Why do I still feel so much guilt after taking care of my mom who moved in 5 years ago?

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Mom moved in with us 5 years ago. She is 91 (in 9 days). Before that I drove 45 minutes several times a day to help her with step father (invalid). She is just getting old, very easy going and very very happy in my home. I think I'm getting some burnout - depressed, isolating myself, etc. I am taking very good care of her, and I love her so much...but I have this gut wrenching feeling of guilt...even I don't know why. No one in family helps...don't even come around or send cards - haven't for years - my husband is very good about her living here and he loves her too. I just don't understand what "Guilt" means or how to deal with it. I should not feel guilt, but I do.I'm giving her so much love and care and I don't resent her?? Some people call me a Saint....but I sure don't feel like one...I feel like I'm not doing enough.

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sweatpea,

I think you need a support group, boundaries, look at the thread on this site "the power of emotional blackmail, get a therapist, look for somewhere else for your mother to live and thereby reduce the stress that is causing this ulcer.

https://www.agingcare.com/discussions/power-of-emotional-blackmailers-176430.htm

Right now you are in a very unhealthy emotional dance with your mother. It takes two to dance. So, choose how much longer you want to dance and then take steps to proceed accordingly. If you choose to stop the dance by setting boundaries, be prepared for her not to like that, but you need to do that in order to stop the dance and protect yourself from being used further.

Good luck and let us know how things progress.
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I feel very used in my role as a caregiver.
my mother is 92 and she is very negative..she lives with me And rarely thanks me for anything All she does is complain. My brother rarely takes her over night which I would love for him to do as I need a break. She is jealous of my friends and my boyfriend. She calls him names behind his back to me and it upsets me that she does this. I really like this guy and he is very kind to my mother..I feel like I am getting an ulcer because of this situation. What can I do? I would like to run away but I own the house we live in...maybe I need a support group.
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I'm sorry to hear that your sister's moods are so all over the place. As someone with bipolar disorder, it sounds to be like her meds need to be re-evaluated because I'm hearing more than just depression there. It sounds like she needs a mood stabilizer.

Well, I am glad that you are in such a very good mood now and wish you well with your stress relieving techniques. Let us know if we can ever help you with your down days of being on guilt trips. I wish you the best!.
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I am far from suicidal, some people are pill takers and some are NOT I am NOT! An the suicidal rate for people on anti depressants is Hugh! My sister takes anti depressants and she is up one day down the next, and off the wall other days. I can't justify these type of drugs, there are so many other ways to get rid of anger and frustration, walking, listing to music, talking with others, even a good old fashion yell! I tire of Dr's who think drugs are always the answer when there is so much more out there. Even for pain, there is massage, therapy, swimming! I understand meds are the only answer for some but for me it is a last resort! Thank you for your reply but I believe there is better ways. :-)
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careingfortwo, you sound in a completely different mood that you did 23 hours ago!

Sorry, but I thought you were 55 from your profile. Not that it matters, but I'm 57.

It does sounds like you are the 90% 24/7 caregiver for some very old parents. Are there any other options that you have for their care other than you doing this 24/7? That is very nice for you to do, but flying solo as a caregiver could put you in an early grave for 1/3 of caregivers die before those they are caring for.

I am also wondering on a practical level how well prepared you are at 54 for your own retirement one day?
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Medication, if you are depressed, should not be a last resort. It is the first line defense against developing maladaptive behaviors and becoming suicidal.
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Cmagnum
Thank you for your reply, my mother has been this Italian gunslinger most of her life at least that is what I hear from all my brothers and sisters, I don't remember her being that way. But than again I was always a very happy go lucky living on the edge kind of girl. Nothing every got to me or bothered me, I always seamed to find the best in any situations.
Lets see what kind of help do they need from me, lets just say because I'm here I do it all. Cook, Clean, Care, Comfort, Coddle, etc. They are both 90 years old both use a walker (have wheelchairs don't use them) ? I do 90% of everything.
I sometimes think I should be on meds but that will be my last resort, a therapist would cost money and time I don't really have, this is why I deiced to look into a site like this. I see so many other people going through the same thing I am going through so I thought maybe this would be helpful on my bad days.
Thank you so much for your kind heart and loving response, more later.
By the way I am ONLY 54 years old not 55 although lately I am looking and feeling 60. LOL
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careing4two,

Has your mother always put you on guilt trips or is this something new?

What type of help does your father and mother need from you?

At 55, you should really have a life of your own. Are you currently working?

You sound very depressed and in need of both a doctor for meds and a therapist for emotional support to overcome these guilt trips from your mother and creating some healthy boundaries for your own well being.
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Oh GOD the guilt! So deep inside it hurts. It controls the whole day and makes me angry and upset. Someday's I cry all day when I'm alone and put on a good face when I'm with my parents. My mom has a way of making me feel guilty and no matter how many times I tell myself this is not going to make me feel bad it still does. Mom says things like I do more for my dad than I do for her. Or when she is dead I will be sorry. I am crying right now just typing this. I do everything I can for both of them I don't know how much more I can do or take. I love them so much and can't handle the thoughts she specks of. Why do so many elderly people do this to us?
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I think you are having "survivor guilt." Like "why is this happening to her and not me?" that is a very common human experience when you are OK and someone else is not. Its something we are taught about, if we are lucky, as rehab docs in training, to focus on what you can do to help and carry a low burden of guilt for the circumstances of other people - your job then becomes helping them prioritize *their* goals and achieve what is achievable. You can't live the other person's life, no matter how much empathy you have or how good a person you are.
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