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**CAUTION--RANT**
My 71 year old mother has lived with me for almost a year. She has multiple health issues, none of which are as bad as she would like you to think. If you were to ask her, she is dying any minute. (If you are old enough, think Sanford and Son-- Elizabeth, its the big one! I'm comin' to join you honey!) I have been dealing with her "health" since I was 15. Everything is a major crisis. To top it off, she could be a travel agent for the guilt trip. Every conversation starts with "You just don't know how bad I feel" or "You just don't understand" Up until December I worked full time, and she was perfectly content being home alone during the day. I was laid off before Christmas, and now since then she has decided that she cannot be alone. I can barely be out of her sight, let alone leave the house. With that said, she sleeps all day and most of the night but if she wakes and yells for me and I'm not here to answer all hell breaks loose. My husband works third shift so he sleeps during the day, my 16 year old daughter is in school all day. No one can wrap their brains around the fact that I am losing my ever loving mind! I have worked since I was 15, these 3+ months of being stuck at home are about to kill me. Every time I mention going back to work the guilt trips start again. "I just can't be alone, what am I supposed to do?" Perfect example would be tonight. I took my daughter to a function, there was a gap of 66 minutes between my husband leaving for work and us getting back home. She soiled herself. I asked her why? "Well I walked to the bathroom, and went in, but I thought I might get dizzy sitting there and you weren't here so I went back to the bedroom. I just couldn't hold it anymore". Now keep in mind, she has a bedside commode in her bedroom, and the bathroom she walked to is 12 feet down the hallway.
I feel like I am a lousy person because I get angry. I try not to let it come out in my voice, but I know sometimes it does. I feel like she is sucking the life out of me with the constant and I mean CONSTANT negativity. She is not a half full/half empty person, she is an OMG, its almost gone and I'm going to die of thirst and what am I going to do if I'm all alone and the last drop of water evaporates and you aren't here for 30 seconds to fill it back up for me" kind of person.
I guess the purpose in this rant is the hope that PLEASE... there has to be someone else on the planet that can relate? Or am I really the horrible daughter that I feel like right now??

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Marion Captain was caregiver to his mother until her death and is now caregiving his elderly aunt. He's a bit rough around the edges (no disrespect, sometimes hilarious in his comments) but he means well.

Vicky I feel for you. I sold my home, quit my career and moved 200km to care for my narcissistic, manipulative, mean & spiteful mother for four hellish years. She's been that way always and I've spent most of my life avoiding her. She's been in a NH for 18 months now (Parkinsons, stroke & dementia), now unable to sit up or stand. I visit and ensure she has all she needs but after a lifetime of stress, pain and anguish I'm still in "recovery" mode and I have no guilt or feeling for her at all. She's safe, well cared for and I've done my duty. That's all that matters.
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Captain, your comments were demeaning and cruel. I don't know what your situation is, but until you have been thrown into this position, you really have no idea how torturous it can be! Please try to be kind when someone is reaching out for support!
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LOL to keep from crying with you! You are NOT alone! I can definitely relate! It's not that my mom is too negative or demanding -- it's just the CONSTANT dependence on me! Being the only sibling in the area - i live a couple of blocks from my 95-yr-old mom, who is too "able" to get in-home assistance -- she has NO major health issues other than that she's had 2 hip and 1 kinee replacements several years ago, but since a couple of years before my stepdad died 6 yrs ago, i have been the only source of hair appts, dr/dentist appts, mail call, etc, etc.. etc. --- on & on & on ---I have 2 other siblings who live far away, so it is, and has been, all on me. And, like you, there are some days i am sooooo full of anger & resentment, and then i feel sooooo guilty - like the horrible daughter, which i never was after my parents divorced when i was 5 & lived from that time on with either my paternal grandmother, then my dad & stepmom when he remarried. My husband of 40 yrs passed away suddenly last year, and i am struggling to cope with that tremendous loss, which i know affected my mom too, but i have a hard time feeling sympathy for her. I agree with the other comments that you need to re-establish priority of your husband & child in your life. It is a balancing act, but i had to make that decision when my husband decided to reitre. YOUR FAMILY needs and deserves YOU as much as you need & deserve THEM! They MUST come FIRST the majority of the time, while i realize there will be times when your mom's care will take priority -- but it should not be all the time. It is not healthy for anyone - young or old - to be allowed to manipulate and get their own way all the time. Is there any way you can tell your brother he will have to move out of her home unless he starts helping with your mom? Maybe you could move her back in with him? Good luck --- & remember that you won't be any good to anyone unless you start taking care of yourself!
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Captain, there is no "IF" VickiRN is indeed an RN. I am licensed in the state of IL. My mother is not a "subject" for me to practice on. If you are implying that I am not a good nor talented nurse, that is truly your opinion and you are entitled to such. My nursing skills nor my impression of myself will be demeaned by someone that doesn't know me. The situation at hand is as I have explained it.
My mother's "situation" of being manipulative and demanding are not things that are going to be "turned around" at her age of 71 and in her current health situation. There is no amount of schooling that is going to adjust that, as determined by the multitude of physicians that have treated her over the years. As far as this being a "one sided story" it was my understanding of this site, that as a caregiver, I was able to put MY side of the story out there and not be judged. I'm not asking you or anyone else for that matter to "buy" what I have said, as I was not trying to "sell" anything. I have no argument that there are ways to improve MY reaction to my mother, that is for me to learn. Your "opinion" in just that, an opinion. I live the reality of the situation daily. When you have walked a day in my shoes, then you can judge the reality of how things are in my household. Until then, I would appreciate if you have nothing helpful or useful to say, you avoid my posts.
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Pack her bags, drop her off at an ALF or nursing home (a decent one of course) then start living your life again. You are not the only one suffering, your family is too. If you are a co dependent to this behavior, you have yourself to blame. You can go to the ALF and visit often, take care of her by looking out for her, being het advocate and so on. Right now you are letting her destroy your health (emotional and maybe physical) there is no need for that. Some people on here question whether you are a nurse, I understand that. I am an LPN (for 26 years) and now back in school for RN. It just goes to show you that anyone can become co dependent. Save yourself.
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Vent away, IamVickiRN. It does help a lot. We get in a habit of giving advice here. But we know sometimes you just need to talk. The part about your brother staying at your mother's house and her supporting him made me mad -- not for me, but for you. I found myself asking why isn't HE taking care of her in her own house, or at least helping. I have the feeling that you are the person to carry the weight of the family on your shoulders.

My mother is a drama queen. She can be very sweet, but every day she is about to die at any moment. If she wants another pill and I say no, she carries on that she is about to die. Do I want her to die? It is so unpleasant and my blood pressure can get very high when she does it. I've been going through it for four years now, but only recently did I look to find a place for her. I found a good place, but she wants to stay at home. She doesn't like people, so doesn't have a strong push to be with people her own age. We'll have to see how everything goes. My thoughts on this are if I owe my happiness and health to her just so she can be so unhappy in her own house. If she were happy, it would be one thing. But there is really no reason to harm myself so she can be unhappy. It took me 4 years to get to this point, so I understand where you are coming from.

I have two brothers who call occasionally. They don't care much if we live or die here, so I don't depend on them. I don't know why there is often only one person to take the load on their shoulders. And I don't know why we feel that we need to. Sometimes I think I must be crazy. I'm 62 and need to be enjoying my life, instead of doing what I do. But I know if I don't, then it will be hard on everyone in the family. I guess you could say that caregivers are the supporting stones in the family. The problem is figuring out how much weight we can carry and for how long without any help.

Forgive the rambling. I am just thinking out loud.
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if vickiRN is indeed an rn, i think her mother would be a great subject to hone her nursing skill set on. mother may have physical and mental problems that require a good talented nurse to help her correct them. turn your mothers situation around for her or take additional schooling until you have the ability to do so.
this was a one sided story where mom produced all the problems. i dont buy it as i know in a room full of people with a bad situation, every single one in the room could be an instrument for improvement. vickirn, imo its your job to find, analize and formulate a multipoint plan for unf***ink the household.
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Senior housing - mom has to go there ASAP. Your home is your sanctuary. You deserve space, time, and the freedom to all be yourselves at home. My mom is much the same and she didn't last a month in my home. I suggest a community where she can stay as her needs increase - continuum care. Expect fits, threats, award winning drama, and episodes of all stripes in the process. It's normal and you can get through it. It is not the end of the world. This sounds bossy of me, but put your husband and child relationships back on top as well as your own life. This is not deserting mom or abandoning her or being rebellious. This part of life takes a lot of people by surprise and the necessary changes aren't fun or pretty, but no less necessary.

Good luck out there & don't forget to let us know how it's going!
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I hear all of you, and I understand what you are saying, and I would be giving the same advice to anyone else. The problem is, she is my MOM. I don't know that I can put her on a shelf in a home somewhere because she is difficult or its inconvenient, etc. As I mentioned, I have been dealing with her since I was 15, I am 43 now. That's 28 years. That's a lifetime of guilt trips and "oh poor me's" that have been drilled in to me. I'm also a nurse. I am expected to take care of her. I have 2 siblings, both do absolutely nothing for her. She fully supports the oldest sibling, I mean literally, fully supports him. He lives in her house, she pays all the bills and provides a vehicle for him while he sits there doing nothing. My other sibling lives a distance away, he at least calls and checks on her, and has been here to see her a couple of times. With all that said, she can't afford assisted living because she spends her whole check on making sure the older sibling is taken care of. I support my mom in every way. I buy her meds, food, clothing, whatever. It is a very difficult situation to be in because it is straining my relationship with my husband and daughter, also. I'm exhausted all the time. I'm grouchy and angry and they get the brunt of it. My husband and I have no time together, we can't get out of the house unless my daughter stays here. We can't do anything as a family because someone has to be here with mom. She also likes to try and play us against each other. She is very manipulative. She likes to say "-----" said (fill in the blank) about a/b/c. just to see if she can stir up trouble. She tried that on my daughter last week and I lost my mind. I did truly snap that day, and I let her know in no uncertain terms that she would not be allowed to guilt trip my daughter the way she has me my whole life, the guilt trip train stops with me. Of course she "just don't understand why I'm so upset". Then the tears, then the "I can leave if you are that unhappy with me being here"... blah blah blah. I am truly burned out, I appreciate being able to throw all this out and have some understanding that I'm not alone. I hope that maybe just getting some of this off my chest will alleviate a bit of the burden. Thank you all for "listening".
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I agree with those who say she needs to be somewhere -- ANYWHERE! -- else but sucking the life force out of you.

I hear you, I hear you, I hear you...when you say you get angry. That's me as of the last couple of years (and my Mom doesn't live with me!) I honestly don't know how other people do it with a smile on their face, and a pleasant tone in their voice. One such friend of mine, who looked after her dying mother at home for a few years (toilet, feeding, putting up with her mother's biting sarcasm) speaks of this time with a great deal of gratitude and serenity. Go figure.

It's a mystery to me how some caregivers can remain so calm -- not only out in public, but when even no one's looking.

I say "Ranting allowed! You are NOT alone!" And "Your Mom needs to be somewhere else; you need to get your life back."
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She needs to be in a nursing home or ALF and you need to go back to work. The more you run when she yells, the more she'll yell and it will only get worse. For all your sakes you need to consider your options NOW. Your mother could live another 10 or 15 years. Consider how you'd handle that if you're going out of your mind after just three months.
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I read your mother has lung disease. It seems to do so much to the body and personality. I don't know how serious the disease is. I've noticed a lot of the people with breathing problems can be among the most difficult people. It saps their strength and makes a vacuum grow out of them that sucks up the lives and feelings of people around them. I wondered what your mother was doing to manage her lung disease. Sleeping all day and night doesn't sound like a good remedy to me.

You are in a terrible position and I sympathize so much with you. I agree with the others that you need to do what is right for you, which seems to be find another job. Your mother sounds like a good candidate for assisted living if she can afford it. There's no reason for you to stay home while she sleeps all the time. I'm sure your family is not so happy with the arrangement, either. It may be that being around other people in AL will put some life back into your mother.

I know how hard these things are to do. We can't make our parents do what they don't want to. You do need to make some changes for her sake and yours. It sounds like she has many years ahead of her. I don't know how well you could handle that if she becomes progressively more inclined not to do anything. Good luck and let us know what is going on.
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She has you completely snowed. Tell her if she needs around the clock care, you want her to be in a NH, where that can happen. Then, take her to go meet with the administrator. She will end up killing you, with all of her shenanigans. 71 doesn't have to be that old.
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IamVickiRN, I suggest you start working toward going back to work, somewhere, at something. Being oncall 24/7 with Mom really will suck the life out of you.

If Mother "needs" care while you are working, work with her to determine what the options are and what she can afford. When she realizes that her pension will have to go toward having in-home help that may help her prioritize what she really needs.

It is also possible that her decision that she can't be alone is based on a change in her condition. As you describe her behavior, I wonder if genuine dementia has joined her real, quasi, and pseudo illnesses. If that is the case, perhaps she really does need more supervision/encouragement/assistance than she used to. Perhaps, in fact, she would do better in a care facility. You could visit often as her loving daughter and not as her full-time caregiver. You could leave when the conversation just got too negative for your own mental health.

I LOVE the way you describe her brand of pessimism!
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Hi Captain, thanks for the reply.
She takes depression medication, anxiety medication, pain pills, nausea meds, if there is a pill for it, she wants it and she takes it. I'm starting to think *I* am the one that needs to be medicated! :)
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my aunt is taking 40 mg of paxil a day. it must be a good drug for her because she is anything but negative.
depression largely destroys relationships. being dragged into someone elses quagmire is infuriating. id suggest slipping doc a note about your mothers depression. he can do more with anti depressants based on the carers input than on the unreliable ( denial ) of the patient.
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