Feeling awful about blowing up but it's hard to feel so unappreciated.

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Well, I have been taking care of my mom with dementia and working two jobs, plus have a brother and sister that are handicapped that live in our house as well. My brother has a caregiver during the day and my sister and I take care (mostly my sister because I have back problems) of him in the evening. I am the only one that drives, does the finances, gets the pills, runs all the errands, plus works a full time job plus a part time job.

So, everytime I do something it is either not enough or not good enough. Example - my sister had a shopping list of stuff, but didnt include hot dog buns. I didnt know what meals she was planning for the week (my fault I know). Anyway, I got everything on the list, plus stuff my brother wanted, and my Moms perscriptions.

I get home and my sister says "well I guess we will eat hot sausage on bread". Not oh I forgot to add hot dog buns to the list, etc. etc. So frustrating.

Well, last night I got home from work, mom started her routine of telling me how old she is (71) and asking how old I am (43). She has some kind of fixation on age...anyway, she comments its hot in here...five minutes later its cold in here. We go through this daily.

She complained that the light in the hallway we leave on at night is too bright. So, I was trying to find a way to put a lampshade or something on it and here I am up on a chair on my tippy toes trying to figure out how to fix this and she starts asking - what are you doing why are you doing that. Meanwhile, she has dizzy spells and has complaining about being dizzy all day and she is up out of her chair walking toward me. I am trying to keep my balance myself and trying to get her to sit down. She just keeps yelling at me.

I finally yelled back at her and said Mom hush up and sit down for a minute. She flipped on me and I couldnt stop myself. I just went off. I told her I am tired of working so much and coming home and worrying about who is going to be mad at me. I am tired of walking on eggshells and that I wasn't doing anything for anyone any more. With that I made sure she was sitting in her chair and I locked myself in my bedroom.

I didnt leave her by herself. My sister was there with her.

When I went back out to apologize they were both upset with me.

I feel so bad for lashing out, but this is so hard and I feel so unappreciated. But I realize that it isnt their fault that I am the only one healthy enough to do this, so I shouldnt get upset with them. But boy is it rough and I feel like a complete meany ignorant person.....

74 Comments

You did right. I am proud of you. Heck, if you own the house, I would tell a few people to make plans to get out. The schedule that you describe, can kill you, while everyone else lives happily ever after. I support you.

I don't know what is wrong with your mom, but at 71, she could live another 20 years.
Stop it, do you hear yourself? Reread what you wrote. It is time for a change, it can't go on like this forever, or you will be worse the wear. Look into other alternatives for yourself, perhaps, I am talking so much now from my own experience, maybe just maybe it is different for you, but it does not sound like it. I have pulled myself through the wringer and if I don't do something which I hopefully am, I will be destroyed. You are human, why do we always forget this first and take on a truck load of guilt. Others use guilt and shame to control, take care of yourself, before there is nothing left of you.
Hear, hear! If you are the primary caregiver and wage earner you need to take time for your self. Sit your family down and calmly explain that you are only human and can only do so much. After working a full week, you deserve an hour to yourself when you get home and a whole day off once a week. Tell your family you will shop once a week and if its not on the list it's not your fault. You will do household chores at a particular time. I find it helpful to right out a complete list of jobs and the hours it takes to complete them including private time for yourself.
Ask them is it too much to ask for some breathing room. When I need to vent, I tell them I am angry and can't think clearly. Then I leave the house for 10-20 minutes to cool off. Good luck and know that there are plenty who sympathize and understand your situation.
You need a vacation. Would sis be capable of ordering groceries online for either you to pick up or have delivered? In my area, this can be done and the only charge is $10.00 for delivery. A very good investment in your situation and one thing off of your plate. You have enough responsibility try to delegate in any way you can.
Kimmy-
I just realized that last post I saw from you about mom finding a male companion. Take her to a day program, let her make friends, dependence on you will diminish. There are so many options for help. I doubt that blowing up at her has helped the situation at all, and understand the guilt. But, you are caring for more than your mom, you also need to care for yourself, get the help you need. Yes, it would be hard to let go, but you need to do it for yourself as well.
Forgive yourself. We probably all do what you did. I know I go off at least every week or two... even more often if you consider the times I go off when I am by myself. You have a load of stuff heaped on you. I don't know what your sister's physical limitations, but since she is more able to handle your brother than you are, it sounds like she can do most of the things except working a job. There shouldn't be much left for you to do when you get home except maybe to go shopping for groceries.

Does your mother get SS and do your siblings get disability? I wondered why you needed to hold down 1.5 jobs. It sure would be easier if you just had the one.

I don't know if it is a problem for you, but one of the worst problems I had when I moved in with my parents was that I was super-responsible. I wanted to do and fix everything around. It was terrible, especially when one parent countered everything I did. I am learning to be less responsible now. I feel guilty at times, but I was wearing myself out before. It wasn't anything that was required of me. I just thought I should do and fix anything that needed doing/fixing. I am beginning to learn that the world keeps turning even if I don't get the bushes trimmed and the floors mopped. One more step downhill and people will start calling me lazy, I'm sure, but this is a marathon, not a sprint.
You deserve an award for doing so much for other people. It would be almost impossible to be under so much stress and not blow up. Your family should appreciate how much you are doing for them. Don't feel guilty- you are only human and can only take so much. You should make some time for yourself, and try to get outside help if possilbe. You can't continue on like this forever.
You should be a candidate for sainthood! No, don't ever feel badly for sounding off. Your plate is really full and the frustrations you feel are perfectly normal. Your daily routine is overwhelming---can you afford an hourly caregiver to come in and help out? So sorry you are going thru this ---prayers sent your way.

Do NOT feel bad about venting - you are a person with feelings and emotional and physical limitations like any other person. You are doing your best in a horrible situation, as many of us are struggling to do, and you would literally harm yourself - physically - if you didn't let this anger and frustration out from time to time. It has to come out, and while you can vent here, to your friends, at a support group, etc..., sometimes venting to the person/persons who are pushing you to your last nerve are the ones you have to vent to. Not that it will do any good sometimes, especially when people are old, have dementia, or are just so used to being selfish and demanding that they don't know of any other way to be. But vent you must, and vent you will. You are NOT a bad person for doing so. The fact that you've worked so hard to care for people is proof that you're a good person. Give yourself some credit and take care of YOU for a change.
No need to feel bad about letting off steam, I blow at my husband at least once a day. He gets around fine but his dementia is bad one day and not so bad the next, it always leaves me wondering if he is faking it. He has no reason to fake it and I do see his confusion, but I guess I am looking to blame someone. He won't do anything unless I tell him to do it, like dust furniture, run the vacuum, ride the mower in the front yard and then I have to remind him again. I don't work outside the house but I don't have any help either. BTW he turned 68 in July and I will be 67 in Oct. I guess I feel life has become totally unfair.

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