I'm not a full time caregiver to my mom, but I help my dad out a lot since she's retired and he's still working full time; since I also work full time, we tag team a lot and I feel like I often am used as her emotional outlet. Oftentimes I feel like I'm too young to be dealing with the issues my mom has because I just turned 31 but ever since a head injury 4 years ago forced her to retire, mom's health and emotional/mental stability has been on a decline. I often feel guilty for needing a break from her - because she'll constantly text, call, or email me. She's always wanting to come over and she'll even sneak over to my house on the premise of "dropping something off" and then stay for hours, even if we tell her we have plans or are expecting guests, then she'll act hurt, as if us having plans prior to her showing up announced was purposeful. If I don't answer a text right away, she'll go behind my back and text my husband. She often repeats herself, telling the same stories or asking repeatedly when I'll be picking her up to run errands. She will send novel-length texts multiple times a day (even when I am at work) and if I do not respond, will get her feelings hurt. Sometimes when I call to check in on her, she'll randomly start crying and I often feel like its an attempt to make me feel bad and come over to her house. Every time I'm around her, I am left feeling drained, negative, and angry because conversations with her always focus on what's wrong, and never anything positive. It's put a lot of strain on my marriage because my husband is my only outlet for my frustration.
My dad, who is a mental health professional, seems to have blinders when it comes to my mom and even though I've asked multiple times to get her into therapy or on medication because it is clear to me that she's depressed, he refuses to listen. They also wait until things get really bad to go to the doctor, which often ends up in ER trips and hospital admittance for my mom. I can't count the number of times I was called with the "mom's in the ER" message in the past year and half and had to leave work.
My brother lives across the country and hasn't been to visit in over a year, so I feel like the burden of care is fully on me and my dad.
To top it all off, I feel so much guilt for being frustrated with her because she's my mom, and she raised me. But her inability to look at how she talks, acts, and communicates with us is very trying. I know much of it has to do with the brain injury, but she has always been a more negative person. I simply can't imagine decades more of this. Is anyone in the same boat? What have you done to assuage the guilt and frustration?