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I have been living with and taking care of my aunt for the past four years. She is a widow who lost her husband four years ago. For the most part, the two of us get along fine. But there are many days (like today) where I want to walk out the door and not come back. Whenever my aunt is pissed off, or angry at someone/something, I am the one she tends to (verbally) take it out on. She gets upset when she explains things and you don't understand her the first time she explains it. Which is exactly what happened today. She got upset with me because she was trying to get me to do something, and I wasn't getting what she wanted me to do. She yelled and screamed at me "how can you be so dumb". I blew up and yelled back at her to never say that again, and if she does I will leave. Things like this happen not all the time, but occasionally. And when they do I really want to leave. She said she was sorry, but I know she doesn't mean it, as this is not the first nor the last time she has or will do this. I'm stressed out, I'm angry, I'm frustrated, and I really don't know what to do. Talking to her is pointless as she is a narcissist who doesn't think she ever does or says anything wrong. When you try to call out her bad behavior, she cries and plays the victim. She has been going through a lot lately. She's been getting the run around from doctors, the anniversary of my uncles passing is coming up ect. I know that these things can affect the way a person behaves and can cause a person to lash out. But i'm getting tired of being the punching bag she takes it out on. My mom, sister, and aunt can't stand each other. And my dad is not physically capable of helping. So the burden of her care is pretty much left to me. She cannot afford, nor will she want to have someone else take care of her. I've been dealing with so much myself the past 4 years(stress, anxiety, depression). I have not been able to properly deal with any of it. I am reaching my wits end and I really don't what to do.

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Thank you, I really appreciate answers. I think a break would do us both a world of good. It's definitely something i'm going to look into. I might ask my dad to take care of her for a week so I can have some time to myself. I need to find a better way to deal with the stress. Lashing out doesn't help, and only exacerbates and already bad situation. If she does it again, I'm just going to simply walk away, or go outside for some air.
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Reply to sweenyj80
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Being a carer is not just doing what a care recipient wants. It is not a slave relationship. When a person gets older and deteriorates physically and mentally, the carer, or someone in charge of coordinating care, ideally needs access to the care recipient's doctor to plan for the right interventions (medical/physical/psychological) to take place. You are under no obligation to be a carer working in isolation because "care" also involves coordinating services when the care recipient is not well, either mentally or physically... and it does sound that she is not well mentally. It sounds like you are being left to carry a situation which takes a TEAM of people, not a single person. That's why difficult situations like this often have a "Care Manager or Care Coordinator". It sounds like an awful situation with your family not really being interested "as they can't stand each other" leaving you with little support and noone to talk to. Your aunt does sound very difficult and lacking insight. There is nothing worse someone not appreciating your efforts and telling you off. "How can you be so dumb" is plain out abuse, and you having depression and anxiety already will cause more damage to your mental health. Has she always been so toxic or is this something new? Ideally someone should discuss these behaviours with her doctor because maybe there is an underlying cause. I would talk to your aunt's doctor, let him/her know that the situation is breaking down due to behaviours, and you are thinking of walking out. He/she will guide you. You have every right to leave the situation. Care is a choice and this situation is difficult and beyond a one person carer working in isolation. You already have your own self care to be mindful of and that is your first priority. I would not stay in this situation unless there was a care coordinator in place and it's not your job to get that all happening. Take care and consider yourself first!
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Reply to Arselle2
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First, are you being compensated for taking care of her? You should be and not just room and board. And you should have arranged to have income tax paid to the gov from your pay. If your aunt can't afford to pay you or anyone else, she should apply for medicaid. Others on here know more about all that. Second, if you wish to continue caring for her there are methods to be learned so your feelings are not hurt by her outbursts. It might be good to see a therapist who will walk you through how to respond to her in the very specific ways the problems come up. There are things like understanding where her anger comes from and being able to redirect her so that you don't have to feel bad and the argument doesn't just expand into nonsense. What are your aunt's health issues that require she has care?
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Reply to ArtistDaughter
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How do you expect to support yourself after your aunt either passes or has to be placed in a home? Sounds like you are giving up a whole lot to be with a toxic person who doesn't seem to appreciate you.

She is not your responsibility, if she cannot afford to self pay for assistance, she can apply for Medicaid. You need to get yourself out of this situation.

This will not get better, take some time to think about this entire situation and make a good decision for you...your future.
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Reply to DollyMe
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susiencalif Sep 10, 2019
YES! Self-care is #1. Don't ever forget that. You'll thank this site which is an ARMY OF ANGELS one day. I know it.
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You don’t say how old you are, but if you are reasonably young, consider that if you don’t work outside your home and spend 24/7/365 taking care of your aunt, your life is passing you by. I understand that your mom, sister and aunt don’t get along, but it is at your expense and certainly conveniently absolves them of any responsibilities for your aunt’s care. They need to put their rancor aside and put into effect a plan to bail you out, at least to the point that you have a break, at least for a while. Did you volunteer to take on her care, or were you volunteered? Has she ever lived on her own or did she go from being cared for by her husband to being cared for by you? Would she consider assisted living?

Voicing your opinion and hurt feelings to her is not the end of the world. You don’t need to be meek and mild. If she is out of line, it’s alright to tell her so as long as you are not disrespectful or insulting. It is also ok to simply walk away when there is no reasoning with her. And, it’s also ok to tell your mother, sister and aunt that it is necessary to hire in-home help. If your aunt balks, explain to her that if she doesn’t agree, you can no longer guarantee that you will not walk away from the situation and she will need to find alternative care anyway.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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