Falling short and Feeling like a Failure

by Cynthia

Before my dad passed away 15 years ago, I told him that my only sibling and I would take care of our mom. She was 77 at the time. The truth is that I am the only one who has taken care of our mom. In the beginning, things consisted of caring for her for 6 weeks after an automobile accident put her in the hospital. Also, going to her doctor visits with her.

The next step was taking her everywhere she needed to go because one wreck too many demanded that she stop driving. As her eyesight diminished, I began to pay her bills for her. Six years ago my husband left me and the divorce process was one more thing to deal with. (Six years later I'm still going through it, but that's another story.)

My mom had several eye surgeries and other minor surgeries and I was right there for her. I would try to limit my work hours so I could spend time with her.

The time that I spent driving back forth to her house while trying to work and do life became very time consuming and difficult because didn't want me to drop in and make sure she was okay, she wanted me to sit there with her for hours.

Then she had a back surgery 18 months ago that made living alone impossible, so into my house she came. I gave her my master bedroom and bathroom so she wouldn't have to walk down the hallway.

I moved into another bedroom and continued to give her the care she deserved until she recovered. As time has gone by, I have needed to work as much as possible which she does not like.

I have held off on working full time even though I need to financially. I get up every day at 4:30 so I can get myself ready for work and make her a full breakfast which she expects.

I do everything for her while still
taking care of my house inside and out. I studied and became a certified personal trainer and the entire 6 months that I studied for the exam, she would make negative comments .

She adamantly refuses outside help. She wants me to report when I am coming and going which I resent. She will not eat lunch until I return home around 2 pm and make it for her, and will complain that she is hungry.

Even if I make lunch and leave it for her she will say she did not see it. On my one day to sleep later - and by that I mean 7:00 - 7:30 am - she will come into the bedroom and tell me that she has been waiting for me for 2 hours to get up.

And did I mention my sibling? Yes, he lives 1.5 miles away at most. He does not work. He is an alcoholic. She is his enabler. He does absolutely nothing to help. Nothing. And he gets a pass from her.

Yet he gets is critical of me when he talks to her. He usually makes a negative comment about something or other and she likes to complain to him when I get exasperated with her.

Today it was "well, it's not as bad as it could be". Wow. I have stood by her side through thick and thin for 15 years and that's what I get. Their unhealthy relationship has been brought into my home. My home is no longer my refuge.

My work is my refuge. My feelings are strong and I could get lost in my anger and resentment. And that makes me feel like a horrible person and a complete and utter failure.

I should be patient and loving it takes everything in me to just hold my tongue, at which I also fail miserably at times. I tell myself this is a season and I don't want any regrets. I pray constantly about my attitude but still fail.

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