I see my mother twice a week. It is a very long commute back and forth

My mom should be in a nursing home but refuses to go. There is an aide there the other days, but only for 4 hours. 24/7 care is just too expensive. She puts a lot of pressure on me, emotional and financial. She has severe anxiety and OCD issues, and is a very demanding and difficult person. I feel I am unappreciated, and just a servant. By the time I leave her I feel angry, depressed and hopeless about life. I try not to lose my temper with her, but she makes me angry. Then I feel guilty because she is old with a lot of health issues.

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I would want first to ask if your Mom was just a stellar Mom before all this old-age issue stuff? If she was NOT then there should honestly be no surprise here, and I find that the worst parents create the most guilty children. They raise children who are desperate all their lives, to the end, to hear words of love, acceptance and appreciation. The words they will NEVER hear. And those children beat themselves up for their inadequacies throughout their lives due to not having even had any way to build up self respect and a real value for themselves. Yes, she is putting on the pressure, and if she wins this serious battle for your giving her 24 hour care, moving in with her or she with you, she will make of your life a living hades until one of you passes from this realm. So, here's what you have to do. Just exactly what you ARE doing, except when you leave you have to tell yourself "Number one I feel like crap because I was SCHOOLED at my Mama's knee to believe I AM crap. Number TWO, I feel guilt about being an inadequate human being because I am a GOOD AND DECENT human being; because if I were actually crap and an inadequate human being I wouldn't give a hang about any of this". Then try to get on with your life, and hon, please see to it that this stays your life. When Mom needs more care she needs to go into the kind of care where people get paid to put up with that. She will treat them exactly as she treats you. Or she will treat you exactly as she treats them. Whichever comes first. Wishing you luck and hoping you will update us. Not everything can be fixed. Not all of life is happy. Not everyone is worth our best efforts. Heck, I don't even like myself for writing THIS. But I believe it is true. I do the best I can, and that's what I will do, but I won't be the doormat for anyone. That's because my Mama taught me not to be (hee hee).
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Isthisrealyreal Jul 2019
Alva, it doesn't have to be a life long quest for acceptance from the people that trained us, we can come to the realization that they were screwed up and wrong and they don't have the ability to love anyone because they are so screwed up and move on with our lives knowing that it was/is their personal problem.

We can be healthy and balanced even if we were raised by Nero.

This man can say no more, you need more care then I can provide and I am done propping up your false independence.
Thank you all for answering. I just came back from seeing her. I am so angry right now it is actually scaring me. I have siblings. One does nothing at all. He never has. He's the first born son,very spoiled and selfish. One checks in on her a few times a week, but refuses to help pay her bills or rent because he says she should be in a nursing home and she's selfish for not going. The other one helps, but not consistently. That leaves the rest of the burden on two of us, whi includes paying her bills and filling in for the times when the aide is not there. I guess I'm fuming because the financial burden is really taking its toll, and it wouldn't be so bad if all siblings helped equally.
My mother will ve miserablein a home. She will make sure of it. She
doesn't make the best of a bad situation. She takes every situation where things don't go EXACTLY the way she wants and makes it a crisis of the highest order. I once didn't arrive on time(her time) and she was in hysterics for the rest of the day. It made me angry but also sad. If she's in a nursing home, there is no way they will put up with her OCD demands. It's not possible. She also has severe incontinence from radiation when she had cancer 15 years ago. That on top of her OCD make her go into the bathroom constantly, and use a roll of t.p. in an hour. She goes through paper products, incontinence pads, diapers, disposable wipes and underwear like you wouldn't believe. That alone is a huge expense, along with her rent, food bills, etc.
I want to do what I can to make her remaining years as comfortable as possible, but I feel as if I'm caught in a web of madness. She and my father jad financial problems my entire life which they constantly need bailing out of. They went through probably close to a million dollars and still ended up with nothing.
I'm of two minds. I feel angry because of the pressure and because I feel she just sees me as someone whose sole purpose in life should be to tske care of her. She doesn't seem to care how my life is going, how I will be taken care of in my old age, or if I'm happy. She doesn't even acknowledge my birthday. I always got the impression my entire life that she resented any time I did anything that was part of me having my own life.
The other part of me feels sad and depressed. because I wonder if all this isn't some kind of mental illness she suffers from. and I should be sympathetic.
I am so grateful to you all for
listening and responding. It feels good to rant. I just joined this forum today. because I am feeling so conflicted and alone.
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NYDaughterInLaw Jul 2019
You cannot change your mother. You cannot change your siblings. You can only change your own behavior.
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Without question, my mother brings out the absolute worst in me. I go home from a visit in tears most the time, and I hate myself for letting the drama get to me.

I'm basically a really nice person-but something about mother just brings out the 'mean' in me. I am not proud of the person she 'invokes' when I spend time with her. It's not her fault, and at age 90, she's clueless that she has always been this way---63 years of giving in to her wish and whims....I'm done.

I'm taking a 6 month break and will not speak to her unless she calls me (which she never does) and then in 2020 I will re-evaluate my ability to be around her and not be a hateful, horrible person.
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guiltandanger Jul 2019
Sounds like a healthy plan to me. My mother (88) never calls me unless she wants me to make a doctor's appt or get a prescription ordered. I had to set boundaries on her emotional abuse - I rarely visit her in person and I call her once a week. I can't take the abuse or negativity. It took me over 60 years to understand that she will never be a pleasant or loving or nurturing mother, and that the only way to prevent the abuse is to not subject myself to it. I started the contact and help from a distance a year ago. I spent six months going through some brutal cancer treatments and could not physically do much of anything. She still only called me three times, and talked about her cancer experience from 32 years ago. I have been feeling rather liberated since I stopped allowing her to emotionally and verbally abuse me. She moved in with my brother six months ago and now he's losing his mind. He did not understand how abusive she is until she began living with him. If or when he decides she cannot live there any longer, she will have to go to an AL.
Andrew, I have the greatest sympathy for you. My mother had Borderline Personality disorder and narcissism. She passed last December aged 106 in a nursing home. I did not see her often as the visits stirred up PTSD from childhood. She never considered other - just herself. It is the nature if the mental illness she had.

Please look after yourself. The anger is hurting you. Have you ever seen a therapist? Not because you are the problem, but because she is and it is hurting you. If I have it right you are subsidizing your mother and supporting her to live in her home.. It might be worth your while to talk to your local agency for aging to see if they have any help/ideas for you.You need to plan for your own old age.
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Ah, the guilt.....Old folks don’t want any change, if dementia is involved, even slight dementia, the reasoning is just nor there. Our roles have reversed, now youre the adult and mom will have to make some changes she doesn’t want to. She also doesn’t understand the stress she’s putting you through.

My folks were much the same. It took a crisis to force a move to assisted living. Mom was mad, hated me, made me feel like crap. But in hindsight I don’t think she realized what she was doing.

mom died about a year ago. It took me quite awhile to get over my anger and frustration and remember her back in the days when she was a good mom and reasonable person.

Yes, I felt like a different person after visits, dealing with crises and so on. You have to work hard to keep the rational thought in front of the emotional.
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AndrewChisholm, I'm so sorry for the emotional and mental pain you're in right now. IMO you need to make practical choices now for your own sanity.
- If you and siblings are paying for you mom's care, stop. This is unsustainable and will only result in even deeper anger, bitterness, division among your siblings, etc. Especially since your parents were utterly financially irresponsible their whole lives. - Have a family meeting and in an informational, unemotional way let them know that as of XX date you will only provide X care and you will not pay for anything related to your mother's care going forward. Offer up the plan to get her on Medicaid and into a facility. Any sibling who has not been contributing to date should have no comment on any of this except to now offer help.
- If no one has PoA for your mom and she refuses to give it, your family should allow her to become a ward of the state and she should be informed of this reality. She will still get the care she needs. It just won't be of her choosing. Alerting social services that she may be vulnerable adult can get that ball rolling.
- Don't feel guilty for a moment. Move on with your life and pursue peace and joy.
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Unfortunately, often when I visit my FIL I leave feeling depressed (he's got nothing good to say) and hopeless (he's never going to change). I am not a depressed person but around him, I have left feeling run over by a Mac truck of negativity. He saps my energy and I dread the next visit.

Self preservation. Acknowledge your feelings, sit with them, and accept them. Cut back to once a week. Do something nice for yourself with that time. You are an adult and have the right to self determination. Live your life because she certainly has been living hers on her terms, right?
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lealonnie1 Jul 2019
I call them Energy Vampires
Yes AndrewChisholm, I feel the same and you said it perfectly. I feel bad about who I am as a person after spending time with my elderly parents. Boy, I can't believe I just wrote that. There were plenty of good and happy times growing up which kept me involved with them. There were also many times I was told I was neglectful of whatever they needed from me at the moment, I was "a zero", and my husband even became their target when they called him "neglectful" for being tardy to events or not meeting their expectations of something minor. I have felt hopeless, and not gotten any help from my self-centered sibling either. Then I feel overwhelming guilt since they are sick and old. It can be a spiral that leads to a bad place if you let it. Pull back a bit. I think those feelings are coming from what our parents have thrown onto us, and none of it is actually true. I suggest putting your own sanity and emotional well being first. You do not owe it to your elderly parent to sacrifice your own health for their benefit. Limit the time spent. Do what you can remotely. You matter too.
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How about cutting back on your visits, let her fend for herself, stop supporting her, she will figure it out once you back off. No one deserves to be abused.
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You have a life long history of being manipulated by your mother so it might be best to start with small steps, such as visiting less. Maybe go to once a week, with a phone call or even Skype in between if you can stand it. Then talk to professionals to find resources for your mother's care and begin adding them in and removing more of yourself. Naturally your mother's going to fuss and press your buttons but you're going to have to be strong and stop abandoning yourself. Maybe you can find a competent (underlined) counselor to support you and help stop you from caving in to your mother. Life rolls along and you've got to guard your finances, happiness and health. You already gave, and it's not your fault that she's a mess. She knows you'll cave in and that's why she's got you by the ear.

Go, Andrew--you CAN do it!
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