I've given up everything for my parents and I'm worried that if I continue dealing with all their problems then my life is going to go down the toilet. What options do I have?


I'm miserable and on the brink of losing it. I've given up everything for my parents and all they've done is sabotage me.

My mom needs to move out of her town home because they won't renew her lease, but I can't find another place for her to go because of her poor credit score. She gets home health care but Medicaid only pays for so much and it's not enough. I've tried to convince her to go to a nursing home, but she just yells at me every single time no matter how I approach the topic. I quit my internship and moved back to the town that she lives in to deal with all this, and nothing's been working. I don't know if I should just abandon her or what. I'm at the point where I just don't care to wake up anymore. Her health and behavior issues have been causing me issues for over a year now and I'm ready to get my life back because I haven't been happy in a year.

I've reached out to every resource and government agency. You name it, and I have called them. South Dakota has very limited resources for people in difficult situations, and it's ruining my life. I am hoping her home health company quits and she admits herself into the hospital because she has no care at home and then the hospital will have to find a place for her to go because it's near impossible to admit my mom to a nursing home in this area without a bunch of referrals.

I am absolutely miserable and I just want to give up. I don't want to be the kid that shoves her parents into a nursing home to get rid of them but at this point all I want to do is get rid of my parents. My dad has no behavior issues but I'm worried that once he goes to the nursing home he's going to fight to get out despite his awful memory issues due to Wernicke's Korsakoff syndrome. I probably spend 10 to 20 hours a week working for my parents for free with insurance companies, the bank, Medicaid, and anything else they need that I can do with my power of attorney. I have found that they're pretty helpless without me, but I just want to be a normal 21 year old.

Do you think that if I just abandon them the state will take over? I'm worried that if I continue dealing with all their problems that my life is going to go down the toilet, and I'll end up with mental health issues just like my mom.

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Oof. It sounds like a tough situation for sure, and exhausting. I sympathize.

First, huge congratulations to you, for all that you've done to support your parents, and try to get resources for them, and to take care of them at such a young age. That's a lot to take on. You're doing a great job in very tough circumstances.

Each state is not equal, and that's not fair to you. Some states have generous resources and lots of support, and I'm so sorry that South Dakota is not one of them. (You can vote to change that.)

I may be misinterpreting, but it sounds like maybe you're not quite ready to give up on your parents, but you'd REALLY like some help. It's too much to be doing everything so totally alone.

Also it sounds like it's time for your parents to absorb that their reality has changed, and to take some responsibility for themselves, *or* allow you more control to make changes on their behalf Those are reasonable requests!

A few questions... is there a social worker in your life who could help facilitate a conversation with your parents, especially your mother, about what *has* to change?

With my very stubborn/domineering/controlling mother, who also yells constantly and especially about difficult topics, I contacted the hospital social worker, and over the course of a couple weeks, the social worker reiterated what I had been saying – and my mom finally heard it, because it was said by not-her-daughter. (By the way: this was last week, not years ago.)

It sounds like your mom is at a crossroads. She can lose the care and support of her daughter, and probably lose her home. OR, she can admit that change has to happen, and make the best of that, and retain some of your support, with some new boundaries. I really hope she chooses to make the change.

Next: are your parents part of ANY groups? Anything, at all? Any religious affiliations, social organizations, sororities or fraternities, alumni organizations, unions, clubs, volunteer groups, fishing clubs, monthly quiz nights... Anything? Often there are hidden resources in those places. Sometimes the resource is expertise, sometimes it's money, sometimes volunteer time. *Any* extra resource can help free you from being so completely alone in your caregiving. If you mother accepts and helps with the housing piece and you can get some ongoing sustained help from other places, you can be a support for them without having it absolutely drain the life out of you.

As you know, none of this is easy or straightforward or perfect, and there's no right answer for what's next. I hope fervently you find the support YOU need for your own choices ahead.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to HopeSpring

I would put this issue aside for a few days and allow your mind to "clear" so you can make decisions w/o being under so much pressure. You sound like you're ready to collapse, "throw in the towel", and give up. And I understand that, given the frustration and challenges with which you've dealt.

Sometimes parents not only don't work with us, they work against us, raising a range of unsettling and often self critical emotions.

Take a few "sick days", lie if you have to and tell your parent that you have some kind of infectious disease and must be away from them so they don't acquire it. Stay with a friend if you have to, but use this as a destressing time and then revisit the issue.
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Reply to GardenArtist

Definitely, time to return to your internship if possible, or another one, or another opportunity appropriate to you as a young person with your whole life and career ahead of you.

You tried!
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Reply to SnoopyLove

Go down to "DIVISION OF LONG TERM SERVICES AND SUPPORTS" on this web page and see if you can call some of these folks to see what might be available to help you. I don't think you should give up your life and happiness to take care of your folks. You are very young and they are too. They could live another 30 years. You've done what you can, let the state take over if there's any way to do that.

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Reply to blannie

You did your best,now it is you time.
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Reply to shad250

I have some social workers on my side, but at the end of the day if I step down as POA and all these responsibilities, my parents are vulnerable. South Dakota doesn't have public guardians. I'm so lost at what to do.
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Reply to aj6044

Bumping this back up. Hoping some old pros will help this young women.
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Reply to Windyridge

If you're an only child then get help

Try to find a social worker through the county to lay out some options for your parents
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Reply to MsMadge

Save yourself. You’re too young for this. Do not go down with this ship. You made a heroic effort. Time to take care of yourself now.
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Reply to Windyridge