Excuse me if anything is a little vague or I change a little "data", as I don't want relatives to find this and recognize descriptions.

This is really a rant I suppose. I am so isolated that I am just losing my mind having to keep this inside all the time.


Care receiver is wayyyyy over 80s. Hospitalization 2 yrs ago left her in need of help. I take her to all appointments, do her home care full-time (could only leave her alone for 30 mins max at a time back then). From 11pm to 6am a different family member slept nearby her in case of need to get up - that was my ONLY break-time. Therapists came to the house for a few months. Two therapists recognized I was being used like a slave without me telling them anything. One said I had to get out of this. The other said my mother doesn't want to see what she & the family are doing to me.

Slowly, mother has regained the ability to do some things, like using the toilet on her own. I can leave her for about an hour at a time - but can not leave the house. I can't even turn on the radio while I'm on-duty or I won't hear if she needs me. I cook for her from scratch. I want to provide good nutrition - and she also has demands. She's mentally with it 98% of the time.

Here's where a twist comes in. I got trapped into this situation because I had my own physical health problems/injuries and needed a way to survive after I had to quit my business (I don't qualify for disability.) I do NOT, nor have I EVER been paid for anything I do for the family. Because I have no where else to go, the family know that I am trapped here. (I do get food stamps or I wouldn't have food to eat for myself. I don't eat their food.) I have been forced to not only do this full-time caregiving for her, but she in-turn verbally threatens and calls me horrific names until I have to wait on other family members like their maid. I cook and clean for the lot of them every single day. Refusal isn't an option -I have tried reason, I have tried not doing things, it is dangerous when I don't comply. I would leave - I have no where to go - and even abuse shelters have turned me down because I'm not a mother with children escaping an abusive partner. (Not joking.)

Some history: the family is abusive. One of the ones I have to wait on threatens me physically every once in a long while. Not often, but it is enough. That one has a hair-trigger temper and means the threats. Mother herself is devoted to the other family members and will defend anything they do to me as me deserving it.

The family would NEVER show this behavior in front of people, but a few people have still guessed something was amiss by the way they act around me.

Here's the kicker - in ONE year, one of these family members will be free to take over this duty. Not that they will willingly take it over, but if I run, that person has the OPPORTUNITY to do it because they will no longer have any other commitments.

So ---- I NEED to be able to financially support myself in one year, so that I can run away from this nightmare -and- run with a clear consciences that there is someone there to take care of mother. (Despite her ways, I can't drop the guilt of needing to be a dutiful daughter. Pathetic, I know.) They will hate me forever, but I can't do this any longer. Years ago, a psychologist told me that I was never to ever live among my family again because they are dangerous and predatory. But I got stuck out of desperation.

In the brief moments I can grab here and there through-out the day, I work on my online shop. It has taken 2 years to get there, but I'm now earning $500 a month as of last month. It made a sudden upswing only in these last months. God willing, it will keep growing. I even had inquiries from a customer to do something in my old line of work - and if I had the time, I'd do more of that too. If I had the time, I could do all of this better and faster, but as you can see, time isn't something I have. (If you pray, I would most appreciate prayers!) I'm going to make it somehow. I can't fail. I just can't.

Can anyone relate?

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Googled and found. I see now. Thanks for telling me.

Twisted1 sounds like someone to stay quite far away from. Do you ever have to interact with either of them any more? If yes, how do you cope?

I had to argue to be allowed to go out once a week for about 3 or 4 hours. Those hours have become my lifeline and I cherish the time away. I spend an 1-1/2 of those hours in church, then get groceries etc.

The pleasure of friendly light conversation with people I don't even know is hard to even describe. I went to a new church this week and had a brief couple words with the reverend. I mentioned that I saved up and finally purchased my own bible - that I wanted a real book instead of reading online. I was dumbfounded when he stopped and looked at me and said, "You should have told us! We would have made sure you got a bible if you wanted one. We do things like that." He looked sad that I had to save up for one - but I was absolutely gob-smacked that this person who had never met me before heard those three quick words, "I saved up..." and he honed in on them when I didn't mean to reveal anything about a difficulty - I was just talking about buying the bible. I think my mouth hung open for a second as I reeled ---pondering that a person really cared about something regarding my situation. It was amazing.

So I floated the rest of the time I was out. I'm normally cheerful on my escape days, but I was ridiculously happy this week. :-) I have real joy smiling and saying hello to store employees --- partly because I like people and partly because I don't want anyone to feel that loneliness. I crave being with people who are genuine again. I so miss that. Being in this situation is worse than being totally alone, because the brow-beating takes a toll on my sense of worth.
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Dei, compassion fatigue is actually quite common with those in the mental health profession. Google it. I just cannot imagine that twisted1 is able to successfully counsel anybody on anything. She is the ring leader, narcissistic, and very good at it. She manages to suck everybody in to her cruelity.
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gladimhere, thank you too! We cross posted.

I'm so glad that your mom and her husband are in a safe caring place - and that you're now able to step back. Twisted sisters - I can just about picture it. I'm so sorry it had to go down that way for you with accusations and everything else. "Compassion fatigue" - interesting way of phrasing it, but sounds more like she/they may never have had any in the first place. :-\

Thanks for that link. I'm going to check it out. I just feel so alone in this weirdness - reading others' experiences might help.

Yes, retirement was what I was hinting at. It also happens to be mom's absolute favorite. While that person will threaten me, the two of them would never harm each-other, (they're more like twins than parent-child) so it would be safe for mom.

It's just so good to find real people who know about some of this stuff. Thank you.
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Welcome to both of you! I have been around about three years now and do not know what I would have done without this community!
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Thank you for reaching out despite having your own worries. I just posted on your topic too. Welcome from one newbie to another newbie.

One way or another, we will both find acceptable solutions.
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Deigratia, yes many of us have been through similar. There is a thread about dysfunctional families and how the caregiver is taken advantage of and worse.

I too, come from serious dysfunction. Physical threats were not used, but many emotional/psychological methods.

I have just completed four years of caring for my mom with Alzheimer's and her hubby with age related decline. I am now retired from caregiving, thankfully. Folks were moved to a community, mom in memory care and he in assisted.

Over the course of the four years I have seen extremely vindictive behaviors from my twisted sisters, one of which is mom's POA (big mistake mom!) The other is a counselor that must have what is termed "compassion fatigue".

It was an absolutely wild four years! Would not wish it on anybody, except maybe the twisteds. My serious problems with twisteds began when the reported me to Adult Protective Services alleging financial explootation about three years ago. Nothing could have been further from the truth! Case was closed quickly then two years of legal battles ensued.

You sound like you have had enough as I had. What do you expect to happen in a year that will make it possible for you to lkeave? The situation is not healthy for you and could be hazardous to your health. Work on a plan to get out as soon as you can. Oh, someone is retiring in a year? You need to retire now from the caregiving. Save yourself. Leave other family members to figure it out. Do not just abandon mom, that could get you in legal trouble. There are others in the house to watch over her, leave the task to them. What would happen to mom if something happened to you?
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I can relate except that 11 pm to 6 am I'm still stuck on the floor beside the bed so I can be easily awoken by my care recipient stepping on me. It's not exactly posturpedic memory foam, but eh carpet is softer than a mud floor.

Good luck with that business.
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