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Struggling to care for my sick toxic mother

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Struggling to care for my sick toxic mother

Postby stella55 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:42 pm

My relationship with my mother has been complicated my whole life. She is a very controlling, manipulative and insecure person, and I suspect she may have the narcissistic personality disorder.

I kind of learned to live with this and deal with her mood swings in my own way, and never really questioned her behaviour. However, in the past few years I started making a career at a job I love, and my self-confidence grew tremendously. That’s when I realized that my mother was actually showing some really toxic behaviours and that I would like to distance myself from her.

However, these plans soon shattered when she suddenly fell ill. She is now unable to walk because she lost her muscle mass. She is laying in bed most of the time unable to care for herself and I have to do it, since I have no siblings and my mother divorced her husband many years ago.

When she fell ill, I’ve been struggling very much. I didn’t want to do anything. This happened at a time when felt the most hopeful for my future, I felt my career growing fast and endless possibilities opening up before me. Afterwards I felt as if my whole life is going to be like this, just caring for my mother and not being able to make a career. It was a very depressing time for me. Now some months have passed since she fell ill, I sort of became adjusted to our daily routine and I was able to more or less coordinate my career. But I still had to turn down some things and I am still unable to do some of the things I enjoyed doing before, and it’s very annoying.

She needs to see medical specialists and get some tests done to find out what her condition is and what can be done about it. But I find it very difficult to communicate with her. She has depression and is therefore feeling no motivation. Even prior to falling this ill, she felt sick for a whole year. I kept telling her to go see a doctor, but she always came up with some kind of excuses. In summer it was too hot, and in winter there is the flu epidemic, so she doesn’t want to catch the virus in a hospital. So eventually I stopped pushing her, since I understood that my words have no effect on her.

At the same time, I know that I am the only one who can help her and that I should be doing more. But even though I want her to get better, I feel absolutely no energy and motivation. I also have many mental problems, OCD and anxiety issues. It costs me lots of energy to deal with my own mental struggles every day. I feel very guilty for not being able to care for her properly. To escape my daily struggles, I keep dissociating and daydreaming about the things I would be doing if I was "free", but I know that this is very bad, since it’s just adding up to the problem.

We don’t have enough money to afford an in-house helper or put her into a care home (but she doesn't want any "strangers" in the house anyway).

I just feel like I have no energy to help her, but I also feel horrible for doing nothing. Does anyone have any advice on how to communicate with my mother and finally get things going?
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Re: Struggling to care for my sick toxic mother

Postby Terry E. » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:36 am

No real advice to get through to your mother. She has some significant issues. I doubt even specialists could change her much.

She needs to understand that if you cannot have some life you simply cannot keep doing what you are doing. What you need to understand is that you should not feel guilty for wanting or needing this.

We all have limits. When those limits are pushed too hard we break.
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Re: Struggling to care for my sick toxic mother

Postby realityhere » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:37 am

"She needs to understand that if you cannot have some life you simply cannot keep doing what you are doing."

I don't think your mother will really ever understand that "you simply cannot keep doing what you're doing" for her. I agree with Terry E.'s remark.

We all do have limits. Like how many years do you have of your OWN life to live for yourself?
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