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Mentally I am crashing. Husband is 59...by pass surgery on his leg jan 2014, will not try and help his self, mother 79 wants me at her home all the time, work a job and taking care of multiple things....cant take much more

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Dear learn this word. Say in front of a mirror over and over. NO, NO and a second helping of NO!!!

What he does only works because you give in and, yes, I know what a passive aggressive whiner is like. I married one. But, repeat after me,NOooooooooooooooooooooooooo
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Makes you want to lay both of them across your lap and spank them, doesn't it? Dare to dream.

Granny, it all starts and ends with you. Stop being a maid! When your husband commands you to fetch something, bring it to him half way. Force Muhammad to come to the mountain. Then let him scream all he wants while you go out for a couple of drinks and a few games of pool. Another option is to buy an iPod Touch and load it with your favorite music: heavy metal. Tune him out. Hopefully he'll run out of saliva before you lose your eardrums.

About your mom, hang out with her 2x a week for no more than 2 hours. Remind her you have a job and a home to take care of and time is a luxury you don't have much of. Your brother, since he lives with her, will have to step up to the plate. Don't compromise, and make a habit of setting your cell to voice mail. Rude messages? Delete them. Anything that sounds like an order, ask if they'd like some fries on the side.

Needy people = entrapment, and you're nobody's beast of burden.
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Someone told me this once. They said, no is a complete sentence. No. If you say no I can't do that and then they say well .. but ... yada and yada ... you say it again. "No". If they keep it up, you finally say: What about "no" don't you understand?" .... I have found that it works ... not with everyone but with a lot. But, if you say no and then you do something for them, then they are going to come back at ya. Ya gotta be consistent with No. So choose your "no" wisely.
Just a thought on this.
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I so agree on the "no". I retired 3 yrs ago but prior to that I was in your situation too. You deserve peace and calmness too, not chaos and meeting others needs all the time. you have needs of your own. Try to learn to say no and have no guilt doing it. You can only do so much. I know what you mean about the guilt but I have finally come to a point where I do realize that I have to say no for my own sanity and health. I'm 65 and have my 86 yr old mother who has dementia and is mean-spirited AND my alcoholic husband living with me. I'm into "NO" and walk away without guilt. I did it for a long time and finally realize there is a "ME" too who needs attention, rest, calm, and alone time. Good luck.
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Chickengranny, sometimes people need a *visual* to understand what is going on in your world. Example, I have minor back issues but not enough for me to use a cane, but I decided to try the cane the next time I had to drive my parents somewhere [I am frazzled with driving]..... wow, Mom really took noticed and asked what happened, told her my back was acting up.... that really slowed down the number of calls from her to have me drive her somewhere. On the other hand, it didn't stop Dad from calling me.... and as us women all know, even we were on our death bed, someone would still expect us to make dinner :0

So, try something visual like using a cane, then maybe either your Mom or your Hubby just might notice and start doing things for themselves and maybe for you .
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I completely agree with hope22. It took me a lot of years to discover that I had needs and wants. I was raised to serve everyone and I feel exhausted at only 53, plus I took on a new career change, as guess what, a nurse! So I get to nurse 24/7 after being widowed 10 yrs ago with young kids to raise. But I'm learning- I'm getting better at sending boundaries. I feel guilty a lot of the time, but the world would still rotate around it's axis if I were not here, so my parents would still manage with out me. Just say "no" is great advice.
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Wow... I too was on the guilt trip bandwagon. Guilt is not something one "gives" you. You give that to yourself. It takes lots of work, but you have to learn to let it go. Get your husband to a Dr. and see if they won't prescribe some anti-depressants for him. Serious surgery and accidents cause changes in the brain. It is not shameful to have to take something to "get back to normal". As for your Mother - do what you can, if she is calling you mutiple times during the day/evening - don't answer the phone. If it is an emergency - she will leave a message and you do what can for that emergency. At some point in caregiving some of us have a tendency to be almost addicted to the drama in others lives. Please, for you own health and safety - pull back a little - spend some time on yourself - take some meditation and/or yoga classes. Get some counseling for yourself as many of us here have done. Take care of you. Best of luck and hugs.
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Hi again Chickgranny- the above post from hope22 says it so well, especiallly the part about when your loved ones really need you, you can't be run down from doing all the other less important tasks. It will slowly suck the life out of you. This is your one and only life too and like my therapist says, "how much of it do you want to give away to others? I do love caring for my loved ones because I'm that kind of person, but it can take on a life of it's own and then ;you start to lose perspective of what your life has become and any of your own needs. I still have a hard time determining what kinds of things I like, foods, flowers, hobbies etc, yet I can tell you everything that my parents like, can easily pick out things that make them happy but can't identify those that I want and need. Something is wrong with that. Hang in and yes, yes, baby steps..
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Been there - done that. Quit trying to be the "good dependable girl". Decide how much you can comfortably handle for both husband and Mom. Then tell them. (Don't forget to allow time for yourself - both for work and personally)

It will take telling them a bunch of times. Better they get used to it now than to have you burn out completely - then who would wait on them.

Offer to help Mom find a housekeeper or assistant or whatever she needs (paid for by her).

When Mom needs something - call you brother and let him know - something like"I'm sure she hasn't said anything, but she needs -----. I'm not available at this time."

The line I finally realized was true _"Nobody can take advantage of you without your permission"
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chickengranny -- allow me to be an armchair psychologist for a moment (btw, I have absolutely no professional training in this whatsoever!) - did you say your job is as a Director of Safety? Hmmmm.... And you mentioned being extremely anxious not just at the prospect of saying 'no', but at the possible fallout.
You've got tremendous generalized anxiety, about everything. You've made it your life's mission to handle whatever crisis occurs, while at the same time, mitigating any other possible crisis. I bet you're really really good at it! You take make sure at work that things are as safe as possible, you take care of your animals, your family, etc. But maybe a lot of this drive stems from you just being overly freaked out at the prospect of something BAD happening. Kind of like being superstitious, in a way.
Now that you've been pushed to the brink, your body, your spirit, your common sense, is telling you that it's time to change your approach. I didn't have your exact circumstances, but a few years ago, I was also pushed to the brink, largely due to my own habit of never saying 'no.' I knew I needed help, so I began to see a therapist. She helped me just by listening to my crises first, then breaking down for me my habits and patterns which were no longer serving me, and by coaching me and supporting me as I began to learn new skills, like saying 'no.' I also got a lot of insight into why I was the way I was, and I became a lot more confident with discovering a more assertive part of my personality.
This is actually a time of really big growth for you, so as hard as it will be, keep that in mind. Hugs...
Hope that wasn't too much psychobabble! :)
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