Why do I feel so overwhelmed when I know that others have a far more difficult time than I do? I feel like a Yo Yo. I am tired.

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Why do I feel so overwhelmed with care giving when I know that others have a far more difficult time than I do? I know that is the case - I read lots of posts here on Agingcare and don't know how some of you do what you do.

I know that stress is perceived. How do I perceive it differently?

My family says to 'just let it go' - 'don't pay any attention to what she says' - 'you can't do anything about it' - 'stop worrying about it.'

Why can't I?

I have changed from a very caring person, happy person into someone who is uptight, stressed out and feels like crying a lot. Some days I manage OK and some days I don't. Is it ME or is it just that my hubby and kids don't understand what I deal with? If I were to explain my day - MOST would think I have it pretty good. Why does it FEEL like PRISON?

I do the care-giving. I don't feel that I get much understanding from my family. I know my husband 'cares' but I am not so sure he 'understands.' My MIL gets visits and caring phones calls - no one ever asks how I am.

I just feel that it is easy for others to say 'let it go' - because they CAN. Of course, they can also LEAVE. They have jobs and lives. :

I am even looking forward to a REAL break in a few weeks. Friends from and our kids are going to look after grandma while we go away for a while. The visiting nurse says 'go for it.' 'Don't worry' I spent 3 weeks enlisting help for twice a day visits and 5 evenings of meals and company for her. I should be thrilled to be able to leave. What's wrong? Am I dreading coming home before I even leave?

Maybe it's the gloomy weather :-( Guess this is just a rant with NO real answers required.

Answers 1 to 10 of 36
Top Answer
You know, my pain threshold is much higher than my husband's. It's just how I'm made. I think it's the same idea of what you're talking about too. Some people can take more abuse both physical and/or mental abuse then other people. It's just the way we're made. If you're feeling tired and abused, then you're tired and abused, it's YOUR feelings, not anyone else's feelings. Do what you have to do for your mental well-being and sanity. No one but you can tell when you're at the end, so don't worry what other people are going thru, cause that's their threshold, not yours. You may have to let go of the part where you are wanting appreciation for what you do though, lets' face it, people are pretty much only concerned about what they need etc. That's not meant to be a slam necessarily, just a fact. It's like when we look at a picture of us and our family or a group of people with us in it. Who's the first person we look for in that picture? it's ourselves of course. So when you're care giving for your mother-in-law, do it out of love for her, not for what other people are going to say. For myself, I do it NOT for my husband who's mother it is, I reach out to her because of what Jesus said:
"And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me."
Matthew 25:40 NOT because I have it in me to help her on my own that's for sure. ha
Sounds like the novilety of care-giving has worn off. The sad days, the bad days, the depressed days, the impatient days, getting angry days, as well as the good days , the happy days, the loving days, the patient days, the closeness days of being together. It's all part of it. Hang in there, this is not a very thankful job, and it often seems as if you are definately not appreciated. But you are.
As previously stated, it is so important to understand and realize that every situation is unique and difficult in its own personal ways. We all handle things differently and we all have different things to handle and all to a different extent. And you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed.....IT IS OVERWHELMING and it sometimes can feel like a prison.

It is sooooooo important to get a break; before you break, really. I never lisened to anyone who said "let it go" ..just know that all of us on here know that even though you may have days of not feeling appreciated; you are. Take care. It is one of the hardest jobs we can take on. It's good to vent and share feelings - a lot of which many of us may be feeling as well.
What you are feeling, is normal. You are tied into this family member and it's sounds like others are not sharing in the responsibility. Are there any siblings that are willing to help lighten the load? I have two older brother still living. One lives in town and only shows up when he needs money. The other lives out West and follows the rule "out of sight, out of mind." Being the youngest and a girl, has left me with more responsibility than my shoulders can sometimes bare. Still, I press on. I understand what you mean by, "I have changed from a very caring person, happy person into someone who is uptight, stressed out and feels like crying a lot." I feel this too. I snap at little things, say things that I know are not right, sometimes even mean. I go to bed feeling tired and wake up the same way. I look in the rear view mirror of my car and think "my Lord, you look old." As I drive, I let my mind wonder; dreaming of how nice it would be, just to drive until there was no more gas, and putting down roots wherever I ended up. Of course, this would be far away from my loved ones. It's depression, I know it and I think that may be your case too. Take that vacation and leave the cell phone behind. Have one or two people that are in total responsibility for the care of your loved one. If it's a sibling, then by all means have no guilt in departing! When you come back, see if you can find one person to come in once a week and give yourself a day off. If that's not possible, seek out Commission on Aging. In my town, we are given 4 hours a week, where someone comes in for respite care. This can be in one lump sum, or spread out. Take whatever help you can find and go whenever you can. Also, maybe sit down and visit with your loved one. Sometimes, we are so caught up in the things that need to be done, that we forget about the most important thing....the human side. I'm sure your loved one wouldn't care if there was a little dust on the furniture, if it meant someone was talking with them about old memories and having a cup of tea with them? You might be surprised how both of you feel better, after remembering each other. My mom has cancer. It took a long time for me to understand quality vs quantity of life. Now, I know the difference. When you have some quiet time, think about how that applies to you and your family....b/c, it really applies to us all. The days, are shorter than we think. Finally, if you need it, seek help for yourself. Find someone to talk to, other than your family, who is not bias. A counselor, a friend, clergy....you matter too. Good luck and God bless.
I understand exactly where you're coming from. It kills me when people ask "what do you do all day?". Or even my Mom "I don't understand why you're so busy". Okay, confession, I'm too busy to do some things I don't want to do. I make time for myself.

How long have you been doing this? Ive been doing it about 3 years. I'm finding it more manageable as I learn how to do things and where it's easy to get help. I actually find it helpful to hear that others have it much worse than me. I've learned things to just let go. Like the ironing, if it sits in a pile and never gets done Mom doesn't get to wear those clothes and create more ironing for me. Some times when Mom complains I just have to say "well you're just going to have to be unhappy" or "one of us is going to have to be unhappy and it isn't going to be me".

I've also made a dear friend who I walk with in the mornings a few times a week. She is also a caretaker. We complain and give each other pep talks, plus get our exercise in. You need to take time for yourself some how. When had young kids we hired babysitters to take time for ourselves. You need to do the same thing.

Enjoy your break, you'll have a good time and while things will be the same when you get back you will have 3 weeks with out them.
I feel the same way that you do. Since I've had my Mom, in my home for over 2years, I have acquired high blood pressure and take meds for that and am on 2 anti-depressants. (they do help) I have absolutely no support system as I am an only child. When we do qualify for Home Health, that helps me a lot! Just the simple task of bathing my Mom, rolling her hair and changing her sheets....means the WORLD to me. Maybe see if your Mom qualifies for Home Health paid through her Medicare. They will stop after about 4 months but you can re qualify a few months later. People say, take a vacation. It does help but I wish she could take a vacation and I could just be in my home alone for just 2-3 days. I think that would do me better than me taking a vacation. You are not alone! Many of us feel the same way. It is an overwhelming job and highly stressful. Especially if the one you are caring for is milking it for all it's worth. All I can say is Hang In There! Do the best you can, find some private time for yourself even if it's just walking around in the yard. I feel your pain and will be thinking of you as we go through this.
Wow!!! Great question!! I finally took some good advice, 4years late, it had been suggested to just make a routine schedule with your husband. If he gripes about it...well then he gripes. If he chooses to not make a shake hands agreement about taking on some of the load, then, when he is home and you need a break, get yourself ready to go , let him know you are leaving for two or three hours and that he is in charge, then leave! If you fear repercussions from the needed freedom then prepare a schedule and hand it to him, tell him you need a break 3 times a week let him tell you when he will sacrifice the needed time for you since you are sacrificing your life for his mother! It took a lot for me to do this, but when you find yourself day dreaming about the next on comming tree or a new state to escape to under the USA wittiness protection program... You have got to tell your husband how you are feeling and what your NEEDS are!
Something I learned, the hard way, is that if you are not voicing your needs to everyone and anyone that could be helping... They will not help you... If they know that you are doing the job and are not complaining or even if you are complaining and the definitely realize that you are not going to put your MIL in danger by just leaving her alone or or not caring for her... Well they will continue on there merry way. Even go out of their way not to be in contact during certain times of the week. You have to assert yourself and let everyone know where you stand, or you will end up continuing to stand alone!!! I have been there and know exactly how you are feeling.
Sweety..I know exactly where your coming from. Ive been caring for my mother in law for 12 years. And yes it is extremely overwhelming. And yes, people dont understand. My mother was the only one who realized the stress I was under and once or twice a week she would come and get me just for lunch or just hang out at f ya ever need to vent feel free to e-mail; me. Venting helps!!!!!
I know what you are feeling as well... my mother moved in with me 1 1/2 years ago after my father passed away. I knew she would not do well living alone. Dependency has slowly increased and I find myself more and more depressed about it..... not so much about what I am doing now but what the future holds for my mother and me... I love my mother dearly but I can't help but feel anger inside because I feel that she would just let me do everything if I would.... I don't like feeling the resentment that I do but it's the situation and it's what I must endure.
Please take care of yourself as best as you can and yes your feelings are yours, nobody else has to undersand them or agree with them. Sounds like you have a big heart and just wants some appreciation or help. I've learned that people are just people and you can't have expectations of them unless they agree to them. Restructuring our lives is always good. Expressing what we need is always good. In all of it, get the outside resources you need and take care of your own mental health as well.

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