Anyone else aware they are just going through the motions and faking it?


I guess it's just our human nature. We get worn out or have to face things that we'd rather not do. I'm in both of those categories when it comes to caregiving. After years of caring for very advanced ALZ mom, I now have Parkinsons dad, age 79. I'm daily aware that I'm just going through the motions. Putting on a smile and giving my fake little laugh, when in reality I'm thinking "Lord I don't want to do this anymore." And I'll keep going, I know I will. And I get nice breaks throughout the day and throughout the week, but I don't want to do even the small things for him anymore. And Every. Single. Day. I'm aware that I'm faking goodheartedness and compassion. I just want the whole ordeal to end. (and yes, you know what that means, and that's what I mean). So I worry about what that says about me. I want to believe I'm a kind person, but I don't feel an ounce of kindness anymore. Anyway, I'm really just ranting, because compared to many of your stories on this site, I have things pretty easy and I do get nice regular breaks, but I'm just stuck in "Lord please make it go away" mode. What's your thoughts on all those days when as caregivers we have to fake it and pretend to compassion we honestly don't feel at the moment?

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if you are able to place both parents in a nursing home or AL, that may be what's best for everyone. How the situation is affecting you IS very important. You count too. My mom is in a AL and I still stay busy doing errands, appts, financial etc

This is an honest discussion. My mom died just a couple of days ago. She was a good person, I wasn’t abused or neglected but for her and my dad it’s been a long long decline. I was exhausted. I haven’t grieved yet. I know it’s coming at some point. Right now it is just such a huge relief. Her suffering has ended. I’m not freaking at every phone call.

The caregiving had become simply an instinctive sense of duty for me. There was no one else to deal with it. I totally accept that and have 0 guilt about it. This may sound insensitive but it’s like you’ve got the worst job in the world but youre expected to love this job and be the model of kindness and compassion.

In the real world it wears you down. We’re not machines. I’m glad we can be honest about it here.

Been faking it for 7 yrs with elderly mother. She is mean and critical and I am her sole caregiver. She lives a few doors down, but I see her everyday and take her places like doctor appts, shopping, lunch etc. We have never had a good relationship but I have truly tried to do the right thing. I am the only family she has. Today, she is mad at me and is not talking to me. I am waiting for the day I don’t have to do this anymore. It is very depressing for us both.

Yes! I have had to take my mom and dad into my home because my dad is total care now. I feel so very guilty because it hasn't even been a year and i want it to end! I smile at them and try to not let them see they tiredness, the despair, the depression at times... i am going into menopause on top of it and do not like myself in my head most of the time. so yes i get the guilt of faking it!! especially when dad is controlling and angry.

        Look up “compassion fatigue” on Wikipedia and read through the entire entry. I think falls under Social Self-care. 
       I think it is very healthy to be able to verbalize honestly our true feelings on a website like this. Our feelings and thoughts are what they are. To pretend to ourselves otherwise opens us up to mental illness. Besides, God knows how I feel. I can and must pretend with a vulnerable adult but not to myself or trusted others. When it got to the point that I had compassion fatigue, and felt a numbness or unwillingness to care for my parents, I asked God to give me the willingness and power to do what had to be done. My siblings and I took care of them for many years until it got too difficult. They are now both in a nursing home and I visit them every other day for a couple of hours. Even though most of the hands on caregiving has been lifted, I still rely on God’s grace because by nature, you see, I don’t think I am a kind person. I am pretty self-centered. Any loving kindness my parents and others saw and presently see in me is purely through the grace of God. I’m not saying that my heart isn’t lifted sometimes when I am with them, but it doesn’t happen often. 
       With that said, be aware that those thoughts could also be telling you to explore other options. I think when those negative thoughts of “when will it end” or what is worse, self- destructive thoughts in order to escape the situation (that popped into my head a couple of times), occur too often, we need to listen and take action.

Kudos to you that you can still fake it, it was when I ran completely out of acting ability that I knew I had to place mom in a nursing home. Whenever I read posts from people who tell us how blessed they feel to be able to care for their loved ones I am always deeply suspicious... are they lying or delusional?