Bitter & Trapped

by Sylvia
(Massachusetts )

I’m in my 60’s and have been caring for my parents for 40 years. Helping significantly the last 20 and intensely the last 10. Providing 24 hour care with the help of my husband and 1 of 2 siblings and paid home caregivers.

The last 5 years mom has lived with my husband and I after dad passed. I’ve also been helping 3 elderly unmarried aunts on a weekly basis at 6 to 8 hours a day with extra days due to doctor appointments as needed during the same last 10 years. The last one passed a few months ago but yet I still don’t feel any less stressed.

I still work but but do 12 to 14 hour days so that I only end up working 12 to 13 days a month. I’m trying not to burn my husband out. One sibling flat out refused to help and calls rarely.

My sister will usually come over if I ask when we have an activity with one our kids or grand kids but it’s limited. It’s only when I ask but not ever voluntarily on her part.

I do let her know how trapped I feel but all I get is “I’m sorry”.

I feel like I used to provide care and comfort and a diversion for my mom. I always made sure she got out and that she saw her sisters and friends. Now that she’s here 24/7 I still get her out but now I feel I need respite.

I don’t see my children or grandchildren nearly enough. My grandchildren are very young and my kids are working and bringing up their families so I refuse to ask them to help.

So now I’ve become a physical caregiver only. I do everything for my mother. She still toilets herself with the occasional mishap. But as of late I don’t feel like conversing and am quiet.

Mom does comment on my lack of conversation but being stuck at home without much interaction with others leaves me with little to talk about.

I resent my siblings and I resent mom not calling them on the carpet.

I’m fearful that by the time my husband and I get some freedom we’ll be too unwell todo anything or dead.

I do feel this forum is helpful, I can relate to so many that I’ve read and see I’m not alone.

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