Let me start by saying I am taking care of my mother because no one else will. She has lived off my father, her mother, and now me. This is a woman who reminded me daily when I was a child that I was an unwanted pregnancy, how much she hated kids etc. As a child, I was absued by my father and she knew about it, when I was 14 she informed me that had I not ran through the house naked at age 3 I would've never been abused.

(I forgave my father because it allowed me to be free of my anger, not that he was right! He asked for forgiveness and for MY sake, I gave it) ok so he died in 2014 and she has been living with me ever since then. She wouldn't take care of my dad but now that her health is failing everyone should WANT to uproot their lives and care for her. My only sibling could give two craps about caring for her all she wants is cold hard cash. Which my mother has already made her life insurance benefactor my sister, so all I get is the JOY of this time with her and her expenses. My mother is a narcissist, a chronic complainer,with emphysema, stage I don't know lung cancer metastatic to the brain. The neurologist has been radiating spots on her brain every 6 months since the day she turned 65 and she is 18 days from 67. Ooh I forgot to mention she still smokes like a freight train and refuses to stop. She only quit drinking after she had brain surgery and the doctor said it wasn't safe. Ok now that you have some back story let me begin.

There is actually a question floating in this somewhere I promise...

So why is it when she gets a cough, a cold or an attack of allergies why does she expect me to treat her like a sick 2 year old?

My mother in law says I am just too hard on my mother which is another thing for another time. I am trying but the more I give the more she expects from me. I dread a day off! I work two jobs and care for my own daughter who has autism . I have my own family with my own problems! How did I end up in this no win situation? I feel like I have sold my sould to the devil himself!

You would think since she is in fact dying she would want to I don't know, go to church with us on Sundays? Or at least try to be helpful in some way but no. She sleeps all day and wonders why she can't sleep at night. I feel sorry for her poor doctors because she bugs them to death! Finally yesterday I called and got her some cough meds with codeine hoping it would help and it does but it certainly doesn't stop the complaining, groaning and poor pitiful me attitude she has. Other than putting an ocean between us which (I wish) was an option. Can someone help me figure out how to cope?

This is going to sound awful but if she is going to be with me until sweet death comes for her (or me) I am so stressed out I don't know what to do!

Now on days she is FORCED to leave the house like for a doctor's appointment or something she acts fine but when it's just she and I she acts as if the grim reaper is coming any day!

(Now I'm just venting) but after my grandmother, her mom leaves for WEEKS she acts like a complete child! She will raise her voice from her bedroom, bring me a drink, bring me a sandwich, wash my clothes, clean my bathroom whatever. Like she is paralyzed and can't pass the threshold BUT by grannies she can walk outside to smoke 45 cigarettes a day, yes she smokes two packs a day! Someone please guide me, my own health (and mental outlook) is changing, depression is setting in and down comes the rain. I don't have time for myself EVER! It feels like I am being pulled in three hundred directions all the time, I can't eat, I am losing a lot of weight, I'm already severely anemic but not once has she inquired about my health or heart! And you know what? I don't think it's very good! I'm 38 and I feel like I have aged 40 years just being g here!

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Coping means dealing effectively with something that is difficult. Your situation sounds untenable. Are you willing to die on this hill that is your mother?

Is her life insurance policy whole or term? If it's whole, she should be able to cash it in and pay for a nursing home for herself. As long as there is money to pay for her care, all assets should be used to pay for her care. No one is entitled to an inheritance.

You do not have to feel stuck with your mother for whom you do not want to care. If she has assets, it's time to help her make new living and care arrangements. Should those assets run out, a social worker can help her apply for Medicaid.

In my opinion, your choice is between your own well-being and your mother. You have your own family. What good are you to your husband and child as a burned out wife and mother? Your mother-in-law is not helping you perhaps because she wants to secure a place for herself in your home should she ever need it. A qualified therapist can help you as you work through transitioning your mother.
Helpful Answer (23)
Very sensible answer. Like it!
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Forgive me if I sound heartless. I am not heartless. I have taken care of my mom since 2005 and it is so hard! Like you I was in a difficult situation. You say, no other sibling wanted to care for your mom. Well, I have always been the kid closest to my parents, the others went about their lives doing their own thing.

My mom lost her home in Hurricane Katrina. She was too old to rebuild. She has Parkinson's and a widow. My dad died in 2002, so I was already caring for her, just not in my home. Also cared for my dad before he died, and cared for an older brother that is now deceased. I feel your pain. So hard having someone who is sick live with us knowing that no one else will help.

In your case, how have you been able to put up with your mom's emotional abuse?! Forgiving your father is one thing. I forgave my brother for all of his crap before he died, for my sake and his but you were way more generous than me!

I'm not sure I could handle my mom blaming me for your father's abuse! There is no excuse for that kind of behavior. None!!!
I hate to say it but you should let your mom fend for herself. She is toxic with a capitol T. Take care and please let us know how you are doing. Vent anytime here or please feel free to pm me. God bless you.
Helpful Answer (19)
Bkerns Mar 2019
I just want to thank you all for your help and understanding! To be honest I am here out of obligation I feel and I forgave my dad because he came to me and acknowledged all his wrong doing. My mom on the other hand will not receive that she had showed no interest in apologizing or even thanking my husband ,daughter or myself for taking care of her. She has in fact told many people that she supports us! Which is wayyy far beyond a lie. She hasn't paid a bill in 42 years and after dad passed we immediately started paying her bills so she could live. When my daughter was 6 she gavey daughter her cell phone to play with, Izzy dropped it but it worked fine. Within a DAY she had ordered a brand new one at My expense. My child did it so I absolutely wanted to make it right! But as a grandparent living off her child she could've just paid for it and saved us a few dollars considering we pay for EVERYTHING here.
Anyway I am praying for you, me and all of us as we go through this drama! God Speed my friend ! I am sure if you are here you were probably looking for advice and not expecting to have to give it 💜
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If your mother genuinely has brain metastases from lung cancer I think you might find she will soon be a time-limited problem.

But I completely agree with Barb's recommendation to think about a hospice assessment, and that you take full advantage of that as an opportunity to accommodate your sick mother out of your house, and out of your daughter's life.

Look. There has been a little flurry of questions on the forum lately, some of them I regret to say on the hostile side, debating why it is that some people end up as martyrs to their unreasonable parents' demands.

There can be all sorts of reasons, some of which are nobody's fault, nobody intends any harm to others or sacrifice from them. But *sometimes* people are drained as you are being drained because... they volunteer. There is no other way to explain it.

Stop volunteering. You have a child to consider. And, I guess, a husband who surely has an opinion about all this that you might want to listen to?
Helpful Answer (17)

I'm gonna say this to you as calmly as I can: STOP ENABLING HER!!! CALL HER OUT ON HER BAD BEHAVIOUR!!! Standing up for yourself is the least you can do to this monster. Threaten to leave her in a NH or AL if she doesn't shape up, then FOLLOW THROUGH when she doesn't. She no longer needs you: she needs a type of care that you can't give her. (Tough love and a dose of reality)
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Kittybee Mar 2019
It seems like "tough love and a dose of reality" would be great - if the person might possibly be changed by it. In this situation though, the OP is at the end of her rope, has no more inner resources (tough love is a lot of work!), and is embedded in a lifelong toxic family dynamic that could take years of therapy to sort through. Maybe the *real* tough love is getting the mother to a place where she'll be taken care of properly but at enough distance from the OP that she can't suck all the life out of her.
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My kids were at home when mom first moved in. Wasn't an issue then as mom was a bit more independent. I don't have to tell you this, have a feeling that you already know it but it will continue to get harder, much harder and our parents consume all of our time as they need more. Your daughter needs you. I feel guilty about all of the time that I had to spend at doctor appointments and hospitals with parents when my kids were home. Don't miss out on this precious time. Please. Do this for you/hubby and do this for your daughter.

It's still hard even though my kids are on their own. I hardly ever get to see them. One is sick and could use me. Lives an hour away. The other is at college and she is an hour away. Time goes by so quickly. They grow up fast, leave home. Don't miss out on sharing a life with her. All of you deserve that.
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This woman has not supported you or been a positive factor in your life so I see no reason for you to suffer on her account now. This time is not precious between you and her but is causing anguish. She needs to move into a care facility and you need to recover yourself and care for your daughter. You mention your mil but did not say how you husband copes with the situation. Good luck and I wish you strength.
Helpful Answer (13)

I agree with the responses that strongly urge you to have your mother live in assisted living environment or nursing home... She absolutely should not be your responsibility and certainly not draining you as she is mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually...
As challenging as it may seem to move in this direction, you being a martyr never helps anyone, least of all you...
As you indicate, you have enough on your plate without the responsibilities of your mother living under your roof. Understand that whether she stays or you have her move out, there will be emotional fall-out... you have to decide which fall-out you're willing to deal with.
Your sister wants no part of this, but she might step in if it's to help find the appropriate placement for your mother. If finances are an issue, applying for Medicaid sooner than later is a necessity.
I am so sorry that it has all come to this. No room or time for regrets, simply looking at your situation and determining what your desired outcome is... focus on what it is you really want... NOT what you don't want. Focus next on steps that are needed to achieve your desired outcome... look at what you are willing to do to achieve your desired outcome... then take a slow deep breath and take just 1 step toward your goal...
As overwhelmed, stressed, upset and frustrated as you feel, (understandably so) you can take 1 step, especially when you see it bringing you toward your desired outcome...
I wish you the best possible outcome for your health and well-being.
Helpful Answer (13)
Jannner Mar 2019
There is a difference in being a martyr and being manipulated. A narcissist manipulates, that’s their thing. After being told you are the bad person your entire life, you come to believe it. The OP isn’t being a martyr , she’s been abused and it’s been the established pattern by which the mother has controlled her. The victim doesn’t even see it because they have been convinced their entire life. Don’t castigate the OP for what someone else did to her
Is your mom on Hospice?

Has she been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist or behavioral oncologist? It sounds like there was mental illness in play BEFORE the cancer hit her brain, but now that it has, you've got a double layer of whammy.

Is she on Medicaid? Can she not be cared for in a Nursing Home?

I'm sorry for all the questions, but you'll get more answers if we have a more complete picture.

I feel for you! ((((Hugs)))))))!
Helpful Answer (12)
I agree, Barb. She may very well indeed have an underlying mental illness. I feel so badly for this daughter too.
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You should never care for a parent unless you truly want to.
So get her on Medicaid and ship her off to the nursing home or assisted living (depending on the level of function).
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I think at this point its a waiting game. You could try hospice but usually someone has to be there 24/7 because Hospice isn't. Not you necessarily but someone. Call your Office of Aging. Tell them you must work and you have a child with challenges. That Mom will need Hospice and you can not be there 24/7. Is there a way of getting her in a LTC facility at the time she needs it.
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