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I moved in with my adoptive mother (biological grandmother) to HELP take care of her. She has cancer that has spread into her lymph system and lungs. She is bed ridden and basically helpless. I have 3 young children that I barely get to see because my mom just doesn't want the noise around her. It breaks my heart to be away from them and to hear them cry and beg to stay with me, and when I try to explain this to my mom she just turns her head and tells me to stop talking about it. I am with her 24/7. At the time, I have no car and no job. All of my time and effort and money was put into helping care for her. I feel like I have given up so much for her and it's like no one cares at all. I'm expected to be here because well, where else am I going to go? I feel trapped and taken advantage of.

My sister lived next to us and she finally "moved in" with us to help, but she is more of a problem than any kind of help. She CHARGES my mom to stay with her and says it is justified since she has had to take some time off of work and use her car to go get meds/groceries/etc... She had been taking her to chemo treatments, which she also charged my mom for, but she complained SO much about it that my mom finally just gave up and quit the treatments.

I am the sole caretaker from midnight to about 4 or 5 in the evening, depending on when my sister feels like coming home. And even then, if I am not in there helping her do everything, I'm later cussed out and belittled by her where mom can't hear her. I've tried telling my mom about this and she just doesn't want to get involved. She ignores every single one of my concerns. I can't live like this anymore. I am so stressed and depressed. I barely sleep anymore, my sister can't be bothered at night to help me. The last time she got woke up I got yelled at. I can't shower for more than 5 minutes without my mom calling and yelling for me to hurry up and get out in case she needs me for something. Every time I try to eat, I have to get up and do something. I am absolutely miserable.

This is making me very, very short with my mom. I hardly look at her when I am caring for her, I don't say anything to her, I don't spend any time with her unless I have to. It makes me feel horrible to see that actually typed out but it's true. I hate being in this house.

Am I being selfish or cruel for feeling this way? Please help. I have no one to turn to here. No one understands this situation I am in.

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PS...my dad was like your mom. I have a temper. When he tries to control me like he does with my oldest sis, I REBEL. If it's nothing urgent, he can wait. I have told him that when I'm eating, I'm eating. I will not get up to give him water, or cover his feet, etc.. Anyway, I don't like eating. So, for me, eating a meal is less than 5 minutes. His water can wait. He can darn well sit up, reach over and pull the blanket to cover his feet. When I go to shower, I take my time. I use that time to also clean the bathroom. Again, I don't take long showers.

What I'm trying to tell you is - Set Boundaries with your mom and sister. If you cannot be confrontational, then just don't say anything and Ignore them. Continue to eat. Take that long shower. Eventually, like my dad, your mom will learn that she cannot Bully you. My oldest sister seems to be like you. Until you both set limits, our parents will run you ragged to an early grave. Very difficult when they do that FOG thing - Fear, Obligation and Guilt.
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Where do your children go when they are not with you?

Where were you living before you moved in to take care of Mother?

Is Mother on Medicaid or any other aid program?
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Luci, I'm sorry if I'm being blunt, but, how long does your mother have to live? When she dies, what happens to the house? Who is it under? You, sis or both? Because you have 3 young ones, please start making a Plan A and Plan B with the worst case scenario. Even if this plan means relying on the federal/local government until you find your feet ( get a job that can sustain you all). It would be best that if you still have money, YOUR money, to start using it only for you and your kids. Any expenses with regards to your mother - use HER money. Keep All Receipts that you used for her. If some time down the road, authorities want to see what happened with her money, you are backed up with the receipts. Remember, a lot of these receipts are on that flimsy paper that Fades. Fave sis got me a fax/copier/scanner printer. I use it mainly to copy all of my dad's receipts. You can go to the library and pay to use their copier machine. They usually charge per copy - but it's better safe than sorry.

As for sis, nothing can be done. She's a user. And she will continue to be so. I'd watch my back with her. Like I said, Document, document, document. When you're mom gives her money, LOG it down - date, how much and why. When you touch mom's money, do the same thing.
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No, you are not being selfish. I think you are just being human. When too much gets thrown at a person, the stress level reaches the limit. I know you are doing a great service caring for your terminally ill mother and no one really knows except God when it will be her time to leave this earth and surely God will bless you for sacrificing your time to care for her. I am not sure what your long term or short term answer is except maybe calling your local Hospice to come in for visits. Check your local church and find out if there is a volunteer group of women who do social ministry for shut-ins. I too, have reached the boiling point many times over even though my mother is stable and in fair health for the moment. Today, I told my mother that I had the need to get out and enjoy a movie for a couple of hours. I handed her the telephone and gave her my cell number in case of an emergency and to call 911 if it is an extreme emergency. She was ok with me going (thankyou, Lord) and I think if you could just escape even for an hour, half-hour, etc. on occasion, you may begin feeling better mentally and physically and gain the strength to handle both your sister and mother by telling them that you really need breaks and you really should be strict about it. Don't allow either of them to cower you down...you may not be able to rebuild a life right now for yourself, but you can take frequent breaks even if it is just to go out and enjoy a cup of coffee. Don't worry about your sister cussing you out. You are not her handmaiden. The church may even have volunteer drivers to take your mother to her cancer treatments. God bless and good luck.
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