I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do.
I love my mother, and she can be one of the warmest most loving people in the world. But in recent years she has become so whiny and manipulative and dealing with it is turning me into someone I don’t like. In hindsight, Mom always had a passive aggressive streak, but it was tempered by the fact that she really did put her family first. She had many health problems, though, and always assumed she would die before my father. Well, my father died just after his 68th birthday and Mom is now 77. I think she actually resents him for going first. But that’s a separate issue. I am the caregiver and have to work full time. My only sibling lives half a continent away, and the only near relatives are: an alcoholic Aunt,; an aunt with severe emphysema who is on constant oxygen); and a cousin with short term memory issues (he was a lineman and survived a nasty electrocution). So I am the only able bodied person. But at 55, I do still need to work, and I’m a small woman with physical limits. When I try to talk to Mom about someone coming to help she complains about not liking having people in the house and refuses to discuss it. To help ME, I get a cleaning service in every few weeks and have groceries delivered, but she complains about that as well. She complains that I could quit work if I wanted to, although she avoids explaining just how the mortgage would get paid. She prefers to think that I’m lying about still needing to work. When I am home, I have to constantly nag her about her meds, and using the nebulizer when she needs it (“oh, none of those things do any good,” except that they do) and when I say, then let’s get you to the doctor it’s “Oh, they don’t really tell you what’s wrong with you, what’s the point?” A few years ago she got her eyes checked. She has dry eyes, typical for her age, and floaters, but thanks to cataract surgery years ago she only needs drugstore readers. But she convinced herself that the doctor told her her eyeball was going to fall out “any day now.” Someone was in the room with her and none of the paperwork that she came home with said anything like that. But for two years she persisted in telling everyone she was going to loose her eyes. At the most recent visit, the eye doctor said all the same things and told her there was nothing in her file to indicate anyone had ever told her she was literally losing her eyes or needed surgery. Not even a return of the cataracts. Of course she complains that they are just quacks. I’m honestly at my wits end. I’m so stinking tired and stressed, and I’m often late for work because she’s always finding excuses to delay me, or something happens at the last minute such as spills, falls, misplacing her lifeline button, etc. Her mobility is bad and getting worse. She has taken some falls and often forgets to use her walker. But social services tells me until she needs nursing care, she is not a priority given their limited resources. I do understand their point, and we are on a list, and they have actually called me a few times to see if her status has changed. So I am not complaining about them. But the fact remains that we need (okay, I need) some kind of help - bathing, making sure she eats, takes her meds, etc. - even if it’s just a few hours once or twice a week. She won’t complain to them like she does to me (outside if the family they think she’s a sweetheart and don’t see this side) and i know a little socializing would be good for her. But I can’t afford much, and places I’ve talked to are expensive and there is a 4 hour minimum. Mom will complain regardless, but if there is any way to make it work, well it’s my house so I can over rule her. I’ve decided that much for my own mental well being. But that still doesn’t equal a solution. Thank you for listening. Just getting this out helps.