It's happened again. I visited my family some 400 miles away, endured much stress, and returned home feeling depressed. Visiting family should be fun, shouldn't it? My cousin celebrated her 75th birthday. For many years she was one of my favorite people; I looked up to her. Now she mocks me for spending my time blogging, writing, and reading every day. She (it seems to be a generational thing) absolutely dislikes technology, except for basic cell phone and email. She believes I should run 5 km a day like she does. She comes across as a know-it-all and superior to everyone.
It came to the point this February, after about 5 phone calls, that I concluded I wouldn't see her anymore because in all the calls, she interrupted me many, many times, and became argumentive and mocking.After each of those calls I felt bullied and worthless; angry and disappointed; annoyed and unloved. She used to be one of my positive reinforcers.
So this year I had decided that there was no point visiting her. But I needed to visit my mom in a nursing home an hour's drive from my cousin's. There is no passenger bus or train to take from my cousin's to where my mom is and I do not drive (never had a license). I decided to visit my cousinand asked if she would drive me to visit Mom who I hadn't seen for two years. She agreed. I realize I visited for my own selfish reason.
My mom isn't doing well which I had been hearing from my siblings who keep me up to date. I did not know what to expect. When I walked in her room, Mom greeted me as though she had been expecting me, but then she spoke as though she thought I was my younger sister. Mom is incontinent and has dimentia. She didn't talk much. I didn't talk much either. Mom is very very hard of hearing, and it's quite a chore for her to understand much because of her hearing disability. I spent time with her at her lunch in the dining area of the nursing home while my cousin went out for fresh air. Two days later, when my brother visited Mom, he asked her if she had any visitors, and she replied that my cousin came with someone whom she did not know.
Ifthis visit did nothing else, it helped me realize that I do not need to visit again. There is no point visiting a mother that does not know who I am and a cousin who is unsupportive. My brother is coming out to my province for a vacation, but will not visit me. I will not go to my mother's funeral. I'm not having a funeral and I figure that if I cannot be appreciated while I'm living, there's no point having a funeral for last respects.