My Mom has always been needy. I often was the caregiver even as a teen. Throughout my adult married life she has moved in and out of our home many times because of where she was physically or financially.
She has also occasionally moved in and out with some of my siblings but to be there as a caregiver for their children or to share living expenses with them.
With me it has always been to meet her current needs. After a while she gets tired of being with us and I go through all the physical labor of moving her and her belongings to where ever she is going next. I really don't even remember how many times this has happened.
When we have moved to different states, we have moved her with us because she "needs" me. I have cared for her through many real health crisis and through others that seemed manufactured.
Now after a disastrous stay in a nursing home for rehab after a surgery gone bad, we moved her into our home as she does not have the strength to take care of meals, cleaning, etc.
I told her that I am not moving her into an apartment again because I know she will not be there long before things start falling apart and I am running ragged trying to keep up two households. Then the whole cycle would repeat.
It is getting too hard on my husband and I to do the moving, cleaning, etc. it requires. She always just sits and watches us do the work. She has very little financial resources and has never driven. She is in her late 70's and able to walk and has mental clarity.
She was awful in this last stay for rehab, refusing to eat, refusing to participate in rehab, sometimes refusing her medications, refusing even to talk to caregivers. Every time I went (a least once a day), they were there to scold me about her behavior.
To her it is all their fault for being too stupid to know how to help her and for not listening to her. She feels vindicated because one time she was right when she asked to go to the ER and they wanted her to try to take her medications first.
She was having an Afib attack. I understand their position because she so often wants to go the ER and then the ER is upset with me because she does not really need to be there.
Alternately she will tell me or the home health nurse how sick she is and how awful she feels and then protest any suggestions so that we are the ones "making" her go to the ER.
This week we went to a new doctor (she has many) and she worked hard at convincing them that she has an acute problem in need of immediate investigation and then backed off when they suggested going to the ER to get checked. She tried to turn the decision over to me.
I did not participate, so they just scheduled the tests over the next two days. This is a fairly common occurrence. At home she mostly lies in bed all day. I bring her food, though she does sometimes come to the table for dinner.
I know that is better for her, though it is tense sometimes because her constant griping gets to my husband rather quickly. She is never happy or content, no matter what I do. She is bored at home but does not want to go anywhere. She asks to go places and then is too weak to get out of the car.
She is mostly mobile right now with the help of a walker, though in the recent past she was only getting around in
a wheelchair. I just make it work whatever stage she is in, but I never know what is drama, what is real.
I spend time every day talking to her besides just feeding her, doing her laundry (which I have been doing for the last 5 years because she just let it get behind to where it was enough to be a health hazard and when she had home help refused to let them do it, only me, though I do it "wrong" too.), cleaning her bedroom and bathroom.
She spends most of her waking hours laying in bed playing games online and surfing the net. She buys more and more craft stuff but never uses it because she is too shaky or too tired, etc.
I am terrified that she will see this if I submit it and then she will have something solid to point to when she is criticizing me to others. Over the last few years several cherished friendships have mysteriously drawn away and withered as she became close to those who were my friends and they began to feel sorry for her.
I have never been unkind to her, have always meet the physical needs. I can not truly meet the emotional needs, she is so dependent upon me for everything that I am drained. She is jealous when I have the grandchildren here, she likes when my kids come for a visit if they come into her room and talk to her, but seldom will she come out and socialize. I just want this to be over.
It is causing so much strain on my husband and I.
A couple of times we have been gone over night for sometime alone or time with one of our children. I get things ready for her, arrange for help, etc. When I come back she has not eaten anything but sweets and snacks , not even the things I prepared ahead or that people brought over.
The help mysteriously could not come ( I think she tells them not to). Even if we go out for dinner she will not warm up what I have set out or made for her at her request. She will drink a nutrition shake and soda, maybe some cookies.
It is like she is trying to convince me that she needs me there all the time. She does not want to be in a home because she wants to be around family.
She does not initiate conversation with my siblings, though 2 of them call her occasionally. She tells the doctors when they do the routine depression screenings that she has tons of friends that she communicates with on line.
Most of that, other than the friends that she got by sympathy, are people on games that she actually does not really know. She complains to me about no one talking to her at church (she goes with me once or twice a month) or only asking her about her health, but she makes very little effort and is quick to decide that she does not like someone.
The emotional drain of her discontent and neediness has me just wanting to be done. I honestly would consider it a blessing for her to be somehow in a situation where I simply could not care for her anymore.
I know that sounds terrible. I know if I ever voiced that to friends they would tell me that I should be glad I still have my mom, that it a blessing to care for a parent, that I do such a good job, etc.
It is eating me up inside and I have no one that I can be honest with about it. Thus I turn here and hope to find an ear that understands where I am at.