I am having a meltdown from caregiving.

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I just had a complete melt down. It was brought on by a simple request of mom's that could not wait. It was get me a hot towel for my leg, and I said in a minute, let me do the dinner dishes, and then I get the look, I need it NOW! I lost it, I know I should not yell, but I went on saying I treat you like a queen, my brother does not help me, my life has changed so much, I can not work, and on and on I went. I told her I am having a melt down, and I know this is also hard for her too. I want to know if any of you have had a melt down? I actually feel better that I vented.


Absolutely! I lost it one day when my mom(she has dementia) kept asking the same question over and over again. Everyday is repetitive and sometimes I just don't have the patience for it. The funny thing about it was she looked at me like I was nuts! We do the best we can...
Its Ok to have a melt down. Its best ot have it have it outside of your elder's presence but hey - we're human!

Lack of sleep, stress, worry - sometimes I think its a good thing for our elder to realize they are not the King or Queen of the world. Of course if they have dementia it could scare them to see us lose it - and we don't want to do that. They are scared enough already and it is imprtant they feel safe and secure in your care. With dementia you can't expect your elder to understand YOUR wants or needs. Caregiving to an elder with dementia can be a particularly hard row to hoe. Reason and rationality are off the table. Your elder is not capable, or not fully capable, of understanding much beyond their own needs. Try to remember their irrational behavior is only a manifestation of their disease. It's not meant to be mean or uncaring or cruel - though it can often seem that way.

If your parent is merely stubborn or spoiled - thats another matter altogether. This is when a talk - a long talk about YOUR situation - so they will know just what you are up against, and hopefully come to realize how many balls you have up in the air that you are trying your best not to have fall.
Ah yes, the meltdown...had one just today. Getting mom out of the house for a short dentist app't wasn't too bad, but right before leaving she said the neighbor would come in & steal stuff. I tried to reassure her to no avail. After the app't we were going to go shopping, have a late lunch, and thought about giving her a hair cut...nice plans. :-/ While trying to get her out of the car, she brought up the neighbor again (always victim of her paranoia), and I told her if she didn't stop it, I'd take her home. WELL, I sure fell into that one; she agreed...prob her intention. I was fumin' & drove her home, and asked my poor husband to let me outta there for a while. Sometimes I just can't take her accusations, non-stop complaining, and manipulation. I tell myself it's not her fault, but here I am again...venting and feeling lousy.
Meltdowns ... I should have had more, and that comment is from my cardiologist who keeps a watch over me after I had a heart attack based on stress at 53. (Three years ago) Meltdowns are necessary, but it is so hard to find the right time to do have them. I love to garden or clean when I am having one. Then, I try to lower my level of frustration by a notch or two and express my feelings. I have always been the peacemaker. I decided I would try to make peace when I could, but I was no longer going to be a person people could constantly push around. It is also not fair for me to let my son or husband see my frustration when they can't do anything about it. I have had some shocked looks from my mother, sister, and sister-in-law. I no longer dance around mother like she is a princess. She was and continues to be a high functioning alcoholic. Something snapped in me when my father was so very ill and she was too busy to stay more than 20 minutes at the hospitals or hospice. They had been married for 63 years and he deserved better. He would have rarely left her side if the situation had been reversed. So I try to go past the meltdown stage and state reality (the truth). It makes me healthier and it helps my son. We are all trying to do the best we can. Cut yourself some slack when you have a meltdown. Take care. Rebecca
This is Rebecca again. I wanted to share my son's meltdown. The night before my father's memorial service, my brother who is 10 years younger had a lot of sarcastic comments about the way I allowed my Dad (who was mentally capable) to make the decision to force everyone to accept a DNR order since he could never live without a vent or stomach feeding tube. Mind you, my father put me in the position to carry out his written and verbally stated orders because my mother refused to accept he was dying and all siblings jumped ship and were miles away, like Afghanistan by choice as contractor. We were on the front porch of our 180 year old farmhouse when I watched my furious 18 year old son start to flip his drunk uncle over the railing into the holly bushes along where the snakes and black widows like to sleep. I stopped him for a variety of reasons, but pointed out that no matter how much bigger you are than an obnoxious uncle,you never mess around with a special ops/intelligence guy unless you can run faster and have a great hiding place. We both started laughing so hard the meltdown was over. For Now. :) We should collect our meltdowns and publish them as a group.
Rebecca, glad it ended in laughter!!
Lindy, it is a fine line between manipulation, dementia, real helplessness, fear, and family programming. Just remember that YOU are a very good daughter, you have your limits, and your Mother is not aware of much outside her own needs. She is rediscovering her belly button, as she did originally as a baby. No, she is not like a baby. It's not cute, but it is What it is, what Lindy is dealing with right now. Breathe deeply, then exhale. Her demands are not rational, don't expect things to be as before. It is a process, and she will continue to change.
Vent with us, any time All the time, Lindy. Hugs, Christina
I try to use psycology when I vent. like my dad refusing to eat, I said fine then, your diabetes will kill you before the cancer does...then he thinks for a minute, then eats. or if my husband is being not so helpful, I say then fine, you will have on your hands a very irritating nagging wife, if I don't get my stress release dog walk in today! after he thinks about it, he realizes hmmmm, I better dad sit for a couple hours. when dad gets on a bell ringing binge....and I know it isn't important, I just recompose..wait a bit, web surf or have some coco, or go sit outside... then I'll come in and say gee sorry dad, had some music on didn't hear you, what was it you needed?? with a smile. yelling just makes my dad cry, so I try not to, and yelling just makes my husband yell back, so..best to use psycology, my dad didn't want to pay for a handicap ramp, I did not want him falling anymore or risk injuring myself, falling with me, I could not make him see why he needed it. my brother said tell him I'll buy it, then resell it when he has "recovered"... now my... hate to say this penny pincher father, who has the money, will accept the ramp, putting everyone's safety at risk...was causing me to be very stressed out. but my last melt down is when dad is going on and on about pains, this and that and thinking he's "a goner" why go on, but when we were at the doctor today, dr. asks him, how are you...any problems? what does my dad say... OH just fine, everything is fine. he totally lies to the doctor, then I have to go, ahum..dad..... you know that's not true. tell him how you were feeling this week. sigh..I mean why go to the doctor if you aren't gonna tell him what's going on? that also makes me want to vent in the office, I keep my cool, but it is quite embarassing to correct him like that...now the one day..my worst one ...lol...boy as soon as my hubby came home, I about melted, I just grabbed my dog and flew out the door, dad kept having diahrea all over the bed, kept changing sheets, comforters, then he spilled his urinal all over the floor, then the new cat, we recently got, peed on the sofa, the dog, who I ignored, cleaning up dad's messes, had to "go" and left a pile by the door. I was about to clean it up, then my hubby who came home, stepped in it and tracked it all over my newly shampooed carpet!!! so I LEFT! yeh..I was close to screaming that day. Excercise sure does help, I walk untill I am Exhausted, then I am too tired to get upset! LOL
Omg: the meltdown posts are Hysterical! These are better than any sitcom.
But Please, please, let's not yell at our poor elders:( they really cannot help it. However they were as functioning adults, they have changed, either physically or mentally. Even the self centered narcissist types are trying to hang onto their Power! Notice each Will to survive, even the very weak. You can sense that spark in them. It is amazing!! They are still with us. Love them beyond their annoying behaviors. Vent, and cry, exercise, run to the next county. Boy, what a life. Remember how special YOU are for being a Care Giver:). Laugh often. xo
These are so helpful to read. When we yell at our elders, we know full well that it's best not to. It's just the best we can do in THAT moment. Same as when parents yell at kids. Thanks for this great question and all the great comments. They will help me NOT have to vent today! Sending love and light to all of you.
Thanks for sharing your loads and laughs; it always helps me to see other's greater burdens! It really does help to vent here...thanks, RLP. :-)

No meltdown today, but just after I told mom that she was getting a shower later, she said, "Oh I'm so tired, I didn't get a nap, I need to close my eyes, oh I'm dizzy, Oh I need to lay down!!" ;-) I'll see how it goes when she gets up! LOL

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