I am so done. I just can’t take it anymore. I’ve never had kids for a reason, I’ve never wanted to take care of anyone.
My mom 81 yrs, lives alone, we have no other family. I am 58. I am her everything. I have been on my own since I was 16; somehow managing to do well in life. She has sucked everything out of me for at least 30+ years. I am tired of the phone calls , the negative, the not being able to travel or do anything , always waiting for the call that she has fallen ( thankfully, not hurt but can’t get up) Or lately, the calls her tv is not working . She doesn’t listen to anything I tell her that will keep her safe, or from falling. Everything is about her, I can’t breathe, I am depressed , I can’t live my life any more. I have nothing in me anymore, no sympathy,empathy, nothing. She won’t take her meds, sleeps all day, and on and on... I’ve been told by Geriatric doctor and a rehab center , that she doesn’t qualify for a nursing home or such. She has no money either. I can’t get her into AL either. I live an hour a way and spend Tuesdays with her, and do everything else for her.
I don’t want to take her calls, fix her tv, groceries, bills, dr appts , drop everything to pick her off the floor. I call her and the tv is so loud I can’t talk to her, but she won’t turn it down. I’m so done! Every time I get off the phone I want to jump off a bridge. I can not do this any more but no can help me unless I won the lottery. I did finally get a care giver for her about 10-12 hours a week, but she always is b****ing about something she does wrong, the girl is a saint. Nothing is ever enough. I am a hamster on a wheel that can’t get off. There is no end in sight.
Sorry for the long rambling post. I want to breath again, I want to smile again. I want to be free. I want to know what it’s like to be happy.

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Well, I don't have all the answers for you, but maybe a few.

It's called Compassion Fatigue, what you're feeling, like you can't stand this for ONE more minute.

com·pas·sion fa·tigue
/kəmˈpaSHən fəˈtēɡ/

indifference to charitable appeals on behalf of those who are suffering, experienced as a result of the frequency or number of such appeals.

I know the feeling b/c I have it myself, to a degree, being an only child with a 94 y/o demented mother who is VERY needy but lives in Memory Care 4 miles away. Just yesterday alone she gleefully told me her 'eyeglasses flew across the room and broke in half', that her wheelchair wheel was AGAIN 'broke' and that the nurse wanted to talk to me. The nurse told me her daybed is no longer any good b/c my mother can't lift her upper body up anymore & requires 2 people to help her, which is pretty much against AL/MC rules. So tomorrow I have to go out and get her an adjustable bed with a new mattress so hopefully one caregiver will be able to push the button and help her out of bed now. Today I'll be schlepping to the Optometrist to see about some new eyeglasses while hoping the 'poltergeist' who flung her 'broke' ones across the room leaves the premises. Sigh. People who think loved ones who live in managed care require no further care from their children are sadly mistaken.

Anyway. I was calling my mother nightly & dealing with the blasting TV set & her screaming WHAT? every 2 seconds. Me asking her to please turn the TV set off resulted in her using the phone to turn the TV set off and disconnecting the call 5 x in a row. So I had a lightbulb moment. I told her yesterday to call ME when she was calm, and when the TV set was OFF, and when she was in the mood to talk. Last night she called me and we had an almost normal conversation w/o the TV blasting for the first time in 18 months.

As far as The Complaining goes, use non-committal phrases such as, "That's unfortunate" and "I'm sorry to hear it" and "What do you plan to do about that situation mom?" The last phrase puts the burden of the problem back on HER instead of YOU.

Accept the fact that with these women, nothing will ever be 'enough'. So stop jumping through fiery hoops and getting burned for doing things that aren't good enough ANYWAY. Do the minimum. It won't be appreciated anyway, so why bother?

Stop picking her up off the floor when she falls or YOU will be in the hospital instead of her! My mother has fallen 55x in AL and Memory Care over the past few years. True story. Not ONCE has she gone to the hospital for said falls, either, but she has had broken ribs and sternum bones as we found out later on from a CT scan for pneumonia. The bones were in various stages of healing, the doctor said. These were from falls we didn't know about, in addition to the 55 we DID know about. The others she kept secret and was able to pick herself up from w/o alerting the staff she needed help. YOU call 911 for every future fall she takes. Period. That's the New Rule.

Institute a Bunch of New Rules for your own sanity or YOU will be going further down a very bad road. Do what's right for YOU now and let the chips fall where they may with your mother. Remember: mine is 94 and likely to live to 100. I may die before SHE does and I'm 63. Self preservation is key.

Wishing you the best of luck.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to lealonnie1
bundleofjoy Jan 18, 2021
dear lea,

sending you lots of strength and courage. it sounds like a lot of work!! and you continue to do many kind things for your mother.

i have a question please. of course, only answer if you like.

the topic is:
no contact with a narc mother.

i never considered breaking off contact before. i would never want to break off contact with a family member. but i’m considering it...

it’s crazy the level of emotional abuse here, in my situation.

my question is:
why have you decided against no contact? you chose low contact, right? but why haven’t you chosen no contact?

in my case, the reason i’m considering it right now, is that the level of abuse is just outrageous. for the 1st time, i’m considering never meeting the person again. i’ll see what i do. i suppose i’ll probably go low contact, because i prefer if possible, not to break contact with a family member.

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My Doctor told me to step back. To live my own life. Take a holiday. Heck, move if necessary! To tell my relative to arrange their own care. That I still cared, but I needed to change things. To tell her if she couldn't cope to come see the Doctor. (Doc would contact social services).

No other solutions will be found if you continue to be all the solutions. Step back & allow more of the world in.

Everyone is entitled to their own life journey. Let her live her way & start making some plans for you. Is it Covid safe enough to plan a weekend away? To walk, sit or soak in a bath & plan what you would like in your life.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Beatty
JulesNeedsHelp Jan 18, 2021
“No other solutions will be found if you continue to be all the solutions. Step back & allow more of the world in. “

love this !
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Jules, I am so sorry for all you are going through. You do know, I am certain that if you did not exist, nor any other siblings or family, that your mother would be in care. I think it is important to acknowledge that. Every year 1,000s of family members smash into their own limitations the hard way, and an "ER Dump" is negotiated in which the elder is transported by EMS to the local ER and the family opts out pure and simple. They notify the Social Worker that the elder cannot return home as they are not safe there, and that a discharge without help would be an "unsafe discharge" and they tell said social workers that they are not able "mentally or physically" to participate in the care of their elder.
That is the long and short of it. At that time the Social Worker at the hospital swings in to get the guardianship of the state, Medicaid, and the best placement she or he can find given the circumstances.
That may be the way of it for you if nothing else works. You should not be sacrificing your own life to your Mother's needs, and the fact is that this can go on for more than another decade.
I am so very sorry for all you are going through. Not everything has a perfect "fix". Some things, and this is one, are full of grief and pain and loss. I am so sorry. I wish you the very best.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to AlvaDeer
JulesNeedsHelp Jan 17, 2021
Thank you AlvaDeer, I talked to her Geriatric doctor back in July and she told me here in California Er dumps don’t work. They send them home in a cab. I told her back then, I can’t do this anymore and she told me hang in there. That was six months ago . The doctor doesn’t follow up anymore. The only option is a board and care facility but the person she had me working with couldn’t find any where that mom could afford. Even if I kicked in some money. I don’t think mom would make it three days there anyway because of her habits and demands that would get her kicked out.
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Julesneedshelp, I feel your pain. I have been where you are right now with my mother. I tried everything with my mother, I called APS, since she was competent at 96, there was nothing they could do. My mother could take call a bus to the grocery store, cook her food in the microwave, pay her bills and change her own depends.

I tried leaving her at the hospital and told the hospital not to send her home because it would be “Failure To Thrive.” They sent her home by cab anyway. I was always at her beck and call so I decided to just go over once a week and my son went over twice a week to take out the garbage and bring in her mail.

My mother’s refusal for outside help, or assisted living, and the doctors, social workers, APS refusing to help me with her because she was competent, everything came to a halt on October 27th. She fell in her own home. The last time I went to her house was 48 hours beforehand. She was lying face down on the floor and I called 911. They got her to the hospital and she had a stroke on one side and pneumonia and lesions on her brain.

The following day the doctor told me she took a turn for the worst and wanted to ask permission to put her on hospice and give her morphine. I said yes because she didn’t want to live like a vegetable and also not have her mind anymore. She couldn’t swallow and she couldn’t move.

My mother died on October 31st at the hospital with me and my brother by her side.

I have talked to my therapist and I realize her stroke and falling was not my fault. It was HER choice to live alone. I begged her to go to assisted living or have a caregiver come in to her house and she always said NO.

Nobody can make someone get help if they are competent. But if your mother is not competent then please call APS and tell them she lives by herself and you can’t help her.

I feel your pain. I struggled with going over to her house or not go over to her house. I feel the laws need to be changed so that our elders can get the help they so desperately need.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to elaine1962

You just have to leave her to her self-imposed fate. Ignore her calls. Do a check up call once a week. Delete any voice mails unread. Stay home on Tuesday, and do not visit. Call APS after a week or so of no contact and let them evaluate her living circumstances.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to ZippyZee

I’m so sorry you are going through this. I don’t think we are physically and mentally able to do this work... and it is work... alone. Our society has changed. Our families of origin have changed. Extended families are less available. AlvaDeer is very wise and experienced in healthcare. I would consider her advice. Again, you are doing the jobs of multiple people, plus dealing with life long relational issues with your mother. A person can only handle so much.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Sunnydayze

Thank you everyone for your comments. Lots to think about. Lots of good advice , none which are going to be easy.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to JulesNeedsHelp

No contact doesn't always work; if the person is a narcissist, they will probably chase you down eventually (my narc ex friend is trying now). If you go low contact, they can't prove anything; you're just busy when they ask, whine, demand, or whatever. A year or so ago I went low contact with my very needy, demanding mother. When she calls with a request, demand, in a panic or whatever, I speak calmly to her, asking what happened, who else can do it for her (she has lots of help), and turn it back to her. This has been working really well; most everything gets handled, and I don't have to show up - may even outlive her!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to CharlieSue

If er dump doesn't work, then say she needs rehab. So she goes from hospital to rehab. Then do placement.
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Reply to Lvnsm1826

Your elderly mom should be tested for dementia as well as mental health issues. If her current primary care doctor won't do the testing, switch doctors and find one that will. Also make sure this person will make referrals to a neurologist for dementia issues and a psychiatrist to evaluate and treat mental health issues.

Keep a log or journal of all that you are doing to care for your mother: the falls, the medication errors, the having to fix everything, the managing her finances... all of it points to somebody that can not live on her own without frequent help.

Not sure what the financial status is, but start with talking to residential facilities (nursing homes) that will take Medicaid and Medicare. Talk to their social workers about what you need to do to get her placed.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Taarna

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