shimmyprincess Asked September 2010

I have been visiting daily AND she wants MORE. Any tips on how to break it to her that I'll be visiting less?

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I'm the youngest of 6 kids and the only one around her. She abandonded the other 5 but kept me. I was put in foster several times, but she always got me back. I don't hate her, but I don't feel "love" for her either. I'm only visiting out of guilt and no clue why "I" feel guilty. One other sibling does call her but that's it. She wants me to stay for hours. I myself am disabled and it's only been 2 months, but my health is getting worse. When I told her I'd only visit 1 time per week she had a fit. She won't go to PT or OT, is down to 77 pounds and sits in her room all day but claims she's lonely. I refuse to let her know I feel guilty, but I do. There is no magic number of days or hours to visit, but it's never enough with my mom. Her logic is that since I'm home all day I can stay with her. Her NH is a 24 hour visiting. any tips on how to break it to her that I'll be visiting less?

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I have been honest with her. Many years of counseling, etc. She doesn't care period. She has zero drive to get out, or she would eat and go to PT &OT instead of sitting in her room in bed all day. She wants to be babied. Yes, it's a temp. situation, but she isn't cooperating, so it will be longer than she thinks. At 77 pounds and can't get up to use the restroom, she won't be going home in just a few weeks. This has been going on for 2 months now. I can't force her to eat or go to PT, neither can the NH
I hold no amimosity towards being in foster care many times during my childhood. It made me the person I am today and I like me! I only included it to give some background. she was told by my Grandmother that she would die alone & miserable. Nice family eh? I have seen to it that I do visit. Some "me" time is not wrong. 5-6 phone calls a day is insane in addition to 2-3 hour visits daily

with a big family, I'm the only one still around says something. She backstabs the very people she claims to love. I won't get into details, but things I've heard from relatives about me are pretty bad, yet I still go.
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OBVIOUSLY, the woman loves you and wants to spend time with you. Why would you want to lie to her to avoid spending time with her? Since it is only a temporary stay as you stated, then it sounds like she doesn't want to get to know the people already there and still has the drive to get out of there asap and go home. Be honest with her about how you feel. Tell her you don't "love" her and you hold animosity towards her for putting you in foster care and then getting you back. Don't lie to the woman who is holding on to what little hope of a family member she has.
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thank you for your insight! mybe it is survivor guilt. She drilled into my head that the others hated me, I have recently started takling to them and they invited down for Christmas! They don't have hard feelings towrads me, just her.
I do train service dogs for the disabled. I own 2 service dogs myself, so I can tell her I had to take in a foster to train for a while.
She has no intrests except the telephone. She won't read, crochet, crossword puzzles, nada. They have tried to encourage her to go to classes and group events. I guess if she wants to sit in her room, that's on her. She just there short term to gain weight and mobility. The constant phone calls drive me nuts. I can be down the hallway and my cell rings. I'm getting the number changed today.
thanks again!
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LynnPO Sep 2010
Shimmy - The guilt thing is tough, really tough and it will take some practice NOT to feel that way. First you MUST put yourself ahead of your mom at least now and then. It's OKAY!!! You cannot sacrifice your own health for hers. First talk with the social services staff or nursing director at the NH and tell them you must visit less and you're worried about how she'll handle it. Ask them if they can get her involved in things during your "off" days to distract her.

Tell Mom that you're starting a class, taking physical therapy or a accepted a part time job - ANYTHING that takes up your time. Tell her you're sorry but it means you can visit only 2 or 3 times a week. Take things to her that will help her fill up her time - crosswords, crochet, magazines, a small TV - Anything you can think of. After you tell her, have your usual visit and then leave. Tell her you'll see her in two days, hug her and then leave.

You'll feel guilty but you'll also feel a sense of relief - you might feel guilt over the sense of relief too but it will pass. I call this a guilt sandwich - guilt/relief/guilt. On your non-visiting day, don't answer her phone calls and do something you REALLY enjoy to distract yourself. Keep this up for at least 3 weeks and be conscientious of your feelings. When you begin to feel guilty talk yourself out of it. Remind yourself of all the good things you've done for your Mom, all the good things you do for your own kids, neighbors and family - they are all just as important. Remind yourself that she's in good hands, she's cared for by people with the training and physical strength to meet her needs.

Best of luck!!
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NancyH Sep 2010
Could you be feeling guilty for the wrong reason? I mean, maybe you're feeling guilty that YOU were the one that she kept. Kinda like survivor guilt over being the one that wasn't killed in a plane full of people that were. If that's the case, then you should have more freedom to say 'no' to her I would think. Since the guilt is NOT because you think you have to be there for her. Just a thought, either way I'd be reaching out to my siblings that must have a whole boat load of mixed feeling for her. Stick to your visiting once a week if that's all you can handle. She's made her decisions in life, now you make yours.
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