Too young and too tired from caregiving for my mother.

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I am just venting and want to know if there is any other person with this same situation.
I started caring for my mother (she's 57), seven years ago, following my father's death. My mother was diagnosed with M.S., some 20 or 25 years ago. SHe now has heart failure that I'm sure the meds and her past drinking has caused.

I moved into my parents home, following my father's death. My father was an abusive alcoholic and my mother is very cold and manipulative. She would have drinks with him on top of her heavy meds. I was the "peace maker" and would try and protect my mother and brother from my father's physical and psychological abuse.
My mother's alcohol-drug coctail left me cleaning up biological messes that my father wouldn't tend to, when I was a young teen.

Before my father died, I made peace with him and we had become somewhat close, but that was only after/because I moved out.
My mother, on the other hand, just refuses to be close with me. I've cried and pleaded with her, but she acts like I'm the one that's crazy. It's not exagerating to say she hates/dislikes me. I literally catch her in lies and and she manipulates me into feeling guity, when I call her on her behavior. She likes to spend hours watching t.v. and then complains about how she never goes anywhere (guilt trip), when I offer all the time.

After my father died she deliberately decided to go from using a walker here and there, to complete dependance on the wheelchair. Her docs have told her she's capable of more, but she refuses. She refuses psychologial assistance and those related medications that she totally needs.

Here I am, 7 years into this and there doesn't seem to be any light. I have been living in her home 6 out of those seven years, along with my (now 14-year-old) son and husband.

Being in this house has stirred up nothing, but darkess (both from her and the imprint of the house, itself) and I don't know how much more I can take of it.

My mother isn't a very nice person, and she has her 31-year-old son (my brother), still living here. He does't do much and he's just as controlling and manipulating as both of my parents are/were. His lack of assistance is why I moved in. He is my mother's pride and joy. It's a very disgusting and sick thing that they have going on. They feed off of each others' negativity. My mother has put this boy on the pedistal that she put my father on. My bother is just as controlling, to the point of being scarey. He's a very dark and manipulative person and I don't trust him. He is truely what my parents created and I honestly think he's a sociopath, incapable of feeling. He doesn't work and he acts like a teenager. He hangs out with the potheads infront of the house(he's doing it too, I'm sure).

My brother knows how to work her and she will only listen to his warped sense of reality. I could tell her something and she won't listen and ten minutes later he will tell her the same thing and she acts like it's news.

I, myself, have been to a psych and he has adviced me to get out and try to find someone to care for her, but her insurance only covers in-home nurses that don't do their job.

I have arthritis caused from spondilosis, in my back...so, I just don't know how much more I can do. The nurses would only come for a few hours and watch me do their job. Complaining did nothing, but send other nurses with the same lazy work ethics.

I can't afford extended care either, so I don't know what to do. I want to get out, but the guilt is there, my not working and having the lack of skills (because all I've done is caregive) has made it near-impossible for my husband and I to get us out of here.

I tuely feel doomed. I've done this since I was 26 and I feel like I've put my mother before my own family and I feel guity for that too. My husband and I sleep in a room-addition that leaks in the winter. I fear for my son, with all the drug activity outside. The cops do nothing!

My mother's nagging is killing my son's spirit, like she has my own. I find myself not being that goofy light-hearted mom, that I use to be.
All in all, I'm just tired and wished so many times that I could find someone to relate too. I feel isolated from my peers. I don't feel I relate to anyone. I am the one that people go to for advice, I just wish I had someone to go to for advice or look up too, for once. I've had to grow up so fast, that I just dream of of what it's like to have been young.

I've shut myself off from extended family, I feel they are pointless human beings, as far my mother goes. The family gave the impression that I "should" be caring for her, while they tried to dictate how I should be the dutiful daughter. The fact of the matter is, they don't want anything to do with her because she is bitter.
I also get the "you're a great daughter" and "god is good to caregivers" from outsiders and even her own doctors. Seriously, how does that help me now? Do they really believe that and am I bad person for questioning it? I truely want to believe those things, but this feels more like punishment, than anything else.

My favorite is when someone tells me "you take good care of her" crap (like I'm not doing it?) and "how's your mom doing", when she isn't right next to me.

They may mean well or feel like they don't know what to say, when the best thing is to say nothing about it at all, or maybe ask how I am doing.

5 Comments

Alice:

"You're a great daughter" and "God is good to caregivers" only add to the guilt and are comments designed to keep you exactly where you are. But you're not aiming for sainthood, just sanity sprinkled with happiness. No one deserves this kind of abuse, so I'd start making arrangements to move out.

Go to the nearest Social Services agency for employment and housing assistance. Your caregiving skills can help you land a job as a Home Health Aide. Remember that this is a family project and everyone has to pitch in. In the meantime, your husband and son are suffering in silence while you muster the courage necessary to pack up and leave. Take charge of your life, and let your 31 y/o brother and those relatives who've probably also told you that a little pain is good for the soul take care of your mother. Those two can leech on someone else or each other. They sound like expert con artists to me, so I'm sure they'll be fine without you.

Wish you the best.

-- ED
Ed, thank you. I have been trying to find work. I've been temping here and there in apartment leasing. The temp work ran out, it seems and before that it was retail. I have been putting forth efforts to better myself. It just seems it takes money to make money.
As far as doing caregiving professionally, I just don't feel I have anything to offer there. I thought about it, or even nursing, but after years of eating, breathing and sleeping it, I just can't see myself caring for thankless people any longer.
Sorry, I can't edit my post.
I meant to say: It seems the temp work ran out and before then, it was retail.

I forgot to mention that I am looking into doing hospital filing, but they want experience in something that I've already proved I can do (passed the exams they provide). Here's to crossing my fingers.
Dear AliceCat, your feelings are perfectly natural, and I'll guess you have what it takes to make it; needing "permission" to leave...and stop enabling your brother, at least. As for your mom, I think Ed said it well. Cover your own self, and trust your instincts. You really need to take care of YOU and your family. My heart goes out to you. You are not alone, and there's plenty of people here willing to support you. I will also be praying for you. There has to be something out there for you to do without investing money you don't have to get it. A willingness to work goes a long way... My guess is, you'll find something, and be able to get out of there.

As for your mother, who sounds a bit like mine, I just read a book called, "Stop Walking on Eggshells," by P. T. Mason and R. Kreger, which may be of help to you. Take care, Please let us all know how things work out for you.
Alice I think that your comming on this site and being able to express how you feel is very good for you -you are a strong person or you would have been able to do all you are doing I would get you and your family out of there even if you have to go on welfare for a time and let your no good brother learn how to do something or starve and let him take over the care of his mother-you need to do that for your own sanity call social services and tell them you have been doing everything for your Mom and brother and your doctor said you can not do it any more and what is social service going to do about and let them handle it they will probably place her and the house will be sold and her son will be out on his ear-he will get a job so fast so he can eat and do drugs and his pals will not even wave as they speed down the street.

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