I'm failing as a caregiver and feel SO distressed!!!

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Hi Everyone. Sorry I've been MIA for a while. My mom just had another surgery for her CHF and peripheral artery disease. She's home now but is still weak and can't do much for herself. I'm still having bad panic attacks, severe depression and the chronic pain has gotten worse. I can't keep up with things like I used to and I feel SO GUILTY!!! I'm totally alone with my mom and s-father and am so overwhelmed! I stay in my room most all of the time. I'm beyond crying. I'm also in the full stages of Menopause and it's tearing me apart physically and emotionally. My mom is buying clothing and shoes out of catologs, and I can't afford toothpaste! The disability check I get each month doesn't cover the bills I have. I have to ration my meds. I can't get away from the house b/c I don't have the money to put gas in my car and the pain I have is too bad for me to drive. I don't have any friends to call and talk to and can't afford to see my therapist at this point...when I need her the most. I won't be able to see her for the entire month of May either. I can't stop the sadness and guilt I feel. I'm an only child. I wish I had a sibling! My mom continues to smoke cigarettes even though it's a slow suicide for her to continue to do so. She sits at the kitchen table most all day long, smoking. She has NO hobbies. She won't even read. My s-father sleeps most all day. I get panicky when I know I have to leave my room and go out to be with them. The guilt over me wanting to avoid seeing them like that is awful! I feel like a horrible person for wanting to just be alone. I love my mom dearly and don't want to lose her. I have no other relatives, but she's not the "mom" I used to have. Since my pain is invisible (herniated discs, fibro, osteoarthritis, myofacial pain syndrome, CRPS, etc...), I feel like others think I'm fine, since I look fine. But I'm not fine at all. I'm falling apart! I did s/w my mom's social worker in the hospital and she agreed that my mom needed nursing care to come into the house to check on her. I finally had it set up to get some help. When the nurse called to say she was coming to visit, my mom told her "she did not need any help" and refused to have the visiting nurses come in. I'm 50 years old and have absolutely no life of my own. I have a curfew here, living with my mom and s-dad. I have no privacy. Friends are long gone. No one wants to come into this house b/c it's so dysfunctional and depressing. I don't blame them. My s-dad always insults any female that comes into the house, sexually. I grew up with that kind of abuse my entire life. I won't subject anyone to what I've been through. I can't date b/c I have nowhere to bring a nice guy home to and I'm so limited in when I'm "allowed" to go out b/c of all that needs to be done at home. My puppy (3 year old Pom) keeps me sane, but I don't trust leaving him at home without me b/c I fear that he could get out and be harmed if my s-dad doesn't watch that he doesn't run out when he opens the door. I almost lost my puppy once b/c of him not being watched properly. I'm so sorry for rambling. I feel so horribly alone and hopeless and know that I'm not alone. I know that everyone here is going through many similar feelings of being overwhelmed. I was a nurse for 26 years before having to go on disability, and I was never SO stressed taking care of 10-15+ patients at one time, as I am in taking care of just two. I used to have such a positive attitude and hope. I fear that's gone forever. Thanks SO much for all of your support! Love and Strength to you all!
Kathy K.


Willow 215... I do not personally understand panic attacks but I have a b/f who gets them and is social phobic due to them I think that's why. I also had a grandmother who would never leaves the house in fear she might be judged. I also had a sister in law who had them as well, she OD'ed on meds she was manic depressive accidental not suiside. The drama you are living with is hard on anyone having this issue ontop must be horrible for you. Drawing is a good way to release stress and shut off the side of your brain that "thinks to much". There is a book Drawing with the left side of the brain. My b/f uses music to escape as well. Candles and incense help him too. Has your Mom been diagnosed and stabilized? If you are disabled you should protect any inheritance if you are heir to anything by setting up a Trust accordingly. Especially if your Mom's caregiver you may be entitled but will lose anything given to you if not in such a trust. You should think in a possative way. You can think yourself into a better state of mind. It works really, for example you have alot of medical problems but you still have that pup who makes you smile. I am here for you and take one day at a time.
You haven't failed at anything. You are sick yourself! Your dealing with unbelievable circumstances and surviving. Be proud of yourself and realize you are human and not a robot. Rest easy girl! Wuvs gave good advice and I hope it helps. Praying for you... along with all of us on this site.
If I remember correctly, your mother was coming home from another visit to the hospital and you were trying to get someone to understand that you were not up to taking care of her before you went MIA. It also sounded like the environment at home was very abusive. I don't know how you have survived this long, but it is time for both of them to go to a nursing home and for you to get some freedom.

As always, my heart and thoughts are with you. On the forum's homepage, click on "Caregiver Support" for assistance with dropping the guilt and other ways to feel better.

-- ED
Willow I was also a nurse for many years and could always get my assignments done and give TLC to pt.s but I had to go on disability also and when I stopped working my husband slowly at first was unable to do anything for himself even though I was in as much pain and he was with fibro RA OA and degerative disc and have developed polymyalgia also he was do demanding and would say at work you had 6 pt's now you only have one. As the years went by it got harder for me to take care of him and finally had to make the decision to place him. I was going to a therapist and told her I could not believe nobody would step up and say it was too much for me-she said I wanted someone to rescue me and it was not going to happen-I had to rescue myself. He was in rehab at a nursing home-the one close to us would no longer take him- and a a family meeting I spoke up and said I can no longer take care of him and the nurses and social worker and PT all said of course you can't and then I got the support I was needing for so long. I do not know how you have been manageing fibro alone makes you tired and you probably can not sleep well and have either much pain or so very tired. If you mother can sit and smoke all day she can call social services and get some help for you or just tell the two of them they are going to have to be placed. If you go to the grossed out thread you will meet a great group of caregivers and former caregivers like me and Bobbie and others who will give you support and love.

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