Being a teddy bear

I remember a friend telling me about teddy bear syndrome years ago. It’s what happens when someone hurts and they take it out on those closest to them. (Their teddy. Because a teddy forgives anything, doesn’t it?)

Two weeks ago when I looked after Mum she told me (among all sorts of other things) ‘you have been an awful person since the day you were born’. It hurt. It still hurts. Today she shouted at me for moving the kettle out of her way with ‘why are you trying to burn me with the boiling water?’ I’m pretty sure I shouted back at the stupidity of that accusation, which was probably wrong of me, but then we somehow moved on to ‘I don’t need you; I have two other daughters who will look after me.’ Both times she told me she would rather be on her own than spend time with me.

This morning I was working by 7am to get an hour and a half in before I drove to Mums. I usually start again as soon as I get back at 3pm and finish work about 8pm. Yesterday was and tomorrow will be longer to make up for the time I was there today. My days are busy but I don’t begrudge it – they are my parents and it is my turn to look after them.

So I am kind of appalled at myself that today Mums comments were just too much and I left. I walked out the house, got in my car and left her. I went to see Dad (who goes out when I am there) and apologised but the upshot is that I came back, because Mum can’t be left, whatever she says to me. I am her teddy bear.

As I wrote this though, sitting at their kitchen table trying to work out how you move on from this point, I felt like a very battered and tatty teddy bear who just wanted to be told she is loved.

(Note: I said there would be no filter on the blog this time and I thought over and over about hitting publish. I know there are no smiles, and sorry for that, but if this helps one other teddy bear feel less alone, then it’s worth it.x )

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5 Responses to Being a teddy bear

  1. Lucyannluna says:

    Your doing a fantastic job, looking after your Mum. I was by grandmas main go to / caregiver ( it was about 20 yrs ago now). My grandma could be difficult at times & had dementia, but told everyone she didn’t (& they often believed her). I really wouldn’t feel bad about walking out. I left my grandma in the post office ( waiting in line ) because she told me to F off, I’d had enough & walked out, got in my car, drove away. When I eventually went back, I found her sat on the chair. Apparently she really regretted it & was worried she had upset me. The sad thing was, that she never told me, I found that out much later. So hang in there your doing a great job.

  2. John & Shirley says:

    Clearly it’s part of Teddy Bears basic training to be ……………….. a Teddy Bear. Unfortunately, like many of the other life skills we should have had explained to us, reversing the parent/daughter relationship slipped through the net. It’s made even harder by the years when our parents were the first line of defence against the things life can throw at us!
    But Barbara’s lucky. Her glass is half full. It will settle down. Just continue the good work.
    You bring so much happiness to so many people, and she is lucky to be one of them. XX

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