How do I continue caregiving when I feel my Mom is partially to blame for the collapse of my marriage? - AgingCare.com

How do I continue caregiving when I feel my Mom is partially to blame for the collapse of my marriage?

Follow
Share

Obviously, my mom is not the main cause problem. But for over a year now I've had to split my time between her home and mine. When I was home, I couldn't walk through the front door without my phone already going off with her calls (up to 60 calls a day) By the time I got home, I was physically and emotionally so exhausted that all I could do was sit on the sofa and maybe wash clothes. By the time I got my energy back, it was time to go back to her house. When I was home, my mom managed to fill me so full of guilt that I'm sure I was not much fun to be around.

My husband and I grew apart. We stopped doing things together.
Now my husband has told me he wants me out, and he wants a divorce. Of course, I'm devastated. I saw the chance that this could happen, because living this dual life was impossible. Someone (usually my husband) was always going without as my mom sucked up all of my attention and strength.

Now that I've been thrown out of the house, (I know he cannot do this legally,but I'm too damn tired to fight it), I am full of hate, resentment, and yes: even suicidal. (My dogs are my only happiness. When I put my loaded .38 in my mouth last week, it was seeing my dogs that stopped me.(I am medicated for depression, and have made an appointment to see my doctor for this.)

I now feel hate for both my mom and my husband. My mom, because a part of me believes she was aiming for this, When I was a young child, she was my abuser. She told me she only had me as an "insurance policy" that someone would take care of her when she was old. That, and because her friend was pregnant and it pissed my mom off that she got more attention then my mom did.
I hate my husband for not being more understanding, not helping me, not seeing how bad my health has been declining because of all this crap. I'm 45 and my blood pressure is 155/100,

I did my best for both of them. I certainly wasn't perfect, but I cared enough to do what very few people would ever do.

And this is what I get for it.

I need to sell my moms house to get her in a nursing home. I will then have no where to live, no money, and no one who cares. Tcannot work because I have health problems. No official diagnosis, but dr;s believe I have Lupus, along with Sjogren's Syndrome and Raynaud's Phenomenon. It's also possible that I have MS.

My question: Has anyone gone through this? How did you get through it? How do I get my life back? How do I prevent my mother and husband from emotionally abusing me more then they already do? I don't want to become a hateful person, but I feel like one now. I'm scared.

I really need any advice and/or encouragement you might offer me. I was raised in the Catholic church, but after my introduction to dementia, I have stopped believing in God. Nevertheless, I somehow believe in the power of prayer, and I really would welcome it if anyone included a good word for me in theirs.

XO

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
29

Answers

Show:
Angels, I see from your profile "She has been diagnosed with multiple psychiatric disorders. Throughout my childhood/adolescence my mom was in and out of various psychiatric facilities."

That tells me that in trying to take care of her you were in over your head even if the dementia had not started in 2013.

Your mother probably needs to go on medicaid and become a ward of the state to care for her the rest of her life.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

I am in a similar situation, but have had a lot of help to keep it from getting so far out of hand. Please go to Amazon and get this book: Boundaries Book By: Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend and while taking a break from your mother, read it. Then, talk with your husband and find out if your marriage could survive if you put HIM first instead of your mother. If he's insistent on divorce, ask for marriage counseling first. And admit you were WRONG to put him on the back burner. Did you marry in a church with Biblical marriage vows....you know....'for better, for worse, FORSAKING ALL OTHERS....you would be there for him? When one marries....the spouse becomes the new #1 person. No matter what your parents think. My mother is a total narcissist herself....so I know the games, the multiple phone calls for every little thing, the guilt that can be instilled....and I've had to face all that the others here are saying. Do NOT let her ruin your life and make you a victim. Nothing will come of it. She is not capable of loving you like a normal mother and the older we get, the less likely we are to change a bit of our personalities except to get worse! The book will help you see that no parent.....or any other person....has a right to invade your life and boundaries that you set for yourself. If you can work things out with your husband, you may need to work on boundaries with him too...and to learn how not to invade others boundaries as well. It is a great book! There are others out there aimed specifically at children who are caregivers to elderly parents too. I have had to back away from my Mom by literally telling her that my own health was being ruined and if I didn't take time to care for ME, she would have NO ONE left to help her, so she needed to work WITH me and not against me. When we have parents like this, who are so needy and they want to continue to treat us like kids they can order around and manipulate, we really need to clearly understand that WE are to become the parental figure and YES...we do need to order them around sometimes, and tell them what must happen to keep them safe and OK. There is NO LAW that says you must become the only source of happiness and satisfaction for your mother! You must care for YOU first....and get those health issues diagnosed and treated, and get with someone for some counseling/therapy to keep you from being suicidal. TAKE CHARGE of yourself...get some support and help for YOU...then start working on whether or not you can create a new start with your husband by promising that he will be first before your mother. Then, learn how to limit your mother's interferences, or turn her care over to someone else. Your 'job' with your mother is to assure she is 'safe' as she ages....nothing more. If she cannot properly love you and have a relationship, you do not need to do yourself in trying to get that from her, because it's not going to be. She is NOT able to be a mother as most are. Turn this around while you can!!
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Adult children who were abused by their parents often get sucked into being their elderly parent's caregiver because of the guilt that the parent inflicts but also because of the desire to show more or dad enough love that mom or dad will change and be the loving parent that they never were. News flash, and never will be. Your mother is what she is and you can't fix, heal or change her. You did not make her become how she is, she made her own choices in life to become who she is. The only person you can really do anything about is yourself.

Also, it is not healthy for you to be living in your mother's house. She has you where she wants you for as she told you that was the reason that she had you. Somehow, you need to get yourself out of that abusive environment. Stop offering yourself to be a victim of your mother's abuse.

I'm sorry that your marriage is on the rocks. That sounds like it is collateral damage due to the situation. Right now it sounds like you need to get some help for you. I wonder how much of your depression is anger directed inward at yourself? You need to see a doctor, a therapist and a psychiatrist. If you are still suicidal, then call 911 for your own well being.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

60 calls a day? Your marriage did not stand a chance. Time to accept responsibility for your choices, get the help you need to enjoy the rest of your life. It is a move forward only you can make. Wishing you all the best!
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Get a lawyer ASAP and move back in the house. Your husband had no right to "throw" you out. He's going to make it look like you up and left on your own. File for divorce pronto. You have an advantage if you're the one initiating proceedings.
Get your mom into assisted living.
And see a therapist.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

You are right, your mother is only partially to blame for the collapse of your marriage. You made the choice to allow yourself to be sucked into her guilt trips which she used as emotional blackmail to suck up all your attention and strength. You were aware that you and your husband were no longer doing things together and thus were growing apart. You saw the possibility of divorce taking place because all of your attention and strength was going to your abusive mom. I find it hard to believe that he did not complain about all of this and possibly got fed up and either said or thought of saying "it's either me or your mom"? I guess that he got tired of your giving everything to your mother and only being present in body when home. It does not sound like a dual life to me, but one of abandonment to an abusive mother.

I'm not saying this to say he was right in kicking you out, I'm just saying that I can see where his anger is coming from and that you were aware of how things were going downhill while giving in to your mother's mind control. He should have been supportive in telling you not to do so much for a mother like that and that ya'll needed to go to couple's counseling to get help for dealing with your mother, but he was probably too tied up in his own anger to think of doing that.

I am also saying that I don't think you are really in a position to go tell him do this for me because he's probably still very angry and hurt. I think you are in a better position to tell your husband that over the past year you have made some mistakes, would he help you escape your abusive mom, would he be wiling to work on rebuilding your marriage, and would he help you get therapy in order to gain your emotional freedom from your mother as well as go to couple's therapy as well. It takes more than one person to breakup a marriage and in this case there was three. Eliminate the input of the third person, your mom, and I think the two of you with hard work can rebuild your marriage and life.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Adults who were emotionally abused during their childhood often suffer from guilt complexes, because all the while they were growing up the parent made them feel guilty. (I know---I grew up like that.)

Also---children of people with mental disorders often have mental disorders of their own. It sounds like you have co-dependency issues as well as depression. Both of those can be improved with counseling & medication. You need that, desperately.

You are exhausted. You have to take care of yourself. You have to force yourself not to fall into the web of your mother's narcissism, manipulation & personality disorder. Get out of that house. Go back to the house where your husband is. Even if you & he don't want to reconcile (I highly doubt that the marriage dissolved in only one year), stay there to be without your mother all day & all night. If you were only going there during the day, she doesn't need 24/7 care. Although, she may need 24/7 psychiatric care. Call 911 to take her to an emergency room for a psychiatric evaluation. If you don't do that, somebody is going to be calling 911 for you.

Your depression could be mimicking symptoms of other illnesses. If there is "no official diagnosis", it is highly unlikely that your doctors think you have Lupus or Sjogren's or Reynaud's. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that doctors are generally VERY interested in, because it can be very damaging to the body. Reynaud's is uncomfortable, but not life threatening. Sjogren's is also an autoimmune disorder which a doctor would be very interested in. If your doctor "thinks" you have any autoimmune disorder, but is not willing to work you up for it, find another doctor. I have a feeling that your depression may be mimicking the symptoms of those things. You can still work with those illnesses, and the fact that you have been taking care of your mother is an indication that you can still work. Working will probably be very good for you---you'll get out of the house, you'll have interactions with people outside of your mother & husband, you'll be doing something purposeful. You have to get out of that rut you're in. You can't give up & lose hope.

After you leave your mother's house, tell her that unless she has an emergency, she cannot call. Or, tell her that she can call, but you're not going to answer the phone. Shut the ringer off on your phone. Change your number or get another phone with a different number & don't give it to her. If you don't answer & she really has an emergency, she will have to dial 911. She is manipulating you because she knows she can.

Eleanor Roosevelt said "Nobody can take advantage of you without your permission." You're allowing your mother to take advantage of you. You have to put an end to that. You married your husband, you didn't marry your mother. If you love him, work to put your marriage back together. Leave your mother & let her take care of herself. If she cannot do it, then you can call an ambulance & have her taken to the hospital for dehydration because she isn't eating, or whatever. When the hospital is ready to discharge her & she has no one home to take care of her, they cannot send her home. Stay scarce---don't let the hospital know that you are "available" to take care of her. Tell the discharge planner that she has to go into a nursing home. And let the nursing home take her house. That will give you much needed mental security. Get away from your mother's wrath. She probably controlled you while you were growing up, and she is still controlling your life. You have to stop it.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Some good advice I read once was when your house is on fire you focus on dealing with the fire (getting out or putting it out) not investigating who set it on fire. To me it sounds like your world is on fire and you are suffering. For now, if you can, let it go trying to figure out who is to blame, to what degree or what you owe your mother. Let all of your focus be to put out the fire in your life - your marriage, your living situation, your finances, and your suicidal thoughts. Ask yourself how bad does it have to get for you, before you can let yourself come first? I am similar in that my mother's needs have taken over my life for much of my life. And now that she has real needs related to aging it has taken on a whole new level. Events in my life push me to the brink of making that choice....how far does it have to go before I can remember myself? So as I try to remember myself I encourage you to remember yourself too.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Why do you need to sell mom's house to get her in a nursing home?

Please consult an elder care lawyer ( you can usually get a free half hour phone consult). Stop taking your mom's phone calls. One per day maximum. Get yourself to a doctor for a workup and stop diagnosing yourself. I'm sorry for your marriage troubles.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

If you vacate the house the law will see that as abandoning the property and could reward it to hubby in the divorce. Get a lawyer immediately and move back in.

Having said that, I also believe that you made the wrong choices. You mom should not have been your first priority, but whats done is done. Get help for yourself immediately, call 911 or go to an emergency room if you feel suicidal. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. You don't have to feel the way you do, there is help. The way you get your life back is to no longer take calls from mom, and have her placed in a nursing home. She can apply for medicaid, the house does not need to be sold. You do not need to be her caregiver. You need to take care of you.

Angel
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions