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Need to vent

kikz's picture
Posts: 1347
Joined: Jun 2010

I am sorry but if I don't get this out I feel like I will explode.  I have mentioned that my family consists of my son, my mom; I think I have vented before.  My mom is 88 and has her share of health issues.  She has rheumatoid arthritis which has crippled her hands and feet but she is still able to do everything for herself.  She doesn't feel good a lot of the time.  She claims to never sleep although she dozes off all day in front of the tv.  She is very negative and thrives on talking about her health issues and any other negative thing she thinks of.  She just retired from work after 43 years.  She had cut her time down to 4 hours a day, three days a week the last few years.  That time when she was at work was the only time I had to feel free in my home.  

My mom sits in the living room all day long with the heater blasting and the tv blaring.  If anything is said, she replies, "That's how I like it."  I am reduced to spending all the time in my bedroom with the door shut.  We have a lovely family room where I would hang out when she was at work but now if I sit there I can still hear the loud tv so I don't feel I can listen to music or watch a video like I normally would; at least not without blasting the volume myself.

I am a homebody, always have been.  I take pride in my home and like to decorate for most holidays.  I have my valentines motif going now.  So when I am alone I "putter" around the house.  Whether I am washing clothes, cleaning the kitchen, texting friends or reading a magzine I do it in peace.  I also have the heater off because I am not that cold and get hot flashes due to medication.  Even with the heater off I sweat when I am busy doing housework.  When my mom has the heater blasting I cannot do the things I normally would.

I feel animosity towards her and I hate that I feel that way.  This morning I went to ask her if she wanted a cup of coffee and she said, "I don't know, I have been out here since four in the morning sick as a dog."

I turned back to the kitchen and said, and a good morning to you, too.  She said, what?  I said I had brought you a cup earlier but you were asleep.  I am ashamed to say I didn't even ask her what was wrong.  It just seems like it's always somethling.  Okay don't hate me, I know she is old, but I have an aunt who is the same age and has such an upbeat attitude, even with her health issues. 

My mom did not really want to retire.  She loved her job but didn't really feel up to going anymore.  She does have problems with her legs although the doctors haven't diagnosed anything.  I knew it wouldn't be good for her to retire because she would just sit on the couch like the days she didn't work.  She looked like a different person when she went to work.  Much livelier looking, hair combed and not in pajamas.  Even my friends noticed.

I try so hard to remain upbeat and not think about my illness.  I deal with it and even though the recent results have been discouraging, I don't let it keep me down for more than a couple of days.  I don't feel the need to constantly talk about cancer.  In fact I don't want to.  Right now I am having such feelings of anger, resentment and frustration that I have seriously considered making an appointment with a therapist I use to see. 

You are problem thinking, talk to your mom.  I wish I could but that is not how the dynamics work in this house.  If I say anything she will get mad and I cannot stand that.  That is how I was brought up and ufortunately raised my son that way as well.  He has free reign to discuss anything with me because I wanted to change that dynamic but he bites his tongue with my mom.

I need to get out more and have many friends but they are either still working or are very busy with their families.  I go to Weight Watchers, a yoga class and a weekly hike with my cancer support group but I want to do more fun things.  I am turning 65 next month so you'd think I would have this figured out by now.

I am in my room feeling guilty because I know my mom picks up on my vibe.  I always feel guilty.  

Thank you for lending your ears, so to speak.  I really appreciate you all.  It's kind of funny that this is all bothering me more than the cancer.  Maybe I should be grateful for that.



2timothy1 7's picture
2timothy1 7
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2012

Sorry you are dealing with extra stress.

it does sound like you are involved with several things outside the home. More than me, as matter of fact:).

ofcourse, I have 2 kids still at home that require a taxi driver to get to their stuff.

i do still work a couple days a week and that is a big help to me. Maybe you could volunteer somewhere. Most place would be happy to take whatever time you can offer.

is there anything your mom does to get outta the house? 

I read somewhere today about a lady with cancer who bought a motorcycle and as she was riding it the first couple miles, she screamed the whole way. Said it was a good stress reliever. Do you ride:).

ive considered talking to a therapist also. I'm sure my insurance would cover a few visits. Yours prolly would too. They might have a better tip for you rather than the motorcycle thing:).

Hope your day is better tomorrow. I think you do remarkably well under circumstance!


Green Leaf's picture
Green Leaf
Posts: 24
Joined: Jun 2012

I am with you. Family members can sometimes more bothering than many diseases.

For me, I find it hard to get my sisters and brother to understand my situations (that my on-going battle with two serious illnesses). They are very busy with their social lives which appear to be very important to them.

My father is also 80+ years old and he lives quite far from me.  I did not tell him I had OVCA as he has heart problems. So, from time to time, I need to find some excuses that I cannot visit him. Luckily, he is quite a reasonable person and seldom gives me hard times.  But, still I feel guity especially when I could not attend his brithday party.

But, no matter what, family is still family.  We have to accept them and hopefull get the best out of them.

Please continue your sharing if you wish.











Posts: 29
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Karen,

I have a very similar situation as yours, in fact, when I read your message I thought we had the same Mom!  Let me give you a little background on my situation.  I was dx with stage 2c ovarian cancer in August, 2009.  After a hysterectomy and 6 months of chemo I have just celebrated my 3rd year of  NED.  I have a terrific gyn/onc and trust him thoroughly with my life.  Anyway, my mom is 85, recently retired last year and lived in another state, total independent.  However, due to some recent medical issues, she had to move in with me and my husband.   My mom was extremely critical of everything my husband and I did, the house wasn't right, we didn't parent right, or take care of our aniimals the right way - I have gained 20 lbs. since August (I am a stress eater).  All I wantted was peace and quiet to read, take my dogs for  a walk, have talks with husband, etc.  Don't get me wrong, I love my mom, but she followed me, complained how bored she was, etc.  So I started thinking how she went from being independent to having to rely on someone to help with her checkbook, taking medications, and etc.  So, we bought my mom a TV and installed cable in her room as well as a telephone.  She now had her space! And we had ours back most of the time.  I also told her that I needed some help, whatever she could do whether it was dishes, a load of wash, dusting, feeding the cats, whatever, was a great help to me.  She has now mellowed a little, some of the bitterness is gone.  I make sure I listen to her during the day.  We have TV time in the evening (about an hour) and I really think she is feeling better about her situation.  Don't get me wrong,, there are some really days I could run out of the house and jump in my car and go.  I have learned to be patient, pray (alot), and laugh!  I know how you feel and will pray that things go well with you and your mom.  Venting is always good and we are here to listen.  Hang in there, life is so precious, everyday you open your eyes is a gift, even with mom in the background!  God Bless!

Your Kindred Spirit,


Alexandra's picture
Posts: 1311
Joined: Jul 2012

Sorry you have to put up with negativity and frustration. Obviously someone 88 years old will not change their behavior, especially if you tolerated it your whole life.

In my whole adult life I only lived with my mother for a year and a half 20 years ago, but that was enough to seriously impair our relationship and to almost ruin my family.

My solution was to move out and stay out. I love my mom but we are very different people and should not share a house. We have an excellent relationship now that we are on two different continents and only talk on the phone.

If moving out is not an option all I can think of are: noise-cancelling headphones, so you can spend quiet time in the living room without listening to her loud TV and maybe a local A/C, like a dyson fan to cool you down.

As far as doing fun things outside the house - I would try dating. It always takes my mind off bad thoughts.


kikz's picture
Posts: 1347
Joined: Jun 2010

I am glad you are understanding because some people would just tell me to buck up, after all she is 88.  I also do not want to paint my mom as totally awful.  She raised me alone and to this day she will do things for me.  For example if I offhandedly mention something I need, she will get it for me when she goes to the store.  She is well liked by everyone. 

I think it is just that we are now together 24 x 7.  In the past I worked, she worked so we only spent evenings and weekends together.  It is probably like a married couple who both retire. 

I know I need to find things to do but I do like being home, which is the problem.  As far as dating, my significant other passed in 2007.  I had hoped I could meet someone but figured at my age and being on the chubby side, it might not be too easy.  Now throw in the cancer...  Just when would I bring that up?  Seriously, that might be nice but I don't really think it is in the cards for me.

Thanks...I feel so much better.

Karen  Smile  

lovesanimals's picture
Posts: 1364
Joined: Sep 2011

Family members can be so damned challenging.  Being together 24/7 and practically living on top of each other, it's no wonder you are feeling angry and resentful towards your mom (and I know she's not a monster!).  Therapy sounds like a darn good idea and hopefully something that your insurance will cover.  There's no shame in seeking professional help to deal with issues in your life.  In the meantime, feel free to vent here anytime.  We're always happy to listen and to support you.  And I hope that tomorrow will be a better day!


JulieL's picture
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

So sorry for your additional stress!   This you don't need.   I understand that you love your mother dearly but sometimes 24/7 with one person is just too much!   Is there a hobby or group you could get your mother join to get her out of the house for at least one day a week?   Perhaps a get together with some of her friends, going to a movie or lunch.  Maybe you could engineer one of her friends to arrange it to get her out of the house.   It would also help to take her mind off her worries and probably giving up work has just left her with too much time on her hands to think about her woes.   I know you already have some out of home activities and understand that some time in your own home on your own is very precious so getting her out may be the answer.  

Great to be able to vent here - glad to hear you are feeling better for it!

Julie x  

khsherwood's picture
Posts: 33
Joined: Jan 2011

hi Karen, I'm so sorry that you are going through this with your mother. some of the suggestions from the other people sound really good. Can you afford to put a tv in her bedroom? Try to put a positive spin on it. Tell her it is her own space to do what ever she wants but in a shared area like the family room there needs to be some consideration for others. I know. Wishful thinking. I have an 89 year old aunt that is such a strong personality that it is difficult for me to tolerate her in large doses. Thankfully, she is still very independant, living in her house that she has lived in for the past 60 years ,despite having stage 4 Melanoma and crippling arthritis. The key is that she really makes an effort to get out of the house every day, either to play bridge at her club, have dinner with friends or to go to the movies or theater.

Somehow you have got to find some peace. You can't go on like this. Maybe you could get her to go with you to therapy? Tell her it's just for moral support then have the therapist invite her join you in the room. My daughter had depression when she was a teenager. We sort of tricked her into therapy that way. She sat in the waiting room while my husband and I went to "Marital Therapy". The therapist stuck her head out into the waiting room and invited her to join us. Very sneaky, but it worked. It turned out that she was having suicidal thoughts and we caught it in time.

I'm telling you this because your mother might be depressed too. Having a third party in the room to sort things out can help sometimes.

Good luck, we're always here so you can vent. Kelly

poopergirl14052's picture
Posts: 1185
Joined: Nov 2010

I feel you..my Mom got on my nerves and we didn't. live together. I miss her now and wish she was still here've. Moms are set in their ways and think they know best. Maybe she needs a hobby..the Senior Center is a good place..she can make lots of friend and join in activities . I know I like to be alone at times and think without interruption. When you feel  like doing something you do it.  Put on loud music..mom will get the hint..best of luck..Val 


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