Follow
Share

My LONG story is condensed with the points that my 74 y/o mom is in a SNF with mild to moderate dementia that I believe was brought on from out of control diabetes and a 3 week hospital stay. Last year we lost my only sister and of course that depression did not help. It's always good to see her.

I lost my job about a month before she went into the hospital. It was good to have time to tend to her, but she had a terrible decline in one crappy nursing home for a few months before we moved her to another one. (They are all the same) anyway, me, my mom, my sis and my aunt lived in a four flat apartment (I lived with mom) and now it's just me and my aunt. The building is falling apart and now the furnance blew so we need to move or get it fixed.

I hate how my life has become. All I do is drive out to visit my mom and back home. My aunt expects to come with me everyday and I really see no need for her to do that EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. she just sits in the corner and reads a book anyway, what is the point? It's getting to me because she is seeing this as the "daily usual". if I get the car and go out early she will see the car is gone and call to see where I am and when I'm coming back to pick her up. I feel like I have to sneak with my own car like some cheating wife.

I do appreciate her company and help at times but she is annoying and was like this when my mom was at home. She'd expect us to invite her along EVERYWHERE. If I want to do anything after visiting my mom she's there so it won't be much fun. She always wants to go to the grocery store and acts like that is the only place there is to go. There were a few times she brought up other places like we're going to be hangout buddies. This may sound terrible but I'm not trying to make my 70 year old aunt my daily running buddy. I want to do more than drive to the grocery store. I can tell I'm getting anger and resentment issues because I feel trapped and suffocated. If I decide I want to go visit my mom at 10am I can't because she's expecting the "usual" time of 2pm as that is when we went for a couple of weeks. She sees us going together daily as "the usual" and I can't stand it.

I also don't feel like I have to give her a daily schedule of what I want to do with my car. When we go to visit my mom, at the end she'll say "see you tomorrow" or if I say I will have something else to do the next day she'll say to call and let her know what's what. So she is always setting it up to where she is expected to come along or expected to know my schedule or whereabouts. I feel like it's just to have somewhere to go and get out of the house but it's really getting to me. I'm sick of her and it's terrible to want company and can't get the company I actually want! I also have to start to looking for a job. Just wanted to vent and see if anyone has some advice as to how to get out of this rut so far.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Your aunt is free to expect anything she wants to. That doesn't mean you have to fulfill her expectations.

She expects to go the the SNF with out everyday at 2:00? Fine. But you can go any time you want to, with or without her. Since she seems to do best with a predictable routine, perhaps you could take her with you on Mondays and Thursdays at 2:00, and go alone the other days. Or don't take her with you at all -- although it sounds as if you'd like to maintain some kind of cordial relationship with her.

The problem here is not what your aunt expects. It is what you are doing that you don't want to do. Stop it! Yes, it will cause her to piss and moan. So? You will survive that better than the resentment that is building up.

Are you looking for another job?
Helpful Answer (13)
Report

Your aunt is clingy. Is this your mom's older or younger sister? Does this aunt have children of her own? Perhaps she's priming you to care for her too when she needs it?

You are explaining yourself much too much to your aunt. Learn to say things like:
"I have other plans tomorrow and cannot take you with me."
"I have made other plans."
"If you would like to come with me to visit my mother, I am going tomorrow at 10 am."
"I am not going to the grocery store until Saturday at 8 am."

You are under no obligation to answer your aunt's telephone calls every time she calls you. Let her leave a message. If it's urgent, call her back as soon as possible. If it's not urgent, return the call at your convenience.

Get out of the house. Start walking around your neighborhood. Take a drive just for the heck of it. Go to the movies. Go to the library. The library is a great place to look for a new job because finding a job can be a full time job in itself. Get your aunt used to seeing you living your life.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

I can totally relate to this, and I empathize, Shinigami. This type of thing is one of the (many) reasons why I can't live with my mother. When you become somebody's sole source of entertainment, transportation, and outings to the larger world, they can get clingy. The maddening thing is that they (your aunt, my mother) don't seem to grasp that this is not the same relationship for you as it is for them. My mother always like to think that "we" are going to the grocery store or to the library together, never acknowledging that I have a grocery store and a library much closer to my home and I'm going way out of my way to pick her up and drive to her local grocery store and library. It's a welcome social activity for her, but an obligation and a chore for me. Your living situation would drive me crazy, very quickly.

I agree that some white lies are in order. Make up job interviews, dentist appointments, exercise classes, volunteer work, anything where she won't want or can't reasonably expect to join you. Mix it up so the "regular" daily NH visit falls off the schedule, replaced by visits once or twice a week at unscheduled times that she can either fit into her schedule or not as she sees fit. You both need to break this habit before it gets too ingrained in both of you.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Agree with all of the above. Another idea would be to take your Aunt to the NH to visit your mother and leave her there while you do whatever you like. Also I would try to get her interested in building her own life. 70 is still young and lots to do! Check out your local Senior Center and encourage her to get involved in activities and make new friends of her own. Remind her that you need to be working and once you have a new job you will not be around. She wants to stay fit and mentally capable as long as possible I'm sure and one of the most effective ways to ensure this is by having an active social life of her own. As do you! If you are interested in running or exercise by all means go ahead. She is not likely to want to join you and regular exercise is a brilliant way to kick start your life back on track the way you want it to be.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

If the facility where your mom lives is caring for her, offers activities, she's safe, etc., there is no need for you to go see her every day, so give yourself permission to stop that. My mom is now in midstage dementia, but can still involve herself in activities at her ALF if she chooses. She has also made friends. I go once or twice a week and take her out for lunch, run errands, shop...whatever we want or need. And I live 10 minutes from her! She calls me if she needs anything in the meantime or wants to chat. It wasn't easy at first, she was kind of resentful (doesn't sound like the case for your mom, but possibly for your aunt), but don't start something you don't want to continue. Take care of yourself. Pace yourself.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Hi there, I am going to speak frim my heart and my own personal experience with my Mom. I have given up all our funds, my time, and now my husband and I are in debt from paying for Moms bills. I, like you, took her everywhere with me, giving up jobs, etc. She has to go to a nursing home, because we are out of funds to keep her home. Your Aunt eill drain the life out of you, dont let her! She needs to get a life of her own, dont give up your life! I regret not putting my Mom into a home six years ago when they said she needed to. My marriage is suffering, we are broke, and I have not gone or done anything with my grandkids in two years! I honestly will not have fond memories of Mom, only resentment for the years she took from me. Get your aunt a new friend! Asap! Best wishes to you! Live your life!
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Could you just tell her that with all the caregiving, you are finding that you need some time alone, and that the time in the car is sort of your regrouping time - time when you can think and recharge your batteries, have a good cry, or whatever. Let her know you'd be glad to take her to XXXX at YYYY time, but the other errands you run you prefer to be on your own, and just have some solitude.

I agree, that breaking the habit of her coming along will be the key, but it will also be hard. She could be coming along because she is bored, or she wants to be with her sister, or even something else - but that's what will make redirecting her on this tough. Good luck, it's for your own well being - keep that in mind :)
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I feel for you as well. Honestly, you can't get back time. You need to worry about you, and let go of the guilt. You need to live your own life if you want to be a happy person. You deserve to be happy. Enough is enough. You may need to Google the "20 Brutal truths about life." I know my experience is a lot like yours. I finally realized I'm only getting older so I made changes. I'm not quite there yet, but I now see that I'm working within a time frame, and letting everyone know it. If you want to grow old with your aunt, that is a choice. If not, a time frame needs to be expressed as to your departure without guilt. You need to set some goals on your own happiness. You are the "Author of your own story." Learn to say "This isn't going to work within my schedule, and I am making some definite changes this year. They are;----- It would be in your best interest (aunt) to map your life plan out as well." Don't let anyone put you on a guilt trip. You need to explain to your aunt, you want to live your own life. Believe me, I am doing the same thing now. I'm getting older and want to enjoy, and experience life while I can. Good Luck'
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

The aunt is the mother's younger sister (mother is 74, aunt is 70).

I take it the aunt doesn't drive?

GOOD catch that the aunt is grooming Shinigami to become HER caregiver when the time comes!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Hi all, I didn't know this posted as when I hit "send" it said the internet cut off. Anyway, thanks for the wonderful responses. For people that think we live together we don't, she lives downstairs with herself. No husband or kids, I have no husband or kids either. What many of you said was exactly what I was thinking, that I did not want this to become "the usual" I know I'm angry because this would not be the case if my sister was here as we were best friends and constantly together. I know she wouldn't expect to come with us everywhere. I told my therapist that without my sis I don't have an excuse now and she said "you don't need an excuse" and now hearing you guys I realize that I was just creating my own problem in feeling like I have to bring her along. Maybe I just want to visit my mother alone.

I think she comes for something to do and a chance to do something while in a car. For months it had been all about my mother but even I'm getting tired of going to the nursing home. For a while I needed to go everyday because the NH would not what they were supposed to and it's a shame I needed to be there everyday to get on them. But I need and want to go back to work, I know if nothing else, it will be some socialization.

I just needed to vent because I noticed how things were getting into a routine and I was like 'oh no!' Especially when she would call and say "the usual time?" I had decided I was going to do the 'white lie' that someone suggested and say I had stuff to do afterward and it would be better she don't come. I mean if I do want to do something after visiting my mom then I have her in tow and she'll wait in the car, but still. Overall, it's just so hard without my sister,my ally and the one person I had to talk too. My friends abandoned me after her funeral. My mom got along and I enjoyed living at home and now she's not there.

Also, someone asked if my aunt was like this before and yep! Always annoying lol. I recall my mom and I coming in and she opened her front door and gave us a look like we betrayed her for not inviting her along. She said "I see you two!" And my mom mentioned that for days, we got a laugh because my Ma was so outdone that she said "I see you" like we were supposed to sneak past or something.

Anyway, thanks for the advice and I will put some of this in place because this becoming the norm is just to much. Even worse is if she calls at 1:00 and I say I'm leaving at 1:30 she will want extra time to get ready and say "oh how about 3:00?" What?! Then I have to wait. Ugh. Ok, guys, thank you!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.