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The worst part of taking care of my 91 yr old mother for the last 16 years is that I cannot find love in my heart anymore. I gave up liking long ago. We always had a difficult relationship but after my brother and then father died, it was just us left, she had health problems and I have tried. My mother is so difficult. She was just transferred to a nursing facility yesterday for a short hospital stay. I had a massive migraine and was vomiting so my husband took her there. Of course he just took what was in the hospital room and dumped it. I went over there today with clothes I knew she'd need. I came into her room and immediately she said "what did you bring? Why those? I have 2 new sweaters." Blah blah. I need my recliner transferred here.."...on and on. I just left. On my way out, she said sarcastically, I hope your headache is better. Of course my husband came in for great praise. I don't want much. I don't even need thanks. Just not this constant criticism and complaint.How can I love her? I barely even feel compassion anymore

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Rosy, I totally sympathize and commiserate with how you feel. Your mother sounds like she's reached the point where she cares about nothing but her own needs, comfort and convenience. She can't even see that you are knocking yourself out for her out of the goodness of your heart, or that you have your own needs, problems and health issues. It's very hard to love someone when they're treating you like that. Maybe impossible.

Perhaps the best you can hope for is to achieve a certain level of compassion, maybe the same compassion you'd feel for a stranger in your mother's circumstances. That's about where I am with my mother. If you can't even find that much, don't beat yourself up. Maybe you can find some satisfaction in being a dutiful family member who does what she can to give a failing elderly person a little better quality of life than she would otherwise have. That's where I am these days too. Loving someone who does nothing to deserve my love (and a lot to destroy it) is more than I can expect of myself.
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Freqflyer. I see from your profile that your father is now in assisted living after your mother passed. I just got my mother into assisted living but its not going well and she is determined to go back to her house. Today i feel like letting her go there and then leaving town.
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I dont know why i try. I could not get her recliner moved for two weeks. Tried all movers and friends are just as old as we are...60sand 70s. So i went into a local store, bought a cheap chair for less than it would have cost to move hers. Free delivery. I get a call from nursing home that she raising holy hell. Its too big, too ugly. Take it away. She claimed the lack of a recliner was making her legs ache. But it seems that doesn't matter. They say she doesn't have dementia. I wonder.
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I really believe that in some cases when a grown child is taking care of a parent be it for just a few months or for many years, the adult/child dynamic comes into place. Our parents start to think we are "the kids and what do we know". Thus, the parent will become critical as a teaching tool.

I know I had a hard time convincing my parents that I was also a senior citizen with my own age decline, aches and pains, and health issues. It never registered with them [sigh].

As for hubby getting great praise, I saw my parents doing the same thing with my sig other even though I was doing twice as much :P
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