41yr Old Daughter/Care-Provider-Glad to find This Site!

by Vanessa M.R
(San Diego County, CA USA)

I am 41yrs OLD, I emphasize the "old" because caring for/about my mother has made my life a ball of stress and I am feeling nearly suicidal.

My mother rarely worked during her younger "retirement earning" years. When she did work (my 3-brothers and I were raised by AFDC/Welfare the majority of our childhood), she was frequently late/absent/unproductive and never kept any job longer than a year or so.

Now, at the age of 62, she has NO retirement income and does not qualify for Social Security either. Her FULL living expenses are covered by myself 75% and my younger brother 25%. My Mom lives with me, I pay all expenses...yet she has NO respect/care/concern for my wishes.

I have to BEG for basics(respect/safety/privacy) and feel I am at the end of my rope with her. While my mother does not have any serious physical issues, I feel she does have undiagnosed MENTAL issues (paranoid personality disorder, A.D.D and some form of depression)which she refuses to address or seek treatment for.

I have recently decided, after over 20yrs of us living together, to force my mother out of my home and into a reduced rent apt where she can do/live as she pleases. This decision is very hard on me, but I now KNOW that she has no intention of ever showing me basic respect OR helping me to get ahead.

Is there anyone out there who knows of resources I can use or apply for to get her out on her own with an income? We live in Southern California.


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Understand Your Situation
by: Marion

Hi Vanessa,

Just came across your story, and wanted you to know you are not alone. I "inherited" my mother when my father died suddenly when I was 17. She either couldn't or wouldn't get a job to support herself, and she eventually became completely dependent on me and my brother for her basic needs; housing, food, clothes, car, etc.

My brother, 10 years older, figured out a way to get away from the situation fairly early on, but, I was young and guilt-ed into being her care taker. Like you, I believe my mother had undiagnosed mental issues (anxiety disorder, dependency disorder)that prevented her from living a productive, independent life. Like your mother, she lived in denial and refused to explore that there was help to be had. To her there was no problem. She always insisted that I had the problem because I was unhappy and wanted to live my life minus the burden of worrying about her.

My feelings about the situation never motivated her ... she's only capable of being concerned with her own agenda; To live in denial and get her needs met. Sadly, these women are incapable of being mothers in the truest sense, because they are still functioning as children themselves.

I'm 46 now, and my mother 79. The sad reality is that even if my mother had been the independent soul I'd wished her to be after my father died, she's at an age where she'd need a caregiver. So, I'm it. And, all the anger, frustration and regret I have about my relationship with her these past 32 years is irrelevant.

She's now just an elderly lady who needs looking after, and no amount of wishing it had been different will change the past now. I try to be as kind and loving about my new role as I can be, not because I think she deserves it or earned it, but because that's who I want to be.

I found a lot of comfort and good guidance in a book I read a few years back; Coping With Your Difficult Older Parent by Grace LeBow and Barbara Kane. I'm thinking that may be an invaluable resource for you, too.

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