Mom, I Love You But I Just Can't Handle You Anymore

I am pissed as all hell right now, so please excuse my tendency to ramble.
First, some back story. My parents divorced about 20 years ago back when I was little. This basically “ruined” my mother. Every single problem she has had from that day forward is all my father’s fault (Mom’s words exactly).

Pretty much since then, Mom has refused to take credit for anything she could have done to contribute to her current state of misery. She has basically laid in bed for the past 10 or so years, not moving much at all except to pee. She’s now up to well over 500 pounds, has two herniated disks caused purely by her extreme weight, and can barely walk. She has been reduced to having a commode in her bedroom because she can’t even make it to the bathroom to pee anymore.

I know that she has depression. She’s on medicine for it and has been for years. Prozac, Xanax, and Zoloft have been her drugs of choice lately. Hell, I’ve been on Zoloft for about a year now. I know how shitty depression can be. The thing that gets me though is her refusal to go to any sort of counseling to work on what’s causing the depression. She’s been to a session or two with me when I was younger. They said that I was fine, but she was the one that needed help. Thing is, nothing is her fault. She out and out refuses to go to counseling because she doesn’t want to hear that anything is her fault. We went to a family counseling session 10 or so years ago where my sister and I shared some not so flattering issues we had with Mom that we wanted to work on. She refused to go again because she said we “made her look bad”. If we had so many issues, then we should be the ones going. She was fine.

So now my sister and I are left to deal with all the repercussions of Mom not dealing with her issues. We are the ones that have to clean out her commode. We’re the ones that have to pay for everything that her piddly social security check doesn’t cover. We’re the ones that have to do all of her pee-filled laundry. If she doesn’t get up in time, she wets the bed now. Her bladder simply can’t handle all the extra weight pressing on it anymore. She makes me feel guilty for leaving the apartment for any reason, even to go to work or to visit my fiancé.

She’s called for me to go in her room no less than 7 times in the past hour and a half. I feel like I am about to lose my mind if I hear my name called one more time!!

Did I forget to mention that she’s also a hoarder? She has so much crap in her room, even on her bed that she’s constantly loosing things. Important things. Things like checks, insurance cards, MEDICATION. I have tried more times than I can count to help her clean her room and organize things. I buy her bins to store medications in and she just throws crap in them instead. Her sole method of organization is to shove her crap in Avon bags. When she needs something, I HAVE to go sort through it all to find it. I can’t exactly leave her without her medication.

I really just wish that for once in my 24 years on this planet I could be the child and not the mother in this fucking relationship. I wish that for once I wouldn’t resent my mother so much for not being the mother. When I was younger (under 10), I went with Mom to take my little sister to the doctors. The doctor asked what the problems were and Mom couldn’t even answer the doctor. I was the one who knew everything because I was the one up with her all night every night. I was more of a parent to her than my own mother was. That elicited another trip to another counselor for me and my sister. Mom once again refused to go. After all, she didn’t have any problems.

I just wish I could somehow get rid of all this pent up anger and resentment. I doubt she has much longer to live what with her lifestyle being what it is. But 24 years is way too long to go on like this. I want to move out and get a house with my fiancé. She won’t let me leave her.

Damnit I hate how fucking selfish this rant sounds! I debated whether or not to post it. Just writing it all out has helped. Take it for what you will – a selfish brat complaining about her mother or a justifiably upset daughter who is at her wits end. I don’t know. I’m not even sure what I hope to get out of this. Some advice and an open forum to rant, I suppose. I just didn’t know where else to turn right now.


My dear, on a certain level I’m puzzled as to why you haven’t beaten her to death with a baseball bat yet,. Or perhaps the commode. But then, love is irrational, as is devotion to family.

Your mother is the selfish one here - she has subordinated her children’s lives to hers. She lost her husband, and now she’ll bind her children to her however she can, even if it means her life.

I’m so sorry you have to go through all this. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer for you. But DO try to have a life of your own, even if your mother continues to deliver a guilt trip over it.

The latter. This is going to sound cold, but you really have to get out of there. You have to let yourself realize that this is really not your problem. You have no obligation to do what you’re doing. Gratitude towards your parents is a fine thing, but there are limits, especially as she apparently wasn’t doing her motherly duties fifteen years ago either. You were a small child, and you had to sit up with your sick sister?

DoperChic, you have done enough. Say it to yourself, and realize that it is true. Your mother had you, not the other way around.

Ditto. I would hate for you to have a grandaughter talking one day about your her mother’s problems not being her fault, but her grandmother’s (although that would sound pretty accurate). I can’t say give up on your mother, but don’t let her life’s downward spiral take you down as well.


I don’t usually respond to thing that I don’t have direct experience with, but your post pained me. There’s no way you should be having to bear this burden.

Who the hell is prescribing your mother’s medication and why aren’t they trying to get her into some services? That is unethical IMNotSoHumbleO—most psychiatrists will nhot continue to prescribe to a patient who is not complying with treatment, and general family practitioners shouldn’t be prescribing those meds on an ongoing basis.

Does she qualify for Elder Services? Really, her treater needs to find someone to come in and give her services, or get her out and into treatment, and get you the hell out of there. You’re 24, for God’s sake. Live your life. You deserve much, much better.

You are not selfish for wanting a life! You are a human being, not a slave!

At the same time, I understand the feelings that keep you from just walking out. You need to contact a social agency for help, but I’m not sure which one.

I can see why your mother doesn’t go for counselling when she can’t even go to the bathroom. But she needs the kind of assistance that you cannot giver her. If nothing else, she should be in a nursing home.

Is there a Social Services office where you live? If not, a doctor’s office or welfare office might be able to suggest where to start with phone calls for help.

May you soon find some relief and peace. Your mother too.

DoperChic, your post was very heartbreaking. Mothers are supposed to give life to their children, not steal it.

This is a bit naive, but is there any way to bring her to the attention of social services? You sound like you’re at a breaking point.

You are one of the least selfish people I know, by any measure. You obviously love your mother very much. I have the world’s best mother, who’s also the person I love & admire the most, who stands out in my mind like a rose among all the people I know, and I don’t think I could do this for her. You are a lovely, lovely person with lots and lots of love inside you.

Do not blame yourself, or hate yourself. Please. You deserve far, far better than what you’re going through. Please consider researching ways to escape your situation.


DoperChic, I don’t blame you for your feelings. You realize that she is dragging you down to her level…and I hope that you don’t stand for it much longer. IANA Psych-anything, but if you feel like you’re the parent and she is the child, then take the reins and start treating her like one…you lay down the rules. You declare what time you get up and go to work, since you are the parent and have to earn the money for the household. YOU decide when she needs to see the doctor (maybe she needs a catheder?)…if she refuses, go without her and stay out for the designated time. Make it a point that you have YOUR life to live, not her life to live. Make a calendar with all of your plans laid out on it…week by week. Tell her to make arrangements to have other medical staff, caregivers, friends, animals…whoever take your place on those schedules. I’m not telling you to be cruel to her, but be firm and matter of factly with her…you are not a 24 hour caregiver/nurse when you have other demands to meet in your daily life. And she needs to find other people to lighten your load or you will find someone if she doesn’t do it. Still, you need to encourage her to get out and about and to do something meaningful and reward her for doing so.

Thoughts and prayers for you, your mom and sister.

Doperchic, you have my sympathy. You (and your sister) need to find a way out of this situation and lead your own lives. It’s not selfish to want that.

Who’s feeding mom? What happens when she’s put on a diet?

Doperchic, None of this is your fault or your responsibility. You need some help, and now. You should contact your local social service agencies, mental health agencies, and talk to the professionals there about what is going on. My first step would be to contact her doctors and find out who is prescribing all of the drugs, without any therapy. Then I would contact the local agencies and have a nurse and/or social worker come out for an evaluation of the situation.

The best thing that you and your sister can do is to stop doing everything for her, no matter what she says, or how bad she tries to make you feel.

Make a plan to move out. Make deadlines, and stick to them. Same for your sister. Have your mother hire outside help. Make and keep doctor appointments (you, your mom, and your sister). Talk to a counsellor.

Stop feeling guilty about all of this. :slight_smile: . You have been a great daughter, but enough is enough. Big big bear hugs from me here.

Don’t want to beat up on you but she isnt’ making you stay, you are choosing to stay. She can’t get out of bed to go pee, how can she stop you from moving out. Can she try to make your life miserable if you move out? Well you already are, how much worse can she make it if you move out. Your mother is toxic and you are letting yourself be sucked into it. Learn the word “no”. as in “no Mom you hqve to put your medicine on the night stand” “No Mom, your checks go here.” She is acting like an infant and you will need to make her grow up. Hand her the Avon bags to look through. When you do this stuff for her you are justifing her actons. Why should she get up when her daughter will take care of everything. Stop enabling her with unhealthy food too. If it’s your sister doing it tell her to stop. Sorry Mom no pizza and no fried chicken, we got salad and fat free jello. Cause you know the next step is she wont’ be able to ever get up to use the commode and you will be doing diapers. There all sorts of help groups and books for people who are co-dependent. I think there is even an AA type group.

Honey it ain’t gonna be easy, but we all support you (and kick you in the butt). I hope you will take this in the spirit it was intended, I know you can be stong and fight for the life that is yours to lead. You go girl.

Thanks, guys so much for all your well wishes and advice.

The last time I was called into her room, shortly after posting the OP, I completely lost it on her. I felt awful doing it, but felt like I had no other choice. Either she stopped calling my name or I was going to check myself in to the loony bin. She’s still moaning incessantly in pain, but no longer calling for me.

The extreme pain is what really gets to me. She has problems from the weight, the herniated disks, and more recently, extreme charlie horses in her legs that can last for an hour or more. The doctors are baffled. They have no idea what is causing them or how to stop them. She has upped her intake of all the typicals - potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc - all to no avail.

This is what has had me in and out of her room all night tonight. She just can’t get comfortable when in this much pain. I am constantly adjusting pillows whenever she moves or gets up to use the bathroom.

Now she has the runs on top of everything else. She can’t even reach her own ass to wipe herself anymore. It is literally too big for her arm to reach around it. This started a few years ago, but has gotten to be more of an issue lately since she’s had the runs so frequently. She’s on more than 15 different medications which is certainly not good for her GI track and may be causing her to have the runs.

As I type this line, the moaning has finally stopped, thank GOD. I think she may have finally fallen asleep. I have never been so grateful for silence in my life.

I totally hear what you are saying. I am going to talk to her sisters tomorrow and issue an ultimatum. Either she is out of here by the end of the month or I am. It’s not fair that they can live their lives freely while my sister and I are left to bear virtually all of the burden. They try to justify their inaction by saying that they have families to take care of and they need to be their priority now. I’ve tried to quietly and respecfully call bullshit on this before. This time I won’t be so quiet about it.

Uh, maybe it was just because of the stuff that came before that statement, but could you check to make sure she’s still among us?

This sounds like your best possible choice. Just don’t let anyone try to use guilt on you. Sounds to me as though you should be being paid as at least her home health aid - if not nurse.

Do what you have to do, but get out of there. No one, not eve a professional nurse, can care for another person 24/7. And you’re still holding down a job?

I really don’t know where to suggest you start - other posters have given some ideas. A nursing home really sounds like it’s going to have to be the place to start. If she wants out of there bad enough, maybe she will try to lose some weight and take care of herself as much as she can. You can’t do it forever. You deserve a life.


Not to be overly harsh, but they’re right. Their families do take priority. So does yours (how often do you get to go see your fiance?). If your mother needs 24 hour care, she needs to be in a medical setting that can provide it. Ideally one that can also moniter her mental health and weight issues. She has legitimate health problems and insurance should pay for much of it.

I know it must feel like abandoment to send her to a nursing home, but she is making both of you miserable. Yes, her too. Right now she is depressed, immobilized, in pain, and has the runs - and the fact that you are there to take care of her is ONLY PROLONGING THE SITUATION!. Get her into a medical setting so that these problems can be dealt with. If she ever heals (there is no guarantee), she will thank you for kicking her sorry ass out.


P.S. In the meantime, there are special devices made for fat people to extend their reach to wipe themselves - it’s a common problem for the severely overwieght and people with reduced shoulder flexiblity. Get one. Make her use it. You don’t need to wipe up her shit - she’s not paralysed, just selfish.

Agreed. The problem is not that their families are where their priorities lie. The problem is the assumption that because the OP has no family of her own, yet, it’s acceptable to have her sacrifice her chance at such to care for the OP’s mother.

What particularly worries me is that I get the impression that the OP is the eldest child, so the OP’s mother’s sisters may just expect the younger sibling to take up the slack. :eek:

My heart breaks for you and your mom. She is obviously a very ill and troubled woman, and it is sad that her life has reached this level of dysfunction. But it’s also completely understandable that you want to be able to live for yourself and not have to be “Mom” to your own mom (while my own situation never reached this extreme that you’re now facing, I can relate somewhat to feeling that way with my own parents).

I think Qadgop raises a good question. What happens when you try to control her diet?
Obviously there are many serious issues here that go beyond just obesity, but losing some weight might be the first step to addressing the depression and lack of mobility.

I also agree with looking into the nursing home idea. Clearly this is too much for you to handle yourself and it’s not fair that you’re expected to be the sole caretaker, but yet I also don’t blame her sisters for not wanting to take on the responsibility. It sounds like her issues probably are too much for any family member to deal with on their own. It’s probably time for some professionals to get involved.
I hope that things get better for you and your mom soon.

I really feel for you. My bystander voice says “get out now and reclaim your life!” but my empathy voice sees how much I love my own mother and realizes how tough the decision would be if she took a turn like yours has (kinehora). Good luck.