Resentful, Angry, Guilty, Need it to End

by Joni
(Oregon)

I am a primary caregiver for my mother who has COPD. She is at the point where she really needs to have someone with her 24 hours a day.


I do live with her, but I cannot continue to be a prisoner in this house. I have a part time job and am looking for a full time job so that I can move out and get my own life going again.

My brother helps with my mother a lot too (and also lives here). My sister comes to help, but I have another brother we barely see. I feel like I am the only one that can see that she needs more care than her untrained children can give her.

We brought in a professional caregiver two days a week, and she pointed out that something we had done with one of mom's medical machines was making it harder for her to breathe. Imagine how that felt, knowing that what we were trying to do to help, was done wrong, and therefore was causing her more suffering.

I do not feel qualified to assist her with all of her medical issues, medications, etc. I am afraid if I speak up, that my siblings will be angry with me for not just "being strong" and pushing on.

I have given everything I have, but you see, it is not ever going to be enough. I wish my mother would tell us she doesn't want us burdened with her care and that she is okay with going into assisted living or a nursing home.

I understand why a person would not want to go into such care, but I think it is more realistic than a bunch of your kids running around stressing out trying to do the right thing when we are not trained medical staff.

It doesn't help if you do not have a close relationship with your parent. I have a tricky relationship with my mother. Past resentments and hurt feelings complicate things. I grew up in an alcoholic home. I have enormous amounts of anger already just from that.

As another person said on this website, maybe I could be more of a daughter to my mom if she was living some where getting the help she needs, and I was living some place else getting my life back on track. So much guilt and second guessing of one's self goes on.

Am I a good daughter? A good caregiver? Should I be doing this? Doing that? It goes on all day and night. I am trying not to think this way. I am trying to give myself a break and realize I can only do the best I can do.

I am not a doctor, I am not a nurse! What do you do when you feel like the only family member willing to point out that she needs much more care than we can provide?

It makes me feel like the uncaring one, as stupid as I know that is. Does anyone else go through so many mind games with themselves? It is exhausting in itself.

Thank you for listening, it has helped me to write this down. I appreciate the space to do so.

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You're NOT "selfish!"
by: BonnieH

Wow. My heart goes out to you because there are lots of folks, including myself, who are in the same position - we feel guilty, selfish, insensitive, angry for wanting to be happy, ourselves, in the midst of a challenge we never thought we would have to endure.

I don't know how old you are (I'm 66) but it really doesn't matter; we are children taking care of elderly parents who need help and it is HARD, especially if you don't have enough help. I have 2 sisters and a brother who weren't doing all that much before.

Mostly they just listened to me complain and cry every time I got depressed and exhausted. They cared but didn't know how to help. And I'M in the midst of getting control of my own COPD condition!

I swear I was ready to run away, or die if that was the only way out of this situation. The quality of my life had become SO bad I honestly couldn't find any point in trying to enjoy life any more. Worst of all, even in the midst of those feelings regarding myself, I STILL felt I had to put my mother's wishes first - which is to stay out of a nursing home.

As children, we're like that. Even when we have issues with a parents, we still feel a peculiar obligation to be there for them. And I really understand your wish that your MOTHER would be the one to say "this is too much for you kids, I need to be in a nursing home instead."

HOW I HAVE PRAYED TO HEAR MY MOTHER SAY THE SAME THING, but she never will and I probably wouldn't either because who wants to go into a nursing home? But ... reality cannot be ignored when it's beating you over the head.

I finally sat down with my siblings and told them we made a huge mistake thinking we could tend to our mother's needs. I, for instance, lost my husband barely a year before Mom moved in with me.

I did not offer my siblings any alternate plans, I simply told them I was burned out, need to take care of my own needs, which means Mom must move out but I will, at least, give them till April 15, 2016 to figure out where she should go or what we should do to take this burden off of me.

Until I said it straight out, no sugar coating, they had no idea (or didn't want to admit) how hard this burden had become for me. The reason they didn't is because I never TOLD them how bad I was starting to feel.

At this point we are all still throwing around various ideas, but found an assisted living place nearby (A Place For Mom/check them out on the web). I presented the packet of info from them to my mom, telling her that I'M going to move into one and that they have assisted living apartments, as well, right across the street from where I would live.

I was shocked at how interested she was in the place! We will continue following up on the idea and, hopefully, mom will be in her own place by Spring 2016. If not, I MIGHT BE because I already told my siblings if she doesn't move out of my house, then I'm going to and then they will have to figure out who/how to take care of our mother.

As a side note, I'm not very fond of my mother either, Joni. She was a domineering, controlling, narcissistic mother who wanted all her children to be perfect so we'd make HER feel better about herself.

I still have issues with her. But I did have counseling and learned how to see things for what they are, which makes it easier for me to put up with her now. I wish the very best for you. PLEASE ASK FOR HELP and BE HONEST with your siblings. This is not just your problem.

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Hospice
by: Anonymous

I wanted to suggest that you call hospice and ask to have an assessment done. Your Mom may qualify for help.

As for mine, she does not qualify for any help at this time. Medicaid pays for pretty much everything. Mom had Medicare. It covers medications and short-term care, but not long-term care.

So, I have no choice but care for Mom - 24/7. I Have no family assistance. They only show up for her birthday and holidays. I am burned out but must carry on. She also asked me years ago to promise I'd never place her in a home.

I really think you can get in Home care assistance for your Mom. Maybe if you only have her part time you can allow her to remain home.

It really is a better atmosphere for them. Just remember long-term facilities are understaffed and they do not get as much attention as needed. I have seen it first hand.

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