Only Child needs Guidance from Others Going Through the Same...

by Cher
(San Francisco, CA)

I am an only child. My mother is 81 years old. My father whom I was very close to died 3 years ago suddenly. Since then my mother has been on a health decline. She is now suffering from a lot of back pain.

I live in San Francisco, very happy, own my small condo, boyfriend, busy stressful career and friends.

My mother lives in Las Vegas. We have had the talk over the past several years of her options.

The problem is we have a strained relationship. She is very resentful of me for various reasons, however I am now the person responsible for taking care of her.

For the past 3 years I have been going there for a week or so every three months, taking off from work without pay. She is very mad that I will not just drop everything in my life and move there to take care of her.

I offered suggestions of either we get someone to come in and help her out when I am not there which I would help pay for. Next option move near me in either assisted living or apartment that I could take her around to look at.

She wants none of that and is not willing to work with me in finding her care. She is resistant to everything and she is getting worse. She won't let me call her doctors or get involved in her life to try and help her (however I call them anyway and she gets mad).

She doesn't want me involved but berates me every chance she gets...everyone else's children do more, pay more etc. Things are getting worse.

What do I do? I am exhausted and feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. She fights me over everything.

Please help!


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starstarstarstarstar's Joan here again!!
by: Joan

Hi again Cher,

One more you have Carer's Support Groups where you live. We have them in England.

They are set up to give support and advice to Carers. If you have such groups (your local Social Services team or a G.P. should be able to advise you) it might be a good idea to contact them.

In fact, as things really seem to be getting you down why don't you visit your mother's G.P. and have a word with him to see if he can assist or advise you in any way.
Good luck.


Try Breaking the Cycle!!
by: Joan

Hi Cher,

I am an only child too and I really feel for you as I am going through problems with my own mother! See my recent note entitled "I don't have any siblings"!!! I received two comments which were really lovely and supportive , but it is SO difficult to really know what to do.

Try "breaking the cycle" like I did when I eventually went on holiday even though my mother didn't want me to and kept telling me to cancel the holiday as she was poorly.

I felt really guilty and that I was abandoning her but at the end of the day she WAS O.K. and survived a fortnight with carers going in!!! Even though she wasn't happy I organized the carers going in as well as Meals on Wheels and the District Nurses also called every four days or so.

As I live in England I am not sure how far away you are from your Mum, but how does she manage when you are not there?? Is she still fully compos mentis? Miss out a visit to her (say you are ill or something!!) but organize services for her and see how she goes on.

It will be hard but sometimes us "only children" have to grit our teeth and just do what WE think is in our parent's best interests. My mother has slight dementia and if it was up to her she wouldn't have anyone else visiting except me and I would probably end up six feet under before her!!!!

Me and my hubby are going away tomorrow for three nights and again I have organised for a carer to go in twice a day to prompt medication/just see how she is. Mum NOT happy about it...she thinks she can attend to her own medication, but she can't!

Anyway Cher, I don't know if I have been helpful or not but will be thinking of you over the coming months and hoping that things get easier. You are not alone in probably feeling resentful, tired and thoroughly fed up!!

Get your boyfriend to give you big hugs and cuddles...try and keep your sense of humour...even though it is hard.



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