My Mother

Discussion in 'Caregivers' started by RunningOnEmpty, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. RunningOnEmpty

    RunningOnEmpty New Member

    Hello. I am new to the board and other than falling in tears of which I've done numerous times, I thought I would come here. Here is my story in brief:
    My father passed away about 2 years ago after spending 65 years with mom. He was 82, congestive heart failure, diabetes. I cared for mom for months in between work, schedules and the unbelief of 2 other sisters who reside minutes away and never assisted at all. I am 45. After caring for mom in her lifeloss of dad, the stress built on me over time as I lived over a couple of hours away and was trying to fit everything, including my own life into this realm.
    I ended up losing my job of 7 years, lost my apartment and everything came crashing in. Later to find I never greived over my Dad, didn't have time as I was absorbed with mom. When it hit, it hit hard. Depression set in full boar.
    I made a decision to move out of the state and start over. Mom was doing better.
    Since having moved my life, mom has suffered 2 strokes over time and I traveled 2500 miles to help her. (No, the sisters living minutes away as well as the 3 grown adult grandchildren did nothing, not even a visit). Once again she was stablized and I provided in home care from a senior center. A temp. caregiver who would drop in 3-4x a week.
    Once again, I am back here. Having to move from my new life out of state to care for mom. She wouldn't let anyone in her home, refused anyone but me and in this whole time, I am still unemployed because of the travel, etc. (I have not been able to get settled in 2 years now.)
    Mom is very mean to me. Verbally abusive as she was when I was growing up. Dad was my light. Here I am being the caretaker of her in "her" home, with luggage all tossed in the living room. There is no conversation, no love, no bind here...she only wants "me" to be "obligated" as she said, being her daughter. She refuses to let anyone else help. I know she can see I am falling apart. No income, my home is 2500 miles away, no friends here, nothing. I look exhausted, yet can't sleep, eat very little because I am sick to my stomach all the time under this stress. I cry...alot now. She just keeps telling me to "do".
    I know she can not live safely alone. She is also almost stone deaf and suffers from numerous health (life-threatening medical conditions), but her attitude is awful. Yet, in front of doctors she will brag on how wonderful I am and all I am doing...within minutes away from that situation, she condemns me.
    I've tried talking to the 2 siblings...they said, "it's your problem, not ours"..verbatim. The grandkids (in their 30-40's) only came by prior to my return to demand money they will be given (very little) now, instead of after she passes. *Oh, one sister did come over. To remove anything she ever gave to mom. She said she didn't want to do it after she died. Can anyone believe this? I am in a nightmare.
    I am living out of suitcases. They own their own beautiful 3-4 bedroom homes with no children left. They are gainfully employed, I have been unemployed for some time now with no income at all of any kind whatsoever.
    I am her power of atty. for healthcare and overall finances and anything else you can think of, but am ready to walk away from it all. Is this normal? Mom does not understand, or maybe she does, that I can NOT do this by myself. I am not well either.
    I've been here a few days and have cried each day. I have circles under my eyes and look so drained. When I walked into what was a very clean house a year ago, was to the pointo of nausea witht the oder and what looked like she refused any assistance in housekeeping. Her pets utilized the house for their bathroom and she just covered it with paper...she was not like this before! And she said nothing was wrong with it now.
    I've spent 3 days of scrubbing, mopping, sanitizing (just to use the bathroom), riding the home of ants, doing wash,
    watering lawns, running errands (more tomorrow for her, with her) and being belittled for all of it.
    What am I to do?
  2. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    I sure wish I could give you some words of advice, but I am just stunned by what you wrote.

    Is it possible for you to maybe threaten her that if she does not accept help (outside help), that you will put her in a nursing home? I do not mean that you should do that! But maybe just the 'threat' of doing so might help?

    Also the fact that if you get sick, who is going to care for her?

    You sure have a dilemma, and I will offer pray for you, but I do not know what else to tell you.

    YOu do sound like a very careing person, but manybe you need to be more firm with your Mom, she seems to be treating you like you are still a child, where its more like she is the child and you the adult!

    I sure wish you the best, and I do hope you find a solution to your problem.

    Shalom, Shirl

  3. RunningOnEmpty

    RunningOnEmpty New Member

    Thank you for responding with such kindness. I just don't know what to do anymore. And, maybe it is time for me to just walk away.
    I am growing ill since I've been here, no help with any of this and she refuses to even allow me to find assistance. Today's example: I've been cleaning this (large) home ever since I've arrived. I mean really cleaning. Each day, like today I was up at 4:30 am vacuuming and cleaning because no matter what I do, she ignores it and the house (yes, like with kids) is a disastor.
    I told her once again I needed to look into a housekeeping service for at least 2x a month for as little as 50. a month just to keep it clean and that would help me in keeping it up if she wanted me here. It would also take a load off her since she can "no longer" do anything. I told her it was not letting go of her independence, but assisting it so she can have peace of mind. She flatly refused and became very aggitated saying "I want NO ONE in my house. I don't want anyone in here, NO ONE and no on to clean". I told her I would take the next step and invoke the full power of attorney to tap into funds for such services with full right. She screamed at me, "That sounds just like you. You are no good. Just rotten". With that, I walked away and fought off tears.
    I know she will die in this house alone..and, it almost seems that is what she wants. My father and I were very close and more so as he grew older. He was very appreciative and considerate as well as knowing alternatives to what may be needed, should the situation (like this) arise. Mind you, he was very, very ill.
    Mom, is a different entity. She belittles, complains, discounts anything I do, yet will praise the smallest offering from an outsider (like the nieghbor who drops off the newspaper each morning on his way to work-you would think he was leaving 1 million dollars on her doorstep). With me, it's different. There are no thank you, no I appreciate your efforts, nothing. Not that I'm looking for that, but with having just arrived back home from out of state and up and leaving my partner many miles away to help her out, I am ready to pack it up and leave.
    You see, I've lost alot over the years. Never in a million years would I have seen my life in this state. Some, my own poor judgement in trying times, others: well, just life sort of kicking me in the a--. You know? But, I made a promise to care for my parents when the time came. What does one do when one does NOT and REFUSES any kind of help at all? Nursing home? No. I know better, but she won't even consider an elderly woman roomate, senior services assistance and today even refused to have me go talk to her Dr. that I've known since I was a kid.
    If I make something to eat, she won't eat it.
    I know she is not all there...I can see it. But, my hands are tied.
    I also know she just gave up after Dad passed. She hung on now for a few years, but she still suffered a lifelong loss in her old age. I can not replace him by any means, but don't you think she should be grateful in some capacity that her one daughter thousands of miles away picks up and travels 5 days cross country to come here? When her other daughters are a short drive away and refuse to assist in any way, shape or form? (Maybe they knew? Doesn't make it right though)
    I don't know what to do. My partner back home has told me to make a tough decision and pack it up and come home. I am feeling very ill since here. I am dizzy all the time, naueseated, lost weight in one week that today I had to go buy a pair of jeans 2 sizes smaller, I have dark circles under my eyes and look very, very stressed. Since I am out of work (another reason here was to look for work so I could pull more than one area together at a time) I have no medical coverage should I fall ill here.
    I really don't know what to do. No one prepared me for this.
    I know she doesn't want me here...yet she does for safety reasons. But, I am not superwoman. I am human and with alot in my own life to pull together. I can't offer much to her other than to be here...she won't even go over the finances with me so I can pay her bills or keep up on them.
    She is not even my mother anymore.