It's not guilt. I promise.
So many caregivers come to this site weighed down by difficult choices that must be made...NOW. Helping a loved one in distress, be it mom who won't shower or dad who has become incontinent and might set the house on fire. Families in crisis because of the strain from the ever increasing demands of home-care and the expenses. There was no training film to prepare us for any of this. No Red-Cross Senior Sitter certificate.
So many people come here seeking solace from enormous guilt when there are no good choices, or things take a sudden turn for the worse, or if mom now has to go into long term care.
For me, it felt like guilt, but when I sat down and dissected it, I was surprised that it was far more complex.
== Frustration that we are in this crisis at all. If better choices had happened in the past, this crisis wouldn't exist.
== Anger that it had to be me to do the big rescue.
== Fear that I'm going to mess up due to being unfamiliar with any of this caregiving thing.
== Anxiety about what it's doing to my family and job performance
== Regret that it can't and won't ever be like it used to be a long time ago. That is all gone forever.
== Embarrassment that I felt free when mom went into the Assisted living apartments.
== Dismay that there will never be any more chances for mom to get it together, and she is facing her decline for real.
== Sadness that mom is aging so quickly, and her independence is gone forever.
==Pity that she can't come to terms with any of this and rages until exhaustion.
I could probably go on with my list, but you get the idea. Nowhere in there was anything close to a feeling like I've done something wrong, illegal, immoral, or unwise. That would certainly warrant guilt. Guilt would be appropriate in those cases. In the course of moving my mom 1800 miles, into my home, then into an apartment, and again into 24/7 care, I never did anything to feel guilty over. I did what I had to for her safety most of all, her wellbeing, and to preserve my family and home.
So I challenge you to dig deeper than surface guilt and see what kind of junk and noise is really in there. Maybe doing this big dig will help you let go of the guilt of doing what must be done.