Follow
Share

My mom lived in the same house with her 2 sisters for over 38 years. Six years ago, both sisters passed away. On the night of my aunt’s funeral, her daughters (Who now owned the house mom lived in), threw out a proposition to me. If the kids and I moved into my mom’s apartment (more room and where I lived with my parents for 18 years before I got married), they would move my mom downstairs so she wouldn’t have to climb stairs, and they wouldn’t have to sell the house.
My kids and I had just moved into a new apartment 2 months prior and we loved it there! But what was I supposed to do? Have my cousins sell the house from under my mom after she just lost both her sisters? I had to sell most of my furniture because it wouldn’t fit in this house. And the kids and I packed up again and moved. Right upstairs from my mom.
Within the last 2 years my mom has been hospitalized many times. The first five times was for colitis and CDiff. Each time she came home I had to take Family Leave from work to care for her (I don’t get paid for it because I work for a ‘bi state agency’). I did everything for her. Bathe her, fed her, made sure she took her meds, and every time she wound up in the ER I was the only one there with her for 10 hours at a time. (I have a brother but he is basically useless. Always has an excuse for everything).
Last year my mother suffered a massive stroke. Thankfully it was a blood vessel in the back of her head that closed so all it affected was her walking. But it was touch and go and in order to save her life I had to have her transferred to a New York Hospital (NYU). She was there for 7 weeks, during which time I literally left my kids on their own and lived at the hospital for the first month then drove back and forth every day. (We live in NJ and it cost me my entire tax refund on tolls and parking during that time).
My mom spent time in 2 ICU’s and at one point was in a coma. The hospice team came to her room one day and told me my mother would never open her eyes or walk again. (Imagine our surprise when she opened her eyes that night and told us she was hungry!). Following 5 weeks at a rehab facility (Where we had to spend one night in the ER due to my mother being in excrutiating pain with her arthritis), my mother finally came home.
I love my mother. But I am burned out. I work full time and thank God my kids are older (Daughter 21, son 18), but for the last five years all I have done is concentrate on my mom. I haven’t been to the beach in five years. My mom has an aide with her during the day while I’m at work, but as soon as I come home, it’s all me. I’m tired enough as it is from getting up early each morning, and to come home and have to see to all of my mother’s needs is exhausting.
I have come to despise weekends, because I’m stuck home with my mom, taking her out wherever she needs to go on Saturdays and then trying to figure out what to do with her on Sundays because she hates staying home. There is absolutely no one to give me a break. It is such a chore getting her in and out of the house, down the stairs, in and out of the car with the walker or wheelchair, and I am just… tired. Tired to the point where I am beginning to feel so guilty because I feel so resentful. And knowing someday she won’t be here with me and I’ll wish for these days back makes me feel worse. But for right now, I just want to get rid of this anger and the feeling that all I want to do is cry. I know there are so many out there who have it so much worse, like having parents with dementia who don’t even recognize them anymore. But no matter what role of caregiver you play, it is hard as hell.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
The original post was from 2013,, I wonder how things worked out?
(0)
Report

Sheila, I've been reading through this thread but I keep going back to the original post. You can't change the past but this housing situation was probably a bad idea, only getting worse as mom ages, your cousins have become total s....Ts and your kids are ready to abandon ship.

You can take walks on the beach, get therapy, take up booze, (thanks captain. My fav therapy too) and join a support group but the only real solution is for mom to go into a skilled nursing home and you and you kids get your own place. I know that's a tall order and maybe not possible next week but your going to go down with this ship if you don't change course.
(0)
Report

I feel the exact same way as you do Shelia! I get it!!! I have taken care of my mother and grandmother my entire adult life from 18 to now 46 years old. I have children and a husband. I wish someone could give us a answer to making our lives better, but I don't think their is one. I had to make my sister "just sit with mom one night for me". I pray that you find peace and strength. Your story is my story and so many others! Wish You the Best !
(0)
Report

There really isn't anyone who can help with my mom. She's not bedridden, but cannot walk without her walker, and even with that she is very unsteady on her feet. She is also on coumadin, so if God forbid she were to fall.... she would be in big trouble (She spent 2 weeks in the hospital with a large hematoma in her stomach just because she coughed too hard!). People say, "Oh but your mom wears that thing on her wrist, right? To call for help if she needs it? But that doesn't give me any peace of mind because if my mom has to push that button, it's too late, she is already in big trouble. And how would she push the button if she were to pass out (Like she did once before because she was dehydrated. Went downstairs and found her on the kitchen floor!). Hanging in there every day. It's all that we can do!
(1)
Report

Hi SheilaC, You are not alone. I don't have any realistic answers for you, but I do know very well how you are feeling. I have been caring for my Mom (and other family members) for the past few years. I go through so many emotions everyday. It's just me and my Mom. While I cherish the time we are having together, I wonder when this will all end. It's been too much, really. Now, I have gotten to the point where I am throwing back a few too many every night. Self medicating is not the answer, I know, but it helps me cope. I hope this is just a phase, but I take life just one day at a time. Hang in there. If it is realistic, I would try to get some help with caring for your Mom -- your children, family, you get the idea.....
(2)
Report

Sheila, I was and still am struggling with father. We both are right but have different opinions. He tries to control me and tries to tell me how to do things, that I automatically rebel. I don't blame your kids for wanting to leave. My siblings here on island do not visit unless it's a holiday. Fave sis has faithfully visited on the weekend for Me and not for father.

Because of my constant struggles with father, I found something that another poster said on this site. I actually copied/pasted it to my notes. I hope you like it and maybe see which ones you can apply each day.

DETACH AND BOUNDARIES
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Detaching
Accept that others are responsible for their own choices
Anger –deal with it in a healthy way
Blame –don’t blame and don’t accept blame
Consequences – face them and see that others experience them
Decide what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do
Detachment is not a feeling so much as a choice of behaviours, though the feelings should follow the behaviours. Detachment means you can maintain positive behaviours towards to others –kindness, compassion,
Don’t enable the unhealthy behaviours of others
Focus on yourself
Forgive, but don’t forget the need to protect yourself
Grieve the relationship as it was, the hopes that you had, the mistreatment you received,
Refuse to be manipulated e.g, emotional blackmail
Respond, don’t react
Separate yourself - physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, socially from others behaviours/feelings
Set boundaries
Say “No”
Space –create it between you and them
Try not to take the behaviours personally
Treat others and yourself with love and dignity
You can only control /change yourself – your emotions, your behaviours –do not take responsibility for the others feelings or behaviours

Realise it is a process and that you will make mistakes and get “sucked” in, but that you can learn from your mistakes.

You only need love others as you love yourself -not more than. Please balance your life by loving yourself more.
Expecting gratitude from your mother is like trying to squeeze blood from a stone - it won't happen.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I really liked these words. I hope you do, too.
(3)
Report

My mom's strong personality has already begun alienating my kids. We only live upstairs and they don't even want to stop in to see her as often as they used to because every time they do, all my mom does is complain to them or they are tired of her making ME so miserable! My mom complains to me that the kids could be home and she wouldn't even know it or how they go out and don't even stop in to see her first, and I am tempted to tell her the real reason but don't want to hurt her feelings. There is no assisted living housing in our town, and the senior citizen complex isn't exactly very nice. As a matter of fact, our town is having major problems with no security and drug addicts loitering in the hallways or outside.
(0)
Report

If you know that you can't live with your mom, then Don't. What you know - will come out to be true but soooo much worse than you imagined. It's not worth it. In the end, your mom's strong personality will wear out your resistance until you just keep giving in to her. She will make your life miserable and alienate you kids due to her accusations/complaints. Is there any chance that she can move in to Assisted Living? Or something similar? You may need to do research on how to pay for it. If this is definitely not an option, then maybe you can find a house that she can live on one side and you all on the other? And maybe start doing more of setting boundaries with her so that it makes it easier on you to live with her. Very difficult situation you're in.
(2)
Report

Thank you, Christina. Today I actually had the chance to go to the beach, but I came to work instead. The friend whom I made plans with had car trouble and lives an hour away. Every single person I called either had to work or had things they needed to do. I came really close to going by myself, just to have a ME day! But I've been feeling so down lately that the thought of driving and then sitting on the beach all by myself just seemed too depressing. I knew that if I had gone alone, I probably wouldn't have stayed all day and would have wasted a precious vacation day. So here I am, at work, and the only one here lol!

Who knows? Maybe today something good will happen! I'm in a new office building. Maybe I'll meet Mr. Right on the elevator! Or maybe I'll buy the winning lottery ticket I wouldn't have bought if I had gone to the beach!

Trying very very hard to think positive today, because I am emotionally drained and so tired of feeling like all I want to do is cry. Last night while watching TV all the commercials were of happy smiling people. I just sat there thinking, How I would love to feel like that, even for just one day. To be able to smile and to feel happy! I am sure that there are many caregivers out there, maybe even all of them, who feel the same exact way. Who have also forgotten what happy feels like.

Hanging in there! So happy I found all of you!
(0)
Report

SheilaC: Totally Understand! There is something very wrong with your cousins, and there is something very right with you. It is rampant on our planet lately. I'm sure you've noticed.
The crazier the world becomes, and as inequity abounds, I find myself with fresh eyes and a stronger determination to "stand my ground." You will do the same.
You know who you are. It doesn't matter what they say, or how your Mother's dementia is acting out. You are her only safe attachment, and you know what they say about who we hurt.
Know we are here for you, Sheila, and take care. :) xo
(0)
Report

We used to be a big, happy Italian family. Lots of aunts, uncles and cousins. All of that has changed (Drastically). All my aunts and uncles are gone with my mom being the only one left. Many cousins have moved away. The funny thing about my cousins who own the house we live in.... I don't speak to them anymore. I grew up with these people! (2 cousins and their daughters). Just before my mom had her stroke last year, they told me they were raising my rent (Even though I pay a good price now and they knew that whenever my mom got sick and I had to take off to care for her I didn't get paid for those days - yet always paid my rent!).

Because I told them that I couldn't afford that raise right now, this resulted in their daughters putting a For Sale sign up on our house for spite. Without even mentioning it to my mom. (Yes, the one daughter is a psycho b****). When my mom found out about the sign, she was extremely upset and cried for an entire month. Now, my mom's doctor had just taken her off coumadin due to a hematoma in her stomach from a bad cough. Not long after, my mom suffered a massive stroke. (The stroke specialist at NYU told me that my mom being so upset for so long and being off the coumadin wasn't a good combination. That every time my mom got upset and had rapid heartbeat, it caused tiny blood clots to travel to her brain).

The entire time my mom was in the hospital I received nasty and threatening texts and voicemails from my cousins and their daughters until I finally blocked them all.
Still in shock that this happened, because I grew up with these people and spent my entire life with them! I have not spoken to them since.

After she recovered my mother wanted to know what went on, why I refused to have anything to do with my cousins, so my daughter and I told her. Every now and then the one cousin comes to see my mom, but now the house is for sale again. I CANNOT live with my mother. Just her being downstairs and the kids and I upstairs is close enough! My mom is very opinionated and all we do is argue lately. As soon as I walk in the door she is full of complaints (My son didn't put the top back on the garbage can in the yard, the back hallway is dusty, etc. etc. ETC). She also takes prednisone, which, for anyone who has had to deal with someone taking that, you know the change in personality that sometimes goes along with it.

No matter how patient I try to be, the things she says to me (Like as far as my cousins go, "YOU are the troublemaker!") are hurtful. Of course she will claim that SHE is the one who is 'abused' and miserable living with us.

There is so much.....My kids get upset because when my mom pushes my buttons they see how miserable she makes me. My daughter (who is 21) already told me that if my mother winds up living with us, that she will move out, that's how crazy my mom makes all of us.

I actually dread going home from work. Thank you, all of you, for your replies!
(1)
Report

SheilaC - I agree with BoniChak's suggestion to ASK for help from your grown kids and your cousins and even your mom's friends. After 12 years of caregiving for both my mom and dad and many, many times spent in my car screaming and crying at how frustrated/angry/resentful I was...I finally figured out I needed to take a day off from my mom every week. So I asked/told my brother (who lives in another state) that Sunday was his day. He was to call mom and I had a day to myself. He has happily (I think?) complied. It never occurred to me before to ask him. He never offered, because he's clueless. Not mean or evil, just clueless about what's involved in caregiving.

So set up a schedule with your relatives or even friends of your mom. Even if you can get away for an afternoon or evening on the weekend, do it! And you're not responsible for making your mom happy and meeting her every need. That's up to her. Your first obligation is to take care of yourself and to keep your mom safe and fed. If she doesn't like to stay home on the weekend, see if there are community resources where she can go. Or other folks who can take her out. Does she have a faith community? Get them involved if you can. Good luck!
(4)
Report

lol, i love to kid with hospice about mom and i snorting up all the ativan weeks prematurely. we didnt, but they know we would if we wanted to. it keeps them on their toes. predictability is for losers..i live in a world where there is no time clock. every day is a head rush of planning and executing. its ike piloting a jet thats already burning. plan " e " anyone. we can go to plan " z " and start over adding numbers.. plan a-000001, etc..
(2)
Report

Hey cap'n, I come from a long line of boozers. I'm not really am optimist, I'm a realist ( I love to argue, can you tell?) but I am an empath and I know the feeling.
Pour me another tequila, SheilaC, will you? Fight. Never Surrender!
(1)
Report

As always....Cptn is correct! A drink, a toke, a little yellow pill.....sometimes we all need a little extra help.

That's a Long GUYland girls humble opinion. ;)
(4)
Report

boni and christina are eternal optomists. thats great in cyberland but in the real world sheila, you need booze !!
(5)
Report

Hey, Boni. I've been working in the yard since 7 am and check sporadically! It's all chance! Let me hear you say "Long GUYland, Babydoll!!!"
SheilaC, you are going to make it out of the slump. Stay with us. WhooHoo!! xoxo
(3)
Report

And once again, Christina beats me to the punch! LOL! I'm a slow typer and long winded......but we sure think alike girl!
(2)
Report

My heart goes out to you and your Mom. You certainly have it rough. Some have it rougher and some easier but it is always HARD. This is a great place to start. It looks like this is your first post. I've been here a month or 2 and it is a great place to VENT and get advice. It has literally saved my life.
You are doing a wonderful thing for your Mom and I (we) totally understand your feeling frustrated, angry and sad. We all have many days like that. There is very little appreciation and understanding of all a caregiver does.
This online community DOES understand and appreciates each other because we are all in the same boat.
This is a day to day job that unfortunately has a HUGE "catch 22". It could be a thousand days...or today could be the last. You need to treat each day as if it could be the last (with extra love and affection towards Mom), while dealing with the smidge of resentment, pinch of frustration, obvious sadness (due to the fact that caregivers have already started the mourning process), and the anger, that, in my opinion, is more sadness, but in disguise.. Then there is the BIGGIE. The GUILT we feel about having these negative emotions. It's natural. It's tough to endure. We are all there with you.... and coming here and knowing you are not alone will be great help.
Speaking of help....what I have learned on my journey is you have to actually ASK for it. Your kids are old enough to stay with Mom for a day or 2 a month so you can go to the beach...or wherever you can, to get time to yourself. Talk to them. I have a feeling they are GREAT kids, with a Mom like you. What about the cousins who own the house? Can't they visit the Aunt that lived with their Mom's for so many years? ASK them. It couldn't hurt.
Forgive my overlong sentences and ramblings......I just want you to know...YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Come join us for friday night "happy Hour".....and bring a joke!
(6)
Report

Sheila, you are not alone. You are in a good place to vent and get support. A few laughs, too. Someday it will end, but in the meantime, don't feel guilty. That is not the right emotion. You are not super human ( but you are). We often see that with people on their last nerve--feeling guilty-- and I'm sure I've felt it, too, but still don't understand why it surfaces. Good that you are able to express yourself and know we are hugging you, and the angels are lifting you up. How are your kids? Are they stable and moving forward? You are blessed. Hang in, Dear One:) xo
(4)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.