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I don't drop everything and come over everytime she calls for a problem.

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Vicky, yes: you and your two brothers together should research more manageable options for your mother, including Assisted Living facilities, and help her to find one she likes. Clearly she is not coping well in her old home and will benefit from the support and adapted environment of an ALF.

But I think the difficulties you are experiencing are not only to do with your mother's needs. This is why I think that.

Your mother asked you on Thursday if you could visit her on Saturday to help her, and you for very good reasons told her no, you wouldn't be able to. On Thursday she seemed to understand and accept that. You sensibly went ahead and spent time with your husband on standard domestic routines.

When you then spoke to her on Sunday she told you she had waited for you - picture her sitting gazing at the door, waiting for the bell to ring, violins in the background - not only on the Saturday which you had discussed, but also on the day before and the day after, which nobody had mentioned.

I am very sorry that your mother went through such a sad and lonely experience. But only somebody who is already emotionally vulnerable could possibly feel herself blameworthy for it. How could you *possibly* have known that your mother would have this irrational reaction to the conversation you had with her on Thursday?

Moreover, why have you not questioned whether your mother's description of her weekend is accurate? It can't be, can it. She called your brother on the Saturday, and presumably he did drop in and make sure she was okay. Which she was, or he would have called you. You weren't in purdah, just busy.

So your mother did not sit alone in the house for those three days. You did not fail to attend an agreed appointment. There is nothing to blame yourself for.

Therefore: if you are feeling guilty about this, you are not feeling guilty about anything you have actually done. And, importantly, your guilt is not related to anything your mother has said or done, either, because what she "accuses" you of makes no objective sense.

What you are is quite naturally anxious and sad about your mother's current living arrangements and *her* state of mind: her loneliness, her vulnerability, her distorted sense of reality. So those are the things to work on; at the same time perhaps exploring how you yourself are feeling and how you can best protect your own mental health during the challenging times ahead.
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VickyO, your mom has created some of her problems and made them yours. Not fair. You are NOT obligated to personally solve her loneliness problem by being over there every time when she has pushed everyone else away. You are NOT responsible for her happiness - you are fretting over the fact that you cannot make her happy, but that is the reality. She is not happy about things happening to her at this stage of life, but you cannot change and did not cause those things.

On the plus side, it sounds like you have siblings who give a hoot, and a family meeting to talk honestly about what each of you can and can't realistically long term could be a huge help. If Mom expects one or more of you to be there immediately at her every request, she is expecting too much and yes, absolutely, assisted living might be very be very appropriate especially if she is resistant to having home health aides come in. You get to decide what you CAN do and sure, you should respect Mom's needs and preferences - but only as far as reasonably possible and no further. She is making bad decisions about her medications and possibly needs more guidance than you could give her or that she would accept, and why on earth she would keep cancelling eye appointments - either just afraid to hear bad news, or afraid of the trip there and not good at making transportation arrangements? Well, you can feel free to set up the next appointment, do not tell her 'til you come to pick her up for it. She could have glaucoma or some other condition that's treatable as long as it is not picked up too late.

It is sad, but it looks like it is also time to make sure paperwork like POAs and advance directives are in order. This can all be a very steep learning curve, and the adjustment to being the one in charge when that's what your parent truly needs, who used to BEING the one in charge can no longer do so, is emotionally hard as well. But she can't run the show anymore, if her way of running it is running YOU all into the ground.
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pittn7734 - you can do a couple things - admit to your caregiver that you feel helpless and afraid, and see if there are practical things you can do to feel more in control. Maybe you can have a Lifeline button where you can get other help in an emergency, so them you will not have to be always in fear that an emergency could be brewing that you could not do anything about. And if you have had anxiety issues lifelong, realize that is really a medical problem that can be treated medically. Some of our system are just wired a little off on that fine balance of sensing danger when it is real and not being on edge all the time.

Above all, just by writing this and wanting to void being overdemanding and consuming of a loving caregiver's time and energy, you are showing concern for them and not just yourself, and that's what this thread is all about. So many caregivees don;t have the capacity for empathy and concern any more due to dementia or just neve had enough of it to start with. You do though, and you could always talk with your caregiver about what things can wait for routine planned visits and get done when they have time, versus the kinds of things you should call in between times for. I have a feeling you will be able to work out some things, and might even find out that your caregiver does not find most of your needs a burden to them at all. Thank you for writing!
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Well, I am so glad I found this page I need support so bad. I was put on a guilt trip today by my mom..She asked me Thurs if I could come over sat and help her clean. I told her I couldn't make that commitment today. My husband is home fri, sat and sunday. We are down to one car. I called her friday and we didn't talk about sat so I assumed nothing was going to happen sat. So me and my husband went and did some shopping and hung out together. I called my mom sunday. She said she sat and waited friday, saturday and sunday for me, so she called my brother to come clean her kitchen saturday. I told her I will have someone drop me off at her house next week to clean and then my daughter can pick me up after. My dad passed away 4 years ago from cancer. My mother has always pushed away anyone that wanted to be her friend she don't want anyone in her house but me and my 2 brothers. So I feel obligated to be available anytime she gets lonesome. It puts me under a lot of pressure that I am responsible for her happiness. She needs new glasses and keeps cancelling her appointments that she has so she is living not being able to see very well at all. She has parkensons disease and does not take the pills like her dr prescribed. She says she thinks the dr. is wrong. She takes her anti depressents but, I have to remind her sometimes. She is incontinent and struggles with that. Should we offer her assisted living and encourage her to sell the house? I have another brother that goes over there and cleans. She gets angry because sometimes she don't hear from him. Well he has a wife that has stage 4 cancer and takes care of her. My other brother goes over and mows the lawn. I feel like my life is spinning out of control and all of this is adding to my own problems of depression. I have had the duty for many years of doing all the family dinners on holidays that is really making me tired. I have so much to do in my own house. If anything thank you for being here and letting me vent. I have nobody to talk to. If anyone has any ideas for me please, please let me know.
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That's what elderly mothers do. They have this sense of entitlement with their children, the old BS line; "I took care of you...."
What can you do? Nothing. You grow a thick skin and you learn to live with it. My mother has been torturing me with guilt all my life. You never get used to it. And mothers will never stop with the guilt trips, it's all they know. You have to talk yourself out of feeling guilty. It's the only thing you can do.
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i am seeking help from the other side as i am the sick one and dont want to be this burden after all she is everything but i am so alone and feel helpless and afraid all the time
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What kind of documents do you folks out there require on private care-givers coming into your house, those who you have hired NOT from a care-giving agency? I get references, letters of recommendation, but I haven't asked for copies of their CPR certification. Both of the caregivers have lied, so I'm going to start searching for more. Also, how do you search for your caregivers?
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Possibly, but I will say this: the day shift care-giver is the grandmother to the night shift care-giver. So, they both have given me "joking flack", become cool toward me, and say, "give me a break", meaning, are you kidding me, you won't go get this for your mother?" They love the big money they are getting from my mother, so they are keeping her queen bee in their eyes, which is good, but not to my demise. I hear you though. I'm just so tired of feeling rejected.
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You know, Stella, maybe the caregiver didn't come strutting into the house like you were the most terrible person. Maybe she just came in happy to have something she thought her client would like. Maybe her actions didn't have any judgment all about you. Possible? How did you "know" she thought you were horrible?

Is your sense of guilt possibly coloring what you see?
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My mom has always been a guilty trip layer. Now, she has two care-givers that come in, and I do the finances, pill box, taxes, etc. The other night she wanted a fast food cheeseburger and I was exhausted from getting her home from rehab and settled; I needed to go home, as my fibromyalgia was really acting up. I told her no, that I would get her a cheeseburger another time. Her caregiver came strutting into the house today with a cheeseburger, fries, etc., like I was the most horrible person alive for not getting the food for my mom. I felt guilty when I said no, but I asked myself, "Does she have other food in the house to eat, yes." So, there you have it. I can't win even with the care-givers.
I even put my armor on and sometimes I forget and let the fiery darts get to me.
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You will only feel guilty if you allow your Mum to manipulate you into accepting guilt as part of the job......your answers here are sterling- every one of them.... let me ask you this- if you were your own best friend, what would your advice to you be? Boundaries, my love- they matter, and we teach our children about them before they have learned to walk....so it is with a born again child, such as a Mother with dementia.....good luck and much love from me- now, love yourself too.
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ssnow........Do you have caller ID? Make yourself less available to mom for a while. If all she does is demand and find fault, don't be so eager to hear it. I do agree with Veronica about depression. Please listen to her about seeking help from your county mental health department. Run, don't walk to their office. There is no shame is seeking help for depression. This might help you weather the storm better. Get going. You can do this.
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Susan are you dealing with your depression? My guess is that you are not because being short of money you probably don't health insurance and think you can't afford the medications.
If your county has a mental health department they will charge you on a sliding scale often only a few dollars. You can also go to public health and they also may be able to advise you. As far as affording the meds there are low cost generic antidepressents available from places such as Walmart, target and major drug stores. Is your sister short of money? Has she asked you to pay for her gas? You need to have a discussion with her about it and if she needs the money it is only fair to offer it to her. Does she help with mother's care too?
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I feel guilty because I don't think Im a good daughter for a few years now. Ive been really depressed for a long time. Im in my late 40s and have minor financial difficulties now and my mother called me today to let me know I have to help out my sister w/ gas money since she drives me every where. I agree with her but, I also would like to save some money in my bank account from time to time and my elderly mother is still directing me in life of what to do.
I feel like I just cant stand on my own 2 feet and I feel small. Im single and I still have to listen to her or else she punishes me like a child and I don't wish to fight with her all though sometimes I do a little and God forgive me for being rude to my mother. I cant stand fighting with her and don't want to. How do I cope being so single in my late 40s and still having to obey mother????? She puts me in a position where I cant have anything. HELP!!!! Its been going on forever. I still feel like a teenager.
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My parents, particularly my mother, is the same. Making some one feel sorry for her is her specialty. And not doing what she wants can create a firestorm of bad mouthing to others. Tired of feeling guilty all the time, I made a decision to let go and Let God deal with her issues. He can handle it a lot better than me. I put the guilt in His hands. So put on your suit of armor. Set boundaries of what you can do and when you can do it and let the rest go. She's going to test you when you do... but be strong. She'll survive. Save yourself for your own sake.
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Snow, same here. I have learned that first off she can't fire me. Secondly guilt and worry are the two useless emotions. Easy for me to say but hard to put into practice. When I start feeling guilty I just tell myself that this is my life too. Sometimes you just have to not play step and fetch it. You teach people how to treat you. As the others have said, put boundaries around the time you are willing to spend with her. Elderly people who don't work any longer a lot of times are trying to be the boss of someone, anyone. It's part of losing their independence. She may not like what you have to offer but you have to keep your self respect and sanity. Gee this sounds good and I am afraid I don't practice what I preach all the time, but I am getting better. You have to look out for yourself, it's your journey. Good luck Snow and know you are not alone.
Kathy
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lovemymom1, of course you are entitled to have coffee with a friend! But did Mom know that was the plan? If she did, if you've talked to her about the change in plans this weekend, then I guess she'll just have to stew about it and sigh and slam doors and get used to it.

If she had no reason to think that today wasn't going to be like every other Saturday, then maybe better communications are called for.
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Have you looked into hiring a companion for a few hours a day/week for your Mom. Someone to run errands with her, go to doc appointments, sit and visit, etc. You do not have to do this all yourself. My mantra...your first responsibility is to you and your family.

Check with local senior agenices for services available; some may be by volunteers and have no charges involved. There is assistance available you just have to look for it.
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I work 5 days a week and mom lives with us, almost a year now... she sits in the house all week on the weekend i feel i need to get her out to do something...I just want to stay home but feel guilty and will usually take her somewhere. Since she has moved in I have not done much for me....Today i went and had coffee with a friend and when i got home mom was dressed and ready.I made her lunch and sat down.. she doesnt say anything but she keeps taking deep breaths and is not talking to me by now. Then she goes to her room shuts the door a little louder than normal.... I did not take the bait... but i feel terrable. How do i stop this?????
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Start being at your own beck and call. Tell yourself you need this and you need that. Most likely you will not like what you are becoming to yourself and stop. Hopefully you will come to the same conclusion about your mother.
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195Austin,
You and GOD are the only ones that know how badly he treated you at the end. Whether it was bitterness for death or angering you to make his departure easier to take.....that was between the two of you and no one else's concern. GOD knows your heart and that you suffered much.
Seems to me that those cared for often feel the primary caregiver requires no respect. For whatever reason.....there is no excuse other than complete loss of ones mind. To lash out in frustration or pain is one thing, but to continually berate the one caring for you is abusive and ingratitude. Anyone that has been a caregiver understands how gut wrenching the task is and to offer a deep emotional wound as repayment? How hateful.
I can and do forgive but enough already. Love does not mean opening yourself up for abuse.
The flashbacks come and go. Some good & some bad. We acknowledge them and move on. I hope you can let the wound heal & enjoy your life.
Praying for us.
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To me respect is the name of the game he did not respect me but I did go it for the glory of God and really just realized a short time ago how badly he treated me the last days of his life-to took almost a year for me to get flashbacks and now am made as hell but life goes on and mostly think about how others think I should act at this time I stayed away from some of my activities this week just so I did not have to deal with others feelings and have taken off my rings and really do not care how others feel about it it was my decision and while he was here with us he got good care from me even when he shuned me the last few days when he was alert on and off.
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Things have calmed down now for me & loved ones.
Mom wants now to do more herself. Good. Maybe she realized I'm not her personal servant after a week without me. Hubby did what needed doing for her (doc visit) & I managed to get groceries for her yesterday without altercation.
It remains to be seen wheather she will continue to behave. I have my doubts but will try to be patient longer. Serving as unto the LORD and not mom.
Thank you all for your kindness and you are in my prayers also.
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godhelpus, I sure don't want you to think I was bashing your husband. It's just that I have this fierce need to have my husband and/or kids be loyalty to me and hopefully, there's some respect there too. You should expect the same. Believe me, my poor husband got the message loud and clear. You're either with me or against me when it comes to my mom. She drew the line in the sand when I was a child and it's been a lifelong battle to survive her hatred. My survival instincts were just too strong and I think that's why she's always hated me cause she couldn't break me.
Oh my lord, how could your mom do that to your brother? And your hubby takes her side and stands a chance of being a victim too? Wow! My mom, who's never had a problem with "showing it all", has undressed in front of my adult son, adult daughter, my daughter-in-law, my small granddaughter and of course, every doc and nurse in the state. I've been embarrassed by her far too many times. It makes me sick to my stomach too. It's hard to get the visual out of your brain, isn't it? It's also difficult to imagine that these women are our moms.
Crowe, I'm no therapist but I'm leaning towards agreeing with you. That's awful that you and the boys had to play second fiddle to you MIL for so many yrs. That's just not right. A son in law standing with his MIL, in godhelpus' case is an insult to her, just as your situation was an insult to you. It kinda makes you wonder how so many people can be affected by a screwed up person, huh?
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Crowemag & AMD,
Don't think your def. of adultery is too broad. Terminology is often too narrow.
Mom exposed herself to my brother last time they were here (8 yrs ago?) and they haven't returned. Tempted to let hubby find out that bit of gruesome on his own. I'm sure it will happen sooner or later. Hub has a short memory & right now the demon is on her best behavior to lure him in. If/when it happens he won't be able to get that picture out of his head. No, I will warn him again. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, not even to teach him a lesson. I've told him of her fondness for the young doctors, but I'll have to remind him. Maybe he'll puke on her if it happens.
I can't even bring myself to touch her other than redress her foot wounds, check blood sugar & an occassional peck on top of her head when she cooperates. 90 yr old depravity. Agggghhhhh!
He will see the error of his ways. He always has eventually. He listens but doesn't really hear. He's a duty and honor type guy. Funny how that doesn't extend to me until theres damage.
I considered your idea to excuse myself on a personal vaca. but not just yet. I will leave it open as an option. Thanks for the idea.
I don't have much contact with other folks. Partly my doing and partly family.
Thanks & God bless your tender hearts.
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AMD, AMEN! It is not right. It is also not moral and it's sick just like my wife's attachment above me as her husband (not to mention our children) with her mother was sick and to me as a man just as much a version of adultery emotionally as when commit physical adultery by running off with another man or as happened to two colleagues of mine running off with another woman which while rare does take place. Only one of those two are now back together with their wife who ran off with another woman. Well, I'm venting my anger again. My therapist thinks my broader definition of adultery is a bit harsh because when such over attachment is between a mother and a wife, mother and a son, etc. it is technically considered emotional incest, but there is not a term for when a son in law stands by his MIL instead of standing by his wife.
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This is in addition to my last post. My mom, never wanting me to have a husband, kids or a life, loved to get me riled. She had a dr. app one time, I couldn't take her because I couldn't get off work. Hubby volunteered. He took her and also bought her lunch on the way back. Mom couldn't wait to call me at work and tell me how good their "date" was. It wasn't said as a joke. I was floored. After we all survived hurricane Ike, she told me and my daughter that the when the next hurricane came, she and my husband didn't care what happened to any of the family, they were going to take care of themselves, get a hotel up the road. Whoa nelly!! These are just 2 of the several comments she made like this. I saw to it that my husband never took her to the dr. again, was never available to come along with me to her house, etc. What a witch! I still boil every time I think about her being so hateful. Poor hubby had no idea and was horrified when I told him what she'd been telling me. Yes, I have such a sweet mom . . . NOT!
godhelpus, think about getting away, if you can. Of course, don't do it if it makes your husband want to leave you. But you somehow need to get across to him that he steps over the line when he sides with your mom. It's not right. There are things called loyalty and respect and you deserve both.
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godhelpus, if this is realistically possible to get away inform the husband that as a consequence for not standing by his woman, you will be leaving the house to stay somewhere else for a few days and nights and you will call him when you get there.

Do you think I told my wife where the children and I went to when I informed her that because a certain boundary was broken by her own choice that the consequence was my taking the boys with me to live somewhere else for a few nights and days until she undid-what she had earlier agreed in counseling not to do? Naw!
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godhelpus can you leave Mom and the hubby and check into a Holliday Inn with a girlfriend for a day or two and get some away time that is what I planned to do when the husband was driving me crazy-but he fell and ended up in rehab instead.
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godhelpus,

OH My! Your reprobates are incomprehensible. Your spouse reprobate sounds like a marriage therapist needs to work on who the he is married to and what that means and that who he's picking to fill this 'mommy void' is a super sized sick choice. GHU, all I can say at this point is God Help You. Just make sure to do your part to make sure to stay alive regardless of what hubby reprobate does or does not do.
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