I ask because as a child, my mother always ‘bailed out‘ when I was sick. Before getting asthma under control as an adult, I suffered from severe attacks during my childhood and all through my teens. My mother just could not handle it, going as far as ridiculing me and implying that I was putting on an act. This is just one example of how her caregiving skills were not great when I was a kid, which has haunted me my entire life. Despite not really sharing a warm & fuzzy relationship in the past, she wasn’t an awful mom; I do love her & want her to be happy and cared for now that she is 89 and extremely frail.
My dad passed last year at 91 after a slow decline (he was in & out of the hospital more times than I can count), and they were married for approx. 65 yrs. My only sibling - an older brother - has also passed from prostate cancer 4 yrs ago, and I lost my beloved husband to pancreatic cancer almost 20 yrs ago when I was barely 42. So I am very much alone right now, trying to do the right thing for my mom and also dealing with several of my own health issues without any family support.
I now live with Mom because after dad passed, it became painfully clear she could not manage everything on her own. I can’t help feeling annoyed at times & disappointed that this isn’t somehow easier for me to handle, plus I still feel very much robbed of so many good years of marriage with my amazing husband. I had to raise our daughters from a very young age completely on my own, and now that they have grown into 2 busy, beautiful young women I would like to take a breath and concentrate on myself. However, that hasn’t happened because between caring for both my parents for the last decade or so (while my dad was still alive neither parent could drive or do any errands) and now having my mom completely dependent on me, I am the one stuck doing everything, as usual.
I know this must sound petty and I wish I could be more happy for the remaining time I now share with Mom - but I don’t. I often feel angry and negative about this situation. Sometimes I think by the time I finally get my freedom, I’ll probably be too old to enjoy it. Due to severe arthritis and nerve damage, I am practically ready for a walker now at age 60 - Mom gets around better than I do!
Finally, my mom has always had a very contrary and pessimistic personality which adds another layer of stress to the mix. There are times she is so melodramatic and needy, it’s almost more work looking after her than it was taking care of 2 small children by myself!
I recognize I need to make sure my own needs are met in order to relieve the tension I’m carrying, because there are times I just don’t want to be her cheerleader & I feel like I might blow my top over nothing. I’m sorry this sounds like a big pitty party, but at least it feels good to unload to others who may be in the same position.
My mom does want me to be happy, but I cannot tell her what would really make me happy is if I could move out & go back to my regular life - which is quickly slipping away. I’m so conflicted because I sincerely care about her, but I also want to be selfish at times and care more about my own well being before it’s too late. My mom cannot relate to any of this because her parents died before I was even born, & my dad’s parents also died young. It’s such an odd situation to be in right now - at my age - and I don’t know how to fix it. Thanks for listening -