Feeling trapped and angry.

Started by


Posted too soon, sorry.
Eighteen months ago I left my home and husband in Ireland to come to the UK to care for my Mother. My Dad has had to go in to a residential home with severe dementia, for many years he was my Mums carer but his health and mental state had declined to a point where he couldn't go on. I came over to help out and have found myself trapped here ever since. My Mum won't hear of any kind of help other than mine. I have not been home once in this time as she loses it if it's even mentioned, accusing me of leaving her to starve and piling on the emotional blackmail. I am exhausted and fearful for my marriage and my long term health.
I don't know where to turn as my brothers think everything is fine and I should want to be here. I don't I want to be at home with my husband having my own life. I feel horrendously guilty and selfish for admitting that. I fear I'm heading for some kind of breakdown.
Where are the Brothers? Why don't they move in with Mom er, Mum. Are you getting dumped on with this because you're the "Girl"? You cannot let yourself be emotionally blacked mailed by Mum and the brothers. Be strong, tell Mum and the boys you are not going to sacrifice your life and family. Get Mum in home help or assisted living. She'll yell and whine but it sounds like she will no matter what you do. Save yourself!
The position your mother is putting you in is most unfair. You need to be with your husband before that relationship is gone. I am surprised your husband has not put his foot down already. He is probably lonely. It sounds like you and your brothers need to have a meeting to decide what needs to be done so you can leave and go home. Your brothers probably appreciate you, since it has freed them from the worry about what to do about your mother. It sounds like it is time for them to step up to the plate to help.

Your mother probably is more comfortable with you than anyone else, but it does not give her the right to do what she is doing to you. I don't understand why parents do this to their children. It is like asking them to donate their lives so you won't have to face inconvenience. I have the feeling your mother would do well in a senior community if the sons will not share the responsibility. You are important and need to be able to live your own life. Your mother may live many more years and I wonder what would be left of your own life by then.

Sometimes it is not all about them. The caregivers are equally important.
Oops -- brain slip. I meant to write "It is like asking the children to donate their lives so the parents won't have to face inconvenience."
I'm not familiar with what's available in the UK. I think the first step is to try to get your mom to visit the doctor and you go with her. Or can you do a consultation with a doctor who specializes in elderly care? A Geriatrician is usually more amenable in helping the elderly than a regular General Practitioner doctor. Lay out your situation and say that it's time you move back home to Ireland. What are the options for your mother? Ask the doctor for recommendation or organizations that would help you. Also mention - if your brothers do live in the UK - that your brothers will be able to be there for her in case of an emergency.

Or you can call around and ask for advice/recommendations. If you're able to get all your ducks in a row - places, costs, etc... - you will be better prepared with regards to your mom, brothers. Is your mom able to care for herself and just have someone from the caregiver's association or nursing to drop by and check on her?

I also think that once in a while to mention to your mom that you will be going back home soon. Don't give a date because that would restrict you. If you don't leave when you said you would, your mom would think you're bluffing and won't take you seriously.
At least you recognize it as emotional blackmail. And you have been accepting this treatment for a year and a half? Holy cow! If you are old enough to be married you are certainly old enough to run your own life. Mum will get mad if you visit your own home for a few days? So what? Aren't you mad at feeling trapped? Why is it your responsibility to keep her from feeling mad, when you yourself are constantly being disregarded?

If your marriage doesn't survive this, do not blame your mother.-Look in the mirror. Giving in to blackmailers seldom ends well.

Short of a jail, no power could have kept me away from my own home and my husband for 18 months. That is just totally unacceptable. I am sorry that you have a selfish mother. Too bad you are going to the unhealthy opposite extreme.

But. You have come to realize that something else needs to be done. Good for you! But you can't just leave your mother to be on her own. What to do? One way to approach this is to think about what would happen if you were run over by an ale lorry next week, and were in hospital in traction for six months? What would happen to your mother then? How much of that could be brought to pass now?

Of course Mum likes YOU to take care of her. But that is not the only option. I don't know what is available in the UK, but I'll bet your and your brothers could figure that out in short order if you are serious about ending the blackmail.
I think in your situation, i would write to my brothers and tell them that i have to go home in two weeks, that I've taken my turn and it's their turn to "step up". Then I'd do it.

Not sure what is available in Ireland, but if you died, your mom would most likely have societal support, wouldn't she. You may need to take yourself out of the equation for the support to appear.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support