I am so depressed and I feel guilty all the time. I never feel good enough. I have always felt like she didn't want me around. Now that she needs me she never wants me to leave. My sister (being passed away now for 15 years) and her were best of friends, did everything together, they were best friends. It was always assumed that my sister would do the caregiving. I cry for her i love her but I will never despite how hard I try be good eough for her.She refuses to get up and get into the shower. She wants to pan bathe and act as if it's ok. I want to die. I refuse to put her into a nursing home because it would kill her. I couldnt live with myself if I put her away somewhere.

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"I refuse to put her into a nursing home because it would kill her."

Nonsense. That is just delusional thinking. People do not die because they go into a nursing home. They die from disease, from not complying with treatment, from a large number of reasons. And those reasons will eventually cause your mother to die, no matter where she is. "She will die if I put her into a nursing home." Nonsense. We all will die, with or without being in a nursing home.

"I couldn't live with myself if I put her away somewhere." For heavens sakes, don't "put her away somewhere" as if she were an out-of-fashion garment. She is your mother. If she does go to a long-term-care-facility, continue to be involved in her life. Advocate for her to be sure she is getting good care. Visit her. Send her little surprises in the mail. My mother is now in a nursing home and I assure you that we did NOT "put her away." I find that characterization insulting.

"I will never despite how hard I try be good eough for her." Now that is nonsense, too. I totally believe you that she may never acknowledge that your are doing great things for her. That is her problem. But you are clearly good enough for her, and perhaps more than she deserves. Continue to do you best and KNOW that it is good enough, regardless of her opinion.

I'd say you are suffering from a bad case of nonsensical reasoning. No doubt this is a result of your upbringing and is Not Your Fault. But it is time to take charge and fight your way out of the nonsense. I strongly suggest counseling. If depression is a part of this picture, that is very treatable.

By the way, if mine were the first response here, my answer would read a lot more like JessieBelle's. I do feel compassion toward you. I do offer you hugs. But just in case a slight kick in the pants is needed to get your attention, I decided to offer that.

You ARE good enough. Your life is as valuable as your mother's or your late sister's. You deserve to lead your own life and have a chance at pursuing happiness.

Hi Dixie, What a tough situation for both of you! For starters, please do not let anyone make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself. As a caregiver, you NEED time away from your mom (and vice versa), and that means arranging for respite care so that you can get away to recharge your batteries for the sake of your health and sanity.

Can your mom afford to pay for services from a homecare agency to provide some companionship for her while you are taking your time off? A lower cost option is adult daycare. For lower income folks, there may be help through your Area Agency on Aging (AAA) . Just put in your zip code, and the Eldercare Locator will give you contact information for your local AAA. Give them a call and ask about Medicaid waiver programs (homecare options) or low-cost respite assistance.

Even though your mom may be depressed, you can't fix it for her by wearing yourself out--it may be scary for her to have other people helping out, but you could also be a great example to her be setting your own boundaries and caring for yourself.

Dixie, I hope you get some good counseling, even if a friend or support group, you need it. I think many of us to some extent have battled this with our moms and ourselves. It's a mental and emotional battle not for the weak of heart. And I dare say no matter how bad you and many of us have felt, we are not weak at heart! It takes heart and will to persevere through each day and that is a victory in itself.

My mom and I have an interesting relationship. She leans on me a lot, but also felt she needed to compete with me on some level. I can't quite explain it. Years ago she told me I never intended to have you. I didn't want any more children after your sister died in childhood. Honestly, she was an excellent mom to me, but also tense at times. Later, she said good thing the Lord knew best and had you anyway. Your brother wasn't going to care for me and I don't know what I would do without you given all that's happened.

You are more than good enough, please remember that. You may never get that validation from your mom and I pray you will have the courage to accept that may never happen.

Please look at other options for your mom. If you've endured all of this you will find a good home for her and she won't die because of it. I fear if you don't, you may be the one to perish. Read up on care givers dying before the care receiver. The stats are 30-40% and likely increasing.

You're awesome, Dixie, don't forget that! Get the help and support both you and mom need and deserve. You will pull through. My prayers are with you.

I suddenly realize that I didn't answer your main question. If your mother tries to make you feel guilty, just don't do it. You deserve your own life and you are helping her out of love. She does not own you and your time. That she should try to guilt you for living your own life without her, then it is her problem. You can't let her problem determine what you do. It is unreasonable that she should feel this way.

So go on out and enjoy yourself.

Dixie, welcome to the club, there are so many writers here that are going through the same thing.

Just curious, why do you think that she would die if moved to a nursing home? Depending on your Mom's age, many elders have an old stereotype about nursing homes, thinking they are on equal scale as an asylum.

Today's nursing homes aren't that way. Your Mom would be around people of her own age group, have so much in common, talk about old movies, the big band era, etc. She can create new best friends, dine with them in the common dining room, enjoy activities, the list goes on and on.

You're not happy, and it sounds like your Mom isn't happy. Change needs to be made, yes I know easier said then done. But at least think about it. By the way, what are your Mom's medical issues?

In fact, if Mom is still mobile and of clear mind, go visit some of the local nursing homes. Many offer free lunch with their tour. You never know, Mom might see an old friend from the past who lives there :)

Left out a word -- It's not up to you to fix her mood.

I read that your mother is depressed. It is awfully hard to live with someone who is depressed. It is like living with a heavy and hopeless weight on your spirit. I wonder, too, if you are depressed. Perhaps you could see the doctor and try to get yourself back up. I've been through depression and know it's hard to begin the trip back up out of it without some help. If you are depressed, be sure to get some help. It is worth it.

Now, about your mother. Only she can fix the way that she feels. Is she receiving any treatment for her depression? If she isn't and refuses to do anything about it, it is not up to fix her mood. I went through this for so long with my mother. She has spent most of her life is depressed moods. I tried to find ways to help her feel better, then figured out that it wasn't my job to fix her mood. I have felt so much better since I let myself off the hook. It has only been a few days, but it has made a big difference in how I feel. I guess you could say it is because it is how I feel, and not how she feels.

Hope you can get this heavy weight off your spirit.

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