. That was something special I wanted to do for her to make her feel better and once again, my brother was trying to run me off the tracks. I told my mom no way and so I went the very next morning and got her a ballot. God knew if my brother would actually pull through anyway. Sometimes he would say he could or would do things and then at the last minute Satan would come up with some errand to run or project to do and he’d change plans. I wasn’t about to let that happen this time. 
On Saturday’s my husband would let me sleep in a little bit and it was really needed this time around. I woke up around 10:30 and hung around being lazy with my son and my husband, on the couch. I called my on and told her I’d be up a little later that afternoon and she told me not to rush and that my brother and Satan were suppose to be there sometime soon. Im scrolling down my Facebook feed and see a text from my Mom’s neighbor pop up on the screen. Attached to the text is a photo of my mom’s house. My brothers Mercedes is parked in the driveway and Satan’s car is on the street blocking his car in. Her text read they are back AGAIN and this time they brought friends with them! 
I jumped up out of my seat and ran to show my husband. My heart was racing. I knew that my mom was already uncomfortable about them being there but more specifically Satan being in her house while she wasn’t there and now they are bringing her friends along with them? At this point I don’t know what the fuck they are up to. How many times can they go through her safe? How many bills could my mom possibly have to pay? She did all her bills paperlessly, online. What the fuck was their sudden interest and obsession with her house for? Bear in mind that these are two people who had probably been to her house less than five times in the past three years and NEVER went to her house when she wasn’t there, prior to the one time during her last hospital stay, and now they are there multiple times a week? I started to wonder what else they were doing. When you are constantly kept in the dark about things all you can do is speculate and so my husband and I started to think, Satan works in the insurance industry, and knew a lot of real estate people; attorneys, etc. Maybe the “friend” that was with her was a real estate appraiser. They had already gathered up all the other financial information they needed, so why not find out exactly how much the house cost? While that seems a little far fetched (my husband has a good imagination) at this point I wouldn’t put anything past them. It ended up not being a friend with them, anyway. It was Satan’s older daughter.  I was thinking more along the lines of maybe they were starting to remove valuables from the house like my mom’s jewelry and stuff. Either way I didn’t want to waste any time. I wanted to catch them there and see what they were doing, with my own eyes. 
I had caught them at my moms house and in her safe at least three times already, prior to this day. The last time I caught my brother, he lied when he was confronted by my mom. I know my brother has just as much of a right as I do to be at her house but when he was being sneaky and lying about it, I had to question his motives. He was well aware of how my mom felt about his wife and so to bring her into my mom’s home and allow her to see my mom’s most private stuff, showed his lack of consideration and respect for my mom. I have heard horror story’s from friends of mine how siblings started doing shady shit like stealing things, or manipulating people into signing over power of attorney so they can take all their money, from a sick or elderly parent. At this point I wouldn’t put anything past them.   Money makes people do crazy things. I didn’t know much about Satan but what I knew without any doubt was that money was one of her main interests in life, if not the sole focus of her entire being. My brother, I hate to say it but he took has also been a money hungry, greedy bastard. He’s the type of person who will buy you a really cheap Christmas gift and say he was broke but then he’ll be showing you the newest expensive gadget that he bought for himself. 
Whatever it was they were doing, I wanted to put a stop to it! This sneaky bullshit was going to stop. I wanted to get a handle on this situation before it got out of control and we really went to war. I had caught them all those times but never confronted them about it because I didn’t want to upset my mom anymore. I wanted them to know that they were not going to pull the wool over my eyes anymore. 
My mom’s house was a good 10 to 15 minute ride from me and I wanted to get there ASAP. Still in my sweats that I slept in, I was flying down the main road that leads to the highway. I look over to the other side of traffic and see a truck that is identical to Satan’s coming towards me. I turn my head as it passes and saw the truck had a butterfly decal on the back window and knew for sure it was her. I kept my eyes opened for my brother’s car but didn’t see it. I was a bit disappointed that she wasn’t going to be there, but I figured it was probably better and safer that she wasn’t there. Maybe my brother and I could actually have a civilized conversation. 
I rounded the corner of my moms block and saw that only my moms car was in the driveway, my brother had also left. I walked into my moms house and briefly scanned around her living room and then I made my way to the kitchen. I called my husband as I was looking around for any sign of something missing or moved out of place. I know my mom’s house just as good as I know my own house. I lived there all my life, and while my mom made a lot of renovations since I moved out, almost a decade ago, I came to visit often enough that her house still felt like “home” to me. Hell, it should! My husband and I were the ones helping her maintain her home, for the past three years, as my brother callously hung my mom and I both out to dry. 
I made way to my old bedroom which was straight across, at the end of the hallway. If you stood at looking my hall there were three doors on one side, 2 doors on the other side and my old room was straight ahead. If the door was open you can see a tall bureau that my mom had and the safe was sitting right beside it. The safe appeared to be undisturbed this time, unless they got wise to the fact that I left the dial on a certain number each time. I poked my head into her room and nothing looked out of place. I grazed the rest of the house until I was satisfied that nothing seemed out of the ordinary, all the while narrating my movements to my husband. I went down the hallway one last time to turn off all the lights. My brother has a tendency to be careless especially when it’s not his own shit, and so I just wanted to double check that the back door was locked before I headed out. 
As I turned out of the hallway to go into the kitchen, out of the corner of my eye I caught an odd reflection near my piano  which was up against the wall. I stopped dead in my tracks and turned around to see what it was. Right away something didn’t look right. The items on the piano were slightly rearranged and I could tell something was different. As I scanned across it,  I notice this round, black shiny, object with a small green light on it that I have never seen before. It was sitting between a picture frame and a fake planted pot. I have a very good photographic memory and I knew whatever it was, it didn’t belong there. Finally as I got close, I thought it looked like a baby monitor of some sort and that’s when I saw that bubbled, round lens in the center.  It was the fucking Nest Camera that Satan said she was giving to my mom. 
On the phone with my husband I started screaming, “it’s the fucking camera!!!! Their mother fucking camera!!!”. In that moment the past few months all started replaying in my head, which lead to the past three years and all the bullshit I’ve had to deal with. Everything came rushing back. The dress I got for their wedding, them fighting and screaming at mom, all the arguments, the disrespect, my mom’s tears, the heart ache, my ruined relationship with my brother, my son not knowing his uncle, the begging, the pleading, the lack of help; the lack of care, the lack of empathy, the twisting of words, the lies, the sneaky bullshit, my mom’s cancer, healthcare proxies, wills, secret conversations, EVERYTHING, and then I lost my fucking shit. I grabbed the camera and yanked the cord towards me as hard as I could. I ran right to the front door, screaming and cursing, using every profanity I could conger up. I walked out and as hard as I could I threw the camera down on my mother’s brick walkway. It bounced so hard it ricochet’d off the walkway and  landed in the middle of her lawn, and then almost rolled off her property, into the street. 
My mom’s neighbor’s husband was standing outside and must’ve thought I was losing my mind. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I walked across the lawn and retrieved the camera and I have to say, I almost started to laugh because I was pretty impressed with the quality of the camera. I threw it pretty god damn hard, into solid pavers and it was still completely in tact except for a few scratches on the back. The front part where the camera lens was, was virtually unscathed except some dirt and finger prints which I wiped away. Out of breath and angry, I laid the camera and its stand which came detached (but was easily fixed) out on the walkway and snapped a picture of it. I impulsively sent it to my mom with a caption that said, here’s what your son was doing at your house today. 
I walked back in the house to retrieve the plug that was still in the outlet. The power cord was set up similar to how the iPhones is where the plug wall adapter and wire were separate entities. Upon further inspection I looked at the plug and it was obvious that it had been used. It was all dirty and had scuff marks. I guess she won a thrift store contest.  I walked down the hallway to see if the accompanied thermostat was there but it wasn’t. Satan didn’t just “win” this camera. It was their personal camera. Their old, dirty and scuffed up, used camera. It was a total bullshit story. 
I also have to laugh at the camera’s placement. It was sitting on the edge of my piano, pointed directly down the dark hallway, right at my old bedroom door, where the safe was kept. Why on gods green earth would my mom want to look at a bunch of closed fucking doors? That camera wasn’t put there for any other means than to control and intimidate me, my husband and now the innocent neighbor who was there to help care for my mom’s dogs. They wanted to let me know I was being watched. Meanwhile, they were the ones who should’ve had a camera pointed on them. 
For three years while they treated my mother complete shit, I was there for her. Not trying to toot my own horn but or be a martyr but if it weren’t for me, my mom probably wouldn’t even have made it to this point.  My husband has done way more for her than her own son. He treated her as if she was his own mother. When she got her surgery, I was in that house everyday helping her out for three months straight. My husband and I  cleaned her pool all summer, we went out an got  her a new A/C andfixed her air conditioner, and we installed it. I helped her clean, do her laundry, go grocery shopping, helped her in and out of the shower, helped her wash her body, picked up dead mice, try to scare raccoons out from under her deck, etc, etc. My husband and I sacrificed and put our own home and even our child at times, to the wayside, to help her out, not because we HAD to or were obligated to, but because we WANTED to, because that’s what you do for the people you love. I would be damned before I walked into MY MOTHER’S house with those two, selfish, uncaring, unhelpful, unempathetic, fake, phony, conniving, calculating, greedy, rotten, evil, sons of bitches, watching me and listening to my private conversations! Over my dead fucking body. What gave them the right to Police my actions? 

My brother and her had finally sunken to an all-time new low. I just didn’t understand, why didn’t they take all this time and effort that they put into worrying about cameras, healthcare proxies, snooping around, plotting and scheming and put it into my mom. My brother kept repeating at the palliative care meeting that he was “looking out for her best interest” and trying to “protect her” but all he was doing was worrying about himself. Also, for fucks sakes did he ever take it into account the neighbor who was taking care of my mom’s dogs? This woman had been trusted with a key to my mother’s house to go in and out, unsupervised, multiple times, for that last year and now all of the sudden she walks into the house one day and there’s a camera pointed on her? Now she has to feel uncomfortable and like she was doing something wrong? ?
I took the camera out of the house, threw it in a plastic bag and put it in my trunk with full intentions of giving it back to them. At this point in time now I was really starting to feel like I was to losing my mind and my imagination once again started to get the best of me. I started to wonder if perhaps they were fabricating stories about me and telling my mom that I was doing all the shit they were doing? I even started to question if my mom had turned on me and was drinking Satan’s kool-aid too. What was the reason they gave her for putting the camera in the house that day or did she even know? I just couldn’t understand what the fuck was going on and why it was happening.  What were they trying to do to me? Was it just there to control and intimidate me ? They really didn’t hide the camera, I felt like they almost wanted me to know it was there, like they were using it to make a statement.
Regardless of why it was there my stress had hit an all time high. I felt like I was being tortured and my patience was being put to the ultimate test. Was this all a huge misunderstanding? Were they actually innocently just trying to help and coincidentally it seemed like they were up to no good? Were they purposely they trying to get me and my mom into a fight and trying to drive a wedge between us? Was this camera out there to triangulate? I just couldn’t understand and I was experiencing so many emotions. I was also feeling deeply conflicted. I felt my mom had a right to know and I had already impulsively sent my mom a text but I had tried so hard to keep the bullshit out of her room and I didn’t want this ridiculous, petty bullshit to add to her stress. She wa very fragile and something like this could send her soaring over the edge. How long could I keep giving them the  benefit of the doubt? 
I went to the hospital that night and I know my mom could tell something was wrong. I do not hide my emotions very well. I wear my heart on my sleeve and if and when I’m feeling something as intense as this, it’s hard for me to keep it in. She finally asked me what was wrong and I calmly just told her that I was so upset and I just didn’t understand what this was all about and what they were trying to do to me. My mom didn’t know all the details of what happened that week and again, I didn’t want to burden her with this nonsense  but it was hard because at the same time, she is normally the main person I would go to with this kind of stuff. 
My mom swore that they didn’t tell her they were going to her house that day to put the camera in and that she was upset with my brother that he didn’t discuss it with her first. His bullshit reason he gave to her for going there was to put covers on her air conditioners. My brother doesn’t do volunteer work. Never has never will. He has  been like that his whole life. He doesn’t go out of his way for anyone unless he is somehow benefitting from it. 
This whole thing was so disturbing to me. Not only didn’t they lie to my mom about winning this new camera but I really don’t think they had any intentions on letting her keep it. In their eyes I believe they thought that they were lending it to her for a short period of time and once it served it’s purpose and she was gone, they would get it back. It also bothered me that here again, my brother was caught doing some shady shit and lying to her again and once again, she just gives him a pass. I knew she was sick and had bigger things to worry about but i am still human and it was hurtful to me that she constantly downplayed his bad behavior and enabled it. She had been enabling her whole life, its all she knew. She could never give me a good reason as to why the camera was there and when I’d asked her, she’d evade the question everytime . 

I didn’t want this to cause tension between my mom and I. I let her know how I felt and how much it hurt and how I believed like my brother and his wife were trying to destroy me and every relationship I had in my life. They were now encroaching on the most important one. I told her I wasn’t mad at her and that like everything else I will eventually just force myself to get over it. I helped her clean herself up and get her teeth ready for the next day and I left the hospital kind of earlier than normal that night. I just needed a break. I needed to process not just this but EVERYTHING I was going through……
(To be continued in my next post)

“My family sucks!”

Every night when I’d try to go to bed, usually between 2:00-4:00am, I would think to myself, “well today was fucking horrible, I highly doubt tomorrow could get any worse…..” then I would wake up the next day and shit would get much worse. There was a few days there though that were relatively quiet during that very first week of November. Part of it had to do with the fact that Satan was supposedly sick and she wasn’t up at the hospital. 
Two days went by and there was absolutely no bullshit from them. I hadn’t seen them in a few days and it was nice. Then came this one night when I was up there and a new nurse came in to take my mom’s blood pressure. Like all of the other nurses in her unit she was friendly and started talking to us. We got into a conversation about family and she asked my mom how many kids she had. My mom explained that she had me and my brother and we were both married, with one kid. My mom mentioned that she wasn’t crazy about my brother’s wife and I said the same. Then suddenly my mom turns to me and says, “[my name] we need to stop doing that. Confused, I asked her, “doing what?”. She said, “telling people that we don’t like her.”. She then when on to explain that years ago around the time everything was going on with my brother and Satan and their wedding, my mom was getting her taxes done and she told her accountant that she hate her son’s wife and felt my brother was making a huge mistake marrying her. She went on to tell me that the day prior Satan and my brother were at the hospital and Satan was talking about some tax advice she got from someone that she needed to tell her accountant, Janice When my mom heard the name Janice she asked Satan what her last name was and that’s when she realized that they used the same accountant. 
We live in one of the most densely populated, suburban areas of the United States. What are the chances that my mom and her used the same accountant? 

Knowing how Satan and my brother had been snooping around my mom’s house several times in the past few weeks, I found it highly suspicious that Satan happened to A) be speaking about financial advice she got, with my mom while she was in the hospital, B) used the same exact accountant as her. I mentioned this much earlier on in this blog but this was something that was common practice for Satan. She always knew someone that knew you, no matter where you went. She always had a “friend”. Back when my mom was hospitalized in August, and had to get a procedure done Satan had sent my mom a screenshot of this anesthesiologist that she supposedly knew. She told my mom that he would come down and see her before her procedure and take care of her. No one ever showed up. She was full of shit. She had friends that were nurses too but again, we never met any of them. I felt like this was just another bullshit story that Satan was telling. She always knew someone. 
 I think it her doing that is her way of controlling what is said about her. It keeps you on your toes. You don’t want to bad mouth her because you never know when one of her “friends” may be lurking in the shadows, listening to your conversations. It was working on my mom, but to be quite honest, I could give a flying shit less. It was abundantly clear at that point in time that I wasn’t about to be the president of the Satan fan club. She didn’t scare me. 
I was trying my hardest not to talk about my brother and Satan unless my mom brought them up and even then I would keep it to a minimum. I didn’t want to stress her out with their nonsense by at the same time I wanted her to be aware that people were invading her privacy and going through her personal space. Even when I did talk about what was going on I always took the blame off of my brother and put it on to Satan. I didn’t want my mom thinking her son was a piece of shit and so I always stressed the fact that he was being controlled by her, even though at that point in time, I stared to realize that my brother was just as guilty because he was allowing her to control him and overstep boundaries with his family. As I mentioned in my last post it bothered me at times though, that my mom was so completely blind to my brother’s role in everything. She always gave him a pass. I think having to admit your son is a greedy, self absorbed, piece of shit, is a hard thing for a mother to do. I had told my mom each time I caught him in her safe but I think there was a part of her that didn’t want to believe me until finally one day, she got the proof she needed. 
It was a few days after Halloween and my mom told me, “your brother really was in my safe. He gave himself up by accident.”. I have to mention here that my mom would give me little drips and drabs of things they would say to her but she never told me the full details because I think she was really trying to avoid adding fuel to the fire. At the same time I think she was trying to piece this all together in her own mind and so when something didn’t seem right, she would question it to see my reaction. Her worst nightmare was to die knowing that my brother and I weren’t ever going to speak again. Him and I being estranged made her miserable. Anyhow, She would make mentions of these small, weird things and when I’d press for details she’s suddenly forget them because she didn’t want me to get angry. In this case there had to be some discussion going on about my mom changing her will and my brother asked her if she was going to use the same lawyer who drew up her original will. My mom said to me that, that right there was proof that my brother was indeed in the safe. There’s no other way he could’ve known who drafted her original will without actually going in there and seeing it with his own eyes. My mom never showed either of us her will. She told me that she told him that day that she had another lawyer she was going to use and she left it at that. It hurt that my mom had doubts but at the same time I understood. No mother wants to think their child is doing something shady to hurt her or any other one of his immediate family. I can only imagine the discussions that went on between them when I wasn’t around. I feel like they were telling my Mom things way worse than I ever could imagine while I wasn’t around. Satan was a compulsive liar and her lies were about to take a far more sinister turn. 
The same night my mom told me about the coincidental fact that Satan and her used the very same accountant, she made another strange mention to me about something else Satan said to her. The nurse walked out of the room and my mom said to me, “there’s something else I have to tell you about Satan…..”. I looked at her with worry in my eyes. She told me it was really weird. Satan told my mom she had one this thing called “the Nest” in some contest. I had heard of The Nest before. To my knowledge it was digital, hi-tech thermostat that could be controlled via your iPhone. She told my mom that not only did she win The Nest but she didn’t need it and she was such a generous person, she wanted my mom to have it. I was puzzled as to why Satan wouldn’t want to use it herself and why she’d want to give her expensive prize away to my mom for no apparent reason and that’s when my mom added, “well that’s not all….”apparently this prize was not just the thermostat, it came with a free security camera and she wanted to also gift that to my mom! 
Something definitely did not sound right about this to me. First off what kind of contest did Satan enter that a thermostat and Security camera were the prize? I asked my mom if that sounded a little suspicious to her and my mom admitted that it did, but again wanted to give my brother the benefit of the doubt. Also, why wouldn’t Satan want to keep this wonderful prize? Why was she so compelled to give it to my mom? My mom tried to play it off that it wasn’t a big deal but this wreaked of evil to me. No one just gives away a prize they “won” that’s worth over $200, for no reason. It just didn’t make sense to me. My mom told me she would like the thermostat but she wasn’t really into having a security camera in her house. 
When I left the hospital that night I told my husband who also thought the story sounded suspicious but in all honesty, I wrote it off as one of Satan’s bullshit stories that would never actually come to fruition. I looked at it as one of those things she said, just like her friend the anesthesiologist who was going to come see my mom before she got her procedure done and for the next few days I didn’t even give it a second thought. 
In the meanwhile I spoke to my mom and her doctors about getting her off the pain pump and my mom agreed to give it a shot. It seemed the radiation had helped and they got her pain under control. She was also seeing the physical therapist who showed her how to do these exercises in her bed to help build up muscle strength. It was nice to have conversations with my mom during that week without her nodding off or looking all doped up. I told her about the weeks before and she had virtually no memory of some of the events that took place. She didn’t even know that some people came and visited her and she had absolutely no memory of the night I brought to the emergency room…which was probably a good thing. I know that night be permanently burned into my mind. 
I hadn’t seen either of my aunts, at the hospital since I had that blowout with my Aunt Debbie about my brother and quite frankly, I was shocked. Knowing how close she was with my mom I would’ve thought she’d be multiple times a week, for hours on end. With the way I’ve seen them do things, I knew they were going to blame me for the reason they weren’t coming up that often. I was used to being their scapegoat, whipping girl at that point. My husband stayed out of all the drama but after My fight with Aunt Debbie, he tried to call her and explain the story and what was going on and in that convo, my aunt Debbie told him that she would come more often but she had to go home and feed her dogs after work. While i admit the hospital was a good 25 miles away from her, she could’ve made a little more of an effort to get there. Also, she has a grown ass, adult daughter who literally lives next door to her in an apartment she had built, on to her house, for her ex-inlaws. She could’ve helped out with feeding her dogs. It was just an excuse and a lame one at that. Instead she wound wait until aunt Bea and Uncle Bob were coming and she’d come with them. Not once did she drive out there by herself. I asked my mom almost everyday if anyone was coming and she said “no”, but that she “didn’t even care.”. While she said that she didn’t care, the way she said it told me that she really did care and was disappointed. 
That Thursday that proceeded Halloween I was sitting up in my mom’s room reading a magazine as she dozed off and all of the sudden I hear the shuffling of feet and jackets. I look up and my Aunt Bea, my aunt Debbie and my cousin Tina came walking in the room. At this point I really didn’t want to see any of them and so I started to get that anxious feeling in my gut. I wanted to just leave the room and for so many reasons. One being that the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife, and I didn’t want my mom to be stuck in the middle of it. As I said before I also didn’t want them to ha e any excuses as to why they didn’t come up there often. I didn’t want them to say that I was breathing down their necks, making them feel uncomfortable or robbing them of precious time with my mom. They had just as much of a right to be there as I did and they deserved to spend some “alone” time with her too. Lastly, I welcomed the break. I would be at the hospital everyday from the early to mid afternoon up until anywhere from 9:30 to 11:00 pm. No one was forcing me to be there but I just didn’t feel right knowing she was so scared and nervous, leaving her to sit in this depressing hospital alone! I said hello and then a few minutes later I excused myself to go downstairs to get a drink and smoke a cigarette.
As I rode down the elevator I realized that my Uncle Bob wasn’t with them. My Aunt Bea is one of those kinds of women who rely way too much on their husbands to do things for them. Aunt Bea hardly went anywhere without my uncle bob. There were several times my Aunts wanted to do a girl’s night out/sisters night and aunt Bea declined the invitation because she wouldn’t go without Uncle Bob. Aunt Bea never drove her car on the main highway that runs through the island in which we live on. She never had to pump her gas or go pickup takeout food. My Uncle Bob does all of those things for her and so when I was her there alone it certainly was weird. 
The parking lot was empty for the most part by that time of night and by process of elimination I assumed my Aunt Debbie was the chauffeur that night but when I looked around, her car was no where to be found. I shrugged it off and continued to make my way to my car when all of the sudden out of the corner of my eye I noticed a car that looked exactly like Uncle Bob’s truck. I walked over to it and saw a sticker that helped confirm that it indeed was his car. I had my cigarette, called my husband, and hung around for a while knowing that their visits usually didn’t last longer than a half hour or hour, tops. 
On my way back in I decided to call my mom and ask her if she wanted anything from the cafeteria before it closed for the night. She told me she was ok and to just come back up to the room. As I stood there and waited for the elevator I heard the door to another elevator open up. I turned my head to look at it and out comes my Uncle Bob, all by himself. As he walked out I looked at him and our eyes got locked in direct contact with one another. I felt like we were two cowboy, gun slingers in the wild Wild West. My head followed him until he finally left my field of vision. He didn’t so much as grimace at me. It was as if we were two complete strangers with absolutely no connection to one another. At one point in my life I actually had a lot of respect for my uncle Bob but it was clear at that point that he didn’t have any for me. That day when I looked into his eyes, I saw him in a completely different way. He was a heartless, pussy ass, Bitch. 
I got back into the room and as I walked back in the rest of them shuffled out of the room. I could tell my mom was a little bit annoyed that I left because she made some comment that I was rude for leaving. As much as I didn’t like lying to her; I tried to play it off like I was just claustrophobic and anxious with so many people in the small space she was in (which was partially true). I felt it wouldn’t benefit either of us at that point by telling her my real reasons, but my mom was no idiot. You know that every single day when I went up to the hospital my mom would ask me, “did anyone from the family reach out to you?”, and everyday I’d reply, “no ma just [my oldest cohsin] and [my mom’s youngest sister], no one else.”. Just as I could read her, she could read me and she knew that there was more to the story and that’s why she would ask me, if they called. The last time she asked me that her reply to my answer was, “my family fucking sucks.”. I couldn’t even argue with that. 

That Friday I was at the hospital in the afternoon and came home to drop off my son. As I was getting ready to head back up to the hospital, I got a call from the palliative care director. Apparently the woman, who’s name was Linda, had a long talk with my mom that afternoon and afterwards she decided to call me. Our conversation was almost an hour long and I was really confused because it seemed like the main purpose of it was to light a fire under my ass to get a lawyer down to the hospital and have my mom sign power of attorney over to me. This woman knew the whole story about my brother and Satan and how my mom didn’t want Satan controlling any of her money. She said that she “strongly urged me to get it done ASAP. The funny part was; we were supposed to see the lawyer that day but we ended up having to cancel because my mom thought she was having some procedure done. After the palliative care meeting, my mom told me to call the lawyer who worked probono for cancer patients, that they had suggested and have him come into the hospital so she could have him re-write her will. She had a social worker call and follow up with me the next day and she too explained that there’s always one evil person in every family. Later on when I told my mom that I had spoken with the palliative care director, and what she said my mom tried to play it off like she didn’t tell the woman about my brother and Satan. I was really confused. The woman told me they had a conversation about it and my mom explained the whole story to her and how she was really worried for me. I don’t know why my mom would deny it. Maybe she was trying to just do damage control because she didn’t want them finding out about it. Regardless, I called him but he wasn’t available for another week and so I rescheduled with him for the following Thursday….
(To be continued in my next post) 

“He is planning my death” 

It was Halloween. My husband took off from work so I could attended the meeting at the hospital with the palliative care team. I felt really bad leaving my mom but I really wanted to be there for my son to go trick o treating. It was the first year he was actually aware and excited about Halloween. Normally I make his costumes but this year I had been too busy caring for my mom that it was the furthest thing from my mind. My husband brought him to the store and let him pick out his own costume and he picked out a scooby doo costume. 
My mom and I discussed the meeting and it felt real good when she told me, “you carried that entire meeting” and that she was proud of me. My mom was always supportive and would always tell us when we did a good job. She was totally ok with me leaving to bring my son trick o treating and so I did. Thankfully my son is only four and he wasn’t really in to walking for miles so I was only gone about an hour. Me and my husband drove back up to the hospital so my mom could see him dressed up. The hospital staff got a kick out of him. 
My son always lifted my mom’s spirits and so whenever I could, I wound bring him up to see her. I could tell there was some improvements. On Halloween she was actually able to use her phone again and she took pictures of my son in his costume from her hospital bed. A day or so prior to halloween while I was there her roommate was discharged. My mom had the worst part of the room. She was right next to the hallway and since most roomies prefer the room dividing curtain to be closed, my mom hadn’t seen the sun for over a week. I knew how much she loved to see the fall foliage and so I asked the nurses if we could switch her to the window side of the room. I thought that just seeing that the outside world still exists may actually help her and give her the drive and will to get better. I definitely noticed an improvement in her because of it. 
The window area was also more private, because you didn’t have people walking back and forth and I believe the privacy also played a big factor in making her less stressed out. As I said in an earlier post, my mom was very self conscious. People don’t realize that even though you’re sick, humility is still a factor to take into consideration. When you become so ill that you can no longer do simple things such as go to the bathroom, or walk, you are forced to sacrifice your humility. My mom wore false teeth. The year after my dad passed in 2006, she had to get all of her teeth pulled. From being on steroids and immunosuppressive drugs for about 15 years at that point in time, she had lost a lot of bone mass. Her jaw bone was starting to waste away and so all her teeth became loose. She had to get a full set of dentures. It was a very traumatic experience for her and I was there to hold her hand. It was hard to watch as she cried hysterically in the dentist chair. It took her a very long time to get adjusted to the teeth too. They were very awkward and uncomfortable at first and she couldn’t eat a lot of the foods she enjoyed because it was hard to chew. It was also hard to talk. I felt so bad for her but she always had to look at things like, have false teeth or be in dialysis or even worse, dead. Eventually she got used to them but when she had stayed in the hospital for the entire month of August, she refused to take them out. So for about 30 nights straight, she slept with them in her mouth. She had really bad sores and stuff and so it was during this stay that I finally got her to take them out. Every night I’d be the last one to leave the room no matter who came because I would help her get her teeth out, clean them up and set her up with some mouthwash and her glue for the next day. I’d like all the stuff up on the table that she’d need so she didn’t have to bother the nurses, and she could do everything herself. 
My husband stayed with us for about an hour and then brought my son to get dinner. At about 8:00pm my brother came strolling into the hospital room, surprisingly all by himself. Apparently Satan was sick. At this point in time I was so disgusted with him. I left the room to use the restroom and when I came back I saw him sitting in the chair looking at the forms we had been handed earlier that day. I came to find out later he asked my mom if she filled it out and she got annoyed and told him she just wanted to relax and not think about that kind of stuff. She told him she’d do it the next day. Personally I didn’t even want to look at the form because I didn’t want to imagine my mom in all of these horrible situations where I’d have to make a decision whether or not she lived. I hoped and prayed I’d never have to make such a choice and that was about it. 
Around 9:30pm he said he had to go. I stayed for about another hour to hour and a half. I helped my mom get cleaned up for bed and I went home. I had been home for about 10 minutes when I get a frantic text from my mom’s neighbor who was watching her dogs. She was completely freaked out. She told me someone was in my mom’s house and they moved stuff around. I couldn’t believe it. I ran right out my door and drove over there. When I got there I see her coming across the street with a flashlight in her hand. Apparently she had fed the dogs around 7:30. At around 11:00 or so she saw what she thought was a Dodge Charger, pulling out of my mom’s driveway, but just chalked it up to someone using her driveway to make a U-turn, which was a common thing seeing that she is the second house on the block. She went into the house and right way noticed stuff was out of place. There was stuff on her kitchen counter that was moved. Lights that she knew she had shut off, had been turned on and there was a black portfolio case sitting on the coffee table in my mom’s den, which wasn’t there earlier. As she’s telling me the story she starts crying and I could see she was visibly shaken. She knew it wasn’t me who was in the house because her and I communicated. Every time I went there I would let her know so I didn’t alarm her. I knew there was only one other person besides me and my husband who have keys to my moms house and that is my brother. 
Back in August when I figured out that my brother and Satan were in my mom’s safe, I set the dial to a specific number so that I knew if it was not on that number, clearly someone was in it. I caught them on the 19th of October and again on the 31st. Sure enough the number was moved both times which clearly means they were in the safe. I didn’t understand what it was that they were looking for. Everything else in the house seemed undisturbed except for the few things that she showed me. We talked for about an hour and a half that night. She explained how she was so scared thinking it was Halloween and someone was messing with my moms house. She was really shook up from it. 
When she left I felt too spooked to stay there and investigate and so the next morning I came back. I opened the safe and sure enough I could see someone had gone through it again. This time they left the copy of my mom’s will out of the packet that it was in. I opened up the packet and took out my mom’s will and sure enough, it looked all disheveled. It was all dirty on the back and I could tell someone had folded over the nice crisp pages and left a crease in it. I knew it wasn’t me. To me that indicated that someone had possibly taken it and had it photocopied. I wasn’t sure why the other stuff was moved around either, especially the portfolio case.
I couldn’t make sense of it all and then it hit me. My brother completely lied to us that night. He left the hospital at about 9:30 and said he was going home but apparently that wasn’t the case. Instead he went to my moms house. I didn’t want to cause trouble but because the girl was so shook up I wanted to let my mom know that my brother should just let one of us know that if he was going to her house for any reason, to let either me or her know. I went straight to the hospital and asked my mom if she knew that my brother went to the house that night and she told me no she didn’t. 
She called him up as I was standing there and asked him if he was at her house the night prior. She looks up at me and I hear her saying back to him, “oh you weren’t?”. She looked over to me and mouthed the word, “lying!”. A few seconds later, silly him, he remembered that he did in fact go to her house and the reason he gave was so that he could check to see if she had any bills that needed paying. When she hung up the phone she looked at me with this disappointed face and said, “he lied…” and then she asked, “did he go in the safe again?”. I didn’t want to upset her but I had to tell her the truth. I told her that was it. I was going to remove all of the paperwork that was in there and she told me, “good, do it.”. She then said something to me that I will never forget. She first asked me why I thought he kept going in there. I didn’t have the heart to say why, and so I replied, “I don’t know, ma.”. That was when she said to me, “I know why, he is planning my death.”. 
(To be continued in my next post) 

How do we stay abreast? Adventure in palliative care. 

It was reaching Halloween now and my mom was in the hospital for almost 2 weeks by this point in time. It is really hard taking care a sick person and also being the mother of a young child. It was the first year my son was truly excited about Halloween. He learned all songs in his preschool class and was singing the ghostbusters theme, day and night. I felt terrible but I couldn’t even think straight and I had no idea what to dress him up as. That was completely not normal for me. Usually I make his costumes but this year I just didn’t have the time or imagination to do it. My husband ended up bringing him to the store and he picked out a scooby doo costume. 
Before I could worry about Halloween, I had to get through this meeting with the palliative care team at the hospital. By this time they were starting to get my mom somewhat stabilized. Her pain seemed to be better from the radiation and it was under control. The first week and a half was extremely scary and my friend Kathy who was a nurse in my mom’s unit told me that a lot of that had to do with the fact that she was on an extremely high dose of pain medication which was making her seem a bit loopy and out of it. I spoke with her and her doctors about possibly getting her off the pain pump and back on to regular injections every 4-6 hours. The meds were making her so out of it she couldn’t even navigate through her phone. It was really weird that week or so not being able to text with her like I normally did. I still text her even though I wasn’t even sure if she could read it. I just wanted to reassure her that I’m there and give her some words of encouragement and hope. 
The doctors weren’t sure what to do with her once they did get her stabilized. There was no way in hell she was going to be able to go home and care for herself seeing that she couldn’t even get out of bed or walk. This was all part of the purpose of the palliative care meeting. We were going to discuss our concerns, her concerns and what her options would be in the future. 
I got to the hospital before my brother did that morning and I headed up to my mom’s room. My brother came walking in with a pad and pen as if he was some big shot who was super concerned with my mom’s welfare, all of the sudden. It just fucking annoyed me that he comes in during the 11th inning and all of the sudden acted like he was the once taking care of her or something. It was so phony. I saw right through it and it was clear his wife had him completely under her control at this point. I prepared myself for a lot of eye rolling that day. 
I left my ledger and quill pen at home that day and so I decided to record the meeting on my phone. Prior to then I had been recording all of my mom’s doctors appointments too. To anyone out there who is helping care for a sick parent or relative, may I suggest you do the same? I found it to be a big help, especially because when you’re there and you’re in the moment, you tend to forget things that are said. It’s nice to have the doctors exact words to refer back to. 
The doctors started off by asking us if we had any questions and right away my brother jumps in sounding all professional, reading out of his notebook, “what’s the current goal for the treatment? He went on to explain that because my mom was so heavily medicated, she isn’t always understanding. He was wrong. She understood perfectly. She understood all too well and she knew it wasn’t sounding good. It’s funny he even had to ask that question. If he dedicated more than 20 minutes a day to being there, he probably would know what was going on. The doctors told us they’d come back to that question but for now they wanted to know what others questions we had. I told the doctors I was up to speed because I spent all day and night up there. My brother interjected, “well I’m not up to speed because I’m not here all of the time.”. Then he starts going on he wants to know what the goal is of palliative care, and how things were going to be proceeding with her treatment. He paused and then said, “I also wanted to get an idea of what she’s looking for so that everyone is on the same page as far as……..she……….you know…..would want us to do for her if she’s not able to do things for herself.” The room got quiet. There was a doctor from the palliative care team and two social workers sitting with us. None of them said a word in response to his questions. Once again he’s referencing the healthcare proxy shit. I don’t understand why he doesn’t seem to comprehend that those are not the types of questions that you have in front of a group of strangers. 

The doctors didn’t really respond to what he said and instead I jumped in and told her I had questions about her meds and stuff. The doctor the. Turned to my mom and asked her if she had any questions and her questions was, “I’m just wondering how I am ever going to sit up and get out of here.”. For the next half hour we addressed her medical situation. The fact that her pain wasn’t fully controlled, that her kidney failed and she needed to do dialysis, the fact that she couldn’t walk or use the the bathroom anymore, were all things that would need to be addressed before she was discharged. They also encouraged us to start making a discharge plan this way we weren’t blindsided but from where we stood at that point, it didn’t look like a discharge was coming any time soon. What made her situation way more complex was that she lived on her own. She would either have to go to a rehab center or home with a fulltime aide which wouldn’t be covered by insurance. Prior to the meeting I had told my mom that she was more than welcome to come live with us and that my husband and I would care for her.
My mom was still kind of out of it from the pain meds and wasn’t able articulate herself as well as she normally does and so I basically remembered a lot of the concerns she has over the past two weeks, that she had shared with me and so I tried to voice those for her. My brother was relatively quiet during this portion of the discussion. She had a long road ahead it seemed. They had to get her pain under control first. They explained that the radiation would take some time to take effect. It had only been a week and it could take up to two weeks to take full effect. The other issue was the fact that she couldn’t walk and her muscles wasted away quite a bit in the short two weeks she was there. She would have to be evaluated by a physical therapist before leaving and she’d have to be able to sit up and support her own weight, in the bed, which she was unable to do at this point in time. 
After most of the medical issues were addressed there was a long pause. My mom sounded was about to ask another question when my brother interjected once again…”I have a question….about when we should start the discussions….I know she had a healthcare proxy form…..filled out which I guess was my sister but like, I don’t know if it was ever done, but I don’t think we had a discussion as to what your…….what your wish actually are…”. I was so sick of those god damn healthcare proxy shit already. It was starting to get insulting and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why he kept harping on it. For three years he had no problem with me doing everything when it came to her and for the past year of her being sick, he did nothing. Now all of the sudden he is worried what her wishes were? Did he think I’d make some type of irresponsible decision? If he was so concerned why did he wait two weeks to ask her, in front of a group of strangers? Why not ask her when you’re sitting in the room with her. I had suggested several times that just him and I sit down with her and discuss her “wishes” but he ignored me every time I suggested it. Now he wanted to know? 
I watched my moms face and immediately she shot me this annoyed look. I knew this was something she was uncomfortable discussing at all, let alone in front of these people. Whether or not she was going to be resuscitated in an emergency situation, wasn’t exactly her biggest concern at that point in time. Although my mom and I never had those specific kinds of discussions, I think she believed they weren’t necessary because she trusted my judgment and pending on all the circumstances, I’d make the best decision for her. I didn’t need to know exactly what she wanted. I know that if there was a chance of her fully recovering and having a good quality of life, she’d want to be revived but if she was looking at a hard life of suffering or being a vegetable, she’d rather go in peace. It’s that simple.
My brother kept insisting and my mom said she didn’t know. She’d have to see a list or something. Knowing my mom the way I do, she probably only mentioned the list because she didn’t want to talk about it and she figured there would be no list so that would end the conversation. To her surprise though, the social worker explained that there was a list and as she was explaining it my mom just kept saying, “ok, great! Ok, great!”. When she does that, that’s her way of politely telling you to shut the fuck up and change the subject. I know because she did it to me all of the time! 😂😂😂. 
The social worker then mentioned that there’s also something called a power of attorney and that’s more for financial stuff. Should my mom be unable to take care of her own finances at any point in time, a power of attorney would be able to do things of that nature for her. They could pay bills, transfer money, and write checks and stuff. As she’s explaining that, my brother jumps in and says, “and it will probably be a good idea to get you to an eldercare attorney……again, to protect you.”. Personally I don’t think he had any interest in protecting her because realistically, how does an elder care attorney protect their client? Eldercare attorneys only protect them by writing wills and trusts. Once the client dies their job is to protect the estate and the heirs, not their client. He wanted her to get to an eldercare attorney to protect HIS best interests which was HER money! I believe his issue with the healthcare proxy stuff wasn’t an issue at all but a way to segway into talking about an eldercare lawyer. He knew if he brought up just the eldercare lawyer it would make him look greedy so he wanted to use the healthcare proxy as a way to make it look like he was concerned about her, first and foremost. My brother has always been greedy and selfish. He has always been all about himself and what he wants and so he wanted to make sure he got his half of the inheritance and that was his number one concern the whole time. My concern was getting her to a place where she’s comfortable, not in pain and can preserve at least some quality of life. At that moment in time, healthcare proxies, power of attorneys and all that other shit could wait… especially seeing that she already had all of them. That’s what was in the safe with her will. My brother knew that too. 

The meeting was coming to a close and the doctors and social workers asked us if we had anymore questions. I felt like all of my questions were answered at that point but of course my brother had some. I remember seeing this meme on Facebook one time that read, “look at that bitch eating her crackers over there like she owns the place!”. It’s basically poking fun at the fact that once you are angry or annoyed with someone you find everything they do offensive, even something as simple as eating a cracker. I don’t know if my brother had become my bitch eating crackers or what but he really just fucking irked me the way he spoke and carried himself. He asks the doctors, “so who can we speak with to stay abreast of the situation.”. The immature 16 year old in me wanted to laugh out loud and say, “ha, ha! You said a breast!” but I held back, but I mean really? Who speaks like that? The doctors are not expecting their patients to have their doctorate in the English language. Speaking like that made him look like a pompous asshole. His next question was really a doozy. He asked, “what type of questions do people usually ask in these types of situations?”. I mean really? Can we keep the rhetorical nonsense to a dull roar!? That’s a stupid question. 

The meeting ended and my mom asked me to get someone to clean her up. When I came back in she was looking at the paperwork that the social worker handed to us. One was the form for resuscitation and the other was the name of a lawyer that had a grant to work with Cancer patients. Back when my mom was first diagnosed with cancer I was on the phone with one of my aunts and she asked me if my mom had a will. I told her yes, that she did and that my brother was the executor. Knowing everything that had transpired between Satan and us and how my mom said she wanted to change it to make me the executor, she asked me if my mom ever had it changed. To my knowledge at the time she didn’t and so my aunt urged me to talk to her about it ASAP. I explained to my aunt that I felt uncomfortable bringing that stuff up to her. That was almost 8 months prior to this day and I STILL couldn’t find the heart to bring it up to her. I figured that if and when she wanted to discuss it with me, she would. Up until August when I caught my brother and Satan in my mom’s safe, I too thought my brother was the executor of my mom’s will. When I finally saw her will, it named my Aunt Bea and Aunt Debbie as executors. I thought perhaps there was something written in there that said something to the effect of if my brother and I weren’t adults when my parents passed away, that my aunts would be executors but it didn’t. They were the only ones named as executors. The will was written in 1996 and both him and I were still minors. It was that day in the hospital that I brought it up to my mom for the very first time. I informed her that she had all those things we previously discussed and that it named Aunt Bea and Aunt Debbie. My mom responded by saying, “oh.” That was it. After what I had saw and heard in those two weeks I told her that she should change it. She told me that she thought I should be in control of her stuff but she wanted to tell my brother the truth. The truth was that she did not trust his wife and didn’t want her taking control of her stuff. It was absolutely nothing personal against him.
This was only the first part of the day. I was starting to get very concerned with what my brother and his evil wife were up to and the next few weeks would prove that my concerns were very legit. 
(To be continued in my next post) 

Mind your business…

It was the morning after the big healthcare proxy debate. I was so angry with my brother for giving my mom a hard time over the decisions she was making for herself and not having the empathy or sense to see that she was in no condition to be having arguments with people. Just to put things into perspective, within a week she had found out her cancer had metastasized (spread) to her tailbone and her lungs. She also had to be put back on dialysis after 25 years of living a normal life with a transplanted kidney. To add insult to injury she was completely bedridden and couldn’t walk. She also became completely incontinent and had to wear an adult diaper. She was also being heavily medicated and had a pain pump and was on a very high dosage of a powerful opiate called Dilaudin. She started having severe panic attacks and was put on oxygen. Her quality of life drastically changed within a matter of days. Her situation was looking grim at best. She also still had to worry about her affairs at home like paying her bills and caring for her dogs. It was a whole lot in a very short time frame to take in. I was stressed to my maximum and so I could only imagine how she felt. Things weren’t looking too good and then my brother has to add to it by going in her room like the little bitch that he is, and giving her a hard time about a form that we may never even need to use! Besides, who would be begging to be in the position to have to make a decision with someone’s life? 
I woke up the next morning to see I had a text on my phone from my aunt Debbie that read, 

Good Morning [my name] I spoke with you Mom this morning, she sounds more like herself. However you and [my brother] need to keep the drama out of her room. She said she was very upset that you both were in a battled about who was her health care proxy. She said to me, I don’t why they would do this in front of me, is the end for me? You guys need to keep it positive!!! 

FYI – I wrote to your brother also so you both could create a peaceful atmosphere for her. Ttyl”

It was clear to me that my mom didn’t tell her the story because if she did, she would’ve told her the correct story. I explained to her that no one was battling over who her healthcare proxy was and in fact I wasn’t battling at all. I stood there quiet and said nothing except for when I told my brother he could’ve asked me to see the healthcare proxy form. I left the room after that. If my mom told her the story then she would’ve told her that it was really HER and him who were arguing! 
At this point in time I was stressed out behind belief. I was sitting at the hospital for 8+ hours a day, having to drag my 3 year old son along for the ride because I had no one to watch him. Between my brother and Satan sneaking around doing shady shit and oh yeah, the fact that I am watching my mom who I love more than anyone in this world, lose her battle with a rare form of aggressive cancer, I was pretty stressed the fuck out! I was virtually alone, caring for her for the past year, as I watched her health slowly deteriorate. I didn’t need any extra added bullshit and so I tried in the nicest way possible to tell my aunt not to get involved. I had enough of everyone’s shit, really and so I wrote back, 

Aunt Debbie please don’t get involved. I kept the drama out of her room. You need to talk to my piece of shit brother…..”
“You can call my husband and ask him. I’m fucking done with my brother and will never talk to that piece of shit again…….”
“You need to know the whole story before you start giving speeches. I was trying to keep the drama out of her room. I was there all day and all night for the last three days. His wife was calling the social worker two days after my mom was in the hospital asking about healthcare proxies. She was “calling and calling” that was the social
workers words NOT MINE. She has NO fucking business doing that. It’s MY MOTHER. I had my mom sign the papers cause all those pieces of shit care about is her money. They went to her house and went through all of her bills, her financial statements and her safe last time she was in the hospital. Vinnie is telling me we need to bring her to an elder care lawyer. He’s planning her fucking death! That’s all they care about. That’s why I’m so fucking angry with everyone. You all think they’re good people FUCK THEM!”
At this point now I just couldn’t stop. I felt like she needed to hear it all and so I went on to explain further. 
“I explained the whole thing to him. His name is on the paper. I told my mom to put it there. They are trying to take advantage of my mom because she’s
all drugged up. They’re evil pieces of shit……”
“He was trying to have a secret meeting with the social worker yesterday. Then he kept calling and calling. The girl came in the room and asked my husband if was him. He said no. Then she said my brother was calling relentlessly about the healthcare proxy stuff. My mom called him and asked what the fuck was going on. He’s making her think she’s is fucking dying!!!!! He got her all stressed out and she started shaking and was unable to breathe. She was completely out of it yesterday. He started asking about her will and everything. [my husband] was sitting RIGHT THERE. Our priority IS to keep the drama out of her
room. When [my brother] came later I left the room because he started yelling. You guys all have no idea what evil pieces of shit they are. I saw uncle Bob talking to them and giving them advice about the will. Everyone thinks I’m fucking stupid and I don’t know what’s going on. Guess again.”

This was really where I started to lose my shit. My family has a way of responding to things that is just so dismissive and invalidating that it’s infuriating. She wrote back to me, 

“[my name] you are putting your energy towards the wrong things…… this is the time we should all pull together, we all love your mother…”
Then she added, 

“Don’t focus on the wrong things.”
😳😳😳

By this point in time I was completely fed up with being told that I was focused on the wrong things. I couldn’t even believe she had the audacity to say that to me and so I responded by saying, 

” Aunt Debbie, don’t tell me I’m putting my energy towards the wrong things. Don’t tell me what I AM DOING. I’ve been at the hospital day and night for three fucking days straight. I know what my energy is focused on. YOU text me with this bullshit. [my brother] came into my mom’s room with this bullshit all while NO ONE BUT ME HAS BEEN HELPING HER DAY AND NIGHT. You can call the hospital and ask to see the security tapes there. Don’t fucking tell me what MY FUCKING ENERGY IS FOCUSED On. You guys have no fucking idea what you’re even talking about. Do me a favor, don’t talk to me unless you’re asking how my mom is. Otherwise you all can stay as far away from me as possible.” 

I couldn’t stop! I wrote,

I’m fucking done with this BULLSHIT. You are all fucked in the heads….”
And 

“Why don’t YOU focus on being there for your SISTER instead of texting me with this fucking bullshit that you don’t even know what you’re even talking about.”.
I had to clarify, 

 “and by you all I mean you, [my brother], his evil fucking wife, aunt Bea and uncle Bob.”
and finally I said; 

“How fucking dare ANY of you make this harder for me. You should ALL be ashamed of yourselves….. tell my brother to have fun at his Halloween party tonight. I’ll be up at the hospital.”

After that she responds with,

“Thank you for blowing this all out proportion. You should be ashamed the way you are carrying on.

Aunt Fuck Head.” 
I stopped responding after that. 
Did I blow it out of proportion? Yes, maybe I did but I was so, so, so fed up with my family constantly telling me where MY focus was and what I should be focused on. I was the ONLY one who was really helping my mom. I was at the hospital everyday for hours and she has the nerve to tell me where my focus was? It’s easy for them to say not to worry about that shit, they don’t have to live it. I have to worry about it. It’s my family and my life! I realized long before this that I cannot talk to my family about my problems. I cannot to this day, grasp why they cannot just listen. Why they don’t understand what venting is? I never asked or expected them to be mean to my brother or treat him any other way than they normally do. They may not agree with me but they can at least hear me out and try to have some understanding and compassion for what I was going through. There is a gross lack of empathy in my family. They never want to discuss the real issues. They just want to sweep everything under the rug so nothing tarnishes their image of a perfect family. I have been doing that shit for the past ten years and it is taxing. 
On top of that, my aunt Debbie seems to think I am still some immature little teenager the way she speaks to me. It’s like she’s ordering me around as if I’m her child. “However you and him need to keep the drama out of her room.”. I am a grown woman. I am 36 years old and a mother, myself. Had she approached this in a different way; maybe I wouldn’t have gotten so upset about it. She could’ve at the very least, gave me the benefit of the doubt and asked me what happened with my brother. Instead she lies to me and I knew she was lying because. A) my mom was in pretty bad shape and I don’t believe she was able to articulate herself that well. B) in the past when my family had butted their way into things they would actually text me and my brother in a group text. This time she texts us separately. This story wreaked of Satan and I believe my aunt heard it second hand through Aunt Bea. My mom never would’ve told her the wrong story. 
I had enough shit to worry about at this point in time. The weekend was approaching and Halloween was only three days away. My mom informed me that Friday that someone from palliative care came into her room and spoke to her. I had never heard of palliative care prior to then. According to the website http://www.getpalliativecare.org, palliative care is described as this, 
 “Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.”
It differs from hospice care because the patient is still being treated for the disease at that point, still it sounded a little scary to me. Anyway, they wanted to have a meeting with the entire family and so that meant I would have to sit down with my brother and my mom. Of course the meeting had to revolve around my brother’s and Satan’s schedules. They made it for 2:00pm on Monday, which also had to be Halloween. My husband had to leave work early to look after our son, so I could go to the meeting. I didn’t even want to look at my brother’s face at this point. I had no idea what he was doing but I was determined to find out. 
(To be continued in my next post) 

Alex, I’ll take what is a healthcare proxy for $1000

It was known that my mom had cancer back in December of 2015 but we didn’t learn about what kind of cancer it was until March or April when her pathology report came back. She received no treatment from then until she was in the hospital. Absolutely NOTHING was done. Having a serious illness like cancer exposes how corrupt and flawed the healthcare system is in this country. My mom had her surgery February 10, 2016 to remove and 8″ mass that entombed her kidney. She was supposed to go up for a follow up scan in June and the to the doctor a few weeks later. These oncologists are always over-booked and you cannot get an appointment for weeks. The hospital she had her surgery in was a completely different hospital than the one she was for her August stay (and the one I’m currently speaking of). I know she missed at least one oncology appointment earlier in the year because she was hospitalized a few times throughout the year. It wasn’t until Sept, 2016 that she finally got an appointment with an Oncologist and treatment options were actually discussed. 
The doctor originally prescribed her a fairly new chemotherapy drug called Votrient. It came in a pill form from a special pharmacy. It was going to take about two weeks time to get everything worked out with her insurance and such. She finally received a letter one day that her Insurance company denied coverage of the drug. They said it was because she had not had any other form of chemotherapy treatment prior which was one of the prerequisites for approval. Total bullshit. The kind of cancer she had, (papillary Type 2, kidney carcinoma) didn’t respond well to many other treatments and the doctors said that many people are reporting good results with this drug. 
Regardless, the doctors had no choice but to try another drug to treat her cancer. That drug also was going to take about two weeks to get here. Although I was pretty sure chemotherapy wasn’t going to help her that much at that point in time, I still couldn’t believe the long delay in getting the drug. It finally came in. My brother was at the hospital early Saturday morning and my mom got a phone call her her doctor’s assistant who told her the drug was being delivered the following Wednesday. Since they were there, they volunteered to take the delivery. I called my mom minutes after this happened and she informed me that her chemo drugs were being dropped off at my brother’s  house with their “nanny” (Satan has to be a pretensions and call her babysitter a nanny….it’s a babysitter). I told my mom that was crazy. I was home all day and I could’ve picked them up. Besides, at this point in time after she was so worried about whether or not my mom had a healthcare proxy, I did not trust Satan whatsoever. Again, maybe I watch too much Dateline and 48 Hours, but how do I know she isn’t trying to kill my mother? Money makes people do crazy shit! Maybe she wanted my brother to be the healthcare proxy so that when she poisons my mom, my brother can be the one to pull the plug and opt out of having an autopsy? Of course that is all very extreme but this day in age you never do know. 
I text my brother earlier in the week to ask him what was going on with the cancer drugs. There was talk about my mom having to do some consultation with the pharmacist. I was under the impression that the new drug was coming from the same “special” pharmacy that the first drug she was prescribed, was supposed to come from. I asked my mom but at that point she wasn’t really able to articulate herself too clearly and on reality, she didn’t even want to talk about it and so I decided to get the info from my brother. I thought nothing of it as I have been the one caring for my mom for months now, I felt I had the right to know. I asked questions like when were they were being delivered, who was delivering them and if my brother spoke to the pharmacist because I’d like to know what side effects to watch for an thing’s of that nature. My brother was being very evasive and telling me to calm down and that he’s, “got it all under control.”, as if I was annoying him by asking questions about my mom’s medication. Chemotherapy drugs are serious shit. I just wanted to ask some pretty valid questions. 
I went up the the hospital in the early afternoon. The plan was that once they got the drugs they were going to come to the hospital and give them to the doctor. My brother and Satan didn’t end up showing up at the hospital that night until about 8:30pm. No doctors are around at 8:30pm. Him and Satan did that a lot. They’d come up to the hospital so late and by that point in time, my mom was pretty out of it and she’d be ready to wind down and relax for the night. The had the drugs with them and they showed my mom the bottle and then Satan put it back in her bag. They stayed up at the hospital for a short amount of time and as they were leaving I told my brother to leave the drugs with me because I planned on being at the hospital after 9:30am, after I dropped my son off at school. Again he sighed as if he was annoyed and he ran down the hallway to get the drugs from Satan. That night I text him and told him that in the morning I’d go to the hospital and have them page the doctor before hand, this way he didn’t have to waste his lunch break waiting around for a doctor. I also thought it would leave us both more time to ask the doctor the questions we both had. He never answered me. 
The next morning he text me back around 9:00am and told me to just page the doctor early. The exhaustion of the previous week and a half had finally caught up with me that night and I slept like a log right through my alarm clock. I called my mom that morning and she told me her breathing was really bad and she didn’t want me bringing my son up because she didn’t want to scare him. She didn’t realize that he had already seen her bad breathing; dozens of times already. I told my brother that and so he told me to just drop the pills off at his job. I asked where his job was and then I started to express how worried I was, and how scary she looked and had been acting. He told me to just take it one step at a time and said she was on a lot of pain meds, which was true. 
In the previous nights my mom didn’t want me to leave her. She was still having the panic episodes and she felt like she was struggling and gasping for air. I decided I was going to go to the hospital either way so there was really no point in driving to my brother’s job and so I decided to just bring my son to the hospital with me. I text my brother and he seemed to be annoyed. I didn’t see what the big deal was because he was planning to go up there for his lunch break anyway. 
I arrived at the hospital and went upstairs. My brother followed shortly after. We walked over to the nurses station and asked if they could page the doctor. My mom was up in the dialysis unit. We walked down the hall and sat in this waiting room for the attending physician to come down. My brother was acting very weird. He told me I didn’t have to wait with him and that I should go up to see my mom. I got the sense that he was trying to get rid of me. He seemed annoyed and was giving me very short answers. The more he tried to get rid of me the more I wanted to stay. My son was trying to talk to him and he was hardly even paying attention. We sat there for about 20 minutes in this weird awkward silence. 
I could tell my brother was starting to get antsy and impatient. He got up and walked down the hall. I saw him on the phone. He came back in the room and once again he was pacing. Finally he told me he was going to go downstairs and getting something to eat in the cafeteria. I didn’t realize this until later but he when he came back up he didn’t have any food with him and he wasn’t gone long enough to have eaten anything while he was down there. I really just didn’t get what was up with him that at that point but he was acting very strange. 
After the doctor came and we asked him our questions my brother went up to see my mom real quick and I went outside to have a cigarette. I went up to see my mom. In the dialysis unit and stayed with her till they brought her back to her room. My husband was coming to get my son so I can stay and hang out with my mom until she went to sleep at night. She told me to tell my husband to come in. That was the first time he had seen her since the day I brought her to the ER. When he came a few hours later, I went downstairs again to get a drink and to have yet another cigarette. I was gone for about 10 minutes when I got a text from him saying to come back up because the social worker was in the room. A few seconds later he texted me, “Hurry!”. I got up there as fast as I could. I walked off the elevator and down the hall where I see my husband holding my son pacing up and down the hall, furiously. He came charging towards me and told me to walk with him down to the elevator lobby. 
We get down there and he starts explaining what happened. He was sitting in the room talking to my mom when the social worker popped her head in and asked him if he was [my brother]. Before my husband could answer she was apologizing for missing their meeting that afternoon. They both looked at her, puzzled. My husband explained who he was and then my mom asked her what meeting she was talking about. Apparently my brother set up a secret meeting with the social worker earlier that afternoon, during his lunch break. That explained why he seemed like he wanted to get rid of me. He made no mention of any meeting as we waited for the doctor.  He didn’t even tell my mom about it and so she asked the social worker why he wanted to meet with her. The social worker went on to explain that he wanted more information about the healthcare proxy. My mom was pissed. We had both already explained it to him. There wasn’t much more to be said about it. 
I had never seen my husband as angry as he was that day. In 9 years never once was he that pissed off. He told me that should my brother come up to the hospital at that moment, he didn’t know if he could restrain himself from beating the shit out of him. He’s not that type of guy either but that day he was furious. He explained to me that after the social worker left the room my mom was upset and so she asked him to hand her, her phone and she called my brother to find out what was going on.  She asked him what the story was with him and this healthcare proxy bullshit and why he’s making such a big deal about it. My husband said the next thing he knew was that my mom started apologizing to my brother saying over and over, “I would never do that to you.”. He could hear my brother yelling at her but couldn’t hear exactly what he was saying. He told me, “in all my years of life I have never seen someone go into a full blown panic attack like the way your mom did after she hung up the phone.” He said she started gasping for air, dry heaving and kicking her heels on the bed almost as if she was having convulsions . He ran out of the room and got the nurse because he got so scared. 
It was clear to ANYONE who had seen my mom during the prior week that she was in pretty bad shape. When she went into the hospital this time I knew something had drastically changed. She took a turn for the worst and so at that point in time, for me at least, I had to accept things the way they were.  I was trying to do whatever I could to alleviate that stress and trying everything I could to not add more. Especially that week because I knew she was going into these panic episodes where she felt like she was gasping for air and couldn’t catch her breath. When I was there  I tried to keep convos airy and light because I didn’t think she needed anymore bullshit . Every time a doctor walked into the room he delivered bad news. Several times that week she asked me if she was dying or expressed to me that she thought she was dying and there was no hope for her. I told my brother all about it and couldn’t believe he was doing this to her. I tried to put myself in her shoes. If someone keeps harping on my healthcare proxy, I would think it was going to make me think I’m dying, especially since they were going about it in the completely wrong way. 
I understand that when someone is that ill you need to have those really uncomfortable conversations. They are the kind of conversations you dread having. It’s also normal to be curious about the persons will, their affairs and what’s going to happen if and when they do die, but there’s a way to have those types of conversations. You must approach it as delicately as possible. By that point in time I almost felt like it was too late plus I could tell my mom wasn’t interested in having those convos. I was advised by a family member that I should have that conversation with her, months prior to her being in the hospital but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. After seeing how upset she got that day at the oncologists office when my brother (stupidly) asked how long she had left, I knew that I was going to have to accept things they way they were.
My brother was always manipulative and he knew how to get his way and especially with my mom. I will never forget my dad saying to me that my mom fucked my brother up by giving him everything he wanted as a kid. He learned that he can control her by throwing fits, stomping his feet and yelling. My husband said that’s exactly what my brother was doing that day. He was throwing a tantrum and trying to make my mom feel guilty. My husband was disgusted to see a grown man treat his mother like that. 
The nurse came down the hallway looking for us. She also had witnessed the panic attack and she asked me if I wanted to have my brother put on a “restricted visitor ” list. I told her it wasn’t necessary and that it would upset my mom too much, and that’s exactly what I was trying to avoid. We walked back to my mom’s room and acted as if nothing even happened. My husband said goodbye and I told her I was going to walk him downstairs. I was so angry, that I almost felt paralyzed as my husband repeated the story in better detail as we stood next to his car in the parking garage.  I decided to text my brother and I asked him what the deal was with the healthcare proxy shit and why he was so worried about it. I also told him he was giving my mom major anxiety and that if he wanted her to live that he should stop asking about this shit and making her think she’s going to die. He didn’t answer me by text. Instead, he called me. I was so angry I didn’t even want to talk to him but my husband encouraged me to answer the phone. I don’t even remember what my brother said to me. All I remember is me flying off the handle and dropping several f-bombs. That was the exact reason I text him. I know myself all too well. When I’m angry like that and I talk to someone I get more angry as I’m hearing their responses and then I fly off the handle. I’m learning to control that part of me. I hung up on him and when he tried calling back I text him and told him I didn’t want to talk. I also told him that his wife was completely out of line calling the social worker about the healthcare proxy, a few days prior too. I told him it wasn’t a good idea to bring her up to the hospital that night if he came . 
I went back upstairs to my moms room and again,  I acted as if nothing had happened. The last thing I needed to do was cause another panic episode. I wasn’t going to do that to her. I ordered her dinner and just sat down and watched TV with her. Around 8:00pm my brother came walking in. I said hi to him as if we didn’t have that fight a few hours prior. He sat down and it was a little awkward and quiet. Suddenly, out of nowhere, my mom decides to ask him once again why he’s so worried about the healthcare proxy shit. As soon as she said it he got all defensive and he was raising his voice. My mom told him to calm down, but he just kept going. He claims he thought the healthcare proxy meant that only I could speak to the doctors. That was TOTAL bullshit and he knew it. He and Satan were already speaking to them.  He was playing dumb. My brother is a very intelligent person. He was always in honors classes and got good grades with half the effort that it took normal people. His whole life when he needed to know something he’d research the shit out of it. Years ago, he wanted to become worlds best whiffle ball player and so went to Google to find out how to throw curve balls and stuff. He built himself a strike zone out of some pvc pipe and sheet metal. He found out that if you rough up the underside of the whiffle ball, it will make it more aerodynamic and so he sat there one day and carved a hatch pattern into about 20 whiffle balls so he could practice throwing them. Now we are supposed to believe that he didn’t google the role of a healthcare proxy? That he really didn’t know what it was? That was total BS. 
I stood there quietly, in shock for a moment as he and my mom got loud with one another and and argued back forth. I couldn’t believe this asshole thought it was an appropriate time to do this but in all reality, my mom was the one who brought it up. She was trying to explain that his name was on the healthcare proxy form, but it that since I was home all day and more available,  I was the primary and he was the secondary. Finally I decided I had to say something to end things and I calmly told him, “if you wanted to know about it, all you had to do was call me and I would’ve showed it to you.”. That’s when he turned around and looked right up and me and said, “I don’t have to fucking ask you for anything.”.  Again was shocked for a second and then I turned to him and said, “that’s psychotic!” and I walked out of the room. I didn’t want things to escalate any further and so I removed my self from the situation. 
I got all the way down by the elevator and could still hear him carrying on in there like a fucking asshole. I went downstairs and called my husband to tell him what happened. As I’m talking to him I see Satan come flying over a speed bump and she pulls in front of the building. A few minutes later my brother came walking out. He got into her car and she sped away. She dropped him off like a mom would drop off a little kindergartener. I couldn’t believe it. 
I went back upstairs and by that time my mom was all calmed down and she was drifting off to sleep. We didn’t even discuss what had happened with my brother. I helped her get ready for bed and went home. I didn’t understand at the time but eventually I figured out why my brother was so worried about the healthcare proxy. (I will discuss that in a later post). I was really dreading going to bed and waking up the next day because every night I’d go to bed thinking that it couldn’t possibly get any worse than it was the previous day and sure enough the next day would come……and things would get worse. 

(Continued in my next post) 

The turning point….

It was finally Tuesday morning after a long, long weekend and my mom was supposed to have the radiation to shrink the tumor on her tailbone that was compressing the nerves in her legs and pushing up on her spinal cord, causing massive amounts of pain. As they always do in the hospital, they had scheduled it at some ungodly hour in the morning. I was exhausted. I had practically spent the entire weekend at the hospital. As badly as I wanted to be there with her, I knew they weren’t going to allow me to go into the room with her. 
I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared in my life as I was that weekend. There was a few days there that I really thought it was the end of the road and she wasn’t going to pull through. When she sent me a text that was just my aunt’s phone number typed out, that Saturday, I got really concerned. I noticed that weekend my normally pretty technologically savvy mother was having trouble using her own phone. My mom was always into gadgets and technology as long as I could remember and once she got an iPhone, forget it. She was addicted to it. She was always on the damn thing, even if I was sitting there talking to her. If ever she was with anyone and you’d start talking about something and there was a thing you weren’t sure of, she’d pick up her phone and start searching for answers. That weekend however, she was completely unable to navigate her way through the phone. It was scary to see her having these, for lack of a better term, brain fart moments where she’d be searching for something and be stuck in the totally wrong place on her phone. Say she wanted to find a product on her Amazon app, I’d see her going into the calculator app and just sitting there staring at the phone in a daze. It was almost what you’d expect someone with Alzheimer’s to do. 
She lost control in many other ways as well. The day I brought her into the hospital she was able to walk. She walked into the doctors office earlier that day and out. The first day she was in her room (which she shared with another person) she was able to walk to the bathroom. Then a few nights later they had to bring a portable commode because she couldn’t make it over to the bathroom which was on the opposite side of the room. After a few more days she couldn’t even get up to get to the commode and so they put a pull-up type of adult diaper on her. That became too painful to change and so a day or so later they had to put an actual diaper on. She couldn’t even pull herself up in the bed. Her legs became completely useless and she was completely bedridden a week after she came into the hospital. That was a very hard thing to watch. My mom was a very self conscious woman. She was never happy with her looks or her body. She was always going off and on diets for my whole life. After her kidney transplant she blew up like a tick. The steroids slow your metabolism and if it’s already slow, you pack the pounds on. Every time the nurses had to change her she’d apologize. I would’ve done it if I could’ve but it was a two person effort because she couldn’t sit up. They had to roll her to one side place the diaper on, roll her to the other side and then back to her back, which was incredibly painful for her. 
Aside from the radiation, during the whole weekend and on Monday my friend Kathy who was a nurse kept telling me that my mom needed dialysis really badly because her creatinine levels were off the charts. My mom was resisting the dialysis like no one’s business. In my opinion my mom was more scared of the dialysis than the cancer. I believe she was traumatized by her kidneys failing back when I was young, and reliving that horror was her worst nightmare. Dialysis is not an easy thing. You “give up” four hours of time, three times a week. If you work like my mom did, it’s four hours a day, three days a week that’s getting taken away from your kids, your husband, and yourself. You must eat a very strict diet and when I say diet, I’m not talking about the kind you go on to lose weight. It’s a diet like where you can’t even have something as simple as a banana or a potato because they’re high in potassium and too much potassium can cause heart problems and all sorts of issues. Dialysis just drains you in every possible way, mentally, physically and emotionally. She resisted it so hard. 
On Monday morning I spoke with the attending physician. She told me that my mom was in dire need of dialysis. It was life or death by this point.  She told me all the horrible things that could happen if you don’t do dialysis. Having not kidney function could cause so many other organs to malfunction or fail. Her blood could become too acidic, she could have a stroke, etc etc. she told me that my mom wasn’t consenting. The doctors would ask her if she wanted it and she’d beat around the bush and say, “well if I have to I will but I don’t really want to.”. She told me that the nephrologists (kidney doctors) needed clear and concise, yes or no answers. I was so worried. 
Another thing that happened that weekend was that I apologized to Aunt Debbie. When it came down to it, my mom and her were the closest. In fact we used to call them copy and paste. If one got something, the other always had to get it. They even drove the same car just in different colors. They were like the Patty Duke twins only they were sisters. My mom was very upset that we weren’t speaking and so I wanted to bury the hatchet once again, for her sake. I didn’t give her some over the top apology. I basically just said that I was sorry for everything and just thought we needed to be there for one another, but most of all for my mom. She agreed and so it was good to be on speaking terms again. 
I called her after I spoke to the doctor. Her and Aunt Bea were coming down to the hospital. I caught them by the elevators and explained what the doctors said to me and asked them to back me up on the whole dialysis thing because my mom really needed to do it. It was do or die at that point in time. My mom finally agreed and I explained to her that she had to give a clear answer, yes or no, to the doctors and that she had to stop beating around the bush. The doctors came in and finally she agreed. So now she had the radiation in the morning and the dialysis scheduled for the next day. 
The radiation did not happen that tues morning. They ended up bringing her in early in the morning and they couldn’t do the radiation in her bed, so they had to transfer her from one bed to the other and that on its own was very painful for her. Once they got her on the table, they needed her to stay completely still as they shot the radiation. She tried her hardest but she said the pain she was feeling was so excruciating that she just couldn’t do it and so they sent her back up to the room with a plan to try later in the day. I had to bring my son to school and on the way home I called my mom and that’s when she explained what had happened. She told me they were going to give her more pain meds and try again around lunch time. She was so scared and nervous. I could hear it in her voice. She hadn’t slept well that whole weekend. I think she was afraid to fall asleep because she thought if she did, she may not wake up. I was in fear of that too, believe me. 
I decided that I had to bite the bullet and bring my son up to the hospital that day. I knew seeing him would lift her spirits. My mom loved my son more than anything in this world. I mean she just adored him. She spoiled him like a grandmother should, in fact she went above and beyond. She just loved seeing him, hearing him; looking at him, everything. At nights when we were home and she was at her house, I’d FaceTime her on my iPad and she’d stay on until my battery died just because she loved seeing him that much. Sure enough my plan worked. She was so happy to see him and so they let us walk down with her to the radiation section of the hospital and we waited with her until they took her in. She was finally able to sit still and I truly believe seeing my son is what gave her the strength to pull through. 

Aside from the radiation there was the he fact that my mom needed the dialysis so badly at this point, she was really out of it. They had to put her on oxygen because her lungs were filling up with fluid. If your kidneys aren’t functioning you are unable to expel excess fluids and so it finds its way through your body. Your ankles will swell, your eyes will get very puffy and you will be really uncomfortable. I think it also makes you kind of delusional as well and so after the radiation treatment, she was really out of it. 

She finally consented to having a dialysis treatment and so that day, right after radiation, they wheeled her up to the dialysis unit. She was so tired that day. They had her up early for the radiation and now they wanted to do dialysis too. They wheeled her up to the dialysis unit and by this time she was out of it. She must’ve maxed out her pain pump button quite a few times that day. She was holding on to the button for dear life that day. By time they rolled her up she was conked out. She pretty much slept through the whole thing. Once she was all hooked up, I left briefly to bring my son home. 

When I came back up to the hospital that night. I walked into the room and Uncle Bob, Aunt Bea and Aunt Debbie were all there. Whatever day it was, I was really worried about my mom and so when I came in the room I sort of walked past all of them and went straight to my mom to see how she was. Remember, she was having trouble texting and using her phone, so I hadn’t really been able to communicate with her like I normally would. They weren’t my concern. I hadn’t seen or spoken to them in months. Still after I said hello to mom and made sure she was ok, I turned around and said hi to my aunt Debbie and aunt Bea. I went to walk over to my uncle and he’s a tall guy, over 6ft tall, and he didn’t even look down at me as I was approaching him. It was like he was staring right through me. He kind of turned his head away from me. That was not like him and so I kind of just turned around and walked away. I had no idea why, but he gave me the could shoulder. 
A few minutes later my brother and Satan enter the room and suddenly there’s 9 people in this tiny crowded space. I knew my mom was not really up for visitors that night, but what am I going to do, start telling them they can’t come? I wasn’t about to do that. It’s bad enough I am already the family-wide scapegoat, I didn’t need to give them another reason to blame me but I could see my mom was really, really drowsy. She had a long day. As she’s sitting there with her eyes rolling into the back of her head, fighting to stay awake, my grandmother (who had no idea my mom had cancer at this point) is sitting on the chair next to her, talking to her. My aunt Debbie is on her phone as usual. Aunt Bea is talking to her. My brother is taking care of his kid and Satan and My uncle Bob are having this weird, almost flirtatious convo in the corner. All you hear is Satan’s voice non-stop (as usual) and my uncle is cracking all these corny jokes.  I just kind of sat back in amazement that no one was grasping how bad my mom looked or that she was tired and probably didn’t need all the commotion in her room. It was like a fucking social club in there. 
My mom kept looking at me the whole time and without having to say I word, I knew exactly what she was thinking. Me and my mom had that kind of connection where we could practically read each other’s minds. 9 out of ten times we were thinking the exact same thing. I was starting to almost feel angry that they were all there and so I stepped out into the hallway for a minute where one of the nurses saw me and asked if I was ok. I told her I just felt like there was an overwhelming amount of activity in the room, and like no one was being considerate of what my mom went through that day. She was drained. The nurse told me that if I wanted her to she’d kick everyone out. I told her it wasn’t necessary but it was just a lot and I needed a breather. 
I go back in the room and after a few minutes Satan makes her usual, “we gotta go because __________”, excuse and her and my brother start saying goodbye. I see my uncle Bob slip out of the room, into the hallway and he’s just kind of standing there waiting. My brother and Satan finish their goodbyes and when they walk out into the hallway, uncle Bob motions them to follow him. My husband and I were texting each other while this was happening. He was at home with out son and so I send him a text telling him to call me. I walk out of the room and tell him to just talk to me about anything. So he starts saying all this random shit and I’m just “ah ha-ing” and “yeahing” back to him as I walk down by the elevators. I stop at a point where I can see my brother, Satan and uncle Bob all kind of huddled together and I stood there for a second and watched. It was just weird to me. After everything happened with Aunt Bea and Uncle Bob’s son and him molesting my cousin, me and my brother stayed away from that family. Prior to then we always hung out with them but that changed our relationship. My brother never particularly cared for either one of them, my Aunt or my Uncle and I found it so strange that now all of the sudden they’re all close and stuff. 
You see, that prior week I was on the phone with my brother and he and I were discussing everything that was going on with my mom and what the future held for her. It was apparent at that point in time that my mom was not going to be able to go home and live independently. To be honest, at that point i had said to my brother, “I don’t even know if she’s going to make it out of the hospital this time.”. Things just were not looking good. I was then explaining to him what the social worker told me. That should she get out of the hospital she will most definitely have to go to a rehab facility. From there on, I offered for her to come live with me. My husband and I were going to give her our entire family room. She’d have her own private entrance and bathroom. It would be like her own studio apartment.
 As I’m explaining all of this to my brother he cuts me off at the rehab facility part and says, “and yeah, when she gets out we have to get her over to an elder care attorney because if she goes into a nursing facility, they’re going to take all of her money when she dies.”. 

That statement right there told me EVERYTHING I needed to know. I’m talking about where she’s going to live and how she’s going to survive and he’s worried about her money (which is essentially his money). If a nursing facility was going to take all her money and provide the best care for her then that’s what happens. Oh well. I didn’t care. Keeping her alive was all I cared about . I got so angry when he said that, I just couldn’t hold back. I said to him, “what the fuck are you even worried about that for?” and then, “you are sick!”, and then I hung up the phone. He tried to call me back but I didn’t want to speak with him. 

I’m watching, my brother, Satan and uncle Bob, huddled up, whispering to one another near the hospital elevators. Finally I decide to make my presence known. At that moment they all sort of jumped back and they started scrambling and doing that whole, “So yeah, we’ll talk….call me this week,”thing that people do when they’re being shady fucks. I consider myself someone who has very sharp perception and intuition. I’m very in tune with what’s going on around me. It’s hard to get one by on me. That’s why my mom never threw me surprise parties because she knew if she lied; I’d be right on to her. I’ve always been like that, my whole life. I just always know what’s going on and something about that whole situation just didn’t feel right and it didn’t seem right. Something extremely shady was going on. Uncle Bob wouldn’t so much as look at me when he came to the hospital. He never said hello, goodbye, NOTHING. For a while now my husband and I had suspected my Aunt Bea and Uncle Bob were the ones who were advising my brother and Satan to do all the shady shit they were doing. Going through her safe, her mail, her financial statements. They were rounding up her assets trying to figure out how much she was worth. It was sick. 
From that point on it was abundantly clear to me….. my brother and his wife were only in this for the money. They did not give a flying fuck about my mom and whether or not she lived. They were banking on her death. 
(To be continued in my next post)