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That's my new motto. "A life was sacrificed, so that another could have a life". My father died when I was 15 years old and that dictated the path that my life would take. My life long duty was to care for my mother. Here I am at 54 years of age and I am still doing it. I never married and have lived with my mother all my life. It was not bad when my mother was younger, but now I cannot do anything. My mother does not want me out of her sight. She is 88 years old and in not good health. I get no help from my sisters. As a matter of fact, I recently "told off" my oldest sister for not helping. She is retired and took on another job and claims she has no free time, even though she is off on weekends. I had to quit my job to care for my mother. I told my sister that she should have quit working and let me continue to work. Her answer was that I could have put my mother in a home......this coming from my sister who has said she fears ending up in a rest home when she gets older, but it's okay for her to say to put our mother in a home. I told her when my mother dies that I will never have anything to do with her again. My sister sees how my life is.....the 24/7 servitude to my mother and I get no help. I get no breaks. No one will help on a weekend to let me get some fresh air. I have told my mother when I die....I will probably become a saint for all that I go through and all that I have done. I told my mother that I have given up my life....so that she could have a life. She does not care about my life.....as long as I was there for her all those years is all that she wanted. Whats happens to me in the end? I've sacrificed so much. Is this fair to me?

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for comparitive purposes im always evaluating myself against one of the countys most affluent men. he sure did watch out for his mother- with hired carers, housekeepers and groundspersons. nothing wrong with that, it just made him appear more heroic than was the reality.
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Jinx4740 and any others - why be frustrated w/Roscoe888 - if he is simply trolling for attention vs seeking to change his situation for the better, or unwilling to help himself, he, and those to respond, are all providing a good service to collect many views/good advice for those who come to agingcare.com and read this thread.

Whether he uses it or not is his business.. and should not frustrate anyone else - God supplies us what we need (vs want) and if we make good used of it or not- that is between the individual and God.. and all those who are able to view or participate will benefit (or not) according to their ability to make good use of what God supplies. Providing care is not about forcing others to accept it, or accept/use it per you own views, but to provide it (per God's plan/guidance for your life) and and allow free will to work (others to use it - or not)..
These thread is not (imho) about Roscoe and what he does or does not do - but about his topic and what others have to add... all good stuff.. enjoy! :)

Don't allow anyone to tie up your energy in time wasting (no win-seeking to frustrate others) games about how they choose to live their lives.

p.s. if it was not clear- this applies to anyone who you may be providing/seeking to help. Three are none so helpless as those who seek to be helpless.. God help them- they will insure no one else can! personally, I will pray for all concerned :) and invest my time where it will serve all concerned/good purpose..
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Roscoe, You would never pay for therapy. Would you consider reading a self-help book or two? Or going to a caregivers' support group? We have gotten frustrated with you because we want you to take some steps to be happier. Of course it's your choice whether to do that or not. Wishing you the best.
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Roscoe, please don't rule out therapy. The therapist will give you a way to vent your frustration and help you with next steps. Therapy can bring you peace with your decisions, or give you the motivation to change your life. Good luck.
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After reading and thinking more, there is another thing to touch on here. We have all broken a couple of the rules that you find here under 10 Things Never to Say to Caregivers...but, for a reason. Roscoe's situation is exceptional in that he finds caregiving has become particularly hellish and he appears to have more choice about it than some others. And yet, he feels there is no choice...he is either the saint who does it all for Mom, or a bad person, and it is beneath him to admit concern enough for himself to get any help for himself. He has siblings- sisters- who do not choose to be Moms caregiver; only a little unusual, since it is so often the males who leave caregiving to females. It would seem very possible that the sisters recognized Mom's narcissistic and child-eating behavior for what it is and have had the survival instinct to stay away; Roscoe saw the only way to personal goodness as being dutiful and absorbing all that ingratitude and demandingness Mom is dishing out, but now it is just becoming too much.

Roscoe, in a couple posts you indicate your intention to never forgive your sisters and to have nothing to do with them when Mom passes...and yet, if you had not needed so badly to be better than them, maybe Mom would not have been so empowered to let her narcissism blossom the way it has. They may be angry with you for taking Mom's side over theirs and helping create a monster. Their refusal to be drawn into your personal hell might be at least as forgivable as your being drawn into it. At some point, I pray that the pain of admitting they might be right In whole or in part may be less than the pain of being estranged from the family you have left on this earth.

You thought putting your mother first in your life was the only right thing to do and you did it. There has got to be some pain involved in realizing that maybe it wasn't. There is no real virtue In refusing to get the help that might let you see the situation differently. I think all of us could sympathize and empathize more with your situation if you weren't so busy telling yourself and us that you have always done the right thing and can't understand why it is so hideously unrewarding but you have to keep doing it anyway. Change is hard because it entails realizing that you were going about something the wrong way before, or that way will not work anymore, or both.
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Loridtabbbykat,
I completely agree with you, I defended against the pile on but when I saw it only further ignited the vitriol, I stopped, not for my own sake.
Most of the posts are tough love a few are nothing short of bullying.....probably from people who themselves are hurt.

Roscoe,
Web pages are only limited conversations with unknown people, please do seek out therapy to have a more complete dialog with a credentialed professional. From what you described you may have been emotionally abused, you may be depressed and you are definitely overwhelmed !
The good news is these hurts can be healed.
No judgement, just wishing you well
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At the risk of being the target of rotten tomatos being thrown my way, folks this person could be in deep trouble, and the negative words could throw this person over the edge.
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Wow!! New enough here that I don't know Roscoe, so to me it sounds like everyone is really "piling on"......BUT I'm also new enough in my recovery to have some understanding of how I let my mother control me most of my life. When you have a parent, who for as long as you can remember, has made you "earn" love by trying to please them, you do it as a child because you need your parents. For me, I allowed this to affect my life, my marriages, etc. ....long after I was a child and should have known better. It was only in the past couple years when I've been around her more often in her old age, that I have been driven to therapy by my own despair, that things have finally changed.
I know it sounds crazy. Looking back it WAS crazy. Why was I never strong enough to just tell her to go "F" off and get out of my life? That's why my name here is "getnstrong". Emphasis on "getn". If you have taken years of emotional abuse from early on, you think you deserve to be treated that way. Only hard work, a therapist, joining Adult Children of Alcoholic/Dysfunctional Families and now thankfully this wonderful lifeline has helped me help me assert the rights that I have as a human being to put myself first, and feel that my happiness is just as important as my mother's. It's as if some veil has been ripped off and I can see for the first time. What kind of mother would want her grown child to be a slave and sacrifice their life for them? I'll tell you....a very mentally sick one. And I agree with all of you, only Roscoe can change his life and stop playing the victim. I hope for his sake he realizes he is not "a saint", but a co-dependent and it sounds like he's emotionally abused. Roscoe, the only way to win in this situation is to refuse to play the game any more. You don't have to engage in an argument, just walk away. So many of us have been there, and have overcome. Life is short, and I can assure you, it is NEVER too late to change, but you'll never do it alone. People don't admire your "sacrifices", they just think you are a man who enjoys playing the victim. Hope you have the courage to seek help. Believe me, it is well worth the effort. It embarrasses me when I think of how many years I spent whining about my mother, and amazes me I still have any friends left. I got to the point where I was sick of hearing my own voice, telling yet another story of how awful my mother was/is.
As others can attest, I do get on the pity pot occasionally still, but it's no longer a way of life, but an incident or a need to vent sometimes, which we all do. Well, I hope you listen to the opinions of everyone here. Life is short, for God's sake, don't wait til you're on your own death bed and say, why didn't I try to change?
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Roscoe, you certainly got what you asked for, great critiques and feedback. I think Vestefan's post was really good...this remark in particular: "You ain't a saint if you make your choices grudgingly and bitterly and even try to pretend they aren't choices." It seems as though you have made a choice, and are fed up with it, angry and bitter and trapped, but you don't know how to un-do it. There are many suggestions, and you may not act on any of them. You may just need your Mother as much as she needs you. And if that's the case, then just let it be, and quit torturing yourself. One thing I don't quite understand is how angry some of the commenters got about this. They seem angry that you have money and they don't. That kinda sucks. I'd just ignore some of those very angry and mean comments if I were you. They're not helpful at all. Best of luck in getting free, Roscoe. If you decide not free yourself physically from your Mom, just be free from the bitterness of your situation.
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Roscoe why wouldn't you "spend a penny of your money for any therapy"?
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Roscoe you need to go out on dates or simply spend time with female friends or just socialize a bit. Find some activity or hobby. Your mother is dependent on you and does not want to let go, so assure her your dating is not going to change anything and just have a good time. Your mother can be mad for sometime, but it will subside. Do it anyway. I do appreciate your commitment to your mother, but having a burnout will only frustrate you more and might create further resentment in your relationship with your mother, and you do not want that happening or else what is the point of doing so much when you secretly harbor resentment. If you really want to build relationships, nurture yourself first. If her condition deteriorates, it can be a risk leaving her alone, and you might have to think about assisted elderly care. All elderly go through this phase and elderly care facility is important at the later stages for her own safety. Don't forget to invest, even if you do have money. It is very important. All the best.
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We did critique your situation, Roscoe. I personally did not find you sincere. And if you are, you are very stuck. It is rather sad that you seek someone to rescue you in writing every month or two, but it always comes down to Nothing matters and what if it did. How majorly depressing -- it is why I rarely read you. Have you ever read the book "Games People Play"?
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" I would not spend a penny of my money for any therapy."
"I never had a desire to get married. I have too much at stake in case of a divorce."

Roscoe, what is your money for? You are desperately preserving it. Why? Who are you leaving it to when you are gone? I sure hope they get more joy out of it than you do.
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Roscoe - please get help via therapy - there really is no shame in that.
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I'm not seeking attention at all. Yes, you could say I'm venting, but I'm wanting to actually hear from others who can "critique" my situation and I believe I have accomplished that. I know I'm in a crazy situation, but this is my life. I would not spend a penny of my money for any therapy. I guess I just wanted to hear what I already know.......and now you folks have reaffirmed that.
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JessieBelle...absolutely. If it's attention he is seeking, then he has accomplished that. Caregiving can twist the most normal person into someone even they wouldn't recognize...if the person is rooted in deep emotional issues involving his mother, then I'm afraid that about sums up what's going on with Roscoe. He is trolling for pats on the back, and he chose the wrong place to get them because too many of us have seen, done, and been through much worse to have any sympathy for someone who HAS (?) the choice to change his situation but refuses to.
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I was listening to a ThinkTQ audio and a very striking story in contrast to yours was presented.

A woman left her home and moved from Chicago to California to be with her mom who had cancer. She decided she needed to do it. She sold most all of her beloved books in order to do it. But she was not a victim. She took a good hard look at her values and though she valued books and education, she valued family and compassion more. She COULD HAVE driven to California ruminating and bitter about having given up her Chicago home and job and her books, but she didn't because the choice she made had to do with her own values and her own sense of self.

Yah, her Mom is probably much nicer.

But, that's not the point.

You ain't a saint if you make your choices grudgingly and bitterly and even try to pretend they aren't choices...and especially if you want everyone to pat you on the back and tell you we agree what a saint you are. When you have done good in public to glorify yourself, like a certain Pharissee mentioned in the Gospels, you have had your reward. You thought maybe Mom would give you gratitude and it ain't gonna happen; you thought maybe we would all keel over in admiration of your noble sacrifice, and because too many of us have been there done that, and shredded the T-shirt, that's not going to happen either. You ain't a saint. Most of us aren't either. We may have loved and sacrificed for our parents or other loved ones, made good decisions and bad, and struggled with them, but not too many of us think of ourselves as perfect people, just real live hurting people in real tough situations who may be able to give and receive help and support.

If you want to try stepping down off the pedestal and admit you are a human being with a demanding, difficult mom to care for, I bet being on here can help you. I think maybe you can do it, or I would not even bother writing again. Somewhere under the layer of BS you have been feeding yourself and us there is a man who wants a real life. And to be a REAL saint, you have to get real and have a real life.
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Has anyone else noticed that elements of Roscoe's story change with time? I read back through some of his old posts to see if it was my own faulty memory. No, the inconsistencies are there -- big ones. Roscoe, are you really a caregiver? I've not heard you talk about any specific times, only in sweeping generalities.
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Roscoe--I am sorry to hear you are having a hard time. However, if you have lived with your mother your entire life, surely you should have some idea of how she operates. A lesson I recently learned from all the great caregivers on here is that at the end of the day.. you have to make quality time for yourself, without your mothers involvement at all. You chose to stay there with her and assume the role of caregiver decades ago, so you have enabled her to become dependent upon you for EVERYTHING. She doesn't see your needs or wants or that you even have a life outside of what she wants...sadly she never will either. You need to hire someone to help her and then take a few days away from her to get yourself together. Therapy is your friend! Good Luck!
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Lucky you that you are a self made millionare! I agreed with the others, you have a choice and control over your life. Now is the time where you need more quality life for yourself! I suggest you hire part time aide and let your mom get used to having someone else taking care of her. After a while, I would recommend hiring a full time help. Since you cannot force your sister to help out, this will be your best bet. Good luck!
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roscoe - to quote you "can't she see all that I do......can't she see the sacrifices I make?"

In a word "No". Your mother cannot see all you do and sacrifice for her. If that is the reward you are waiting for, you will never get it. Your mother is not emotionally healthy - seems very narcissistic to me. You would benefit from looking up the site "daughtersofnarcissisticmothers", as it applies to sons of narcissistic mothers too. You will find much there that applies to you and your mother and the way she interacts with you, and the way you interact with her. She is using and abusing you, and you will get no thanks from her. My mother is all the things you describe of yours, but I don't allow her to control my life. You do have choices and I suspect you have a lot of anger and guilt which are tying you to your mother. I do not see you as a saint at all. God's instruction is to love others as ourselves. I do not see that balance in your relationship with your mum. I do not see you loving yourself. You say you argue with her. She will not ever, nor can she, see things as you see them. A narcissist is a bottomless pit of need who will engulf and enmesh anyone who allows it, and who has no gratitude for what others do for them. That is what you are dealing with. I am sorry that you are in this situation and I am sorrier that you continue to stay, looking for the appreciation that you will never get. Facing/accepting that you will never get it would be one good step. No amount of arguing or sacrificing on your part will make your mother into the mother you want and need. Many of us here have the same loss in our lives. It is sad.
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Roscoe quit his job last year if I remember right. I remember we tried to talk him out of it. I think he just comes here for dramatic vent and not really looking for suggestions. I've seen dozens of suggestions given over time and not one received. So vent away, Roscoe, if it helps.
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Money will not break the psychological effect of exreme co-dependency. Roscoe hates the situation he is in, can afford to change it, yet doesn't. Mental illness may be keeping this guy chained to the life he has chosen. Maybe a deep sense of obligation stemming from childhood is keeping him chained. Whatever it is, money will not change his choices. Only therapy will free him from his choice of horrors.
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Roscoe, I read your last post and I literally cringed...then it pissed me off.

"I could never leave because I'm in this for life." Really. Who made that decision? YOU.

"I just have too much goodness in me." No, what you're describing isn't 'goodness' it's masochistic and downright dumbness.

"....almost like that was a 'sentence' imposed on me." Yes. A 'sentence' imposed by YOU, nobody else.

"It was very hard to have a normal life under my circumstances." No shit!

"Yes, my lifestyle is very unhealthy, but It has become "normal" to me because this is all I know." Then take some of that money you say you've got and LEARN something different... like with a therapist.


"Even at the age of 88 she wants control and has not softened up one bit.....she will argue and fight back. I cannot go outside to get the mail without her worrying.......cannot do any yard work for any length of time. If on the rare occasion I go to the store without her......" Walk away, CHOOSE not to listen, and keep on keepin' on exactly what you were doing anyway. What's she going to do? Kick your ass?

"How would any of you like to stay home almost all of the time being a 24/7 caregiver and not being able to do anything that you want to do or to have any friends to go places with." I lived housebound, in prison, 24/7 with my own mother the last 5 years. And I'm not the only one around here, and neither are you.

"My mother shows no mercy to me." Neither did mine when she was mentally sound. Tell her to piss off.


" If I mention anything about this then my mother goes into a rage with me." **Yaaaawn** Oh, another rage. Big deal. Tell her to piss off and scream at the walls, as you walk out the door.

"She sometimes go into her bedroom and lock herself in when we "argue". Oh, thank GOD! Peace at last! Yay!!!! :D


" but I'm a saint" No, you're not. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I can think of a lot of things you are, but I'm working on my diplomacy.

" It not healthy being around another person 24/7....." Well, at least you got one thing right.

"Again, my mother expects this......it's her way or nothing" And? Your point? Who allows it? YOU do. Who lied to you and said you had to toe the line?

"As long as I'm her for her until she dies......that is all that matters to her." Piss on ALL such toxic people.

" I cannot build any relationship because my life is taken." No, it wasn't 'taken.' It was GIVEN. By YOU.


Roscoe, I avoid guys like you like the plague, and I don't give a tinker's damn how much money they've got. Nobody is going to make ME 100% responsible for their happiness, or their misery, it's too great a burden. We're each responsible for OURSELVES. Wake up and smell the roses.
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Roscoe, "A life was sacrificed ..." is passive voice. I'm not trying to play English teacher here, but this implies that some outside force caused this, or that you don't know who did it, or that it doesn't matter.

The active voice version would be "I sacrificed my life ..."

I think this passive attitude is significant. You seem to think that what you are doing is controlled by some other force. And maybe that is true. Maybe you have been so thoroughly "brain washed" or "programmed" by you mother that you really have lost control.

Therapy can help you take control of your own life!

Many people have suggested this, and I have not seen your response to that suggestion. Have you ever tried it? Will you try it now?
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Roscoe, there are some really good people that are helping my Mom right now, and they work for Hospice Home Health, it's not end-of-life Hospice, just Home Health. Wonderful, wonderful people! We have 4 Nurses, 2 Physical Therapists, 1 Social Worker, and they're at the house almost every day, maybe for an hour each visit. But even 1 hr helps, they give Mom a bath Mon/Wed/Fri, take her vitals, change her clothes, cut toe/finger nails, clean her dentures, change her bandages (Mom just had 5 hr ortho surgery), but most of all, they socialize with her. I think the Number One killer for our Seniors is being ALONE! It's sucks the life right out of them! I highly recommend you get help to come to the house, keep trying different people until you find someone, or group of someones, that your Mom likes! I was ready for a nervous break down just prior to her 1st fall, then the 2nd fall I was scared to death! I highly recommend finding a Church too, my Faith is the only thing that saved me from totally loosing my mind!
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Roscoe, What happens to your mom when you die? I have known too many caregivers that die prematurely. What are your plans for her? I would suggest whatever those plans are, that you implement them, now, before it is too late for you.

My Mother had to go to a nursing home, after my sister died. My Mother is currently flourishing. Go figure.
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I cannot know what the absolute truth of Roscoe's situation is, but I encourage people to be kind. There is more than one way to chain a person down than money. This is public board so I'm not going to elaborate much, but it is entirely possible that his mother truly does literally control him to the degree he describes. Roscoe, please do consider getting counseling help - if you are rich you have all the options you need, if you are poor there are low cost services available too. The idea of your sacrifice being saintly is actually part of what keeps you trapped.
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Roscoe - there are too many inconsistencies to your stories, and I stand by my words. If you truly have the money you claim to have, you would have (at the very LEAST) someone to help you with your mother - no one ever said she had to be in a home if she doesn't need to be. There are so many caregivers that WISH they had the financial means you claim to have so they can give their parents the care they truly deserve! To be quite honest it's an insult to all of them for you to come here and claim you are the helpless sacrificial lamb in spite of your "wealth". Only you, and you alone, are standing in the way of living your life. Please seek help - you can obviously afford the best therapist money can buy, right?
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This is a quote from Roscoe in an old post. I think the "money" thing is BS.

"It figures........the son / daughter 'caregiver'.....gets screwed-over again......be good boys and girls......take care of your parents.....regardless.......go to any lengths to 'honor thy father and mother'.......and drive yourself nuts in the process......let your health suffer and quit your job and go broke and land in the poorhouse......yes.......being a 'caregiver' is just great!
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