Who am I anymore???
by Who am I?
I posted this as a comment on another thread but am re-posting as a new one in hopes maybe someone can offer me constructive advice...
I'm an only child (age 49), my father passed away more than 20 years ago and my mother's health has been declining the last 5 years or so (dementia, arthritis).
She's in her late 80s and she and I have always been super close, even more so after my dad died. In the last year I ended up quitting a job I really liked, with the help of a supportive husband, and we moved her in with us.
I would never have begun to imagine the level of resentment I've built up these months from having to do this 24/7. A few years after my husband and I were married his two teenage kids moved in with us and it was very stressful for a few years. Now they've grown up (into terrific adults, I must say) and out of the house and now my mom's here.
This is going to sound INCREDIBLY selfish, but we are a very social couple who love to travel, get together with friends, etc., and now we're home bound except for those occasional times I pay an exorbitant fee to have someone "babysit" mom for a few hours. It's taking a toll on my husband, too. She takes frequent naps, but not quite long enough for me to actually get any one project done around the house or to take an entire shower and get dressed before
she's up again shouting "Is anybody home???"
I can feel the hairs on my neck stand up every time I hear her bang her bedroom door open and she wheels herself out. My level of guilt is awful and I'm ashamed to say I sometimes take it out on mom by reprimanding her for getting up before I was ready for her and that kind of thing. She has some hearing loss that she won't admit, and asks me to repeat everything I say. If I answer in a louder voice she says I'm yelling, then 5 minutes later she'll ask the same things again, over and over.
I've prayed for more patience and kindness, but I'm not sure what to do. I pop a Xanax once in a while to calm myself, but I don't want to become dependent, and it doesn't really solve the situation. I feel like I have a character flaw that I never realized I had, and that I'm losing my mind. I'm bitter, angry, my heart races, I don't sleep well and have gained weight over the last few months.
If anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it. We have a local Alzheimer's support group, but it meets at a time when I don't have anyone to watch mom for me. I do have an aide from a home health agency who comes a few hours twice a week so that I can get out to the grocery store, run errands, etc., and that's pretty much my source of sanity right now...