Bitterness and resentment towards an elderly parent.

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My father died in May from congestive heart failure. I was his caregiver and worked with Hospice in his passing, but it has haunted me. I had to give him morphine when I wanted to nourish him back to health. Two weeks after his death, I moved my 86 year old Mom into my home as she is wheel chair bound, and can do nothing for herself. I have lived next door to my parents for 38 years and helped them all thru the years gladly. When Mom moved in with us, it's like a light switch was flipped. I love my Mom dearly and have been devoted to her all my life. After a few months, I am so frustrated and bitter. I take very good care of her, but just do not understand these feelings of resentment and anger. I have no help. I have two sisters who live out of state but they do nothing. Adding to this is my little granddaughter has been sick a lot, and I cannot be with her as she is two hours away; and I have no help or money to hire a sitter. I haven't had time to grieve my Dad, nor can I help with my granddaughter's chronic illness. Is this why I suddenly resent my Mom? I just don't understand. It scares me that I can feel this way towards someone I have always cherished.

39 Comments

I'm feeling much the same of my mother that I've put everything into for the last 10 years... Recently, I beat myself up putting up decorations AND making her a very special Christmas party with live music... only to find out she hates me... I'm VERY resentful of her non-respect for me... She IDOLIZES my 2 brothers that do NOTHING for her... She actually LIVES with ME !!! and, I'm disgusted with her.
You have not yet finished your griefwork for your father and you expect a repeat performance with your mother. You don't resent her, you resent losing both of them. Going to care for your granddaughter will not lift your spirits because you are in an emotional pit right now. You need to get stronger, you cannot save anyone unless you save yourself first. Arrange for a nursing home for mom temporarily, you are not emotionally ready to take on another Hospice situation.
It's Christmas eve and I've taken down all the decorations I worked so hard to put up in the last two weeks... FOR HER!!!.... She's been ignoring me, and turned around ignored me on purpose and went into 'her' room... She's NOT sick or even tired... she did this on purpose to ignor me... so, this is the night Christmas has died for me... I gave up 10 yrs of my life HERE... IN MY OWN HOME... another 30 yrs of going back and forth to another town to make her Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving 'happy'... but,. she said I never should have come!!!!!!!!!!!... I HATE MY MOTHER and have been reduced to HATING HER which I never thought I could do... She's a controller and manipulator... LIFE WILL NEVER EVER BE THE SAME FOR ME!...
Hmm, are you trolling, Heart2Heart, or just hijacking the threads?
What are you talking about JessieBelle?????
Excuse me if I'm loading too much on all of you... I thought I could get some help here...
Unfortunately, holiday expectations when unmet lead to great disappointments.
Remember relationships like clothing are not held together, do not get their strength, from a few big knots, but thousand of tiny stitches.
Hating your mother for being who she is is an exercise in hurting yourself. Try just accepting her and redefining your relationship based on how it really is, not how you would like it to be. Use your head to put your heart in the right place.
Took me decades to do that and then only after she died. Don't let that happen to you.
Heart2Heart, I know how resentment. I stopped doing the extra stuff recently. I would advise you NOT to put up Christmas decorations unless they are for YOU. I learned that the more I knock myself out for my father ( for things he doesn't care about anyway is time wasted). Next year put up one or two small decorations and do something for you.
My mother died decades ago and this year I did not make the obligatory 25 mile trip to the cemetery. Sorry, too busy this year. I did not take dad shopping for gifts for other members who gave their own lives. I drive him to the bank so that he could give a few bucks to his other deadbeat children. Instead of hosting an annual ( and expensive) Christmas party so that the family could all be together- meaning that my deadbeat siblings and their kids can see Grandpop , I told them that they could take him to lunch or dinner over the holidays.
Start cutting down and do what you need to keep your mother in good health but let the extraneous stuff go. Hope this helps.
Codythree, you sound to me as if you are just very, very tired. As though it isn't your mother, exactly, so much as the situation she is the centre of that you're feeling bitter and resentful about. She's the focus of it because she is the one who still ties you to it, and takes up time that you need to spend on grieving for your father and on your little granddaughter.

I think you should award yourself as much sympathy as you can, everything you're feeling sounds completely understandable and natural - to me, at least.

After my father died suddenly 14 years ago, my mother's needing support gave me a useful distraction, and I was grateful for that; but even so quite often I just felt as if one damned thing after another was going wrong and it was all too much.

Is there any way you can find a breathing space? A little bit of time out to sit and think and take stock? Easier thought of than done, I know; but I hope you can, and that it helps.

Afterthought - I don't know if you're a "crafty" person, but would you perhaps enjoy making toys or scrap books or something that your granddaughter would like? No substitute for being with her or helping her mother with hands-on care, of course; just an idea.
Codythree, I agree with CountryMouse. You need some time out and time away. Can you put her in a respite facility for a couple of weeks so that you can spend time with your granddaughter or just time doing what you want to do? When she comes back home, bring in more help, so that you can have more of a life. You've done for your parents for 38 years, now it's time to do for yourself for a change.

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