I feel selfish but I want my life back.
Hi, Three years ago my father fell ill and 'intuition' told me I needed to come home. Intuitions was right...he passed away in an overall undignified, horrific way two months later. It was my introduction to caregiving....C-diff, letting Dad die at home, watching him have a major seizure, quit eating...just all the things many of you already know. I promised my Dad on his death bed, quite literally, that I would make sure Mom got to die at home, too. I lived states away, but told him I would leave and come home. And I was happy to do it. So I did. Left my job of 21 years, my home, divorced, and came home to take care of Mom. When I made these decisions, Mom was mobile and relatively well- had Parkinson's, but not a devastating case of it- and just needed someone to live with her to be there at night, help with daily chores...I thought I would be leaving home to come here, get a job, help with Mom but start a new life... Within six weeks of Dad's death, Mom was in ICU...my plans of a graceful exit in my life to starting a new one came to an abrupt end, and I put what I could in my car and came here. Mom has needed 24/7 care ever since. I lived with her for the first 18 months....got about 8 hours of true 'assistance' a week...other than every three or four weeks going to a friend's for the weekend. I was a career woman. I had no idea what I was getting into...it wasn't the plan. After 18 months, my brother decided he was moving in too. I love my family, but there is no way I could live with my brother...and I told my Mom that before he moved in. My mother is a difficult person. High degree of anxiety...can't stand to be alone for two seconds in a day...no matter how much you do, it's not enough. Life improved when Roger moved in because within a few months I got a job and moved out... BUT...every other night, I go to Mom's and sit with her from the time I get off work until about 8:30 or 9...the doctors felt she wouldn't live more than 3 months to two years when I came here, and their bet was on three months....it's been three years, and Mom is still with us. I feel guilty at this point. For three years now, I haven't been able to make a decision or do a thing with my own life without thinking about Mom. Mom and I didn't have a great relationship when I was young...my brother even told me once that he was amazed that I was the one who came back to take care of her. I feel guilty because I want this to be over with- I am 60 years old. Compared to many stories on here, I don't even feel like I should complain. But I want to be able to take a yoga class...or say "yes!" when someone unexpectedly asks me to do something...or choose where I want to live because I want to....or just have the time to do 'normal' things that others do. I'm lonely. I can't make friends...there are many who have tried to be friend with me, but the restrictions on my life impede most of those relationships and they eventually stop...I'm an extrovert, a social person, and I need a network I can't develop. I just want to have some real control over my life. I don't want to feel this resentment...I don't want to look at Mom's eventual death as a relief...but I want this to be over with. Although financially able, she refuses to get any outside help. Her medical benefits are excellent...there is not a reason for things to be so hard, never has been...other than an insistence this is the way thing will be. Okay, I've vented...but there's not a good answer!!! Thanks for listening!