My mother is wearing me out, and she is not even sick or disabled. She has a dependent personality and I feel like I am being used.
She is 76 years old and in relatively good health. However, she is always complaining and is always "sick" and "needy". She recently went for a series of medical tests and got a clean bill of health. I see other women her age who are healthy getting out and enjoying life, but my mother chooses to be a hermit, and stays home and watches a lot of TV. She hardly ever gets out unless it is to go grocery shopping, and even then she complains that it is too much for her to handle. She depends on me to drive her most places, unless she is going somewhere in her immediate community. I have been attending to her "needs" for the past 6 years since my dad passed away, and I am getting tired. I am very willing to help her if she really does need my help, but I have come to realize that she has been taking advantage of me for the past few year. In her conversations we have when I am taking her to the places she needs to go, she tells me that she is sorry that she needs me to do things for her so much, but she reminds me of how she took care of my grandmother (who had cancer and was a diabetic-very sick), and how she took care of me when I was little, etc. I have slowly come to realize from things that she has said to me - that she has a sense of entitlement to be taken care of - just because she is becoming elderly. Well, I have been caring for her since she was 70, and she has not had any major illness or injury in this entire time, just the everyday complaining about the same old things. She still lives independently, but needs my brother & his wife, and my husband & me constantly. She is not willing to move into a retirement facility, and will not get an at-home emergency monitoring system. She has "cried wolf" with her "illnesses" so many times, I never know when she is really sick, and usually do not believe her anyway (because it always turns out to be nothing).I have backed off from helping her so much, because she is burning me out, but she comes on even stronger with her needs and tries to make me feel guilty for not coming over to her house as much or calling her every day (she keeps me on the phone 30 minutes to an hour each time, talking about he same old things like her TV shows, complaining about her neighbors, and going down her list of ailments. I do understand not feeling well... I, myself, have my own problems, but I try not to dwell on them. I am just very tired and could really use some time away from my mother. Any time I take some time away, she tries to make me feel guilty. In her eyes, it doesn't matter what all I have done for her already, it is never enough. If I haven't called everyday or come over to her house in a week, then I she will act like she has been sick and she didn't have anybody to help her (When I ask her why she didn't call to tell me, she says she didn't feel like it). I have read other posts about narcissistic mothers, and she definitely fits in this category. She has always been narcissistic and everything has to be "her way". She's not going to change, so does anyone have any advice on how to cope with caregiver burnout when the person you are caring for doesn't really need your help so much, but mainly just needs attention?