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My parents spent most of their lives living irresponsibly, depending on family and friends for money, housing, financial needs, and work. My mother was more capable and independent than my father, yet she held herself back to keep him from feeling bad and she supported him in his schemes. If it hadn’t been for my grandparents, my family would have been homeless. I know they helped for the sake of us kids.

Now my Dad has passed away and my Mom is living with us because my brothers who bought the house my parents lived in when my brothers were in their early 20s can no longer afford to pay for the house since they have families of their own. In the original verbal agreement, my parents were supposed to buy the house from my brothers after a few years but my father refused to even discuss it with them. Mom had a stroke shortly after my Dad passed away which affected her vision and other cognitive abilities, so she can no longer do the design work she once did and support herself. She had nothing saved up and lots of debt.

I want to get past resentment at the choices she made. She has a little bit each month that she can spend as she likes – eating out mostly – and sometimes I really have to work hard at letting her have these small indulgences. I feel they indulged themselves all their lives at the expense of others and she is still doing it. But she really can’t live on her own even if she pinched her pennies, got on food stamps, and I found low-income housing for her. She needs to be reminded to eat and get any exercise and can’t go anywhere alone. She pretty much pays her own way, though we do buy the basic food (she buys extras she wants, candy or treats, her special breakfast foods, etc.)

I thought I had forgiven her over the years. But maybe being this close to her all the time makes it harder not to resent the choices she made and sometimes still makes. Any tips?

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We checked her mail the other day (she has a PO box to separate her mail from ours) and when I got back in the car, she asked if anything interesting was in the mail. I said "just a bill" and she said "I didn't know I had bills." !! I can't tell if she forgets on purpose or if she really forgets that she has debts for her hospital stay, Dad's funeral, a credit card, a phone, etc. I want to be compassionate, though, and give her the benefit of the doubt.
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I can relate! My Mother also likes eating out, she'd eat out every other night if she could. She's been living with me for two years, but even before then I've been paying her mortgage and bills. It's hard because Mother was rather wealthy in her own right, but spent it all on several poor decisions/indulgences, my brother admits he still resents this. She's intelligent, but Mother refuses to let anyone tell her what to do, ever. She also likes to act as if she still has money, wanting to buy little gifts for people, to donate to animal rights, and I am forever having to ask her to wait.
Right now I am making her pay our dog-walker (she prefers one), but it gets hard. The simple fact that Mother stays in bed all day keeps her from going out and getting more "pretty things", but it's still hard. You sound like you've been covering your mother's mistakes for some time. Can you get financial counseling? If she sees exactly how much money is in income/outgo it might help her make some decisions.
I do hope you also get help, time for yourself. It's never too late to enjoy today and you need to make some good memories for yourself.
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Since it sounds like some of the major assets have been removed for your Mom, please call your local area aging office and ask for some help. They will run a report with a lot of phone numbers, but do not be discouraged by this. Call, wait on hold and ask for help at each number. Even if your Mom qualifies for an 'at home' stipend, you can use the funds to get away for a bit or for some regular help at home.

I cannot stress how hard it is to let go of the past errors on everyone's part. My family is a mess and I'm the one that had to do the letting go part.

You can do this!! :)
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Thank you both for your helpful answers. I did some reading about resentment since I posted and came to the same conclusion - that resentment is only hurting me and isn't helping the situation at all.

We did look into Assisted Living but the finances don't quite work out for that. The house she was living in went into foreclosure and my brothers took the hit to their credit.

Like you said, seastar, I can only change and grow me. And I want to grow through this situation. I'll keep reminding myself.
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There is a lot on this plate. There is a financial matter of house and probably household goods. There are emotional matters that are not easy to resolve. And there is the caregiving aspect on your family shoulders. I'd suggest a couple of things. Divide up the tasks so everyone has a say in the care of Mom. ask your brothers to help care for the house and sell or rent it, so they can have a bit of the original investment and you can get some help with Mom. I agree with Jeannegibbs, a counselor or therapist can help a lot. You can't change anything about your folk's past decisions. You can only change and grow you.

You sound rational, responsible and caring. Concentrate on the good times and make some new memories with your Mom. Let go of past decisions.

So much easier said than done. Have you thought of an assisted living scenario for your Mom?
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Embrace your resentment. Explore it. Think it through. Maybe even go talk to a therapist about it. Your feelings are justified.

They are also self-defeating. You are the one who is suffering from them. So, after you've thoroughly aired them (perhaps to a nuetral third party, or on here) pack them up in an imaginary hotair baloon and let them float out of sight. And maybe consider forgiving your mother while you are at it -- if that is consistent with your religious views.

You deserve a peaceful, calm relationship with your mother in her last years. I hope you can achieve that, for your sake.
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