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The headline says it all. I took care of my charming but abusive mother for 8 years. She worked only a few years, so she had no SS to speak of, so I worked 2-3 jobs. I would have done well for myself, but every penny went to medical expenses, private caregivers so I could leave her to go to work, and anything Mom wanted.


My own health issues often went untreated. My health is damaged now.


Recently, through a scam from a major company, I lost half what was left of my life savings, which was very little. I am facing living in my car, or rehoming my pets and sleeping on friends' couches. I have little left. Health gone, savings gone.


DON'T DO IT. I won't even be alive next year unless a miracle happens. Get out! If your parents cared for you, they wouldn't want you sick, broke, broken, and soon, dead. And if they didn't care for you, why sacrifice yourself?


I did, and now I am paying the price.

Point well taken. I had surgery on Monday and have been trying to recuperate but having trouble. My stomach is on the blink AGAIN, thanks in part to my 93 y/o mother who makes it her life's work to drive me crazy. I arrived at a decision yesterday: I'm stepping BACK from ALL of it, letting HER make her OWN decisions now in the Memory Care ALF where she lives. I've had all I can take and I can take no more, as Popeye would say. As an only child, I've been burdened down with trying to deal with both of my parents for my whole entire life, and it's taken a large toll on me. Dad passed in 2015 and my narcissistic mother is still alive and kicking, even HAPPIER now that her DH of 68 years is gone. Oh, and she threatens suicide ALL the time but at the first mention of hospice, she had a total MELTDOWN. Typical behavior for a theatrical liar who loves to keep everyone jumping at her every whim. DH and I are 'going on vacation' for the next 10 days where there 'won't be phone service' so I can get a well needed break from ALL of her horrible behaviors. I can't even imagine having her living with me in my house...........I'd rather shoot myself. Literally.

I hope and pray that you can find a way out of the situation you're in right now and don't wind up living in your car. I hope and pray you can find a way to take care of YOURSELF now and to put the histrionics of your mother's drama OUT of your mind and life entirely. Wishing you all the very best of luck, dear woman.
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HopefulD Sep 18, 2020
Praying for you, too. Any way you can "lose" your phone on vacation and not find it again for a while after the trip?
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This is an awful story, and I am so dreadfully sorry to hear this.
I think that your warning is very well delivered. I cannot imagine what people are thinking when they, often well toward or even in their middle yeas, are putting out money that they may well need. And we do hear of scheme most often designed to save "inheritances" and "homes" that end up only doing hard to all involved.
You can do a good deal of good just with posting your experiences here. Please take care.
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HopefulD Sep 17, 2020
Oh yes, that was how Mom justified demanding things like having me call out of work to take her to an appointment she would then cancel, or screaming at me as I lay on the floor in agony from a ruined spine, because I had the temerity to fall after working a 16-hour day. I would get the house! But if you have no way to pay repairs and taxes, you're just as homeless soon. After I told her I didn't need the house if this was the price, she would threaten suicide to keep me entangled.
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Wow...many people can learn a great deal from your posting. Caregiving truly is not sacrificing our own lives.

I hope you receive your miracle. I hate the thought of you being homeless.

Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
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Lealonnie,

I hope you will feel better soon. Enjoy your vacation! It is well deserved.

You are so smart not to want your mom living with you. Trust me when I say that I was cracking up when mom lived with us. It’s just too hard. Even if there is no narcissistic ways or other mental health issues it’s a huge burden. Narcissism would make it a million times harder!

People are sometimes reluctant to use the word ‘burden’ but it is the truth.
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lealonnie1 Sep 18, 2020
Thanks NHWM..........but, it's not a real vacation.............we're not going anywhere, just telling mom that so I can have a BREAK from all the daily phone calls and negativity she floods me with! LOL. She makes it clear on a daily basis that she wants me to stay OUT of her life and decisions, so that's what I'm DOING. Staying AWAY.
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Your post and life experience is more helpful than you will ever know. I don’t have any answers, but I am praying for the right people to help you and your situation. You are a good person, deserve so much more than this and need genuine support and guidance. Please know, as awful as your situation has been, you are a wake-up call for many. Thank you so much for telling your story. Again, I’m praying for assistance to come to you.
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HopefulD Sep 18, 2020
That was the goal in posting this. Friends tried to talk sense into me at the time; hoping someone will listen more than I did.
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What a horrible story! So sorry for you. I pray you can get back on your feet again, somehow! There must be resources out there for you somewhere. I don't live in the States but I hope that there is someone on here who may be able to lead you in the right direction. I'll really pray for you.

Having said that, taking care of my mom didn't ruin my life. It was hard. I probably wouldn't ever do it for someone who I didn't love with all my heart but I am one of the walking stronger and not the walking wounded. Taking care of mom was a role I was meant for I think and I would do it again (for her) but probably no one else.
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I am honest with anyone who asks my advice on being a parent's caregiver: it will often destroy your relationship with that parent and that destruction often bleeds over into other family relationships as well. I've been my mother's only caregiver since moving in with her over 6 1/2 years ago. She has dementia. I've taken over all of her expenses except for her rent, and that takes all of her monthly $900 Social Security check. Everything else - from her meds to her co-pays, from groceries to all the bills, from newspapers to magazine subscriptions, and everything else basically - is on me. My older siblings have both died otherwise I'd have help with her. My younger brother is alive (I assume) and the moment I told him I had to have financial help with her he disappeared. That was 4 years ago. Not a phone call to her, not a Christmas or birthday card or gift, not a Mother's Day gift or call or card - absolutely nothing. So while I do know siblings' relationships can be strained and/or destroyed, my relationship with my brother has never been particularly close and, after the way he's acted these last few years, I'm good with that distance. But other familial relationships have been either hurt or totally destroyed.

Mostly, it's been my relationship with my mother that's taken the most hits. I no longer have a good relationship with her and that's not entirely due to her dementia. I do not believe a child can become their parent's "parent" without damage being done to the parent-child relationship.

My mother tells me she hates me regularly. She's called me an idiot, stupid, a liar, a b**** for reasons such as my not allowing her to feed the pets our groceries, not allowing her to take all the towels out of the bathroom and sleep on and under them, not allowing her to leave the house to go to her mom's house (my grandmother had been dead for almost 28 years and her house was in a different state 2700 miles away), not allowing her to rummage through my daughter's food when we're at her house babysitting my granddaughter, not allowing her to hide cooked food in the desk drawers, not allowing her to put frozen dinners in the cabinet to "thaw," not allowing her to loosen all the lightbulbs instead of simply turning the lights off - and this is just a fraction of the reasons she gives for hating me. Although I never really expected gratitude - my mother has a deep, ingrained sense of entitlement - the fact that the only times she DOES say thank you to me us when she's being sarcastic has become a big thing for me.

Since taking on this role I have become just as isolated as she is, people have all slowly disappeared over the years. I can go for days on end with the only human voice I hear is hers either insulting me or saying things that make absolutely no sense whatsoever. I've lost all sense of home and I miss my home so much it's like grieving a death. I cannot work outside of the house so I no longer have a normal job, I freelance from home and have worked between 3-5 jobs at the same time since 2015. All my money goes to this house, these bills, those expenses, and in return the food I buy is wasted, I'm insulted and I have to deal with a mom who hates me. Many things have happened to me, devastating and traumatizing things, that I'd normally turn to my mom with but I no longer have a mom to turn to.

And now, after all these years telling myself there's hope for me to have my life back one day, holding on to that possibility desperately, I'm faced with a possible serious, serious attack on my own physical health. So it now looks like these hard, painful, lonely, miserable years spent in this depressing house dealing with a very spiteful, mean woman who looks like my mother, may be my last. And that thought rips me up inside. Trying to be both caregiver and daughter has resulted in my not being able to be much of either.

I don't recommend it.
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mally1 Sep 21, 2020
So your mom should be in MC, paid by her funds and Medicaid, and now she may very well end up there because you won't be able to care for her. Perhaps you should get her moved ASAP, so that you have a better chance at life, or at least, a better life? You're going on my prayer list now, God bless you, alpr....
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Thank you for.being so candid. My husband worked really hard and tried to insure my life after him would not be sad or difficult.
.I will not sacrifice all the effort he made by taking care of him myself alone when it destroys everything he worked for .
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Don’t you wish there was a rewind button so we could decide different decisions?

How many of us can relate to Cher singing, ‘If I could turn back time’? I know that I definitely would not have stayed being a caregiver for as long as I did, at least not a ‘hands on’ caregiver. It truly does rob us of our own lives when the circumstances become too much for us to handle.

Why on earth do some of us feel that we can take on the massive responsibility that takes a staff at a facility? I have asked myself this a million times over and have never come up with a good answer.

I love my mom but I have no guilt in being able to say that I am glad being a caregiver is behind me.

For all of you still feeling trapped or confused take it from me and others who finally let go to find the strength to let go and let others fill when we have done more than our share.

I used to feel that I was strong for holding on but sometimes the real strength is in letting go.
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Respect2honor Sep 21, 2020
Yours is a heartfelt post and this, in particular, speaks volumes, "I used to feel that I was strong for holding on but sometimes the real strength is in letting go."
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HopefulD, thank you for sharing your story. People need to hear this!! I am so sorry everything you went through. Lealonnie, please keep stepping back. Your mom is in memory care and is being taken care of. Good for you for telling your mom about going on vacation for 10 days. You need a break. You don’t need to talk to her every day!!! Once a week is plenty!! I stepped back and only talk to my mother once a week. I got this advice from people on this forum to step back and not take care of her. Your mother is well taken care of in memory care. Step away.
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