Standing On My Own Two Feet

by Anonymous

My mom was a great mom as far as taking care of my physical needs growing up, but when a tragedy struck out family, both of my parents checked out emotionally. We kids were on our own. We learned at a very young age to act like something never happened and never deal with anything...deny deny deny!!

I believe my mom is in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer's. Since I've been around her every single day for over a year now I see things that no one else sees.

When I try to explain to my siblings and other family members what I'm seeing they chalk it up to natural aging and that they often do the same things she does. They just don't get it. There's no chance of getting her any help as long as I'm the only one that believes what I'm seeing.

Ideally my mom would love to live with another sibling, even though I'm the one that has always been there for her during surgeries, accidents, and other life crisis. My sibling is agreeable to her living with their family. What she REALLY wants is for one of us to move here, but there is no chance of that happening for many years if ever.

I really struggle because it has always been obvious to me that I am not her favorite. I don't blame my sibling for that. They were put in that position many years ago.

If it weren't for my husband I would not have made it through the last year. He sees EXACTLY what I see as far as the dynamics of our relationship goes.

I cannot live for years upon years caring for my mom. She struggles with believing anything I tell her. She has made her mistakes in her life, but she retells them with her being the poor victim and never the victimizer.

However, when she recalls stories of my mistake it's always preceded by..."I told you not to...if only you had..." I'm never allowed to be the victim. I'm just the stubborn daughter that never listened to her. Why would I? When a person makes no emotional investment in a child from a very young age on they learn to cope and make it on their own.

I am past the point of needing "mothering". That's something none of the family really "gets". The grandchildren were treated by her the way I should have been treated so they see her differently than I do.

I've worked through most of my anger, but have to choose to do so again every single time she points out my mistakes or failures.

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You Matter!
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your post; you articulated that nicely, so much so, many can relate - so I had to give my input as well. I can relate and I can relate to all who have responded.

My mother is 86 has some level of dementia, is very imbalanced when walking, and has had 6 major hospitalizations which further complicated her physical state of being.

I am 61 and have been her caretaker for 2 1/2 years - it has not been easy, as my mother will not even acknowledge that I am here to support her - one could come to the conclusion that she does not like me, but then again I have never felt loved growing up.

Over these years that I have lived with my mother while caretaking, I have lived with (within myself) bitterness, resentment, anger, depression, deception, ridicule, shame, rejection - all of the life was being sucked out of me - where is the joy?.... get my drift?

Even though my mother needs support, of which I am perfectly capable of giving, I was in the process of giving up who I was, so she can be happy. I discovered I was silently dying but then again, she was still not happy.

I have come to the conclusion there is nothing I can do to make her happy - I have come to the conclusion that my mother has emotional issues that I cannot resolve for her.

After I came to this conclusion, I therefore had to look at myself and what an emotional mess I was - I did not even recognize me! So I got myself into a Christian Codependent group once a week and what a difference it is making in me.

I am (in process), but coming to realize that okay.... this is who my mother is (separate from)... this is who I am. I have come to realize the bitterness, resentment...etc. that I was experiencing was deep rooted in me since my childhood and realizing that my mother treats me today in same insensitive manner as in my childhood - so for me it was kind of like a PTSD effect.

I am learning that I cannot allow my mother to control my feeling and emotions - I am in control of those and I do not have to accept or own what is thrown my way, either through words, actions, or subliminal messages - so I am taking control of me, because "me" is all I have control over and I matter... and I have to believe that and live it! Still learning.

So, now.... when she tries to start something I know it is all about her, not me, and whatever she says or does now, it does not cut like a knife and I do not find myself simmering... I am learning a new way to carry on and the old me is coming back.

I have to create positive moments in my life. I am now beginning to see my mother in a different light. How sad it is to see a beautiful woman so unhappy within herself, when in fact she has adult children who care so much about her well being and we are seeing to it she has the best care she needs at this time in her life - its just sad, a sad state of mind.

So please everyone, take care of you, take care of your emotional state - YOU MATTER!

I'm sorry for your heartache
by: Anonymous

My mother widowed 10 years ago at the age of 63. I know she loves me but has never liked me much. I have 1 brother. He is a bachelor by choice, I guess. I am married and have 5 children.

Mom and I are both nurses. She is very pious and attends holy mass daily. I have always been her scapegoat. My grandmother was an alcoholic and mom hated seeing her drunk so she would take it out on me daily. I love her but she just continues to attack me from all angles.

She makes faces when people remark on how much we look alike. What hurts the most is that she even manages to alienate my children with her stone cold demeanor. I don't know what's worse, her being so cold or faking she's happy to see any of us because we all feel so awkward and can't wait to leave as soon as we're there.

She hates when I text her but we just can't manage to have a conversation because the tone is just so obvious over the phone. In person she speaks 1 or 2 words as if she's angry or hurt.

Minimal eye contact. She refuses prof help because don't you see she is a nurse and God is with her always. I'm 51 years old and if she could still beat me she would. The last time she did I was in my 30s. My brother visits almost daily. She does his laundry and cooks for him.

I can feel like I'm a pebble in her shoe. May God forgive me for judging her sometimes I feel she hates me. But I know she couldn't possibly because she is so close to God so I just surrender.

On your mark.. get set... GO!
by: Anonymous

Our situations almost mirror each other. I have 6 siblings and I live with my mother as her caretaker.

My mother has dementia and is a bit independent, but she needs assistance and just overall help. I take care of her medical, medications, hospital visits, meals, transportation, just everyday stuff.

Anyway, not that I am looking for appreciation - but, I certainly did not expect degradation. I too, feel very disliked by my mother and it hurts to see how kindly she treats my siblings.

Luckily, my siblings understand the challenges I face. The siblings that live relatively close by and visit often - they see what I see and they support me when I tell them situations. The others that live out of state, they did not believe me, furthermore, they have a special telephone relationship with our mother.

Well, two of my siblings came to visit from out of state (at different times)for two weeks and I made it a point to not be available at that time - as a result, they came to see what I experienced.

I am saying all of this to say, I am my mother's caretaker, therefore, I am her Power of Attorney.

Question: Should not you be your mother's POA? You are taking care of all your mother's needs; therefore, you get to make the decisions. But then on the other hand, I agree with your other readers, if indeed, (which I find hard to believe), but if it is true that your mother is willing to live with one of your sibling... get on your mark... get set... GO!!!!

Now, it is my feeling your mother will return home at some point, at that point you can negotiate with your siblings.

Would that it were different.
by: Preacher's Kid

I feel for you, really, I do!

My dad tells me I'm heavy because he sees the dangling skin from having lost a chunk of weight.

When I gently plead that he stop, he angrily says he won't say it again - no apology, just hateful accusing and manipulative justification which ends up being my fault - still. Then 2 to 3 days later he's saying the same mean, hurtful things again.

I tell myself he's 88 and forgetful. But then the memories and mind games start inside me. I wonder what would Jesus do? I wonder how I'm gonna get through. I forgive. I cry. I scream into pillows. I put on a smile for the sake of all who'd love to gossip, but desperately wish SOMEONE knew the truth of it all.

Mom pleads with me to do my artwork again and herself forgets why I've put it all away. (I put away my artwork because I don't want to destroy it. I've learned that when I'm deeply wounded, I angrily internalize all of it because I can't change or fix it. So I break my things.

And because that's even more self-defeating [and very expensive] I have to put it all away.)

This site is a good venue for at least verbalizing our painful frustration and angst at what SHOULD be a gentle decline and normal passing. Keep your head up, girl!

Don't let your family's lack be a weapon against your mind, will, and emotions. Admit to yourself where you're weak and protect/fortify that area! Be smart! Be safe!

by: Anonymous

I am in the same situation, my mother lives 5 minutes from me and I don't want to see her. As soon as I get in her house I can not wait to leave fast enough. I know that this is terrible and I feel guilty.

My dad was killed when I was 10 and my brother 20, my mother almost ending up loosing it all together. My mother pulled it together and raised two kids. I went in the Navy and she lived with me for 10 years out of 20 years.

She was a nice women back then and we argued a little but always got along reasonably well. When my mother could no longer move with me she moved in with my brother and eventually she moved out into a senior apartment bldg.

As my mother got older she just started getting more and more mean. She is never happy with anything I do for her I go out of my way driving all over town to find something she says she wants.

She complains constantly and puts me down ever change she gets, I'm a terrible daughter, who is fat. She pokes my stomach and says when are you going to have that baby.

So I am in the same situation even though she doesn't live with me she puts me down and every turn.

I am done with her. If I have to pick up something for her, I take it over tell her if she doesn't like to call my brother and have him get it. Don't bother calling me to tell me it's wrong.

This has cause may medical and was as mental problems. I have anxiety, I thought I would have a heart attack, I'm on medication for Fibromyalgia, IBS and other things. I'm so sad that my mother is sick herself with a terminal condition 5-8 yrs to live she got diagnosed at 85 it's a lung condition, she is now 89.

She tells me that she is going to say what he wants and doesn't care whether I like it or not she will put me down because I'm not perfect.

Wow if it wasn't for my husband I couldn't keep it together with her badgering and verbal abuse.

Stop torturing yourself
by: Anonymous

I really feel for you, but you need to move on and away from this soul destroying situation you are in. Arrange for your mother to live with the people she professes to love so much.

From what you have said, you have given so much and as much as any good person can and yet and it's never good enough and never will be.

Stop torturing yourself and hand the care giving over to your sibling and her family, perhaps they will come to see what you see soon enough and thank you one day.

A mirror of what I have gone through...
by: Anonymous

Wow,,,,just wow! If you have a sibling that is willing to take her on, call the sibling and make arrangements TODAY. This is your golden opportunity to live your OWN life. This is a gift. Please consider taking it and enjoy your husband and your own needs. If you are not the favorite (the go-to child never is) remaining being the doormat will never change things.

Time to put your own needs first. You are the only one who can do this.

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