I can't tell you how happy I am to finally see a site that "gets real" about the stress caregivers are under and how taking care of aging parents isn't all "inspiring human interest story about how they raised us and now we feel blessed to be able to return the favor" all the time! It seems like everyone is afraid to admit that caregiving just plain sucks sometimes, or even most of the time for those of us who are not cut out for being 24/7 caregivers but end up having to be.

My family is probably a little different than most, my mom is 76 and has multiple sclerosis along with several other medical problems, while I am 35 and have cerebral palsy along with several other medical problems. So for most of our lives mom has been my caregiver but now the tables are turning since she is getting older and the ms is progressing. And besides being barely able to care for myself physically, I am also very much not the caregiver type. I made up my mind early in life that I never wanted children or even a husband because that is how much I hate taking care of people. I mean I get that kids are cute and all that, but when people go on about how rewarding it is to care for a loved one, I really don't know what they're on about. But with my mom I have no choice because although I have older siblings who are in better shape to care for mom, they each have various combinations of mental issues, drug addiction, and fallout from complicated family problems that started before I was born such that I am the only one of mom's children she has had any contact with in over a decade. When people ask how many children she has she always says she only has one (me).

Anyway, I could go on and on about all this, but for now I'll close by saying thank you so much to whoever started this site, it means the world to me to know I'm not alone in loving my mom but hating the fact that my life is centered on her care. Much love to everyone doing this "with me", whether you really want to be there or not, or whether you think you are doing a good job or not, if you're there and you're trying it means more than you know.

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Maureen, you need to let Mom guilt you all she likes, and get on with your life now. I will tell you that she will soon enough be in a condition that you cannot give her care enough, and you will be forced to do this. At the same time you have been helping her, and believing it is her fault and she is "making you do this" you are also not moving on, which is going to be very very difficult for you to do. Mom is getting pretty short of family to write every single person left there off, but I would imagine that those already "written off" are only relieved about it. And if Mom writes you off, and you move on and get a real life, you will likely feel relieved as well. Not everyone is deserving of our sacrifice and care. I know that given what you and Mom are each dealing with you will know how to avail yourself of everything in our system. DO IT. Get every single bit of help you can to make yourself a satisfying life with love in it. You don't need to marry. You don't need kids. Heck, maybe sitting around of an evening sipping a glass of wine and listening to a true crime podcast is what does it for you and that's good ENOUGH. But make your own life. Your Mother will stamp on you as her doormat until there is nothing left.
Much love to you. Much support. And I hope you will do all you can for yourself. You deserve a life ALL YOUR OWN.

Maureen; Let me be blunt. How are you going to care for YOURSELF in your old age if you don't get an education, figure out how to earn a living and support yourself?

Parents are legally obligated to care for the children that they voluntarily bring into the world. There is no legal obligation for children to impoverish themselves or destroy their lives in order to care for their parents.

Let go of the guilt; let your mother avail herself of the local senior services and get on with your life. You will be a far better advocate and daughter for her if you are able to do so from a position of empowerment and self-sufficiency.

Yes, mom could go into a care home or even manage on her own still at this point, problem is the old "I gave up my life all those years to take care of you when you were growing up, so I deserve some care in return from you now" attitude. She talks like she would basically disown me if I moved out and got my own place, I'm not sure if it would really come to that but she did disown my siblings (over different circumstances granted) so the precedent has already been set there. I actually left with a family friend a few years ago and lived with them for a year and spent another year in college, it was like being set free from prison but mom begged me to come back and against my best judgement of what was good for me, I let her guilt me into it. She promised me at that time she would let me go back to school the next year if I'd just come home and give her another year with her, well that was in 2017 and I'm still here so... I know I really need to grow a backbone and stand my ground for my own well being but the guilt makes it so so hard! We do have help from the local county senior services but they aren't terribly helpful.

Mau, no you are not alone. Welcome to the site.

You are incorrect, you do have a choice in whether you provide the care mom needs. What would mom do if something happened to you and you just were not available. Your disability makes it more of a challenge or even easier to figure out how best to deal with care for mom. You are simply unable. Do you have a social worker/counselor assigned to you and mom? Time to get one and use their services.

You do have choices.

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