How do I live with the guilt of putting my mother in a nursing home?

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The first step would now cooperate with me so I will add it here. I know that thousands of people have had to put a loved one in a nursing home. I also imagine that 95% of those people had a family, friends, or a loved one to talk to; lean on; cry on;.. I have no friends or family where I am, and I have discovered that there are no support groups nor therapists around here. There is a shrink at the hospital but my current budget doesn't allow for that
My question is, how did the 3-5% make it alone? Please, one of you tell me how you did it without severe guilt and depression. I go to bed at night crying. I get up the next day and before I can brush my teeth even I am crying. I can't go into mom's room without literally bawling my eyes out. I mowed the lawn yesterday. I looked out at it after I was finished and thought "this is how mom likes it. I sure wish she could see it". Then more tears. I really don't know what to do. I am like a lost puppy wandering around without any direction. I have no motivation to do much. I eat sometimes, if I feel hungry. I can't take her out anywhere because I can't get her into and out of her wheelchair and into my car. I am absolutely miserable!! Someone PLEASE help me.

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I think that guilt is underrated. It can be a very good thing to feel guilty. It can help deter future repetitions of the bad behavior and it can motivate restitution or reform in the present. I'm talking about appropriate guilt, of course. Actions that are malicious, intended to do harm, motivated by greed, and/or neglect or thoughtlessness that hurt others should generate guilt. Only you know how you came to your decision, but I'd be very surprised to learn you intended to harm your mother or you acted in greed. If that shoe fits, shame on you. Live with the guilt.

Inappropriate guilt must be one of the biggests wastes of psychic entergy there is. There are a lot of things you might be feeling now: regret, sadness, lonliness, relief, hope, exhaustion. Please don't add guilt to that pile unless you really deserve it. Your job as a loving caregiving daughter is not over. It has just taken a new direction. You need your strength and your serenity. How do you live the guilt? Toss it out. You didn't earn it, you don't deserve it, and it will just drain energy you should be using to get on with this next stage in the relationship with your mother and of living your own life.

Leave the guilt for some young punk who has knocked down a little old man and stolen his wallet.
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Lilliput is so right ... no one is alone here! You made a hard decision and you are grieving. I had to do something similar for my father, and I have worked toward finding peace during the last 9 months. I found that trying to help other people around my father as well as my father made me feel happier, but I hope you can start to look for ways to make yourself a little happier outside of being a caregiver. Lean on us and write as often as you need to. We will answer. Visit your mother, be the caring daughter you obviously are, and try to get more sleep/rest. The sleep and rest will give you the strength to start finding something you enjoy to do. Perhaps you and your mother can start a new interest together. Take care and please stay in touch.
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If she is willing and can travel, you can hire companies who will transport her. They have lifts so she does not have to get in and out of a car (my Mom has problems with that too). That way she could come home on weekends or special occasions.
If you are alone, with no family in the area, you are feeling the loss of your Mother's presence. They fill up such a big space in our lives because of their needs but also there is an intimacy that happens when you care for someone so closely. You are missing that.
Visit your Mom as often as you can, but go in thinking of the NH as her new "home." You wouldn't enter a friend's home and start crying...so don't do it in front of your Mom. You will both feel better.
On thing that really helped Mom when she was in rehab, was to surround her with familiar things. I brought her an afghan coverlet, a few photos, some of her favorite treats, and bought her some bright clothes to wear.
When you are at the NH can you take her out for strolls around the courtyard? Do they have a cafe on the grounds? Anything you can do to give her a variety of surroundings will help her mental state.
And please, please, stop beating yourself up over your decision. You know in your heart that if you could care for her properly at home you would have. You did the loving thing. Now you can concentrate on being her daughter again.
Come her often...no one is alone here!
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I am so sorry that you are going through this alone but you sound like a loving daughter and I know you did not make this decision easily. Why don't you go to see the social worker at the facility if you live near the NH. I had to put my husband in a nursing home after he was disabled 16 years-I had health problems myself and he was very difficult to care for and could not afford the 25 dollars an hour for aides and could not get any help from the office of the ageing-and I waited for years for someone to tell me that is what I needed to do and no one did. Most NH have activities for the residents and talk to family members you see there and I am sure you will find many who feel as you do.
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