Hello all, let me give you a bit of history about this first. My father died years ago. My mother never got involved with another man or had any relationships outside of her immediate family. This was fifteen years ago. She was diagnosed with COPD about three years ago. She always had problems breathing and constant bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis and after spending weeks in the hospital we were told about the COPD.
I have never been one to stay in my hometown. After my father died(I was living thousands of miles away at the time), I went back home because I was nervous about my mother. I moved out of town again, went back to my hometown again, and then moved away again after she was diagnosed with COPD. This was about a year and a half after her first hospitalization.
She is on O2 24/7 and I speak to her everyday. I've been gone two years and she had to go in the hospital only once since then, not even for a week. I have siblings who act as if they are too busy for her and she never gets out because of this now that I'm not there to drive her places.
Here's the thing. I'm in my 40's right now and don't have a job and also don't have insurance, retirement, etc. etc. I'm planning on going back to school to hopefully find a better job with better money. At some point I have to get on with my OWN life, but I feel like this will never happen while my mother is still alive. Even before she was sick, she was always so dependent and crying because I didn't live in my hometown. It didn't bother me before, but now I am so conflicted(since she has gotten sick). I wouldn't have a problem going home for a long visit before school starts, for a month or two, but I know that she will just have a breakdown when I leave, so I feel like I can't do anything. My hometown colleges don't offer the same programs I am getting involved in. It is also a place where I don't get very much exercise due to the weather, and a place where I will only be depressed living again, which is why I usually leave.
My siblings are absent in her everyday life and I get to hear about it. If they show up for just one day out of six months, though, she acts like they've been there the whole time and all of the sudden I'm the bad guy. I know she's scared and obviously angry with her children because no one wants to move in with her(she doesn't want to move in with anyone else), but it drives me nuts listening to her compare us to other people's kids. I'm also going crazy because everyone seems to think that because I didn't get married(by choice), that this should be all my responsibility. She has the opportunity to live with other people, but instead wants ME to move in with HER. This would not be good for either of us because I will just end up hating her for it.I would rather cut my wrists than go back there. Am I a horrible person for feeling this way?? And yes, I know, it's my mom, you only get one. I can't handle the pressure that has been put upon me since I was a child, being her only daughter and I am at a point where sometimes I don't want to bother with her at all.
You are not selfish. I know just because you are the one that isnt married the burden should fall upon you. I have gone through the same thing. I wish i had good advice for you but i dont. My only food for thought would be is do whatever is going make you feel like you did the right thing. This is your life.. your one and only life. Use it wisely.
Is there a reason why she can't move to where you are? That way you wouldn't have to give up your life and what you're doing. I think you should tell her you'll help her out but on the condition that she comes to you not the other way around. Do you think that would be a good compromise?
I'm always baffled by how other peoples families work. In my family, I'm the unmarried one but both my siblings and I have been stepping up and helping my parents a lot because my dad is really sick. If either of my parents need me, I'm there in a heartbeat. I actually want to help them. I like being there for them and I like knowing that my help is making their lives less stressful. But I guess for some people who don't get along with their parents, it must be harder to want to help or something. I don't really understand that myself.
It is so true when a child is unmarried, the burden falls on her shoulder! It is more common as the unmarried child seems to have no in-laws to worry about and has no kids.
I think this is a wrong concept! You still have your own life. In the old generation, people like my Mom adores the adult kids who stay home being unmarried and take care of the elderly parent. My question is what about the child? She chose to be unmarried? She does not need intimacy from a mate???
The parents were married, so what about the child? It does not seem fair that the child is not but the parents were? You see my picture?
In any case, you are not selfish that you need to care for your Mom. Does your Mom have some money? Can you hire part-time caregiver for her? What about assisted living? This way it is best for all of you and your siblings can visit her as well. You can have your own life. If you don't work, what does that help? You need to have your own life.
It is not right for you to carry this burden 24/7. Please find some caregvers to help out. If you are not able to help her all the time, an assisted living is better for her. Any NH with nursing care can prevent her from going to the hospital.
My father died of COPD in 2006. Both of my grandmothers died of the same disease. I've had a lot of family members who died of smoking related diseases. There is no cure, it will never get any better, you can only hope that it doesn't get worse.
I really feel for you and I'm sorry for what you are going through.
If I were you, I'd go for a visit. I'd ask her to come live with me. When she refuses, at least you know that you will have done all that you can to help her. Tell her that for your own sake, you cannot move in with her. If she doesn't accept that, then so be it. You can only feel guilt if you allow it into your heart.
It's a hard decision to make. My mom doesn't want to travel to where I am in her condition. Even before this when she could travel, she didn't want to.
My siblings are not much older than me and one has grown children. The other is completely absent. One of them(engaged with grown children) wants me to do it all. The claim is that they live too far away(about a 35 minute drive) and are too busy. It has caused resentment in me towards this person for the lack of respect for my life, but what can I do. Others have their opinions and all I could do is live with it.
I tried to get some sort of assistance for her to clean house and run errands, but there seems to be a shortage of this in her area. She feels unloved by her family because we are not there to do it, which only adds to my guilt.
trystme, Oh, I get a laugh out of everyone when I suggest she come live with me. She wants her independence and things on her terms. I want to visit, but I know the outcome. I thought of possibly saying I moved back and I could visit every few months and just say I was busy when I didn't see her. She will have crying fits when I leave if I visit, it always happens, which wouldn't be good for her. She even said herself that it wouldn't be good.
I am nervous about the progression of the disease. I've read some things about it and heard from other people. In a way, I wish she would have a heart attack first because it seems an easier way to go. Not that I want her to go sooner, I just don't want to see her suffer as much going with the COPD. From the things I've read and heard, it seems like she could go on this way for years. She's not bed bound, but tires easily after doing anything.
amknight12, What exactly is it that makes our families think that because we aren't married, that we should do all the sacrificing? I know for me, the others just want to go about their lives with peace of mind(guilt free for their lack of effort in this) knowing that I am taking care of mom. Nothing will change for them. I am the sacrificial sister that because I did not marry or have children, should someone be diagnosed with cancer, why wasn't it me instead of the spouse. My life is nothing to these people, invalid because it's not like theirs. I know, haha, I have some issues.
It's really sad for me to read these kinds of stories, because of what's happening to my dad right now. You sound like youre just waiting for your mom to die already because she is just a burden to you. Meanwhile I'm literally sitting in the hospital with my dad right now begging him not to give up and to keep fighting because if he doesn't make it, the devastation it will cause us all is literally too much to bear.
It doesn't make sense to me when I see people blowing off their family in times of need. My family has never operated that way so when I see people not really caring much whether their parents live or die, it really makes no sense to me.
It kills me more knowing I can't fix this and I can't make him well. I'd give up everything and sacrifice whatever I need to in order to help my dad or my mom. I just want him to get well and walk out of this hospital healthy again. The fact that he is struggling so much is killing me.
No, I'm not waiting for my mom to die. She is not at that stage. I'm still going to be here(maybe) after she is gone and it scares me to think what situation I will be in at that point especially since I will be devastated when she's not here since I do speak with her daily. Does that make sense?
I'm so sorry for what you are going through right now and I know how volatile emotions are in times like this. I hope you are given more time to share with him.