Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Manipulation, Control, Elder Abuse by an RN, Church Lady

It's time. Set aside your feelings, I told myself. 
This part of your story is important. 

It shows how deeply and widely actions were purposely taken and meant to harm and tear apart, reach and affect. 

Mom's generation would have said "airing your dirty linen" but this concern about how shining a light on wrongdoing would cause the person doing it problems is what keeps the cycle of abuse continuing.

We lost more than two family members, we lost a significant and meaningful relationship and trust we had for decades. 

Originally published October 17, 2019, reviewed August 16, 2023, this entry contains explicit content, to read, learn and hopefully see manipulation, control and abuse of our elderly can be done by those who are among those who appear to have chosen professions of protection and assistance of our aging population.

It's almost Sunday . . . again. A day when we traditionally went to a Church we'd been members of for more than two decades and one where husband, self and daughter gave in service and of our time for years. 

We celebrated life and we walked through the challenges of death of two immediate family members within two years of one another.

This entry focuses on how a woman from our Church came into our lives and financially abused my Mom, me and our family, manipulated Mom to remove my POA and opened a Safety Deposit box with Mom taking money out of our home and how the woman kept both keys to the box and told no one in our family. 

She's never been held accountable or responsible.
I do not believe my Mom and our family were her first time to abuse a Senior.

She was/is(?) a "caregiver" for many years even though she enjoys a lifestyle of privilege and lives in a house far more expensive than ours

We tried to work for resolution during Mom's life. We begged our Church to intervene and they told us we had to "forgive" and basically forget. 

Isn't Elder Abuse as important as Child Abuse?  

How much destruction must an individual do before they are asked to be accountable and to face their accuser in person to seek truth and potentially provide resolution?

We asked our Church to facilitate a meeting. They refused. Heard the woman was a large contributor to major programs and interests of the parish.

Which is worth more?  A stack of dollar bills or an individual's well being?

We asked ourselves, finally, why we continued to subject ourselves to watching Mom's abuser stand before us at Church services reading from the Bible and distributing Communion when we had made every effort to bring our Mom's abuser together with officials at the Church and ourselves and she refused.

What are the responsibilities of a Church towards its members?

What about the leadership in the Church? 

Isn't it a part of their responsibility to bring about reconciliation through bringing dissenting people together? 

Finally, after months of abuse and unable to stand the torment, daughter walked to the front of the Church, turned her back on the woman as she read from the Bible and stayed standing during the entire reading.

The presider of the services could have walked over to her, spoken with her in a low voice or could even have simply continued to the conclusion of the services. Instead, he screamed at her from his seat across the church to "SIT DOWN"!

I went from my place in a pew to stand beside her. I turned my back on our abuser.

That day began our journey of true enlightenment and cutting a cord that had held us too tight while providing no real support.

Daughter and I haven't returned or attended the Church we went to faithfully at the same time each Sunday for more years than I can remember. 

It was my "home away from home", a source of great celebration and a "beacon" in the light of life's darker moments -- or so I believed.

My husband and I and our children were actively involved in many projects and causes. 

We took our children there to grow in the faith and watched as our daughter grew into a young woman who served in many positions of responsibility and caring.

When my husband passed the altar was filled with twelve Priests/Monks who officiated and directly participated in his funeral Mass.

Daughter and I decided to turn our backs, walk away and shake the dirt off our sandals.

We went through the "acceptable channels", we spoke up, we spoke out; deaf ears were turned to concerns for our family members and concerns for other older members of the congregation. 

Abuse. There are many types.    None should be tolerated.   
No one should be allowed to wear false faces and not be known for what they do to those who are helpless to push away their abuser.

It's the Church where we took my husband's body before we parted. It's  across town from the one he attended and from my church where we walked a longer aisle and started a life together always with family, his and mine, a part of who we were, what we valued.

It was the Church where we celebrated so many times: 25th Wedding Anniversary, both sons' graduations from the High School associated with the Church, daughters' Baptism and Confirmation and more.

Then our family was abused. By a woman sent into our home by this Church. Unmonitored, unsupervised, violating practices and procedures of the volunteer organization she represented -- the one husband and daughter worked with and for over several years -- never held accountable for her actions. 

A woman who set aside the most basic principles of their religious organization but not one person we went to at any level had the courage and faith to hold her accountable.

We were told we must forgive. Not we "should", we MUST. 

It's not about forgiveness if forgiveness is allowing someone to destroy another or others and continue the process. 

It's about ensuring the safety and well being of others. It's also about practicing what you preach. 

It's not about saying a number of Our Father's or Hail Mary's. 

It's about turning your life away from the path you're on and finding a way to clean the stain you've left so those who were "marked" by your actions feel safe once again.

It's about concern if she could abuse our family, we were not the first and we will not be the last.

Daughter lost her part time job working in the church's religious schooling for children because she would not forgive, could not forgive, a person who continued to abuse her grandmother and her family. Truth punished.

I cannot think of anyone, any society, that survives and grows providing the means for a person or persons to destroy its basis.

We continue tol live with the loses of two family members and the direct and side effects of actions that came as a wave, became a Tsunami, caused a lingering flood and left behind damages. We'll rebuild, we'll go forward.

We could not bear the hypocrisy of this woman standing before others in a position of trust, of authority and of "religious representation" while secretly and continually violating the trust of those she stood before.

The person entrusted to walk in the opening procession in front of the celebrator and often carried the Bible, held high for all to see, from which she read and was "elevated" at the Ambo and afterwards in the eyes of those attending. 

The person who was given this position representing the church community as a symbol of living a "good life" according to the Church and its beliefs. 

This is the person who abused my mother and our family and who I believe has done the same action towards many other elderly men and women.

Our life was in chaos and it has taken many years since Mom's final passing to place this travesty alongside other major life events -- as wrong, unjust and "past".

We never knew when this woman would be "on the scene" causing distress to Mom and chaos to us. She visited Mom at the Long Term Care, she took Mom's phone, provided by our 
family, removed my phone number and put in hers.

Over many months, items Mom cherished or said she cared about would seem to "disappear" whenever the woman came to visit Mom in the Long Term Care facility. Mysteriously, they'd reappear a few days or a few weeks later, again, coinciding with a visit from Mom's "friend" as the woman called herself.

Mom's "hallucinations and delusions" about "Larry", the man who suddenly returned after 70 plus years, who "found her" in this small, out of the way Long Term Care facility far from where he lived and since Mom was approaching her 100th year highly improbable the gentleman was capable of traveling or even alive were consistent with Julia's visits -- when she signed in; we found out later she didn't always sign in.

The story resurrected through "a woman" who came to visit Mom.  
This "woman" who continuously fed Mom's Lewy Body Dementia challenges with delusions and hallucinations.

This woman was real. She signed the register at the Long Term Care facility -- but not always. 

The "suitor" was a memory used to convince the LTC and our family Mom was highly incapable which usually meant facility Doctors provided more and more meds -- that was and continues to be the practice in Long Term Care. 

The Law was on Julia's side and she knew it. 

As long as Mom wanted her visits, because we could not bring ourselves even when Mom's mental capabilities were very questionable, to get guardianship.

Julia came and went, brought her vile and ugly stories to protect herself and ensure Mom was seen as "losing it" even more.

Mother was trusting, especially of Julia. Julia made sure through all she did leading up to this time that Mom would "imprint" with what was left of her mind more on Julia and less on us. 

Julia took the cell phone our family provided to Mom and constantly changed my phone number to hers; it was a simple phone because it would be easier for Mom to use. It had two buttons at the top to direct dial, "1" and "2". Julia would visit and my number would be gone and Julia's in its place.

We tracked her visits, this woman. We found some friends within the residents and the workers at Mom's Long Term Care facility. 

Finally, authorities saw the negative effects the woman had on Mom and the Administrator told her she had to register when she visited. 

This "friend" often scrawled her name, didn't sign the register when she arrived and/or departed and/or "forgot" to sign out when she left.

If Mom had the right to see whoever she wanted and this woman had no contact with us, why did she find a need to hide her visits? 

Our answer: because her visits were made specifically to watch Mom's Dementia develop and to "help it along the way" by trying to confuse her, create situations where Mom acted and talked more "disturbed" and left her confused and frustrated and often taking more risks after being encouraged to "do more for herself" than she was capable by this "friend".

Julia was/is a Registered Nurse who worked (and to my knowledge still works) with the elderly, especially those with advancing Dementia. 

Julia specifically "renewed" her Nursing license (which had expired by many months) just before she took Mom to the bank, had her bring a large sum of money from our home, opened a safety deposit box, put Mom and her name on it, and KEPT BOTH KEYS.

Julia didn't tell daughter or either son she planned to take Mom to the Bank, planned to take money out of our home, had kept the only keys to the safety deposit box.

Why? Because there was financial gain for her.

It was Mom's "burial money" she'd set aside and we'd help her add to over the years. It was a few thousand dollars.

Through it all, we were in the throes of the Great Recession and trying to hold together everything else that was coming apart as well.

With caregiving for my husband 24/7 in our home after his 100 days of hospitalization, almost all of which was in critical intensive care, trying to work through changing and keeping attached as many as four plastic bags collecting constantly flowing materials coming out of as many as four openings on his abdominal area and providing for Mom's Dementia (which we did not see but definitely did experience the roller coaster ride of variations), I was lucky to know what day it was.

I lived to serve them both; what they needed, when they needed it. Typical family member who values life and loves unconditionally.

Julia kept our life spinning. Some would counter she was only trying to "help us" by getting Mom into a facility -- less work, more time to focus on my husband. Why not provide "in home" care or find a way to get it for Mom through her knowledge and experience in "the system of ElderCare"?

You come alongside when you care about someone.

You walk their walk; talk their talk; join together, not tear apart.

You do not make decisions for them as long as they can make their own.

You do not separate and agitate; you bring together and try to calm the waters.

If Julia believed I was an abuser -- financial and emotional -- why didn't she connect with one of the three grandchildren and voice her concerns?

, -- who rightfully should have been contacted with any concerns she had or actions 

She WAS NOT AUTHORIZED OR EMPOWERED to have any financial or other influence or take actions.

Julia was well trained in working with the elderly to gain trust and get compliance to her directives.

She knew exactly how to maximize her time with Mom to try to set up directives and encourage her to take high risks that could easily result in Mom's having severe consequences leading to falls or hospitalization.

Julia excelled in psychology; it's the way she was taught by a very intensive Nursing training program at her "exclusive, expensive" East Coast private college/university.

CAN'T PROVE IT.  Those words ring in my ears from the time when I stopped her outside the Church early on in our "relationship".

CAN'T PROVE IT.  Those who abuse are often those we feel we can "trust" and who show the world a face far different from the one they hide.

We've turned our backs, shook the dirt off our sandals and have moved forward to work in our community and on a broader scale to protect the rights of aging individuals while protecting their safety and well being as well. 

We can not and could not change the hearts and the minds of those who would not see, would not listen and chose to turn away from truth, away from right, from the light into darkness.

Each person who reads this Blog has a voice to raise, a vote to make, the power to write and raise their voices and to connect with others online, in the community, in passing and in continuing action groups.

Another person will surely suffer.

Another family will be torn apart. 
Until others step forward.

Those involved in the challenges.
Those who have the power and the position to protect our aging population from predators and real abusers.

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