Frustrated and Guilty

by Lisa
(Canada)

When I was 12 my Mom got remarried and by the time I was 17 she kicked me out of the house. When I was 30 my Mom's husband died and she was not financially able to take car of herself even though she was working and in her 50's. As the youngest, I took her in and for the last 20 years I've been taking care of her.


I feel I've lost the best years of my life (my 30-40's). I feel resentful that she kicked me out but I took her in, paid off her debts, bought a place in a city I didn't want to live and constantly help to improve her quality of life by sending her on vacations, buying groceries, taking her to appointments etc. yet I feel I'm not living my life.

She's critical and doesn't realize that I've given up my life for her.

Recently, I finally had a breakdown and told her how I feel and now I feel so guilty. She's 77 and can't do anything about it so what was the point of making her feel bad.

I'm frustrated, resentful and feel guilty. Now I'm consumed with ways to make her feel better.

What can I do?

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These Are Two Emotions We All Seem To Share
by: Anonymous

My mother is 90 and until a month ago, she lived on her own at home, determined to stay there and not caring what it took for me to keep her as she wanted.

I didn't live with her--that would be unbearable--but I managed to arrange everything so it would be easier for her. I had her groceries delivered, I organized her medications in daily pill boxes, followed up on their refills and picked them up from the drugstore.

I called her three times a day to remind her to take them. I arranged for deliveries of incontinence pants, chased all over town to buy the weird cigarettes she smoked because she refused to quit, cooked for her when I could, brought food with me every time I went to see her, made her doctor appointments, carried her to them (when she agreed to go), and a ton of other stuff.

She was argumentative, going bonkers with dementia, which only amplified her negative personality traits, criticized me, complained a lot, and called me 8-10 times a day. If she couldn't get me on the phone--you know, sometimes I'm in the shower or outside--she'd get mad.

She refused to let me bring in outside help, Meals On Wheels, or any other assistance besides me.

A month ago, she lost her balance, crashed into her bedroom wall, and broke her arm. She has finally been declared incompetent, unable to return home, and needs 24-hour care. She's still in the hospital but soon she'll be off to a nursing home or memory care place. My job isn't done, it's just different now.

Frustration and resentment, yes, I still have a boatload of those. Guilt, no. That's gone.

Try to get over the guilt. Your sacrifice alone is ammunition enough to kill it. These people don't care or understand that we deserve to have our own lives while we can. I'm 65, and want to enjoy the good years *I* still have.

I hope for two things: her past-due death and that I will love her again after she's gone. The last ten years have beaten the guilt and love out of me.

I'm done.

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