For months now I have had to deal with all my mother’s paperwork – going back months/years since she mismanaged her affairs and refused help from the family (unpaid bills, insurance, tax returns…) – trying to locate important documents in the clutter of her flat... I live in France so it has been particularly time-consuming, hours spent on the phone with banks, for example, to deal with something that could easily be done by calling into the local branch. Everything has been complicated. I am now in the process of selling her flat and hope that once I have cleared and sold it, I will have time for my own paperwork – which I have neglected for months… I have dropped just about everything to deal with my mother’s affairs, and now I feel that I want my life back. I saw my doctor last week, who said that my energy levels are very low and that the physical manifestations of stress will probably not disappear while I have the constant stress of caring for my mother. I know it must be the same for all of us, managing someone else’s life – I know I have no choice – there is no-one else to do it, but I never expected this !