I love my mother I really do I fear her dying more than anything. She's all I have. But lately I have been so ungodly nasty impatient having outbursts of anger saying terrible things I cannot take back. I know she manipulates me I know she is a professional victim I know she is the princess in the story the princess and the pea I know she wants to be waited on instead of embracing all of the things she is able and can do for herself- I know all of these so how and why am I taking the bait fallen into this trap? She has been discharged from the hospital an hour ago and I have no motivation to go pick her up. I'm sorry I am so horrible. I don't like me either.

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A GINORMOUS thank you and an eye popping hug to each of you! In just a few hours, I have found understanding, support and reassurance from wonderful people I have never met- my gratitude is endless. I just backed away from the edge because of all of you. Things seem doable thanks to you. My isolation isn't so lonely as it was yesterday and I think I feel a glimmer of worthiness due to "strangers" caring enough to take their time for my sake, and on Christmas Eve no less!
Thank you all soooo much. I will sleep well tonight forward. I will wake up knowing it will be ok forward.
Good night all.
Helpful Answer (14)

Sounds like burnout to me. It might be time to reevaluate your role as a caregiver, just because something has worked in the past doesn't mean you can't tweak it or totally bow out, you've gotten older and undoubtedly her needs have increased over the last decade.
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Ok so your mother has undergone a procedure that has probably totally changed her own feeling of self worth and body image. She has a colostomy. Can you imagine how she feels? She has no control of her bowel movements. A colostomy is dirty and smelly, and coping with that every single day is arduous not only for her but her CG as well.

It’s absolutely normal for you to feel overwhelmed.

I would as other posters mentioned pursue alternate care for your mother. If she has the resources hire help to come in to assist with ADL’s.
Maybe find her an AL & place her there.

I don’t think your mother will change. It’s up to you now to determine if you want to continue in this role.

From your profile I can assume you have a great personality that uses humor to get through terrible situations. That’s a good thing. It’s a coping mechanism for you.

if you keep doing, she won’t. So you have to step back & possibly step out. She may be spoiled now because you out of the goodness of your heart probably did everything for her the past few years. For that reason it won’t change until you make it happen. That can be her moving to AL, using her resources to pay for help or you moving out.

As daughters many of us get stuck in being the CG. But you’re at the end of your rope admittedly. It’s going to get worse if you don’t recognize due to your stress you have lost control and say things you know you shouldn’t. That’s a sign you need to move and live on your own & give mom your time on your own terms.

As some have said on other posts, detach with love. In the interim set boundaries with your mother and give her goals to achieve & let her know what is acceptable and what is not. Have you discussed your feelings with her? You said she has no cognitive deficits. A person can’t read your mind, you have to speak up for yourself.
And when you find yourself angry and feel you are losing your patience stop yourself and take a minute or two to decompress before reacting.

Its a difficult job taking care of our parents as they age.
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Well said Shane1124
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phar - YOU are not the monster. Your mother is. I don't think she is lazy. I think she has a sense of entitlement and that that comes from being narcissistic. The manipulation and victimization point to that - also that she will do things for others but wants you to be her slave/servant. You also mention a martyr and the black sheep. I know those roles. I could never have cared for my mother hands on. It would have ruined my life. I was POA medical and financial, but she was cared for in facilities after she could not manage in her own place with help. She just passed at age 106, so be careful of your choices. This may go on a very long time.
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Let’s go back to your post. Why do you ‘fear her dying more than anything’? This is not sensible. She, like the rest of us, will die, and it is nothing to be afraid of. Death is the last part of life for all of us. If you stop being afraid, perhaps it will help you to resist her bad behaviour. You know quite well at some level that you should stop letting a lazy unreasonable 72 year old run you around as if you have no rights and no power. I am 71, and cannot imagine getting away with this, particularly with either of my daughters. They would burst out laughing if I tried it.

Someone recently asked how to balance the boundaries between love, compassion and self respect. My answer is that boundaries come first – without them everything else just shrivels. Stop worrying so much about whether you are doing something wrong. You are great, you just need to build on your self respect!
Helpful Answer (8)

You are not horrible, you are at the end of your rope. The outbursts are your stress talking, not your heart.

It could be your caregiving role is over and you need to distance yourself from your mother. This does not make you a bad person. I read your profile, thank you for putting in so much information, and it sounds like your family dynamic has been in place for many years. It will not be easy to change, but change it you must to protect yourself from the abuse.

You are not obligated to care for your mother in her home. Setting boundaries is challenging and will be met with resistance, but you need to be clear with Mum what behaviour you will not accept. And stick to your guns. If her bad behaviour continues, then you move out and enjoy your life, she can find someone else to abuse.

If the relatives heap on abuse by phone, you are allowed to hang up on them. You do not have to read, nor reply to abusive email.

The above is not at all easy to do on your own, a good therapist can help you navigate through boundary setting and defecting the abuse.
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PharSytid Dec 2018
Thank you. Your thoughtful reply is as Linus' blanket is to him: reassuring security. Even after reading my profile you still took your time to reply to me -I am shocked and grateful.
Yes, the dynamics have wrongfully been in place forever and the white trash drama that it is is volatile.
I hope to continue to find support here as well as finding a therapist. I want to believe that I am more than just an indentured whipping post and live accordingly.
I cannot thank you enough for your reply.
Christmas Eve is such a terrible time for someone to be released from the hospital because it does not allow the family to look into other possibilities for your Loved One's care (Assisted Living, Skilled Rehab, etc.) instead of bringing her home again.

After Christmas look into other sources of caregivers such as hiring someone to help care for your Mom in her house, Adult Day Care or the Senior Center activities.

I know how hard it is to live with a Mother in HER HOUSE.  Mom and I lived together as "roommates" since 2008 after Dad died.  Since the house is/was Mom's she had control over me.  I had to find a "hide-away" in the basement that allowed me time and space away from Mom.

Do your best to get through the holidays and then start looking for alternate caregivers for your Mom.  If your Mom does go to live in an Assisted Living facility or a nursing home, please try not to have any outbursts of anger while visiting her in the facility as that will give your Mom and the Social Service staff "evidence" that you might have been abusing her when you lived together.  It might help to meet with the Social Service staff and Nursing Manager and explain how manipulative your Mom is and how she is able to "push your buttons" and get you upset.

That situation happened to me and for 5 months ALL of my visits had to be supervised until Mom's lawyer determined that Mom's delusions were part of the problem and I really was NOT a threat towards my Mom.  (I had to hire my own attorney because of other legal issues that occurred during this time period.)

As Tothill stated: "you are at the end of your rope. The outbursts are your stress talking, not your heart."  You need to start taking care of yourself before you become too sick to be able to cope with your Mom and her manipulations.  I am glad to read that you plan to see a therapist.  A good therapist can help you develop coping strategies and ways to handle your Mom's behavior.
{{{HUGS}}}  💖
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PharSytid Dec 2018
thank you times infinity. I'm crying tears of "oh my god, I'm not alone or crazy (yet)". The garage is my basement and fills the role of my escape as best it can.
She wasn't even back home for five minutes before she started tonight. If she had dementia or Alzheimer's or immobility issues, I would feel and conduct myself very very differently than I have lately. But she does not have neurological declination and she has full mobility with a walker and I have accommodated her for years and fulfilled her demands as if she was bedridden or a multi amputee. I believed her when she said she needed help or she couldn't or that she felt sick- I now realize that lazy not disability is what I catered to and still do. When she gets up for the physical therapist or finds motivation to get up and do whatever sh has to do in order to "come home" infuriates me; she will do things in the presence of anyone but me and I have come to resent it. My give a damn is severely broken, again, and possibly for good. She is only 72 and she does have a colostomy and fistula and copd, but other than that she is ok health wise. Thanks for your reply and shoulder. I gotta go now, the executioner is summoning me.
Sounds like maybe you are co dependent. People don't understand the resentment you have when someone else uses you to do things for themselves that they should be doing. A good counselor can help. I go into a different mode when I'm dealing with my mother- it's not that I don't care about her, but I HAVE to detach somewhat in order to not be sucked dry. You are not horrible, you are just over extended. That will make anyone say and do things they don't really want to do.
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Hello e1-
well I'll be damned. Earlier today, I read my post and a few of your replies to my mother. Of course, she tried to turn on the waterworks and said that everyone is attacking her. I told her to stop and HEAR what your replies were saying and to not make it about herself. About five minutes later, I hear her walker coming down the hall and after a couple of minutes, her toilet flushed. I thought, the hell you say, she just got up came down the hall and used the bathroom! The heavens opened up, and the house was full of the cheerful sound of a Southern Baptist church on a Sunday morning! She asked me to help her back out to her chair to which I gladly jumped up to do. ( it's going to have to work up to her not being too out of breath to walk back out because she's been immobile so long and she has copd). But she made an effort in her own and I gave her kudos and thanks and I'm sure she noticed the sparks shooting out of my hind side; if not, I know she smelled the cats tail smoking when it jumped onto her lap. (jk). Now I'm going to go soothe me bum.
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Halleljah! This has to be the best result ever! Make sure you keep a copy of everything in case it wears off!
You are not a monster. This job is hard on anyone. If anyone said otherwise I would question their honesty.
Everyday in this labor of love is a challenge for all of us, in one way or another. Only the Lord get's me through each day. And with HIS help I have gotten to be more patient.
As humans we can only do our best. And as a lot of wise people on here will tell you, you have to find some sort of repite. I am still seeking mine, but I understand the importance of refreshing and that allows us to do better. Regarding your profile at the end, you will come out of this wiser and be able to share and help others. This is one of the hardest things in this life to do, if not THE hardest thing to do. But it is doable and we can do it well, understanding the length and width of this thing we will become a volume of knowledge, and be stronger for it, if we allow the opportunity for ourselves to grow and be grown amidst the challenges. This is truly hard my friend even in the best circumstances.
I will pray for you. Find your strength in the Lord.
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