Does anyone else feel totally unappreciated by an aging parent and taken for granted?

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My situation is I am caring for my aging mother, age 87, in my home which is shared by my roommate. I have been there for my mother all of her life. She used to live in another state, independently, but as a result of open heart surgery during May 2009, and consequently being ventilator dependent and suffering from countless facility acquired infections (Sepsis/C-diff/MRSA), she finally was able to be discharged during October 2011 to our home. Throughout the time she was in one facilty after another, I was there for her. Initially she was at Pittsburgh for her sugery and when discharged to another facility I had her transferred closer to our home in Maryland. This has been a nightmare in terms of all that I have experienced. She came to Maryland to a skilled nursing facility during September 2009, but I then had to have her sent out three times to a hospital and finally had her transferred to a chronic care facility at Baltimore,which is 33 miles from my home. Nonetheless, after work I would travel the 33 miles to Baltimore to see that her needs were met and for companionship. I work full-time and am 62 years old. I have a roommate who is very important to me. I have known her for 13 years and my mother is simply jealous of our relationship. I have tried to be candid with my mother and ask only one thing....that she please show respect and kindness to my roommate. My mother never owns her disrespectful behavior. In fact, most recently my roommate returned from an out of town trip, and while I was at work, stepped into my mother's room to say hello. My roommate reported to me that my mother made it very obvious her return was not welcome and she was simply rude. So, my roommate and I have been seeing a counselor to try to deal with all of this rudeness and negativity and the counselor advised my roommate to stay out of my mother's room and I could not agree more. My roommate has a very vivacious personality. She is friendly and has helped me get my mother settled in our home. My roommate gave up her office space on the lower level of our home for my mother. My roommate has rearranged my mother's room, has done her laundry, has bought her a closet for her room, etc. I made it clear to my mother that if she doesn't like my roommate, can't she at least act nice to her because my roommate does not have any parents and had hoped that my mother could learn to love her. I am so angry at my mother. I take her to her mobile home in Pennsylvania from Maryland once a month so that she can visit her family, who by the way are of absolutely no help to me, and so that she may have a quality of life. My mother is stable physically and has no dementia. I keep continual tabs on her medical care. I do it all. I do have in-home assist while I work five days a week. I have told my roommate to not to anything further for my mother. So I am sandwiched between two people whom I have done nothing but show kindness/assist to. My mother is a negative person. She never had friends nor wanted any. She never has shown me any willingness to embrace any relationships I have to include with my Goddaughter. She is a jealous person. Shame on her. I asked her once Mom, don't you want me to have anyone in my life someday if you pass first? She never got along with any neighbors in Pennsylvania; she never became close to my inept brother's wife, etc. Me on the other hand is not like my mother. I know how to set boundaries but I would never be so selfish. I am a people person and I feel I deserve to have my roommate in my life. She and I plan on growning old together if she doesn't simply leave some day due to having to deal with a negative, mean-spirited old woman (my mother.) I have seen traits in my mother, now that I live with her, that just disgust me. But, like so many of you, I will continue to care for her but it is just so sad to have a mother whose daughter (me) took her on wonderful vacations, bought her a mobile home, met her every need every since I was a young girl. When my father abused her I was the one who always heard it all. Thankfully for me, I left home at age 19 and began my career in DC. But I still was always there for her. I am sorry but if all I am asking of her is for her to treat my roommate with respect and be nice to her, considering she is living in our home, I feel that was not too much to ask! Anyway, my roommate and I are abiding by our counselor's advice this past week. It seems to be working as best it can. My roommate stays elsewhere in our home and does not go into my mother's room, which is on the lower level. I meanwhile find it ridiculous that my mother could not give me one thing...the only thing I have every asked of her in life. Thanks support group to those of you who take the time to read my issue. I appreciate being a member of this group. It's nice to know we are not alone. I never thought life would turn out this way.

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Your comments suggest that your mother suffers from some type of personality disorder and narsistic personality traits. There is alot of information on this site regarding classic naristic personality disorder. Not a pretty picture and will not change. Illness and old age exasperates the issue.

As for your roommate, your mother simply does not care about your relationship as her world revolves around her own needs. Whatever you do most likely will not be acknowledged or appreciated. She does not care if she is hurting you or your roommate/ partner. It is not a concern for her and never will be.

I have had a lot of heartache because I refused to accept the fact that my mother has similar traits. Your mother is deliberately causing problems. Don't sacrafice your plan of growing old together with your roomate. Investigate and evaluate alternative living arrangements. I suspect more heartache will come otherwise. Please give this considerable thought. Regards, Sand56
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Dear Caregiver: Hello fortunately I am in a better emotional mood today as I got out on my own and drove thru and got lunch. That's seems so trivial but I am thankful for that time, also to be back home its burning hot today in Indiana. And...yes we can go on and on about the great and unselfish things we have done for our ppl who need our care. we could write a book and do. Just today I tried to put myself in mom's situation, she used to be soo beautiful, be able to walk, type, tell what time it is, cook, get dressed faster, drive, color her own hair, read the mail and tell what time it was, on and on. Now here is a woman who looks in the mirror, tries to walk faster, and even tries tio make the bed and sees things are not the same. When it happens to me, I just think it will also be sooo sad and I will probably turn in to a bit**, as we see what aging does to us. We can complain all we want now, but I am trying to have compassion (it hasn't happened very well yet) and know the end is near and how it sucks. But just as the grass, flowers, & corn grow and the weather happens, it is all a process of life and death. Try to draw an imaginary circle around yourself and only let in positive thoughts and make the negative things stay outside. Walk into a situation being protected by the circle, say what needs to be said, do what needs to be done, and walk away. The circle will be different for each of us, mine is the strength and protection of our creator. God bless you.
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I sympathize with your pain and often feel it myself. The only thing that works for me, when I am able to accomplish it, is to offer my service without expectation of any return. If you are so inclined, offer the service to God. That puts the whole process on a different level, a plane where comfort resides. In the Hindu tradition (which I did not grow up in but now study), it is called SEVA -- selfless service. Maybe you could sit down with your roommate and discuss this possibility. I can say from experience that asking anything of my 94-year-old mother is just opening myself to disappointment and heartache. If the two of you are able to detach yourself from any expectation of return on your investment in your mother's wellbeing, it could be an amazing growth experience. If not, you might want to consider finding another placement for your mother. Sounds like the relationship with the roommate shows a lot more promise for a happy life. Are you sure that your "duty" to mom is worth the risk? Good luck and God bless.
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I know I shouldn't answer for everyone, but I think we are legion. We all feel this way a lot of the time. Somehow, knowing we are doing the right thing for our loved ones is how we make it through. Bless you.
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Do I ever feel this way? LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of times. It, unfortunately, is part of the whole package. Taking care of your aging parents is incredibly, incredibly difficult and unrewarding most of the time. It is essential that you find some time of outlet to get away from the stress. I meditate & do yoga; never thought I'd do that after hearing it suggested for years but WOW, it works! Try it. You will be as surprised as I was.
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Thank you for joining this group, you find many good suggestion and answers to your questions. God Bless you and Welcome
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I feel totally played by not one, but two elderly parents. One still has the strength to call me an asshole on an almost daily basis, while the other one, not so much. They could care less if I dropped dead from doing this shit. Then I have somebody who doesn't lift a finger to help but criticizes me for complaining that this job is too hard. Should I feel anything emotionally for these people?1 Quite honestly, no, absolutely not. Hey, y'all have a nice day. Best to all of you. Hang in there Joan, as Bettie Davis said in one of her movies, her more memorable quotes, "Im paraphrasing here, " Hang on, its going to be a bumpy night" Well caregiving is going to be an extremely bumpy ride. :-) W
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It sounds like you became the adult in this mother daughter relationship years
ago (during the abuse time?). She placed a lot on you as a young person listening to
her adult problems, and I am sorry you had to go through that. I would suggest a behavior plan with a caring discussion; and on a paper or contract,
give your mom your expectations in YOUR home. We find with young adults at school they need to see things and not just hear them. You could even rate each day or week- not placing blame, but "How did WE get along?" on a calendar.
Just a short list that you can both sign as you try to better the situation. It should only be between
the two of you although you should address the treatment of your roommate.
Something in the hand that she can touch and read, may help her to see your
resolve. You can renew it at intervals as things change, but she needs to respect your home and your friends. Can mom go out for treat day/lunch if things improve? I don't know if you take her out, but a reward system works. Pick
something that she likes even if you don't. Then she will see you are giving
something on your part also. This might help with the jealosy if Mom sees that
she has special time with you. Even a special dinner in with just you two.

Caretakers will never receive the gratitude and thanks that you deserve......the
deserved amount is too staggering. God bless you as you care for her!
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Though it is NEVER alright to be nasty and hurtful, why is it we allow it in our quest to help those who need it?! We, as "caregivers", are doing what is right for the one we love...! While you are in no way alone in this treatment, you do not have to stand for it. In what realm does it say that the person you are helping , has the right to treat you like dirt??? I had to admonish my MIL when she started to treat me with indifference while I cared for her. My husband(her son), heard her say these things to me and he even told her that was rude and unexceptable behavior! Yay for me, because I thought he would never say this to his mom!! I recently lost my mom and gram within a year of each other...they to needed extra care but were in no way as nasty as my MIL. She has only 2 children, a son (my hubby), and a daughter that is so selfish, she only thinks of what she wants! My MIL's only daughter can't even go see her unless she will benefit from it, monitarily! This discusts me to no end, yet mom(mil) thinks she can do no wrong!! The last straw for me came when we were trying to bathe my MIL and she was being combative. She then said to me (her DIL), "Your mother should be ashamed to have had a daughter like you"!!!! I know she has dementia but, that hurt me to the core, me.... the only one besides her son who willingly takes care of her! That is not exceptable in any state....! You will go on being caregiver because YOU have empathy, and You know that you are doing what is right, even though you aren't being appreciated for your effort!! We appreciate what you are doing and giving up to help take care of you mom!! We are only human and YES we need to vent! This forum gives that opportunity to us as caregivers. So when we get discouraged and feeling like we're worthless, you can get validation here on this site!! You are a strong person to have endured this for so long. Stay strong and know that I for one applaude you!! Godbless and hugs to you and all you are doing!
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"Unappreciated and taken advantage of" - I actually thought that's what the definition of caregiver was? ;)
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