Not doing so well, I need support.

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My mom is 89 years old. Still lives in her home. I live an hour and a half away. My brother that has personality disorder lives with mom. My family is disfunctional. And that has caused lots of problems. I try to help mom with her life but her mind is fine. And legally she can make her own decisions. Still, I feel responcible for her life. Even though she will not listen to me or anyone. There is a situation going on now that is very dificult. Part of the reason for the situation is moms bad choices in the past. Yet I feel responcible for fixing what I can in the situation. I feel sick.
Any advice or help you can give would be appreciated.

Barbara

7 Comments

You say that you feel responsible for her life, even though her mind is fine, and her situation is the result of her own bad choices. Soooo, what about this makes you responsible for fixing it?
Equillot raises an important question: why do you feel responsible, especially for decisions made by your mother?

I think this is a "woman thing" - I have to fight to not want to fix things and jump into a situation if something isn't right. And sometimes I just have to accept that I can't change or affect outcomes made by others who are capable of making their own decisions.

I have really struggled with this as well. I have found myself apologizing to other family members, my father's former friends and neighbors for my fathers nastiness and bad behavior.

In reality, I can do some things to divert and sometimes avoid bad situations. BUT at the end of the dementia trail, there really is nothing you can do to fix the person or fix the past. Really you can not even fix the person. So the brutal reality is that if you are not totally in charge of the person, you may for your own sanity, step back and let the chips fall. That is harsh, but we kill our own souls sometimes trying to fix others. That is not fair to ourselves or our spouses and children. Hang in there, go do something for yourself, even if for a couple of hours.
It is typical in those raised in dysfunctional families to try to "fix" the families. That becomes our own illness. We need to learn to separate what is our issue, and what is their issue. If you have someone who is legally of sound mind, doesn't want help, and is in the position they're in because of poor choices, there is not a lot you can do. Someone has to first want help before they will accept it.
In this situation, I can do what mom wants. But I don't think it is a good idea. So I probably won't. I can help with the result of this problem. If it gets bad enough. By helping her financially and searching for and applying for public money she might qualify for. I do feel responsible for keeping her in a place to live and food. I am so emotionally tired of dealing with her dysfunction, stubbornness, and rigidness. But there are some things too important to let go. De-cluttering her house, helping her get new home insurance, etc.
Hadnuff, having read your other posts, I believe strongly that you need to find a therapist for yourself so that you can learn how to step away from the dysfunctional family drama. You are enabling them. Step back (let them know) "mom, I can't help out with this, you're going to have to handle it".

When we make ourselves I'll trying to maintain other people's independence, we contribute to the delusion. Strong words, I know. But I've been through it.
I strongly second Babalou's suggestion to get counseling for yourself. You're "merging" with mom, so that her problems become your problems. That's not a healthy way for you to live as an adult. You need help in learning to set some personal boundaries to keep your own mental health intact. You are not responsible for your mom or your brother. Their problems are not your problems.

Find a good counselor who can help you learn to separate with love and do what you can do (if possible) in a healthy way for you!

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