I feel like I just can't take it anymore.

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I've been caring for my father who has the combined illnesses of complete kidney failure (dialysis 3x week), congestive heart, vascular disease, one leg that is fused, extreme joint pain, pulmony problems and arrhythmia. Luckily his mind is sharp with no major signs of dementia. He is 82, and doing much better than the dr.s could ever have expected. That means he's holding on, not doing well. In fact, he is constanty in terrible pain, often has uncontrollable bleeding from the fistula site, mini strokes, heart problems etc. etc.etc. I have to call 911 at least every other month for some new thing. He has been this way for almost three years now. I have two selfish vicious sisters who live ten minutes away each, but have chosen to let me do it all because I was living in dad's house when he got sick. I am 52!!!! I was only living here temporarily after a terrible divorce, and then he got sick. I adore my dad, and would never leave him. The problem is these two rotten selfish women who are more concerned with their plastic surgeries, and screwing around than they are helping dad and I. They have never liked me, and have always been a two girl gang, but come on..... they're 50 and 40!!!!!!! I am disabled, and on many days can't walk at all. I also suffer extreme depression, and actually had to be hospitalized for a week last summer. No one called ever once to ask if they could do anything or how I was. They NEVER ask if we need help, or offer to kindly talk. They treat me like absolute crap, and I find myself blowing up at them occasionally because I simply cannot take it. It's just become WAY too much. I am criticized, and treated horriffically by them behind my dads back. Of course he is oblivious to all this, and is in fact in denial about the situation! I do everything...EVERYTHING associated with his care. I feel like I want to get in my car and just drive away forever. I do see a therapist, and many other dr.s, but this whole thing has aged me at least ten years. I am beyond exhausted and no longer know how to cope. I go out two times a week to hear music, and if my leg allows, I walk in the woods a tiny bit. I am an artist, but since I've been here I have been artistically frozen completely. I do not work aside from my grueling job here, do to my disabilities. I really need to connect to others in my same situation. Thanks for listening.

19 Comments

Dear End, I know exactly how you feel. I have almost the same problems with unruly relatives. I am disabled too. I found I was at the end of my rope as well. At that point, I tell myself "this too shall pass." I tell myself that I will outlive them all.
Yes, I do the same!!!! My therapist (I call him the Wizard!) tells me "Remember, this is not forever", and it helps. Usually I am pretty good, but when the witches start their crap it gets really tedious. I only have one aunt on my dad's side also, but she is elderly as well, and not an emotionally available person. As a matter of fact, I am the only emotionally open one of the family. I prefer to speak honestly from the heart. I wish my sisters would come together with me kindly, and be the loving family we are supposed to be. I have repeatedly asked them to group meetings with my therapist to try to iron out our differences, but the answers have always been firm no's. They carry grudges from as far back as toddlers, and hang on to them with death grips! They do not know how to truly forgive, and give up the minutia that is petty and meaningless. I usually ignore them, and am just cordially kind for my dads sake. Before he got ill we rarely saw each other, and things were okay that way. I always felt confused, and very hurt by their exclusion, but at least we could talk and laugh. Now the atmosphere is absolutely toxic, and I sometimes feel it's making me physically ill as well. I feel so sorry for them as we lost our mother when she was only 46. She died on my 26th birthday too which made things worse. They always believed my mother whom we all adored favored me, and the sad truth is she did. Still, she loved us all equally. My middle sister was only 24 when my mom passed, and always felt she got screwed by life because "I was better at everything", and blamed everyone else rather than looking inside and searching for her own source of deep pain. My younger sister who was only 16 when mom died became instantly deeply angry which is perfectly understandable. We were close when she was a child, but the day mom died she aimed her poison at me. I have been alienated since then, and tortured by them. I tried to buy their love all those years, but they only called when they needed something. Of course I always ran to their aid. Now when I need them they are 1000 times more vicious than ever. I am EXHAUSTED. Thank you for replying, and understand. This is my very first post so I'm sorry I went on so! LOVE and LIGHT
Hi Endof...it seems to me that alot of us who come to this site have reached the end of our tether and are ready to run from the pressure and stress from either our elderly parents or our fabulous supportive family (kidding). We seem to all have a very similiar story that we are the caregiver while our siblings sit back and let us do the work, only popping into our lives to create havoc and put us down when we really don't need it. As if it isn't enough we have to care for a sick elderly parent!
Your exhaustion is just your body pumping adrenalin and cortisol around your system which is the fight or flight reaction to all things that are endangering our survival. Spend enough time in this state and you will get sick...very sick. One thing that will never happen is that anything positive will change unless you make it...Your evil sisters will not suddenly stop being evil and support you, your dad will not stop needing care and support, those are the things you can't change. What you can change is YOU, and your thought processes. And its not easy, I'm going through the same process at the moment, and some days I'm so brave and onto it, others I make for a dark corner somewhere like a scared child and wonder what the hell am I doing.
Try to change the things you can and accept those you can't, it does make life alot easier. Your art must be a huge outlet for you, just start doing it again, even if you stare at a blank canvas for a couple of days, turn the negativity into something creative even if its dark paintings of your sisters being tortured :). Gosh sell them and make some money...You have a wonderful talent...don't let that be taken away, use it. And yes this too shall pass I believe that, but can you survive it until it does? Start today by just doing something small for you. Give up and let it go about your sisters being kind, it will not happen, let it go and accept they are satans spawn to be pitied, don't waste your energy hoping they will become anything other than who they are, it helps believe me.
Find some strength, bake some yummy chocolate chip cookies and eat the lot!!! Try tapping...it sounds like the weirdest out there thing to do...look up the free videos on google, it really works by stopping the negative gloomy thoughts, and believe me, I've never tried anything like it in my life, and it blimmen well works, you got nothing to lose thats what I figured. Anyway a long ramble from me, don't run away, don't freak out, just change a few thought patterns...I'm a work in process too :)

Wow, really good advice from brandy and ruby!!! End-1111-- you are the powerful one! Reading your post it seems the wicked sisters want to be like you, and instead of realizing that, you are turning their jealousy on yourself!!!
I know-- I do it, too:) let's promise each other--Sisters of our Hearts-- that we
treat ourselves the way we treat each other here, on Aging Care! With Love,
Encouragement, Unconditional Support, and Humor! Why not?
We have a secret society of sorts that outsiders do not share. I am so Thankful
for this haven for Caregivers. Truly, we are Blessed in many ways. Even though
we are tired, we were set apart to do this job of caregiving. We are special,
strong, and compassionate. The world is full of selfish and greedy people who
are beneath our dignity. Let's try to think in higher terms of self respect.
Please bring out your paints and create something. With the deeper dimensions of a caregiver's perspective, your work will take on a different light. Let us know..
to All you Beautiful Caregivers: hugs, Christina xo
Oh, believe me I am mostly positive. I have found many ways of relieving stress. It is only occasionally now that I lose my center. I lose it because I'm tired! I know my sisters are just wounded little spirits just like all of us, but when forced to be in a large presence of negativity (holidays, special events) it is so draining. To be in such a hostile room is tedious and exhausting. I've been doing it for so long, and have no real personal life. Yes I see friends, but I feel I need much more than that. I need to be in the presence of others who are in "my boat". I wish my sisters no harm, nor do I feel getting into it with them is at all productive either for them or me. My one sister is getting divorced after being married for 15 yrs to a wonderful man. My dad ADORES this guy like a son. She decided now, when dad is so sick, to announce it and put the blame on her husband. She has cheated on him for years, but dad does not know it. I just went BS and impulsively spewed my feelings to my other sister (something I never do). Seeing tears in my fathers eyes just made me sick, but no one can protect him from everything and I know that. Sometimes (rarely) I lose it, and I did yesterday. Today I wish I hadn't. It was stooping beneath my higher self for sure, but it happened and I forgive myself for it. Sometimes anger needs to be expressed if we feel it strongly, which I have learned not to do. It was a regression. Feelings run deep when watching someone die a little each day. You feel like a bit of you is dying too. I try to do healing things, but the situation is always there waiting. I just want it to end. I will miss him so much, but he is suffering and 82 yrs old. I fear getting sick after this. I cannot . . . .cannot paint. My body refuses, and my inspiration is nowhere to be found. I have invented a new product though, and am dealing with marketing people and legal issues pertaining to it. It is rewarding, but still I am stuck here in this hell of a house of which I hate. Today is just a bad day. To top things off I am bipolar, suffer from traumatic stress disorder and have ADHD...FOR REAL!!! A lot of people are diagnosed these days with these things but it is mostly bs. For me it's real! I have had 11 giant surgeries due to a congenital disability and am also in constant physical pain. My father is stubborn and yelling all the time. I know he doesn't mean it, but all these factors are catching up. I'm just so abnormally tired.
Totally understand. You are using your creative abilities regarding the new invention, so your talent is diverted to another area. Fantastic. It is all simply overwhelming and thats all you can say. Vent and breathe. Do the best you can.
You are doing a fantastic job, your Dad loves you, and people who are guilty and
small minded do act differently than we do, because they are different. I try to
look at this time of caregiving and exhaustion as if I am looking down "from above" at a board game.... It must be someone's turn next, right?!
game.
I like that..."a board game". Yes! I fell off my spiritual understandings yesterday, and got caught up in the human BS. Is your sleep normal? Mine is not. It is an agitated sleep, and I wake in the night often. Sleep deprivation makes it worse too. It just feels like I never really am able to relax anytime, or anywhere, This responsibility looms like a dark cloud always. I miss me!
Sleep is interrupted some nights. I rarely sleep more than 5 hours at a time. Relaxing and reading anything more than a few paragraphs is difficult, too. I moved my Mother into a care home the end of August. I am not in the aftermath, I am not a physical caregiver, but emotional and administrative. Some who are have said it takes time to find your own life again. Mine is here, somewhere... I just saw it a minute ago...
I have been here, in his home for three straight years tending to everything. He is still functional in many ways. The nature of his illness changes daily though, so I never know what I'll be dealing with on any given day. I am a very very sensitive person, and a lot gets in. It's just the way I am. It's a blessing in some ways, but a curse in others. I'm also a really nervous person often, and can become overwhelmed if I feel overloaded. I have been having this antsy feeling..hard to explain. It's in my mind and body. I can't get comfortable no matter what I do. I have also aged tenfold since it started. I look so much older than I should. When I look at my face all I see is lines of pain, and worry. Tomorrow I'll probably feel differently, but today is a bad one. I get up at 5:00am three days a week to take him to dialysis. Tomorrow is one of those days so I hope I can sleep. I shattered my ankle 26 yrs ago, and am in end stage arthritis. I'm holding out till the technology for replacements is better. The pain is unbelievable, and I have to take pain medication for it or I can't walk at all. That makes me feel crappy too. Thank you so much to take the time and compassion to listen and reply to my diatribe!!! One day at a time, right?
Hi, endofmyrope1111. Your sharing reminds me that caregiving will break even the strongest among us. Your depression is understandable as you are dealing with so much including your Dad's declining health and your life being practically at a standstill because of the circumstances in which you find yourself. I have never had to deal with sour relatives, but can identify with your feelings of depression and wanting to drive and never stop. Difficult though it may be, there comes a time that you will need to come to terms with the fact that your Dad is not getting any better, and neither are you. His best care is probably in a nursing home of your (and his) choosing somewhere, sooner rather than later, to allow you to emotionally and physically heal. You have endured a marathon. You have also done your best. It's time to free yourself from the vicious cycle of your idle sisters and marathon eldercare to do what's best for both you and your Dad. Sounds like you are at the threshold of the next step in your Dad's eldercare and the first day of the rest of your life. You are not getting younger and neither is your Dad. Make it easier on both of you. There is no shame in recognizing when we have done as much as we can do humanly. Blessings, healing and peace to you. I so understand your weary spirit.

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