A life was sacrificed........so that another could have a life!

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That's my new motto. "A life was sacrificed, so that another could have a life". My father died when I was 15 years old and that dictated the path that my life would take. My life long duty was to care for my mother. Here I am at 54 years of age and I am still doing it. I never married and have lived with my mother all my life. It was not bad when my mother was younger, but now I cannot do anything. My mother does not want me out of her sight. She is 88 years old and in not good health. I get no help from my sisters. As a matter of fact, I recently "told off" my oldest sister for not helping. She is retired and took on another job and claims she has no free time, even though she is off on weekends. I had to quit my job to care for my mother. I told my sister that she should have quit working and let me continue to work. Her answer was that I could have put my mother in a home......this coming from my sister who has said she fears ending up in a rest home when she gets older, but it's okay for her to say to put our mother in a home. I told her when my mother dies that I will never have anything to do with her again. My sister sees how my life is.....the 24/7 servitude to my mother and I get no help. I get no breaks. No one will help on a weekend to let me get some fresh air. I have told my mother when I die....I will probably become a saint for all that I go through and all that I have done. I told my mother that I have given up my life....so that she could have a life. She does not care about my life.....as long as I was there for her all those years is all that she wanted. Whats happens to me in the end? I've sacrificed so much. Is this fair to me?


Roscoe888, I am very sympathetic to the state of burnout you are in. Caregiving might not be the hardest job in the world, but I sure can't think of what might be harder!

I know that caregiving is genuinely hard physically and emotionally. It is not hard just because of your attitude. But I do want to comment on your attitude:

"I had to quit my job to care for my mother." -- Why did you "have to"? I don't mean why did she have to have care, I mean why did you have to personally provide it? Did you investigate getting some in-home care so that you could continue to work? Did you consider care center options? Is Mom eligible for any aid programs?

"My mother does not want me out of her sight." And why do you think it is your responsibility to give Mother everything she wants? Isn't what YOU want important, too? You do not want to be continuously within her sight. So why aren't you respecting what you want? Why does it always have to be what Mother wants? You are 54 and she is 88 -- your relationship should be adult-to-adult.

You feel like you've sacrificed your life so that another could have a life. Why did you do that? Your mother's life is important and valuable. But isn't your life important and valuable, too? What justifies sacrificing your life for hers?

Your oldest sister made a choice. She is in charge of her actions. You, too could have -- and still can -- make a choice. The only behavior you can control is your own. Telling your sister she should quit her job, and telling your mother that you have given up your life gets you nowhere.

You may live another 40 years or more. What could you be doing now to help ensure those years will be fulfilling for you (as you deserve!)? 24/7 servitude doesn't allow for much preparation for the future, does it?

So instead of blaming your sisters or complaining to your mother, what steps can you take right now to change that servitude status? You do not "have to" continue to devote 24/7 to your mother's care. Really. If you choose to do it, that is fine. But then acknowledge it is your choice.

It is too bad your sisters aren't helping. It is too bad your mother is not grateful. Life is not fair. But you do have some options. I urge you to start exploring how you can make your current situation better.
I live almost the same exact life you do, other than I did marry and had one child. I wish you had one as they make a huge difference. I do not know if your mother has any money or property that is to be inherited by your or all of your siblings, but if she does, tell the siblings you are going to have to start spending it for in home care or a nursing home and you may see some help arrive!

My siblings never listened to my pleas for help. Mom was hospitalized and went crazy and they had to put her on all kinds of drugs. I was there day and night but not the siblings, they had work. As soon as I mentioned putting Mom into a home and the fact that after 7 years I cannot take it anymore, I have now just begun to get help from one of them, in the evening and some on weekends.

I know exactly where you are coming from and it sucks.....you are the sacrificial lamb.
Does Mom have any money? The only way this will ever be even sort of fair is if you are getting paid to care for her. Please set up an official caregiver agreement so that it will not interfere with her qualifying for Medicaid should that ever be needed.

I don't know about you, but I know I'm just a little bit happier to do a job if I'm being paid to do it. It makes me feel appreciated.
I do not need any money. I am a self made millionaire (I hate to describe it that way).Yes, I quit my job although I did not need to work. It's just the principle of it all with me quitting while my much older sister who retired from her job and is now working another job won't help at all. I have a ton of money in the bank and am not flashy about it at all. We live a very average life. I am a stay at home caregiver at the mercy of my mother. I am her robot......her constant companion.......her guardian........her protector. This is how my life was "programmed". This is what my mother expects and wants. I have no life of my own. As I have said......I have sacrificed my life. I never had a desire to get married. I have too much at stake in case of a divorce. I have many chances to date or have female friends, but my mother is in control. Yes, it sounds crazy, but that's the way it is......my mother is jealous of any lady I go out with. Now you all know why I am bitter. My mother was not this bad with things when she was younger. As she got older......the worse things got.
Roscoe, you're in this situation because you're allowing your mom to control you. Since you have the money, get some counseling to understand how to break out of this self-made prison. So your mom is unhappy if you go out. So what? Let her be mad. Let her scream or pout or whatever she does. And you continue to go about building a life independent of her.

I'm single, never married, no kids and 63. So I get all of that. I took care of my dad and mom (and now just my mom) for the past 12 years. But I've built a life with friends and will continue to do that. My mom is happy for me and I'm blessed. But even if she wasn't, I'd still do it, because I need it for my own mental health.

You're only imprisoned because you're letting your mom control you. Why? Get some counseling so you can learn how to take back control of your life. It won't be easy, but you can do it! We're here to support you.
meh, im a self made pauper but ' forces ' placed my mom and i together for the last 6 years of her life and i feel very complete to have been there for her. we ate more pills than the original lynnerd skynnerd band. we was gellin like felons. lol..
Wow, Roscoe! If you don't want to be under your mother's control, don't be. If you want to be, don't also claim the privilege of being bitter about your choice.

You are a millionaire, and you expect your sister to quit her job??!! Whoa!

If you truly feel helpless to get out from under mommy's control, please, please see a therapist. If that is how you were programmed, that is sad. You deserve some help getting deprogrammed. You should be happy that your sister escaped this programming, not trying to impose it on her.

Why don't you just hire some in-home care, so you can count on going out for fresh air? It is REALLY hard to understand your problem and your bitterness.
Wow indeed! I think you definitely need to see a counselor. It appears to me that you think everyone is trying to "rip you off".. Don't use your money to get home Mom in a skilled nursing home, she probably qualifies on her own.

I feel I'm speaking for everyone on this site when I say, it's hard to sympathize with you when you have many other options. You're the one choosing not to seek them..

Enough said: I'm getting pissed off...
Dear Roscoe,
I hear you, I am surprised at the response of people on this forum that prides itself on being non judgmental. It seems that does not apply to millionaires and that you have “started pissing people off”.

Being overwhelmed is not exclusively for the poor. I agree with the prior posts that you may be well served to see a therapist. You sound overwhelmed and depressed. There are plenty of filthy rich celebrities that end their own enviable fantasy lives, this is testimony that feelings are no less real because of the size of your bank account.

If you are financially secure, do not expect your sister to risk her security by quitting her job, having said that that is no excuse for your sister not to relieve you on some of her off hours, or to be involved in her mom’s care, at least emotionally.

You need some time to yourself, whether sis sits in for you, or you use mom’s money for respite care. The first thing you need to schedule is a consultation with a therapist, and then schedule ongoing visits for your mental health care.

The second thing you need to schedule is some personal time, even if you do not know what to do with it. Take 4 hours a week, to start. Go to the mall, go to the spa, lunch or dinner with a friend you have lost touch with. Even if you do not have plans, take your time, you will eventually redefine a slice of your life.

As a self made millionaire, I think you must have a good set of skills to draw on. Lazy wussies do not become self made millionaires – so I suspect you have a strong work ethic and inner strength. You may have lost yourself in the situation. You may have made choices of caring for mom over seeking your own family, or perhaps love did not find you. I know a few ladies that sought family from their 20s to their 50s and in somehow eluded them. I for one did not find love until my 40s.

You are not worried about money, which I celebrate, but remember, you also do not have children, so your funds need to provide for your long term care – make sure you are looking out after your own old age.

Each of us has different blessings; looks, strength, intellect, wealth, children, friends, supportive spouse, etc. Identify your strengths and rebuild your life on them. The only thing worse than being upset about sacrificing your past, is to give up on your future.

Regardless of what mom or other family members say you deserve and will need to take personal time.

I always say money does not buy happiness, but it affords you possibilities to deal with problems. Money can buy therapy, respite and trips to look forward to. Start investing in your future.

Best wishes to you.
How are self made millionaires made? I would really like to know the secret.'I can't tell you how many times that I have thought is I had the money I would bring in all the help mom needs at my expense. Then maybe the sibling relationships could return to as they once were, which wasn't strong, always somewhat dysfunctional. Instead I have given up work, completed a master's degree on student loans to try to make myself more marketable, and caring for mom for more than two years now, all to benefit self-centered siblings that are more concerned about inheritance than the sister doing everything and on the brink of losing everything.

Pardon my cynicism, but please tell me how to be a self made millionaire when thus job is over.

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