How in the world do you NOT "take it personal?"

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Maybe the right phrase is not "don't take it personally" but "realize it's not your fault - you are not the one with the defect!"
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Gershun, I know what you mean but I did not mean it that way. With my Dad I had that kind of "purer" grief and heartbreak for sure. There were the bittersweet visits where he was clearly the same person inside that he had always been but could do so little for himself, and even some of his confabulated memories reflected happy things he had always wanted and maybe had never really shared.... There's just something more - I don't know how to say it - but "normally" sad about caring for the one you had a good life story and relationship with it, versus the guilt, the inadequacy, and the longing that will never be fulfilled with the one whose relationship was always conficted and all hope of positive change towards more closeness, pride or real positive feeling is gone. Maybe it is only the difference between a knife in your heart and a knife being twisted around in your chest!
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Loved so many quotes in that movie, Rainmom. I am glad you liked it too.
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Send - that was perfect. And - one of my favorite movie quotes. There is profound wisdom in "Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal".
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Dear Gershun and Ali,

You've both said it so well. My dad was a pacifist his whole life. But watching him decline since the stroke was one of the toughest things ever. It did slowly zap the life out of him. He was grumpy. I tried to make it right but it wasn't good enough. It is hard not to take it personally. I wanted my dad to stay alive and he was giving up on me. I couldn't accept it and I kept trying and trying. I wish I had found the support of this forum much sooner. The support here has been amazing.
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You've Got Mail, movie quote:
Joe Fox: It wasn't... personal.
Kathleen Kelly: What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn't personal to you. But it was personal to me. It's *personal* to a lot of people. And what's so wrong with being personal, anyway?
Joe Fox: Uh, nothing.
Kathleen Kelly: Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.
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You could make the argument that "elder care" could also be called "pre death care." We're caring for people in decline, for Loved Ones whose lives will be ending. That's tough, sad, and heartbreaking all on its own, whether the person is loving or the person is not so loving.
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vstefans, I disagree. Where there is love and caring also comes heartbreak. Sometimes, even more...........when someone you love so much is suddenly or in some cases slowly and painfully ripped from your life because of dementia, heart disease, and all the other ravages of aging you need the support just as much.
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The bit about fewer pix of each kid is almost a stereotype, it is so normal... but an abusive, neglectful childhood experience, of course, is not. The truth is any of could have had that - there is no more virtue in those of us who were raised with loving kindness than those of us who were not, or those of us raised with a mix of cruelty and caring. Always remember that there are more of us in the latter two groups on here just because our caregiving experience is so much more difficult and emotionally laden. The many families where there is less dysfunction to start with - where people may not be perfect but more or less think rationally and stick up for each other - may not need this site quite as badly!
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Jessie, it occurs to me that there is a significant difference in caring for people who have been or are abusive, and caring for someone with whom you have had a loving and healthy relationship.

I think most of us recognize that people who have dementia and people with no cognitive impairment are two separate groups. Caregiving advice for one group may not be applicable to the other group.

I'm beginning to think there is a similar divide between care receivers who have been/are abusive and those who have had a healthy relationship with the caregiver. Advice for one group does not necessarily apply to the other group.

When it comes to caregiving, one size advice does not fit all!
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