Help, I'm losing it with my Mom and feel I can't handle it anymore.

Started by

My mom wont accept or even talk about getting help from someone on the outside. Im the only daughter, and I get all her anger frustration...she wont respect my boundries,,,I got so frustrated tonight she plugged her ears and didnt want to listen to me when I told her I need to get someone else to help me with he needs. I work full time and do not live close...I grabbed her hand and squeezed it as hard as I could so she would listen, Ive never done that before, Im at my wits end...


Yup, you really can't handle it any more without some changes. You MUST have some respite. It is not optional. You need some time to yourself, and time with friends.

Please give us a little more information about your situation. Do you live with Mom? Her house or yours? What is her impairment? Does she have dementia? How long have you been caring for her? How old is she?

We pretty much all know what it feels like to get so frustrated we do things we wish we hadn't. Give us a little more background so our responses can be more specific.
Chances are your mom does have dementia and would have not resorted to immature and avoidant ways of trying to deal with a problem in the past. (Or, she has always had a serious personality disorder.) Either way, the hard part is realizing that you have to take charge and not let Mom and her unreasonableness be in charge. Otherwise, you may find yourself doing those things out of sheer frustration that could be construed as abuse because you are trying to make Mom be reasonable and she can't or won't. I'm hoping this was not so much that you actually bruised or injured her, that would make this cross the line from urgent to emergent.

Either way, there has got to be help available and you can't really await Mom's permission to access it. Mom would like to avoid reality, but that is not going to work as a real strategy. Recognizing that you are on the edge with fear and worry is a first step. I hope you feel empowered to take the next steps, however hard they may be!
I am glad that you recognized you need help. Squeezing your mother's hand as hard as you could may break the bones of her hands. I know you don't want to do that. It would be better to stay away from her than to risk being angry enough to abuse her. I am glad you knew it was time to do something.

Let us know what might be wrong with your mother. Can she still live independently, or do she need assisted living or a nursing facility?

One thing you might try to do in bringing in outside help is not to ask your mother. Instead give her a choice between two things, depending on what her needs are. Does she want Company A or Company B, etc. If she says neither, tell her it isn't an option. We can all understand why your mother wants to hold on to her independence, but sometimes it's just not an option anymore. The good thing is that a lot of the time the changes made are enjoyable. She may like the people coming in.

Good luck. I like your honesty so much. The frustration can be terrible at times.
Do what is best for you! If getting outside help is needed... do it. Get a doctor's order for outside help and tell your mother that a doctor ordered professional caregivers to assist her. It takes the blame off of you and on the doctor. And take a vacation. You can't help her if you get sick or run down yourself. You deserve a break!
Thank you for all your input and encouragement, I have tried to give her options, and choices, but its never the right time, she puts it off, or keeps finding other things she needs that keeps avoiding it. I love my mom and care about her, she does have borderline personality disorder, depression, fibromylagia. I have gone to counseling, which helped for awhile but stopped because its seems I dont have time for anything anymore. She accuses me of never doing anything fun or taking care of myself, but when I try I get the guilt trip, or there is always some so call crisis.....she went to an inpatient geriatric program about 4 months ago..and got shock treatments, kind of helped..she is getting vitamin B-12 shots to give her more energy. Helping a little so far. My husband has been majorly depressed due to and L and I he had at his job....I feel I need to spend more time with mom and him dont get along which makes it hard....there is so much to this situation...sorry for rambling...but thanks for listening
Her MD may order a visiting nurse if she needs one. Go with her on her next MD visit and start the conversation with him. You can also go to for a list of senior services.
Once, many years ago, when we were dealing with the aftermath of my husband's parents' gradual decompensation, during which they refused help from us, from any home health agency and even hubby's BIL who even had police called on them and him...a city social worker who had to get involved said something I did not like one bit. I was expressing regret that MIL did not have any say in what was happening to her next - a geropsych then a nursing home after FIL died. She said, "Choices are for healthy people." Now to some extent that's not right, of course, people should have choices, whatever their disability, but within limits. We are by law not allowed to make certain choices that seriously injure innocent fellow human beings or put innocent parties into liability for the consequences. And once we are not competent to make reasonable choices, someone else has to take charge which means respecting their wishes as far as reasonably possible, but no further. This is not easy. Sometimes it can be done as matter of persuasion and practicality, sometimes it takes getting guardianship when that's possible...never easy on anyone.

What I am trying to say is unwrap some of those layers of guilt about telling mom certain things have to be, that she just can't have everything they way she wants because it is just not possible or at least not reasonable and not working out. She doesn't want to face the changes, the reduction of her autonomy, the inability to pull all the strings and put all the blame on YOU, she's only human...and its not easy for you to change your role and the balance of power either.
VStefans is right. Your mom won't like what you are going to have to do. And you will have to do it anyway. That's hard for wimps like me. Go to your local Area agency on aging, probably the one suggested by PS. Maybe go back to your therapist with a goal of getting support through this crisis, not just "working on your issues." Getting help in spite of her lack of cooperation is the priority.

God bless you. It will be hard. Keep us posted and ask specific questions. We're on your side.
Thank you so much, I am a wimp, I try to set boundries, but get hooked in with the guilt, I have so many feelings, but have to be realistic about what I can do. I love her and care about her and at the same time feel like Im going crazy and just want to go away by myself and not have to deal with it. It helps to other peoples input who have gone through or are going through the same thing.
It's okay I have been really mad with my Mom and step dad one time I told them I felt they were taking full advantage of me I had the same problem with my Mom when I first started looking after her she cancel 4 times to see regular doctor but I told her if I am going to be your caregiver you need to go see your doctor for check ups then she would start crying and her husband would say has he raised his voice and rubbing her back don't threaten her I said I am not threatening but setting boundaries if I stay she goes to the doctor ? So he was still going on rubbing her back and babying her while she was crying so I was so mad and needed time out went for a walk and smoke then I came back and calmly said to my Mom I am sticking to what I said finally she said okay I will go this has happened even with the seniors out patient doctor and nurses to see for evaluating her etc persistent and calmly stating your boundaries and stick to it take a day off show them it works! Hope I gave you some hope! If you read my post I put yesterday
you will see what I go through and that's nothing there's more!

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