I feel guilt because I'm angry. It's just too much for me.

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I feel more like uselessdeb than deblove. My Mom is in an idependent living home. She is now, not happy with the food, the maid, etc. She's says I'm her Mommy now. I don't like it, I'm sorry. I feel guilt because I'm angry. It's just too much for me. She is totally dependent on me, emotionally. I just can't do it. The doctor tested her for dementia and Alzheimer's and she passed the test. He told her she was doing great for a woman of 88. All my life I have had to be there for her, my alcoholic father and my controlling step father. I have never been able to have a life of my own. Ever! Now this, I suffer from depression and anxiety disorder which doubles the load. I just feel so darned guilty that I get frustrated with Mom. Geez, did I get all of this out?I need more support. Are there local groups in my town? DC Thank you for letting me vent.


Dear Deblove,
I too had all of the conflicting emotions that you have. I had love, yet guilt, love, yet resentment, love yet frustration, love yet irritation, etc...etc..And when they all collide with each other every day it can be emotionally and physically breaking you down; as it did to me. My Mom too puts a load of stuff on me too and she's in hospice, but she doesn't mean to; I mean, she doesn't do it on purpose, yet I feel that same load that you feel. I too suffer from depression and anxiety so I know how you feel.
Do you have siblings or other relatives that can help you out with Mom and visit her and help take the load off of you?
Maybe you must step back for a while and get the respite and healing you desperately need. Mom is well taken care of at that AL place even though she may complain a lot. When she say's that you're her "Mommy" now, please try to be patient with her. She's not purposely trying to get you irritated or angry. She's probably very lonely, as my Mom is very lonely in hospice even though she's made loving friends with all the staff. You're all she has and her mind/life has shrunk to a little world of her very own. I don't think she will suffer if you step back for a while, while you take the time to mentally and physically heal. You sound like you're suffering more than Mom--and in truth, I think that you are, since that AL facility is doing a good job in caring for Mom. Pray for healing for you from God and the strength to carry on. Now, He is the only one who can help you, He is the only one who can get you through this, He is the only one who can make you see things from His perspective. And I promise He will answer and help you if you pray with all humility and guidance!! God Bless you Deblove.
Thank you so much. Mom is actually in independent living, she is doing great for her age. I do have my moments, the day I wrote that was one of them. My brother does nothing for Mom. He calls her once a week, if that. He lives in the same area, too. I live across the street from Mom, so I get overwhelmed. Yes, I need to take care of myself too, I start pulmonary rehab next week. It's a program that consists of exercise, nutrition, support groups. That should help tremendously. On top of anxiety and depression I have lung disease.
I will soldier on and do the best I can. Mom is very appreciative of all I do. I'm lucky in that. I see a lot of people on here that are worse off than I.
Thank you for writing. I sure like this forum. Great way to vent.
Dear Deblove,
I know it can all feel overwhelming and even irrational. But it is what it is.
On the other side of the coin, as long as you know that she is in a safe place, being taken care of, you can not take on her feelings as your own. I recommend that you find someone in your town that can direct you to a support group as you suggested, or to a professional counselor. If you have a family of faith and you trust someone there, utilize them also.
You can only be responsible for what is happening today. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not here. You have to take care of YOU. IF you do not, no one else will. If you have an immediate family, you will not be there for them or anyone else, if you do not take care of yourself. I know this all looks or sounds good on paper, but it is much more difficult in reality. It is also very reasonable to let her "settle" in to her new surroundings. And perhaps not visit for a while. Talk with the caregivers there, and explain, you are not forsaking her, but that you need a time out, to take care of yourself. If they are a respectable institution, they will understand.
Life certainly sends us curves we could never anticipate or plan. But remember that there is Someone who created us, that is still in control. He has our best interest at heart and will never forsake us. If that is also your belief, then look at the promises in His book to us, as a comfort.Let us know how you are doing from time to time. Sometimes getting it out on "paper" is a way for people to "vent".
Then when you read it over, you are able to put it more in perspective.
Deblove, you are in a better position to judge whether your Mother has dementia. When I started noticing my 83 y/o Mother forgetting things, I asked her PCP to test her and she also passed with flying colors. But, I knew better and over the past 5 yrs, her memory has deteriorated even more. Luckily, the doctor believed me and prescribed memory medications for her. So, don't put too much faith in the memory tests the doctors give. Give the doctor examples of situations that make you think she's got dementia.

My Mother is the sweetest woman ever, but I get very frustrated too at times, which makes me feel guilty later. My brother lives 200 miles away, so I'm the only one she can depend on. I've decided early on to give her my time and attention--she did this for me when I was a child. I hope you can find a support group--it would probably help. Try to take care of yourself first.
carolhamp, You are so right about the diagnosis. Her cognitive skills are not good at all. I know she has dementia. So I do the best I can.
Thank you for the kinds words.
First off, no, you are NOT the mommy now. Nice as your mom may be, this is a manipulation of this situation and you should be very clear (at least to yourself) that you mom is an adult and does not "qualify" for being cared for as a child.

Second, there are rehab centers and such that do extensive cognitive testing which may show if your mother's thinkging and reasoning abilities have declined and will give you a baseline for her docs to compare with, going forward. A good geriatric psychiatrist may be able to point you to such a center. When my mom's reasoning abilities began to fail last year, it led to panic attacks (she couldn't figure out if she needed more pills, etc), I had her tested, while my brother's and my mom's doc kept saying there was nothing wrong with her. Turns out she'd had a small stroke and had lost quite a bit of what is called executive functioning (seeing the big picture cognitively, what to do when, what to do if this or that happenes, how to set priorities. SO glad we did this, I was beginning to think I was the one who was losing it, but I knew what I was seeing. Best, B
Sometimes we need to feel angry in order to make a change. You don't say if you are dependent on your mom for anything, and of course that would factor in. Sounds to me like you want to be you and make decisions about your own life. That's a good thing---and it's a change. Think of anger as your protection against being absorbed into your mom's life and guilt is your mom's tool for maintaining her hold on you. She may not even know the hurt she is causing you. It would be good if the next time she says you are her "mommy" you could reply, "I'm not your mommy, I'm your grown up daughter." She'll probably complain---why not--- you said she complains about everything else. You aren't obliged to fix her life, only to live your own life as your own person. Being your own person means you can help your mom on your own terms. Anxiety and depression are no picnic---that's for sure---but that's not who you, that's your body chemistry in a scramble, perhaps partly from the stress of dealing with your mom's symbiotic demands and your childish belief about being responsible for your mom's happiness . Keep reminding yourself that you are a special unique person and entitled to live your own special life.
Caregiving is certainly one of life's most difficult experiences. I am learning more and more that it is not about them, but about us - the caregiver. How we handle the situation and dealing with our emotions is a growth experience. Looking within brings us face to face with all these ugly traits such as resentment and anger to the surface. Which in turn makes us angry that we are having to deal with the kind of person we really are inside, and guilt can overwhelm us.
Thank you all so much for your comments. Mom did have a couple of TIA's so I know that has a lot to do with her behavior. The "Mommy" think has been going on since I was a child. I was always responsible for everyone's happiness. My father was an alcoholic, my step father was very controlling. I fell for all of it, so I shouldn't whine now. I should have taken control of my own life years ago. I didn't. My step dad would always say, you're mom will be so destroyed if you ever move away. So I was stuck, in my own mind. But with all I was dealing with I didn't have the emotional strength to handle all of that. I talk to Mom about being so dependent that I get overwhelmed and she cries, blames herself and I feel awful. She is not a mean person. She is wonderful and compassionate, I don't think she realizes it. That's all she knows. My Dad was physically abusive, my step dad was controlling so we both lived in dysfunctional situations. I am truly blessed for what I have and just need to vent once in a while. My brother is no help at all. He has a temper and doesn't give a damn. No patience with Mom. So I always feel I have to protect her from his "mouth." He calls Mom once a week, if that. Lives only 5 miles away. Just a big mess. I know, I'm not alone out here. Just feels weird airing our dirty laundry. Yes, I see a therapist and have been for years. So, as I say I'm doing the best I can. Thank you all!!! Big Hug!
Wow, Deblove, I had no idea I had a twin. Except for the step father. I too had an alcoholic father (abusive) and I have a sibling (sister) who is the eldest, but she too has never pitched in to help. She visits once or twice a month. I feel all the feelings you've felt, but I too love my mom and I know she is not a mean person. (even though everyone else says she knows how to push my buttons). Her father was an alcoholic too, and she saw her mother have to put up with his abuse. Our situations aren't perfect, but at least we have our moms. I am truly grateful for the way my mom raised me. She always felt compassion for the elderly, and I learned alot. I too have a loving daughter, and loving grandchildren. We all have a solid faith in God, and know that one day all of this suffering will be eliminated and we will be able to life life the way were were created, with no more death and no more suffering. Thanks for all your comments.....these little "sessions" help alot.

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