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Hi! Been reading through many of the posts here for advice and decided to post for the first time. I'm a 25 year old living with my parents after many attempts to move out, completing graduate school, and a lot of time spent in retail/entry level work. In lieu of the corona virus pandemic, my family moved my 89 year old grandmother into our home as it became clear that it was dangerous to go back and forth between our home and hers. She had been living on her own with assistance from home care nurses a few days a week. My father and I also made visits multiple times a week. My grandmother has been the most difficult relationship I've had my entire life. She gets jealous of my mother, has been judgmental about my appearance, relationships, decisions where to go to school, decisions where to live, constantly concerned about who I spend time with, worried about drinking/drugs like I'm an elementary schooler. She has also done so much for me and I know she loves me and appreciates me. However, because of years of resentment that can't be unpacked here, I am finding it hard to find the empathy and patience I need to be around her everyday now that I along with my father, mother, and brother (moved back home during pandemic) are responsible for caring for her, feeding her and socializing with her. I feel selfish sometimes reading the stories of others knowing that I am not alone or the sole caretaker of my grandmother. Yet, I was not prepared for the constant throat clearing, constant complaints about her body, having to entertain her when she won't entertain herself, and generally feeling like a prisoner in a home I have already been trying so desperately to leave. I'm confused on whether I'm angry at my grandmother, frustrated that I haven't been able to move out, frustrated about COVID-19, or compounding all of these things. All of this is making it hard to genuinely love on my grandmother and making me resentful while doing the things I need to do to help.


tl;dr


I do not like my grandmother and now she is living with my family indefinitely. It is really hard to perform caregiving tasks (cooking, cleaning, moving) and socialize with her because of years of a poor relationship. I feel like an evil person because I cannot wait for this to be over. And yes; I speak with a therapist lol.


Sorry for the essay. I hope I don't sound like an "entitled millennial". Just needed a place to vent if anything.

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At 25, you certainly do have a life of your own to live. This COVID thing will end eventually, or at least allow for some more freedom of movement, etc.

If I had to be hunkered down with either my mother or MIL, I would have gone off the rails by now. While I had fabulous relationships with BOTH of my grandmothers, I have not had the same luck with my own mother.

Don't feel guilty about it-she does sound difficult! I'd lock myself in my room, go for long walks and to work (hoping you get to leave for that). There's also the social distancing hangouts I see in every park--groups of people sitting on blankets at least 6' apart---they may have to kind of shout at each other, but it's preferable than a miserable living arrangement.

And as far as the overarching anxiety about COVID--nobody I talk to feels 'fine'. Talking about how you feel will help!
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Reply to Midkid58
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It's a tough position to be in at 25 years old.

First, congratulations on your graduate degree! That is quite an accomplishment, one you should be proud of.

I imagine what you're feeling is, as you put it, a compilation of all the things going on. First is the job/trying to get out on your own situation. While you were busy toiling away at school, even though logically you might have realized it would take a while to find employment in your field, you probably had dreams of getting that first "dream" job in your field, getting a livable salary and flying the nest, so to speak. It's frustrating to come out of school, ready to go into full-fledged adulthood and then realizing that it's a full time job just to hunt for a full time job! My son graduated last May, and he didn't get a job in his field until November...in the best of times, statistics show it takes an average of 6 months to find that first job. And these are far from "the best of times". Just keep telling yourself, the first job is the hardest to find! As irritating as it is, keep up those retail jobs - they not only make you some money, but they show potential employers that you are willing to get out of bed every day and go to work. As simplistic as that sounds, there are many people in this world that can't/won't do that.

Then there's living with your grandmother. It's ok to feel frustrated with the situation, especially if your grandmother is "difficult". How do your parents treat you with the caregiving? In my house, we have my mom, myself and my husband, and our 2 children (1 in college, 1 working full time). I have tried my level best to keep my kids out of the caregiving as much as I can, because I don't want them to start to resent their grandmother; plus it's not their responsibility. Their job is to concentrate on their education/career. I don't want caregiving to be an albatross around their necks! That's so not fair to them.

Care giving is very frustrating for everyone, including the person being taken care of. And now that everyone is quarantined in the house, it's even worse, because sometimes it feels like you're trapped. But this time will pass eventually.

If your parents are asking you to carry the lion's share of caregiving, then I think you should have a heart to heart discussion with them, privately. It's natural that they ask you to help out somewhat around the house - since you are living there - but it's not fair if they put you in the position of primary care giver. You might want to remind them that the day is coming soon that you will be employed and moving out; if they become too dependent on you to take care of all of grandma, they will be in a bind when the day comes that you are no longer available.

If you get that job offer that you want, please grab it! Don't let the responsibility of grandma's care hold you back from starting your life. If, as so many on this board have said, it's not your parents' responsibility to take care of grandma, then it certainly isn't yours!

As far as the not liking your grandma - hey, that happens in family relationships all the time, care giving notwithstanding. Some people just aren't likable! My grandmother certainly wasn't! I love my one sister, but there are many times I just don't like her. That is normal, and not "entitled" thinking whatsoever.

Good luck with the job search!!
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Reply to notgoodenough
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Yes, its normal. After being married for five years and with a child, I had to move home where there was a teen brother and one just out of the Military and thought it was his house and I was the interloper. A year later I moved out and it was the best decision I made even though we lived from pay to pay.

Sorry, with 4 other people in the house, I don't see where you need to entertain grandma. At this point, you aren't going to change her. Your are now an adult this is a good time to learn how to let things just run off your back. She is old, there is probably some decline. I know "but its so irritating". There will be other things in you life that will be irritating. You may have a cubicle next to someone just like grandma. When she irritates you, say "you know its such a nice day, think I will take a walk".

This "staying in place" is hard. And then bring someone from the outside into it...
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I suspect covid 19 is having this effect on many young people who had envisioned a very different kind of start of their lives on their own after high school or college. Care giving for a grandparent is difficult in the best of circumstances, and yes, it is good you are not doing this alone. I'm sorry she seems not accepting of you. In that case I find that humor works great. If making jokes when she criticizes only agitates her more, try keeping it all to yourself by writing stories out of the happenings in your house. They don't seem funny while you are living them, but maybe in the writing you will find some hilarious back and forths with the family, and perhaps also some profound insights into what makes everyone behave the way they do. It's too bad your grandmother is not self entertaining, but it will in the end help your own creativity to find ways to keep her occupied. Music, puzzles, movies, folding laundry, and even having her tell you about her life as she sees it. Good luck.
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Reply to ArtistDaughter
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JoAnn29 May 15, 2020
Finding humor, like that.
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