I'm Not Responsible For Mom's Happiness

Mom's energy drains me. She walks through the house like Igor, clump, drag, clump, drag, clump, drag. She has a bad hip and bends over when she walks and kind of walks sideways and limps. Her day starts with coffee and after that I'm responsible for everything. She sits in her chair all day, slumped over, sleeping off and on, mostly on.

She can't carry on a decent conversation and all conversation is limited and redundant. She can't see the TV and she has an annoying habit of rubbing her face in a set pattern all day long, constantly, continually. I have to make and bring the meals to her chair. Her entire life is lived in that chair.

Do I sound mean? I'm not.

I have dedicated a lot of my life to her well-being. So much in fact that what drains me is I can't give her happiness.

She's not a miserable, complaining being, she's just at a time in her life when her energy contributes nothing. It's just a dependent energy, that weighs heavy on me. It's like a big Baby Huey for those of us who remember that cartoon character.

She depends on me for everything. The very food she eats to her connection to the outside world. I leave the house when I want, but she always wants me in the house. She tells me everyday, I don't know what I would do without you.

When she is awake in her chair she mumbles "oh dear God" over nothing and I suppose for everything. That sums up her life. And that's
the energy that drains me.

She is only here, because she is still here. No other reason. No goals, no nothing. Just sit in a chair, in front of a TV you can't see, and want the world (me) to give her life.

As human beings, we like to surround ourselves with the living. Vibrant energies with ideas, conversation, contribution, exchange. I have a healthy 60 year old energy. She has a waning 96 year old energy. Mom in fact probably wants this too.

The problem is, I am the sole provider. It's all take from her and no give to me. I'm responsible for hers and mine. I do fine with mine. But she will never reach those peak levels of happiness from her younger years.

This morning I was up at 6am, walked the dog, walked my own 3 miles, had breakfast, was happily planning my day in my own space, when she clumped into the room. Before she even said a word I felt that energy drain. She comes and sits in her chair and doesn't even bother to turn on the TV. She doesn't say a word.

I'm writing this and she is sitting five feet away saying nothing. The only sounds are the clock ticking and her swallowing her coffee, coughing and blowing her nose. I wonder how long we would sit like this before she would even bother to turn on the TV or start a conversation.

Then she says, it's so quiet in here! Like I'm responsible for bringing the very life into this room and her day...and sadly, I am.

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You just summed up my mil
by: Anonymous

You just summed up my mother in law. She sucks the joy from the very air in the room and has nothing to offer the world but takes everything. I'm sorry to hear you're in the same situation.

I have grown to hate the very sound of her voice and she too does the constant repetitive rubbing of her face and head that you described. I hate what she represents in my life and omg "the chair". We finally removed the chair from her having access to it and are using a hospital bed for her to get in and out of.

All the whining and poor pitiful me disgusts me. Her obesity disgusts me. Her total lack of a desire to live while she's still alive disgusts me. The very sight of her disgusts me. Her lack of appreciation disgusts me.

I also care for my bedridden father in law who is the sweetest, most appreciative for everything. I hate to say it but every day I wish he would just go ahead and pass peacefully so we can use his life insurance money to put her in a nursing home as soon as possible. He is in bad health and it's sad to see him so incapacitated. Nobody wants to live like that.

I dream of the day I am free of this and have zero guilt about putting her in a NH.

You should write for a living.
by: Anonymous

Your post made me laugh out loud. I had a pretty stressful day and your description of your mom walking into the room was amazing. I get that same feeling when I hear my grandma's walker hit the linoleum floor.

I'm like, " okay, no chill for you anymore. What she gonna have you do?" And to the gentleman who is clearly unhappy: why are you casting shame on someone in a freaking SUPPORT group forum. We all in the same boat ! Back to the dear writer, try smoking ;) it may relieve some stress. Good luck

Why are these people on here
by: Anonymous

Why are these people on here if they are not also fed up and sick of it and wanting to vent? If you're so okay with it then go sit with your beloved parents. And you call THIS person holier than thou?

We had a beautiful snowfall on Christmas Day. I asked my mom if she wanted to sit by the window to look at it. No. She wanted to look at the wall. I don't give a crap what any one thinks. A coherent person even at 96 should have the courtesy to go sit in front of the damned window because someone is trying to do something nice for you. Or to say thank you for making you dinner for the thousandth time.

Or to not complain about the freaking slices of bread being too wide. That's right. The slices of bread are too wide. My grandma had a stroke and lived many years totally dependent.

She was a delight and a joy. Because wasn't a control freak, she appreciated life and she had common courtesy. There are people really struggling here with truly horrible situations. If you don't feel we are then go away and be better than us elsewhere.

It sounds kind of familiar
by: Anonymous

We just moved my mom in with us 9 days ago and I am seeing some of the same behavior in my mom, that you described.

My mom is 84 and in fairly good health. She can carry on a conversation and if she wanted to, she can be fairly active.

Since she's been here, she sits in a chair in the corner of the family room all day, and just watches me and everything I do.

I have made many suggestions for things she can do but she doesn't seem interested,
I do take her shopping, out to lunch, to appointments and so on, so I do spend time with her. It just seems as though she wants me to provide constant entertainment for her, and I just can't do that.

I wish she would do SOMETHING. She loved to read when she was in her own place. She has all her books, her puzzles, her TV but she just sits in that chair all day.

My husband and I can't have a conversation either because she is here with us 12-15 hours a day.

Is this how it's going to be for years to come? It's depressing.

by: Anonymous

I read The anger Diet book and it made me tell better. I haven't done the exercises yet but they look good.

100% agree!
by: Fat

I am primary caregiver for my 85 year old mother. I am 47. She doesn't like adult day programs, quit bridge, stopped checking email and playing online bridge, all she wants to do is hang out with me! It is a nightmare because we haven't gotten along since I was in elementary school.

My siblings live in other countries. I moved with her into a bungalow a year ago because she was complaining about the stairs. Now she walks back and forth in her slippers all day coming to talk or look for me. She is bored.

I am her best friend now. She can't hear well and wants me to about my end of all conversations. If I get too loud, she tells me to stop yelling.
Nightmare doesn't begin to describe it.

Don't let anyone make you feel bad for speaking the truth! It sucks and it is painful and nobody wants to do it. My brother told me I owe her because she took care of me when I was little. I guess he was raised by wolves!
I am now on antidepressants.
Good luck!

I know, it is hard.
by: Mary

I know it is hard. I feel some of the same things. I feel sad and mad at the same time.

I thank God for Adult Day Care!

It takes a lot of pressure of me and it is good for mom to be around others and have a little bit of social life and activity that I am not responsible for! Look into it!

I also hire someone to come and "sit" with mom, someone not me, who will have a sandwich and conversation that I do not have to direct.
You need help, it is very depressing for both of you! God bless!

No criticism
by: Anonymous

Anyone who posts should not have to deal with criticism from anyone else. If you can't be nice, do not post at all. Words hurt.

Me Thinks You Protest Too Much
by: Anonymous

Let's read between the lines of the previous post (Wow, She's 96 And You Expect Her To Have Energy)...

I have no life
I get pissy
I'm not happy
I've wanted Dad to die plenty of times
It's not easy
It drains the life from me

Between all the holier-than-thou comments you made, the essence of your post is quite clear. Hmmm... the words that come to mind are whiney snot nose.

Maybe if you read your own post a few times and were real with yourself, it also would be a real eye opener for you.

Your not alone...
by: Anonymous

Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about the way you feel. I totally understand what you are going through....

To have someone in our once vibrant home who has no goals and just sits in a chair in a dark living room (by choice) in front of a TV is sad and her life. I drained myself giving her a social outlet and I'm done.

I'm trying to adjust. Its hard. Your not alone.

Wow she's 96 and you expect her to have energy?
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry. But to me you sound like a whiney snot nose. I am the sole caregiver for my 90 year old dad and I have no life but I don't blame him.

He's 90 - I do all the shopping , cooking and cleaning. I walk his 2 13 year old dogs / I get pissy sometimes but at the end of the day he's 90 - he took care of me when I was a helpless child and now I care for him.

Am I happy - no I'm not but one day he will be gone and I don't ever want to regret how I treated him or how I felt - and trust me I ask God to please take him plenty of times.

You sound like she does these things in purpose to make you crazy - you think? Look I know it's not easy - and it drains the life from you - but your mom is 96 - get a home aid for a few hours a day if she makes you so miserable. Wow your post was a real eye opener for me

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