Desperate, tired, and alone, but I love my mother.

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I'm an only child, 43 years old. My mom Is 81 years old. We both are from Nicaragua but I live in the U.S. My mom lives in Nicaragua by herself since my dad passed away in 2006. My mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and she has gone through so much, SO much that I cannot imagine any person going through the nightmare her life has been. Cancer outside the U.S. Is simply almost unbearable. There is only one location. To get radiotherapy for the ENTIRE country, the lines are so long that you've to be there a minimum of about six hours. For chemotherapy the medication is so hard to find that you need to get it from other countries and the logistics and money involved are unbelievable. What I'm describing is just a tiny part of an incredibly difficult life that she has lived, so, I am not, by any means, oblivious to the fact that she's almost the right to be bitter. The thing is, I lived all through that with her. I was there moving mountains to get the medicines, I was traveling almost every month to be with her for chemo. But once done with chemo I started going three times a year, calling her twice a day. And the other part of this story is that my mom, as strong of a human being she's, she is also hard with others, specially me. When my dad was alive and I was younger I remember so, so, so many times when my mom decided to be upset and that would determine the family dinamycs. In other words, my dad and I would be seating doing nothing, maybe an entire weekend, until she decided to come out of her anger episode. My dad was a wonderful, heart of gold man, but he lacked character; so, my mom was always the stronger voice. I remember how I resented my dad for not doing anything or saying anything when a situation was extremely unfair. I also remember vividly how I used to think that my mom would never stop until she saw blood. What I mean is that she wouldn't let go of a situation until she went for the jugular and hurt me deeply with her insensitive comments. Having said that, my mom was a very devoted mom and she would do anything for me and my dad...except allowing a normal, peaceful family interaction. Now she is sick, very weak and her age is really taking a toll, she needs me and I know that. However, my mom only has literally tons of strong criticism, negativism and simply what seems a constant desire to hurt me and put me down, never acknowledging and respecting the fact that I actually have a life as an adult, that I have overcome incredibly difficult situations (overcame a horrible and challenging divorce, moved three times internationally and nationally, got jobs,etc) all as a single woman. I have my home, which I purchased thinking she would come live with me someday. The bottom line is that I love her so much, but she treats me worse than garbage. Just today she said that I mistreat her and humiliate her just because I asked her to be more considered with something. She keeps a totally different version of our conversations and arguments. They might have been calmed and logical, but she recalls them as if I yelled at her and makes sure to make me feel as the worst of the daughters. My mom is very hurtful, doesn't care how little of a person she makes you feel, what matters is to be the controlling person she's accustomed to be. Just that at this stage of life that control, that hurtfulness is killing me. Here I am, ready to change my entire life, I will move to Nicaragua and leave everything behind to be with her and take care of her, simply because she is my mother and I love her, but i am dying inside knowing that entire days of mistreatment are ahead (reality is, she is the one that mistreats me in an incredibly wrong way), but I know I have no option but to take care of my mom because among other reasons nobody else would, not even paying them. Overseas there are no assisted living places, I'd have to hire somebody and that's been done before, nobody lasts more than a month, and she cannot stay here. I have to do it, but I know I'm sacrificing my life. I plan to come back some day, but it's just very hurtful that. I'm ready to sacrifice everything while my mom is ready to say all sorts of horrible, hurtful things that I will remember forever, the GUILT is unbearable thinking of how she must be feeling, abandoned and hurt too, despite my love. She cannot see it and accept it. It has always been this way but now it's worst. I don't know how to survive this, but I do know the she is my mom, and I love her over her own behavior. I just am exhausted and so lonely.


Why would you subject yourself to torture like that?

When people drive folks away with their behavior, it's usually due to mental illness. Can you get her psychiatric help?
I'm so sorry for your situation. Don't fall into the self-sacrifice martyr trap. If you can afford to and if you have to, then hire a different person every month. Hire 2-3 persons for 2 days per week so that no one has to deal with 5-7 days of abuse. Have respite and/or therapy in place for yourself. You sound like a lovely person. Don't sacrifice yourself.
Thank you so much. In her current circumstances she would never accept psychological assistance. She's extremely depressed but also extremely angry, at life but it ends up being angry at me over anything else.
She doesn't relinquish control. Doesn't accept hired help, she's actually abandoned herself to a point where if I don't insist and insist she won't eat. We go from laying in bed in the dark without moving, to hateful comments, she even said to me today that she wishes she could ask for help from my aunt (my aunt is 90) to "rescue" her from me and my mistreatment.
Is it so wrong to really feel devastated because your own mother has the most horrible and low concept of you? I don't want her to think that I'm such a failure. I don't want my mom to feel abandoned despite my presence and love. Please pray for us and thank you for taking the time to respond.
Your mom is mentally ill. Please don't take her cruel words to heart!
Thats soo sad take care of your mom. she needs a love and soft corner of our heart.
Here's a topic with it's own synergies. The Hispanic family interactions and view plus ultimate respect for the elderly, no matter what!
Quite complex, and not wanting to create a mile long post.
I am Mexican, have my 90 yr . old mother here in the USA for 5 years.
Extremely difficult for her to adjust to the new culture, foods, habits.
We owe them respect and assistance, just giving back the care we received when we were infants.
No, I don't have an abusive mom, to the contrary, too loving, and too clingy.
No, you don't deserve to be mistreated in any way.
Seek assistance, please, have a plan so that you can get help in Nicaragua. Maybe a good neighbor she knows and can be supporting you certain days, certain times. By all means, keep is healing and comforting to read what other caregivers have in mind. Un abrazo fuerte, M88.
"I have to do it, but I know I'm sacrificing my life."

You "have to do it" because ... ??

Does your religion require you to become a martyr?

What is the driving force here?
It sounds to me like your mom has been a bully to everyone in her life for your entire life. She bullied your dad (who backed down and let her have her way) and she's bullied and beaten you down with her unending criticisms. I don't know if that's mental illness or just meanness.

I think the healthy way to go, while still honoring your mom, is to offer her healthy alternatives that don't involve you sacrificing your own life because she chooses to be a bully. If she refuses to get any mental health help, that's on her, not you.

I would plead with you to value your own life as much as you value your mom's life. Your happiness is just as important as hers and you have just as much of a right to happiness and good health as your mom. Offer her help in her country, but with you staying in the US. Limit your contact with her. When she starts getting negative, get off the phone. You do NOT have to listen to her verbal abuse. In some ways, allowing her to continue to spew her hatefulness is doing her a disservice. She needs to learn that her behavior will not result in more attention, but less. I'm so sorry you have to go through this awful experience. But please don't lose yourself in your mom's dysfunction. You've a wonderful daughter and you deserve love and support, not criticism and hate. Big hugs to you from me.
I appreciate so much everyone's time to write and give me some feedback. At this point I took her back to Nicaragua as she literally was going crazy and driving me crazy too, to an extreme. I'm now in the process of selling my home and belongings so I can move there. I know in my heart this is what I need to do, as we all know when something is important to do for our own peace. I know it'll be incredibly difficult, it's already, but it's the right thing. I'm just hopeful that this change will also help her to face her depression a little bit better, with me by her side. I will admit though that since she left I've been so happy to come back home every day, there's peace. It's my home again.i know it's temporary but I'll take it while I have it.
i appreciate your comments very much. That last one about valuing my life as much as my mom's really resignated with me. I'm hoping I'm, in a weird way but I'm by doing what I know my heart will always know is right.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We both need them and God bless.

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