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Apr. 12th, 2008

I went to the pictures with Mum today. We saw The Bucket List, which I would rate as an okay film, made all the better for the wonderful acting of Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.

It was Mum who, sometime last February, suggested we do something just the two of us at regular intervals, like once a month or so. She's used to spending at least one day a week at my sister's; she has done so ever since there have been grandchildren to enjoy, but she and I have never had that close a relationship and consequently, have never been big with the visits. Birthdays and special occasions have mostly been it, though we do tend to speak on the phone a lot...or we used to, until in recent years that particular form of contact had decreased to once or twice a fortnight on account of the deep depression Mum's developed after the sudden death of her fiancé, closely followed by the equally sudden deaths of two of her sisters and her best friend, coupled with the acute re-emergence in her mind of the traumatic experience of the Japanese occupation of her native land during WWII. Her depression is now entering into its third year and despite therapy and medication still fails to show any sign of lifting, and it's making any kind of interaction with her quite difficult; not just for me but for my sister and the grandchildren too. Whereas before, she used to be quite gregarious, in the last couple of years she's become silent and withdrawn, and to try and hold a conversation with her is like pulling teeth. So when she made the suggestion we see each other more often and on a one-on-one basis, I saw it as a very positive sign. But I have to say that to spend an afternoon in her company is still emotionally draining, and I am absolutely shattered.

In other news: I went back to the framemaker's and got that picture rail system, but failed at putting it up. I just can't seem to be able to drill a hole in the wall -- the concrete's just too hard. It's specially reinforced, as in 1945 the neighbourhood I live in was bombed by the RAF, and when it was rebuilt all the load-bearing walls of the new flats and houses were designed to withstand (air) attack. And I, unfortunately, lack the strength and\or know-how to attach a picture rail to one of those walls.


( 6 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Apr. 12th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
*hugs* It's hard to deal with those who are very depressed. I'm glad that you're trying anyway.

And good luck getting the picture rail put up. Perhaps you can find someone to help you out with it.
Apr. 13th, 2008 09:35 am (UTC)
Perhaps you can find someone to help you out with it

Looks like I'm going to have to! I've found it's too cumbersome to do it on my own.

Mum's continued state of depression is a worry to us, but we try and deal with it as best we can. Having gone through a prolonged period of burn-out myself, I think I can understand some of what she's going through, and I'm only sorry it's taking her such a long time to find a way out of her depression. But I do think it's a good sign that now she's starting to reach out to people again. Baby steps, don't you know?
Apr. 13th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
Do you need a hammer drill? That's what you need to drill through brick and concrete here. Though concrete's difficult even with a hammer drill.

Sorry to hear this about your Mum. And the series of disasters that brought it on. Tragic.

From the other side, depression is a huge hole you can't see the way out of. It's just awful. It's good that she keeps trying to interact with people though. It does make a difference, if small. When I was at my worst, I spent weeks refusing to go out, barely dragging myself to work, and avoiding interaction with people as much as possible. The whole thing is just awful, and it's no fun to witness either. *hugs*
Apr. 13th, 2008 09:25 am (UTC)
I've got the hammer drill, and the drill bits that one needs to get through concrete; but getting the picture rail up on my own has proved to be quite a task. I'll need to rope someone in.

I do understand how difficult lifemust be for my mum at the moment. When I was at my lowest ebb, a couple of years ago when I was suffering from burn-out, I too had difficulty rousing myself, making an effort at interacting with people. I was just so tired all the time, all I wanted to do was sleep; and my thoughts kept running in the same old circles, none of them very pleasant. But I started to improve after about 6 months, whereas Mum's been depressed for quite a while longer, and I worry about her. Especially when she keeps saying things like she wishes she were dead or she can't see the point in living any more.
Apr. 14th, 2008 10:50 am (UTC)
Just keep in mind - from experience - a gradual improvement is good. A sudden improvement and more positive outlook may be a bad sign (unless her meds have been changed, I guess).

*hugs* It's difficult to watch. Hang in there.
Apr. 15th, 2008 02:58 pm (UTC)
I will!
( 6 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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