Hello! I'm glad I found this website, because quite honestly...I've been having a rough summer. I'm a granddaughter who just graduated from UGA during the spring with a BFA degree w/emphasis in drawing , and I'm ready to start my life ( and I have college bills incoming that I am worried about paying). However, while my friends step into the next chapter of their life ( and got a job that pays) , I'm stuck at home, caring for my grandmother who just had hip replacement surgery.

Note that her frame was too small, which meant that they had to do extra work during surgery. So of course, recovery time will take much longer.

I love her to death, I really do. I'm so glad she is recovering, and she is getting stronger every day. But... I'm so mentally and physically drained. I haven't slept in my own bed for three weeks because I have to sleep in the living room with her. She sleeps in a recliner, and I have to be there to kick it down since she isn't strong enough.

She once couldn't get into her bed because it was too high for her poor hip. But the visiting PT showed her how to get onto the bed recently, but she chooses to sleep in the living room because she doesn't want to wake her husband. I tell her that it's her bed too, and she agrees, but here we are. ( she feels bad for waking him up)

She has a two daughters and one son. My mother works as a school teacher, my aunt works at publix, and her son lives on the other side of the state. Her husband works as a manger of a gas station that has a high turnover rate ( so he is constantly overworking himself).

Guess who had to put job searching on hold because I was the only one free to look after her completely? Me. At this point, I feel like they are using me as a full time nurse without payment. I know it's wrong to feel this way since she is family....but I've done literally everything for many weeks with a smile on my face. Without complaint. I've cancelled things I've planned a half of a year ago because they couldn't find (or afford) anyone else to look after her (They couldn't find a time in their own schedules to look after her either).

I'm tired, and I feel like I don't have any right to say anything because I don't have a job. I still feel as if I was forced into a role I didn't ask for at all. I wasn't expecting to FULLY take care of my grandmother after graduation. I just... I don't know how much longer this is going to last. I'm so burnt out. My friends text me and tell me this isn't fair of them to do this to me, but I always feel so guilty if I want some time off, because that means they'll have to scramble around like a chicken with their head cut off to find some one to take care of her. I know her husband wants to help me out, but due to his job, he is a wild card. He can't even enjoy a day off without his job calling him back in due to an employee quitting or getting fired. His job situation is bad...

I just want to take a break without feeling like some sort of monster. I was already pulled away once for two days, but the guilt ate me alive because my aunt had so much trouble shifting her schedule to take care of her.

I don't mind helping out, but I wish it wasn't putting my life on hold while all my friends are long gone. I don't have that luxury of brief relief since my friends moved out of town. It's gotten to the point where I'm thanking god for simple grocery runs to get me out of the house some, because that's all I have time for it feels like.

Heh...I feel like I'm singing Rapnuzel's "When Will My Life Begin" intro song at the beginning of Tangled. Everyone says I'm a godsend to her and they are glad I am there to help, but I feel like I'm almost ready to burst because it's just too much. I feel like the only creature... who I can vent to around the house without judgment is my dog (and she has ACL surgery coming up. I can't get a break )

Thank you for letting me vent. I'm really tired and wish there was more help...

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The answers here are all on the money. I just want to add one thing. The fact that you made the choice to do this care does not bind you to that decision forever. You are free to change your mind! And you don't have to keep explaining yourself either. (That is, don't let them draw you into a debate or negotiation.)
Helpful Answer (3)

Didn't your mother/doesn't you mother have the summer off as a teacher? Why didn't she stay with her mother?

Stand up for yourself. You are worth it!
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Simply put, you’re being used. You know this on some level or you wouldn’t be feeling this amount of frustration. This isn’t your responsibility. Time to stand up for yourself and make a new plan. Hope you’ll start the job hunting today, no more delay, and let the rest of the family figure out a plan. You’ve done well in caring for your grandmother, time for a change for all
Helpful Answer (3)

If you feel like a monster it is clear to me that someone is MAKING you feel that way. Because honestly this is not your job. I am sorry you ever agreed to take this on, but you did. That puts this in the realm of being YOUR CHOICE absolutely and completely. You may feel pressure, whether real or imagined to do this. But it was a grave mistake to take this on. Clearly you had no way of knowing how bad it would be. Trust me when I say it could be a good deal worse.
It is time now to call in all the other family on a conference. Give them one week to get together when and where you will meet. Then tell them that you are no longer willing or able to do this, and that you must now move on with your own life, your own duties to pay back college loans, your own career. Give them a month to figure out where grandma will go and who will care for her, but make it clear that it will not be you.
You need to untangle from this group and get on with life. You are young. This is your time.
Now, that said, you can of course choose to continue to be the mat they step upon as they come and go, do all the care. IF that is your choice, this tough love advocate is here to tell you that you will have DEFINED yourself to them, and they will use you accordingly. That there will be absolutely no thanks for it. And don't expect there to be. And that you will have made your choice.
Life is full of choices. This is but one of your first. There will be many more. If you are easily manipulated you will be used by people who wish to sidestep their duties.
This is not your mother. This is your GRANDmother. I would kill myself before I would see my 21 year old grandson put anywhere near this position. Of course I would not want the sacrifice of my 57 year old daughter now as she nears retirement and some of the best years of her life. I am sorry, but this is the circle of life as we know it. And if you get ensconced in it, then it will be more a whirlpool than a circle for you, one that will ruin your life and put you into "catch up" for the rest of it.
Will you feel guilty as they throw every accusation in the book at you? Perhaps. Guilt is the American way. We love guilt. We virtually feed off it. Not all of life is pretty, not all of it is happy, and some of it is full of pain. We are not flawless as human beings.
But I am here to tell you that I am 77. I have had an EXCELLENT life. I want YOU to have a life as well. Now it is your choice. It is up to you. I understand there will be pain involved. Pain is a part of life.
Helpful Answer (6)
Shell38314 Aug 2019
Alva, Nicely put...loving but firm and very true!

Xamberx, You can also tell your family that you have to start looking for work asap because there is a lot of competition in the job market, plus, you have a short time limit before you have to start paying on you college loans. Do not feel guilty for wanting to have a life.

Best of luck!
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You may need to call a family meeting with your mother and her siblings to explain the you have bills including student loans payments that you need to pay. So you have to get a job and they need to figure out Plan B. That’s the part people miss when they think you’re living there there rent free.... you still have adult expenses like health insurance, car expenses etc.
Helpful Answer (3)
Very good points! None of those things are free!

Even if grandma would pay. OP may miss out on a good job opportunity!
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