I Don't Know how Much More I can Handle...
I found this site online after searching today for some help. I'm at a loss and don't know how much more I can take.
My mother is a 60 year old woman with MANY physical and mental illnesses. She was always sick when I was growing up, but it all came to a head in 2007 when I was away at college.
My teenage sisters, still in HS and living at home, called and begged me to return home from school (1,500 miles away) because mom is in a "mental institution". Since that phone call, I've been her sole caretaker and I just can't take much more.
I gave up graduating from my dream college to move home to a mother who could no longer keep her life together in any way, shape or form---she'd lost her job, needed to move, her health was declining, her amazing boyfriend was driven away by emotional abuse from her, and my sisters were so scared.
I worked my butt off for a few months, paying the bills and trying to get her help, as my sisters moved in with their boyfriend and our dad.
I did the brunt of the child-rearing with my sisters (who are 2 and 4 years younger than me) because Mom was even physically and mentally ill back then. They have grown to resent her for stages of abuse, neglect, etc. and have little to no relationship with her at all.
She has not worked in 2 years, and blew through a small inheritance from the sale of my deceased grandmother's house on hoarding. Her apartment, 10x15 foot storage room, and car are FILLED to the brim (despite me cleaning out all of these places more times than I can count, for them to be totally filled again in a month MY WHOLE LIFE...many members of her family suffer with hoarding so it's always been an issue for her).
She now lives on $847 a month SSI, with her rent taking up $307 (thank God for housing assistance!) of that money. I pay for her car insurance, cell phone, storage room full of unnecessary junk, and other bills, but I'm getting strapped financially.
In the past 4 years, she has been in 7 car accidents and totaled 4 cars. Ever time this happens, she calls me crying and I'M the one to do everything that needs to be done after an automobile accident, for her to then call and say, "So we're getting me a new car again, right?!" The DMV won't take her license and I can't (she's threatened me over it), but I surely fight her on driving almost every day.
I've started to pay for UBER rides for her when she needs to go somewhere I can't take her.
She has multiple doctors, therapists, specialists, etc. that I take her to and is on 12 different medications. She's tried alternative therapy, acupuncture, massages, Reiko, homeopathic medication, medical marijuana, and more but NOTHING seems to help.
Her mood swings, fatigue, and other symptoms are horrible. She is slipping mentally now, not bathing, calling and texting me dozens of times a day expecting me to drop everything to attend to her latest need. And I do.
If she can get
out of bed that day, all of her energy and time are wasted on meaningless tasks---shuffling clothes from one room to another, posting on Facebook, etc. instead of cleaning, sorting and GETTING RID of things that are impeding both of our lives.
She is truly mentally sick, but not sick enough for me to take full control. She is a master manipulator- using guilt, constant crying when she doesn't get her way or is upset, lecturing, the silent treatment, and other abusive behaviors regularly to me.
In the span of one 3 hour period, we can go from enjoying a cup of coffee in my living room, to her screaming at me that "kids are supposed to take care of their sick parents!", guilting me over not spending enough time with her, throwing objects around the room when she can't find something, then working herself into a panic attack so badly that I need to call an ambulance and sit in an ER all night (for the umteenth time) for her to be released right back into my care. This scenario is now starting to happen a few times a week.
My sisters do not help in any way. One has NO relationship with her at all---blocked her phone number, won't allow visits, even avoids family gatherings if our mother is there.
The other calls or texts her once in a while, and may show up with flowers twice a year, but books it out the door at the first sign of mom being sick or if she's asked to do anything to help.
This sister recently told my best friend (who does more for my Mom than my sister does) that she "can't contribute financially because I have my own goals and dreams I'm working towards". UMMMM, WHAT?!
I understand that they don't like her and are mad/sad/hurt over what happened when we were younger---but don't they see what this is doing to ME? Don't they want to help ME? I guess not!
I'm only 30. My life wasn't supposed to be like this. She's only 60. She could live another 3 decades. By then, I'll probably be divorced, financially ruined, and bitter as hell.
My husband is as patient as a saint, but this situation is really driving a wedge in our marriage. We have no children---not because we don't want any, but because working full time, going to graduate school just to keep my career, taking care of my mom, and raising a baby just aren't feasible financially, physically or emotionally.
I am sacrificing my life to care for her, and she absolutely will NOT allow me to take full control over cleaning out anywhere or placing her in a home. I can't afford a nursing facility and she is on the state (free for her) health insurance.
I don't know what to do anymore, as there are days that I wish she (or even me) would hurry up and die so I would not be stuck in this living hell anymore.
I have already made a pact to any future unborn children of mine that I would NEVER put them through this. I will kill myself long before I become a physical, emotional, financial burden on a loved one.