My mom never took care of her own parents when they got older, living till nearly 100. She was *busy at home. Yet she expected me to take care if her when she got her 90's? I felt so guilty for not doing enough, but I was also getting old and at 65 had already had several surgeries for severe osteoarthritis, melanoma, spinal diseases, bone deformities and PTSD ) Yet she acted as if I were *younger, younger then her so obviously not in as much need or pain as she was. She many times mentioned I had so much free time I could spend more time with her.. We should have traded places! (I was divorcing after 30 years). Many here say it is too much for them, so why are we all continuing the care? Feeling guilty for not driving ourselves into the ground way before our parents? Is it the a generation thing? Do they not see we are tired? Do they see us as forever young? My mom never thanked me and I admit that hurt at times. What is my problem? I loved her.. Do others feel used at times? I feel bad because I feel angry.

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Guilt is for felons who do great harm and take great joy in doing it. I doubt that describes you. Try for another G word, which is guilt. Often when our parents have great expectations of us we believe that we are actually capable of being what they encourage us to be; the truth is we are not Saints, but human beings with limitations. Your mother DID use you, and she apparently was often also cruel. That doesn't stop the love and need for love and approval we have from our parents; it doesn't stop our feelings. I encourage you to seek help with profession counseling so that you do not put upon yourSELF the same expectations your Mom put upon you, those expectations were unreasonable and unattainable. Licensed Social Workers who are trained in life changes and adapting to them is often a good option in helping us comb through our feelings versus reality. I wish you the best and am sorry for your loss, hope for your healing.
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You feel used because you were. Me too and everyone else who's ever been a caregiver. Many times when a person is elderly they think that anyone a day younger than themselves is lucky and is having a wonderful time enjoying robust health and living it up. This is especially true for their adult children or grandchildren.
"Young" means sickness, pain, or injury doesn't happen to people they know and if it does there's no chance it can be anywhere near what the elder is suffering with.
They don't see us as eternally young. They see us as debtors who owe them first before anything and anyone else, regardless of the cost to our own families, our jobs, and even our own lives.
Let me tell you something I've learned from many years as a senior caregiver both as employment and as a family one.
Our elderly "loved ones" often have such an egregious sense of entitlement that they put even the most spoiled and clueless millennial to shame.
You feel guilty about not doing enough and are angry about it. I think we all feel like that. When we're caregiver to a parent, we try to be perfect. We all want that approval from mom or dad and for them to be grateful and proud of us. When they're not and this is so often the case, the hurt, guilt, anger, and resentment are intensified because we feel like we failed and let them down.
It's not us. They're the ones who failed and let us down by using guilt and parental love as weapons for emotional abuse to get what they need and want. Then we punish ourselves for not being perfect.
Ask yourself. Was your mother perfect? Is mine or anyone else's? The answer is no. They made plenty of mistakes with us too. Some things weren't mistakes but deliberate.
No parent that ever had an adult child caring for them in their old age ever beat themselves up with guilt thinking they didn't do right enough by us in the past.
Don't beat yourself up with guilt over it either. I know this is easier said than done. Go to therapy. A good therapist will help you with these hard feelings you have and help you overcome them. Good luck. I hope you find peace of mind.
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Janis, I went to quote another post I'd read earlier that was really insightful about aging caregivers, then realized it would be YOU I was quoting. You said it perfectly over in that thread. People in their 60's 70's are often not physically capable of the demands of hands on caregiving, and could severely injure themselves or their loved ones trying.

Guilt and what-ifs are natural feelings after losing a loved one. You did everything you could and have nothing to feel guilty about.
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You feel guilty because guilt is a useful tool that many of our parents used to create unreal and inappropriate expectations within our thinking.

What your mother did or didn’t do is no longer subject to ANY modification, so to deal with you current feelings, whether by yourself or with a therapist, your PRESENT RESPONSIBILITY TO YOURSELF is to to acknowledge and embrace the fact that you did all that you could and made the best decisions on her behalf that were available to you.

Of course we feel ”used”or “undervalued” or “ignored” at times, but our parents had often lived through awful experiences or had little experiences getting along with others, because YES, the Depression Survivors DID experience things we didn’t, as did those who experienced life in WW 2 or the Korean Conflict.

Yake what you’ve learned from caring as you did for your mother, and be at peace with the fact that you may well have learned more than she ever knew herself, from the way she treated you during her older years.

You may find. Y doing so, that she helped you to become the fine person that you are. Then acknowledge your current value to yourself, and find peace there.
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