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I wake up every day thinking today is the day i will get the call saying my mother has passed. Some days I think this would be such a relief and then i feel guilty about it. She has terminal cancer but is not sick yet and i want her to pass before she is in pain.

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Thank you for writing this ~ it is so good to know that my feelings are shared but others!
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Thanks again everyone for your support, its appreciated! Lately all I do is fight with her! About money and her meds. She told me today that i would be happier if she was dead! No, alot less stressed but not happier. I don't know what the solution is at this point. She really can't afford to live where she is at any longer, the state is not providing enough help financially. I can't have her move in with us, i would end up crazy!! So i am at a loss of what to do anymore with her!! i am thinking the end must be near though because i argued like this with my father the two weeks before he passed almost 11 years ago.
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I feel the same way sometimes. It is the stress of waiting. My mom lives upstairs of us and we are always on pins and needles going upstairs because you never know what you might find. It would in some respects be a relief not to be responsible to take care of her and be able to focus on my own family. But I love her and hope she is around for a long time even though it takes its toll. You are not alone. Hang in there and just thank God you still have her. Take care of yourself first so you can be there for her. Your heart will guide you and don't feel guilty. We are all human and we sometimes have these thoughts. Good Luck.
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You put that quite well SnuBiz...Mine is also a B type of parent. Sometimes I feel like the ones that have the A type just do not understand and think that we should be joyful to be caring for our parent. Well, I wish it were that way...just isn't. My Mother has sucked the life and money out of 3 men and now it is my husbands and my turn. Since she had to have her nails done and missed her PT appointment she rescheduled for today...again....in conflict with my appointment...I asked her to call and try to reschedule hers...she says she tried but was not able to...I don't believe her. So today I get to come to work...wait for an employee to come in and then tell him that he is fired and then go home and get her to take her to her appointment ...drive back to work..go to my appointment and drive back home...thank goodness my husband can pick her up..oh yeah...we change cars somewhere in there as she can't get in my husband's truck. Yeah...I am irritated.
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Hi Folks -

I think we are writing of different types of parents:

A) The parent who has been a loving constant who is now in need of care due to their declining physical and mental states. While one feels overwhelmed with caretaking, wrestles with mixed emotions re: the toll it takes on them and us, the peaks and valleys so to speak - if the parent shows some spark of appreciation, just a little can sustain you. Certainly, moments of utter exhaustion, frustration, burn-out, emotional melt downs on your part will occur. But somehow, folks seem able to regroup and march on. Are these the parents that folks reflect that they felt it was a gift to be able to care for them during their declining years?

B) The parent that is now difficult, shows no comprehension re: how tough you have it as a caretaker and sees oneself as the victim. They have been good parents in their own way to us but the difficult nature of them now is overshadowing any good of the past. One's resentment can darken any psitives of the past (and remind us of past negatives). The resentment smoulders and you just want freedom from your own negative feelings - one wants to be put out of their misery. This is my situation. My mother has been a good mother in many ways. I don't mean to now paint her as totally negative but ... the times they are trying at this point. I try to keep things in perspective re: age and infirmities but ....

C) The difficult parent who has always been difficult. That finds fault with you, that has no appreciation for your sacrifices, that crushes the life out of you.

What other types of parents are there?

I am very appreciative for this site. Thank you for the feedback you have given me.

Folks - hang in there!!!
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Dear miss stuck;wow what a sacrifice that you have given up! I just recently gave up a hire positon as mangr in a salon and an opportunity to be closer to my son out of town.I don't hold my mom responsible for this choice,but boy do I get the battles as you that go w/the care we give.Please seek support from your local church.Mabey consider the senior opptions availible to you.You are keeping the cost off of the government so get what is afforded you. I you can go to a grp. you can find at a church, or support setting and HAVE SOME FUN! Go easy breath deep,and treat yourslf to a night out.
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Dear "does anyone else feel this way";
I think (if your heart is pure) that you are being totally human and logical.The sad fact is tho that it feels heartless to be logical in these situations. we want the best and most painless path for our loved ones huh?Well I will say I have witnessed the prolonged illnesses of some and know, no pain,no suffering is ever wasted in our lives. The one who suffers speaks to the world that we are weak and frail.I believe this is a place where God can show them and their loved ones how strong He really is.Mabey this will be a place where you can grow and find peace.Also,don't forget to rejoice in the deepth of love you have for your loved one.It is worth celebrating!
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Stuck, that's me too. As I read the comments, I can't believe how we are all on the same page. We are all experiencing the same emotional feelings and thoughts. I had to quit my job at the same time the lease on my jeep came to an end to take care of my mom with Dementia 24/7. We live on her SSI and a meezly retirement. My mom has always been a strong willed women and on the hateful side. Being her one and only daughter, you would think that I would be adored. That was just my hearts fantasy. Now here I am taking care of a mother who struggles with me constantly. She undoes everything I try to do for her. She is making me CRAZY! We are shutins without a car. I get a ride to get groceries once a month and sometimes I go visit the neighbor in the evening after I give her Trazadone to keep her calm. I don't want to get bitter. I know it won't be forever but I get really tired of doing. It's a thankless job. May we caregivers be blessed big time now in 2011. Happy New Year Dear Ones.............:) Lola
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I have to remember that she really is not thinking straight. There are times where she seems right on and then there are other times that she is totally confused. I never know which corner she is coming out of or where she is going...we walk on egg shells. I can not have a discussion with her..it always ends up in an argument...cause it is NEVER on her...NEVER. I think deep down she knows it is but will not admit it. Or just say ok I will try to let you know ahead of time or write it on the calender. It is always "I told you..you just do not listen or you did not hear me...you were busy." I have been through this so many times and it is getting old. I have always been able to accommodate her...but I knew the day would come that I could not. I am mad at myself for betting so angry about such a stupid thing. She does not want me in charge and so the saga continues of me trying to do what needs to be done...I guess I will just do it...damn the torpedoes...full speed ahead. I hate confrontation. It is so upsetting...Oh well....
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It can be hard to know when you really need to - or can - take over. Usually the finances or the schedule or the clutter whatever has to get into a significant mess before the person will even think about accepting any help. You may be able to get her to adjust to the idea that you can't just be there without advance planning and its not because you are a bad, neglectful person, but it may take time. Its funny what people assume, especialy when their judgement is not all that good.
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I too am awaiting a phone call. I try to visit twice a week, call daily to talk to her, she has late stage alzheimers with a feeding tube for food. Please don't feel guilty about having mixed feelings about her imminent death. With cancer, there may or may not be in pain, depending on the diagnosis. If you can, just spend some quality time with her when possibie, even calling her, talking about your life, kids, whatever, sharing your life with hers is great. She also may have lots of things she would want to talk to you about. Talk about the life shes had, the fun times you had together, and that she should never fear death. Get some books on the subject about the dying process, maybe by Dr. kubler-Ross, On Death and Dying, and a book about Afterlife for you to read. I found this book comforting and helpful in understanding what my mom is going through and the mixed feelings I am having. Get in touch with Hospice (they have good reading material) for yourself. Just make sure that she has proper pain control medication so that she does not suffer. You will always have mixed feelings about seeing your mom suffer and wanting her to have relief. I am exactly at that point now, but I realize it is not within my control now,. Try and make new memories of her, with conversations, visits and spend quality time with her. Knowing that she is loved and that you gave her that should alleviate any guilt that you may have since you gave all that you could to her. Recognize that You are in the process of losing a loved one, and there are different phases of loss that you will experience.
I hope this helps.
-H
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I will start asking what her schedule is...you see she wants to be in charge and that is why I just let her go and do her own thing, but it is getting to the point or is at the point where I need to be more proactive in her life. I guess she just caught me off guard when I was getting in my car to go to work and she just appeared all in a tissy about her appointment. I did tell her at that time that I was sorry but I had an appointment myself and would not be able to take her. She is perfectly capable of calling them and rescheduling. She had my husband take her..he has a big truck and abit hard to load her into it. But then..get this.. she had to have her nails done first and totally was late to the appointment and missed it. Should I just start doing all this for her? She won't ask if it is ok...just expects us to be available. She won't do any of this in the am...to hard for her to get going and she will miss her soaps.
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She;s etiher forgetful or manipulative - and either way, appointments can be rescheduled if need be. Especially if she hasn't had repeated missed appointments in the past, at least one at short notice can normally be forgiven. (e.g. "Mom, I just can't do it today - I didn;t know and I scheduled an appointment I can't miss! But I will help you call and get another time so they understand its not your fault, you just forgot to tell me and I couldn't do it...it'll be OK!") And then start asking at the end of each PT visit when the next one is rather than wiating for her to volunteer it. If you are really stuck, you can sometimes get non-emergency medical transportation - unfortunately its pretty expensive.
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I may miss my Mother when she is gone...but I'm not so sure. I took her to PT last week and when I picked her up...not one word was said about the next appointment. So this morning when I was getting in my car to come to work...out she comes to "remind" me about the appointment. And her nails need to be done too...I know she did not tell me as I have a PT appointment myself today which I have had for 2 weeks...I would have know there was a conflict....But If I argued about it there would have been a; big blow up and I would be the ass. I am pretty sick of this last minute s*#@. Too bad...I have told her that one of these days when she waits to the last minute to tell me I may not be available...I guess that is today. I will miss the fun we had in earlier days...but not this!
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You should not feel guilty because you want her to not be in pain. You do need to spend time with her and let her know all the things you want to tell her . I talked to my mother at 8:30 on Sat night and on Sun Morning at 6 am my dad ccalled me and said I can"t get your mom to wake up. They said she died at about 3 am. That was so hard to deal with. It has been 6 years now and I still cry from time to time and the holidays are so hard because Christmas was her favorite time of year. So tell her you love her and create more lasting memories, Time runs out all to soon.
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Re, "Wouldn't you think I would have the strength and the knowledge re: human behavior to stand up to my mother?" all I can say is I agree with "Ha" as the answer. You just can't when its your own mother, not wihtout a lot of help, and then only part way. I feel sorry for her and wish we could bring her to live with us with a sane amount of home health instead of doing our best to see she is well taken care of in a skilled nursing nearby, but hubby says a resounding NO and maybe I am secretly grateful too. You know I do her laundry even though the facility would do it no charge, ostensibly so they don't lose so much of her stuff (they are bad about that) but REALLY to give myself and mom a reason for me to keep going there often enough even when I might otherwise find reasons to put it off. She relates SO much better to her grandchildren than she does to me, and I wish I could get them to see her more often. She apparently does not feel as reposnsible for their perfection and idolizes my son Michael quite a bit. He can even wear flip flops in the dead of winter and its OK, while I've got to be in heels and every hair in place!

Well, now one of my chief ambitions is to BE one of those loving and trusting instead of critical and anxious old ladies (they do exist, I've net and read about them, they just for some odd reason don't inhabit these support group pages as often as the other kind :-) so I will be a little more of a blessing than a burden if I ever need care.
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I CAN UNDERSTAND HOW YOU FEEL IF THE CANCER IS TERMINAL.NO ONE WANTS TO SEE SOMEONE SUFFER LIKE THAT.
TRY TO THINK AND REFLECT ON ALL THE GOOD TIMES YOU HAD TOGETHER.THIS SHOULD HELP TO EASE THAT PAIN SOME FOR YOU.
I HAD A YOUNG SISTER WHO PASSED AWAY AND I LOOK AT ALL THE GOOD SHE HAD AND THE TIMES WE SPENT TOGETHER..I WILL ALWAYS MISS HER AND MY MOM.
I WILL KEEP YOU IN MY THOUGHTS.
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I am grateful for having found this site. My journey re: intense caregiving is only just beginning (though I have been helping my mother for many years). Had a gift exchange with a friend yesterday. She asked if my left eye was bothering me. I said no. She noted it was twitching. Yup - I have developed a definite tic and blink these last few months. She observed it was like my mother was holding me hostage with her behavior. Yup - very astute friend. Now I am reasonably successful in my career. Having a Master's in Psychology. Wouldn't you think I would have the strength and the knowledge re: human behavior to stand up to my mother? Ha...

How have those who have been dealing with caregiving with difficult parents for many years dealt with your feelings of depression? The difficult parent part seems to be the most common theme in folks posts. I have read that the caring parent has made it a joy for their children to help them. I think if I didn't feel so abused and disrespected I would not be so resentful. I too have just started therapy to help me deal with my feelings toward her.
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Just reading the recent posts and I am always so relived to know that the feelings that I have(wanting this to be over) are shared my so many of other caregivers.
My 98 yr old mom is, I think, at the end of her journey.(although I sometimes think she has 9 lives). I am trying to make peace with her. We got along a little better when she didn't live with me but it has been very difficult since she came to live with me 4 and 1/2 yrs ago. I pray every day that it is her last and then feel guilty when she does wake up. I go to therapy and a support group to help me deal with everything. it does help a little but until she is finally at peace can I begin to have peace also.
No one can understand the role of a caregiver until they are thrown into it. No one can prepare you either.
I am so grateful for this site and I know I do not walk alone even though I am an only.
Hang in there and hopefully the new year will bring us and the ones we care for some peace!!!
one and only
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I can imagine there is guilt in how you feel, but at times the relief or the very idea is overwhelming. It can be difficult at best to balance ones emotions. You live in world that is dominated by what may or may not happen on any given day.
I wish you the best!
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I agree with the previous posts. Don't beat yourself up. I have both my Mom and Dad living with me. My Dad is a gross old man who has no respect for me or my home. Lays his catheter bags where ever he feels like it. Doesn't care if his urine leaks all over MY new carpet. Instead of putting his used toilet paper in the commode he lays it on the sink. Then there is Mom who has dementia and has become very mean. Curses at my young grandchildren one minute and is loving over them the next. Needless to say my youngest grandson is confused. I have awakened in the morning to no sounds coming from their room and I wonder if one of them is gone and in that same thought I think about how much less work I would have to do if one of them passed. Then I feel very quilty, but they are both living miserable lives and both have told me that they wish they would go to sleep and never wake up. I think most of us have had these types of feelings, but you need to accept them and move on. Don't beat yourself up over it.
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my mother is not in good health and pain all the time so yes I have thought about it. It is hard to watch your parent in so much pain you just want it over for them.....don't be hard on yourself it is normal to think like that.....
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This week was especially bad--I think my Mother and I fought every day. I seem to be the only one who cares about trying to make her feel better. She complains about her doctors appointments, her swallow therapy, me reminding her to drink more water or to not eat so many sweets. Her negative attitude is just too much some days. I took time off from work to spend "quality" time with her and there hasn't been much quality to it. I constantly have to remind myself when I'm so angry with her that I'll feel very guilty and regretful when she's gone. So, yes, you're not alone out there and I'm so glad that I've finally found this website only to learn that there are others feeling the same as me.
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Snubiz, like Nike says, 'just do it'. Get away when you have to, take a break when you need to, and ignore the tantrums. What would you do with a bratty kid that wanted his/her way all the time? I know what I would do, turn a deaf ear and do what I needed to do anyhow. Your mother has figured out that 'guilt is the gift that keeps on giving' so take back control.
No one ever died from throwing a hissy fit that I know of.
JUST DO IT.
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Yes you hit the nail on the head! I don't want anything bad to happen to her, but it already has. I just want all the pain and stress from that gone. I hate to see her cry and be misrable,and I hate hiding in my bathroom to calm myself when I hear her coming down the hall, and I hate seeing my 6 year old cry cause she has just crawled all over him for something he did yesterday that had zilt to do with her. That is all the things I wish would be different when I woke up in the morning. I loved visitng her when she was well. Seeing her smile when I would bring her a b day card, listening to her clap her hands and laugh at the kids. But its not like that now, and never will be...she refuses to take meds for her manic depression says it makes her to sleepy. I did give her a kitten for christmas and that has helped she loves her. And for about a week had a smile to her face. Sorry this is so long. Ive not had anyone to express this to until now. Hope you understand.
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Wow!! I thought it was only me. My 84 year old mother is mean spirited and demanding. I understand how she came to be this way but understanding doesn't make dealing with it any easier. I have felt emotionally abused for years so it feels normal but her breaking her hip in 11/09 and her increasing neediness is overwhelming me. My 18 year old daughter (who she is very hard on) and I live with her. I will miss my girl terribly but can't wait for her to go away to college next year to escape the homefront. All I want for me at this point is a few days at the beach this summer and I will feel like my tank has been filled to the brim. We have only had one night away in the past 2 years. How can I make this happen without her making me feel guilty, having a tempepr tantrum or sabatoging a vacation? I have the money to pay for soneone to stay with her for a few days but I know she will rebel. We have no family other than my brother 5 states away who just can't relate to what is happening here.
Thinking of you all...
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Thanks everyone for your input, it's greatly appreciated! It gets more stressful everyday. Mom thinks just because I come over 2 days a week that those are the only days I am doing things for her, she does not understand its everyday! Whether its applying for MA or paying her bills, shopping for her, or even setting things up at my work so i can actually have the time to deal with her stuff its a constant job. I work almost full time and have 2 kids so her adding stress to it just does not help! I will not be happy when she's gone, i will be happy that the stress is gone.
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Its very true that worrying will not add anything to anbody's life! When the call comes, we will do our best to handle whatever it is. It is also true that living with a vexatious, negative, or even just depressed person adds stress, no matter how many ways you reframe it. Sure, you can learn to develop a thicker skin or make sure you understand where the toxicity is coming from, especially if it was not the way they were lifelong. And then maybe there are options to treat depression that ought to be explored. It can be very hard to know how protect children from negative influences and still let them try to experience any good things about grandma, grandpa, or other relatives...I will not pretend I have the answers to that, especially since my mom is in a facility and my daughter rarely visits her, by choice, just to avoid being constantly criticized the way I was as I grew up. I have to keep my visits short and dress a certain way, and have even resorted to putting her laundry away while she is at meals to avoid being yelled at to hurry up the whole time. So what it is we dread about the phone call? Is it the unequivocal loss of even the tiniest hope that might have been lurkign that things could get better again? Is it the disruption to our normal life that will inevitably happen? Things we have not been able to get done in advance? Or just the emotions - the intensity, the bittersweetness, the guilt and relief mixed together, or the full force of grief. I find its at least theoretically possible to eliminate worry - Serenity Prayer and all that - but I can't seem to find the serenity to float above all stress and distress; I've even got an ulcer flaring up again now!
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I think that dreading that phone call in the middle of the night is NOT a new thing. I remember making my parents worry like that when I didn't come home till 2am when I was out with my girlfriends. I hold my breath after 11pm even now when the phone rings thinking it's my dad telling me that mom has dropped dead. Or practically having a stroke when the phone rang late at night while our son was still living at home, just knowing that he'd had an accident. My husband drives truck, so I never know if his dispatcher is going to call and say there's been an 'incident'. We worry, we fret and in the end it does NO good. I have come to the conclusion that we have no control over anything other than our own actions, so why worry? Why do I think that by me worrying about that phone call, that I have any say in what the person on the other end is going to tell me? It's up to God in the end, He's got it figured out. So whether a person is happy, relieved, scared, guilty or whatever when that phone call does come, it makes no difference in the grand scheme of things.
Matthew 6:27 "And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life?"
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Oh my I almost cried when I read this. My husbands realative lives with us and our small children. She has her own space but goes into their rooms and sometimes has them in tears over silly things like dropping a fruit loop under the table, I think she is depressed and often says she is ready to die. I feel so guilty when I daydream like these folks do. And for me its the sound of her walker. I pray for forgivness and that im not punished for this thinking. She has only been here for 3 months im afraid we have a long way to go and that makes me feel guilty as well. I love her dearly, and don't want her to suffer, but to be real honest with myself I think most of it is that I don't want my kids to suffer as well. Thanks for making me feel less like a monster and more like a human.
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