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My elderly mother feels my part time job is interferring in the time I spend with her and makes the attempt to emotionally manipulate me with feelings of guilt. She lives independently with COPD and a few mobility issues. She complains she never gets to see me and is lonely. My sister takes her weekly for grocery shopping which they both make a good time of. The time I spend with her is either for transportation or sitting around in her house expecting me to entertain her. I refuse to do any of her housekeeping because she can afford to hire someone to do it. She has no friends and will not consider any outside interests. I live an hours drive away and feel the free time I do have to be spent enjoying life's activities with her instead of being her taxi or in home entertainment committee. She entirely dismisses my suggestion of in home care. I have limited my time with her from once a week to once a month due to my job and her neediness codependency. She thinks it is due to my job and wants me to either limit my hours or quit to spend more time with her. My choosing to work is more for my self worth than financial. I also have responsibilities to my home, husband and pets. I want to be able to maintain a healthy balance in my life without her expecting me to utilize my time for her individual wants and needs. I want our time together to be enjoyable not regrettable. I have suggested many fun things to do, but she shows no interest. She has no dementia, views life negatively and has no interests other than reading and television.

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Help my Mom seems to want a surgery. I know she has pain and we are dealing with each new issue but even her Physical Therapist says she concentrates on it tooo much the pain. She was doing great and then the results came in from an MRI and they want to see her....... she went down hill fast, not able to do what she was doing for herself the day before. SHE HAS NOT HEARD THE RESULTS , HER APPT. IS NEXT WEEK! She seems to look for problems or acts worse than she really is different times gen. at bed time. One moment she can walk w/o much pain, bed time she can hardly make it down the hall etc. How do I handle this? I love my mom but she does not follow medical orders unless I push her.. then, accuses me of not caring . I am her only caregiver , sometimes my husband is "the remote to the remote". What can I do ?
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Ok everyone, time to refocus, take a step back and regroup. This site is mainly about support for those who have a mutual interest. We as caregivers, of any capacity, are here to advocate for each other and encourage strength in coping with the many issues that comes from caregiving. Empathy is the key ingredient in helping each other. Blunt words and having to defend oneself from perceived verbal attacks, helps no one. We are all in this together!
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I posted in support of Debralee's right to vent. I think I explained my position pretty well on all things in all my posts. Did I go on the attack? Yes I did. I do get angry when I see someone else attacked. I suppose I could have waited until I cooled down, I did think about that, but then I decided to get in there quickly so that Debralee would know that she was supported.

About the rag comment, it's a very common saying, at least around here, and not so much about being on a period as being about angry/mean/irritable. I am sorry that it offended you, and if it offended any others, I apologize to them as well.

But honestly, when I read the rest of my post, I cannot find anything else to apologize for. I believe that I held back a lot and explained things very well.

I don't understand why you think you were included Jeanne, you were not there when I wrote that. I have almost always liked the things you write, they are common sense and straight forward, and you understand boundaries. You don't tell anyone what to do, you suggest, you share your stories. You understand we are all different.

You are right about tolerance in the threads lately, I think we are all on edge and finding it difficult. Maybe it's spring. I will try to take a deep breath, calm myself before posting comments, and tone things down.

Thank you emjo for your support.
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Enough, please. This thread was started by Debralee in order to vent about her situation.
She and some of us felt she was not supported in that, and posted in support support her. Perhaps the best words were not always used, but the intent to support was clearly there in some posts, and clearly not there in others.
Can we leave it at this,
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Oh, I understand that you perceived it as an attack. What I can't figure out is how you interpreted it as a demand to do exactly as the poster does. Huh?

In defending one caregiver you viciously attacked another caregiver, also from a dysfunctional family (if that matters). And your accusations were not even on target. Maybe JessieBelle was too abrupt. Maybe she was wrong. But I can't see how she could be interpreted as demanding conformance to her choices.

And I am not "on the rag" (a phrase I find crude) -- haven't been for more than 20 years. (Actually, I never was. That was my mother's generation.) I would prefer not to be lumped into some stereotyped category. Disagree with me, certainly. Disagree with Jessie and anyone else on this thread. I'd sure like to see a little higher level of tolerance and respect.

(And I'll admit I have the advantage of a mother who modeled tolerance and respect. Even at that I don't always manage it myself.)
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I read it and perceived it as an attack. I'm not the only one.
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Could I ask you a favor, PamelaSue? Would you reread the posts in this thread and see if there really is someone "DEMANDING that someone less strong do exactly what you do." Because I don't see that at all. What did I miss?
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Wow! That's the spirit, Debralee! Now apply that attitude where it will do the most good ... in your relationship with your mother.

I'm sorry that JessieBelle's post offended you, because I fully agree with her. If you don't want to be a caregiver, don't be a caregiver. I'd go a little further and advise you to set strong boundaries around what you do for your mother.

Your sister seems to have figured out a way to have weekly contact with your mother that is somewhat pleasant for both of them. IF YOU WANT TO you could probably do something similar. If you don't want to, because of the nature of your relationship growing up, that is perfectly fine, too. Be a caregiver. Don't be a caregiver. Devote two hours a week to time with your mother. Devote one hour a month to time with your mother. Don't spend any regular time with your mother at all. It is your choice, your decision, and whatever you decide is justified.

You won't do housecleaning for your mother, because she can afford to hire it done? Excellent! Stick to that decision! You've suggested fun things to do together and she turns them down? Ask for her suggestions. If she suggests you clean out her cabinets, laugh and say, "No, something FUN for both of us!" If she can't think of anything, then you MIGHT go with the two interests you know she has. Are there any television shows you both like at a time that is convenient for you? Pass the popcorn or the wine bottle and laugh with her at the funny bits. Can you stand reading the kind of books she likes? Suggest reading the same books and having your own private book club, discussing them over a light supper.

Being a kind person and being a doormat are very, very different things. And it is never your duty to be a doormat, even to a parent who was loving and nurturing, let alone one who was abusive or neglectful.

You said, "I want to be able to maintain a healthy balance in my life without her expecting me to utilize my time for her individual wants and needs. I want our time together to be enjoyable not regrettable." Yes, exactly. That is a very healthy and reasonable attitude. Do you want our approval? You have mine! (And I daresay everyone else who has posted her, including Jessie.) Do you want our permission to not do anything that doesn't fit into that healthy and reasonable decision? Again, I think you can count on that.

I hope that your next post will tell us how you are trying to set boundaries and stick up for yourself with your mother, and what kind of success you are having. I'd love to celebrate your successes and be encouraging when things aren't going so well.

And if someone tells you to fish or cut bait ... do it or don't do it, it is your choice, try not to take that as a personal attack. Sometimes a kick in the pants in the right direction is really a kindness. If you've followed JesseBelle's posts for very long you'll see that she is a compassionate person with lots of caregiving experience and lots of smarts. I usually see the wisdom in her remarks, and I sometimes don't agree with her, but she is definitely not a nasty, negative poster. Take her advice or reject it, but please don't consider it a personal attack.
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I'm glad you came back Debralee, I hope you realize that most of us here ARE supportive and caring. Sometimes we snap on a bad day, even I have done that and had to come back and apologize. But if you take a day to go through threads or just hang around you will get an idea just how much love is in this place when push comes to shove. It's like a family, we may not get along 100% of the time, but we still try to be there for each other.
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Thank you all for the positive feedback about my needing to vent. And for the others well, you got me angry enough to realize I don't have to take crap from anyone and don't have to be a doormat. This is my life and I can do with it what I want, when I want, with whom I want! No excuses and no explanations. I will continue to be a kind, respectful and helpful person, but not if it affects me in a negative way. Thanks all for helping me see a different perspective for my situations.
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JessieBelle, I feel like your first comment was harsh and uncalled for. I wish there was a way we could say thumbs down. When you put negative things out like that...it is truly disturbing to others.

Debralee, I personally can relate to many of the things you said and sadly I hope you can ignore the comments of those who may criticize. When I was caring for my Mom I asked her at one point what she did for her mother and she told me she did nothing. None the less, she wanted me to entertain her, to give up my life and my work and my family and friends. Earlier my Dad told me I could be his nursemaid. Well that's what I was, but while it was all creeping up on me slowly, one kindness after another, I noticed my brother and sister did nothing. My parents told me they never helped their parents or siblings. So, I came to this site to ask questions in my slowly increasing confusion...

I wondered why I was slowly losing my own health and my own financial stability that I worked all my life to establish. I wondered why I had lost friends and my own family members.

When you start out, it might seem simple. You may be coming from a very healthy place in life and slowly look around and find that you have lost your balance. It's OK to ask questions here, where ever you are on your path.

For those who have proceeded further down that path, it may be hard to acknowledge someone who is just beginning this journey. I say you should be always careful to take good care of yourself, ask for what you want in life, don't work to the point that you make yourself sick or financially disabled or that you alienate your own family and friends, because then you will be no good to anyone else.

Work from a position of kindness... do what you can and what is in your heart to do...

but don't do so much that you become a nasty bitter person. Clearly that's no good for anyone!

I just want you to know that to offset the critic, I am a supporter of you. Take care...
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PamelaSue......my heart goes out to you. The crap our parents and others heap on us definitely take a toll. There is nothing wrong with you sweetie. You are a brave, independent, strong woman. Congratulations on your accomplishments, for moving forward, and for taking the steps and the hard work to rid yourself of that self destructive behavior. Hugs to you.

This forum is for everyone who wants to vent about caregiving issues or ANYTHING related to the elderly. So, Debralee, when you want to vent and let off steam, we are here for you dear. My mother would also call me for mundane things....fold her clothes, organize her closets, dust, paint, open bottles, go buy her beer.....etc. And when I wasn't available to do these things, she would shoot me down, make me feel guilty, and bully me. Looking back twenty years ago, my parents were simply absent from my life. They didn't want me to come over to visit. I had small children and they didn't want the kids to bother them. So, they ignored me. What goes around comes around!
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I'm a live and let live kind of gal. Everyone has a right to post and everyone has a right to respond. The poster, once that submit button is pushed, has to be prepared for the responses. The responder, while free to say whatever, should consider what they say and how they say it. No judging, no bashing, no unkind remarks. IMHO, I think the golden rule would be an appropriate guideline. And it wouldn't hurt for all of us to just play nice every time we write.
There are so many wonderful people here. It warms my heart to read such compassionate posts and responses. ALL should feel welcome. At times, our comments could make a difference in someone's world I'd sure rather make someone feel better than to think I made things worse.
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If your look to the right of these comments you will see the words:
Join the Discussion
Have a question? Just need to vent? Find answers and support from the real experts - other caregivers!
Look at the Caregiver Forum Etiquette in the help center:
Keep your comments and posts to matters that concern caregiving. Don't discuss controversial topics – such as religion or politics – that might anger other caregivers. Don't use personal attacks, profanity, threats or offensive language. Keep it friendly and helpful!
That is why I have utilized this site! A place to vent! A place I can express my frustrations and feelings without making me look like some inhuman monster. A place where the burden of my guilt for how I feel can be lightened even if only temporary. In other words, a place of EMPATHY. How hard is it to reach out to someone with understanding without having to know all the details?
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I wish someone had protected you Christina. I wish someone had protected me. I wish someone had stood up and protected all of us. We deserved loving and giving and kind hearted mothers. All I'm doing is protecting those not ready to do so yet. I did it for kids in school when I worked, and I guess I'll always be doing it.

We don't all come to strength at the same time. Instead of DEMANDING that someone less strong do exactly what you do. Just share Your experiences from a non judgmental view.

Most people are not ready to cut their mother clean out of their lives like I did. I think it's the healthiest thing I ever did, I look at other women here and I wish they could, I hurt so bad for them. But either it's not right for them, or they are not where I am, or both. So I just lift them where they are so that they can eventually see what they want to do.
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And so what you've done is turned on someone else from a dysfunctional family and gone for the jugular? We don't know much about each other and shouldn't keep turning on each other in these threads. I have seen much attacking in threads lately and it is not a good thing. I am pulling out of this thread now, because I really didn't have anything useful to say except people who don't want to be caregivers don't have to be. They can say no.
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Nobody ever protected me, or defended me. It didn't destroy me, but it slowed me down. And it made me want to be strong and self-sufficient. We must get real at some point, come to terms with the way things are if we are not going to change them. Continuing to complain and not hear the encouragement or support is confusing to me. Like when people ask for advice and don't hear the answer? We are adults on this discussion. If you put something out there for opinions, do you want phony placating or do you want adult advice? That is my point, and I'm finished. You may throw things at me now. And may I say that Emjo gave the sweetest response:) Kisses:)
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Those of us who have been abused are very sensitive, incredibly sensitive. RAW. We are the people who burst into tears for what most perceive as nothing, and then we tend to run away and hide. People have been talking about us since we were children, "what the heck is wrong with that girl?".

Personally when it happens to me, I won't just run away and hide, I'll curl into a little ball and call myself stupid and other names for opening up and telling too much and what was I thinking, they must be right and I will castigate myself a million ways. Three years ago I was laying physical cuts into my body as punishment for being so stupid. I used to have to have surgeries to close them. I will have three years cut free on May 8th because I won't let anyone's words drive me that far again.

So what you may see as nothing, just another way to talk to someone, has the chance to cause someone else real pain. And I won't sit back and let anyone do it to her. Call me a witch. I'm a protective witch.
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I am still thinking about the "unkind." I see anger, but not unkindness. I guess we all read things differently.
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What is unkind? You never know when a different perspective or idea is going to reach someone and help them. Is only one type of response suitable?
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This is DEFINITELY the place to vent! Where else can we do this without people snapping at us, reading us the riot act, telling us off, judging for what we do, and what we don't do. . . OH.

Holy CRAP, did everyone go on the collective rag here? Ladies, grab your Midol! I'm shocked at you. If this was the Victorian era I would seat you on horsehair couches in the parlor and make you think about it for hours until the backs of your legs itched like all insanity, then send you to bed with only tea and bread, no jam, no sugar.

Do we really have to quantify our caregiving now? Shall we all measure our hours, number of diapers, and see who has the most right to brag or complain? *insert eye roll* Like Joan said, learning to lay down the boundaries and then to finally say that word "no". It's something that can only come with time and practice. It takes forever just for us to feel ourselves out and find appropriate boundaries, do you know why? BECAUSE OUR LOUSY MOTHERS NEVER TAUGHT US HOW! They never taught us to respect ourselves, let alone love ourselves. It's like learning a foreign language.

So, please, dear mother of God and all that is HOLY, LET US FOR CRIMENEY'S SAKE,

VENT!

Have you ever seen the mentos in the bottle of coke? That's what some of us would look like if we did not have this safe place to do so. To find others like ourselves who have suffered the same and offer a soft shoulder and a KIND and listening ear. To know that they are lifting us in thought and prayer. These things are helping us to LIVE through what is our worst nightmare, taking care of someone who emotionally, mentally, verbally, and sometimes or often even physically abused us as children, as young women, and still are now. For some of the women here, it's the ONLY place they have, it's the only women they have ever met who have been there and understand.

If you cannot take it, don't want to hear it, are tired of it, Fine. We invite you to save your own sanity and leave. Absolutely nothing wrong with self preservation. I consider it to be of a very high importance myself.

BUT...

We also ask for respect and that you keep your unkind comments to yourself. More than several of us here have banded together to support and help one another deal with this type of mother. You don't have to be one of us. We are uber cool with that.
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One thing I see going on is that the harder Mom pushes you the harder you pull away. It is natural self defense but also leads to a vicious cycle. You should not have to spend ALL your free time with Mom or have to quit your job, especially since that's the issue anyways. One possible way out of the situation would be to plan a little time once a week or so, maybe just reading or watching TV together, but just a regular scheduled time that does not vary often or much. You would be trying to make your visiting time non-contingent on her acting needier, and you'd be there for whatever shows you can stand to watch with her or whatever pre-specified length of time, and then you'd say hey, time for me to go, I'll see you next ____. It might work, though some people will try to hang on to you for bringing up a bunch of chores they really need done, or come up with something emotional engineered to keep you there longer then you need (non) continengcy plans for that too... Staying in there while setting limits is not easy, but it may be better than an all-or-none approach where mom feels nothing but neglected (even though she is really OK) and you feel nothing but resentful. I hope something works for you!
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I looked up the purpose of Aging Care
quote
"Welcome! The AgingCare.com online caregiver support group is a place where you can ask questions, give answers, exchange messages and get support from other family caregivers who understand exactly what you're going through." Then under "Start a Discussion" is written -"Find Support and Inspiration"
Debralee. I think you are is looking for support. In my time on this website, others have come just to vent and been welcomed.
I appreciate the difficulty of saying "No" to a dysfunctional parent, and as I understand it, you have suffered much more abuse than those of us who have posted in response to you. Even then it took me till I was much older than you to establish the boundaries that I have.
I mean no disrespect to anyone's views, but, I think Debra has as much right to vent here as anyone else.
I do think you qualify as a caregiver, Debra, and I hope you continue to post. I have seen other people "run off" this site and it really distresses me.
I like the saying "Never criticize a man (or woman) until you've walked a mile in his (her) moccasins.
Saying "No" to an abusive parent is often wise, but not always easy.
Blessings to all Joan
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Debralee, we only have the information you provide for us to work with -- that you resent your mother for bad things in the past and that you don't want to be a caregiver to her. It is fine not to be a caregiver, particularly if you are from a dysfunctional family. You just have to let your mother know you won't be there.

My mother once thought it was my responsibility to support her in her old age, so she didn't have to spend her money. I don't know why the responsibility didn't also apply to my brothers. I simply told her, "That is not going to happen." I think it is the easiest way to say no to a request we feel unreasonable.
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What is the Common Denominator?
How about a diary? That way, you can go back and reread what you have written to see if things have gotten any better for you. If you are just venting, a diary will work.
By creating a "new discussion," you intentionally bring others into it. Please be honest with yourself and those who go to the care and trouble of answering you.
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JessieBelle-I come here to vent. I come here to try and safely express my feelings without being judged or criticzed. I come here to find solace that I am not alone in my feelings and to be able to reach out to others in similiar situations. I take my mother to all her medical appointments and out shopping for fun. My husband and I completely renovated her house to meet her declining needs. I cook extra meals and bring them to her so she does not have to cook. I took her to the lawyers so she could set up her will, DPOA and healthcare proxy. I took her to the funeral home when my stepfather died to help make his burial arrangements. I have taken her back to the funeral so she could make advance burial arrangements for herself. I have picked up items she needed and brought them to her. The list goes on. No, I am not a hands on caregiver, but I think I do qualify as some type of caregiver. I come here when I feel overwhelmed and express my thoughts as a healthy outlet. I do not come here looking to other caregivers for sympathy, it is for my own emotional well-being. I no longer feel I can express myself safely here. You are the third person on this site to negatively attack my comments. This was the only site I felt comfortable with, now I don't even have that! Thanks for your HONESTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Debralee, can I be honest? From the things you write in several of your posts, you are not a caregiver and you don't want to be one. The only advice I have is don't be a caregiver if you don't want to be. I don't know what you are looking for from the caregivers in the group.
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