I have anxiety and depression issues... which are amplified by my mom's behavior. She "hums" as she calls it, which sounds no different than her moans. It drives me insane. To the point where I hear the humming even if she's not doing it. I'll think she's humming, go check on her and she's asleep.
She's bedridden. I can understand that she also has anxiety and depression. She's 74. She becomes irritable. It's insane. I can walk, I can leave... but... then I feel guilty. If I leave the house while she's humming or go into my room.
She'll "hum" when she's trying to reach for something and can't. She'll hum when something is bothering her. So I always try to fix it so she won't hum anymore.
I feel like jumping off a cliff. Sometimes I think I would rather die than listen to another second of her humming.
She knows it bothers me. I have expressed to her that I can't stand it. That it raises my anxiety. She'll have sympathy for a minute, then go right back to doing it.
Nothing helps me. If I leave the situation I feel guilty and also the situation becomes worse.. she'll get agitated. If I stay and put in some earrbuds to listen to music, she'll get mad that I didn't hear her calling me. She'll say "I tried calling you but you were listening to music again!" There's no winning!
I feel like I'm going insane. The only peace is when she is asleep. So I tend to wake up really early before she wakes up to get 1-2 hours of peace and quiet. And I'll stay up really late. This results in little sleep.
On top of her humming, she is a loud, talkative woman... she always has been. She is funny sometimes as well and we do have moments of peace where she makes me laugh. But she's boisterous and nags. Whereas I'm quiet, reserved, etc. I LOVE quiet. She loves noise. Has her TV super loud. Everything has to be loud.
I'm going nuts.
You need to get supports in place. You need a break.
I don't see things getting better as she ages. You need to have a life of ur own. You deserve some peace. Your post said that you pay out of pocket for some of Moms needs. Does she not have Social Security?
However, my mom still has the same personality and nothing has changed with that.
I have no depression or anxiety but that humming would drive me nuts too. I am sensitive to loud noises. Right now my grandson is watching a video about fruit. The Orange's voice and laugh drive me crazy.
Your needs are just as important as Moms. Years ago I had a friend who was deaf. So was his wife and they had a baby. I asked how they knew when she was crying. He told me the lights. Seems they had the lights hooked up in such a way when the baby cried the lights flickered. Things must have improved by now. Maybe there is something where Mom pushes a button and you wear something that vibrates. You can then wear ear buds or whatever to drown out her humming and loud TV.
Sometimes the greatest form of self-love is asserting boundaries, i.e. not responding every time she hums (tough love). She just might stop :)
- no one can control you unless YOU give them that control
- you are not responsible for the happiness of others
Normally I commend those who caregive for another (and make no mistake, you are doing a difficult thing!) In your case, as Cwillie noted, it seems (unfortunately) that you are doing it from a place of fear, obligation and guilt -- unhealthy, dysfunctional motivations that are harming you and will continue to break you down. Please seek outside help to get perspective and support for yourself. Take care of YOU. There is no shame in this, only hope. I sincerely wish you all the best! May you gain peace in your heart and courage to go out and live your own life to its fullest!
Leaving your mother daughter relationship aside - while the "humming" itself may be getting on your nerves it's your reaction to it that is untenable - you need to stop reacting as though every vocalization is a signal to drop everything and run to her aid. It's like living near an airport, you either learn to ignore it or you live in misery, never certain when the next plane will destroy your serenity. It's going to be difficult to tune this out now that you have become hyper sensitized to it but I'm going to suggest earplugs or headphones for you and limiting going in to her to a scheduled time when you check on her.
A wireless doorbell can be a good call bell for home caregivers so that she can summon you if needed, but that only works if she is respectful and doesn't over use it.
Is YOUR anxiety and depression being treated?
Your care is keeping your mom out of a facility. After the virus issue is resolved, you might want to reconsider if she would be better off in a AL or a NH, but for right now, to make this work, you BOTH need to realize that you are not "on duty" every minute of every day.
She must use headphones with her TV. She must wait to have her requests fulfilled. You are allowed to listen to music and NOT be made to feel guilty when you were not instantly available.
The next time she says "oh, but you were listening to music", say "yes mom, that is one of the joys of my life and it allows the peace I need to be able to care for you".
You are not a slave.