I feel so much guilt for even joining a group regarding my feelings. I feel as if my life is over. I'm not suicidal, but have given up on any hope.

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Please don't get angry with me if i am annoying. i feel that it is time to vent. I am 46 yrs old. my husband and i have lived in my mother's home for 7yrs. i have 2 grown children and 1 grandson. 4 older siblings. my mother is 84. she does not have dementia, but her personality has understandably changed. she can't be left alone, per doctors orders. she has chf. passing out episodes. My siblings do not offer any moral support. one of my sister's is her payee. this takes some stress off of me. i have no friends left. i can't work anymore. my husband snd i have no relationship left at all. i know my health isn't the greatest. every minute of my time is expected to be devoted to my mom. i love her. that is not an issue. but, i have nothing left. my mind is blank. i barely feel like shpwering anymore. i know most advice says to reach out to siblings. that would be pointless. when i have even hinted, they always say that mom feels most comfortable with me. so it is best this way. my whole day, every day, consists of caring for mom. checking b/p, sugar levels. showering, making meals. no, there is no help from the state. we have applied. apparently she gets too much in ss. we share the bills hete. money is too tight to hire anyone to help. i am worried. i have went from being an educated, working, friendly extrovert to someone who is afraid to lock eyes with anyone in the grocery store. from a sometime smoker to a chain smoket. from being chubby to obese. i have no interest left in anything. i fake it for my kuds and grandkids sake. i am not blaming anyone. nor do i want my mom to pass. i just need help. or at the very least, i need my family to recognize this. all of my siblings are older than me. everyone of them work, have good marriages, spend much time with their families. i can barely have a convetsation with my kids without having to jump up and do something for mom. here comes more self pity. Sounds like high school jealousy, i know. my sister that is 6 yrs older than me. the one closest in age, has suddenly become best friends with all of my old friends. this was a circle of about 10 very close friends that i had for close tp 30 yrs. It sounds crazy, but i feel as if it was almost done on purpose! i have gradually lost contact with them, for obvious reasons. no time for sociallizibg. she sure does! She also has her own circle of great friends. i don't know why she would insinuate herself in my life like this. she even seems to delught in rubbing it in my face. i have so much resentment toward my siblings that i can barely be civil on the rare event they visit mom. enough of that. well, i just need advice on how tp keep my sanity. my mom needs me. i fantasize about moving out. working again. doing my hair and makeup. visiting my kids at their hpmes. taking my grandson places. not going to happen. This is my reality. i feel tremendoys guilt for feeling this way. i can't confide in my old friends anymore. as i said, they are closer to my sister now. i can't trust them to not tell her if i vent to them. sounds like I'm on a self pity trip. I'm not. i know that i gave to assume some responsibility for getting to this place in my life.


Jean....I'm sorry that you are feeling so hopeless, n believe me, when I say, that we have all felt that same hopelessness, at some point in our responsibilities as a caregiver. From your description of things, I don't know a single person, that wouldn't be feeling the same emotions....but you must start from the beginning, n that is with yourself...

When I first started taking care of both my parents, I remember feeling so lonely, lost, n terribly depressed...n there are many days that I still deal with all those feelings...especially when dad has a day where he calls me, up to 10 times a day...
I knew that I was in a crisis, n if I didn't find help, I wouldn't be any help to my parents...I did see a therapist for a while, n he put me on anti-depressants, which put me in a much better place to handle the stress of my life, n then i found a voice, by joining the AC family...Honestly, I don't know too many caregivers that aren't on some kind of medication, becuz the stress of this job, is so, over whelming, n we are only one person, n very much, a human being, n very, very much....important....You have to come to a point, where you understand, that you, deserve, a life, a family, loving n healthy relationships, n most of all, happiness . We tend to think, that becuz we have chosen, to be a caregiver to a loved one, that our lives, stop....not true.....You can't give up on yourself....you deserve much, much more, but, sometimes, we have to scratch n claw our way out of the hole, that has become our life....it's difficult, n challenging....but, it can be done...

I'm so glad that you chose to join a group of, amazing, wonderful, caregivers, who will understand where you are, n can support, encourage n advise you, through this journey...Finding an outlet to release your feelings, is the first step that is necessary, to start your journey from your abyss.. Congratulations for taking that
first step, n we will all embrace you , as long as you need us...Things will become clearer, if you continue to stay with us....I promise...

My heart is with you, n my prayers....Please, come back n share anything you need too, with us...we will, all, be here, to help....

Before this day is through, you will have heard from many wonderful people, that will give you some strength, n do their,very best, to advise you... you are NOT, alone.....God Bless, Jean......Beck
Thank you so much. i literally cried when i read your response. after much time lurking, i felt it was time to share my own feelings. Just to be able to write my comment was a stress reliever. getting a response released a floodgate of emotions. i am going to try to take the advice given to me. i really am. i have no health insurance. my husband's employer only covers him. hete is my issue with our local cmh. my sister was a case manager there for several years. she is still friends with everyone. from the secretaries to the psychiatrists. i know all about confidentiality. but i also have heard enough stories from her to know that this is a joke. she would here every detail of my problems if i went to them for help. i am not comfortable with that. i believe that if i were to seek help from themed
bably would be put on meds. i have no issues with that. i too used to work in the mental health field. i understand that meds don't=crazy. lol.
Sorry about that ending there! got a little messed up. anyhow. like i said. i don't know how to get help except for paying out of pocket. i can't afford that. thanks again for the response. it means the world to me to have a place to share my story. maybe even help others.
Jean...tears are, good....keep em comin....n keep posting....
I understand what your concern is,about confidentiality , regarding your sister, n your situation with health insur..these are obstacles , that many of us deal with..it must be extremely frustrating that your sister has such an impact on your private life...we will brain storm, n help you find a solution....until then....Does your sister have access to THIS forum ??? I hope not....n if she ever does....we'll find a solution for that, too.....:)....Stay strong..
Jean, as beckncall53 suggests, you really deserve some therapy for yourself. Is there another community within your county where you could be better assured confidentiality?

Not to make excuses for your siblings, but I certainly had no idea what full-time caregiving was like until I was thrust into it. Part of their behavior MIGHT be cluelessness. If at all possible, try to arrange for them to stay with Mom at least an entire weekend, while you and hubby go somewhere. This would be very educational for them. I know this might be very difficult to arrange but it would be very worthwhile. Otherwise, accept that you are not responsible for your sibs' behavior and trying to get them to change is one thing you can cross off your to-do list.

Your mother needs someone with her. She cannot live alone. But are you really sure that she needs someone at her beck and call 24/7. If she really and truly needs the level of care you are providing, she needs more than one caregiver. She probably needs to be in a facility.

See if you can cut back on your service to her. Start by adding in just ONE THING FOR YOU. Put your makeup on and dress nicely each day (that is an example -- you pick what is important to you, of course.) Figure out how to arrange Mother's day so that you can do this. If you have to say, "Mom, I'll do that for you later," so be it. If you have to make her breakfast time a half an hour later, do that. After you have that one thing firmly back into your day, add another thing. Maybe it is an uninterrupted telephone conversation with a friend. Maybe it is 20 minutes of exercise every single day. Maybe it is working on a hobby such as scrapbooking or gardening or cake decorating. But add some regular time for yourself back into your day. And definitely add couple time. Twice a week you and hubby play cards or scrabble or yatze and visit. Just the two of you. Arrange the timing so Mother is not apt to need you, and only interrupt your couple time for a real emergency. Eat several dinners each week with just the two of you. Etc.

If you work diligently at taking back some "me" time and some "couple" time, you may be surprised that mother doesn't really NEED as much attention as you've lavished on her. This should be great news for you. Or you may confirm your present belief that taking care of her is a fulltime job with no breaks. If that is the case (after you have very conscientiously tested taking breaks) then she is not a good candidate for a single caregiver situation. She needs either in-home care in addition to you, or she needs to be in a care facility.

I know you love your mother. I wonder is that is getting in the way of making reasonable, practical decisions. Remember that you love yourself, too, and that you love your husband. You love your children and grandchildren. Love is a constant here, but the practical realities have to balanced so all your love can come into play. It isn't only about loving Mother.

I am also going to write about the financial aspect here, but this has gone on long enough, and I need to do a few practical things of my own. :) It sounds like one of your sibs is handling finances. Does she have POA? Who has medical POA?

More later (unless you tell me to stop, please.)
Don't feel guilty, they are your feelings and you are allowed to have them. It was very hard for me to handle caring for my Mother and Father and everything that came with it. I reached out to my siblings and they told me they didn't want to hear me complain. That it was a privelege to take care of our parents. They had no idea of what strength it took ust to carry on day to day. I found that sharing feelings on this forum helped me cope. It is a safe place filled with people who understand what you are going through. You are not alone we care.
I am so sorry your caregiving has reached the point of taking away your personal ife. It happens so easy over time that when we realize what we have done to ourselves it is like a dam bursting.

Your first responsibility is to yourself and your family. Have you considered a family meeting with your siblings...not asking for help but letting them know what kind of help you need. For example: a weekend a month off, at lease one day a week to yourself and help with taking care of the house. Surely out of the 4 of them and/or their grown kids this should be manageable.

If they are not able to physically do for whatever reason; then you need to let them know how much money they can contribute each month so you are able to take care of yourself. Personally, I think 4 siblings should be able to come up with $400.00 a month to help you out. You have sacrificed more than they will ever understand so they can do a little belt tightening if necessary to help you now.

Contact your local senior services office for what services might be available for you and your Mom to take advantage of. Local churches sometimes have groups that provide companion service to give respite to caregivers. You might even suggest that one of your siblings take the time to research available assistance for you.

We are here for you! God bless and good luck!
County Mental Health centers are not your only option. There are private therapists who charge on a sliding scale for people who qualify. Since your husband works, I would think he would be willing to pay for you to get therapy. However, that might not be possible since as you wrote you and your husband have no relationship at all. He must still love you since he remains with you although it sounds like you have emotionally abandoned him while you have become emotionally enmeshed with your mother. What kind of example is that for your children and grandchildren?
I could give you 1000 reasons why I completely understand where you are coming from. I am also new to this site, and have already found just knowing that I am not crazy, I am not a terrible person for my feelings, and that I am not alone to be so helpful. My MIL and special needs sisters full time care has consumed my life over the past 6 months. They both live with me and my husband and his brothers are of NO help and both life less than 15 mins away. I have tried to make time for myself once every other week to see friends and go out, but I always have to wait to leave till after I have gotten them both ready for bed and 9pm meds are completed. Then I am up at 7am every morning to do morning meds and breakfast. It is exhausting, it is completly life "sucking" and drains ever once of self worth. I am angry and resentful all the time. I am on anxiety meds now, but they are not really helping anymore.
I hope that just being able to speak to people without judgement will be thereaputic. There are no support groups near me for caregivers so I am reaching out to cyberspace.
Good luck and know that there is a least one other person how knows exactly how you feel
perhaps indiana is a trailblazer in the care of elderly. it wouldnt surprise me as i think hoosiers are generally pretty progressive thinkers. my mother had a heart episode 6 months ago and has been dx'd with dementia also. she was promptly recommended for in home hospice care altho her doc says she is and isnt eligible. for whatever reasons she was approved its turned out to be a blessing. hospice keeps meds prepared and ordered and having observed that she lives with just myself and hasnt much else for companionship they have a home care girl coming by every day ( 1-1/2 hrs ) simply to give mom companionship. i feel like their services are customized to our needs.

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