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I feel blessed compared to many of the stories I've read in this forum. My situation is that I feel stretched to the breaking point in dealing with my 91 year old mother. Let me say, she never complains about her physical ailments and SHE worries about ME. But she has low vision, is very hard of hearing, is a cardiac patient with a pacemaker, and shows early signs of dementia. These are but a few of her issues. I feel my life revolves around her care. She lives independently in a senior center. Soon she will need assisted living. All she does is complain to me about the other residents. She brings up stories of the past as if they are now taking place. She talks unceasingly about past resentments of hers. I see her about 3-4 times a week (it's a 70 mile round trip) and speak to her on the phone every day. This is hurting my marriage. And I hate to burden my married daughter with MY complaining about it. But inside, I have pains in my stomach. My mom is lonely and bored and my plate is FULL. Sorry, but I just needed to vent to someone!

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To everyone who has responded and supported me for the past two days. As I said before, all of this is new to me and I see I am sending reply messages to the wrong people. But let me say that I thank and hug ALL of you and so appreciate your wise words. Keeping the faith!!!
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Emily, I curious as to whether you can move your mom to the assisted living sooner rather than later. If she's living "independently," perhaps she would be less lonely if she had more people around. It sounds like right now you are her only friend, and, frankly, that isn't good for YOU. I am a 24/7 caregiver for both of my parents, who have NO friends, and my mom cannot leave the house. They both have dementia so I end up hearing the same stuff over and over and over - most of which isn't even true. My dad talks to people who aren't there all day long. My mom broods and broods and reinvents history. If I could get them into a care facility I'd limit the amount of time I spent with them for my own mental health. Maybe you should cut back on the weekly visits to two per week instead of four, and cut back on the phone calls. Are you an only child? Can sibs take up some of the slack? Don't let guilt rule your life or ruin your marriage. And use this forum as one way to vent. Believe me, we ALL understand!
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Emily,

Guilt is a useless emotion especially among us caregivers. We do the very best we can balancing our lives and being the one person responsible for keeping another human being alive. It's too much to ask but we rise to the occasion and do it anyway, successfully for the most part. If we break down, cry, vent, and say things we think we shouldn't say it's only because we're in an unnatural position trying to do an impossible job usually with someone who doesn't give a damn about how hard we try everyday to do the right thing by them. Guilt has no place in our lives. I cared for my father for 5 years in my home and then he went into a nursing home. I could feel the guilt bubbling up but it went away because I knew I made the right choice, the only choice I could. When he had encephalopathy of the brain which changed his behavior and he called me at 11pm on a week night asking me where his pants were I could have felt guilty that I was not there to care for him or that he still lived with me but I decided that I didn't feel that guilty and then I felt guilty for NOT feeling guilty!! We're in desperate situations and we do the best we can. Our lives as caregivers are difficult enough without feeling guilty all the time. There is nothing to feel guilty for. Unless you beat your mom you have nothing to feel guilty for. NOTHING.

My dad died 6 weeks ago and I waited for the guilt to wash over me but it never did. I didn't kill him so why should I feel guilty? I got to tell him how much I loved him. I was able to care for him in his last days. Because of the swelling in his brain his behavior had changed and he was brutally honest with me near the end. He told me how much he loved me, that I was the only person he trusted 100% and that I should never feel guilty about him being in a nursing home.

Just because someone says, "You shouldn't feel guilty" doesn't mean you will automatically stop feeling guilty but try. We carry so much on our shoulders and guilt shouldn't be something we need to deal with.

xoxo
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Emily your husband is your first priority, you gave that to him when you left your mother's care. Look carefully at your marriage. Many people say caregiving is hurting their marriages but in reality there was already something wrong, it is a convenient excuse for a spouse. That being said nurture your marriage. Do not put your husband second. It's fine to check in with mother every day but do it at a time when your husband is at work or otherwise occupied. Also go some where where he can not overhear your end of the conversation as jw suggested set boundaries and when Mom needs to move to assisted living bring her closer to you, that's a long time consuming trip which in itself is exhausting. Would your mother enjoy books on tape your library can probably get them.
A suggestion for booklvr Earphones!!!!!!. Put them on and get on your computer and you are in another world.
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Emily, I understand that you want to be there always for your mother. But, you also have a husband. It's difficult to maintain a balanced family life but it is necessary for all of you involved. Your mother has a new home that she needs to learn to accept. Otherwise, she will continue to call you all the time and she will never be happy where she is now living. In turn, your full attention is on mother and your husband is put in the background - not intentionally - but it still is true. There is only so much that this can happen before it starts affecting your marriage. Then instead of having a quiet background partner - you will now be pulled into 2 different places. So, the best thing all around is to Lovingly Detach from your mother and set boundaries. I'm not saying not to speak to her anymore or anything. Right now, you're seeing the trees (mother, her calling, your visits) and not seeing the whole forest (mother, husband, your own life). It's very important for All Three of You that you balance your life. Of course you want to care for your mother until the end. But you also need to take care of yourself - or like you said - you just may go first. Just think about it, okay? Pray about it before going to bed. I have found that if I have a problem, and i pray about it. Sometimes, I wake up with an idea. So, make sure you have a pen and notebook by your bed. Just in case a thought pops up during the night, you can write it down and not forget about it when you go back to sleep. Take care!
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Thank you to bookluvr and jw. I'm not really adept at using a forum, so forgive me if I do it "wrong." I just don't have time and haven't done this before. Please allow me to add more. I am my mother's best friend and sounding board. She doesn't share with anyone the way she shares with me. So I hear it all -- many times over! I pray daily for strength, compassion and patience. I need it all! I feel terribly guilty b/c I am waiting for her to go to her eternal reward so I can have my life back! She has a terrible quality of life. It's so sad. I feel guilty, too, because my husband sacrifices by only getting what's left of me at the end of the day. I WANT to care for my mother until her last day on earth, but I just may go first! Thank you again. And best to you!!
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Hi Emily. Welcome to AC! You can vent here. If you have a specific problem, you can do what you just did. My father, before, loved to talk and talk and talk. He's here at home and I would hear his stories like several times a day, every day, for weeks, months, years. I Have Noticed that to him the stories are so real. What I have noticed that the more of the telling of his stories, the more it keeps changing. Originally years ago, it was his co-worker who told a sexual joke. Now, he says that he said the joke. I don't even remember when it changed because...I've learned to let it in One Ear and Out the Other. =) That is the way I cope with his talkings. Sometimes I can't do that, and so, I make the TV louder to drown him out. But then my ears hurt from the volume and it goes back down.

I don't see how you can stop your mom from her incessant talking. What keeps popping up in my head is - to Lovingly Detach from her. Set Boundaries of what you are willing to do for her. If you're talking on the phone daily is one hour, why not limit it down to 30 minutes since you're already visiting her 3-4 times a week? Or try to distract her when she starts talking? Sometimes it works with father, sometimes not.

I think with your mom and the stresses she's bringing on to you... I have read over and over on this site that the husbands are not as patient about hearing their wives complain over and over of the same thing. They have found that venting here has helped them a lot! No need to vent to their husband.

There is a thread that I go to regularly to Vent about Me and my frustrations with father and oldest sis. Because I'm a regular, the other posters know me and I don't need to keep bringing up my history. It's the: Caregivers: How are YOU?

I do know that a lot of posters do not find this thread as Their thing. They find more help just from hopping from one thread to another. And that is their thing. I do both. I cannot just stick to one thread. One learns soooo much from hopping around. Take care... and I hope you get different ideas of how to handle your mother.
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You can vent here, of course, but I've found journaling to be very helpful too. There are so many emotions tied into caregiving. Just writing them out can be very freeing. My mom has many health issues also, but I care for her full time. It's a 24/7 job and can often be overwhelming. I pray a lot and have to continually remember to leave my worries and frustrations in God's capable hands. That's a great help.
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