Totally Given Up

by Linda
(Beatrice NE)

I have totally given up. I can only visit with my Mother one day a week and only for about 2 hours.

I can't handle her screaming and pulling of her hair, she is acting like a 2 year old. She has always controlled my life and quilt ridden me. I just can't do it any more. She is 86 years old, I know she is in terrible pain from all the arthritis she has.

Come I know she hurts, but everything I try to do to make it better she just screams at me. I have left most care giving to my sister who is the oldest and her daughter. They do not work and I do. I am just can't do it.

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My 86 year old mum
by: Wendy

I totally understand where your coming from. My mum is also 86 and was always independent. I would go round to see her every week. She is suffering with a number of things and in pain with arthritis which I perfectly understand.

I am now at the point where I am stressing myself out as I don't want to go round there as she is quite negative and doesn't want to make an effort on some things. She says she is lonely and scared which I understand as she is not very mobile and walks with a frame and has a stairlift.

My sister is very good, she is more nursey than me and comes to stay with her sometimes for a week but when its time for her to go its very difficult for her to leave and mum makes her feel guilty at doing so. She is 59 and I am 64.

We do what we can to help but she seems to want someone there all the time but we cannot be, after all we have our own lives to lead. I know I need to let her attitude go over my head but it is extremely difficult at times. She had a fall a couple of weeks ago and was in hospital for 4 days.

She has been given carers for 6 weeks so there is someone going in in the morning and at night. What can I do to switch off from worrying when I get home? Thanks

by: Leasa

Limits, we all have them. It's good to know when we've reached that limit and it's doubly good to be strong enough to admit it. Being a good daughter or son, does not mean you don't have a limit.

Guilt is a powerful thing and sadly as you have said, too many parents are willing to use it as a tool. It sounds like you may have done a lot in the short story you've told.

However, can I suggest that you sit with your sister and explain to her how you feel, that it's not that you don't love your mom, it's just that after so many years you've hit the ceiling and emotionally can't do any more, right now. Tell her you need an extended break, but you will be willing to help her out by maybe helping her to tidy her house or cook the occasional meal for her in recognition of her added burden of your parent.

In other words try to keep a good relationship with your sister because after your mom is gone, wouldn't it be nice to still have her? Good luck going forward.

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