I sat at my mother's bedside, her stony eyes staring up at me with hate and resentment. As her only child I had been a volunteered caretaker by the state. I didn't want to be, but I did it knowing that she was dying.
I had sat there for quite some time, this was the first day I'd been with my mother since I was 16 years old. At 16 I walked away from the house, Mother didn't care, so I did it. At 17 I aborted a child, Mother sent me a letter saying I was worthless. At 18 I was sad, alone, and coming off the biggest trip of my life, and I was hitting the ground fast. My mother was 60 when I was 19 and sober. That is the year I took her in, and unlike a sad puppy, she was still the drunken mess I had been raised with, just that this time she had Alzheimer's and severe bipolar disorder that she could not control at all. She had lost control and even though I was there I couldn't take a hold of it.
I didn't talk to her, the only communication was her screaming that I was shoving pills down her throat and spilling water down her chest. I did this daily for the next week. I did this with her food and water as well. As for her excrement and urine, I couldn't get her to use the bathroom or the bedpan, so I had to fight her to remove the excrement from her underwear and left the urine to dry into her pants and my favorite chair. Life was miserable, I was working at McDonald's and barely affording to buy Mother everything she needed to survive like a baby waiting for its bottle and then of course breaking down because it hasn't taken it in the four hours you've been trying to get her to.
One day I came home from my first shift and found the door to my small apartment open. I grabbed my phone from my backpack that held my work clothes and walked in, grabbing a pair of scissors sitting on the couch as I moved. I went through the door and saw my Mother cooking something. I looked at her, dumbfounded and angry that she just "all of the sudden" could be a grown up. I felt flushed and yelled at her,"Where were you!" She looked at me over her shoulder and smiled, "Right here honey, I'm baking your favorite, chocolate pancakes." She waved her spatula in the air like a finger being waggled at a toddler. I felt sick. I ran to the edge of my balcony and puked. She walked up behind me and said,"Let me help you dear." I didn't glance back at the woman who looked identical to my lifelong worthless Mother, I just spoke slowly. "Who. Are. You." Your mother of course!" She replied, and patted my back hard, sending me flailing over the edge of the balcony.