Misery Lives Here

by Sal

I found this website quite by chance, and guess what? This tragedy happens in England too.....

Many years ago, I agreed to share a house with my mum and have almost imperceptibly fallen into the trap of becoming her live-in, 24/7, taken-for-granted, primary care-giver. For the last few years, mum gets nervous if I'm out of the house for over an hour and I no longer have a life of my own. I am the younger "unmarried" daughter, now middle-aged.

My older sister, the "married" one with grown-up children, is revered by our mother, lives over 200 miles away, visits when she chooses, criticizes me at will, is resentful towards me and has been ever since I was born. She will turn from sweetness and light to spiteful in an instant with me for no apparent reason. I never, ever knew where I stood with her. The mind games she plays with me have made me deeply unhappy over the years and I have never understood her attitude.

Mum's take on this is that my older sister doesn't really mean what she says (she is sometimes nasty to mum as well) so I should tolerate and ignore any provocative behaviour.

Mum has been recently very, very ill and in hospital, though she is now on the mend. My sister blamed me for mum's illness, criticized me for medicating mum - even though this was in accordance with doctor's advice and prescription - and attempted (unsuccessfully) to publicly discredit me at the hospital as responsible for mum's medical condition. She also told a medical team that mum would be living with her when she left hospital as I was an unfit carer - a statement that she quickly withdrew when back home with her own family. That was the final straw for me.

Nonetheless, my sister and her entire family are now up in arms at my intention to finally extract myself from my unhappy position by placing mum in sheltered accommodation and getting my own house/life. They all say that I am being utterly selfish and that mum is far too old for me to "do this" to her. The emotional pressure that I'm under is immense.

Apparently, I was born into a life of servitude. Freedom for carers such as me is non-existent. We are slaves to our ageing parents and our sloping-shoulders siblings prefer to keep it that way.

Resentment doesn't even begin to describe how I feel, and the guilt! I fully comprehend the meaning of the word misery; I'm living in it.

It is some small comfort to read that I am not alone...

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Thank You - I don't Feel like I'm the Only One
by: Anonymous

Hello and thank you. Much of what you said makes me feel (thankfully) like I am not the only one who is going through something like this.

I also feel the hideous combination of guilt and resentment. I can't understand why I don't get to have a life.

You are so brave - you have made the decision and have decided to move forward. I am not that brave.

I wish you well. I truly do.

A Life Worth Living
by: Anonymous

When you said we are born to a life of servitude to our aging parents I very much related with you. Its been my growing thought for months now. Did your mother live a good life? I believe you have the same right to one as well.

A home that meets her needs but lets you have some life of your own is very fair. We are not neglecting as we still have the job of visiting, taking them on outings and appointments, but you have to make a life for yourself too. If I may say, keep your chin up.

This isn't Right!
by: Anonymous

You are in an awful situation and not one that you signed up for. Please, please, stop feeling guilty and do what's right for you. This doesn't mean abandoning your mum, it just means liberating yourself, you are entitled to a good, satisfying life as a single woman. Remember that your sister is the one who got married and chose "family" as a way of life......

I, too, live in England and know that there is amazing access to reasonably priced supported living. Your mum would benefit from engaging with her peers, you would benefit by being able develop a life of your own, you both win.
If your sister objects, then the solution is clearly in her hands. Stop listening to that guilty voice and do what you need to!

Get out from Under and live Your Own Life!
by: Anonymous

You, my dear, have done enough for everyone. Everyone, that is, except for yourself. What has it gotten you? Criticism and belittling. I have observed that it is the unmarried females who tend to fall into the assigned role as family slave. It's as if the old, Victorian spinster idea that if a woman doesn't have to answer to a man, she has to answer to her family.

I say, you have chosen a life of FREEDOM by choosing not to be married, and should not be punished for your choice. This is an extremely sexist, throw-back mentality that says you can't have your own home and your own life simply because you are unmarried.

As for your perfect sister who reigns supreme from afar, and only when it suits her fancy, let her know that since she's so darned perfect, she can take care of Mum so much better than you.

Anyway, you've got a whole lot of living to make up for. You can still visit your mother just as often as your dear, wonderful sister always has. Maybe if you reverse the roles, your mother will start to appreciate you.

Don't worry about feeling guilty, no one has felt guilty about walking all over you and selfishly keeping you from enjoying your own life.

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