How do I manage the resentment and anger over now having my mother depend on me?

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My mother, age 86 and of sound mind and "ok" health, has been living with me and my roommate since last October. She has her own room and in-home assist every day. But its the evenings after my work, weekends, and ongoing "anger" over my having lost my "freedom" that is making me act so different towards my mother and I am concerned this will eventually lessen my love for her. We have always been very close. I have spoiled her all of my life, however, I left "home" at age 19 and began my career at a city about a 4 hour drive from my mom. (My father is deceased.) So I would visit my mom every month, take her on wonderful yearly vacations, etc etc. This new life is very difficult. I am more fortunate than most and I know this. I still have a demanding full-time career which I have refused to even consider giving up to take care of my mother. My career is my "life-line" out of the home and affords a little bit of balance. My resentment stems from not having a vacation for soon 4 years and not having the freedom to go out to dinner at night without making arrangements for her care. I never had children so call me selfish but I have always been a "career" woman and never wanted kids. Now I have a dependent child. I have no family support. They all live out of state and even when I take my mother to visit her "home" in Pennsylvania every month to see her "family," they are useless. I can't depend on any of them. They are inept and so I have given up on any useless family support. I hate taking my mother to Pennsylvania. I get so angry and depressed on the drive that I have ignored her completely when driving in terms of talking to her. I always ensure she gets the very best care so that is not an issue. I do my "other job" I feel commendably. The issue is I am not the same "daughter" I was as I am resenting this situation more and more. I will have her live with us as long as I can safely care for her and provide her with a quality of life. But like so many others, I have given up a portion of my life and frankly I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that at age 61 soon 62 this would be my life. I fought for my mother tirelessly up to and through her open heart surgery. I took 3 months off from work to live, eat and breathe staying at the hospital and skilled nursing facility and then continued being with her every step of the way when I had her relocated to Maryland. I drove 33 miles one way after work to Baltimore to be with her and on weekends at a chronic care facility in Baltimore. She adores her son who I so very much resent. I can no longer even begin to let her know my feelings because she gets made so I have resigned myself to having a "superficial" relationship with her. I take her to all of her medical appointments; I ensure she has in-home care; I take care of all of her bills/paperwork. As I told my roommate recently, I don't want to look at my life as "well when my mother is gone, then I can travel and have a quality of life." That is not a healthy feeling. I want to be able to travel now and know that my mom will be ok at home with in-home care. My mom has a trache. I take good care of cleaning it. My mom said she doesn't want anyone working on her neck but me. I said but mom, what is the picture in your mind about me ever taking a vacation?. Bottom line is she is selfish. Has always been. She truly feels I should put my life on hold while she is alive. This makes me feel angry and so when I can't stand it anymore, I go up to my room or just have some alone time. Most times I provide her with excellent care and sometimes I try to take her shopping once a weekend and out to dinner, but those trips to Pennsylvania bum the heck out of me. I promised my mom I would take her,weather permitting, to her home in Pa once a month. I am the only one to give her any quality of life. I am going to try to find a counselor to simply listen to me. No one can fix any of this. If my mother were in a nursing home for me it would be worse. I would be there constantly and her care would not be up to par llike I provide. So this is a never ending story for now. How very sad though. I appreciate this support group and want eveyone to know it has helped me. Thank you.

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Is there Adult Day Care in your area? That way your mom is out of the house and with people her own age while you are @ work. It doesn't sound as if this situation is happy for your mother either. Do you belong to a church? Perhaps there are some church activities your mother &/or you could do together? Is there a park district senior program in your area? Perhaps they have some activities for your mom to participate in for an hour or two so she has something to look forward to and you can have a break. Reading discussion group (books on tape if her eye sight isn't good), knitting group. Sometimes the local library has programs for seniors too. Learn computer skills for example. Is there a local community college, college or university by you that has an interesting lecture series your mother might like to go to? Sometimes there are college theater or high school plays to attend. University/college music or ballet recitals to see.
I wish my mother would want to participate in any kind of outside activities but she is slowing down physically and is deaf in one ear.
I think you and your mom need some activity time, something fun together and separately so you have more things to discuss.
As far as your relatives.... take your mom to see them but maybe every month is too much for you. Can your relatives come and visit your mom every other month? Expect nothing from them and then you will not be surprised by their non-interest. My brother has told my mom that he wants nothing to do with her after they had a falling out. I was not involved in their falling out but now have no help taking care of my mom and her house. But that's on my brother. He has that to live with in his life.
It sounds as if you are doing a great job for your mom. You are a good daughter. Please love your mother for the time she is here. You will look back when she is gone and have good memories to remember her by. Your relatives are missing out, just as my brother is.
I hope some of my suggestions have helped you a little.
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You should not be resentful because God will take her away.Then you have to get use to not having around.And it hurts worse believe me I can relate to your feelings being resentful.I lost my mom 2009 she was 71 years old i miss her dearly.Although we were not close I"ve always took care of her.Now I dont have anyone to take care of.Keep God in your Life and take time to out to get to know her you never know When God will take her away.trust me it will get better.God bless you.
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Like so many others I share your feelings and know what you are going through. I also had a close relationship with my father that ended when my mother died a year ago and I ended up caring for him. He resented this dependency and vented his anger at me. In short he is not the same loving father I once had. Our relationship has changed and it has taken a lot for me to accept this. I have backed off and have a distant relationship with him as I have found that this keeps him from having angry fits with me and helps me to keep from getting too stressed out. The reality is that I still love my dad but have accepted that the person he is now is not someone I can be close to. In some ways I have had to grieve the loss of my former father as the person he is now is not the person I once knew. It has been hard and hardly anyone knows because I don't talk a lot about my feelings with people. I feel the most resentment when my sibs call and ask what is wrong with me because my dad complains about me to them. They lives thousands of miles away and hardly ever see him. I try to explain to them what I am going through, but they only tell me I should smarten up and treat dad better. It drives me crazy. But it helps to come to this place and share with everyone. Unless you are going through it no one can understand. I know that I see things differently now. I fight the feelings of resentment and bitterness everyday. I am lucky that I have a great husband who knows what I am going through and has been keeping my dad from being alone with me. we are committed to compassionate care of my dad, but make sure to make time for ourselves and our daughter. You can get so caught up with the multiple reasons for sadness and frustrations an elderly person has. But, to be an effective caregiver you need the distance to make clear and reasonable decisions for everyone involved. So give yourself a break, you are doing an amazing thing. Your sibs may never know this, but that is the way it is. You talked about your loss of freedom, that really rang true for me. Do what you can to get away and get a breath of freedom. Make time for it. Your life is valuable too.
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Like you've heard from others here: it will do you nothing but good to pare down your doing for Mom before you resent the hell out of her and she dies leaving you guilty for hating her. There really is no "perfect" way of helping ANYONE-- the only thing you can do is your best; and you're not doing that now if you are angered. I have pared down what I did for my mom and really: she's thriving. She treats me much more respectfully, and I think she believes she's getting away with something-- like a kid-- that I'm not hovering over her. I can't help that she needs others to help her-- if she didn't want that she should have planned for it. She expected me to take up the slack for all my sibs (my dad's deceased) because that's what they are used to-- but nope... I'm no good to anyone if I'm pissed, so I do what I can and then go home. A Christian counselor told me once: "God only wants you to be the best daughter to your parents for the time that you can stand it-- no more" so when I start to resent her, I politely say "See ya later" and I come back refreshed. I can't do it all-- who could? There are agencies for what we can't do, and-- for better or worse-- aging in this country is what it is... If you feel guilty about living a carefree life because you still want to that's expecting you to be what you are not-- a sure recipe for anger and depression. Do your best, be glad you have helped, and keep going. If you kick yourself you are no good to anyone, Dear. Good Luck!
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I think after reading many of these posts that it is universal that we all feel the following:
Abandonment
Isolation
Depression
Resentment, etc., and on and on,,,,
So where do we go from here?... I think acceptance is the key, accepting the new norm, and then I'm going to not expect anything from anyone, which will be a new norm also. Siblings do not want to be burdened for whatever reason, but like I said before there are heros out there from all walks of life and i do believe we will all be better and more compassionate after this is over, if it ever is.
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Thank God there are people in the same similar situations as me. I just found this website and it surely has helped me out tremendously. I dont feel alone anymore. I dont have no one to confide in physically but then where is the time for that. I love this website. I feel so much relief knowing I am not battling this alone. THANK YOU TO ALL... GOD BLESS EVERYONE.... HUGS TO ALL OF US..... because of OUR selfless acts WE ARE STORING OUR BLESSINGS IN HEAVEN................... Thats far more a better reward. In this life we are here today and gone tomorrow. My heart goes out to all of YOU..XOXOXOXO
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DianaS:

I found your response heartfelt. Having been a primary caregiver for both of my parents, I understand the exhaustion and sense of isolation. However, you are a wonderful person with a big heart, your family members are blessed to have you in their lives. I think you will have your time in the future --just try to improve or maintain your health in the meantime.
I do agree however, that the primary caregivers around our nation are never given the credit they deserve. Their work is priceless to our country.

Elizabeth
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Dear musiclover1,
I know exactly how yu feel. I took care of Mom and Dad going on two years and I used to say, "Man, I was just planning to move out and move to Colorado." At that time, I had resentment, anger, love, anxiety, guilt, frustration, etc....Then.....Dad got really bad and had to go into a care home. Long story short--they called us too late and Dad died all alone. Now......there are so many regrets I carry with Dad. I am the youngest and the baby of the family with the most love and compassion and closeness to them as you are. Soon after, like one month, Mom got the diagnosis that her cancer from two years before had spread and w/o chemo, she would have 6-9 months. She is too old, frail and weak to take the chemo...it would kill her sooner. So I took care of Mom till she got so bad that we had to put her into hospice. I wanted her to pass at home, but she needed emergency medical care that me and my caregivers could not provide. I want to tell you that you are doing a job that WILL be HONORABLE to you in the end. You will NOT regret what you are doing now. Though you cannot see it now....as I could not see it then...I know it is difficult to see this now.....but not having Mom and Dad in this big house [before when I wanted to get away from them] I cry and pray every morning because I miss them so much. Every day I wish they were still here healthy as before. Every day I wish that I appreciated them more, every day I look into the past and how I cared for them and how I could of done a better job. Everyday....everyday. This will be a great learning experience for you...you will find this truth out in the end, as I did. I learned more about myself, my life, my Lord, my priorities in life, my family, this year of the most wicked pain and hardship of 2012. And I couldn't of learned it with out all the hardship and pain. Can you get caregiver help weekly or a couple of times a week? Can you get the caregiver help as soon as you arrive home from work so that you can put your feet up and have time for yourself and let the caregiver go home when Mom falls asleep? Can you put your Mom in day care when you go to work?
I'm sorry that your useless siblings do not help. They shall reap what they sow and are missing out on the most beautiful part of your Mom's life----being with her journey toward heaven and Jesus Christ...which is far better than living on this earth. Accept your role in your life now... its only for a season. Resentment only brings on more anger and more frustration, which can lead to emotional breakdown.....as I had in the past. Just do what you can do and you cannot do any more than you are able. God understands this and He is the most important entity that will enable you to do it. No human being can help you the way God can. He was and still is my strength. Me, the most financially weakest and mentally fragile in the family turned out to be the strongest and most loving and compassionate. Strength comes in many different forms.......God does not make mistakes, if he chose you for this role, there is always a great reason. You cannot see it now.....but you will in the end, I promise.
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Hi , I totally get it. My precious dad died earlier this year and so I inherited my demented mom. She has a room in my home. I have a younger sibling but forget that. What I have found good for us is sending her to daycare and when she gets home at 5 pm I give her ,her meds that make her sleepy, change her for bed and give her , her dinner and off to bed 'till 8am. On the weekends her aid comes and takes care of her 'till she falls asleep. One day at a time is the key. Plan your trip, I went to London for a week two months ago and I left the aid in my house with mom. I try not to think of her dependency on me , staying away from negative thoughts and living a day at a time and sending her to daycare , putting her to bed early and having a sitter on the weekends is all I can do . I also am not the same daughter but she is not the same mom. We are doing our mothers right , you are a great human being with a big heart . Hang in there sister ! Much love your way !
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As you can already see, there are so many of us in the same situation as you. I too, have had a great deal of resentment at having to be the caretaker for my mother. However, I realized one day that I HAD to come to terms with it and make peace with it or the situation was going to "eat me alive". I am fortunate to have one sibling that helps out, but she lives two hours away--so that help is limited. I have another sibling who could help out but does not raise a finger to help or a $ towards the money my other sibling and I spend on my mom's care. That being said, I have finally realized the situation is what it is. You can choose to care for your mom in the way you have and by the high standards you have provided. Your alternative is to put her in a care facility. Can you live with that? Im not saying it is wrong to place a parent in a care facility. In fact I have explored this option for my own mother. Sometimes the level of care that needs to be provided is not possible with the parent still in the home. If, as you say, you would be worried that she is not receiving the care to the level that you would give, then I would say take that into account. I feel the exact same about placing my mom--I feel I can still provide better care for her in my home--so FOR TODAY-- this is the life I have chosen. I don't know what your financial situation is, but if you can I would say spend liberally and often to get caregivers to come in for several hours so that you can pursue your own activities. You say you resent having to arrange caregiving so you can go out. My question to you would be--what if you couldn't arrange it at all? What if you could not afford it? Having a caregiver so you can go out a few times a week is much better than being tied to your home all the time with no relief. Its a trade off. You must realize that you ARE trading your time and energy to see that your mom has good care. You must also realize that your relatives probably won't ever change. Once you quit trying to hold them accountable believe me, you will release a BIG burden. I speak from experience on this. They are not the least worried about the situation. Your spending energy to stay angry at them for their lack of caring is not going to change the situation one tiny bit. Be proud of the fine job you are doing for your mother--in spite of her faults, her selfishness, and in spite of having to give up freedoms. You are doing something that is unique and selfless. Live your life as best as you can NOW. We were not promised an easy life, but attitude and perspective can help us remind ourselves that we are doing something good and right and true for our loved ones who are in need.
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