Please help. I didn't mean for this to be so long and bless your big heart for being kind enough to spare me the time to read this. I am torn up inside and could really use some assistance. Thanks:
I am a 45 year old woman with two young adult daughters. My mother is 77 years old. My wonderful father died in 2005.I am trying to start a home based business. There are only four of us in our family. There is NOBODY else, no one. Here's the issue. I love my mom, I really do, but she wants to see me every single day. She doesn't want to go anywhere without me, except to the hairdresser, grocery shopping and that's it.
She has only one friend who she sees about once a week. I have encouraged her to talk to her neighbors and invite them over. She won't. I even said I would make her food and drop it off at her house so she wouldn't have to cook. Nope, won't do it.
I would love to see my mother once or twice a week, but she wants to see me every day. I feel guilty as hell. I see her 4 to 5 times a week for about 4 to 8 hours a day and I am ready to burst with misery about her being here so much and guilt about my seflish attitude for not wanting her here as much as she is. And I hate it. I cannot stand seeing her so much. She doesn't talk, just sits on the sofa waiting for someone to talk to her. She is very very lonely. I get that, but she doesn't want to do anything without me.
I have encouraged her to: go to the senior centre, volunteer, join a book club, invite someone over from church. Her response? "No, because my hips hurt/back hurts etc" or my ultimate favorite of "Karen, these people have families. I am not going to ask them to do something with me when they have families of their own." I encourage my daughters to spend time with their grandmother but they really don't want to because she either a) complains, b) doesn't talk, or c) all of the above.
In the ideal situation, my mother would come over every single day and sit on my sofa until I come downstairs, oh so joyful to see her and then I would tell her all the wonderful things that have happened in my wonderful life since I last saw her (yesterday). But I don't have exciting stories to tell. I just don't. The conversations are always one sided. I have to think of something to say and she responds with yes or no, or talks very little and then stops until I have to think of something else to say. It's exhausting.
My mother attends church weekly and once in a while goes to a function there. I've encouraged her to do more as have people at church but she has only one pet project: spending time with me. That is her ultimate goal every single day of her life. And truthfully, it's draining.
There are many things she could do but doesn't want to. Everyone loves my mother. She truly is a good, kind, decent person. But I just can't stand seeing her day after day after day and racking my brains to come up with some conversation. She routinely says, "Karen, talk to me, just say anything" and do try. I swear I do.
The stress is killing me. I spoke to her doctor and she is on an antidepressant, but that does not cure her loneliness. It does not stop her from calling everyday to find out "when can I come over?" It does not stop me from cringing at the thought of spending so much time with her. If I say that I am busy, she whispers "Oh, okay" in a very soft unhappy voice, and sure that means I don't have to see her that day, but I do the next.
I never get to spend anytime alone with my own children. A few days ago I said, "Mom, I think that me and the kids will go to see a movie, just the three of us. I haven't spent any time alone with them for months and months now." Her wistful response, "Oh, I wish I could go." I felt like screaming, "God damn it mother. I spend more time with you than anyone. You are choking me and sucking all my happiness out of me. Go find someone to talk to. How selfish a person are you that you demand to spend so much time with me but you can't let me spend two hours with my children once, just once. I more or less told her this but she said, "I just wanted to tell you how I felt, that's all."
What do I do? I have tried reasoning with her many times. If I am gentle or if I am strong or if I am nice or if I am mean, it results in the same thing: her saying "Fine. I won't bother you anymore then. You live your life. Goodbye." And then her calling me the next day. So truthfully, what is the point having hurt feelings and anger if nothing every changes?
I am at the point right now where I truthfully feel I could hurt her or me because I cannnot take it anymore.
What do I do? She is sitting downstairs on my sofa now. It is about 5pm and she has been here since 1pm. On Wednesdays I need to take her to her doctor, which will of course mean that she will say after the appointment, "Is it okay if I just sit on your sofa? I'm not coming in your house to run all over it. I won't bother you?" On Friday she has a morning appt too which will result in the same thing.
Today I said to her, "Do you want to come out to lunch with me today (to a place she likes) or to dinner (a place she doesn't like)" She chose lunch, and idiot that I am, I figured when we got back 2 hours ago that she would leave. She didn't. Instead she said she will "find something to eat" at the place we are going to for dinner, so now that means she will be here until 8pm.
Am I a selfish horrible person? My mother is so wonderful and kind and gives me money all the time and will do anything for me. I feel like I should be doing all of this with a smile on my face instead of with anger and resentment in my heart. I am crying buckets right now and feel like a complete moron. Am I?