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Ebnich, I'm no expert, but I'm surprised no one mentioned that you too are grieving the loss of your mother, as you have known her. As a nurse, you're likely familiar with the stages of grief. It seems to me that you are in the pain and anger stages.

This is expected. It is normal to grieve. It's not your "fault" you feel this way. Feelings, though they can mislead us, are very real. The worst way to respond is to stuff these feelings and numb out. Experience your feelings. Process your emotions and thoughts and work through the grief of your loss. Only then can you truly be the mother, wife, and daughter that you want to be.

Blessings to you in your struggle.

I have those same feelings towards my mom as well, and turning that mindset around takes a lot of effort, strength and persistence. My mother has outlived two husbands, and has always taken care of others, but now, at 85, she needs my help taking care of basics (filling prescriptions/med boxes, paying bills, housework, clothes washing) - and she used to try to "help" me do these things.....but now she just sits and doesn't even make the effort to care for herself. She "thinks" she is independent, but she isn't. Unkempt, doesn't bathe, etc...….she starts crying and making me feel like such a monster when I talk about her not caring for herself, and we've had a couple of blow-ups lately, leaving me crying all the way home out of guilt and anger. After the last episode, I made the conscious decision to just bite my tongue (as much as possible) and focus on things that make her happiest. We went through her old jewelry box last week, and her attitude was so positive as she went through things that brought back happy memories...…..she's just so depressed about being "old" and she has a hard time my goal now is to focus on positive and try to just skim through negative so she doesn't dwell on it and I don't leave her apartment mad at her. Every week when I go to visit, I try to be efficient and swift about the basic stuff we need to get done, then focus on doing something that will help get her through the week......out to eat, shopping for a grandchild's birthday, going to a community activity. This mindset change for me has definitely helped! Prayers for you to have strength!

I'm answering here because my dad took his life too. It was 7 years ago. My mom did not grieve in any sort of expected way. She pretended to be just fine about it all. At least your mother is obviously suffering. Eventually my mom did a bit of crying, and then she went to bed one day, convinced she was dying because she had a cold. I knew death had been on her mind constantly. My parents had actually had a suicide pact, planning to go out together, but my dad went without her because she was physically healthy. She had not expected to be without him. So, as I was trying to nurse her back to health from the cold, she just kept saying that she was dying. I tried to be sweet to her at first and that didn't help, so I finally told her she was not dying, that I have seen people who were dying, and she simply was not, so it would be best to drink the water and juice and eat her soup and get out of bed when she felt like it because we had a lot to do. Within an hour she was up.

ebmick, I have called out your question to the sky a lot this year! I find myself doing what I’ve nicknamed ‘morally judging’ my mom over her decreasing grooming, not seeing that her kitchen counters have gunk and crumbs, etc. She cares about fewer and fewer things. I keep wanting to shake into her the will to dust herself off and do better. But I don’t think she can. We want young people to improve their lives and themselves. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to ‘hope’ that aging folks will do. I keep repeating to myself ‘Brain loss is not fun.’

She used to walk in my house and nitpick every single thing, each time she saw me ask ‘what happened to your hair,’ etc. I wonder if I’m not just doing knee-jerk reactions now because of how she had acted.

Good luck in counseling, it’s a great process. I am SO sorry for the loss of your father, bless him. I hope you will meet him in forgiveness along the way. We can never know what kind of suffering his brain had created. Sending you a very big hug. 💐

You have  quite a challenge...It is very sad that dad took his life.. Mom may well still be in shock/grief.  

I say this kkindly:  Learn to separate how you FEEL from what you DO.  It is not easy.

You may want to consider asking God to give you (more of) a servant's heart.

I will not recite my own caregiving of my massively handicapped wife  for many years. 
Suffice to say I was given the grace to endure it and ultimately delight in it. 

Grace + Peace,

I am so sorry for the loss of your dad, and you are right, the way you lost him, the way he chose to leave definitely broke you and your mother inside. If you are able to sit down with your mom and let her know that the reason you fuss about what she does that irritates you, is because of your stuffed grief and anger at your father because in truth this is the cause for the way you feel more than likely. I would recommend some counseling for her also along with an antidepressant. I wish you and your mother the best.

I feel you. I had a period of time when I felt cold towards my mom as well and anger towards my dad for dying suddenly and leaving her care to me. (He died of cancer, not suicide). I think what you feel is perfectly normal. No one can walk in your shoes and therefore can judge you. Here's simple tip I used that helped me to 'warm up' to my mom again. I started to think of one small thing I could admire about her everyday. I actually put a prompt in my smartphone that reminds me daily to think of something...a funny story she told years ago; her flawless, smooth skin at 75; the cake she used to bake that was so delicious. After a while, to my delight, I started to feel the stirrings of compassion for her again. Give it a try, or your version of this. Hope this helps.

As a fellow nurse I understand that you should FEEL better towards your mom, however your mom is going through the unthinkable right now. Put yourself in her shoes. I mean think about what happened. She was with him for 55 YEARS! This is half a life time. He was probably the love of her life. I don’t know your story enough to know but from what you said your mom sounds very depressed beyond words. Is she on meds for this ?? Is she in counseling? You HAVE too take all of this into consideration. Also I went through a horrible situation with my mom. She had Lewis body demita while very rare it was awful. My mom turned into a mean terrible person. I was the one who put her too bed and found her completely covered in blood a few hours later. I live with this guilt every day. Anyway as you know when someone gets early onset their mind changes. Get her checked. You are her main caregiver now. She has no one else. She’s dependent on you right now just as my mom was me. Don’t let your mom down by giving up on her bc she may/may not have a problem. Love her for the person she is and support her through this Trumatic event. It’s up to you now. Also if your daughter is seeing the way ( or hearing you) treat your mom this way she’s going to learn to not repoect grandma now bc she’s “different “ Children live what they learn. You need to really step back a moment and look at the whole picture. I know your in a horrible way yourself so talk to you therapist about how you feel. It’s the only way you are going to see your way through this dark time and try to love your mom for who she is now. Believe me it’s very hard. Very hard. I am still in counciling bc of what happened.
Just try to remember that she loves you and really needs you right now. You need her too but don’t realize it yet. You are angry about what happened. You need to come to terms with this before you can move forward.
I feel for you. I really do. However please remember that your mom and yourself had a relationship at one point ( I bam guessing) try to get it back even though it may be different now she’s still your mom.
Please hang in there. It with get better. Praying for you and your family.

She is emotionally attached to you so these feeling are quite normal in regards to the situation and you as a mom and woman are allowed to say no. Set boundries and be ok with the fact that you are overwhelmed by her. That isn't going to change. You need to get you better. And if that means less time with your mom it's ok. Don't do what I did and kill yourself to make someone impossible happy for all you're doing is setting yourself up. By all mean love her but draw a line where she can't get into those places to hurt you or your child. It isn't always her it's a default of the deterioration of her mind and crazy overactive mind with emotions. All you can do is make sure she is safe and as comfortable as can be. You can't put who you are down for you have enough going on because she's unhappy and happily unhappy. That's on her not you. Be better to yourself by doing more that serves you and get her the help and care she needs so you have less of this going on. It's not healthy to anyone. Relation will cause more harm than good in these situations I've learned. Its a big change for everyone but the right one for everyone. Hope you the best. I'm sorry everything is so difficult but you have to make decisions about how your life is going to be. That has nothing to do with you being a nurse. This is your mom. Two completely different types of care. I can tell you that if you find a good place for her to settle into. You will feel much better. Remember that no matter where she goes she will remain this way. Why do this to yourself. I regret that I did. I thought it was the right loving thing. It destroyed what little strength I had left. It will get easier if you set boundries for yourself and her and no is a full sentence. Good luck and much love. Jo

Agree with JoAnn29. Also, emotions are overrated, (sorry), but in times of suffering, we need to be 'cool' if we want to avoid meltdown. Nothing wrong with going numb for a time of normal grieving or struggling. (Don't try to force yourself to be what you can't be, right now). Accept the process, & be glad you have a therapist to help you. It will work out in time.✌

Do you think you have any of these feelings because of your childhood? That is a problem I have. Now that my mother is 88 she wants to live yet she spent years in bed. Put off hip and knee replacement surgery until she could not walk. She has too much weight on her and it won't come off now. I am expressing this to you to see if you relate at all because I felt I heard a voice in your post that I share although I could be wrong. I don't want to hijack your post. I think you can just do the best you can. You can't totally fix her. If you are trying to get needed help that is a positive sign. I agree she should not live with you. It is good that you live close by. I have to keep after my mother to a degree. Tell her she needs to get rid of some clothing and let me wash other pieces. Have her nails cut when she tells me they are fine. Ask her to stop picking her lips. Some of this is pointless yet I still try. My mother is in AL. I see her when I need to and take her to appointments but I don't spend alot of extra time. I didn't really like my childhood. I also was an only child. Many times I felt like the parent. Of course you have the added sadness of what happened with your father which I am truly sorry about. I don't know that I have helped you at all but what you said resonated with me to a degree. I hope you find some peace even if it is only in spurts.

I think your therapy session will help lots. Maybe Mom could get something out of therapy too.

Besides Mom losing your Dad, she lost him to suicide. She must be wondering what she did that he would end his life when she needed him the most. She is lost.

Now you, I can see how you feel. I believe if you r capable of doing for yourself than you need to do it. With school you really just want things to go smoothly. Now Dad has put a wrench into it and Mom not dealing well all because he chose not to live anymore. Leaving you with the responsibility of caring for a elderly Mom. I would be angry too.

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