Resenting my mother!

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My mother has been severely depressed for 13 years every since my grandmother died. Over those years I have begged for her to get help as she became a recluse and quit her job. Because of all of those things, she ended up losing her upscale home and having to move into a subsidized apt with my stepfather.

With the financial problems, the depression worsened and my mother was diagnosed with COPD although she still smokes. She has always been overly dramatic and acts like she can't do anything for herself and for as long as I can remember my stepfather took care of her and basically waited on her hand and foot. All of the negativity pushed me away and I would only call about once a week and visit a few times a year as we live in another state. Just this past summer of 2012, my stepfather had a stroke and ultimately passed away within a month.

During the month of him being in the hospital I was in her state constantly taking care of the two of them. Since they didn't have any money I was paying her rent, paying for her meds, buying her groceries and doing her shopping, laundry, paying bills, cleaning house, etc. She would act like she needed a walker, help in and out of the car, couldn't change her sheets or clean her house. I would feed into it and help her with all of these things knowing that she really could do it.

We knew that she couldn't live by herself, so we ultimately tried to sell our home and couldn't so let it go into foreclosure so we could rent a home that didn't have stairs in it so she could move in with us. We packed and moved her by ourselves with no help from my POS brother. Paid for her moving truck, bought her a new bed and bedding (because the cigarette smoke was absorbed into everything and everything smelled so badly and was yellow).

Since moving in with us she has not used the walker once. I push her to do things for herself. At first she tried to have me wait on her hand and foot but I would ask her if she could do it - to actually TRY first. It is amazing the amount of things that she can now do! She said she couldn't wash dishes, load dishwasher or unload dishwaser and she is now doing all of that. With a little push from me she is now able to do a ton of things that she used to "not be able to do".

My major challenge that I have now is resenting her for not taking care of herself. She still smokes, although I do not allow it in our home. But she gets lung infections and I have to take her to the hospital, as soon as she gets out she is chain smoking again. I just don't think that it is fair that I have to take care of her for her poor decisions. She argues with me that she is not depressed however she never leaves the house, never showers (hasn't right now in 5 days) and all she does is sit around the house wearing the same dirty oversized sweat suits with greasy hair and without her teeth in. I am at my wits end, it is gross and embarassing when we have friends stop by.

She complains about everyone and everything. If my daughter has friends over she complains about the way the kids act even though they are truly fine. She complains about the neighbors saying hi to her when she is outside smoking!

My mother is not elderly either, she just turned 67 but acts like she is 90. My father is the same age and is very active, our neighbors are the same age and are very active. I blame the lack of activity and cleanliness on her depression. She has dealt with depression all of her life. When I was a child/teenager she never wanted to go anywhere because she was "tired". My father said that even when they were married over 35 years ago she was all about "doom and gloom".

I am to the point that I hate being home, my family and I can be out somewhere having a great time and the second I get home and see her with her greasy hair, no teeth and dirty clothes I get so angry. Prior to her moving in with us my husband and I used to watch TV on the couch at night, now I am in our bedroom by myself at 9pm because I just can't take it.

Thanks for letting me get this all off of ny chest, it is all very therapeutic to even type it! xoxo


just about the time in your life when the kids are raised and you feel relieved that they are.. kids will usually behave to gain your approval. sadly the old timers arent even trying to get along . i dont have any advice, just struggling like everyone else here..
Sounds like a good vent thread. I know the feeling of retreating to the bedroom. I spend a lot of time here at night. I would love to be able to have a semi-normal conversation, but my mother picks arguments. She counters anything I say, then gets angry at me and holds up her hand to say she is not going to listen to me anymore. And no, I don't argue with her, because there is no point. I think it is her way of driving me away by belittling things I say. It works. I get so hungry for normal conversation that I call friends in TX to chat.
My mother disagrees with me on most things. If I buy ibuprofen for her she says she only takes "Advil". Generic does nothing for her. One day she asked me to bring Sudafed so I did and she said she needed the round ones because the oval caplets don't work at all! I think she just wants to be boss. She told me she has panic attacks and now says, "I did not say panic attacks I said nervous feelings"! She changes things like that and I wonder if mild dementia is present. She is 87, worked all her life, and was always her own boss (even when married). She only had one child (me) and gave me to her sister who adopted me as a baby. She lived in another state, I saw her once a year, and now she only has me, has moved near into independent living facility, and expects me to take care of her needs. I do have a wonderful husband. I need her to learn to "live" at her own apt. And not constantly want to be at my home!
I truly feel for you. My mom is 78 with COPD. She also acts helpless when I know she is quite capable of doing much more than she does. I also gave up my life in another state when my father died because Mom needs assistance. She doesn't need a caregiver, just help with the heavy things. Since I moved in with her she has become helpless, bossy, sarcastic and vindictive. My siblings want nothing to do with her because of it. She did quit smoking when she was diagnosed with COPD and is supposed to got to cardio/pulmonary rehab 3 times a week, but she stopped going. She tells her doctor she walks and gets regular exercise, but she doesn't. She spends 12-14 hours in bed every night and the rest of her time is in the recliner while I do everything for her. When she visits my siblings for a week (not often enough) she has them push her around in a wheelchair. She purchased a walker that she never uses. Insists that walking is too hard on her, but take her to her favorite store and she is on her feet for hours. Even has me bring extra oxygen for these excursions. My living quarters are in the basement. This is my haven. I go down at 8 pm and don't come back up until 8 am. I often go down there during the day because her comments to me are so hurtful that I can't stand to be around her at times. I am employed, but currently out on disability leave for a back injury. She is very unconcerned about my limitations and often sends me to the grocery store with a huge list. When I tell her I cannot carry this amount of items and that it would be better for me to make several small shopping trips a week she says things like "we all have to do things we don't want to". When I tell her it's not that I don't want to, it's that I simply cannot, she rolls her eyes or laughs at me. I have asked her several times what she would do if I wasn't living with her. She tells me she got along without me before, she can do it again. I have been tempted to leave just to teach her a lesson, but I would feel guilty. They really know how to play us.
You are really kind to have taken her in, but you know she won't stop smoking and that she is needy. That is part of the package of having her, and since she won't seek treatment for her depression, the situation isn't likely to change. Will you consider other arrangements for her so that you and your family don't fall victim to her depression and difficult ways? It sounds like too much to handle in your home honestly.
She was living in subsidized housing. I assume that she would qualify for Medicaid. Living with you is not her only option for getting help. Are you still sure it is the best option?
she may also have a personaity disorder - in which case you need to save yourslef and your family
You think she might try e-cigs? They still have nicotine, but are nowhere near as bad for the lungs. Hey - You are doing your best to be reasonable with a person who is sadly, in the process of losing what is left of hers, and are successfully setting reasonable limits where so many of us have failed to...kudos!!
thank you everyone, it was such a help and relief just to type my feelings out onto this thread! i did have a heart to heart with my mom about getting some help for her depression and taking care of herself. i told her it was beginning to cause problems with my family and that we don't "live that way". she asked if she had to move out and i told her not if she took care of herself mentally and physically. she has since been showering and getting dressed for the day instead of sitting around looking like a homeless person. she also needs to contact medicare/medicaid (she has one but needs to apply for the other) plus moving to our state she still hasn't done anything for assistance in our state. she knows that she can't live with us forever as we are renting this home without many stairs for her and if the owner sells the home it will be highly unlikely that we will be able to find another home in our area without stairs.

i am only 37 and don't know much about public assistance programs or taking care of a parent.

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