How can I go from feeling obligated for caring for my 59 year old mother to wanting to care for her?

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I don't like being with her for long. She had a car crash about seven years ago and was drinking and hid the alcohol from the cops and called my brother to come get her when I was out of town with my husband. She said she would get help but never did. We did an intervention with her and she still has a drink during a holiday but that's not okay with me because she contracted Hep. C. in the hospital during a blood transfusion after the accident. She also has a metal back brace inside her now. She quit taking her oxycodone about three weeks ago now. Two of those weeks I was helping her do everything. Then, she ended up in the ER last Sunday and just came home last night after being on the mental health care floor. She is going to be having treatment soon for the hep c and almost died last time she tried and is scared. She could not do anything for herself then and I know it will be the same this time. Also, now she says she knows she needs more help with things like her daily routine and household help because she does not have the pain meds to help her do things she did before. I cannot be the only one to do this. But for her everything is treated like it's an emergency even if it is just dusting or vacuuming. I created an outline for a chore chart where myself, my husband, my stepfather, and my brother can sign up to help get things done (we have yet to even fill it in) but I know I will still end up doing the bulk of the work. My brother works and so does my stepfather and my husband is disabled. And my stepfather does not understand how weak she is. She is legally disabled. And she will not ask him for help. I am also just now layed off from work and trying to find work. When I do find work I know I will have less time to take care of her needs. Right now, I am upset and overwhelmed that she does not feel the need to have any counseling for her addictions or for her depression. The doctor put her back on Zoloft which has helped her in the past, but she had taken herself off it a year ago because she thought that God would cure her depression without drugs. I am glad she is back on it but she insists on only staying on it until she gets off of the triple therapy for the Hep C. I want her to stay on it because it helps her and I cannot do what it can. I am not a therapist or a nurse. But I try to be patient with her but she wants everything done when she asks for it and her way. She is not willing to compromise. I want her to agree to do the chart so that I know what days of the week we are doing things like dusting, mopping, sweeping, yard work, ect. But I know she will not want to do it or stick to it. How do I show her tough love, especially when we are having to live in my parent's basement right now due to our financial situation? I feel obligated to help her but I know I cannot make her happy no matter what I do. I never have. How do I get over feeling obligated and just feel happy to help her? I don't like hanging around with her. She is not someone I would be friends with if I were not related to her. She smokes cigarettes. My hair and clothes always stink after being around her. She does not compromise or listen to our needs. I have missed meals and have not slept good since starting to help her. She won't admit she has addictions like nicotine or alcohol or shopping (HSN). I have gone to an Alanon meeting myself before but they all said I was doing the right things. Of course then, I was not living with her either or her primary caregiver. I could really use some advice right now. This is affecting me emotionally and I am feeling depressed, anxious, and angry, and at times I feel somewhat suicidal.

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Find yourself a job. Any job. Move out. She is mentally ill. This is a job for professionals.
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Do you pay rent for living there? It sounds like you ARE obligated, and as long as that is true it is not surprising that you feel obligated. The first step in changing how you feel is to remove yourself from that house.
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Your comment "at times I feel suicidal" cannot be ignored. Do not even try to care for this extremely toxic deadly individual. You need to take care of yourself and try to work at getting financially stable so that you can get out of that toxic environment. In the mean time do only what you have to do until you can get out from under the nightmare you are living in. I would get counseling immediately-suicidal thoughts are not healthy!
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V, my first reaction was to just leave her alone, but then I kept reading and found out you were LIVING WITH HER? Oh my gosh, that does put a wrench in things doesn't it? Your mother is a compulsive type person and is not going to change that I'm afraid. The old saying, 'you can't change a leopards spots' is true unfortunately. What does your husband say about this? I know you said he's 'disabled' but he still has an opinion right? And do you have any siblings? If you refuse to be sucked into her drama and tell her that you're not going to help her until she stays on the Zoloft and sticks with the chore plans you laid out, do you think she'll say ' get out of my house?' Is that something you see her doing? If so, then you'll have to tread lightly or actually find a way to get out from under her thumb. That's the real problem that I see. You and your husband have put yourselves under the subjection of your mother, so you feel trapped. Otherwise you could say, 'take care of yourself mother, because I can't' and leave her alone. BUT, she NEEDS you so that's working in your favor so remember that. You need to let go of the anger you have towards your mother's choices in life, and trying to get her to change her destructive habits because let's face it, that's never going to happen. I wish I had more helpful answers for ya, it stinks (quite literally) having to live amongst the cigarette smoke I know, but hang in there, it's not forever right? You WILL find another job. You WILL move our eventually. You WILL survive this set back, it's NOT the end of the world. ♥
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If you have to live in a shoebox by the edge of the railroad tracks, you should do it. Your mother and stepfather's home is a toxic place for you physically, emotionally and mentally. It's no place to live. And your mother has a husband! Why isn't he taking care of his wife? He needs to have it plainly evident to him what his wife's condition is. The only way he'll find out is if you step out of the way. Good luck. You're in a tough situation, but you can make it better. Please find new living arrangements.
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My first thought is that you need to firmly communicate a schedule for chores, appointments, and me time... then I read on. Living there sounds like the biggest challenge. A parent will often treat their grown child as... well, a child. Their expectations may still be the same as when you were young. You are not responsible for the bad decisions your mother has made. She is now reaping the sad results. While you may feel obligated to care for her, you are not going to want to if there is a lack of appreciation. Your idea of 'tough love' is valid. If you can't get out of the house, you may have to carve out a space for yourself where you are not allowed to be bothered. You need support. It sounds like the rest of your family has some expectations of you as well. Please, please, please, let them know how you feel and the pressure you are under. Seek out counseling for yourself for your own sanity. Just because you are home does not mean you can't get outside help to come in.
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If you feel that it's something that you HAVE to do because they brought you up so you feel that you haqve to repay them in someway, then it's an obligation. But if being a caregiver does indeed bring you immense joy (personally, in my situation I can't see that as even being REMOTELY possible :-) LOL) then it turns into something that you want to do.Anyway, got done changing out diapers. Were wet again. Had the usual amount of shit on them. Now doing laundry and getting ready tro cook in a bit. I wonder what happened to "deadly Women" I don't see it on ID network anymore. Or Facing Evil for that matter. Sowieso, Ich wunsche Euch ein schones Wochenende.Ich werde schreiben wieder. Bis dann. :-) Wayne
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Becoming a caretaker, for a husband or when you become parent to your parent, is one our greatest challenges. I lost my husband in 2002 from Hep C and alcoholism. Part of the problem I found is that the toxins ( when the liver is not working properly) go to the brain, so you are not dealing with a rational person. Had to call ambulance for help more than once with my late husband. It is not easy to stay unemotional but you have to be in charge.

The emotional strain, and work, can and will take a toll on your health and has. So I am learning to take care of me 1st, then help my mother, when she will let me. She has not taken a bath in a month, not healthy for either of us. Emotions: my understanding is to guard your heart, address issues when you are not emotional. Find support here and in real life to release your huge realm of emotions.

Choose your battles, for me;

Taking it one step at a time, explained to mother to pick one day a week that she will take a bath, (my understanding also this is coming elderly not wanting to bathe).

To me there is no choice, I will and want to help my mother, my job is my escape ... she is only 18 years older than me, and we never know what our future holds. So I am seeking to treat her the way I want to be treated without enabling or being manipulated. I pray for God Wisdom, understanding, mercy grace, and love to fill your situation. God bless you and your family

Taking it one step at a time, explained to mother to pick one day a week that she will take a bath, (my understanding also this is coming elderly not wanting to bathe).
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Although my mother is not technically an alcoholic she has many of the same personality traits as yours. I have had many moments of severe misery dealing my mother's difficult personality. I am the only child and, like yourself, am trying to be a decent human being by caring for her and putting her needs many times above my own. Until you are able to move out and/or while your mother is still alive, I would strongly suggest learning spiritual ways to combat what you are feeling. There is a book called "Battlefield of the Mind" , best-seller by Joyce Meyer. It explains the spiritual/scriptural principals behind dark thoughts like you are having. I had the same during a long period in my life. It was a process, but I have experienced a spiritual healing without any medication and no psychologist, etc. Knowledge of these principles can help tremendously while you struggle/battle with the issues with your mother. God bless you.
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I think given your differences with your mother and her multiple issues, you should not be the primary caregiver. She has a husband and I would encourage them to live separately either together or the step father in an apartment and your mother in a nursing home. It doesn't sound like she has lived a life where she accumulated lots of funds to support her, so Medicaid would be charged with her upkeep.
You have a disabled husband and are facing unemployment--that's enough to have on your plate. I almost never tell people to step back from the position of primary caregiver for a parent--but I don't see a way for you to do any more than you already do. Take care of your husband and yourself. Good luck with your job search it is a difficult economy. I will pray you find a job with proper salary and benefits to relieve your stress level.
Good luck.
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