Context: Mom was recently given the hospice diagnosis for her Emphysema, and her lung capacity is described as greatly reduced. She has a long history of many substance abuses and using me as a therapist despite me being her child (since I was very young) and refuses to consider looking into a nursing home or assisted living place. Her health has declined over the past 5 years and she has only worsened once I've gotten to college. She says I'm the only thing keeping her going but that's become a horrible burden to me.

I'm in my last year at college and I love her very, very much. She is genuinely one of the most important people in my life even if she doesn't believe it sometimes. But I cannot handle being around her full-time or even considering being a full-time caregiver, as I find myself wishing she or myself were dead or gone. My recent experiences with her alcohol relapses have left me jaded and numb, and I've stopped caring what happens. While I think the best compromise will be to stay half with her/half at my apartment near my school, I'm a poor driver and worried that I'll get in trouble for leaving her alone. She REFUSES having a "hired caregiver" (not that we can even afford it). Luckily we have Badgercare so the current hospice care is covered. I'm afraid I'll get in trouble with other family members or yelled at by hospice if I am not here full time (I have a fairly unhealthy family prone to guilt and abuse). I have very supportive neighbors who've offered to check in on her when I'm not here, and so on. I'm also in a support group for family members of addicts.

I currently live in the Midwest and am trying to come to terms with my horrible feelings of disgust, frustration, fear and self-disapointment. I hate myself and am suicidal, wanting this to end. I'd like more advice or stories specific to coping with toxic adult parents dying, or COPD stuff, and just general young-adult guilt

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If other family members give you grief for not being the 24/7 caregiver... tell them they are more than welcome to the job. Funny how they'll all have excuses why they can't.

Step back from Mom... not away, just back. As others said here, it's not your fault your Mom is like this. Mom ruined her life and expects you'll just go down with her. Being her therapist and being told you're the only thing that keeps her going is manipulation on her part. It takes all the responsibility off her and puts it on you. If she keeps saying you're the only reason for living, then the blame can be thrown on you if Mom worsens or dies. Mom is playing the victim, even though she did all this to herself and ultimately doesn't give a damn how it hurt you.

She is being cruel by keeping you tethered to her. A reasonable, loving parent would be happy to see their 21-year-old make a life for herself and grow into an independent, functioning adult. Your Mom doesn't care about all that, since she just sees you as someone put on this earth to look after her.

You may feel old, given all you've been through. But 21 is so young! You're at a point in life where you can break free. You have a lot of dysfunction in your family and you can be the one to stop it. It stops with you. Now.

Please don't let Mom pull you down to her level. You're better and stronger than that. You have only one shot at this life and you can decide that as of now, Mom does not have a say or control in your life, and her choices are hers alone. Doesn't mean you hate her; doesn't mean you rejected her. It means you're coming into your own and being your own person. Let the others complain and try to guilt you... they're in dysfunction too and don't want to progress.
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Please call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255 or call 911. Do it now!! They will help you and your life is worth living!!
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You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of your mom.
1. Call the Hospice agency and tell them everything you said here. Read it to them or send it to them so they can understand that you cannot provide your mom the required support during this time. They will not yell at you.
2. Call the Suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. They will help you evaluate your situation and provide names of people who will help you with your overwhelming feelings about what is happening.
3. Make certain you have a good sponsor in your support group for family members of addicts. Let them know you will need them to be available to you during this time when you need support.
4. Recognize that being angry and sad and guilty and mad and scared and disappointed are all perfectly natural feelings when you have been forced into a totally horrible situation. You do not need to put on a brave, happy face for anyone.
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Caregiving is a long difficult road, and we're happy you have found the support of others here on this site. However, there are limits to what untrained members on our site can provide for you. 
Please reach out to experts for additional support and the help you need 24 hours a day at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 
Call 1-800-273-8255
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toadss Aug 2020
Thank you, I apologize for alarming anyone.
You have nothing to feel guilty about as you’ve done nothing wrong, it’s just the opposite, you’ve done the huge job that should never have been placed on you of caring for a nonfunctional parent. And it’s past time for you to step away from the situation. Please call the hospice agency and ask to speak with their social worker, tell this person exactly what you’ve related here and say you cannot do the caregiving any longer. They can figure out a plan. Your mother’s days of having choices may be ending, but that’s not on you. She’s made her own bad choices that led her here, not your fault or your responsibility. She needs more help than you can safely provide. Please choose to take care of yourself, this is what your mother should have done. If you’re suicidal call for immediate help. Remember, you can be no help to others until you care for you. Don’t allow yourself to be yelled at by anyone, hang up or leave, no one deserves abusive behavior. Please call for help, and be firm that you cannot do this any longer and a new plan must be found. I wish you the best, congrats on making it this far in college, there’s time for a bright future, time to make it happen
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First you are not responsible for your mother's bad choices.

Move back home to your own apartment and live your life. You cannot stop Mum from dying, you cannot stop her from making bad decisions and you need to set some firm boundaries with her and other family members.
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