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My 81 year old mother moved in with me about 1 1/2 years ago. I feel very resentful towards her because she strives to make me feel guilty for needing time to my self. I work all week M-F while she goes and lays around at adult day care. She nor my dad ever worked thus I was pretty much brought up in poverty. My dad passed away about four years ago. She gets very little for S.S. since she did not work. I have a family of my own and live well-above poverty. I do not mind her living with me but she is not the cleanest person and I have to battle with her to take a bath. She picks her skin until she bleeds and wont stop. She has blood stains all over her sheets and has gotten a form of shingles. Since I work all week, I really need Saturdays to myself. However, she puts me on a guilt trip by crying and saying I don't care about her, if I leave her at home with my 18 year old son. I am finding myself getting extremely angry with her and yelling at her often. I don't like how I feel towards her and just want to get away from her. Then I feel guilty because I know she will not live forever, then I'll regret feeling angry. I am at my witts end with her. I am sick and tired of cleaning up blood, washing her clothes, battling with her to take a bath, and being responsible for her mental well-being!!!

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Hi Ishmael - good to see you posting again. You have those points right. And let me say I am sorry about your mum. - and condolences for losing grandma. I have no doubt that the health of caregivers are negatively affected by the " insanely demanding, threatening, and mean-spirited" people they look after.

icc - Ishmael has good points
My mother is narcissistic and has Borderline Personality Disorder I(lots of anger). One counsellor said to me - it won't go on much longer. Well, mother is aiming at 100 right now (May) and possibly healthier than I am. The doctors say her organs are A1. I am 74 and every year she lives shortens the time I have left, in terms of being free of caregiving. Fortunately she is in another city (her choice) and in an ALF and manages pretty well still with some local help. I think quite a few older people become harcissistic as they age, even if they were not before. Mine has always been. As I understand the "rules" your mum might qualify for medicaid, I think it is. (I am in Canada) Would you consider placing her? It is one way you could reclaim your life. Even then there is a fair amount of work, but the daily grind you describe would not be there.
Has your mum been diagnosed with dementia. The reluctance to have a bath and the picking sounds like she may have something like that. Perhaps she should have an evaluation. Sounds like there was some dysfunction there all along.

I totally understand that you need Saturdays to yourself. Sounds like your mum is pushing your "guilt" buttons. Please know that you are already doing a lot for your mum, and have no reason to feel guilty. You are not doing anything wrong. Mine does the same and I am learning to detach myself emotionally, and do what is good for me, while also doing what is necessary in terms of her care, but not "cave" to her every whim. Your needs count every bit as much as your mum's do. It sounds to me like you are under a lot of stress due to care giving. Be sure to build in enough time for you, despite your mum's guilt tripping you. You are not responsible for her happiness - or unhappiness. As some say, "She can put you on a "guilt trip" but you don't have to buy a ticket to ride. It is emotional blackmail - manipulation.

My motto has become "If it isn't good enough today, make changes". I have lived too long waiting for a better day.

Good luck to you and ((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))
Jo

You will find good company on the The Caregiver and Dysfuncional Families thread.
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You have to be careful with these "She won't live forever" rationalizations. My mother took in my grandmother 19 years ago and always said the same thing as a way of coping. Unfortunately for Mom, SHE didn't last forever - only 11 years - which was probably due in large part to the stress of my insanely demanding, threatening, and mean-spirited granny. Who, by the way, just passed away at 105.5 and outlived Mom by about 8 years.

Can you handle 20+ years of this?
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