I became my mother's caregiver after my father passed away. I lived with her for about six weeks sleeping on her couch and going to work every day. My husband worked nights so he could stay with her during the day. My daughter slept with me at mom's apartment and my son stayed at home alone. I was not sleeping and couldn't function.
We moved to an accessible house and provided her with a first floor master suite. She was very ill when she moved in and I was caring for her daily needs and working full time in a demanding career. We thought she might live a few months to a year based on her health. My sister (out of state) insisted that my mother find a caregiver. She did although she was unhappy paying out of pocket for this. She had a caregiver 24 hours a day five days a week for about three months.
Fast forward five years and my mother still lives with me. She has broken bones and been in and out of the rehab center but never in an nursing home. She'll say she is very independent but she wins through intimidation. Did I mention my demanding job? If I haven't put a meal on the table by the time she wants it, she comes into the kitchen and says "I guess I should find myself something to eat...My mom indicated that I have a stressful life and I should try to make it better by lessening my stress although she told me she is not part of that stress.
I've gained about fifty pounds, lost interest in my life. I have few interests and my mother wants to follow me around everywhere I go. She has no friends but is happy to say inappropriate things to my friends and then deny them. She does not drive per medical orders but is mad at me about that. She wants me to transport her places but never asks me to take her. She tells me what I will do and when I'll do it. Did I mention that I am an adult?
Sometimes my mother sees herself as a member of the family and sometimes she is a renter (yes she does contribute to our monthly expenses). When I want to take a family vacation she insists on coming because at that time she is family. When she needs something done, I'm her paid servant. I have an entire year of vacation in my bank at work because I go nowhere. When I do take a day off, I act like I'm going to work or she'll hang on me. I go out for breakfast, go to Target, go to a movie and then come home around the normal time. I don't even tell her I have the day off.
I don't want to be with her. I don't want to talk with her. I want some privacy. If I wasn't married to a saint, I couldn't imagine a husband staying. My children do not want to be around her.
I have major guilt about all of this. I have one child in college and one leaving in a few months. She has thrown money at both of them. She'll tell me she is helping them with expenses I think because she feels guilty living with me. I tell her that if she wants to give or lend them money that is between them and i don't want to be a part of it.