"I feel like a rubber band that has been stretched to breaking point"

I am in my late sixties and lived very happily in France for several years. Now I have had to return to England to live with my daughter who was disabled in a botched operation. She has three children still living at home - one is at university and cannot contribute, the other two are in their teens, one only has a part-time job, so cannot contribute and the youngest is still at school. The eldest lives with her partner and their baby but they also need financial help as he has a very low-paid job. All my pension income is used to pay my daughter's debts which she has incurred in the six years since her operation, as she lost her business and is now unable to work. I do all the cleaning, shopping, cooking, laundry - the children will help if asked but I find it quicker to do it myself, as I have very high standards.

My dilemma is that I want to make life easier for my daughter but after so long without a single day off I find myself getting short tempered and nagging them about the mess they make. This upsets my daughter very much, which is the last thing I want, but I feel so trapped, living in a small house with four other people plus an assortment of their friends - we have only one bathroom and lavatory. I have had to sell my car to meets monthly debt repayments and I have to share my daughter's car, but she needs it nearly every day to visit her own daughter and grand-daughter.

My daughter has been fighting for damages for medical negligence for six years - liability was admitted over four years ago. Once her claim is settled she should be able to buy a larger house, adapted for her needs, and pay for domestic help. How can I avoid upsetting her by quarrelling with the children when I feel that I am the only person making sacrifices for the family. I feel like a rubber band that has been stretched to breaking point. My health is good, fortunately, apart from some arthritis which can be painful when I have to go up steep stairs many times a day to take my daughter her meals and drinks.

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