Thursday, December 3, 2009

After 70-ish it's OKAY to lie to your Mom.... or Dad

I've come to feel it's necessary to lie my Mom; and I don't feel guilty about it.   It was hard to get over that guilt but it just makes life so much EASIER for her and thus for me.   Mom lived comfortably because she and Dad had little debt.  Their social security and pension monies were enough to ensure they had plenty and could easily meet the utility costs in their home.    Mom's rent at the ALF has consumed all but $3000 of her savings and I'm about ready to apply for state aid - in her state it's called Medicaide.   Mom would be horrified to take it and that her savings are gone so I lie.
I lie about her money, I lie about the condition of her little old house and I lie about my personal life - all to keep her content and feeling like things are just fine.   Over the past couple of years her ability to comprehend and process complex matters has decreased so I take advantage of that.   "..take advantage.." sounds negative but it's not at all.  Yes, I'm manipulating the situation and taking advantage of her diminished capacity but it's for her own good.   It's all to ensure she doesn't worry.

Often she'll ask me about the utility bills at her house or the property taxes or she'll an ad on TV and want something completely goofy.  I tell her that we paid the bills last week, "We wrote the checks out together."  I tell her that I'll order the object for her and bring it on my next visit.... By my next visit, she's forgotten all about the bills and the goofy object.

I've always been very  honest with my parents and both were very intelligent and able to tackle any complex topic or issue but that's way beyond my Mom now.  By lieing to her, I make her feel that things are just fine so she doesn't worry.  For her, it's very important not to worry.  As an epileptic she easily has anxiety attacks which will trigger a grand mal seizure which could be deadly at her advanced age.  Mom is still intelligent and curious and I'm happy that she is easily distracted by TV - the Animal Planet, How it's Made, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel and such...  I lie to her and she happily goes back to her programs to feed her brain and I feel good that she's content.