Ruth is the stereotypical caregiver. She is 35, unmarried, childless and lives with her arthritic domineering mother, 72, as her caregiver. Also, like many caregivers, Ruth has nobody supportive in her life and complains of being dragging down by an ungrateful mother to the point where she feels suicidal.
"I dearly want to get away from my mother, but I'm tormented by guilt that often leads to suicidal thoughts," confesses Ruth. "As long as I had been working, my mother had been reasonable to get along with and treated me with respect, but as soon as I lost my job and became vulnerable she reverted to being the tyrannical mother of my childhood."
"Mom has always been a domineering and manipulative woman," sighs Ruth, "and it was only when I first started work that I gained a bit of respect from her, so it is really killing me to hear her now screaming at me, telling me how useless I am and to get off my butt and go out and find another job – as if it’s that easy.”
“Rather than helping me through the turmoil of being victimized and fired, all my mother cares about are all the little luxuries I provided her with when I was working,” explains Ruth. “Now that there’s no money coming in, she feels deprived and blames me for making her life more difficult – well, hello, what about me?”
"It’s not easy to regain equilibrium when you're drowning in misery and the person you’re caring for is aggravating the situation," says Ruth, "but I do take solace in the many self-help books and tapes I've purchased over the years."
“I know, suicide is never an option for unhappy situations,” says Ruth, “but I am acutely aware that my life as a caregiver for my mother cannot go on like it is now.”
“I don’t know what to do with her – she refuses to move into an aged care facility – but that is obviously the best place for her if she continues to abuse me,” says Ruth. “Now that I have lost my job of fifteen years, I am feeling very vulnerable and I just cannot take it any more.”
Read more of Ruth’s story:
do self-help books trump friends?
self-help books boost survival
between job vulnerability
daughter raised to take care of mom
victimized then fired