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The circumstances are not really new, because I've been caring for my mother since childhood. However, the care she needs is far beyond the assistance I used to give her. I have no problem doing it, but the last two years have been hell. If it wasn't my depression, it was my mother's verbal abuse. If it wasn't school, it was my parents disregard to my emotional/mental health throughout all of this. Mind you I've been doing this for nearly 8 years of nonstop caring. I do all of this housework, grocery shopping, cooking, etc. Some days I wouldn't sleep due to unfinished work. All without pay. Now my mother's health has gotten worse. She was needing 12+ hour care. Someone needed to be with her majority of the time, or she'd pick arguments just because she knew how'd it make me feel. She enjoyed making me feel guilty for doing simple things such as eating or sleeping too long. Petty things.


I believe I've reached the point where I feel as if I cannot live my life without someone dangling this over my head. I gave up my dream job and college to stay home after she'd gotten ill the first time. (I had mental breakdown shortly after. That's another story.)


Since then, I've been only caregiving. My mother even made my high school graduation about her. (That's another story.) And now, she's wanting to leave rehabilitation center. She thinks we're (my father and I) are leaving her there permanently. When in fact, she's there to regain strength. She's coming home soon, but she wants to come home now. My father wants her to come home despite her physically not being able to care for herself (She was able to bathe, feed, clothe, etc on her own). I feel as if he doesn't care about the fact that I can't handle this on my own. I recently got a job and I start college in a month. If she's coming home now, I will have to drop everything (again) and assist her. (She and my father doesn't want home-health. They are current debating.) My father's telling me we have to "deal with it". It's so frustrating. I'm 19 years old and my whole life is just thrown completely out the window and I feel guilty for wanting to live my own life. And my family isn't making it any better.

Count me as a vote to move on with your life. If you don't get out soon you will spend the rest of your life "waiting for your life to start". Then you will wake up and be 30, 40, 50, etc. It goes by fast! You are at the age where you need to set the stage for the rest of your life. Anybody who would fault you for that is using and/or abusing you. Please go spread your wings!
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Reply to Upstream
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I left home for college early because I had a mthr like this. And yes, she still controlled me from afar with 3 hours on the phone morning and evening, and manufactured drama, and crises right and left. I stayed away as much as I could. When I married she refused to do anything to prepare herself and rejected all the dresses I bought her. At the rehearsal, she insulted my inlaws multiple times in an effort to stop it. Even when I moved a couple of states away with new husband, she called to tell me she was going to move close to me, but she refused to come visit me when my newborn was in NICU and close to death - she said she'd just wait until the funeral then.

I told my husband that one of us had to go - me or her. He got me into therapy immediately and the first thing my therapist said was that I needed to take a break from her and to read the book Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud. This was life changing advice.

Find a sympathetic female relative - one that your family cut off eons ago. They are the most likely to be able to help you escape from your prison. If you don't know how to find them, look at facebook and google. They know. Move only your most precious items with you. Baby photo (1), another. I have 2 photos from my childhood now, both from friends. All you need is a job and a place to sleep and a phone. A basic tracfone is $10 and $7 a month. And you can set up a free google voice number as well. Come back and let us know how you are!
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Reply to surprise
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LadyL, get out as soon as you can. Mom coming home now, if you stay there, will sabotage your plans, you KNOW this. Do you have housing lined up or were you planning on remaining there? Going to school to start the rest of your life is a full time+ job. You are your own responsibility.

I cannot imagine a parent expecting this of their child, ever. We read similar stories here sometimes. Those children always think the same that you are. And the community here is ALWAYS in support of the child. This is just plain wrong for your parents to do this to you. Run, run as fast as you can. Do not sit there and wait for this to happen. Don't think you can remain there and think that mom's care needs will change. You know they will not. Make your own life and be successful in it.

You owe it to yourself and community as a whole to be the best you can be. You have dreams that will only come to be if you follow the path where you want to go. Work for it and there is nothing that can stop you. Let the past alone, make a new, fresh future for yourself. Onward and upward and the best wishes to you on this journey.
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Reply to gladimhere
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This is absolutely NOT your responsibility. This situation is for your parents to
deal with. I cannot conceive of how any loving parent would ask this of their
child. You need to begin your life, without doing any further caregiving. You
are being used plain and simple.

I sympathize, I was used in the same way throughout my childhood. When my
father became infirm it began again. Your entire life will be sucked dry dealing
with these demands. Your parents are negating their responsibilities and trying
to force you into being the parent. Time to walk away.

One word of caution however, do not tell your parents of your plans to leave
until they are solid. Otherwise they may sabotage them by creating a huge
crisis to draw you back in. Or behave so despicably that you will suffer another
breakdown.

Read everything you can about narcissism. There are tons of great blogs and
videos on Youtube. Adult Children of Alcoholics is a great nearly free support
community. There are online and phone meetings as well as in person meetings.
These people will understand what you are dealing with. Most people will not
unfortunately, as most parents would NEVER consider burdening their children
like this.

Im so sorry you've been taken advantage like this, some parents abuse their
authority and attempt to turn their children into servants and scapegoats. It is
sadly a fairly common situation. You're not alone. Let your parents grow up
and take responsibility and go out there and find your people. They're out there.
Good luck!!!!!
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Reply to bettina
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