3am screaming bloody murder "help me" when all Mom needs is to cover her feet--I lost it telling her she was selfish and now feel some guilt

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Going nuts! Been caring for my mom for 3 years staying 3 nights each week to shop, cook, clean, take care of appts, meds etc. my responsibilities are seemingly increasing due to her demands not associated with her immobility. I'm now her personal assistant :/ When I lost control with my emotions at 3am, the second night she woke me for a trivial task and told her don't wake me unless it is an emergency... She responded I woke up for you when you were a baby. Omg I said you are not a baby. Then she said I'm worse and need more care due to my sickness. My mom is an alcoholic, absuive, demanding 78 yr old mother with copd, afib, depression . She hates her life and all around her. She scares off all help cause of her nastiness and out of control criticism do love her but hate her behavior . I have a sister who refuses to help her which now we are not talking . Left moms house after I did what needed to be done and told her I refuse to stay anymore due to these wake up calls, her yelling and screaming and lack of appreciation as all is having a negative impact on my mental and physical health. Now I feel guilt but at the same time I feel that I have some control over what was destroying me .


Does mother need overnight help? What does she do the four nights you are not there? If she does not need caregiving at night, limit your help to daytime hours -- and limit that to tasks you are willing to do cheerfully and that you think she really needs.

I hope you can understand better why sis is not helping, and that you can reconcile with her.

You are not required to take care of a parent -- even a parent you love -- if they are abusive and nasty. In fact, in such cases it might be healthier to care from a distance -- see that she has a case worker or social worker or care manager to coordinate the care she needs. Don't try to provide the hands-on care yourself.

I agree with you that cold feet are not an emergency to scream about. But if Mom has been having bad dreams and wakes up disoriented she may be in a panic and by the time you get there she is embarrassed and settles on telling you she needs her feet covered. It doesn't make it less disruptive of your sleep, but it may be a genuine panic and not just a way to be demanding. I suspect there is some cognitive impairment here as well as the conditions you've mentioned.

It is not the job of the good daughter or son to protect parents from the consequences of their own behavior, made freely over time. Someone who is critical, demanding, and just plain nasty can expect people to avoid her. Behavior has consequences. Our parents taught us that in childhood, right? Why should we think we should be able to suspend consequences for our parents?

I don't suggest that you be mean and nasty to your mother. But I think you are perfectly justified in not letting her be mean and nasty to you. Keep your distance.
It sounds like your mom is exhibiting odd behavior. I think I would encourage her to see her doctor and that you explain to him about her behavior, so you can see what's going on with her. Is her depression being treated? Whether it's panic, depression, age related cognitive decline or dementia, I'd try to find the cause and see if she can get some treatment. Perhaps, that could help her become more comfortable and less troubled. Sometimes illnesses that effect the mind don't make a lot of sense to others. She may have truly believed her feet were cold and not been able to figure out what to do. It works like that sometimes.
My mom has never coped well with stress & unpleasant situations. The screaming and yelling bloody murder has always been there during stressful periods in her life and that lead their to drinking to much vodka . It is just worse now . I refuse to buy her booze as she fell and pressed her alert button and does not remember a thing however when she looked in the mirror she was bruised beyond belief due to blood thinners. S
Continued ... My mom is able to get in her car and drive to the liquor store but she can't cover her leg--? She says she is out of breath but is able to scream bloody murder ... After the screaming she really is out of breath . I feel while she is ill and does have challanges to deal with for sure, but she has zero regard for my well being as a caretaker . She still has a choice to be kind and thoughtful and knows better. She knows she will not get a better quality of life as her illnesses will never go away and even worsen. The antidepressant meds don't work well with he drinking everyday . So she is miserable and feels entitled and I have to accept her behavior now because she is sick and I am not (but I am now overweight, never go to the doctor , have bouts of depression and anxiety ). She will not hire help and when we have had help they don't last due to her behavior . She stays alone when I'm not there and while she feels lonely and scared about her current situation she is not willing to change it.
Listen to J Gibbs advice. You are not required to put up with this. You know you have to get away from her. It's a simple choice, save your life or you both go down the tubes. If this women is driving to the liquor store on her own she doesn't need you to wait on her hand and foot.
Mom sleeps off and on during the day likely due to boredom so she then heads to bed at 7pm and wakes at 3am. She then complains she can't sleep longer yells for me at 3am to adjust heat or herblanket, or place a robe on her while she is on the toilet. She is able to do these tasks but would rather I do it as it makes her miserable life better at my cost. I do so much for her but this I refuse to do. I plan on going there to help like I always have, cook shop meal plan at my home and do a drop off. I'm an hour away and my sister lives 2 minutes away. Mom will call my sister and I noticed if I'm gone longer or plan less meals my sister is forced to help .
i have lived with alcoholics & it can be a killer, no matter who it is. abuse is abuse no matter what the reason is. find some distance.
You and your sister need to do something called Detach with Love - google it.
Many of us here have had to do so because of the way our parent(s) are.
You and your sister (or anybody else) cannot fix this.

Aging with an addiction is awful and complicated. Everything that's already hard is made even more difficult. There are several boards/threads on agingcare.com specifically about this problem, so I encourage you to dive into those. There are many people here who can support you through this journey. It won't be easy or pretty, but when you put personal boundaries in place, you can survive it.

From one gal who has been through the enmeshment of an abusive parent, I can tell you that the will to save yourself is not wrong, greedy, selfish, or any of those other negative adjectives that run through your mind. Your will to survive is at the core of your being and it's there for a reason. Listen to it.

You have to look out for yourself. Regardless of why she is behaving oddly, you should not be the subject of abuse or mistreatment.
If you want to do some informative reading, look into narcissistic/borderline mothers.
These two personality disorders frequently go together and can involve an addiction like alcoholism. You can't fix a borderline/narcissist.

Other people, especially daughters, get caught up in it very much like Cinderella, except the wicked witch and ugly daughters are all the same person. You can save yourself if you know what's going on and how to put personal boundaries in place.

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