I grew up in a household where my mother’s form of nurturing was with the belt and gaslighting. I was blamed for quite a lot. I became the family scapegoat. I eventually moved away to escape my mother’s and my grandparents’ controlling behavior. To this day, many decades later I am treated by my siblings in that manner.

I put my household in storage and moved from out of state to help care for my mother who has been diagnosed with vascular dementia. It has been a challenge. My time is not my own and the only respite I have is when I’m in the shower or in bed. I’ve started slowly to get out for a break. I’m always walking on eggshells with my family to the point that I do not wish to be around them for any family gatherings. They never ask me how I’m holding up and my brother always has some form of feedback when it comes to my mother’s care. For example I went out to get something to eat while her caretaker was here. He told me to make certain to bring back something for my mother. I would never neglect my mother. I never get thanked for any updates I provide to them. I feel like I’m their employee instead of a member of the family. I’m not a trained caregiver so I do the best I can do for my mother. I’m only about three months into this and the stress is building up.

Find Care & Housing
Why on earth, indred?

Get your belongings out of storage and resume your job and life.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Why on earth would you go back?

Tell them you quit and go live your life.

There is no excuse for abuse, ever. You should chalk this up to an education. Stand up, walk out and never look back at these people.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

你不可能“超越”是家庭的替罪羊。That's your role and you've agreed to accept it by putting your things in storage & moving back in with your mother. Until & unless you move out and on with your own life, you're stuck where you're at, willingly, and the stress will only continue to build up until you say ENOUGH and put an end to it.

Children like us of such parents are groomed to believe we're responsible for their happiness and for their care until they're dead or until we're dead, whichever comes first. Which isn't true, it's just something that's stuck in our heads as it was intended to be.

What WE decide to do about it is entirely up to US. Hopefully, we don't wind up dying before they do, and then it's all a moot point anyway.

Wishing you the best of luck disentangling yourself from the mess, if that's what you wish to do.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to lealonnie1

Oh my heavens - I did the exact same thing - put my stuff in storage and went to help. I went for the same reason you probably did: a last ditch effort to get my mother's love. I learned in the two years I was there - tortured mercilessly by her - that she will never love me, never care about me, never even like me. Me, the person who did everything for her and sacrificed for her for my entire life to the point that I have nothing for my old age I am now in.

Get out. Go away. We all have limited time in our lives. Do not waste yours any longer. You tried, I tried, many of us have. She's not going to change and you cannot make her treat you well, so you need to treat yourself well. And seriously consider going low or no contact with your siblings. We have to find our own family - those who love us, respect us, care about us, like us even! THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE YOUR FAMILY OF ORIGIN.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to marymary2
ckrestaurant1 Dec 18, 2021
Please people whatever the relationship with yr parents this behavior is due to their getting old and not take all this so personally...treat it as though you are an employee...dont you see no one wants to be a their children...they dont feel far as providing money well just take into account when or if they will qualify for medicaid or give their social and get them into a AS or NH....
You moved back by this family? Really. Back into their abuse? Because they won't change. The only way to change is to change yourself and to stay out of their general vacinity. I recommend another move. Give the family a date by which you will be withdrawing from care, and stick to it.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to AlvaDeer
PMoskowitz Dec 16, 2021
Thank you. Fortunately they live at least 6 hours away. So my interaction with them is limited. They will visit maybe once a month. I’ve learned to limit my communications with them to only a status of how my mother is doing and not to disclose some of my frustrations dealing with my mother.
Not sure how else to say this. You need to stop being used and taken advantage of. Start making your way out. If you can get a job and support yourself in your own place (preferably far away from your family - all of them), do so.

It may take time to get a job and get back on your feet, but once you lay that foundation, you can go. You will be free. Your family will come unglued. Fine. Let them. They already treat you badly, they will continue, but they can continue without you. Let them take care of mother. You’ve done your part. Now it’s up to someone else. You need to take care of you. Yeah, it’ll be hard, but what’s happening now is no way to live. The geographically farther away the better, so there’s no way they can cajole you into coming back “for just a few days” or stopping for an overnight. If you are so inclined, you can keep tabs on your mom. You can send you mother gifts, talk on the phone if she’s able. You are not forsaking her…you are standing up for yourself. It sounds like she has always treated you badly, so if you decided to break contact for your own well being, then do it. Don’t let some guilt trip make you feel like you need to stick around.

Also, keep your plans to yourself for now, because they will first try to make you feel even worse and second they will try to talk you out of leaving (because it will hit home what you leaving really means for them!) please don’t fall for empty promises of they will help…they won’t. They haven’t yet. Save yourself. Seriously, make your plans for your life. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Donttestme
PMoskowitz Dec 16, 2021
Thank you for your advice. I am retired but able to support myself. As some point it is my plan to resume my life. For now, I will help as much as I am able (cook meals, drive her to appointments, run errands as needed). I’ve cut back on providing status updates. If they want to know how my mother is doing, they can call her or ask me for an update.
I’ve questioned my motives for wanting to help out. I think perhaps I’m looking for redemption and acceptance. Perhaps also to allow my siblings to see me in a different light. All this remains to be seen.
See 3 more replies
PM, you will never be "good enough" for your abusive family. They will twist your motives and say you are taking advantage (by getting "free rent").

Don't go down this path. Seek self-acceptance through therapy.

和the way, my mom had vascular dementia. No angry or abusive words ever crossed her lips.

Your mom is abusive due to mental illness which in turn has twisted your familial relationships.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
BurntCaregiver Dec 20, 2021
Family members always make the "free-rent" argument when there's an unpaid family caregiver. I've had it made to me a few times.
My response is always the same and I ask if living rent free justifies slavery and abuse. If one of my siblings was going on about free rent, I would remind them that I make their lives possible. That if it wasn't for me they would have to be the ones caregiving for mother and taking her abuse.
Are there any specific advantages for you, staying in the situation you’re in?

If not, write up a resignation, give your bosses 6-8 weeks notice, and stick to it.

You had crafted a life you deserved. You made personal sacrifices.

You don’t say how the original plan was developed, or why you agreed to it.

If you allow yourself to be used, you will be used.

Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to AnnReid

Just read your reply below. Please know that redemption and acceptance aren’t things you’ll find from caregiving in this toxic situation. You’ve received wise advice. I can only hope you’ll make changes to guard your own emotional and physical health, once gone it won’t come back. I wish you courage and peace
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Daughterof1930
PMoskowitz Dec 16, 2021
Thank you for you kind words.
If you are determined to help your mom out, limit your interactions with your siblings as much as possible. Don't engage in any arguing or defending yourself, etc. They can think whatever the heck they want. Don't let it bother you.

Look into things like grey rock. And setting boundaries.

确保你照顾你自己。你come first! How bad is your mom's condition? Can she be left alone? If not, please get someone to sit with her so you can get out! It doesn't matter if she likes it or not. It needs to be done for YOU.

When this becomes too much, make arrangements for her care and extricate yourself as quickly as possible. You are giving her a big gift and you get to decide when it ends.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to againx100

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to