My parents were harsh and punitive when I was growing up. My mother has mental health issues and is very self-absorbed. My husband had an unhappy childhood as well, and this was our reason for not having kids of our own.
For the last ten years, I have been stuck helping my very elderly parents. My father died at 92, and my mother is 95 and still in Independent living. Both have always been extremely stubborn and their way was always the best. My mother has no health issues but complains daily how much she hates the beautiful, upscale place she lives. Yet she says she will never move.
My sister and our spouses visit her, do her finances, shop for her, take her to all her appointments, and listen to her daily complaining on the phone. We are all retired, but with the stress of Covid-19 the last two years, I am really losing hope that I will ever get my old life back. I feel so resentful taking care of parents I never liked. Where do I go from here? I am emotionally exhausted.
If you sense your sister might be in on this with her, I'd share the plan. If not, I'd tell her the same therapeutic fib you are gonna use with Mom to deflect Sister and Mom ganging up on you for not doing your part. Your part is really what you want it to be, and right now it is excessive.
I used to be a teacher, and then a student teaching supervisor. The Pandemic put an end to that. I also was a recreational pilot, but that had to go too. I am grateful for all my blessings, still, it so so difficult, as I just feel so stuck. Thanks for listening.
Is she in an independent living community of some sort? Is there a possibility for more services through them? I am surprised at her age that she has no major health issues. Do you and your sister do her finances and shopping because she can't or she won't? Your mom could live for quite awhile so it's time for you to start looking out for #1 - you. Do some research on how to set boundaries and start enforcing them.
How does your sister feel? Is she burnt out too? Maybe talk to her about your plan to start cutting back. I'd tell her that you do not want her to have to do more because you want to do less. You instead would like to help find services that can do some of this work so you have more time to enjoy your retirement with your hubby while you're still able to do so!
As far as all the complaining, it's certainly draining. My mom lives with me and probably 80% of what comes out of her mouth complaining or some other form of negativity. Ugh, it's just dreadful. So, how about talking to her less? Or when she starts up say something about how you have someone at the door or whatever little white lie and get off the phone. You can even tell her that when the complaining starts, you're getting off the phone.
It is up to YOU to get your old life back. You miss it and you deserve it. So do it!
I can never tell my mother anything good that had happened to me. She will just get jealous. I am serious. It is so sad. She has always been that way.
It does end, and when you least expect it, sometimes. I was emotionally exhausted at the end too, all alone with their care for 10+ years, a mother with lots of mental health conditions and VERY self absorbed, too. It's not easy, that's for sure. I listened to chronic complaining for all those years, from mom, dad was a sweetheart really. I cut down my calls as a result, which I suggest you do too. I also suggest you tell your mother she has no other choice but to move into Assisted Living now as you and your siblings have NO TIME to take her to any more appointments and in AL, the doctor will come to HER. At 95, she has no business living in IL anymore. It's only a matter of time before some crisis will hit her and then what? You'll be in the position I was in to EMERGENCY move her into AL from IL and figure out how to get rid of all of her furniture and stuff. Mom doesn't get to make ALL of her decisions anymore b/c guess why? It's YOU and your SIBLINGS having to schlep her around to all these appointments now, due to her stubborn refusal to move! And you can't do that anymore, mom, so here's the new plan: you move to AL or you figure out how YOU are going to do EVERYTHING for YOURSELF now, with NO HELP. It takes ONE FALL for her 'perfect health' to be a thing of the past. Trust me on that. And then it's you and the siblings scrambling like maniacs to figure out what to do next. You all are propping her UP to PRETEND she's living independently when she's NOT. You're doing her finances, her shopping, driving, etc. You stop doing that, mother is now 100% DEPENDENT. Stop being her fall back cushion, and AL is her only choice. Then, when she needs help, it's right there and that lets YOU off the hook to live your life to a larger degree.
Wishing you the best of luck.