When Life Has You By The Balls
I'm not a baby boomer, but I'm taking care of one. And my mother is not elderly; she's 55, but acts like 10. And I'm 24 having a full fledged crisis.
My mother had a massive stroke seven years ago, when I was 17. She was left paralyzed on the right side of her body. Although she's half paralyzed, she's able to walk and take care of herself. In the beginning, she did really well with regaining her speech, exercising her body, and challenging herself to increase her mobility around the house. So, I left for college and returned home almost 3 years ago. Considering that I did not pursue a lucrative field (I provide case management services for people living with HIV/AIDS), I'm at home trying to find a higher paying job. (I make less than 30K a year)
Since I've returned, my mother has become ridiculously lax with her progress. She has me running behind her left and right. I cook, I clean, I bathe her, I take her outside, and I listen to her rants. Considering she's a heavier woman, this isn't easy.
She's developed a horrible vice and spends all of her money on Home Shopping Network (HSN), QVC, Shop NBC, and those "this is a piece of junk but I think I can use this for something" magazine.
Then, she complains that she doesn't have money for her bills as chastises me on how I can't contribute more. And to top it off, my mother put 4 credit cards in my name while I was in college and since she hasn't consistently paid them on time, my credit has taken a hit.
I currently pay my car note, full insurance, school loans, my credit cards (which I'm paying off), gas, and the basics. (soap, shampoo, toilet paper) The only thing I splurge on is my cellphone. (Can't let go of the GPS) My mother gets $400 dollars from me a month and I do all the shopping for the household. I'm seriously living from paycheck to paycheck and she's still not happy.
I haven't been able to save a dime since I've been here, so I can't go anywhere. All of my family lives in a different state, so it's just me and her.
I'm miserable! She's digging herself into a hole of debt and my biggest fear is that she's going to die and leave me with the debt she put in my name. She makes me buy her fast food four times a week and it's killing me. I can't afford this anymore! She yells at me, expecting me to perform the impossible. I can't be everywhere at once! I'm an only child. I just need peace of mind. My mental health is going out the window.