My mother is 83 and is relatively healthy, yet complains and whines about everything and anything you can think of. I know friends who have lost parents and would do anything to have one more day with them. And then I listen to my mother flip out over not having enough chocolate in the house or not having enough money to buy something on QVC even though she buys stuff on those channels constantly and it's always stuff she doesn't need and never uses.
I was watching TV with her and they were showing the devastation in the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian and she starts talking about not having chocolate again and how "at her age" she shouldn't have to worry about money or buying what she wants. The complaining turns into hours and hours of lost time each day and week as she will interrupt anything and everything to talk about herself and what is bothering her this minute. Trying to be a good, understanding son is useless. I can bend over backwards 24/7 for her trying to make her happy and she will find something else to complain about or make me feel guilty about or point out something I forgot to get her when I was at a store or grocery shopping. If she has to wait more than a day for something, I'll hear about how she's been "asking me forever" to get her something.
If I keep her company watching TV, she'll turn off something without any consideration as to whether or not I was interested in seeing it. If I record something and watch it and she's "not in the mood to see this" - off it goes. If I say I'll watch it on another tv in the house, I'll be asked what's wrong with me and why don't I want to spend any time with her. It's always what she wants to watch, what she wants to talk about, what she wants to vent about - and I'm supposed to understand because "I'm 83 - I should get to watch and eat and do what I want at this age! I sacrificed enough for you and your brother!" She moved to the suburbs with my dad, who passed away 25 years ago, she never learned to drive and hates where she lives but never wants to move elsewhere. She blames my brother and I for living where we do. She blames us for everything - if she's not feeling well, it's because my brother or I aggravated her two weeks ago and it's "still having an effect on me." If she doesn't like what she's eating it turns into "if you had bought me xyz last week, I would be enjoying something right now instead of THIS."
She has no friends anymore - she alienated all of them years ago. Her grandkids live in Florida and want nothing to do with her (it's all their fault, according to her), what few remaining family members she has left haven't talked to her in years.
Yet I am living with this person because I promised my ailing father in 1994 that I would take care of her. I never knew it would turn into the nightmare it is. This is going to sound crazy, but I sometimes think that maybe I died years ago and this is hell. That's what being around her is like. Hell on Earth. If anyone remembers The Sopranos, she is like Livia Soprano times ten - a mean-spirited, unappreciative nightmare who thinks she's smarter and better than everyone else - and entitled to be treated like a queen despite treating others like dirt. I saw how she treated my brother's ex-wife and vowed to never put another woman through that, and as a result have lost out on relationships, short and long term, because I don't want anyone else to have to suffer. I feel like I'm waiting for her to die before my life can really start and meanwhile I'm 50 and my life revolves around work and taking care of her. I am miserable and depressed and I hate feeling like this and I'm tired of taking care of someone so miserable and angry and hurtful.
I see postings on here and I feel bad for anyone in such a situation. But please know you are not alone. If anyone has any suggestions on how to cope, a book or article(s) to read or anything that can help on a day to day basis, I would be so grateful. Thank you.