How do I get out of this?

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I'm 21 years old and I've been involved with care giving for those with illnesses of all kinds through out the duration of my entire childhood, teen years and now my beginning adult life. I have witnessed the inevitable and hard lessons early on and though I try to be resilient through it all while holding on to what little I have to make me happy, life seems to never give me a break. I haven't been allowed to live a normal life. It started with my grandmothers kids and her father. My uncle (her son, psorisis, congestive heart failure), my great grandfather (her father, alzheimers) and last but not least, my mother (depression, pills, physical issues that I would assume were mostly mental along with pill abuse). They're all dead now. I've witnessed each one of them pass and so has my grandmother and while I've tried to juggle leading a normal life, helping her and getting somewhere to progress I find myself stuck in a stand still. I've had my own bouts of depression, dealing with trauma, being a social outcast due to those who are impatient with me and unable to understand. It's often maddening. I have no friends, but I have a loving boyfriend and two dogs that keep me going through all of this. My grandmothers illnesses are always changing. It all began with pills after her son passed away in 1998. I was 8 years old. His death hit me the hardest as he was more of a father to me then my own. With pills, she developed a liver condition which had plagued her for years though mysteriously it goes away and comes back. I feel like she needs her illnesses to feel special. Guilt is her game. That or she's just been wanting to die for years.

My mother also had to battle pills and deal with my grandmother, I seem to mirror her life without the pills. I won't even take a tylenol unless I feel like I'm going to die because I vividly remember flushing bottles of percecets and oxy cottons down the toilet because they were being abused when I was 12. I was 13 (2003) when my mother died via overdose. The image of it all sticks but I've learned to cope with it.

Nobody wants to lift a finger to do what is needed to put her into a nursing home (she's on old age pension) and I'm literally stuck because due to my own depression during my teens I dropped out of high school after turning 18 and I've been behind the rest of my age group ever since. I'm obviously still depressed. I have no job, no means to find a job and no money. I can't even go and get financial assistance because of where I live in town. It's far from any resources that I need.

Doctors don't help. They worsen things with added pills or taking pills away.

Her last living son is the only reason anybody in this house has a roof over our head. Money's tight. The house is falling apart and it's gloomy and dirty.

Nobody calls. Nobody visits. Nobody really sincerely cares. I hate it.
She's two faced all of the time and will talk baddly about me to anybody she can when she can. At this rate I won't even be able to go to her funeral nor do I even want to.

My younger brother who is 17 recently moved in because our father kicked him out. My father only cares about the women he's dating and being 20 years old every day of his life. He never has time. I've had a falling out with him which is nothing new.

He's into the party scene, drugs, drinking. He's had a history for being a thief. For some reason, my grandma favours him and he's done nothing for her and he's lazy. I've cleaned this disgusting house from top to bottom, fixed her meals, organized visiting nurses who only maintain her hygeine but it's better then nothing. Now that she keeps attacking me, I've stopped caring as much. And she still expects me to even after she shows me not even an ounce of love or care and takes advantage of everybody living in this house. And I'm sick of being everybodies door mat. I want peace. I want to live my life. But I can't. And I feel like things are just going to keep getting worse.

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Hi Ashley, everyone gave a lot of good advice so I'm not even going to comment on those. But, I would like to ask about your 17-year old brother. Now that he has moved in with you, is he helping around the place? I know he has to go to school, but when I was attending high school, I knew of several people who were holding a part-time job. In other words, Is Your Brother Pulling His Weight? If not, I think it's best you sit down with him and lay down the ground rules. You're currently stressing over grandma. You don't need any more hassles from your brother.

If he's helping you, then great! Is he also helping you with grandma? It would be nice if he's with you when it comes to granny. Does he back you up (when she's mean to you)?

If you want to stop caring for grandma - which you should have no shame admitting it, then listen to kellyd when she told you to go the site "Two years ago my mother moved in" Just type these exact words on the top right of this page in the box that has the words: Search Site. Please read it. It didn't apply to me but I did benefit from a lot of advice given to Survived2. You take care! HUGS to you!!!
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Ashey, what wonderful advice you have received in all above posts - one step at a time - you can do it! Sending you hugs and prayers. You have a lot of support on this site and everyone cares about you. Blessings and take care.
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Have you seen the book "What's eating Gilbert Grape?" It is written from the perspective of a young adult stuck caring for family. It is a fun read and it would let you know you are not alone.
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Oh Ashley, I felt your pain in your message. Life isn't always kind and you have taken so much. You deserve so much and you will have a life because you want one. Just know that you have made a difference even though it may not feel like it. I hope you find the resources you need so you can have a beautiful life. What a special person you are!
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Ashley. You only need to take one step at a time to get where you want or need to be. I think you need help with your Grandma. Please call agencies like aging and adult services, social workers at hospitals (if they will talk to you and they might have some good referrals for you). What you are doing is very hard work. Most of us are older and we know it is taking a toll on you. If I knew your city/state I would do a bit of research for you to help you get the help you need.
If grandma is getting social security income then she is probably on medicare. you call medicare and see what help they can offer. I do know that they will pay you or one of their caregivers for taking care of your grandma. I believe they have many more services also available. Please keep us informed. I think the main focus right now is getting help for you and your grandma. Is there a nearby church that would come over and sit with grandma or bring food or religious services to your home (should you want that)
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Ashley you have been given such good advice TAKE IT You are sooo Young My heart goes out to you sweetheart for I have a daughter & son in there 20's and I cant imagine them going thru all you have went through. You have made a big first step coming here.. There is alot of good people here and with alot of answers. You are worthy of a good life God has big plans for you and I know you have a big heart and that sometimes is a bad thing because you will let people walk all over you. Please take advice here & take care of ashley Keep us updated.
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My heart goes out to you. It sounds like you've been born into a family that requires constant care and you've acted admirably through out these years. Living in the environment of constant care is emotionally exhausting and it appears that you are finally taking a step back and considering your options for YOUR future- good for you. The first step is to see where you want to be in one year, two years, 5 years and then 10. Next is how to pursue your goals. Look at your strengths- of which you have many (hardworking, diligent...). A GED may be a good first step but it's not something that you need to do tomorrow or is even necessary for many jobs in the service industry. What about a move to another city- a place that might have better resources to help get you back on your feet? As fearful as this may all sound it's your life. There are many options out there but only you can make your life better or different. You can't control others- the only person who you can control is you.
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Bless your heart! You have your whole life ahead of you and you have given enough. Call County Social Services. There is another thread here that starts "Two years ago my mother moved in....." which has some good advice. Search some of the other threads too. There are a lot of good resources mentioned on this site. Your family have all had their chances. It is now your turn to have a life of your own. Check into online learning programs and there are also some very good GED prep books available. Your local library can probably help you find what you need to prepare as well. Don't stop there. After you get your GED continue your education. There are on line colleges that allow you to work and get your degree in your own time. I have a friend who waitresses 3 nights a week and is puttinge herself through graduate school and paying rent and living expenses without incurring debt. It is hard work but it sounds like you have worked hard your whole life and this time you will be doing it for you. As important as the education is making a social life for yourself. You need to have fun once in a while and it sounds like you don't get much of that. You have done all you can. You are not obligated to give up your life for the rest of your family. Please start putting yourself first for a change and do what is necessary for you to thrive and have a good life. You deserve it. And you are so young.......you need to think about your future.
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Hi Ashley,

I'm so sorry to hear about your current situation. I agree with the feedback and recommendations from the previous posters. I recently helped a friend get his GED. This link provides a step-by-step process in order to obtain a GED.



We used this particular site a lot when studying for the exam. Once you sign-up, you will have access to videos and classroom instruction for free.
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Ashley, it is hard to do when you are depressed, but you need to figure where you want to go and how is best to get there. At your age, high school is probably not a good option, but the counties have GED programs. Often these are free for low income students. Get your GED, then look for what you want to do. Do you want to be a hair stylist? a teacher? a veterinarian? Figure out where you want to be, then apply for what you want. When you make progress, your self esteem will start to heal.

You are too young to be caregiving. You need to first put your life in order before you consider taking care of others. Your story is very similar to mine, but different in a major way -- I'm 60 and have some retirement; you're 21 and have to make your way in the world. So choose what you want and go for it. And if you don't feel like it, then make yourself do it anyway. One of my favorite sayings is "Feel the fear and do it anyway." I guess we could also say, "Feel the depression and do it anyway." Nothing fights depression better than light and action (unless you're so low that you need chemical help first).
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