I have thoughts of running away from all this. I don't want to the caregiver anymore. I WISH I could just......leave.

Started by

I feel I am a prisoner and have given up all my freedom and my life to care for my father in law. I WISH I could just......leave. I would be happy to just live in a cave compared to this. Have you ever felt anything like this? I used to feel guilty thinking this way...but now...it is actually sounding good to me. So I know I must be in trouble.

25 Comments

The clues to the intensity of your predicament are in your post: "prisoner," "running away," "give up all freedom," "live in a cave," and "I must be in trouble." It is good that you are in touch with your feelings. Many of us just drone on until our bodies tell us to stop.
It is good to come here for advice or to vent, but you need to take action and soon. Talk to your husband this evening and tell him how you feel. Tell him that you cannot commit to this life long-term and need to find another placement for you fil. Set a time line and stick with it. Find several good ALFs in the area and visit them. Narrow them down to 2 or 3. Start talking to your fil now and be honest with him. Tell him that his care is more than one person can handle in-home. Once you have made this decision and share it with your fil, do not waver.
If you have only been doing this for a short while and feel like this, can you imagine how you are going to feel in 1, 2, or 3 years?
good luck...make one change today that will help you toward your goal.
Btw, if you are both retired, why are you doing all the caregiving of the fil...the majority should be up to your hub.
I think that you should do what Lilliput suggests. I suggest a slightly different timeline. Enlist your husbands support and help. Be honest with each other about your feelings. That comes first.

Then do the research to discover all of your options, what they would cost, how they would be paid for, what financial assistance is available if that is a factor, how you would apply for it. Visit long term care facilities; see which are most appropriate and what their waiting list is like. Look into things like in-home help, respite care, etc. This research is a lot of work. While you and your husband are working on this, consider hiring someone to come in to help with FIL.

Just knowing that there are options and that other arrangements can be made should help with the "prisoner" feeling. You don't have to serve out this sentence! There are other caring things you can do for FIL besides keep him in your home and devote all your time to him. This should not be just a vague "there are nursing homes out there," but specific knowledge of 2 facilities that could take him with fairly short waiting lists.

Once you don't feel so much like a prisoner, consider what you can do to lighten the load now, with FIL in your home. Have you looked at Adult Day programs? In-home caregiving services? Someone else to assist with bathing, cutting toenails, managing medications? The adult program my husband goes to can also provide showers and toenail care right at their facility, plus a light breakfast, a hot lunch, and snacks.

I certainly hope you have a cleaning service. Unless cooking is a passion of yours, cook less and bring in restaurant meals more. High-end frozen meals are often very good. You can't do it all. Find ways to do less! Even if you decide on a placement for FIL that may not be possible or optimally on short notice. Make improvements to the present situation.

It is a toss up and each situation is different, but I think I would not discuss this with FIL until I had all my ducks in a row. I'd decide on which options I was willing to live with before presenting them to FIL.

The fact is, you are NOT a prisoner. You and your husband do have options. It is hard work to figure those options out and harder still to exercise one that FIL might not choose himself. But you obviously have strength of character and together you and your husband can do that hard work. Then make decisions and carry them out.

FIL, unfortunately, like most of the loved ones being cared for by forum members, is a prisoner of his disease. His options are limited. That is sad. But giving up your own freedom does not change his disease.

Finally, consider counseling or therapy for yourself and/or for you and your husband. There is nothing "wrong" with you and you don't need to be "fixed," but you do deserve all the help you can get with this very dificult situation.
its is ok to feel that way but people get no where when they run and give up keep on trying even when the negatives are in place think of the positive and dont give up it will all become easier lol GOOD LUCK
Where ever we go, there we are... No matter what,we take us with us...what your feeling is very normal.. and I sometimes wonder if some of the time some of the frustration is because we are not getting help from our hubby, espceially if is HIS family member. I agree with the others,time to talk to hubby and tell him how you are feeling.. maybe two heads will be better than one. You are in my thoughts and prayers... hope you find a solution soon....
Actually, sparksta69, it does not usually become easier. Caring for a loved one with a degenerative disease usually becomes harder as the disease progresses. It also becomes harder as we are getting older and often have less energy and stamina ourselves, plus we may have neglected our own health.

So it isn't going to get easier for goincrazyinky, I'm afraid, unless she takes steps to improve her situation. Those steps can be very difficult, but they are necessary. It probably doesn't mean going to live in a cave, and she knows that. But it does mean change from the present intolerable situation.

Inky, come on back and tell us how you are doing. We care!
Hi Pat, Your husband is sitting in his chair, dazed look on his face, right? Looking at, but not really watching the flat screen. Walk up to him, knock on his head and say, "HELLO, KENNY--anybody home? This is not working, Sweetheart. Let's find a place for your Dad tomorrow. I'll be ready to go at 9 am with a list of 5 places. We will decide tomorrow afternoon on the best place and move him next weekend."
End of scenario. It really is simple. The key is: Make a Decision. Good Luck!!!
Hugs, Christina
Lilliput has an excellent point. Your husband should be taking full responsiblity and you should only help out-role reversal. Your commitment is to your husband. We as 'caregivers' tend to over extend ourselves. I agree to s/w your husband and be brutally honest. The two of you are getting up in years and you need to be enjoying yourself and each other - besides if you move him into a HOME he might like it! He'll have allot of ladies vying for his attention - at least that was my experience when I took my mom out of one. She came to me love sick - she had a crush on someone along with the rest of the women.
Christina, heh, heh, you crack me up....the direct approach is still the best...
I agree with all of the above, you MUST talk to your husband soon about making changes. I am not one for burying my feelings, I too feel like my life is being surpressed for my parents, mostly my mom but this is another post.
Please, please seek help to make a better and brighter future for yourself's sake. We are entitled to a life of our own!

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support