When do I get to cry?

  1. 5
    Mother's Day ended Nurses Week. At the end of it all, I felt as though I have absolutely nothing else to give. I am very angry with my mom, extremely disappointed in my adult daughter, and I won't even 'go there' with life as a med-surg float RN.

    I begged, pleaded, bargained, you name it and I did it for years with my mom to take care of herself; not just for herself but for me, too, because I am the only daughter of four children, (and I just happen to be a nurse), so if anything happened to her, there would be no one to help her but me. Well she didn't listen, she is TOTALLY dependent upon me for her care. Without going into great detail, I will simply say that the only reason she is not in a nursing home is because my brothers and I are paying someone to take care of her at home.

    I question some of her 'now' behaviors EVERY SINGLE DAY because I know of her past behaviors when she was in control of all faculties. Manipulation is an understatement when referring to her days gone by. My brothers never got to know her on an adult level because they went directly into military careers right out of high school. When they come to visit, I make sure she is not humiliated by making the 3-hr drive home to see to it that she is 'clean and dry' as they say. My daughter-in-law has done far more that we have asked of her or paying her to do but at 8-months gestation, she is VERY limited in what she is able to do and I wouldn't have that any other way! My ONLY daughter will NOT help out and I WILL NOT ask her to because I refuse to do to her what my mom did, is doing to me. (But she wants to be a nurse. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!!!??)

    I had done such a great job in sparing my mom embarrassment that after subtly asking my brothers for help with her in recent years and them not seeing that anything was wrong, they finally agreed when I said that she would have to go into a nursing home. That's when they started listening because they knew that as MEAN as our mother was, there was no way that she would stand for that had been able to defend herself. Yet the expected phone call from her with lots of backlash never came.

    Now my daughter has the same attitude and behaviors that my mom had for many years and I can't get her to realize that she is doing to her daughter (my granddaughter), what my mom has ultimately done to me. I am SO SICK of adults with the "I'm grown, I can do what I want" attitude that demonstrates nothing but irresponsibility and stupidity! I've tried using family members (immediate family) only before deciding on asking my daughter-in-law to take the job and my nephew, who is my brother's child and my mom's grandson, took my mom's car and stole her identity. My dad (divorced from my mom for years now), does want me to press charges "for the sake of the family". Really???? I feel like I'm a family of ONE!!!

    I know I'm tired; cannot find a strong enough word for burnout and fed-up and right now as I type this, I really want to have my mom placed in a nursing home, have my daughter tossed into an insane asylum, grab my granddaughter and just moved to a beach in Florida. My job is PRN and last week, I had to call in on one of the ONLY TWO days that I work. That was to me a professional embarrassment to me, even though I'm fed up with nursing after nearly 30 years in the field.

    I live 3 hours from my job; live 3 hours from my mom but I cannot find a job that is closer to home or mom that pays what this one pays while giving me the flexibility to be off because of the need to continually run to deal with my mom's issues. I have honestly had enough. I'm resigning myself to the STRONG BELIEF that by the end of the year, my mom will be living in the closest nursing home to where her sister lives. Since her sister barely gets around but still drives, she will only have to drive 5 miles to visit her and being that it is a small community, everybody in the nursing home knows everybody else; residents and staff alike.

    Right now, I'm really trying to minimize the guilt because I truly feel like I gave it my best shot for the past 27 years! What has me perplexed is the fact that my parents insisted on my going to nursing school, it was NEVER my choice. Yet my mom failed to listen to my every suggestion even when her doctors confirmed what I was saying in every approachable way possible.

    So, if there is a fellow nurse going through anything remotely similar to this, I truly empathize with you. All I want is to hear the words, 'Lynda, it's gonna be ok'. My family views me as a mountain of strength. I have to NOT react to so much professionally AND personally. There is no one to share my weaknesses with. This strong front is draining me. When do I get to cry?


    (I'm sorry for any typos. I frequently edit my posts for grammar but I don't have it in me right now.)

    Thank you all for taking the time to read this.
    sharpeimom, NF_eyenurse, poppycat, and 2 others like this.
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  3. 15 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    Two important points that i left out:

    I failed to mention that my RN-BSN completion program is taking an unusually longer period of time because I can't even focus on a simple self-paced course that has always been my favorite subject.

    We got NOTHING for Nurses Week, and for Mothers Day, I was soooo disgusted that after finishing and hour and a half of a three-hour drive to where my mom lived and my brothers had driven 10 hours to come visit, I exited the interstate, picked up my cell phone, and told my brother, "you got it, I'm going back home and turning the phone OFF!" So, I was not there to show my 'appreciation' for ALL that she has done for me.....I felt it was best, given my state of mind that day. Nor was I there to have appreciation shown to me as a mother.....I have 3 children who live back home. Had i gone, i once again would have functioned in the role of a daughter over-shadowed by the off-duty nurse. Naturally, my oldest son understood and was very eager to rise to the occasion in my absence. He always wanted to tell my brothers and mom what he thought about the entire situation but chose to be respectful as expected.
    sharpeimom, poppycat, and leslie :-D like this.
  5. 3
    Lynda,

    It really will be ok. It is ok that you are burned out taking care of your mom. It happens. You aren't a failure if you put your mom in a nursing home. Taking care of someone else is hard. Sounds like your daughter isn't the most helpful or supportive person to you. Your nephew should be charged for stealing identity. That is awful that he did that. You have so much on your plate. Can you get your brothers to help out more? Have you thought of using a nursing home for respite care for a few weeks at a time? I remember there were families that would do that when I was an aide. My aunt and uncle did that when my aunt's dad lived with them and they wanted to go on vacation.

    I have my 89 year old grandma living between me and my mom. My grandma is in the beginning stages of dementia. She can still feed herself and go to the bathroom by herself, etc. She mostly requires supervision and not total care.

    Just remember your not wrong to put your mom in a nursing home.

    Take that time if you need it to cry. It will be a good release.
    sharpeimom, poppycat, and leslie :-D like this.
  6. 1
    Thank you! I've applied with my job for FMLA. I will have her living in the house with me for a couple of months while my daughter-in-law and son has ther baby. During that time, I will be a fulltime nurse to her ONLY to see if there is any part of her impairments that can be reformed greatly, if not reversed. Lots of things that are reported to me do not occur when I visit her. Though not a nurse, my mom worked in the medical field as the equivalent of a now CNA and moved up to supervisor. So she knows what things she does that I don't buy but can be easily used to manipulate my daughter-in-law. The problem is, since the stroke, there are some mental deficiencies. So, I'm torn between those deficiencies and the art of crying wolf for sooooooo long. I've had it with the games versus realities. She falls frequently yet NO ONE ever sees her fall or HEARS her fall and with all the unnecessary crap in the house, she never hits or knocks over anything when she falls....nothing is EVER out of place yet she is found with her head between the nightstand and the bed. Little things like that that doesn't add up.

    So this will be the final assessment to decide if she gets to play her games with those poor girls at the nursing home or remains at home and assist with her own care. My brothers belong to Uncle Sam and neither of them live in this state. So, their helping is out of the question except for financial contribution. To have someone to come in around the clock would be in excess of $2400/week and is only covered by Medicaid (for the only program around here). My mom doesn't have Medicaid, she has two other insurances that will cover it IF she required an ACTUAL NURSE to be there. Well she doesn't because there is no darn ventilator in the home!!!! As bad as my mom's health is, it's not bad enough for the insurance companies and in all fairness, she doesn't need a nurse to stay with her. But she does need someone there around the clock, who is being paid to stay awake, because she springs into action when she feels no one is looking. People have jobs and lives and if your job is not to continually focus on ONE person, it won't be done. So, aside from hospital stays, which rarely happens because again, her only daughter JUST HAPPENS TO BE A NURSE who has learned a thing or two on how to keep people out of the hospital instead of learning how to PERSUADE them to keep from having to go in the first place, mom's care and where it will take place rests in my hands.

    I don't mean to sound angry but I am because all of this could have been avoided, this early in the game anyway. My mom is only in her 60s! And I've been dealing with this pretty much fulltime for the past 3 years. That's when she really became dependent. Prior to that, it was the games she was playing with her health like calling me to come check her blood pressure but refusing to take her BP meds or eating whatever she wanted the night before a doctor's appointment, yet refusing to take her diabetic medications. Needless to say, she is now on insulin where she wasn't before. The list goes on, which any nurse who has spent some time in the field can easily recognize the signs.

    I just needed to vent because I never get to who I am. Nursing is what I do, not who I am. Yet, I never get to step away from it even for a moment. When I'm off the clock, my critical thinking is on finding ways to deal with my mom so that I can take the scrubs off emotionally after I've changed clothes physically.
    NF_eyenurse likes this.
  7. 13
    Some people aren't going to like what I have to say, but here it is:

    You are NOT obligated to take on the responsibility of everyone else's life. These are adults -- and they have to live with the consequences of their own choices. As long as you choose to take care of everybody and not hold them accountable, they will continue to take what they see as the "easy way out" and dump everything onto you.

    Get over the martyr complex and declare your independence. Only then will you be able to build a HEALTHY relationship with your family. Until you do, you are "enabling" a whole lot of bad behavior.

    File charges for the identity theft. That person committed a crime and the victims (your mom and you) need to stand up for yourselves. If your father doesn't like it, let him pay for any damages. Until he does that, he has no say in the matter. Take a LITTLE time to further assess your mother's situation if need be ... but don't get sucked into giving her the next 10 years of your life. You don't owe her that. Neither do you owe your brothers and your grown children everything you have.

    Take care of yourself. Don't donate your whole life to a family that is taking advantage (abusing?) you.
    NRSKarenRN, BSNbeDONE, BCgradnurse, and 10 others like this.
  8. 2
    I am so far from your situation with the exception of one thing- the toxic mother. I don't speak to my mother at all, she is truly toxic, and if she were to need the aid, nurse or not she can rot by herself because she did that to herself. It sounds like you have been guilted into this. Your brothers did what they had to and took off, so they don't get it. Your daughter, well, just because she wants to be a nurse doesn't mean she has to help you take care of a woman who was perhaps just as mean to her?

    I would strongly suggest putting her in a nursing home, or getting home health for her if the family is willing to pay. You are sacrificing for someone that wasn't KIND to you.

    I wish you the best, but from my very jaded view, you need to look after your family, and your mother isn't it: your daughter, your son and the new baby.

    Posting from my phone, ease forgive my fat thumbs!
    BSNbeDONE and smartin13 like this.
  9. 3
    Quote from llg
    Some people aren't going to like what I have to say, but here it is:

    You are NOT obligated to take on the responsibility of everyone else's life. These are adults -- and they have to live with the consequences of their own choices. As long as you choose to take care of everybody and not hold them accountable, they will continue to take what they see as the "easy way out" and dump everything onto you.

    Get over the martyr complex and declare your independence. Only then will you be able to build a HEALTHY relationship with your family. Until you do, you are "enabling" a whole lot of bad behavior.

    File charges for the identity theft. That person committed a crime and the victims (your mom and you) need to stand up for yourselves. If your father doesn't like it, let him pay for any damages. Until he does that, he has no say in the matter. Take a LITTLE time to further assess your mother's situation if need be ... but don't get sucked into giving her the next 10 years of your life. You don't owe her that. Neither do you owe your brothers and your grown children everything you have.

    Take care of yourself. Don't donate your whole life to a family that is taking advantage (abusing?) you.
    ^I agree with you llg.

    It doesn't do any good for YOUR health in the actions of others. Do what's best for you, even if it means making boundaries. You are NOT the only child with your mother, let your brothers take over some care, even if it means giving some form of financial assistance to a nursing home. As far as your daughter, you may need to make boundaries for that relationship as well. If you are concerned for your granddaughter, take the necessary steps to intervene if you must, otherwise, continue to support and be an example of strength for your granddaughter, that is as much as you can do for her.


    With all my faults and journeys I have endured in my life (including a near death experience), my path to healing is to make boundaries and learn to be comfortable and happy in my skin...it has been a struggle, yet, a positive experience on healing. Once you feel comfortable in accepting that the only person you can control is your own actions, life get a lot easier in tolerating, because the only thing is making sure you are holistically sound. It doesn't mean that life won't get on your nerves, but the focus is more of "I can handle x" and "I don't need to handle y."

    Best luck to you. ((HUGS))
    BSNbeDONE, BCgradnurse, and leslie :-D like this.
  10. 2
    Moving to the Break Room. If for some reason you (general) find yourself logged out, just log back in with your AN username and password.

    OP: I'm sorry you are going through this stress. Remember that you need to take care of YOU first of all. Because if you don't take care of yourself, not only will you find yourself lacking the energy to take care of others...you'll find that precious few people will be rushing in to take care of you. I hope things improve for you.
    BSNbeDONE and VivaLasViejas like this.
  11. 4
    Oh, mercy. Lynda, I'm rowing right alongside you in a leaky boat, so believe me, you have my sympathies!

    I'm going through something sort of similar with my 66-year-old sister, who's lived with my husband and me since the year after her husband died. She has always been a source of strength for me, but she also has become more manipulative with time and age, and her body is now falling apart. Her chronological age may be only mid-60s, but with her COPD, frequent falls, chronic pain, over-medication, and arthritis, she may as well be in her mid-80s.

    Now she's in the hospital with an acetabular fracture thanks to another fall, and she's madder than a wet cat about the probability of going to skilled nursing for some rehab. She didn't have to have surgery, thank goodness, but she's unable to bear weight on the affected side and since she weighs over 200 lbs. she's essentially a 1-2 person transfer. That's fine, except she has to go to the bathroom every half an hour or so and can't stand up by herself. My hubby and I are older too, and neither of us has the strength to manage this day and night.

    Her 40+ year-old kids, though all their children are grown, are useless; not one of them would come and help. My kids are also busy with their own lives, so they CAN'T help.

    She tells the hospital discharge planners that her sister is an RN. She wants to come home, no ifs, ands, or buts. She doesn't tell them that our hallways are virtually impassable in a wheelchair, that we don't have a way of getting her up the steps at our house (and there is NO entrance that doesn't have steps), that her bathroom is the size of a postage stamp. Her bedroom is cluttered with all sorts of crap that she won't let us move, which contributed to this last disastrous fall (she is in denial about that as well).

    In the meantime, I have to find a job so I can go back to supporting the three of us---I can't be here to take care of her every need. Besides, she is simply not safe to be at home right now, and when it gets right down to it, my mental health is still pretty delicate because of the stress I've been under, and I'm not sure how much more of this my nerves can take.

    I feel your pain, Lynda, and all I can say is, in the end it'll all be OK. Not today, and probably not for a while, but it will be OK. We both have to make some difficult choices, and we're going to get hurt along the way. Neither of us can please everyone, least of all the relative who needs care, but we're going to have to make those decisions anyway.

    And one day, it will all be OK. ((((hugs))))
    BSNbeDONE, BCgradnurse, NF_eyenurse, and 1 other like this.
  12. 4
    I would think twice about having her move in with you. These things have a way of getting away from us, and next thing you will know, ten years will have flown by. If she needs 24/7 care, who is going to provide that? I am guessing it will be you and only you. You need not sacrifice your life for hers. So very not fair. If she comes to stay with you, you will not ever be able to leave the house. Think about it.............. is this how you want to live? (yes, I have given this much thought due to my own situation)


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