I am already on depression medicine for caring for my mom. She is too hard to deal with and I don’t think I can keep going. What can I do to help myself through this difficult time?

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Mom only wants to starta fight, no matter what is said. I can make the most simple remark, like yesterday when I ask her to remove the :"info grid" from the tv so we could see the program. I have always tried to respond nicely when she makes a nasty comment but am finding it harder to hold my tongue, then we really get into it. I don't want this kind of relationship. I fight ending my life on a daily basis and don't know how much longer i can go on. I go to therapy when i can afford it but my only real friend just died and i have no one left to talk to. I am already supposed to have called her this morning, "God forbid she call me" I need some help emotionally today. and every other day. Mom is still capabable of living on her own at 90 but i try to go up twice a week even though she lives with my sister. their relationship has hit rock bottom. We used to adore her, now it seems to be all hate and tolerate.

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If she is in pretty good shape physically, why can't she be left alone for a few hours at a time? Who is with her while you are at work? What is stopping you from getting some relief for short periods of time? I think there may some details missing from your description.

How about dropping her as a subject of discussion when you are out with friends? Come here to vent, where other people understand what you are dealing with, and truly get away from her when you are with friends.

Or do you mean you'd like more alone time in your own home?

And you brought her to live with you because ... ?? Lol, I think many of us act first and think later when it comes to these kinds of decisions.

Does she ask you about the details of your life because she doesn't have one of her own, and she is living through you vicariously? If that is it, and she isn't being controlling, would it be burdensome to give her some details? "Oh, mom, I had the most fabulous chicken dish, baked in cream and seasoned with blah, blah, blah." or "What a day we had at work! First the copier broke right before the big meeting and blah blah blah." When you don't feel like sharing, who called was "a friend" or "it was business." You don't know when you'll be back, but you'll peek in on her and make sure she is sleeping comfortably.

You can set the boundaries here. You decide how much and how often you want to share of your personal life. You decide when you are going out with friends. You decide how much time you want to spend alone in your hobby area or your room and how much you want to spend with Mom. You volunteered to share your house but you don't need to volunteer to be a victim.
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this site helps so much to see that i am not alone. i am the 60 year old old child of a 91 year old mother who can be controlling, overly protective, and suffocating. we have never really gotten along but when it became clear she could no longer live alone i decided to have her move in wiht me. i have been divorced for 14 years and so it is only US. she is in pretty good health physically so i t hought she would make friends here or get involved in something but instead she stays at home and waits for me to come home from my job. the only time we have been apart in 2 years except when i am at work or church is when i take her to get her hair done. 1 or 2 hours once a week in almost 2 years is not enough time to myself. she thinks she is the victim and she has probalby been unhappy her whole life. she thinks she has given her life to me and that she is a help to me by living here. she does her share financially but she wants to know where i am every moment of the day. who called? where are you going? what did you eat when you went out to dinner? when will you be back? i feel so guilty griping but am i so unhappy. i am an 8 year breast cancer survivor and i worry about the stress. also my arthritis has worsened lately. she is healthy except for high blood pressure and her short term memory problems. i feel so alone and my few friends are so tired of me complaining. many dont understand and say how lucky i am to have her with me and so healthy. i never had children so maybe i would understand more if i have been a mother. i am not even sure if i like her anymore. i have given up on ever having a good relationship with her. if we could only have some peace andi could get some relief for short periods of time.
csosadandangry
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ajashadenough, learning that your mother is a malignant narcissist says it all. I have worked with many individuals such as yourself. I will share a story that most recently breaks my heart. An family caregiver, I will call her Star, took care of her mother for years. She lost jobs, she neglected her health. Her mother made sure she was available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
If Star went to work, her mother would call the police and report her for elder abuse, abandonment, or even show up at her place of employment. She would take a taxi, come disheveled and make a scene.
she was perfectly able to take care of herself. She did not want to be alone. Star had 2 sons in college. As dementia set in and incontinence became a problem, Star, with alot of support, encouragement and courage, moved her mother into assisted living. Once she was there, it was realized within a few months she needed a locked unit. she had personality disorder, start of dementia and would cause terrible problems for Star by going to the house everyday.
Star moved, as she lost her house. She was just starting to live her life, free of her mother. She was away from her mother less than a year when she discovered that she had Stage 4 lung cancer with mets to the brain and bone.

I share this story with you for a purpose. There was a study that the Alzheimer's organization did, that showed that 50 % of family care givers taking care of someone with dementia dies before the person that actually has the disease.

Well, that is just one disease. I am sure that if they did a study on someone that provides care for a narcissist they would find the stats to be even higher.


Narcissists do not have feelings for anyone but themselves. They do not care if you are sick, or hurt or anything else. It is all about them. If our sister and you were smart, you would place her in a nursing home and visit only when you have to. There is a group that has narcissistic mothers on yahoo. It will help you so much. I hop you will check it out.
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Besides medication, suicidal ideations are one of the ways emotionally-conflicted individuals cope with tense situations. They don't make you feel any better, and the problem will still be there until you address the underlying causes. Instead of leaving or having a heart-to-heart, you've chosen to engage in a sterile battle of wills fraught with bantering, huffing and puffing, snide remarks, and emotional blackmail. As time goes on common sense will be very uncommon between you two. You're both reacting, not responding; and she'll continue to push your buttons because she installed them and knows exactly where they are. Remove yourself. Enjoy your life for a change, and leave a phone # behind for when she's ready to love you all over again. Good luck dear sister.

-- Ed
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I agree it may be time for the nursing home or assisted living. Please don't do anything rash. Just think to yourself as I do, This too shall pass. Please take care of yourself. If you have to see mom only once a week or every other week then so be it. And then for only an hour or two. I am very grateful that my Mother was a really sweet mother to me when I was a kid.
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silvercreek, you are being far too hard on yourself. After working 10-11 hours in a day, I would not want to see anyone myself, but need some rest. Has your mother always been demanding. Either way, you need a healthy boundary for your own well being.
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Have to agree with madge1. I strongly encourage you to find a good ALF or Nursing Home to care for your mother. You have fought a good fight but now it is time to give in for your own good and let those trained to care for her do it. You Mom obviously has some degree of dementia and is most likely not aware she is being so mean spirited.

Wishing you all the BEST!!!
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I drive by the nursing home every day after working 10-11 hours. I hate it because I don't even stop to say hello to my mom. She keeps the room so hot, it will almost take your breath away. The door is almost always closed, so the room is so stuffy! I have suggested sitting in the beautiful living area out front or outside in the swing, but that does not interest her. However, I have been known to sit in my car outside her window and talk to her on my cell phone. Our family and she gets a big laugh out of our little tradition. We try to get her as often as possible for a 3 day weekend. Recently, we went on what we call our "sister trip". We stay in a beautiful suite and cook our meals in the kitchenette. The down side to this is we are so afraid she is going to fall and hurt herself. We are all in poor health, so it is definately a scary situation. She is very demanding and it takes the whole village to and part of the next to take care of her. But in the long run, we love her deeply and will be devestated when she is no longer here. I just wish I could be a better daughter and not have all this guilt hanging over me. Gotta love her cause she's the mamma!!!
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Hopeful, I am so glad your mother is doing better without her medications. I think that seniors are sometimes overmedicated or are left on medications that were appropriate at one time but are no longer helping. So, good for your mother!

Unless you have experienced the debilitating effects of clinical depression, you really can't grasp what a huge benefit the right antidepressant can be. It is not a happy pill. When it works right it just makes you feel more like yourself, instead of that some gloomy stranger you don't even like has invaded your body. Taking walks is absoutely excellent advice for someone with depression. Any regular exercise is beneficial. But when you are feeling that life isn't worth living it is hard to convince yourself that taking a walk would be worth doing. If you have a partner or caregiver who is part of your therapy she or he may be able to coax you on a walk, but if you don't have that support, or if the person you are living with is part of the problem, it is not realistic to say "take a walk or get a pet and you'll snap out of it." Sometimes getting the right medication (and often trial-and-error is needed to find the right one) can at least put you in the frame of mind to think, "I matter. I'm going to take a walk for my health." Sometimes it is best or necessary that the drug treatment come first, and then talk therapy and life style changes have a realistic chance of being effective.

AJ, I encourage you to continue with your prescribed medications as directed. If they don't seem to be helping enough, they might need to be adjusted or changed. Please talk to your doctor. Take a little or a long vacation from Mom. Get back with your therapist. If you don't have insurance, talk to the accounting office to see if there are any financial programs you would qualify for. You are a valuable individual and you are worthy of effort to restore and protect your health. Exercise and eating right are very beneficial for depression, as your therapist no doubt has told you. Do what you can along those lines. You are worthy of good care! Keep the crisis hotline number handy, and carry it in your purse or pocket. Do not hesitate to call it if you have thoughts of ending your life.

Know that you can feel better, and that you deserve to feel better. Hang in there, AJ!
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One thing I am learning is how "not to behave". Hope I just have enough brains left to remember this in the coming years. yikes.
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