I have been a caregiver for some time now. I sadly, have lived with my mother for 20 years. It is a long story I will not get into here, but all comes from dysfunctional family issues. My mother has relied on me since I was very young as a single parent. I played the game and bought into it. Co-dependency and guilt.
My mom is turning 92 next month. A rich brother wanted her to move into his condo 10 years ago. She did not want to go. I stood by her side. Since then, I have taken care of many things, as many of you who are caregivers understand. I have been estranged from all of the siblings now. It did not start out that way. I have a sister and who started all of this and continues to gossip with the sister in law. Basically, they think (as well as my mother) that if I live there, I should do EVERYTHING! My oldest brother said he spoke for the rest of the family that if I live with mom, I should take care of the day to day. He thinks I have a great deal with free rent!
Caregivers, please tell me where the day to day ends? I am confused and burnt out. I get zero help from all siblings. I had a man at the hardware store today, tell me that my family members are in denial. That they justify which makes them not have to feel guilt. I have six siblings-4 older brothers-2 sisters and I am the second to the youngest.I bust my buns and lost out on a good professional job offer (Radiology) 9 years ago, because I was the one who went to the hospital to see what was going on with my mom. The rest rarely set foot in the hospital. It is always me, on top of taking care of my mom's shopping, meals, cleaning, yard etc. It is 24/7. My friends think I should get the house, but my mother does not. I do not want it, never did. But, realistically, it makes sense since I have given up much of my working life. I almost 57 and I have not had steady work for 10 years. I returned to school to train in MRI after an injury and the economy crashed. I have not been able to find work and have suffered a broken shoulder on top of a foot issue which has been 3 years of being in pain, but still taking care of things for mom.
I think the worst part is, my mom complains about me being there, instead of thanking me for doing what I do when I do not agree with her. She said I would not have to anything for her if I was not there. It is funny because she gets everything done, so she thinks she is independent. She would have to pay someone, but she will not. She does not pay me either. I get money for food, but not for gas or time.
So, I am ready to leave and go out of the country to live and work. A counselor tells me that I need to prepare myself for what might happen. Guilt? I am not sure I will feel it, only sad that it has to end this way. My siblings plan on putting her in assisted living, as they would never do what I have done. Several have spouses and pensions and my mom makes excuses for them, they have houses, families, etc. and they are busy...blah..blah.. So, me the single, previously footloose person, does not deserve happiness or help?
I am the educated, worldly person in the family and I did not want to see my mom in a facility. I wanted her to stay in her home like she wished, but never thought I would be abandoned completely because of selfishness.
The worst part is that when I leave, my mom's and my relationship will never be the same. She blames me for her unhappiness and illness. She has always been a negative person. Married my father, who never provided and so the bitterness carried through life.
The only thing I can look forward to when my mom is gone, I will have no knowledge or indirect contact with my siblings. They are like pack animals. They stick together. I sent emails asking for help and I was attacked. I give up. I need my life back.
I told them in November via email, that I was going to Mexico for a month and what mom needed. My sister in law came back in attack mode and I shared and said things that she did not want to hear. But I needed it off my chest. She is a blabber and she and my sister have caused problems because of it. She tells my aunt (not hers) all kinds of lies.
I am so tired of all of them, including my mom's garbage. She never stood up for me when I stood up for her, and now she has taken sides. She calls me names that have been hurtful and regretfully, I have said things back. So, the damage is done and to protect my sanity, I have to go. It is frightening because I do not have work and the only way it may happen is by me leaving the country to work.
If you are still reading, thank you. I know this is long, but after the battle with my mom today, I am tired. Oh, I forgot to mention, that they all go to my rich brothers for any holiday-like Mother's Day. He and wife have always entertained and the rest expect it. My family are takers. They let me take care of my mom and they let the rich brother entertain. This is the true definition of dysfunction.