Follow
Share

I'm 24 and have lived with my abusive mother my entire life. She has sheltered me (homeschool) and never letting me out of her sight. I couldn't have friends, couldn't even go to college and do anything without her. She wouldn't allow my dad in my life who was wonderful and I know its a result of her being abused by her own mother. She didn't always care for me, but rather needed me to be her personal psychiatrist and best friend. It's been very difficult, more so now that she had a mini stroke in addition to her list of serious medical illnesses. Theres no one else, her family doesn't want anything to do with her and never have. I'm an artist and do pretty well to pay for my own food and supplies and save up but now that she's back from the hospital, she isn't able to do the things she used to do and expects me to care for her. Her doctor and social workers asked if she lived alone and she told them that I was here at home and I'd keep her safe but I had no idea. I can barely take care of myself and feel my heart breaking. I don't know what to do. I find myself getting very angry and impatient and I feel so guilty. I don't know who to talk to or where to start. I've only cared for her for one day and I'm exhausted and overwhelmed. Any suggestions would help me get started in the right direction. Thank you.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Where to start in caregiving? Hmmm ... down the road about 25 years!

You have never lived on your own? Never gone to college, spend extended time with your dad, or had friends? It is high time you started! You'll probably have to get a regular job until your art career is more stable. Starting from zero at your age is not going to be easy, but it will only get harder the more you put it off. Because it will be hard you may want to see a counselor for a while, for support. If you decide to take a few courses counselling will be available on campus. Can your dad help you financially while you get on your feet?

Your mother has imposed a huge handicap on you. It is not fatal and it can be overcome, but it will take a lot of determination and effort on your part.

Of course I can't imagine you walking out the door waving and saying good-bye mother. You'll want to make sure she adequate care. Call the social worker from the hospital. Explain that there has been a serious mistake and you are not prepared or willing to take responsibility for your mother's care. Make an appointment to go in and discuss other options and how to pursue them.

Do what you have to do to ensure that your mother is having her needs met in SOME OTHER WAY. This is NOT a job for a 24-year-old who needs to be finding her own way in the world.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

I say this in a loving way, don't care for her. Make sure she is in a good nursing home or assisted living center or has people coming to take care of her. Then visit her from time to time but go out and live your life. Just b/c she expects you to care for her, doesn't mean you have to. 24 yrs old is too young to take care of people.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

Wow. I reas your question, and my immediate response was, "Don't!". Then I read your story. I have daughters your age. This is your time to set the course for your adult life. It sounds like your mom has relied on you during your childhood for her sole emotional support. You didn't have a choice then, but now you are an adult. YOU get to set the direction for your life. The suggestion to take some classes pand look into campus counseling is very good. I have a niece with very
similar issues who did just that, and it was helpful. My guess is your mother is going to use everything to keep you isolated at home. Do you have a relationship with your father? If so, call him. Definately call the social worker and her dr. Let them know this is not a long term solution. Be firm. Let us know how you are doing.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

24 is very young, especially since you have been cut off from the world during your lifetime. I agree 100% with what others have written. Since you are so young, I imagine your mother is too young to be on Medicare. I wondered what problems she has other than the mini-stroke. Mini-strokes normally don't set anybody back for more than a week. They are good indicators, however, that people need to take better care of themselves. If the only thing that has changed in your life is that your mother had a mini stroke, then things should be back to normal quickly. This should in no way interfere with your plans.

If I were your age and had my home school diploma, I would get a job flipping burgers or something, then apply to my local community college with art as my major. I have a feeling it would open up a new world to you without it being too overwhelming. I know finding your way won't be easy, but children are not born to take care of their parents. They are born to grow up, have a career they enjoy, get married and have children if they want, and visit with the grandparents. You can still help your mother, but you owe it to yourself to give yourself a chance for a happy life. Hugs to you.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Oh Brandi there r some many people that write in and I so much want to put my 2 cents in. - One of of my many downfalls wanting to rescue someone. You are young but never had a life , I could say so many things. Don't let this go on with ur Mother, it has NOT been a healthy relationship with her . If you don't stop this insanity now you never will . Please get help for yourself ! The best thing you can do for your Mother is get her help ,find a place for her. It sounds like shes got you on a very short leash and with her illness that leash is going to get shorter . Seek out other family members if you can ,they know not to give in to your Mother but if they know that you are trying break free they will help YOU in a way that you can get help your Mother needs. Brandi do this for yourself I know you are a good person and you deserve better . You may need to start at the bottom but be strong things will get better. Best Wishes lots of Hugs to you and keep us posted. On your mark, get set, GO! Don't wait!
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

No one should expect another person to 'give their life' to their care. This happened to an acquaintance of mine. She never had a life - EVER. She cared for her mother (her mom had polio when young and then developed other serious health issues as she aged) finally ending up bedridden for years with her only daughter caring for her. They never lived - either one of them. Needless to say, it was not a emotionally healthy situation. The mom died and the daughter went bonkers and now resides in a Mental Health Facility (locked).

This may or may not happen in your case. But you are ill prepared to take on this responsibility with no help from anyone. Do you have any contact with your father? Do you have a job? Are you able to live alone?

Start with her doctor and the Social Worker. Tell them you cannot be her full time caregiver. You can still care - but you should be an advocate for your mother not her only link to the world.

Take a step - make a call. Do this for your mother as well as your self. She made choices in her life. You should be allowed some too. Take care and keep us posted.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

You are learning quickly. Your mother needs to learn how to cope and she is not going to do that, with you there. Home health care should be coming in, anyway. Plus, a rehab assistant. Talk to them and see what they say. Call the social worker and tell her what you have told us.

I can't encourage you enough, to start making plans to get out of there. If you are only 24, how old is your mother?

Good luck and keep writing to us.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Brandi, your mom has not done you any favors. She's controlled your every move almost like you are the property she owns. Please, call someone and get out of this mess while you can, while you have the desire and while you have youth on your side. You sound like an intelligent and talented young woman. Get your mom some help and spread your wings. You deserve it! Mom may balk but gather up your courage and start your life. Do not let her guilt you into taking care of her. I promise you, ALL of us promise you that will live to regret it.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Brandi, you've already got some excellent advice. I would encourage you to get the book Leaving Home by David Celani. It's all about adults just like you who weren't allowed to grow up and their efforts in therapy, what it took for them to "leave home". Leaving home sometimes physically as well as psychologically for the first time. Your case is doubly hard because just when you need to leave now your mother has new health issues, but this truly doesn't change anything. Celani's biggest point is that psychologically you are set up to have a hard time leaving, and it is essential that you have the support of someone in a parent-like role in your life be it a therapist you become close with or your actual father to give you the backing/permission to leave. In time you won't need that, but for this first hardest step having back-up is critical. In practical terms there are services that can be arranged for your mother, it's not like you have to abandon her on the street but you must set yourself free. Please write and tell us how things are going.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Brandi, welcome. You have received very good advice from several people. You are way too young for such an undertaking. Can you imagine how it will be in even one month from now after dealing with her for a day. You need to put YOU first. You're mom has lived her life the way she has chose to live. You need to live YOUR life the way you chose. Blessings
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.