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I grew up in a very abusive home. I still suffer from depression, anxiety and fears related to that abuse. While my father was the main abuser - my mother's willingness to allow the abuse hurt almost as much. I left home at 19 and cut all communication with my father. He died five years ago and in that time I have become a long-distance caregiver for my mom.

I live 2,000 miles away in a town I love. My brother lives less than a mile from mom but sometimes goes 4 weeks without seeing her. His wife and children never visit her because they don't like her. I keep up with her medical visits. I spend every vacation from work visiting her and taking her to her doctor's appointments. My life is a demanding job, taking care of mom's paperwork and daily issues from a distance and trying to keep from giving into my severe depression. Its hard to get out of bed.

And now after my latest visit back home - I realized that my mom really shouldn't live alone anymore. I'm faced with the reality that I'll probably have to give up my life, my dreams to go back home and try to take care of her. I hate the city of my birth, I hate the state, I hate most of the personalities that come from there. The idea of going back makes me want to commit suicide - no joke. And I have so much resentment wrapped up in love for her. So much resentment and pain.

I already can't live a normal life because of the abuse I suffered. I can't trust people and I feel like my childhood was stolen from me - now I'd have to freely give away the most important years of my life. I don't want to look back and know that I gave the last chance to marry and have a family of my own away to take care of a parent who doesn't deserve it. But, I don't want her to suffer either.

I really don't know what to do. She has only medicare and a small pension, my brother works 3 jobs and I'm emotionally streched to the limit. And it may be impossible for me to find a job in her area. Where I live now is too expensive to relocate her here - no real services are available without high cost and I'd be alone with her - no family to help.

What can I do? Has anyone else been through something like this?!

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BJ, you've gotten some good support here. You may have to consider having a court set up a guardianship for your mother. You are one of many people who are in a position like this, and you've already done more than many people would have done.

A court can set up a guardianship for your mother to take the load off of you. It's not a fun process, but you shouldn't have to carry all of this with what you've had to handle. Also, you should have to give up a good job and move to a place you hate and where you may not even find work.

Please get counseling for yourself. You deserve to have some healing in your life. There are ways your mother can be cared for without you giving your life up to do it. Guardianship is one way. The social services people where she lives should be able to guide you, if you go that way.

You aren't getting help from your brother, and likely won't. That makes it even more essential you get third party help with her care so it doesn't all fall to you. Social Services may be able to suggest other options in the area where your mother lives. Please look into this. You can’t do this alone.

Please write back and tell us how you are doing,

Carol
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If you haven't so already.. SEEK HELP now for yourself! You will be no good for your mother or yourself feeling this way. Not everyone can handle a life like yours and you are entitled to a life that isn't full of guilt over what you can't emotionally commit to. Give yourself a break. You are only human and have feelings that are normal. Find someone now to help you deal with your problems. There are people out here who know how you feel. Suicide is a long term answer to a short term problem. May God bless and be with you.
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Dear bj, i really don't think you should move to your mom's state. I don't think you are healthy enough for that.
As you say you can't move mom to you, so that is out. Unless you moved her into a nursing home near you. Since she has medicare this should not be a problem. You could also move her to a nursing home in her state but that makes it difficult for you to see her.
Can you talk to mom's doctor? Call medicare, they can answer questions.
You are a good daughter who is struggling, and i am sorry that you are having such a hard time. Stand tall and keep looking up, you are a survivor and you will survive this to.
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Dear bj2009, you are not alone. This is a difficult situation, but there are answers. Suicide is not the answer, and not a good solution for you or your mom. Do not give up hope; there are resources available, to help you, and for your mom.

A Physician should be contacted, for YOU, immediately. He/she can help you with those feelings, and may possibly encourage you to seek counsel from a psychologist, psychiatrist, or clergy. A good pastor can help a lot. If you need a referral, let me know, and I'll try to find one to refer you to near you.

When I say you are not alone, I mean to say that what you are going through is more common than you think. I have also survived growing up in an abusive home, and many many others have as well. You can heal, and you can find hope for the awful feelings you are struggling with now. I will be praying for you, and for help for you in your situation. God will show you the way through this valley, as he promises.

As for your mom, there is hope for her, as well. Is there another family member (Aunt, sister, brother, cousin, etc.) who can help you at this time? You can also call the Department of Human Services to do a welfare check on your mom. Have your mom's physician make that call, and let him know you are struggling as well.

You are a survivor, and to show empathy and compassion for your mother proves your willingness to forgive the past, and care for her needs. That says a lot about you. I feel for you in this situation, and can relate. I understand about not liking to go back to the town where you were raised. These are natural feelings after all you've been through. Do not discount that, and listen to your gut. As much as you want to help your mom, you cannot go against yourself, either. No one said we have to sacrifice ourselves for another to the extent it will take away our life or livelihood. You must take care of yourself, first. But seeing your mom as helpless, and wanting to step in to help, is natural, too.

Another call you can make is to a Senior Center near you mom. They often have a Social Worker who can guide you to some resources that will be of help to your mom. A fourth call you can make is to her local Area Agency on Aging, or Commission on Aging (whatever they call it in your location). They can offer your mom assistance and resources. I know that sounds like a lot to do, and time consuming, but it takes a squeaky wheel to get the grease sometimes. They can send you some pamphlets, outlining services available to your mom, and you will feel better knowing you will be getting her the help she needs.

But check with her doctor first. If he/she says mom can no longer live alone, he also needs to help you find placement for her. And if she has no monetary resources available, there are other means to provide for her care, through Medicare or Medicaid. You could call her doctor today.

I had to go through all the above, and still am. I found lots of help out there, and many resources. My parents are no longer living alone, and are well cared for. Their needs are met, but I must say, it's a lot of work, and not always easy. But it can be done. It's quite the process, but worth the effort. Above all, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! That is most important. Ask God for help, and that will smooth the way. Be gentle with yourself, and never give up. You are precious, but hurting, but there is hope. Please keep posting to let us know how things are going. We care, and this is a safe place.
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bj2009, you are so not alone. I, too, had the same family/distance situation, except I was in the Virgin Islands living and working. We had a rent house in Tx, and ended up moving into the rent house and moving Mom 2000 miles away from her home in NY to live with us. Like you, I could never go back to NY to live. Big mistake moving her down here. She lost ALL of her social support system, friends, church, what little contact she had with all the family who is up in that area. Needless to say, she feels isolated and alone, is depressed, wants to die. The resentment, anger, and depression that I have been going through because of the social and financial disruptions in MY life compound the situation. If I were you, I would think long and hard about moving back to your mom's state and disrupting your life.

You got lots of good advice from the other comments, so no need to repeat them here. I would certainly investigate assisted living or nursing home care. There are some excellent articles on this website about making that decision and I think you will find them comforting and helpful.
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Thank you for all of the kind comments and advice. I should say that my mother is connected to a senior center and a social worker there. She receives help from an elderly services program but it isn't enough. We keep getting turned down for additional services and my mother keeps causing more problems by doing odd things. At the same time I can't get her doctor to acknowledge that she is no longer mentally stable. I really don't like the man - he's very small minded.

She doesn't have traditional Medicare and I haven't found a way to have her put back on the traditional plan. I will take the advice given to contact Medicare with these issues. The reason she needs the traditional plan is that if she were to go to a nursing home - her current plan doesn't cover the two in her city. So she'd be sent over 80 miles away where there is no one to visit her. I also don't want to put her in a nursing facility. The one time she was in longterm care there she became obstinent and severely depressed and that was with the knowledge that she would go home in a couple weeks. A permanent stay would be a death sentence.

She is also much younger then the average senior in this situation. My brother simply can't deal with her anymore. I think it hurts him too much to see her this broken down and so 'off'. And I just get farther and farther behind with her paperwork and my own stuff as the depression worsens. I realize I do need to seek help first for myself. But, that has never worked out - I've suffered with depression since I was a teen. I'm just tired.

I will contact Medicare and try to find some kind of support group for myself. Maybe this time it will work.

-bj
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BJ, i think you should also look into getting your mom a new doctor asap.
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Dear bj, too bad we don't have a "help each other out fund" to aid our sisters in their plight. My goodness, I can relate to your struggle. I switched my mom and dad's doctor several times before finding a good fit. Not sure I have that even still. We see another new one tomorrow. (She's seeing several.) They are not consistent, and this is the hardest thing I've done, ever! Mom is bound to work against me. They can do that, as you know. Your brother, she, and you absolutely need help!

Dear heart, I would seriously reconsider placing your needs above your mom's. If you go down, then what will she do? Don't sacrifice yourself to that extent for another. I understand tired, and you need to see a doctor about that. So wish we could help, and help you see that. Please take care of you.
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i m a cargivers who help people like you and your mother by taking some of the stres away you and your farmily
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bj2009 update:
I received such good answers and helpful, kind comments to this question last year. I had a lot of things happen at the end of last year that caused me to stop checking this site. My mother had a surgery and a bad reaction to the anesthesia it was hard to handle and I went into a deeper depression. Since she has recovered well and is much better. But, a month later my uncle died and I found myself having to deal with a lot of his final issues. It was emotional and hard as well.

All of this on top of the loss of a much loved pet that had been with me for 10 years. Moving - work changes - more depression. I have managed to get more aid for my mom and feel a little better about that, I have finally accepted that I cannot relocate her and that I cannot return to my old state. I just can't find peace with the arrangement either. I can't find a good doctor for myself and I'm still struggling emotionally, physically and socially.

But I'm thankful for this community and wanted to say so.
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