I asked a question about a year ago about my FIL who was refusing to go into a care facility. I had been taking care of him for four years and also his wife for two years, before she passed away. I received many good answers from the people on this forum. Since then he too has passed away and my husband and I have managed to start getting our lives back to normal. Cue the next crisis.
I have been estranged from my own mom for four years. The estrangement started when I was about a year in to caring for my in-laws. The catalyst for the estrangement was that she accused me of abusing my in-laws. This was absolutely untrue, and she never really gave a reason as to why she thought I was abusing them. I never said an unkind word to either one of my husband’s parents. In fact, I had quit my job in order to care for them, which was never really appreciated.
Although her accusation was the official reason I stopped talking to her, in truth, it was just the straw that broke the camels back. She has been a cruel, delusional alcoholic all my life. Her behaviour has pushed away every single person in her life except for my younger sister. Full disclosure, I have also suffered from alcoholism but have been sober for the past 3 1/2 years.
My sister lives about a 6 hour drive away from the town where my mother and I live. She calls my mother every day and visits three times a year for a couple days each time. On this last visit, she informed my father, from whom my mother is divorced, that my mother is going downhill. She is having trouble caring for her house and can’t even change lightbulbs by herself anymore. She is 69 years old. My sister then informed my dad that she thinks she is going to ask me to take care of my mother.
I CANNOT DO THIS.
If I agree to take care of my mother, she will take over every aspect of my life. She truly cares about nothing except herself. She would not care if taking care of her killed me.
My question is, how do I handle this with my sister? We are very close, and I really do hate that the burden of my mother is on her. However, I also know that five minute phone calls and three time a year visits are nothing compared to what would be expected of me.
Although my sister hasn’t even broached the subject with me yet, I know that it is coming. I do feel sympathy for her because I understand that she must be at a loss for what to do since she lives so far away. I just know that I cannot take care of this woman. What do I do?