May I complain?

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Things have gone along pretty well for 3-4 years. I have only occasionally checked in here. Life has been Tolerable. But my mother in law is now 91 and her diabetes is much worse and I cannot be sure, but she may have a touch of dementia - put it is more likely a personality disorder. She is SO NEGATIVE that the air is thick with her misery. I am so tired of hearing her tell me how bad she feels (I am pushing 70 and don't feel so hot either!), and she is forever asking WHY she is still alive and basically being negative about every single thing in life. She never says one thing that could be construed as remotely positive. If the sun shines - it is too bright. Get the picture? I have to practically force by hubby to go in and spend 5 minutes with his mother. Thankfully she can still bathe and toilet herself BUT her bathroom is a germaphobe's worst nightmare!! I do all her cleaning and nearly all her cooking. We try to keep her from cooking anything at all - but she still refuses to warm things up in the micro. She MUST use a pan on the stove. I know there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about this and 'this too shall pass' - somehow - but it has been a long, long time since I felt the need to 'dump' here and I do - with all my heart - appreciate this forum. I still pray for all caregivers. Often, only God appreciates all we endure and do for our loved ones.


Forgive me for griping about trivialities - but I get soooo tired of hearing about her constipation, diarrhea, stomach aches, bad back, lack of energy, tiredness, blah, blah, blah, blah. It truly is the 'same ole, same ole' day in and day out. I know life isn't fun for her. It isn't much fun for us either. Thanks for listening. Bless you ALL - especially all of you who have a much more difficult time than I do. Hang in there and may you find peace one day soon.
Sometimes, it's just easier to go along with what they want instead of convincing and/or explaining. I get it. Still, it does get on one's nerves. Venting is helpful and a good thing to do when possible. That's why I like this site so much.

It sounds like you really have been providing a lot of care. I can't imagine doing that kind of thing. My cousin is in Memory Care, so my day to day duties are limited, but I do help with my parents and that can be challenging. In the scheme of things, though, they aren't that bad. I can't complain, though, I still do at times. lol

You come on back and moan a bit whenever you want to! We get it! And we don't think less of you that you are not 100% enthralled with your caregiving role day in and day out.

Venting can help.

Be sure to let us know if you have a specific practical issue that you'd like our comments and suggestions for. Otherwise, we'll just commiserate with your venting.
It isn't so much about going along with her - it is just having to listen to the same negative business day after day after day after day ............... Who wants to discuss someone's BM's every day? Or hear someone tell you they wish they were dead. (yes, she is on anti depressants). Doc says she's a ''glass half empty kind of gal" and laughs. He can laugh - he only sees her once in a while :0)

Listening to her complain about either being constipated or having a griping belly ache is almost as bad as having to clean her toilet after she's done!! She is definitely a Debbie Downer!! Hope all the Debbie's out there will forgive me.

Sorry to gripe. It has been a while coming on................:0/
Was she like that before her decline? I know someone who is obsessed with their health, perceived medical issues, bodily functions, etc. Constantly complaining. It's my head, my foot, my belly, my neck, etc. This person does not have dementia. It's like they are wrapped up in it. Sadly, from what I've learned, it's hard to treat and let's face it. Not many seniors are going to psycho therapy.

The people in my family just ignore and often do the eye roll. I try to get away for mini vacations. That helps.
oldcodger2, I think a lot of us will be negative once we get into our late 80's and into our 90's as we look ahead and there aren't that many years left... and what is left we aren't able to get up out of our chair as fast as we use to.... our backs aches.... our feet hurt.... we can't read the small print on the medicine bottles... our clothes don't fit and the stairs are getting steeper and steeper.

My Dad, who is in his 90's [age related decline mainly mobility], decided to move to Independent Living and I found his complaints are now far and few between, as he is around people much closer to his own age.... so he and the friends can complain to each other about their health issues while sitting in rockers on the front porch :) And he is happier eating in the main dining room with his table mates and having a menu to pick off of.
Is it time for hubby to step up to the plate? Would he do all this for your crabby @$s Mom? I doubt it.

You guys need to make some changes. In home help, assited living, divorce, something...........
I don't have any brilliant advice for your situation, but I totally empathize. It seems that in many if not most cases, people become increasingly self-centered as they age and as their world grows smaller and smaller. They focus on their own pains, problems and complaints, and fail to show any appreciation for the sacrifice and devotion of family members who are putting their own lives aside to take them in and care for them in their old age. We all like to think we wouldn't do that, and I hope we won't.

A big part of the problem, I think, is that we sympathize with them and feel sorry for them, so we often don't feel free to confront them with their selfishness or remind them of the difficulties they're imposing on those around them. It seems too unkind, like kicking a person when they're down. However, that leaves us with keeping our feelings bottled up, and becoming more and more resentful as we begin to feel more and more invisible.

I don't know what the solution is for this. If it's possible to not live with the elderly person, but still ensure they're getting the care they need, that would be my first choice. If not, then you definitely need the opportunity to vent - loudly and often. Feel free to vent here all you want as this is a place where people understand what you're going through and many have been in the same place as you or in some cases, even worse.
Let me be a devil's advocate for a moment. I've wondered how it has come to be that elderly parents have so much power. I do hope that if and when I get old that someone will put me in my place if I start making people around me miserable. I admit that it is usually pointless to do it if someone has dementia. If they don't have dementia, why do we grant our old parents the power to make life miserable for so many years?
Jessie - I see your point, and I don't disagree with you. Yet I can also see lots of reasons why we let our elders get away with tormenting us. Because we feel sorry for them. Because we don't want to feel like a bully. Because we don't want to feel like a bad son/daughter. Because we worry that it's arrogant and self-righteous to tell any other adult how they ought to behave, let alone our parents. Because we weren't brought up to talk back or assert ourselves with our parents, and it's very hard to start that when the parent is old and frail.

All that said, I had to start standing up to my mother and drawing boundaries with her. She actually tolerates it pretty well. She even backs down on occasion, although often she argues back and tries to make me feel that I'm misjudging her intentions or being overly sensitive. A lot of elderly people don't take it so well, though, and throw a major hissy fit or lay on a huge guilt trip if a caregiver tries to put them in their place. A lot of folks probably feel that confronting the parent might only make a bad situation worse.

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