When does MY life start?

by Anonymous in Central Florida
(Orlando, FL)

Even writing that subject line makes me feel like a terrible person. I'm just so tired of every aspect of my life being arranged around my 78-year-old mother. I love her. She is a kind and good hearted person. I just feel so trapped.

From a lifetime of diabetes, she has very limited vision, her hearing is now getting worse. She has a hand tremor. Put these (and her many, many other medical conditions) together, and it's constant, constant vigilance. Will she spill her food, get burned by her hot coffee, trip over something accidentally left on the floor?

I find caregivers -- an arduous and expensive process--and then they quit because something better comes along. I work 40+ hours a week and she calls with endless problems that overwhelm her (her medicine wasn't delivered, she can't find something, etc.)

When I come home it starts all over. A million things to take care of for her. And I always come home to a house where something has spilled on the floor, she didn't know it, walked through the sticky mess, spread it to every other floor. I try to clean up without her seeing me so I don't hurt her feelings. When she does see me do it, she cries and shares what burden she is and how useless she feels. I try to be comforting and loving, but sometimes I want to be the one who can cry, or collapse,or just be taken care of for a moment.

I'm 49 and I didn't make marriage and children a priority. Now it's too late and my life is 24/7 caregiving. I look at my home and I imagine all the pretty things I could do with it, but what's the point? There's no time and to redecorate would interfere with all the "sick room(s)" we have with medicine, piles of papers she can't sort through.

Every expenditure is for some kind of medical item to try to make life easier and more independent for her. I can't remember the last time I bought something to spruce up the house ( or for me, personally). Thank god I pay all the bills for her in addition to my own. It just never ends and it just never gets better. I don't hope for much any more.

Forgive me, I sound like a spoiled child. I just keep wondering when will my life ever be about me? Thank you for letting me vent. I appreciate it more than words can say.

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105 Years Old!!!!!
by: Anonymous

I am taking my 92 year old mother to my aunt's funeral today. She was 105 years old. And if that doesn't strike terror and depression in our hearts, I don't know what will.

I say that facetiously....but not. I moved in with my mom last year. If she lived to be 105, I would be here with her 13 more years. THIRTEEN!!!

And she possibly could live that long, with me here extending her life in every which way that she has lost on her own. She's in good health, she has so much insurance, it practically pays for everything, she has a pension, her home is paid off.

I do everything to keep her in the outside world. I take care of everything that comes in the door and everything that goes out. Including her!

My aunt was failing slowly, but she just simply died of old age. Her body just stopped working. She didn't have any disease or illness to speak of.

I'm thinking maybe I should get a plan in place. Maybe after 5 years, my brother should take my mom in. She never, ever wants to leave her home, which is why I'm here, but this is getting scary.

I can't live here with her for more than five years. I will be a babbling idiot. I will lose my entire identity, motivation, perspective, free will, decision-making ability, personality.

I read the other responses under this entry and they scare me even more.

Just when I thought I was getting some sort of control over this situation, here comes something from left field....what if it goes on and on and on and......

Warning: One Very Blunt Vent
by: Anonymous

Both of you do yourselves a favour and get out now. Put your parents in homes, drop them off at a sibling's house and tell them it's their turn now, drop them off at the ER and drive away. Whatever.

I realize that a lot of people are going to consider me positively inhuman, but believe me, if you want a life, you'll have to take it. If you don't, you'll end up like me: 65 and alone, with none of your goals reached and none of your plans realized. On my tombstone it's going to read "Complete moron who was guilt-ed into spending her life in servitude to a lazy, selfish, manipulative drama queen who alienated everyone who came near her."

For all the life of my own I've had, I might as well have shot myself on my thirtieth birthday. If I had it to do over, I'd have dropped my mother at my sister's or my brother's after five years and said "The next five are yours" and when they started screaming about what they'd have to give up, I'd have said "Been there, done that, your turn" and kept on going and not looked back for the next five years.

If I had realized I was as entitled to a life as everybody else, I'd still have a husband, a relationship with my son -- to both of whom said drama queen has yet to say one single pleasant word, despite all they did for her -- and with my grandson, whom I saw very rarely because my son and Daughter In Law categorically refused to subject their child to the drama queen's abuse. And I don't blame them at all.

If I'd had the brains small rocks are born with, I'd never have allowed her anywhere near him, either. Don't kid yourselves: I'm your future. Make better choices than I did.

Thank you for the Post!
by: Mary

I found myself crying in the shower this morning. What a way to start the day....and what, might you ask, was I crying about? I was thinking "When is it MY turn? When do I get to live MY life?" I felt really guilty about it too.

I am the youngest of three. I have two children and I am a single mom. (My ex left about 10 years ago when kids were babies.) My mom has been living with me for a number of years and has been pretty capable although she chooses to do very little. So, for many years, everything has been on me.

However, recently she fell and broke her hip. The surgery had a "bad outcome" and she may never walk again. She comes home from rehab in one week. Now I get to figure out how to get my non-handicapped friendly house turned into a place she can function and I can once more jump when she summons. Once again everything is on me.

My siblings feel free to criticize me but offer no help. To be fair, they live 3000 miles away. So the problem is: just when my kids are getting old enough to be self sufficient, my mother now becomes dependent. Which leads to the question: WHEN DOES MY LIFE START???????

by: Anonymous

Just wait, it gets worse. My abusive, ingrate, aging parent just turned 88, now 12 years down this apparently endless road. This has already pretty much destroyed my life.

The siblings all headed for and have stayed in the hills. I have accepted this, but you should not. Get out or bring in some help before you burn out.

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