I feel like I've given up my whole life to take care of my mother. I moved into her home with her after she lost her second leg to diabetes. It was suppose to be just to get her settled in after her stay in rehab. It's been 2 and half years now. I've lost basically everything I had worked for. I have nothing to fall back on in my older years. I never had children nor a husband. I worked hard to enjoy a happy life my way. I bought rental property for when I retire, I bought a lot of assets to have when needed to sell. I no longer have anything. I feel as though I'm slowly but surely losing my mind. My mother who has always been the most strongest independent women I've ever known. My father died when I was 21 my mom was 45. My mom still to this day has been alone. She never dated, remarried, nothing. She says once I've had the best there's nothing worth wasting her time on. So off she went solo for the next 29 years. Now it's just me and my mom living this journey through what I call hell. And I hate that but I'm not sure there's another word to describe it fairly. My mother has become so needy so helpless and I'm not sure I can handle much more. I'm so worn out, so hurt and so disappointed in myself that I wish everyday to be my last. It's sad.

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At one time, I was you! I had my mom for 15 years in my home and before that I cared for my mom and dad in their home. It’s hard!

It is like MidKid says, we lose a part of ourselves when we give so totally to others.

I am so sorry that you are struggling. Believe me I understand. It took loads of therapy, a loving husband and daughters, a few good friends and this wonderful forum to help me see the light.

Mom no longer lives with me. We have limited conversations on the phone once or twice a month now. I wish with all my heart that our relationship had not deteriorated so much but I realize that damage had been done. It’s complicated.

I sincerely hope your situation improves as best as it can. My heart goes out to you.


Your first paragraph truly resonates with me. I did what you described. I gave up my life for my mom. Well, it didn’t exactly work out. I burned out.

It’s exactly as you say, at first we don’t realize what is happening. Then, an unhealthy codependent relationship begins. It’s more complicated than we think.

I rarely speak to mom now. Once or twice a month I call. Our conversation is nothing meaningful, I gave up on that. it’s very brief, maybe five or ten minutes and is more or less small talk.

I learned to protect myself from harsh criticism and I never speak to her about my brothers because in her eyes I never measured up to them even though I was the one who did the most for her.

What always upset me with mom was that my brothers brought on their own troubles and she felt sorry for them.

I did everything for her and she took me for granted. She didn’t care that I was missing out on life with my own children or husband. So, I finally threw in the towel and stopped trying to please her. I also stopped needing her approval to feel complete.

I am not bitter. I don’t hate her. I would never wish her any harm. I still love my mom but I had to move on. I did more than my share. I also learned not to take crap from anyone and that I don’t have to defend myself to them. I refuse to dignify ignorance with a response ever again.

If someone is truly sorry of course I would forgive them but I have no room for phony, cruel or unstable people in my life. They simply aren’t worth my time or energy. Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean that I would welcome them back in my life. It’s to liberate myself from being bothered by them.

In fact, I told my mom that I only want to live my life in peace and no longer wish to have any relationship with my hypocritical brothers.

Sometimes the kindest thing that someone can do for another person is to simply allow them to live in peace. That is truly all I wish for in my remaining days on this planet, just to live in peace. I am only surrounding myself with loving and caring people. I no longer have debates with thoughtless people. It’s incredibly liberating.

When people give up their own lives (whether by choice or not) to live for another person, be it a parent, spouse, child or anyone, they lose a piece of themselves.

It happens soooo slowly, you don't even notice. Then one get this feeling that something has just passed you by....

There is nothing WRONG in caring for others, but you must always have a life of your own that does not include this person you take care of. Easy to say, hard to do.

And then throw in this virus which has been a world wide game changer---no wonder we're hearing about people going literally crazy from being cooped up with someone who sucks the very life out of them.

This virus will end--yes, there are going to be more fatalities, and most states simply are having to choose the 'greater good' or 'keep barricaded for months'. I don't know the answer to that. No matter what happens, there will be anger, blame and second guessing.

All we can do now is try to get through each day with as much courage as we can. I'm having panic attacks at night, and now I am afraid to go to bed, b/c they wake me up. TRYING to find a semblance of peace in a world of uncertainty.

TK--does mom live with you? Maybe it's time she not. You have a lot of life left. You're not required to care for mom, she could last years more and you'll be left with nothing. Are you paying for all of her care? You shouldn't be! What and who will be there for you in 30+ years!

I know you can't move mom into a NH now, but you can make calls and do a lot of the pre-move work now.

All you can do NOW is get good sleep, if possible, eat healthily, get out in the sun each day. If you are feeling intractably depressed, maybe a good AD would not go amiss.

Know that placing mom in a care facility DOES NOT mean you don't love or care for her. It means you can still make sure she gets the care she needs and frees you up to have a life. At 45--you have 40 more years. So much life still to live.

I wish you luck. Come back and talk to us. Others will pipe in with far better advice than mine.


I feel your pain. My mom had a massive stroke over a year ago and now with no in home therapy nor outpatient due to the virus and not being able to think about finding and training and getting her comfortable with a caregiver (since she is vulnerable to this outbreak) - I seriously have NO idea how to make it through this anymore either.
I was just starting to get her working with a caregiver and she ended up with UTI encephalopathy - came back home started to get her stronger again and get people in to help and train them as well as start to figure out an area that I can make accessible for her to have her own space and bam the virus took away my hope. It’s been 470 plus days that I waited to get to this place of hope and it is now back to the unknown. How is this survivable. I have left my home 20 times in a year and most were to the grocery store. Her stroke has her brain fight me on everything every day. I have given up my life for someone who was my best friend who berates me everyday. I’m just sad. I am hoping to share and learn here. And I’m a good listener.

No one is expected to care and take on the burdens of someone totally by themselves. I am finding that under care topics you will find a lot of information along with the section find care.

Find someone to come along your side during this time and please know that many are going thru the same things. You do need to find a solution for the depression and help to take care of your Mom. I once thought my life was over, and it wasn't. Neither is your life over - make sure to do something right now for yourself. A warm bubbly bath, favorite music, a funny movie etc. You've got two excellent replies and all of wish you well.

I’m so sorry that you are struggling with this. I realize now is a stressful time on top of what you are going through. How can you not be depressed?

Your comment reminded me so much of how my grandpa believed. He used to say that heaven and hell were right here on earth. You know, I think he was correct in his assessment. You are living in your own hell.

Perhaps it’s only purgatory and you will find a way to escape. I certainly would try if I were you. You are worth it.

You are not responsible for what your mom does or feels. You can still support her in spirit. You do not have to do all of the intensive hands in work anymore.

Speak to a social worker and see about working on her future care. Tell the social worker that you are no longer able to care for your mom.

I realize this may be more difficult at this time but as soon as it’s possible to do so, I would. You deserve to live your life again.

Look into telehealth for someone to speak with. I understand that you have lost your will to continue on the road you’re on. You can change your circumstances and find your way back to living life for you again.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. All the best.

It sounds like you HAVE given up your whole life to care for your mother. Just because she made the decision at 45 to stay single for the rest of her life does not mean that you should be the substitute for her husband!

The question is, what can you do NOW to treat your depression, and to then take your own life back?

What steps can you take to get outside help in for your mom? And to get counseling for yourself so you can set up some sort of game plan to move forward with your life? Wishing yourself dead is no way to live, and giving over your entire life to the care of your mother is not something that's your 'lot in life' either.

Make a conscious, concerted effort to help yourself now. Pick up the phone or get on your computer and see what mental health services are available to you in your area, and then see about making an appointment for yourself. Even though health care providers are not seeing many folks in person these days, they ARE doing video calls and virtual visits. Take a step in the right direction. One small step will make you feel like you're doing SOMETHING to help yourself and your situation!

You can do this! One step at a time, one day at a time. Wishing you all the best of luck!

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