Dealing with Anger and Resentment

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I'm feeling more and more resentful these days and I'm coming across as bitter. There are days when the anger just seeps from inside, until it reveals it's ugly green head to the world. I don't mean to be like this and I'm ashamed of my own self at times. I think there are two factors that are my driving force: fear and stress.
I'm fearful of the future. I've taken care of my parents forever and a day. I've always been told that the house would be mine someday, but if I was to marry, then I had to divide it with my brothers (so long as I was married). When I was younger, I never thought much about it. I took care of them and they were well enough to do somethings on their own. I married when I was 38, it didn't work out. I divorced by age 42. Moving back to the family home, I took over where I left off. Come to think of it, my job taking care of my parents never really ended. Even when I was married and living in a different town, I stopped in everyday. Now back at it full time, the health has declined greatly. I work very little outside of the home, as she has cancer. I try to take care of the inside, outside, medication, doctor appointments, ER trips and hospital stays for both. I have no help from my two surviving brothers. I've also been told that I can no longer live in the house after they are gone. In their words, "you have two brothers that deserve their share." Enter fear. What will I do, where will I go and how will I survive. I have a small savings, but nothing to brag about. One trip to the hospital for me and it's over. This new fear adds stress and it manifest itself into anger.
I'm angry that the boys do nothing, while I do it all. I'm angry that my parents told me something and went back on their word. I'm angry that in the end (my words), "the little cockroaches" will show up and get their third of the pie for basically nothing. They live their life, enjoy themselves and are care free. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy I can help them stay in their home. I'm grateful that they gave me a place to live all this time. However, did I forget to tell you...I'm angry!
This anger comes out at inappropriate times and it also comes out at innocent parties. Anger has away of doing that you know? It's out of control. I lash out at my parents, when I should be providing them comfort. I have a boyfriend and I lash out at him. He tells me I have a job to do and that I can't get married right now, b/c I have to take care of them. This makes me angry. It's true, but it makes me angry. So angry, that it puts stress on the relationship and if there was any hope of marriage in the future, I'm doing a damn good job at destroying that chance. Thus, the mailman is going to walk past my little apt. (if I'm lucky), or corner of the sidewalk someday and ask himself..."what's that smell'? You know what it will be? Me, myself and I. Alone, dead; discovered by the mailman. Yep, that's right, I'm being negative. Negativity is a stepchild of fear and stress.
How do I overcome this? I'm relatively nice. I take care of my aging parents, bake cookies for the older folks and kids in the neighborhood. I'm not the best Christian, but I believe in God. I was a mild mannered, happy youth. However, nowadays, I'm turning into a bitter old hag myself. Don't like it and need to change. How? How do I find one little piece of the person I use to be, when all I want to do is rip my brothers heads off and run far away. No one ever solved any problems with anger. Anger begets anger. Anger, leaves you with no friends in time. I don't want my last memory of my parents to be a harsh word spoken.


I, too, am a caregiver to my husbands mother in our home and believe me.. taking care of a crabby, mentally ill, medically needy, elderly woman is a huge strain on our life, my mental health and our marriage. I have tried for three years, but get little or no help or support from him or her. So I just quit. I told him that I am done. If they aren't going to try then why should I? She's not my mother. I make less than minimum wage and get NO days or time off ever. I have had three days off in three years. So sh has to be out in one month. They are not happy about it, but I need to save my sanity and our marriage. We had never been in one single fight (literally) in 17 years. Now we fight constantly. So I do know where you're coming from. My suggestion? Add up all of the money that you have saved your parents by being their caregiver and take it out of your brothers share. Call them and tell them that that is the deal or you will immediately stop caring for them and all of the money from the house will get eaten up in assisted living or a nursing home. I know it seems harsh, but what is happening to you is harsh. Your care-giving had value. Monetary value. If your brothers do not want to participate in your parents care, then that is fine, they can choose to pay you to do it. If you weren't doing it they would be paying someone else to do it. or the house would be sole t o pay for someone to do it. Either way.. you earned your lions share of the house by caring for your parents for years. And room and board averages $800 a month... care-giving $2000. (which, buy the way is twice what I earn and I am on the clock 24/7/365) So you were banking a thousand dollars a month from the time you first started doing it. Good luck & I hope the situation resolves itself in a manner which will not end up with you being found by the mailman... if it gets that bad you can come live with me :)
I just saw this thread, five years later, after doing a search on caregiver resentment. Agree with everything Cindy said. If you see this, please see an elder law attorney to get a contract drawn up for the value of all the caregiving you provide. Have the attorney draw it up so that you receive as wages a fair value for your labor. If the house is going to go, then it can be reverse mortgaged so that you can receive wages. I'd guess that if all that is added up you already earned the house. If the attorney draws up a contract for you to receive wages, you can also get Social Security withheld, which will help in the long term. Don't be hard on yourself for feeling angry and resentful. Caregiving is so difficult on every level, physically, mentally, emotionally, and having siblings who don't understand and won't help makes it even worse.
Dear Dana,

Thank you for updating this thread. Reading this caregiver's story reminds me so much of me. I feel her pain and sorrow. I know she hasn't posted in awhile but I hope she was able to find some peace. Its is so important to find the right balance, get the right help and as you said the right documents in place to protect the parents and the primary caregiver. In my case, there wasn't much money to fight about, but it is a major consideration. I wasn't very successful in managing the anger and resentment either. I guess everything is 20/20 in hindsight.
Thanks CDN. Please don't be so hard on yourself. The truth is that caregiving is brutal. All the talk about how it is rewarding and how we grow spiritually and emotionally... well although there may be some truth to that, it can also wreck our physical and emotional health. You are so right about balance. Sometimes we just have to step away from it. Today I've had a bad day with mom... after her stroke she needs help with finances and I had my own work to do so was less patient than I should have been when she needed the same thing explained several times.... and she has days of being very depressed and weepy, and I know it's real, but it doesn't seem to happen on the days her professional caregiver is here. I feel guilty because I do not enjoy caregiving... but we are not alone.
Thank you for the link Dana. I couldn't agree with you more. Its not easy. Sorry to hear it was a bad day with your mom. I think its only natural to become impatient. As daughters there is always so much on our shoulders. Its hard seeing our parents age and deal with serious health issues.

As the oldest daughter my parents always put the responsibility on me. Even before my dad's stroke, I managed the household, paid the bills, cleaned the house, bought groceries, did the yard work. After my dad's stroke, I took on providing food, medications, showers, handling doctor appointments, and the list felt it never ended. I felt so stuck. But yet duty bound to take care of my dad as well. I had terrible anger towards my siblings and own father about everything I had to do. There are so many things I wished I had done differently.

Thank you again for your link. I hope your week is better. Take care.
Today is a bad day. I seem to have more bad than good ones. I was shampooing the carpet that my elderly mother has ruined in my 2 year old “new” house, looked into the mirror and saw an old lady with a beet red face....and it was me. I sobbed. Where did I go? I used to be nice and strangers told me I was pretty. I am no longer either of those adjectives. I am bitter and exhausted and feel alone and stressed. My husband is retiring soon and we wanted to spend time traveling and reconnecting from the daily grind and raising kids. Travel plans are dashed because I am required to babysit my mother 24/7–to protect her from falls and choking; to feed her hot meals so she can produce a BM; to fetch and serve and ferry to a myriad of doctors and the ER (when she panics about her lack of BM’s). Her rectum is the center of my universe.

A lovely woman comes in to bathe her weekly, but Mom refuses to pay for more than 2 hrs of care. She has a healthy next egg, but placing her in Assisted Living would eat that in no time. Besides, she refuses to go. Through clenched teeth, I tolerate “Did you finish my laundry? or “Gimme (fill in the blank)” or “Oh, shut up, you go on and on!” I wish I could finish a sentence or a thought before being cut off or admonished because something isn’t quite right or good enough. I feel 14.
Insidegirl, I hope tomorrow is a better day for you.

I'm new, just became a member of the this site. I'm caring for my mother who had a stroke which is complicated by diabetes that requires insulin. It's really difficult because the injections are needed prior to every single meal which means she needs care 24/7. Well, in actuality, night time is okay as she sleeps alright, but every 4.5 hours I must prep carefully laid out meals, check her sugar and inject her. She also has brain damage from the stroke and was a scientist prior to the stroke. It's hard to see her diminished, although she can still carry on a reasonable conversation. As for myself, I can't work and am forced to live off both our savings. It's enough to keep us afloat for a handful of years but I fear about my future when all is said and done. Moreover, I'm afraid of a dreaded fall which would shatter he delicate bones and already make a very hard job next to impossible since I'm the only person capable of caring for her. I feel so very alone.
Dear Insidegirl and twentyfo7,

I'm so sorry to hear how you both feel. I know its not easy. Please keep talking it out with us on the forum. And know that you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings.

I too grew up being the caregiver to my parents. My father passed over a year ago. I felt so angry with my responsibilities in the last year of his life. In hindsight, I so badly wished I had done things differently. Recognized my own limitations and feelings, sought out more resources in the community instead of thinking I could do it all.

Thinking of you both. Sending love and hugs.
Insidegirl, I feel so angry when I read posts like yours. What happened that your mother has to live with YOU? Are there any siblings in (or out of) the picture? If so, then why do YOU have to do it all? Just how much is that nest egg, and if your mother never ends up hiring help or going to a facility, I surely hope that YOU get it!

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