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I'm at my breaking point. I'm also perimenopausal and that doesn't help. I can't seem to shake my anger and resentment and depression. I've been taking care of her for several years and she is on oxygen 24/7. We usually get along fine but she's very needy and has few friends and i'm her sole source of emotional support. She won't go to the senior center. Taking her on vacation means no break for me. We're staying in a wonderful condo with nice amenities but her needs will constantly be in my face. I will be exhausted by the end of the trip. I don't know how to tell her we need to shorten the length of the stay. She needs to get away as much as I do and I know this means so much to her. I just can't put this in perspective. This may be her last vacation. She has pulmonary fibrosis and is nearing the end of the life expectancy.

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I think this may help those that are having trouble with depression and shake the care giving blues for at least a few minutes. Look on youtube for Let Me Call You sweetheart!!!

This seems to be the most memorable song to our Elders and strikes a mood like a miracle!!!
I saw a woman at Mom's NH singing this song with a man word for word, they were holding hands and dancing without the use of their legs, both in wheelchairs. When they were done she said to him you want to sing another song? He said "yes, I'd love to but I don't know the words" she said "how about this one" She started signing, he joined in once again it was the same song, it was like they were signing together for years!!! Neither of them knew that they just sang it just moments before the man even said "Oh I like that one" it was like a contagious good emotion that spread quickly throughout the room, soon everyone in the room was either signing or tapping or humming or smiling, you could see a happy emotion take over the angriest residents bodies as if they were suddenly possessed by a youthful soul!!! A complete change of the Aura in the room. This I was so glad to have witnessed. That's when I realized there is a spark if you look in the right place.
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Inthestorm and Smitty: Please just humor me and try this: whenever you are feeling very upset, as soon as you catch yourself swallowing all that anger, depression or resentment how about making up a song! Someone gave me the lyrics and I had to come up with the music. So I am passing on the lyrics to you and you just make up the music or borrow from a tune you really like.
You sing out loud if alone, or in your mind if you are not alone or feel you cannot sing in front of anyone.
The lyrics are simple, yet very powerful. I find myself singing that very often. At the beginning it feels like lip service, but hey, fake it until you feel it and you will.

"I am love"
"I am light"
"I am spirit descended"
"I am pure"
"I'm divine"
"May I know this NOW"

Make it your mantra song. Repeat it as many times as you can keep your focus and sing it as often as you can remember to do so while you are doing any chores that do not require that much focus. Sing it when you get up in the morning, when you go to bed at night.
I was also told that in order to make any habit, you need to repeat it numerous times during 40 days minimum and it will yield results and stick. I was skeptical but decided to give it a shot also to humor this dear friend who definitively cares about me.
Well, it has been months now (almost a year) and definitively is one of my favorite mantras. Through repetition I began to feel how little by little I began to believe the words, to feel them as part of my inner self and I got to admit that the results have been indeed very positive. Every time I catch myself going down the dark side I immediately shift my attention and sing my song. Honestly sometimes it just heals me in a few minutes, sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes I just laugh, sometimes I cry. But every time it carries my spirit out of the dark side. There is nothing that can prevent life from happening or crappy stuff and we will always react to the external circumstances. That is just HUMAN, but remembering that we come from the DIVINE really provides the strength go through the short passage of imbalance to a more lasting balance and center. Before that the passage through the dark side used to take a lot longer, now sometimes is just a few seconds, a few minutes. Before it was hours or even days.
Would you please humor me? And let me know! Remember, stick to it for at least 40 days and keep me posted please!
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Smitty: I can't seem to shake my anger, depression or resentment either. A lot of it is toward myself for allowing this to happen in the first place. Your story is my story except I would never consider taking mom on vacation and I have no idea how long she will live. In the nursing home, she almost died and I rescued her. She is thriving now--better than me--and I feel guilty all of the time for wanting my life back almost wishing her life would end. But I really do not want that, I just want to love her and care for her from a distance...but since she did so horribly in a nursing home, I do not know how to get her back to one. She only thinks of the horrible place not realizing there are others that could be perfect, I think. She isn't very social. I am her everything. I always have been. She always tells me, in her half mental state, that she had me for a reason and taking care of her was the reason. Wow, I suppose that is meant to be a compliment, but really?
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AnaGina: I wish you were here to help me too, but you did help me with your words and I wanted to acknowledge the time it took for you to express your feelings. You are right, nobody can help me but myself. Facing my mom is like facing my future and sometimes I want to run away as fast as I can. Not knowing how long this will last is a horrible feeling because you are almost wishing someone to go away, but really, all you want is a chance to find little moments of happiness. My brother and sister do not care about me or they would come regularly and visit. Knowing someone is in her room, even if it is for just an hour, brings so much relief. I want to find outside help, but mom is so bitter toward others--especially women. Her mom died when she was 8 and she has NO idea what I am dealing with partly because of dementia but mostly because she never did it. She keeps telling me she wants to give me all of her assets as if that could help me deal with this better. There is no amount of money that can give you back to yourself, if that makes sense.
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Hi there! I feel your pain in your words and I wish I could be there to lend you a hand. These are natural feelings caused by the frustration and helplessness we feel many times for the challenges that life presented us with. As caregivers I feel that most of the time we are in a roller coaster of emotions where we slowly going up the hill with lots of effort and when we reach the top and we believe we have a handle on things, something happens that sends us speeding down to the bottom without any brakes. And so continues the ride with twists and turns, and we want to get off but we know we can't and we only wish the ride will be over soon. A minute can turn into an eternity when we are experiencing all these negativity. We need someone to help us shift our perspective and focus in something positive. I don't know if you like to read, but reading has been a life-saver for me. Through books we acquire knowledge and through knowledge we empower ourselves to make necessary (although painful) changes. Our feelings are directly affected by the quality of our thoughts. If we are constantly dwelling in what we lack, what happened in the past, how miserable we are, etc. we are contributing and feeding all those negative feelings. So the key is to pay attention to our thoughts and learn to become aware of them to be able to make the shift towards a better quality of thinking. There is a book that has helped me tremendously to make this shift. The title is :Who switched off my brain (controlling toxic thoughts and emotions) by Dr. Caroline Leaf. She even offers a thought detox program in her book. If you really want to help yourself to ease this pain, you must do something about it because NOBODY can do it for you. It is not easy, it feels like a lot of work, but even if you can manage to read at least one page a day, in two weeks you would have finished the first chapter and learned something that will help you help yourself. If you do nothing then in two weeks you will still feeling miserable. One of the hardest things to do when we are feeling anger and resentment is to accept the fact that we are the ones who have to do something about it. We refuse to take charge of our thoughts and emotions because we feel exhausted and are probably not very well nourished. But little tiny steps, one at a time is a good start any time. I hope this helps! you are not alone, you have found this forum where you can be free to speak your mind without being judged, criticized or put down. We all understand how we feel and we all know that there are very bad days where we just feel like giving up. So do not feel guilty about your feelings, instead confront them and address them. Once I read a quote that says that feeling anger and resentment is like drinking poison and hoping that it will kill someone else. The negativity ONLY harms the person who dwells in it. Our elderly loved ones do not have the capacity of reasoning any more. They do not do all the things they do out of spite even tough it feels like it. They are unhappy and dissatisfied and have lost their freedom and independence. We need to think of them as mirrors and do everything we can so that we will not turn into them in a few years. The best lesson they can give us is that as long as we do not take care of ourselves, we are headed towards elderly age in a not so pretty shape. They are the perfect teachers to teach us to learn self-control and self-discipline. It is not easy. It is a long fight against ourselves, because we act as our own worst enemy. We are filled with bad habits hard to change, but it is possible and it is up to us. It is okay to fall down again and again, but what is important is NOT to remain in the ground for too long. We must get up, dust ourselves up, chin up, and keep walking with dignity.
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Hi Smitty. Sure sounds like burn out to me. Something very natural and understandable. ((hugs))) Is there anyway you can have someone come on the vacation with you that might help with your Mom? Someone whom might not normally be able to afford a vacation. Someone who can watch your Mom for 75% (or 60)of the time and then have 25 %(40) of the time to do as they please- a niece or a friend? My parents have asked that of me - for my Mom but we have not done that yet. My dad would love to go on another cruise with my Mom who is wheel chair bound and has some dementia and needs full help with self care. Basically I would go as a "nurse" and get a free cruise out of it with my own free time after my Mom's needs are met. It has its flaws ( my husband being left to care for our special needs teen alone and having to take half days from work off being a biggie) but it also has the potential for many memory makers and something for my Dad and Mom to look forward to.
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Are you in counselling? You don't want to burden your mother with your feelings, so they build up inside. An objective, trained third party to talk to can be very helpful.
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