It stinks to feel this level of resentment for your own parent!!

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Hi All - I have been reading this forum off and on for some time. It's helpful to know that I'm not the only one dealing with the challenges posed with caring for elderly parents. My mom has been living with me and my family for almost 10 years now. I can cry when I think about it. I know that sounds selfish but my mom is such an energy vampire and it's so hard to be around her. She doesn't drive and her income level is low so we thought it would be great for her to live with us; otherwise, she's healthy as an ox and 80 years young. On weekends, when her shows aren't on, she comes looking for me about 5 times a day!! It really drives me crazy, I want to cry. She is constantly telling depressing stories of who killed who from the news. She is constantly complaining and she likes to bad mouth other people. My kids don't even like to be around her because she's pushy and she can't understand why they don't pay attention to her. She just thinks that she's such a "victim". I'm to the point where I resent people, just ordinary people who don't have to care for their parents. Awful, I know. I avoid inviting people to my home because she is often embarrassing. She's overly opinionated and doesnt know what questions are and aren't offensive. EVERYWHERE I go, she seems to want to come. And if I don't take her, she's "stuck" here because she doesn't drive and there is no public transportation around. I feel like her entertainment director. She has no life outside of my and my families life. I've encouraged her to take a trip to see her family SO many times (her sisters live in Italy) but there's always an excuse (apparently, when she visits, her sisters go about their normal life, and don't take her enough places). She depends on other people to make her happy and expects things from people. She has many times thrown in my face that she did this and that for me growing up (and insinuates that I now "owe"her). In fact, I"m pretty much convinced that this is why she had me to begin keep her company in her old age. I really wish that I was one of those people who were crazy about their mom and who had a great relationship. Truth is that I really do love her but I do see her as a huge burden - her attitude is what makes it most difficult. I wish I had my own life. I REALLLLLLY wish that I had my own life. If we manage to go on a vacation without her, it's heavenly to feel those severeal days of independence. We recently bought a bigger house, that we really did not want to buy, just to give us and her separate space, and she calls it her jail. Not ONE bit appreciative of anything. In fact, I think this is the source of her constant unhappiness. I could go on forever, but I won't. I feel so STUCK and I feel like she's constantly dragging me down. I shudder when I hear her coming up the steps. Sad, I know. We moved from our original home because she lived with us and there was no in-law suite. It was TORTUROUS. She would rearrange my cabinets and decorate for me! I think she hates it almost as much as we do but she is too afraid to live on her own because of both financial reasons and feelings of lonliness/need. I feel like I can't breathe. It really stinks feeling this level of resentment for your own parent!!!


Sounds to me that your Unhappiness with her being there is at the front on your mind all the time so why is she there? Stop allowing your complaints about her to make you unhappy. Either arrange for her to go somewhere else or learn to understand her neediness while she is there otherwise what you are "doing" for her does not make sense. You either want to love someone with all their faults or you don't.
Thanks for your response. You make some very valid points - I'm just so out of energy today. I'm also raising a 10 and 9 year old, and most days are fine, but other days like today I want to run far far far away. I'd like to think that's normal?
Ouch, that was a bit rough, especially since many people here know how you feel, energyvampire. As people grow and age, they often become more and more separate from the community. When the people they know die, there is often no one left for them. Ideally they would make new friends their own age. But life is less than ideal. A lot of times the caregiver becomes the main friend.

My mother is a hermit. She has two friends, but I have a hard time getting her to do anything with them. I wouldn't mind it so much, but it would take a lot of pressure off of me to keep her company. My mother and I don't have much in common. We don't enjoy the same TV. She can't carry on a good conversation. I try to interact with her, but I can't, so I feel guilty for not paying more attention to her.

I am fortunate because my mother doesn't seem to want anything much to do with me. That sounds strange, I know, but I don't know what I would do if she started following me around and insisting to go everywhere with me. That would be awful. If my mother did have the wish to go out, I would see how she liked our local senior center. There are many things to do there for people who still have their cognitive functions. The main thing is there are other people who are looking for the same thing -- companionship with people their own age. That is priceless.
energy vampire, I never had mom live with us but there were many weeks I spent the night at her house 5 out of 7. I would've gone crazy if she had been living in our home. But I can totally relate to how you feel in general. My mom was a lot like yours. She didn't have dementia but several major health issues. She expected us to be her entertainment committee. If she wanted home improvements or new decorating done, it was expected we had to do it although she could afford to hire it done. On many occasions I got the "you owe me because I raised you" guilt trip. I could go on but you can see I get what you're saying. Does your mom have hobbies? If not, she needs one or several low cost projects. You also should tell her she's driving you nuts and both of you come up with a remedy. I don't recommend being angry at her when you plan your meeting because I did that and the results weren't good.
In hindsight, maybe you should've stayed in your original home and maybe monetarily helped her get a place of her own but you can't undo what's been done. If she can't afford to live elsewhere then you're going to have to work very hard not to feel stuck. Set up boundaries. Also, you know your mom and if she's always been like this then you can pray for miracle but I doubt she's going to change at this late date. There may be times you actually love her but dislike her too. That's not abnormal. You have every right to feel as you do but please don't let it go on without getting some changes in place. It's not fair to any of you.
Oh yes, I'd give anything to have had a mother I loved and adored. I did not. She was an abuser and one of the most hateful, underhanded people I ever met. She didn't like me, ever, and let me know it my whole life. It was hard to do anything for her but I tried. My kids never liked being with her, as kids or as adults. She sucked the pleasure out of every family gathering. They said her legacy was to teach them how NOT to be and I have to agree.
Hang in there. Come here and vent. But the bottom line is only you can change what goes on in your home. I'm hoping you find relief soon.
Thanks all for your responses:) Jessie - I'm not sure what you were referring to when you said "ouch - that was a bit rough?". I was responding to the first commenter. I appreciated his/her insight very much and was just trying to say that yes, good point and normally I'm pretty good at keeping it all in perspective. Perhaps I'm just having a bad day and need to vent. Also saying that I'm human and that it's normal to have bad days - not trying at all to be sarcastic, although I guess that's how it was perceived? I'm pretty straightforward with the keyboard and it's often difficult to communicate using words without emotion...sorry if I offended anyone!
I do think it is normal to want to run sometimes. If that starts to happen more and more, you may want to explore other options. Your mum might be OK in an ALF with other people around, and activities going on. You have 2 children who need your best, and you have done many years of caregiving. It won't get easier, it will get harder as your mother ages. No one can make someone else happy. She sounds like she is quite controlling if she is rearranging your cabinets and décor. You do need your own life. Give other options some thought. Since she has not much money Medicaid would pay for her in a facility. In any case, do come back and vent - it helps. (((((((hugs)))))) Joan
energyvampire, you and I were typing at the same time above. I was addressing clh777's response to your original message. It was a little black and white for me. Many of us know how you feel and how hard it can be to deal with feeling that we need to keep our parent company. Sometimes we just need to talk about it. Talking can help a lot.
JessieBelle - oooohhh! LOL - I understand now. Thanks for clearing things up.
Umm ... tell us again WHY your mother is living with you? She can't afford to live alone? Have you looked into options such as subsidized housing? It sounds like you are not enjoying the arrangement and she's not enjoying her "jail." So, who is benefiting? Doesn't sound like this is ideal for the kids. Are you doing this for your husband's sake?

Sorry if this seems callous. I'm a results-oriented practical person. Now maybe you are just having a bad day. I can relate to that! Maybe tomorrow everything will look different. That is OK. You were just venting. But if what you wrote is a fairly accurate and consistent state of your situation, then I just don't get it. No one is happy with this situation and yet you are so adamant about continuing it you even about a bigger house. Huh?
Jeannegibbs - yes, i was having a bad day, but to be perfectly honest, even today if I had my wish, my mother would have "her own life". I've always hesitated to post here because I can't really explain why the situation is what it is. Maybe part cultural? She's from a small town in Italy where it isn't unusual for adult kids to be living at home. I believe it's because of economic need but that can be confused with ethnic traditions. Here's an example of what my mother will do: she will vent about how she's trapped and in jail, living with me and my family. This is how it starts. Then, I will very nicely suggest that I look into a subs apartment for her and she'll say "Well, if you really want me to leave, I'll go..." in other words, she turns the situation totally around and blame me. I think she's really afraid to live alone. I'm really not sure but I sure wish that I knew. I can never get a straight answer from her and I could never ask her to leave. Maybe it's a guilt thing, maybe it's a cultural thing. I would of course reconsider if she ever needed care that I felt I couldn't provide.

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