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My Grandmother is 92 and has been in stage 7 for about a year and half , maybe a bit more. She hasn't known her name or been able to read in a few years. My DH and I moved in with her 3 years ago. My mother and I share caregiving so my parents can have some semblance of a retirement for 6 months out of the year.
My DH works and I stay at home. When my mother is in town, I help out with my grandmother so they can go have date nights, go to the store, take cruises, etc. When they leave town, I have no one to help which means for 6 months straight, my DH and I can do nothing at all outside the home together. My grandmother cannot be left alone for even 10 minutes and no other caregiver is an option. This is what I signed up for.
Here's my whine: I am treated as though I am some kind of mooch because I don't do "more" when my mother is in town. She resents me living here though I have a husband and 45 years worth of my belongings in a 9x9' room. I didn't do this because it is lucrative. I gave up my own home to help both my grandmother, and my parents (so they can leave town and be retired). I can't have a job outside the home though I do pay for all our food, any of our own bills, the electric bill for the house, etc. I don't complain to anyone out loud. But I'll do it here because I swear I am going to scream.
My mother has never liked me. She just hasn't. My brother, the first born, is worshipped as a God even though he only visits maybe every 3 years or so. I am constantly reminded that my mother thinks ever single decision I make is incorrect and the number of times a day she glares at or rolls her eyes at my husband or me is extraordinary. Tack this on with my grandmother reaching the "poo art" phase and trying to use food as puzzle pieces and I am ready to lose it.
My mother yells at my grandmother (no judgement, it IS frustrating) when she finds poo all over the room or my grandmother says 'no' when she means 'yes' for "do you have to use the bathroom?". I know it's harder on my mom since she is remembering growing up with my grandmother but she refuses to accept that the woman she knew is just not ever going to be 'there' again. My grandmother has started a rapid descent in the last month so my mom has compensated by upping the volume to her questions. Every downward change is blamed on me. I know that sounds crazy and in a saner world, my mother would know it, but since she can't get mad at the disease she takes it out on me. Examples: My grandmother had 2 cups of coffee every day her entire adult life. My parent's were on a cruise and I had given her her morning cup of coffee. It was still there an hour later, untouched. I brought her her afternoon cup. Same thing. So I asked if she wanted it the next day and she indicated she did not. So, I stopped giving her coffee. When mom returned she was yelling at me like I was denying my grandmother what she wanted. Then she tried giving her coffee with the same result. (no apologies, just did what I did). It was the same when I began only giving her soft foods she can eat with a spoon or finger foods because that is what she will eat. I was yelled at about her nutrition even though all the health food in the world won't help if she won't eat it. Then we had a meeting with her doctor who said if she'll only eat chicken fingers and fries, give it to her. Again, no apologies or acknowledgement. I have ground my teeth down so badly that I cracked one. My husband escapes at work but I have no where to go to escape until his days off. I do as much self care when my folks are in town as I can so I guess it looks like I'm not helping but that's only because they aren't here for the 6 months when I am the sole caregiver and do everything. All the caregiving, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and emotional support.
God, this had really gone to rambling hasn't it? Sorry about that. My grandmother has an appointment with a memory care specialist to see where she's at and get us a social worker and see what the best facility will be for her because we can no longer provide the around the clock care she needs. It's getting to the point where she's forgetting how to swallow her pills, etc.
I am writing here because there's literally no one else who would understand and frankly, I wouldn't want to be around me if I said any of this out loud, lol.
If you’re just venting then that’s what we’re here for. If you want opinions...well, I think it’s time to get your own place. Move out with your husband and start living your lives together. Let your ungrateful parents deal. If you’re waiting for Nana to be placed and plan to keep living in her house then hang in there.
I’m sorry you’re going through this.
If I was your mother I would be kissing your feet and thanking you every day. Not only would I not be resentful of you living in Nana's house, I would make sure you had a stipend to help you out financially because you can't work. And then I'd still thank you every day! And I would let you care for Nana as you see fit. You sound smart and very capable. Obviously, your mother doesn't notice that.
I can't believe your mother. Actually I can... I come from the same sort of dynamic where brother is golden boy and my mother didn't like me.
What happens in these situations it seems is that we grow up and keep trying to please Mama so she will finally accept us. You have the short end of the stick in this deal and you are allowing that. Mom is entitled and is not showing appreciation. I'll bet that was the dynamic the whole time you were growing up. You trying to do your best and please and Mama judging you.
I don't care what the circumstances are that brought you to Nana's house - even if you're benefiting financially by being able to live mortgage free - you deserve respect and gratitude. You are not the slave and she is not Queen. She should be treating you with kindness. You deserve that. If she rolls her eyes at you or glares at you, look at her directly and ask her if she's upset at you. Don't let her get away with those passive aggressive moves. If she's going to be like that, make her own it. I imagine she'll get flustered and say something abrupt to get you off her back. Stay steady and make her own it. Get her to state what the problem is. Stay calm and offer solutions. If it were me, I'd definitely use this opportunity to change the dynamic in that relationship. It's time to get your self esteem back. What's the worst that can happen? She doesn't like you? Take your power back from her.
Your Nana may be difficult, but YOUR mother takes the cake.
1) Your mother has always been unreasonable. That won't change. She is also probably afraid that the dementia your nana has is in store for her, as well. But basically she is a witch of the first degree. (by the way, you will NOT be HER primary care provider, promise me).
2) You need a therapist/counselor NOW. You need a place to vent one-to-one every week, to someone who has absolutely NO VESTED INTEREST. Please do this for yourself.
3) Once you get some counseling help, you may be able to set some 'ground rules' for your life and responsibilities. Boundaries. You need a 'contract', not legally, but for your sanity.
4) Once your Nana goes into Memory Care, please move out of your mother's house if at all possible.
I am very directive, I know. But you are trying to please everyone, and two of them can't be pleased. Your Nana because she doesn't know, and your Mother because she is a witch.
By the way, if she refuses to accept your boundaries (once you're ready to outline them) tell her you're moving out, and then leave, if only to another one room apartment! I can hear her head exploding as I type!
Bravo. I wish there was a clap imoje here.