When does MY life start?
by Anonymous in Central Florida
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.