You can lead a horse to water, but you can't drown it

In the continuing 'rent saga we have the reached the poor pitiful me stage. My sibling has gone OUT OF HER WAY to ensure the 'rent, if she could not get on the beach because of breathing issues and stairs, can LOOK AT THE BEACH from our balcony.
In the house.
We are staying in.

After two days we are in the "no one has to stay with me, you go on down, I will just sit here by myself and watch you all.", or my other favorite, " I should have stayed home, you would have more fun without me.", stage. WELL DUH?!?!? If you refuse to take part in any joy or fun, then yes we would have indeed had more fun without you. If you insist on embracing the suck, you make it very difficult for anyone to want to embrace you and or time with you.

Here is the latest WTF moment. Last evening she was being sullen. Does she want to take a shower? "There is no place for me to hold on to." We can put in a chair for her to sit in. "NO, I will take it later." And then she decides she needs to put in her teeth and Pretty up? Oh hell no, I am on vacation. No make up, and the hair just gets washed and sometimes dried. Styled never enters into it. So for some reason, the 'rent just starts walking to the loo. She is tethered to a machine with an oxygen hose, she reaches the end of the hose and just keeps walking. Um. it isn't a leash to pull the machine along behind you. And it is plugged in. And eventually the cord can't stretch any further to go with. The million dollar question is, WHY? Was I supposed to know that she wanted the machine to be mobile? Was I supposed to know that it needed to follow her and I was the designated machine mover?

The sibling had to step in and take the machine away since I think she could see the murder in my eyes. I think we need to realize that no matter what, she is not going to be happy. We can't force her, but we have to stop feeling guilty when the effort is a fail, because it is ALWAYS going to be a fail. And if we don't let go of the guilt? Well we just can't afford that kind of therapy.


  1. Attachment. That's what the issue here is. The attachment to expectation, which is reasonable in a very quid pro quo kind of way. You do nice things for mom, you expect a reasonable semblance of a return on that investment of time and effort, the return on the investment (the expectation) being that she's happy and appreciative.

    You recognize you have no control over her happiness. But you are reasonably in control of your own. Do what you want that you think will make her happy. Do it BECAUSE it makes YOU happy. Try to abandon that expectation that you'll please her. Appeal to your inner stoic. Her happiness isn't a given. Let that be the "bonus plan."

    One of my favorite philosophers is Seneca the Elder. To paraphrase one of his aphorisms: Man will cease being unhappy once he's abandoned hope (something to that effect). See? It's that damned HOPE that is the sticky wicket! You HOPE to make her happy, and her inability to be happy is making you unhappy. So remove the hope from the equation and see what happens.


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