Day Nine – aka Day 19,799

That’s it! I am done. There’s no amount of Charlotte’s Web that can soothe this.

I have just sent an email to the consultant psychologist provided to me by our local authority (to deal with their lack of support regarding Mum. They seem to be oblivious to the irony, ahem) and cc’d in Mum’s new social worker requesting that they find somewhere for Mum asap.

It’s not that I have now had to wipe faeces off of her three times in the past 12 hours, nor that we, J and I, had to get up in the middle of the night to clean up urine off of her brand new rug but it is the return of the woman who has taken out on me her frustration, her anger, her disappointment…or just because she can, for the past 19,799 days.

I have given 54 years and counting to this woman, who has only managed to be polite and calm with me for the past seven years, whilst she was living in care homes.

It now seems as though that happy-go-lucky woman was only playing nice in order to have me make an enormous fuss of her (taking her for regular teas at Fortnum’s and The Wolseley), taking her on holiday, buying her everything she could need and want, making sure that every single visit over the past 7 years was a brand new and exciting experience, even when visits were taking place 4+ times a week.

I was making memories; the kind I thought ‘real’ daughters enjoyed with their mother’s. Now those memories sicken me.

Since we brought her home, she has been incredibly nasty and spiteful. It’s the version of her that I am absolutely familiar with and mistakenly believed had been erased by dementia. It hadn’t. I believed that the dementia had addled her brain enough to make her forget how acidic she really is. It’s not just the vile things she spits at me from her suddenly mean, thin curled lips, it’s also the absolute look of sheer hatred in her eyes when she looks at me and the overhanging threat of physical violence. When I was young, it wasn’t just a threat, nor a slap on the back of the hand or on my bottom. It was hitting me so hard that I would have hand prints on me for days, or using a hairbrush or shoes…and for what?

I was never a badly behaved child. I did what I was told, I ate what was put in front of me, I said, “please” and “thank you,” and got all As and A plusses at school with no help from anyone. Instead, I was sexually abused by her boyfriend/husband and was then attacked by her when I screamed for help.

So, this morning, when she was looking at me through thinly slit, furious eyes, with drool running down her chin from hissing nasty comments at me, I decided I had had enough.

I’ve had enough before and removed myself from her and her boyfriend/husband, not having any contact for a significant time. It was always other people encouraging me to see her, “she’s your mother, she loves you, you only get one mother, yada yada yada.” I stupidly caved in thinking that the more I gave, the more likely it would be that I could build the type of ‘mother-daughter’ relationship I read about in books.

It didn’t.

So, now here I am with a demented mother, who hasn’t forgotten how to be ungrateful, unpleasant, unkind, unbelievably unendingly unhinged.

I want her gone and as soon as possible. I have requested she be moved to any suitable care home whilst a good one is sought.

I always pray for the right thing to happen.

I prayed for help in caring for Mum at home. I had dreams of improving her health and life (with diet, CBD and exercise) and ostensibly set out to share my positive progress with everyone. Sadly, it hasn’t turned out that way. However, you do have the truth and nothing but the truth. I can only believe that this is the right thing. My prayers have been answered and my gift is bigger than I could have dreamed of; I have been given my freedom. Finally.

I am now going to try to live my life and create a sense of peace and tranquility, something I have never known…and accept the generous offer of help in dealing with this humongous anvil of ever-expanding guilt that I have dragged with me from before I was born. Which reminds me of this piece of prose I completed, after being given the word ‘birth’ for inspiration many years ago.

Thanks for travelling this part of the journey with me.


Birth and death occurred simultaneously in one great moment almost twenty-six years ago.  

Birth, for me was the beginning of great opportunities but death of the binds that were tying me physically to my mother.  Birth, for her, too, in her new found freedom.  But, most devastatingly for me death of a dependence I was long to crave.

Birth, a rejection.  Ejection from my mother’s womb. Turned out from a fortress whose moat I would never again cross.  No longer wanted, emotionally bereft; no feelings left for the foetus within its safe haven

Prematurely emitted, forced out to fend for myself.  Comfort and safety, warmth and nurturing, now to be demanded and supplied only when the cries of battle were too loud to ignore.

I was lead to believe, all of my young life, that it was my decision to be born early.  It was only my decision in as much as I chose my mother.  The more I think back and the more I am aware of my early beginnings the more I am convinced that it was she who wanted to be rid of me.  Of my dependence on her and all the physical and emotional reminders that she was no longer a child herself.

With a lump in her middle she couldn’t deny that I was a responsibility that she had created. Without me there for all the world to see she could pretend that it hadn’t happened.  For the only time in her life and mine, during pregnancy, she gave me months of undivided attention and commitment, never to be repeated through force, need or desire.

Birth was my release from her and for her a release from duties foisted upon her through a trick of nature; unlike the sea-horse my mother was the one left to gestate.

I don’t remember the physical, emotional or mental details of my emergence but that’s not important. What is important is that I was born and given the good fortune of infinite opportunities.

Copyright © 1994 Toula Mavridou-Messer 

All rights reserved.  No part of this article may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the copyright owners.

Further Reading:

Day One – Meltdown:

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