I want to escape so bad! Mom is the cause as always. Through the years her sour attitude and forever depression has taken a huge toll on my Soul. She says she loves me and that I am her “Angel” but her selfishness, and snarky words and attitude concerning my life makes me doubt it. I am just her broom to be taken out when a chore needs to be done or she wants something. Oh, how I wish she would love me for me! Who am I anymore though? I guess just a caregiver, a nobody, a person not allowed to have dreams unless they involve a “what to do about mom.” How will she react? What will the payback be? She has emptied me of joy and peaceful thought. I’m in a pit of exhaustion and endless anxiety. How can my mother who supposedly loves me push me into this state. I don’t know what to do to guard myself against her control. Am I weak, or stupid, or just vulnerable. I do wish I could harden my heart against her just a bit. She is 90, I am a 62 woman, a wife of 42 years, and a mother of 2 wonderful adults.

I’ve been dealing with her endless “situations” for over 30 years.

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Shayze, go stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself "I am a good person. I am loved by my husband, my children and many friends. My mother is a broken person, incapable of showing me the love I deserve. " Do it multiple times a day.

Next, imagine you are surrounded by a beautiful crystal bubble. The only words that can enter are kind, loving words. All other words can't get thru. None of the ugly things your mom says or does can't get to you to hurt you.

Sending you giant hugs.
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Reply to Maple3044

The biggest hug along with knowing that we see you - we know you are there and we all know your struggles - you are not alone - even when it feels that way - Remind yourself “I am not alone”. 🌷
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Reply to Momheal1

You will become hardened by default. It will just happen. My emotions are almost null and void - about everything. I’ve been taking care of my mother for 10 yrs now and I have no more joy, but I have no sorrow either. I am just purring along on one level of just existing. It happens over time. I can’t pin point exactly when I transitioned, but I suspect it was when I was diagnosed with stage 2b non Hodgkin’s lymphoma over 4 yrs ago. I am now stage 3b. I had to put up boundaries and stop letting her get to me. I now feel nothing. And I should because she is truly going downhill fast. I spent all my 60’s caring for her and I will be 70 in Sept. My whole retirement has been spent caring for her while my friends are traveling and doing some fun things. She is on hospice now, but still at home. Breast cancer in both breasts, metastasizing who knows where? End stage chf. Rampant squamous cell skin cancer eating up her face. But she is still of sound mind and refusing to go to the hospice facility. She sounds like she’s drowning in fluids when she talks. But denies pain, and still manages to do basic things like heating meals for herself and able to toilet herself. Still ambulatory with a walker. I should feel some level of sadness for her. But, I feel nothing either way. Just trying to remain real and not think about these past 10 yrs. (She always needed some help even 10 yrs ago because she went blind). She moved here after my dad went into a nursing home and she was by herself not able to drive. We never know how long they will live and I would never recommend anyone taking on this huge task. Think of your own life. Are you ready to give it up? Because that’s what happens.
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Reply to nymima
97yroldmom Jul 11, 2021
Big hugs Nymima
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My mother was a SEVERE agoraphobic, who would go for years without leaving the house.

When she was unable to assume the responsibilities of parenthood, one of her 4 sisters would step in and be my sub mother.

She had a sharp temper, and often made it clear to me that her sister were closer to her than I, her daughter, was. She also ran a tight ship, and I was either right or wrong, no shades of gray.

I rarely if ever felt as though I came first in her life.

It was a fairly tough way to grow up, and at some point, I learned that I’d either have to separate from her and become my own adult, or be tethered to her emotionally for the rest of my life.

I didn’t choose to “hearten my heart” in establishing myself as a person, rather than as lesser version of her, but in time my college life helped me find a space between us that was impossible for either of us to deny.

When I married a wonderful man, she didn’t want me to have children, and said so, a rule on her part that I never even considered.

Much to my shock, she became an AMAZING grandmother, and I warmed to that. When my father died very suddenly within weeks of the birth of my first child, we laughed at the thought of living together, by then both being certain that it could never work. Several years later when she suffered a horribly fractured hip, and ensuing dementia, I attempted to care for her for 9 months that were horrible for both of us.

She entered a local nursing home, and I visited almost every single day for over 5 years, loving how she bloomed in the wonderful care she received.

You know, don’t you, that neither of you benefit from living under the same roof? I would never have come to cherish mine, with all her flaws and failings, if we hadn’t placed her. Interestingly, that happened when she was 90, and I was 62, as you are now.

You focus on her loving you. How much do YOU love you? Enough to seize what you need, for your welfare and peace and comfort, to take the new role in your relationship THAT YOU DESERVE, AND THAT NEEDS TO BE YOURS?

Counseling can help a lot. Conversation with a religious advisor can also help you figure out who you are. I’ll give you a starter- you are an AMAZING writer. From the person whom you’ve described so briefly, I know exactly who you are.

Know this one thing- you are most certainly, surely, TRULY NOT………”nobody”.
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Reply to AnnReid

I suggest joining a CareTakers group . It has helped me over these last 4 years. I had been feeling a lot of the same feeling that you wrote about . It took me years to learn that people could not do those things to ME anymore….unless “I” allowed it … I distinctly remember the first time I said NO. I was scared . I was surprise, the sky did not fall . 🤔. I will also admit it took a long time to bring it back to ME instead of the other person (a husband ) in my case. .I did not know , what I did not know ! I AM JUST AS IMPORTANT AS ANYONE ELSE ! There is help out there, for you .. But you are the only one that can make the decision to get it . It is not going to be easy. You have all those years to work thru. The most simple fact is that you CAN’T change her but you CAN change your self . Doesn’t seem fair but that’s life . You are not alone. Go talk the that woman you see in the mirror. You might find strength in her that you didn’t know you had . CareTakers Meeting !
Say what you mean , mean what you say, don’t say it in a mean way ….. warm thoughts.
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Reply to Nanulinda1
Beasdaughter Jul 14, 2021
Where can I find a care givers meeting?
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I feel like I could have written this. Boy do I feel for you. I feel like I have zero reasons to even try to live my life anymore.

Like you, I have cared for my mom all my life. It was always me who did everything and anything for her. I was always the responsible one, but she still lashed out her criticisms of anything I did constantly.

The world had to evolve around her. Finally at age of 55 because I was having a nervous breakdown, I decided I had to get away from her and moved away. The phone calls never stopped and neither did the criticism.

My only sibling was tragically killed 30 years ago. He was my
closest friend and my “person”. He and I always felt like all we had was each other. I still felt bad for my mom and made sure I was there for her even though I know I was closer to my brother than she had ever been. She made sure to tell us constantly she never wanted kids and always said I was just like my father when she was mad. (My mom was married 4 times.)

Years later my only child was murdered and I never got the same support from her.

Then she gets dementia and I have no choice, but to take care of her and she is still the same person, but it’s like dementia on crack now. I swear she is playing me even worse now, but I know she is now mentally ill.

I am sure you feel like I do. Torn on doing “right” thing or going completely insane. I wish I did not feel so guilty for hating to be around her. She has sucked the life out of me for so long. Even my daughter when she was alive did not like being around her at all.

I read on article on this site called Compassion fatigue….you may relate to it like I did.

Somehow we need to realize we are as important as they are. Even though I can’t stand to be around her, I still worry about her and would never mistreat her or abandon her.

I just wish she had cared for everyone else’s feelings like she expected them to care about hers.

I read stories about so many people that dementia and sickness has taken away loving parents. Mine have always been mean, selfish, and uncaring.

Wish I had some good advise….all I can offer is ((Hugs)) and understanding.
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Reply to Hopiegirl
BeenThroughThis Jul 15, 2021
Dear Hopiegirl,

I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved brother and precious daughter. May they send you strength and courage, and the ability to find some joy in life.

Stay the course.
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Dearest Shayze,
It sounds like your relationship with your mother has always been troubled. it sounds like you have tried so hard to be a good daughter - kind, helpful, attentive, obedient... and it is never enough. Right? She manipulates your emotions and blackmails you for her own purposes.
In addition, it sounds like you are her sole caregiver. You are with her all the time. You have been thrust back into this abusive relationship without an end in sight.
No law states that you must do caregiving for your parents, or anybody - except for your minor children. So realize, that you have choice in whether or not you do the hands-on caregiving for your mother.
May I make a few suggestions?
Start researching your mom's finances. Her resources should be footing the majority of her care. Some may say that her resources should foot ALL of the bill for her care. See what she has and that will help you to know what caregiving options she qualifies for, beside staying with you.
Start researching all the different types of caregiving options your mother qualifies for in your area. Assisted living is for those who can afford the rental of one of their units. Living with family is for those whose family have adequate abilities to do the tasks needed and enough people to cover the amount of time required for caring. Nursing homes are for those who need skilled care - beyond the abilities of their families - and need round the clock care - which no 1 person can do at home. Home health aides and sitters are for those with enough finances to cover the cost. Adult day programs are Monday - Friday daytime options to allow families to work during the day while qualified aides care for their loved ones in either a nursing home or personal care home. Social Services can help you. Many social workers can be found at hospitals, department of aging with cities, police can also guide you to sources....
Please get your mother into another caregiving situation. It is really hard to be objective with a long history of abuse. Some may say that "hardening your heart" can cause you to be hard to all people. It may be better to stay loving, kind, and sensitive... but not have to deal with an abuser day in and day out.
Please make your mental and physical health a priority. Get a thorough evaluation from your medical doctor to evaluate and treat any medical problems that have cropped up since caring for your mom. In addition, please commit to seeing a psychiatrist and counsellor for your mental health issues from dealing with an abusive parent. Psychotrophic medications can help deal with symptoms while you work on changing aspects of your life that are causing so much distress.
I am a Christian. I find comfort in belonging to Jesus Christ and meeting up with His local family - the church. You will find people in the church who will pray with you, pray for you, be a shoulder to lean/cry on, and a source of help. Give Him a try.
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Reply to Taarna

I understand these feelings. Many times I have managed to ruin vacations, educational experiences, "fun times" due to worrying about what one of my parents might "say." Also, I have declined many opportunities to do things fearing the "What if something happens to mom or dad?" This is a horrible way to live. I am slowly working my way from this continuous mindset. I have had to distance myself from my own mom. I call her regularly, but I cannot be myself around her or she makes hurtful remarks. She has to be the center of attention at all times. Counseling has helped me so much. I chose for counseling. While cleaning out my dad's house (parents are divorced), I found several letters my mom had written while she and my dad were dating and engaged. They were very telling. She was the "same" way back then! I have to constantly remind myself that I have to put myself first (it's hard when you aren't used to doing this!). I matter. My mom was definitely doing her "own" thing at my age. I hope my experience helps you. I know that I have had to take off the "Super Daughter" cape. I cannot and will not do the caregiving I did for my dad for her. She is remarried and her husband can help her.
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Reply to Sunnydayze
Hopiegirl Jul 14, 2021
I just replied to original poster about this exact same thing. I feel for you!!!!
So sorry.. I get this as a 70 yr old daughter of an 87 yr old life long depressive now has Lewy Body Dementia .. so many needs.. so many complaints…In the first year I felt exactly like you! After a few months of counseling I am able to be happy even with moms needs! Try counseling.. it’s so worth it.. ps I put her in assisted living… more peaceful…God Bless
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Reply to Sadinroanokeva
ExhaustedPiper 19 hours ago
"ps I put her in assisted living"

Research online about daughters of narcissistic mothers. There are a ton of resources. If you were lucky enough to get married and have 2 wonderful children, your abuse probably wasn't as bad as some of us - not a competition, just mentioning as some of my advice may not apply. The long and the short of it: there's low contact and no contact. (You'll see better explanations of these when you research.). You can hopefully figure out what will work best for you to not have your senior years filled with misery.
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Reply to marymary2
jcnickc Jul 22, 2021
Good resource. I just spoke with an elder law attorney to find out options (put a fork in me I’m done). He said he works with hundreds of families—I believe it because he summed up the situation here after only a few moments. My mother has no resources and simply expects to be taken care of. And I do, because from the very beginning that is what I was trained to do—enable her. I took her in intending her final years to be in a safe, loving home. Truth is that she’s always had that but never saw it or appreciated it. She will take everything I can pour out and her well will never be full; meanwhile, mine is emptied out. His advice? Find the cheapest place (since it’s mostly coming out of my own retirement funds) far enough away that an occasional visit (if that even) is all that’s possible. Harsh! But after years of providing care and her not willing to do one single thing for herself (not even get her own glass of water) I’m taking his advice.
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