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Fed up, depressed & not happy

Community Member



I have posted on here before, I am having difficulties with family members accusing me of being selfish for hiring a nurse to look after my mother.

I am sick and tired of being called selfish etc, my sister has turned mutual friends and family members against me, it got to the stage where I burst into tears in a shopping centre.  I have told my sister off for turning people against me, I feel

so helpless and alone.

I usually put on a good front but right now  I can’t do it. I am working from home now as I can’t face people looking at me and asking questions.

I know it sounds like I  feel sorry for myself.  I have been through a lot with former friends who backstabbed me & former partners.  I broke up from my ex partner a few years ago, which makes it hard.  I have put up very high walls, I have trust issues. I am not the type of person to tell my friends everything, I am a private person. I don’t know what to do.

Thank you 

7 Replies 7

Community Member

Shortly before dad passed away from cancer we had contemplate getting a nurse at home to help with medications/dosages. It's not selfish, it's actually helping your loved one more by providing them better care. The same happened when he went into palliative care. We didn't want to do it. We would have loved to be able to look after him at home. But the reality was that we needed constant medical care, a hospital bed, somewhere to put him downstairs. Sometimes you just need to do what is best for the patient.

The other issue is burnout. As much as we love someone, we don't have the skills or the experience or the resources to be able to handle a sick or dying patient. It's actually selfish to think you can do it all yourself, because in the end, you're not providing the best care possible. So don't worry what your relatives think. If you're providing better care for your mother than you would have otherwise, that's all the matters. I'll bet none of these "criticisers" have offered to help...

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi dubrovnik,

I am sorry to hear how low and lost you are feeling at present.

There are certain situations, like the one you are going through, where everyone close to you seems to think that criticism is perfectly acceptable. So you know you are not alone, I would like to share with you my experiences in similar circumstances to yours.

I am the youngest of 4 children and when my parents were at an age where their health was starting to deteriorate, they appointed me as their 'power of attorney' in all areas, medical, financial and guardianship. We did all the paperwork to make everything legal. This was a dysfunctional family and one sibling has already passed in a road accident. When my older brother and sister found out, there was anger and accusations flying in all directions. Although I was in my 40s, to them I was just the irresponsible little sister and how could they think of trusting me with that role. My father had cancer but became quite incapacitated after a couple of strokes that left him with vascular dementia. At first he was able to get around with the help of a walker but soon ended up in a wheelchair. He was still living at home and mum was already 80 years old so we managed to get a hospital style bed and lifting machine to help with getting him to and from the wheelchair and armchair etc. To give mum some rest, I arranged some regular respites for dad and one day my sister paid him a visit in respite and asked him if he was aware that I was making all the decisions for him, of course he said no, because he had dementia and had no recall of recent events, he couldn't even tell you what day it was. The next thing is I get a call from my brother asking me if I had any proof of my power of attorney because dad is unaware of it. I informed him I had the paperwork and he was welcome to look at it any time. At this point I asked him what his problem was, did he think I was going to rip our parents off? His response was, "well yes", to which I replied, "I'm sorry you feel that way but I guess you will just have to wait and see won't you". This is the same man I took into my home for a couple of months when his marriage failed so he could get back on his feet. My sister helped out at a time when she wasn't working and collected the carer allowance, but as always, her and mum butted heads after a few months and she threw the house keys at her and left. My sister thought it was my job as power of attorney to sort out their differences to which I told her sort it out herself. She never went back and I had previously put his name on a waiting list for a nursing home that we liked that he stayed in during respite. When a room came up there a couple of months later, I had no choice but to accept it as mum was really struggling on her own. After discussion with the nursing home, we all decided it was better for dad not to tell him he was going there permanently, but to just treat is as respite as he would not remember the conversation anyway. When I rang my sister and informed her of the situation, she marched straight to our parents house and told our father I was putting him in a nursing home permanently. He was going in the following day so all she achieved was to make his last night at home as miserable as possible. When we got in the car the following morning dad said what he always said, "how long will I be going for". He had no recollection of what she had said, as we knew he wouldn't, hence our decision not to tell him.

Sometimes you just have to do what you feel is the right thing and let those who criticise know that they can come and help if they choose, but as David35 said, it's a safe bet that they won't.

Come back to this conversation when you feel the need, we are here for you, you are not alone.



Dear  David 35


Thank  you very much for your reply and support.

I appreciate that very much.

Sounds like you have been through a lot too, it must have been very hard for you.

I imagine it would have been very hard for you to put your father in Palliative Care.

it’s never easy when a parent is sick.

 I have started going to counseling again, it’s helping me cope. I have become emotionally fragile.


thank you again for your kindness.


Community Member

Hi dubrovnik, First off - great user name...that is somewhere I dream of visiting!   

I'm sorry that you are getting pressure from family members.  It is sometimes really hard to admit we need help but you really are doing the right thing getting a nurse or other carer.  In a perfect world, everyone would have be able to do so when faced with a similar situation.  When we think of so many things in our lives, we get trained professionals in because we know that they know what to do and can do it better than we can.  A nurse for your mum is exactly that.  A nurse doesn't take away the emotional burden of having an elderly parent that needs your support, but they can take away a lot of the physical and time burdens which allows you time to better emotionally support your mum, and yourself. 

I don't know if it will help, but a complete stranger on the internet thinks you are awesome for being vulnerable enough to admit someone else can offer your mum the physical care she needs at this time, and for being responsible enough to find someone to do that.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi dubrovnik


It's okay, you're allowed to feel sorry or sorrow for yourself, that part of you that's wishing everything was easier, that part of you that just wants to cry while needing everyone to support you in the ways you really need. To feel sorrow for that part of you is what self compassion's about. Whether it's the child in you, the exhausted carer or a part that just doesn't know exactly what to do when a parent faces this part of their life, it's okay.


May sound a little unconventional but at times where I find I'm channeling a part of me that's so upset and feeling so challenged, I'll acknowledge it with compassion and then ask 'What part of myself do I really need to tap into now?'. Is it the fearless lioness in me, fierce protector of the child/cub in me? Could it be the sage in me that helps provide the most sense and wisdom? Should it be the analyst who's good at analysing the highly questionable behaviour of others? The list goes on.


If anyone was to say to me 'That's not like you' (some sort of non typical behaviour), my response may be 'It seems like you've triggered this part of me to come to life'. Certain people will definitely trigger certain parts of us. Exercising certain aspects of our self means being able to connect to them on command, based on a lot of practice. So instead of the ranting maniac suddenly coming to life in uncontrollable ways from out of the blue, we can invite it on the condition it doesn't burn bridges or swear like a trooper. It may simply state the facts to someone, like 'You know, you're a highly triggering self righteous unreasonable human being and that's something I just can't tolerate'. And if the part of us that can't help but wonder about everything pops in, that could sound like 'And I can't help but wonder what led you to be that way'. 😊


It's a tough job raising a parent through one of the most challenging times in their life. Just like 2 parents won't always agree on what's best for their child, 2 siblings won't always agree on what's best for their parent. Sometimes you simply have to feel what's best. You care enough to employ a high standard of care for your mum, which I imagine she really needs. If your sister insists that one of you kids care for your mum full time, get her to put her hand up for it and then listen to her excuses as to why she can't do it or shouldn't have to. I imagine she'd insist on telling you why it should be your job.

You're welcome. Strugglerealz is right. It will give you time to process your own emotions. If if want something done around the house, I employ a tradie. It really is no different. Yes its more personal, but most nurses don't get into the profession unless they have some compassion.

It was the hardest decision mum and I ever made. We had all sorts of pressure to do otherwise. But in the end we couldn't provide the best care possible. How is that fair? It's not. Only the medical system could. They have proper beds, access to pharmacy, nurses checking all day and doctors changing medication on a daily basis.

There's an old saying my dad had "nothing is impossible for those who don't have to do it." Everyone criticises until they have to do it themselves. Then they either stop interfering or help out. Unfortunately it's usually the first option.

About a year after dad passed away, we had a long term family friend comment that it's certainly not how she would have handled the situation. Dad saw every doctor, took every drug, etc to get better. How else were we supposed to behave. We soon parted company. People show their true colours in times of distress.

Remember, to look after your mother, you first need to look after yourself. You won't make the best decisions for her while you're emotionally drained. Just look after your mum and yourself.

Earth Girl
Community Member

Hi dubronvnik,


It's not selfish to reach out for extra help. I had a bit of a similar issue when my Grandfather was getting old, he was a lovely, kind man, but it was very hard to look after him because he had high level needs that neither we or our house could provide him or at least not for the rest of the time he had left. He got put into a special nursing home which was really well suited for him because there was no way he could escape and get lost and the people working there seemed extremely nice and I'm sure your nurse is really nice to your mother as well.


Your sister and family members shouldn't be treating you this way especially since it sounds like you are the biggest support for your mother out of all of them. If they felt so strongly about this and thought that it was somehow "wrong" for you to get extra support during this difficult time, they could have stepped in.


You haven't done anything wrong - in fact - you just want what's best for your mother. Getting extra help for her was a good thing to do.