by Tammy

I am caring for my 62 year old mother with emphysema who has given up on life. She stays in bed for the majority of the day; getting up to take a shower (because I make her) and to eat.

Once she has completed these tasks she goes right back to bed. My husband and I take care of her laundry, picking up medication, taking her to her doctors appointments,do her shopping for her, etc., etc. On top of this we both work full time jobs and raise a teenage daughter. There is little time for each other but we make the best of it.

Sad to say, I have resentment issues stemming from her abandoning me and my siblings as children (two brothers and a sister). Since I was the oldest I fell into caregiver role. It is a work in progress for me daily to not succumb to bitterness.

All this would be fine if my siblings (who visit once in a while, usually needing money) wouldn't feel the need to criticize. Mom gets a hot meal everyday for lunch but sometimes when I work late she has to get dinner for herself; which means warming up leftovers, microwaving a frozen dinner or making a sandwich. She is capable and it is good for her to get up.

Today was a harsh blow when my sister (who stops to visit for a couple of hours maybe every 2 to 3 weeks as she heads to somewhere else)called to tell me I need to get home because her mother was waiting for me to feed her. I had been eating dinner with my daughter and a friend and was on my way home with pizza but had stop to pick up a coke for my mom. When I tried to avoid saying something ugly by telling her I would talk to her about this later; she went off on me. Told me her opinion mattered because it was her mother and that she was tired of mom having to eat cold sandwiches; that she shouldn't have to. I lost it; told her if she wasn't happy with the care I give mom that she was welcomed to take on the responsibility herself and have mom move in with her.

I am riddled with guilt for how I feel towards my mother and now to be told that the care I give is inadequate by an uninvolved sibling who is pushing me over the edge. I am hiding in my bedroom, tears streaming, not sure how to handle any of this. Obviously my mom is telling my sister what she thinks I do wrong but not telling me. I hate the whole thing! Just want to take her far away; hence more guilt!

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by: Anonymous

I'm going to tell you something my husband always tells me when one of my siblings call, he says "you are not obligated to answer the phone".

You know they're calling you to criticize, so ignore their calls.

IF you do talk to them and they criticize, you tell them you'd be happy to let them take over the care of your mom and you will pack up her things and move her in with THEM!

My brother was criticizing me and I told him the same thing. I said "apparently you're much better qualified to take of mom, so I'll be sending her to live with you".
He stopped his criticizing after that.

Good luck.

Cut It Off for Good
by: Anonymous

So I would like to know what you feel you owe to your mother who you said abandoned you when you were vulnerable?

Now that she is vulnerable, WHY should you have to be there for her while your good for nothing siblings carp and do nothing? Does your mother appreciate the sacrifices you make for her, or does she think it her right to make you into her willing slave?

Why have you become the family martyr? Why DO you feel guilty? As far as I can think, you have two choices from here on:

You can purge the guilt that is holding you back and stop being your mother's slave, or you can continue to feel guilty and suffer the burden, and be spat upon for doing so. Remember, just because you have siblings that share a mother doesn't mean they are entitled to run your life.

Furthermore, there is nothing sacrosanct about a blood relative who will stab you in the back (figuratively). If you don't take a stand now, then you will never have any self respect or get respect.

If you don't believe me, then keep it up and see how bad it will become. So you'd better start to save yourself before it's too late and you're designated mom's lifer, which is what is happening.

The choice is yours. And if you can't answer the questions I posed, then you really need to get help with professional therapy.

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