Just found this forum and boy do I need it! :o)
Let me apologize in advance for the long post that's about to ensue. I've been caring for my mother in various capacities for over 20 years. She's 90 now and never drove or led an independent life and we live together. She was never proactive in her own well-being and somehow I took it on. (Where was my crystal ball, lol.) I don't work and have constant responsibility for her. I manage every aspect of her life which includes figuring out all of her sensitivities to meds, fragrances, foods, supplements and whatever else is left. :o( She has no participation in this. She is able to do so but there is absolutely nothing, even threats, that will change her actions. Believe me, I've tried EVERYTHING! So, she is who she is, will not change, and I have to figure it all out, pick up the pieces when she does things she's not supposed to, gets injured, sick, or whatever else that happens that could have easily been preventable. The bottom line is, I just don't want to do it ANYMORE! I do have caregivers that come in the house, for which I am grateful, but the bulk is still on me. Last night she was sobbing for hours and had bathroom issues. Yesterday she smelled gas in the house (there was no smell) and had doors and windows open while it was cold outside and continued to complain the her nose is burning. (Not stuff I haven't experienced with her before.) Every day it's either too hot in the house or too cold so the thermostat continually gets adjusted. If it's too hot, she can't breathe. "I need air, I need air." The list just goes on and on. She will do absolutely nothing to make this any easier on me yet she'll say that she doesn't want me to get sick. Today I told her how stressed I am and her typical response was, "Not because of me." She's in la la land and will probably stay there but I need to find some ways of coping when you just don't want to do it anymore. There are some support groups I've gone to but I need more frequency than once a month. I've talked to counselors but I'm not getting anywhere. I need to get some kind of life for myself (not sure I know what that is) before I totally lose it and I think I'm pretty close to that. I've read a lot of comments you all have shared about not having the kind of support from friends or family that is actually helpful and that is the case for me as well. If I never had to do another thing for my mother, that would be too soon. I really don't just want to rant, I am wanting to find coping mechanisms on a day to day basis when I feel I just can't do it any longer. I have aged so much in the past 2 years especially. My health is suffering. The anger and resentment are unsurmountable as she continues to take absolutely no responsibility for her well-being yet will complain about getting older and that she can't understand how she got this way. The really sad thing is that her physical problems can be greatly improved but she absolutely will not do what is necessary to achieve that. I'm a very pro-active person and for years I would be constantly encouraging her to take charge of her health. Part of me doing that so persistently was because I wanted to avoid caring for her in even greater capacities which apparently hasn't worked. Well, you can't get through to someone who doesn't want to hear it. I have gotten myself sick over the years in trying to help her. Then, something will happen to her and I have to find the solutions where again, she won't participate in. Of course there's so much more to the story but I know all of you really get it. At this point, I want to find ways to not be bothered or be less bothered by her voice, her requests, her neediness, her outcries, her illnesses and just about everything else about her, lol. I'm open to hearing anything you might want to share. Thanks so much for listening! You guys are great!