Our expert says:
If you insist on carrying with you all the hurts and resentments built up in the past ( however valdily earned at the time ) its like carrying a large bundle of hurt in your backpack. Put it down and leave it behind. There's absolutely nothing useful you can achieve, to benefit yourself, by blowing on those embers and keeping the fires of your anger alive.
There are many people in a situation like yours. Either as an only child because there is, literally, nobody else, or because all the other children are irresponsioble and selfish, many people end up having to mtake responsibility for aging parents as the parents become more annoying and less adaptable, and one's resources are strained.
Its important, too, to recognize that when a person gets old, not only is their mental flexibility declining, like their physical flexibility, but they WILL NOT be able to see things from your point of view, and may become inceasingingly child-like ; self-centred though it looks and feels like selfish. Expecting from them what they literally cannot deliver is another recipe for frustration and unhappiness, like shouting with anger because it gets cold in winter, or rains in summer. It does, and we simply have to live with it.
Pleased to hear with a scrap of encouragement she managed to make a nicer supper last night - I hope you gave her, and will still give her, loads of praise for doing so, to encourage more of that.
From your description of the TV episode ( ironical choice mof film ? ) it is NOT that she chooses to trample over your feelings - she didn't think of them, didnt realize you'd feel so strongly about a minor film, or that what she may have intended as a kind gesture in making coffee, was not only not appreciated but made you furious. It sounds as though just as for age-related reasons she may under-react to your concerns, you may be significantly over-reacting to them, and creating bigger crises than are strictly necessaery or helpful.
So you did tell her you were looking forward to watching that film - did you actually tell her that it would outrage her if she made coffee or went to the toilet during the film ? DOn't expect her to mind-read your expectations ( this is a common cause of problems within marriages - "but he should have KNOWN that I wanted X!")
Yes, you feel very angry and resentful that you have been left with responsibility for caring for her - is that really HER deliberate fault, or just the way things turned out ? DId she really plan to ensure that this would happen, so that you would be inconvenienced and upset ? Because you are behaving as though this were the case.
You admit you "earn a good salary" - where does all the money go, as you seem to be stressed by the cost of a tin of jam ? Do you have medical aid at work ? If so, see a psychologist to work through all these issues so bothering you. It should be practical to handle them better, for the sake of both of you.
You mention that you think she may consider suicide - isn't that a tragic state of affairs ? Did she look after you adequately when you were a child and growing up ? Or were you so abused and neglected that it seem to you appropriate that she has ended up in this way ?
Lisa makes good points. Make sure whether your mother qualifies for any state pension or similar benefits. Explore the Communicare possibility, too.
Getting her properly assessed by a psychologist or geriatrician may be useful, too. There are psychological techniques by which you can help to shape her behaviours, but it makes a big difference whether she has the mental capacity to do what you want and is simply not bothering to do so, or if there are perhaps increasing limitations on what she is actually able to do.
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