Hi all, I feel that I have too much on my plate right now and need to share my and my mom's current situation.
(And sorry about my English, I'm not a native speaker.)
I'm the youngest of four children, 25 years old, living close to my parents with my husband and cats. My mom has been suffering from a panic disorder for over 10 years, with better and worse phases in between. Currently she is not able to leave her house. Sometimes my dad takes him to a car ride, but mostly she just stays inside. A psychiatrist visits her every two weeks or so, to discuss medication and give therapy.
For over three years, my mom has shown signs of Parkinson's and they have gotten worse over time. It all started with a slight tremor in the index finger of my mom's left hand. Currently, she has a bad posture, stiff muscles, shaking in her whole body, walks slowly and with short steps. Also, her balance and memory have slightly deteriorated. My mom went to a neurologist two years ago for clinical tests but the doctor told her to wait and see.
Right now my mom is too scared to go to a doctor. We have tried to persuade her but she just insists she can't, that she's too scared, but that one day she will tell my dad to book an appointment for her. She keeps saying this over and over and nothing seems to change. We feel that we are out of options.
It hurts me so much to watch my mom suffer. Also, my parents seem to think I am her second caregiver. Whenever my dad goes on a holiday, I have to go to live with my mom because she has an irrational fear of being left alone. Physically she is still independent.
Once I told my parents that I have to have my own life and that I DO want to visit my mom often, but I can't be obligated to be always available, that I need my own life and time to unwind. At first, my mom and dad accused me of being selfish, saying things such as "think about how much WE have helped YOU". One time my mom told me that I have "damaged our relationship badly" and "unlike you, your sister always comes to see me when she is needed to" (my sister lives in another country so that was totally unfair of my mom). I visit my parents several times a week anyway.
The problem is, I think we are making mom's problems worse by nurturing her feelings of dependance. She needs to feel that she CAN survive being alone every now and then, as long as she is physically able to take care of herself. Yesterday my dad told my mom that we can not be looking after her 24/7, or else we have to pay for a trained nurse. My mom simply replied: "I don't want any stranger in my house."
Next week my dad is leaving for a holiday for six days. As he asked my mom what souvenirs she wants him to bring her, she replied: "You don't have to bring me anything, just let me wither away here."
My three siblings all live in different cities and honestly, I feel unfair that I have to take all the responsibility . I am not meaning to sound selfish but I have started to have symptoms of anxiety disorder and eating disorder which I have tackled earlier in my life. Today I booked an appointment with a psychologist to get some things out of my chest.
I am tired, confused and overwhelmed. So is my dad. I understand that my mom is afraid of a severe illness; who wouldn't be. Yet trying to be a good daughter and still hearing accusations of being selfish is so painful. I don't know what to do. I am afraid of the future all the time.