I am relaxed and level-headed about what she said, but still hurt and deeply. I am a 37 year old woman that has been taking care of her 74 year old mother for the past 5 years. Well, if you want to be technical about it, I've been taking care of her since my dad died 12 years ago. But for the past 5 years, she has been pretty much wheelchair bound and bedridden.
Let me make this VERY clear, since nobody knows me and I want to really highlight this fact. I do not get paid for taking care of my mom. She makes too much money (which is really not a lot though) and doesn't qualify to have me as in-home support. Nurses come in 2 times a week and a Nurse Assistant gives her a bath 3 times a week. Other than that, NO HELP. I do EVERYTHING. Hoyer lift to wheelchair for Drs. Appointments. I'm there by her side when she's in the hospital. In charge of everything. Food, cooking, cleaning, all me. No help. Her personal needs, shopping, etc. Me, me, me. No help from my brothers. No help from anyone. It is ME. I am honestly terrified of putting my mom in a nursing home and thinking about it seriously consumes me with guilt.
So, tonight, as I'm putting a knee brace on her knee because her knee hurts, she says to me "I can put it on myself". I say, "No, mom, I'll do it." She gets mad, "You don't let me do anything." I say, "Okay, go ahead then." She knows she can't and says nevermind. Then she says "I wouldn't be like this if it weren't for you." I look at her and say "what?" She says "You didn't give me the proper physical therapy."
Now, here's the thing. When she started going downhill, the Dr. did order a physical therapist to come to the house. The physical therapist gave my mom instructions on what to do. Exercises she was supposed to do. She did not do them. She has it in her mind that she needs someone to help her. I try to explain to her that I can't move her limbs for her. I remember the slow downhill regression.
So, anyway, I said to her that I know that she has to have someone to blame and it's okay, she can blame me. But I know that I am not the cause of her condition. It is not my responsibility to be her physical therapist on top of everything else.
Deep down I know this to be true. Where are my brothers? Where is her sister? Where is anyone? It's just me. And I have done my absolute best. None of this is my fault no matter what. None of this is even my brothers' fault that didn't help at all. They all have lives to live. But instead she takes it all out on me.
She's not even a mean person. She can be stubborn and headstrong, but most of the time she's not mean at all. And that's why this hurts. I've done nothing to deserve this and I know that I will never just get an absolute sincere thank you from anyone.