Daughter Needing Help

by Rhonda
(Sylvester, GA)

I have been searching for a support group so that I can reach out for help. I am a 43 year old single mom of 2 teenagers. Since 2009, I have been the sole caregiver for my elderly mother. He health began to fail. She lived on her own, but she was unable to drive.

So, I have had to run errands, meet Doctor's appointments, and every time she has been in the hospital, I have been the one to take care of her. She lives about 45 minutes away from me. I have a brother that lives 1 1/2 hours away. I have asked that he come on weekends and help me to give me a break, but he doesn't.

Him and his girlfriend spend their weekends on the lake with their boat or going places like out of town or out to eat. While, my time is spent taking care of mama. I have grown a resentment toward him for that. Since 2009, mom has come to stay with me off and on.

Well about a month ago, her health got so bad that she came to live with me indefinitely. I am not sure she will ever be able to live on her own. She is not able to do anything on her own. She has to have help getting up (which is like lifting dead weight). She is not able to bathe herself or fix anything to eat and so on.

Since she has been with me, my brother has come 1 time and spent 6 hours. My house is very small. She has to sleep in the bed with me. I don't have my space anymore. She is very difficult to live with. She criticizes us for things we do. She tells us what to do. We have no privacy. If I talk on the phone, she wants to know who I am talking too or who I am texting. If I am on the computer, she wants to know what I am doing.

I have lost my freedom. She refuses to have anyone to come out to help such as home health care. I don't have a support group. I don't hear from my brother, my church family knows what is going on but doesn't come around. My never hear from any of my friends.

My children stay in their bedrooms all the time because they get tired of her staring at them if they come into the living room. So, I feel so alone. I am on antidepressants, but I still have crying spells.

I have tried to find a local support group, but haven't had any luck so far, just to have someone to talk to that understands. I have feelings of anger, and resentment. Most of all guilt for having those feelings.

This is my story. I hope I can find someone to talk to before I have a nervous breakdown. Thank you for allowing me to share.

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Someone is Listening
by: Anonymous

Hi Rhonda, my name is Wendy and I live in the UK.
I am so moved by your words. I thought I was in a difficult situation, but it's nothing likes yours. You are doing a fantastic job. I can sense you anxiety, and hurt and others not seeing how you are feeling

It's very easy to give others advice and it's easy to make suggestions, and I hope it helps a bit to know that others are listening.

I have recently read an article about taking elderly relatives into your own home, and what jumped off the page at me was a reminder that it's YOUR home and its up to your elderly relative (and teenagers) to accept that they have to fit in with you and the way you want to do things.

Thinking of you. Wendy

Yup Been There.
by: Anonymous

"She refuses to have anyone to come out to help such as home health care."

Look at what you've posted. She refuses? Unless she is demented, she realizes what you are giving up. Yet, she refuses to ALLOW you to have any help. Believe it or not, it is not a child's duty to give up everything for their parents.

Ask yourself; is she safe at home? If she can't be left for 4 or 5 hours on her own, then the time, in my opinion has come to look for assisted living.

Ask yourself: is this fair to your children? As you describe it, you are driving a huge wedge into your relationship with them by allowing your mother to literally drive them out of their home. You only have a short time and your kids will leave, do you want to spend that time looking after an ungrateful parent?

What has become normal evening...stop and really take a close look at the situation. Look at what your children are doing and where, then look at what your mom is doing, then look at yourself in the mirror.

Trust me. I've been there and I loved my mom with all my heart, but when she almost died at home and I drove a wedge between me and my family...I knew it was time. It was rough for a while, but once she settled in the hospital, we finally could visit and all I had to do was love her. I went to the hospital every day for one to two hours. She suddenly was kind and loving and appreciated my visits.

You are Not Alone!
by: Anonymous

Dear Rhonda,
Good for you for not giving up until you find some support, even if it's going to come from your computer screen from people like us!

I'm not even going to beat around the bush because you need help NOW! Go to your pastor and say what you need such as one night a week if someone can bring a homemade meal to your house so you don't have to cook or any other thing that you can think of that would relieve even a little of the stress you are under (maybe just for you to get out and go for a walk alone).

This is Not for your mom this is for YOU so don't mind if your mom complains about 'strangers in the house' or any such thing. If you burn out completely what will she do then?

You need some help from senior advocates or something, there must be someone who knows about who can help. Inquire with social services or something. Keep going until you find help.
We (my brother and I) have done all the heavy lifting of taking care of mom (all the others lead their lives without having to help much if at all).

We both arrange ours lives around mom's and it is super stressful. I understand every single thing you talked about, the resentment, the no freedom feelings etc....and yet we go on and keep loving her (most of the time, ha).

Please, keep writing to get it out and do what you can to release your feelings of guilt about the feelings that you are having (as far as I can tell your feelings are completely 'normal')!
If your pastor and congregation do not help....find another church if you can.
Hope helps some,
mary santa rosa ca usa

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