Follow
Share

I printed out 2 articles. One on Caregiver Burnout and one on Caregiver Depression.
Should I give these to my mother ? She's a very negative, critical person and has no idea how much I have given up to care for her, yet all she does is complain.
i don't want to hurt her feelings or make her think it's her fault, but i think she should know how this affects me. Of course, there's always the chance that she will twist it all around to make me feel even worse !!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Rebecca Lynn, I have often thought of taking my mom here to read about what caregiver burnout is all about, just to help her understand why I am sometimes angry. I held off doing it in fear that it may cause her to be more depressed. Her biggest fear is losing me to be there for her, but I think I have convinced her that someone has got to be hired to come in to do the duties now, as I am not sure if I can keep doing it. My mom has needed my help now for 8 yrs. I spend my time on here for support, and I have now been reading lots of books too, I think the bottom line is to seek out support from the outside for help. There are plenty of agencies out there that offer help for the elderly. For months my sister and I both have been trying to talk mom into assisted living. She has gotten angry, and has lashed out at both of us. It is so extremely hard to deal with when you are feeling burnout. Please take time for yourself. I recently went back to work last fall, and I am there 3 times a day doing medications, and taking her to blood test every weekend. I still feel bound and tied to her. Taking time for yourself is very important. So please look to the outside for help. Mom is now going to Adult Day Care Services 2 times a week, and that has helped a lot for her to be around other people. I have not read all the blogs yet. but I will be back. I feel this website has been very helpful for support! So good to know there is a place to go so you don't feel alone!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yes, my mother does not want to hear about how her situation has negatively affected my life or my serenity. She just gets ugly and says something along the lines of 'Oh poor you!" I was shocked at her reaction at first, but then stopped trying to get any sympathy from her . . . she says she appreciates me, but her actions say something else. It is definitely hurtful, but I get over it. I know in my heart that I have given up my life for her, and have done the best job of caregiving as I knew how; unfortunately, this is not a job where we receive much praise or reward, only those we give ourselves. Though getting praise is not why we are in this job, we are used to a certain amount of pats on the back in the form of raises, promotions, atta-boys, or general fulfillment. That is where taking care of ourselves comes into play, at least for me. I reward myself with a long, hot bath or getting my hair done, etc. Hang in there, remember why we have chosen or been appointed as caregiver and be good to yourself, tell yourself positive things and try to look pretty even when you do not feel it. It's a tough job, no doubt about it, but we are doing a very good thing for our loved one and our hearts are in the right place. Feel good that you have given of yourself when nobody else would. :)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I recently told my tantruming mom (my daughter-in-law said she should be put in "time out") that others were worried about my health and well-being and she ignored me. When I asked if she understood what I was saying, she said "yes" and went on with her physical problems. She is too self-focused to look outside except when I try to distance myself. Then the guilt talks begin. It's so hard to let it go and I've come up with a technique that seems to work - I saw a brick wall and imagined all that negativity and mom issues hidden behind it, then distracted myself. "Hitting the wall", in this instance, is a GOOD THING!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I've had such a hard time dealing with my own anger that just getting fully in touch with it has been very difficult. Writing? That only worked to the degree that I wrote some poetry that would have made Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street sound like a saint. Talking? Could not get very there. In the last 5 years, I have found that I can create a movie in my laptop with microsoft movie maker, put in my transitional statements, modify the visual's, add captions to items, put it on a thumb drive and take it to therapy with me. Then, my therapist and I watch it together which helps him grasp what I want to say and me to get around to actually saying it. It's for my well being that I"m working on this because those who contributed to it never have nor ever will grasp anyone else's emotions or feelings but their own. However, if I wait for them to change then I'm empowering them to keep me in bondage by what they did instead of me working on now of taking these people off of my hook and put them on God's hook to deal with which frankly is not that easy to do as say or type.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

naheaton,

Yes, this is different and I was sharing how one person dealt with it. Just exploading in a person's face in person doesn't mean you really have gotten it all out or changed them, but that you have inflicted and eye for an eye and I might be entirely wrong but to wait until you feel like biting the heads off nails sounds almost like a micro second from that understandable rage and anger just letting loose like a volcano and nailing her head with physical abuse as well. I've know thereapists who've advized people to do the letter thing and work through the anger with them instead of facing the parent in their elderly weaked years for this very reason, and I've witnessed a person who's written such a letter get on such a role they've told me in my house they then knew exactly how they wanted their mother to die and how much suffering they would cause it to be before the final moment of death. At that point, I knew they were a danger to others and got them out of there. Eventually they worked through that stuff and burried that lengthy manuscipt as a symbolic way of saying she'd gotton it out and was not going to continue empowering the victimizer by holding on to it until the victimizer changed which frankly was never going to happen.

Anyhow, we all see things differently and we all have our own opinions. It's a tough call, but I think also there was an important point in one scene out of Star Wars where Luke Skywalker started to become like his father Darth Vader when he began to act like him.

BTW, I'm just now getting in touch with a lot of my own anger in its fullest sense and it's tough dealing with but it's not quite as on a raw razor sharp edge, but it comes out in little unexpected places where such an amount of anger or disgust is a bit over the top. Some people, but I guess not all people find it helpful to write all of their emotions out.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

See Crowe, that's where we differ. There is NO way I would write a letter and just throw it away. Nope, I'd read it to the old lady and be prepared to fight. But first I'd wait till I already felt like biting the heads off nails, then I'd face her down. Now THAT sounds therapeutic to me!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

RebeccaLynn,

Your mother sounds like both my MIL and my Step Mother (SM just doesn't look right for shorthand). My wife's therapist had her write a letter to her mother about all of her feelings over all of the years to help her get it off her chest without having to endure the Wrath of Kan by actually sending it to her or telling her about because neither of them are rational for they each act like God droped dead and left them in charge. If they were God and in charge, then all men would be slaves and I'm not kidding.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

RebeccaLynn, your photo is a beautiful testament to stress. Very nice photo! I don't think there is anything wrong with your wanting to share some of your posts with your Mom, or even reading portions of what you have written to her as conversation starters. IF she can engage in such conversations, even if she doesn't find them helpful, they may be very therapeutic to you. I occasionally discuss and share some of my posts and related care content with my Mom and have enjoyed interesting discussions with her. She gets to ask why caregivers might feel certain ways and whether and how I feel, and I get to correlate it to how she may occasionally feel when she thinks too much about her health decline. Then again, it tales mature communication styles to do what you are wanting to do. GO for it! It says a lot about you that you wish to engage in a mature conversation or exchange with your Mom. It may not be perfect, but it may just be what the doctor ordered for you to share where it is most meaningful to you. Follow your heart, and know that I am rooting for you, whatever you decide. Hugs. Ours is not an easy road, and you are doing the very best you can. Your Mom has her own life issues to work out. In the meantime, you can try to better balance your emotions by sharing your thoughts gently with someone who knows you better than most,.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Some people are so ugly, mean, and hardhearted that you can't just love the devil out of them, but you must protect and respect yourself.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with the other daughters, it would be pointless to say anything. You'll just confirm to her, that you're "crazy" and she'll rival in it.
I am another daughter of a crazy mother that believes the world owes them a living. She is truely hateful and ugly and sometimes I'm convinced that she is the devil.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

RebeccaLynn,

If you would like a name for it, you could call it life on the border. From the sounds of your story, as well as the mom stories of Sis, and AlwaysMyDuty, I don't think it would be posible to have the kind of rational conversation with her usiing something printed from here.

I do think though that it would be reasonable to make some I statements about your feelings. To say things about our emotions like 'you make me so angry or _____" tends to put people on the defensive, but saying 'I am angry or tired or upset or worried about ___ is more of a statement of fact as well as ownership of your own feelings. This is some rather tough teritory to cover and I think I'd get some more immediately available help to venture into that part of not walking on eggshells.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Find out who stole the piano and report this information to the police. This is not a small insignificant item.. it is theft...a crime.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I took care of my mother alone in her apartment for five years. Then she started falling down in the apartment, trying to wander off at night, etc., and I was burned out. That was last September and she still does not understand why she is in the nursing home, and does not understand why I thought I felt like I was burned out. The hardest part of the time I was caring for her was when she had a boyfriend that she insisted on seeing every day, even after he went downhill with Alzheimers, and would not move so we could be closer to the rest of my family. I do visit her a lot in the nursing home, but I am letting the nurses and workers do all the caregiving and responsibilty for all of the problems she has. And she still does not understand why she can't have all her things back and have me take care of her again alone. To make matters worse, one big item of her property is missing, her rosewood upright electric piano that cost about $3,000, which may have been stolen by a grandchild. She is aware enough that she does ask about her property. What is really sad is she used to be a concert pianist and now no piano. How do I deal with trying to explain this away to her at the nursing home when I go to visit every day?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If someone is negative, you will never change them. It might be really cathartic printing them out, why not share them with someone who will understand and appreciate you for it - what you need is a hug. You will never change your family, sad to say.

There is an old saying - the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. You aren't crazy, but you are a caregiver and we tend to try the same things over & over too .....so - welcome to the club...get what validation you can from the articles, hang on sites like this and look for someone that will give you a real hug and appreciate what you do. Best advice I can give from experience is to ignore those who don't cherish you and keep smiling. The more you laugh & smile the healthier and happier you will feel, so even if you have to push yourself, don't stay down - you have to ask yourself every day "what do I need to nurture myself & keep on going" - because ultimately the only one who can truly care for you is yourself. Its not easy whether your family is dysfuntional - or your family knows how to put the fun in dysfunctional. So be kind to yourself & be well -
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Wow, like rewarding them for good behavior, and visa versa. Talk about reverse psychology. Many parents did that to us at one time.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi Rebecca Lynn, Sorry you're in this "no win" situation. I'm sorry we're ALL in this situation. I don't think it would do any harm to let her read the articles...but if she is anything like my Mom, it won't do any good either. Whenever my Mom is confronted with evidence of any wrongdoing she simply says, "Well you know I'm not in my right mind!" "I can't help it". So the blame goes right back to me for bringing it up. The only thing that has helped me is to "take the high road" and tell myself she really has a problem. I started something a few months ago that really seems to work. Mom wants me to be wherever she is in the house (same room). When she starts acting up I ask her to please stop or I'm leaving the room. If she doesn't stop I go to another room in the house for about a half hour. I kept repeating this to show her I do not have to tolerate her behavior and if she wants to act that way, she can be all by herself. After a few days she improved dramatically!! It's kind of like giving your kids a time out.
However please have at least one day a week for yourself. Get someone else to watch Mom and take the day to do whatever makes you happy. You need to take care of yourself physically and mentally.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

LOL, nah...~watch out everyone!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Pamela6148, those electric scooters that I see so many old people riding, are the best thing for getting thru the crowd at Disneyland. I try to find either one of those, or a stroller to follow. It's like the parting of the red sea! Awesome.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Wow when reading this I could have written it. My sister can do no wrong. My sister live 2000 miles away has Mom for a short visit yet feels she knows all the answers. Tells me over the phone how I should handle things. She does not have the time to help our mother as it would interfear with her life. My mother has not a clue how I feel , if she did she would not care. I was always the black sheep until now. When my Momis there all they do is shop, my mom has so much now I dread the next trip when she comes back as I don't know where to put any more. Just know you are not alone. Tired
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Naheaton your MIL is lucky to have a DIL like you. You are lucky to have the company too.

I use to try to get mom to go to the movies with me, before she got sick, and she use to say she couldn't sit for long periods of time. Our outings would be to go to the market. I use to laugh at her when she'd drive those motorized market scooters to shop because she'd run into everything (before she had the stroke). Now when I'm marketing and see a senior citizen on one I often wish my mom was still in the condition to drive one.

Got a little off the subject here, just thought I would plant that thought while it was there.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

naheaton - you are right about asking their opinion. Good strategy!!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Oh yeah I almost forgot the reason I started reading this thread, to
RebeccaLynn, If I were you, I would ask her to read the articles you printed out, and tell her you want her opinion (that always gets them).
Ask her what she would do if she were the person writing the article.
What advice does she have for someone who is taking care of a negative and ungrateful person? I would see if she can look outside of herself for the moment, and see it from another persons perspective. Well... I'd at least give it a try. It's all in the presentation. Good luck with that.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

TimmyK,
Oh my gosh, I thought you were talking about my mother-in-law for a minute. She was a career working woman all her life, but I on the other hand would've rather watched the grass grow than punch a time clock. Because of that difference, she was always critical of me and the choices my husband (her youngest son) and I have made in our marriage. While I wanted to stay home with our son, she was always gone at work. BUT now that she's without her vision ( for the most part) her husband of 60 years, and her independence, she is nothing but grateful for what I can do for her. The fact that I don't have to punch that stupid time clock, is now an attribute to her.
She never stops telling me how much she appreciates what I do for her and we finally have a great relationship.
And she too is thrilled when I just pick her up in my car just for the heck of it, and let her do errands with me. We see movies, shop, walk the parks etc. and she loves it. Suddenly the choices I made at a younger age makes her happy now when it directly affects her.
On the flip side, my own mother gets ticked off that I do so much with her. She remembers how I was treated in the old days by m-i-l and resents my being so nice. But I think it's water under the bridge, and who cares at this point in her life? I'm not keeping score (but my mom is) oh well...
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Well said mhmarfil!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Welcome RebeccaLynn - to a club we all would rather not be in. In my case, I think articles would just inflame my mother. I do not find i can discuss things with her either, but the past few years I have been stating (not for discussion) my needs and limitations more that I did before (see crecent comments in my post "Does anyone care for a borderline personality parent? Do you have any tips for helping them?").This I often do by email as she lives in another city and sometimes face to face.

You say " I don't want to hurt her feelings or make her think it's her fault, but i think she should know how this affects me." I do agree - absolutely - and while it may not be her "fault" she does bear some responsibility in the situation. Your feelings are as important as hers. Self centered, negative people usually have no idea how they affect others and I think only you can tell her that. Those of us who were brought up by a negative critical parent have been "trained" to put the needs/feelings of others before our own. Breaking out of that is hard but can be done and really needs to be done for our emotional health and even our physical and.spiritual health. There is excellent support here. Wishing you all the success possible in your situation, You are worth it!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Hi rebecca lynn -- yep you've come to the right site. As others have said, you may or may not show those articels to your mom. After weighing the pros & cons, the ball is in your hands. I will leave it all up to you. Just let us know what happened. I will quickly share mine here, I showed a similar book to my mom dealing with the stress that elderly parents bring to their middle-age kid. She skimmed the pages for like 5-7 minutes then placed the book on her bed, got up, asked for fruit juice and never bothered to read it again! ^_^ after a few days I asked her again if she understands it, she just nodded and did something else again. She zipped her mouth & left me wondering if she fully understands me or not. After 18 yrs of caregiving for her, at some point, you will learn to act intuitively, & by this ability you learn to avoid useless confrontation that will most often never be resolved. SO why stress yourself... U will come to that point when u know this is what you can give, this is up to this point only. beyond that, let your parent do what she wants to do, yet there won't be guilt on your part anymore. After all, we are all operating on medical financial triage... resources are finite, money is finite, we have our limitations, our time is limited, our patience & vitality is all drained. Let's practice triage. conserve for our own sake whatever is left of us. And re-charge please. it's not bad to distance yourself so u can recharge. don't feel guilty about it. Keep us posted what is ur decision and how ur mom took it? We're here for u.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Rebecca Lynn,
We grow up a lot when we start seeing them for who they are, and start disentangling ourselves from them emotionally. Yes, they can hurt our feelings, but we can forgive. We grow as we seek affirming friends outside of our abusive relationship with our mother. You don't have to blame her for your depression, and don't have to stay there. You have already taken a positive step in sharing your feelings here. Hope it helps you to know you are not alone, and that many people feel the same as you. Isn't that empowering? Now, I give you permission to nurture you own precious spirit, and take care of your emotions. I'm wishing you a blessed day, and praying for you. While this doesn't make all things perfect, you can still experience the peace that passes understanding, and draw your strength from God. He will lead and guide you, in your responses toward your mom, and in caring for yourself, as you are dealing with difficulties. Here to support you in prayer and read as you vent. Hope that is encouraging to you! In spite of your mom, her attitudes, and the circumstances, I pray your day is blessed!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Of course not.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi Rebeccalynn, I have been a caregiver to my mother for the last 14 years(she has MS), and I know exactly how you feel. I am the youngest son of four children, and my brothers and sisters are the "perfect ones" that can do no wrong. and I too have been the victim of negative comments and negative attitude from my mother. But what I had to understand is that our relationship changed a long time ago, I stopped being the child, and became the extension of herself that she was when she was healthy. It may not be you that she is attacking, but herself for being in the dependent situation that she is in.I have learned that she cannot understand what she is doing to me, without feeling that she is responsible for my decision to take care of her, and guilt turns to anger, and then it is taken out on me.So you see, it becomes a vicious cycle, and nothing gets resolved. Just understand that you are the most important person in her life and when she needs someone to help her physically and emotionally, you are her rock. There are many outside resources to help you, try to step away and take moments for yourself, take time to write down how you feel by entering it into a journal, or take a quiet walk for a half an hour. These things have helped me immensely, and I hope I have been helpful, we are here for each other. I hope my suggestion finds you and your mother well.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My situation is a flip to this situation. My mother has always been abusive to me, taken advantage of me and never there for me.
For the past year I have been the caregiver for both my parents, moved into their condo in Florida with them, leaving my home and grown children in Georgia.
The flip is...now my mother is so appreciative, supportive of me and what I am doing. Has verbally told me how she never knew me and is so proud of having me for her daughter. Tells everyone how lucky she is. She tries to help me help them. She gets soooo excited when I get a chance to go out for fun...maybe more excited than I am. My brother is in Ohio and doesn't even call..free pass. He was her golden boy and now she is really hurt by him. She was an only child and spoiled. She was Miss Guam and a model when younger.
Now she is a mess and wondering what happened. She feels I am the best thing that ever happened and is sorry that she wasn't a good mother to me. We are now having the good mother/daughter relationship we never had....getting to meet the person we never knew before. Sure she sometimes goes into that princess mode, but now she sees herself doing it and fights it. She will never change, but now she sees herself doing it and doesn't like herself then. Just thought I would share this transformation of a mother/daughter relationship. Too bad it had to take this situation to make it happen... we have been blessed that it did. When she dies I will be broken hearted and that isn't how it was a year ago.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.