My mother is 87 y/o and living independently in a senior apartment setting. She still goes out and does things for herself. She is is also in relatively good health. I have 3 other sylblings and I am the youngest: we are all professional people, but I have found myself to have become the caregiver for all her needs including emotional. The problem is, role reversal and I have become the parent. With that, we (I) am riding an emotional rollercoaster with her. She has regular cyclic periods of anxiety
,depression and stress
, and assumes that, if she doesn't hear from me (a phone call), after my other syblings has ignored her, she invariably believes that there must be something terribly wrong with me, or that she has done something wrong or that I must be angry with her. This takes place weekly to bi-weekly, and is usually precipitated by my inability to answer a phone call from her while I am at work. I work in a hospital in a developing and growing department, so my ability to answer or respond to these phone calls is limited. If I am scheduled off or out sick on any particular day, she thinks I've been fired. She has somehow come up with the notion that I'm going to get fired if she calls: and only her. I don't know where this idea has come from. Then the cycle of insecurity begins again, and I find myself re-explaining her incorrect assumptions of insecurity and over evaluation of situations. Then comes the crying and chronic appologies, almost as if she enjoys the process, as she segways into discussions of nothing inparticular, settling her emotions on mundaine things of no consequence: a check that hasn't cleared or something that a friend said. She was the youngest of 3, lost her mother when she was 11y/o, had a stepmother who she claims to have been unkind to her, and had 2 other syblings who didn't want her around. She was also forced to stay with relatives when her father didn't have time for her or was working or looking for work (during the depression). It seems that all this has carried over onto us, mostly myself, because I have to pick up the pieces regularly. My syblings find it easy to ignore her. I don't think this appropriate, but I'm at m'y wit's end, and they do not afford me any assistance. Do I get her into a professionals office? I just don't know which way to turn, and she is creating a disturbance at my job.