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I've been through depression off and on for some years due to my life of caregiving. I am finally pulling myself out and attempting to have a life at age 50. Please feel free to message me or vent to me, as I've been through a lot too. ;) Katie

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Thanks, Cat. You just reminded me of something. Finky, I do have friends here in AC. What I meant about not having friends - is the friends here on island. I miss the shopping together, laughing and then go to lunch. I do have friends but because I'm no longer an active member of my religion, I have become a "bad association." One member actually pretended Not to see me in Kmart - every time we accidentally met. And that was NOT the first time it happened. It hurt me that I follow the teachings and because I can't handle, full time work + home life caregiving + religion all together at once, so I dropped religion. I thought to correct my earlier statement.
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TFMW: I think your name, Time for me When, is your own answer and you have started to respond to it. The answer in NOW. The sad truth is, no one is going to give it to you, but you. It is your life and I am so glad to hear that you have told your ex-husband to find someone else to carry his losses. It's not your job and his problems are not your fault. Your son's illness is not your fault and your dad's attitude and view of the world is not your doing.

I realize that you feel a need to be responsible in some ways for your son and your dad, but you also have to be responsible for your own happiness. It's a very hard thing to accomplish. With so many people unwilling or unable to take more responsibility for their own care or happiness, it has to leave you with a huge burden. Nevertheless, you know in your heart that it is better for you to get out of your bed, take a shower and put your foot down on those demands that you can honestly say no too. Good for you and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. You are an amazing woman and it's time for you to walk in the light and start living your real life. Blessings to you and know that we are all here to support you.

Finky: You have taken on a heavy load. I took care of my parents for 7 years. I did have some financial help from one brother. I have 2 brothers and a sister. When my husband and I retired, we moved out of our home state. My parents were failing in health and safety, so we built a small house next door to ours and moved them up here so we could care for them. It's been a long journey. My mom passed in Dec. 2008 and my father passed last month.

I feel for both of you and I can relate to the sadness, the isolation, the emotion and financial stress that you have gone through. I've been there and I do appreciate your feelings.

Finky: If you are crying so hard that your doctor can't figure out why you are there, then get a new doctor. I'm not a doctor, but I think I could understand despair when I saw it. I think I could sit quietly with someone and assure them that it was ok and when they were ready to talk, I was there to listen. Things just build up in us because we keep trying to keep all the balls in the air.

You can do like Kate and just wake up one morning and say no more or in your case, you might need to just let it all out and have someone help you with some depression meds and gently get you back up on your feet.

We are here to listen, to offer whatever help and encouragement you need. I'm glad you found AC and are posting. Keep doing it. I will follow this thread and watch for your posts.

Let me also say that Bookworm is an amazing person. Just yesterday, Book was talking about feeling light hearted. I can't tell you how happy we all were for her. In all fairness, it is a special moment she earned for herself. She listens so intently to what others say and she takes it in and thinks about it. She also does her best to help others.

You are in good company here. We do care about you.

Sending you love and white light, Cattails
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Finky, I was just re-reading your comments. I didn’t answer some of your questions. Our siblings have Their Own Life – which only includes their spouses, children, grandchildren and their wives’ family.

I don’t think our (general “our” since MY siblings KNOW what is going on) siblings are UNAWARE. They ARE aware. They just chose to look the other way because – It’s Not Their Problem!. And it is true, Finky. It is not their problem. BUT, they can help out of the Goodness of their Heart – which in my case – is impossible since the boys were physically abused (kicked with steel toes when they were knocked to the ground, etc..) and us girls were sexually abused (but blocked out all memories.)

Of my siblings, oldest sis (who is helping me now since I refuse to give up my job and I asked her to help –with pay) and I are the lowest income makers. Go figure! Your family and mine matches! ;)

Yes I spend time with siblings if they visit. Bro and his family next door have stopped celebrating or barbecuing with us. They stopped in June of this year. Used to be every month we had a barbecue. No longer. It’s the writing on the wall that eventually they will stop helping completely.

I volunteered to help at age 23 due to religious reasons. Sigh… Hope this answers your question. Hope it helps you! Have to go now. Time to hang the clothes, then change their pampers. Take care!
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Finky, I am the 5th child of 8. If you ask my siblings, I will win hands down as being the meanest of the bunch. I had a very terrible temper while growing up. I finally was able to control it in high school years. But I was also the quietest. I have always kept to myself but when siblings or parents push me too far, my temper flares and I go into attack mode (physically to siblings) and dirty hateful looks to parents. I was always the Neutral one in the family. Imagine 8 kids - there will always be power plays, fightings, ganging up on each other, etc.... I kept to myself and rarely chose sides. If they try to draw me in to choose sides, and I say No, eventually my temper flares and I attack until they bleed. So, siblings learned to leave me alone. I'm giving you my background because it makes a difference in the NOW.

So, in the past 23 years of my helping father to caregive mom, siblings did NOT help. I have asked, begged, threatened to walk out - especially when father would punch me on the head. But because I grew up defending myself, every time father punched me, I punched him back. There was one point when both his hands were going for my throat. I knew that if he ever got his hands on my throat, I was a goner. So, as he came towards me in anger to choke me, I took a fighting stance, angled my body in a way to put all my weight into my fisted right hand which automatically pulled back to punch him when he got too close and looked him straight in the eyes. I wanted him to see that just because he's my father, I Will Fight Back! I saw the shocked look on his face when he saw that I wasn't going to cooperate with him and stand there like a lamb for slaughter. He stopped and backed off. He has told everybody how I am a BAD DAUGHTER. People I never met but knew my brother mentioned it to him. Our relatives mentioned it to him. He had tell all of them the Truth. Yet, I would get lectures from father's siblings that I SHOULD DO MORE!!! Our of 8 kids, and I've stayed with them my whole life, That I Should Do More!!!???!! I was soooo pissed off! I hate those people. I have No Respect for them. Sigh....Sorry....

Now, you know my background. So, living with father was not easy. Every time he pissed me off (which was almost all the time), I would vent to family. I resented them for not helping, angry at them, but I needed to vent since I lost all my friends because I had no time to cultivate/maintain my friendship. So, I tell all siblings what's happening. They felt bad - but not bad enough to help.

Despite this, I was always Neutral. I did Not make it obvious the guilt trip. I just tell them my miserable life and how father hit me and my glasses almost flew off my face. How I now jump like a coward chicken every time he made any sudden hand movements. How he tried to choke me. I Never Ever made it obvious the guilt trip (but I sure was doing it on purpose!)

Finally, my older brother (#4) felt bad. He has no email or texting but when we talk on the phone (about once a year), I would update him of my life. He felt bad and started giving $100 month. He opened a bank account with both our names on it. He would deposit the money, and I withdraw it. Last year, it went up to $150/month. When he found out that I needed $$ to pay for a caregiver on Saturdays, he now give about $400/month. He told straight out - that that money is for ME. Not for parents. I can do whatever I want with that money. (You see, we grew up from a Very Dysfunctional Family. My 2 younger sisters and I have NO Childhood Memories and we have NO desire to remember.) I understand him. I, too, have no love for our parents. Brother is giving that money for Me.

Now older brother (#4) and oldest brother-who-lives-next-door-with-3-grown-kids (#3) have always, always competed since they were small. If one got a fighting rooster, the one went and got one. If one made a bike, the other made a better bike. So, one day last year in July, I ACCIDENTALLY (really, it wasn't on purpose, I think) , let it out to oldest bro that brother #4 was giving me money every month. So, oldest bro decided to pay for our power bill! This is sooo good because our bill is like $425 - $600/month! That makes such a difference in our budget!

They are my siblings and we grew up in a very dysfunctional life. I Understood why they refuse to help the parents. I was just angry, hurt and resentful that they should be helping ME in my burden with the parents. I've had to learn to stop this thinking that they SHOULD help me. I forced myself to accept that they have a RIGHT not to help. It really does make a difference in my life. I no longer feel so angry and resentful all the time. It still pops up and I think it will always pop up - the anger, resentment. But it no longer overwhelms me. I Will Never Ever End my relationship with my siblings. I need them in my life - even though they don't need me in theirs. For if I don't have them, and I don't have friends, who will I have? Nobody. And a person can't live a life with Nobody. My siblings Are Not Toxic. Just selfish. There's really no need for me to cut the threads between us. But, I do hope with my whole heart: What Goes Around Comes Around. Just As You Do Unto Others, Shall Be Done to You!....One day, my siblings will know what it's like when their children will not be there for them.
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Thanks bookworm :). I appreciate you sharing that. You are such a good and giving person that you were even waiting till your coworkers got back from vacation!!! i bet you are a fantastic friend. please dont think that way cause i just know you are needed and loved more than you can ever know. I was also thinking that way or just getting in the car and driving, driving, driving. I'm still here though. Dealing with getting old myself and still living with my mother! Question. Why do you think siblings of caregivers just left it all on us and look the other way?. Have you been able to talk to them openly about it. Mine just keep saying. "Oh, I didn't know". Well that gets old. We have put out so much money caring for my parents. How do they look in the mirror each day knowing they left this on me? Why wouldn't my brother the quarter million dollar a year 4000 sq ft house even just ever ask me about what we have had to spend? Luckily my sister is a nurse and lives up the street. At least over the past 2 years she has taken over all dr apts and therapy. She also found a daycare and got approval for a few hours from in home care. Tips all came about when I told her in the most stern voice I could muster that THINGS NEED TO CHANGE NOW. So, I should be grateful but I am not cause I know she only stepped up cause she doesn't want to take her. Again, flat out told me she won't take her even after saying she would take her if she got to this point

But she made it clear years ago that She would not contribute anything towards caring for them. So when we had to redo the bathroom to make it handy cap excess able and built in a seat so she could take care of herself- not a dime. She said they made their decisions in life and she wasn't responsible for them being broke. . What I heard was "your on your own little sis". My focus was on helping my parents manage their health with dignity. Obviously honor thy father and mother wasn't in cards for my siblings. When they needed a place to live they both said "we'll, ill take mom but not dad. So what the hell? We have a small home and my dad was falling almost every night. i would have to wake my husband to (who was working two jobs)to get him off the floor and to the bathroom. It was so awful. We needed to make the bed and bath combined somehow. We figured it out and it cost about 30 k. My sis gave 1000 and my bro I think 1500 but then they were done. Course there are also so many daily living expenses that we never felt comfortable asking my sick old mom for some cash for the elec bill! Course my sis drives over in escalde or corvette and acts put off when I don't get all excited for her. My bro sends his kids to private schools and the best colleges. He is a big wig and make a ton of dough. And still they never once asked me what kind of expenses we have had to incur. Sorry to ramble but its maddening. He always wants a PLAN presented to him. Friggin joke. Who has time for that on top of everything else. I hate being with them but continue to do so for mom. Acting like a loving family during holidays but I know the day she passes away will be the last day I speak with any of them.

Sorry to go on soooo long! Do you spend time with siblings?. Do you still have them in your life on like a daily basis? Also, curious if you are the youngest of the bunch. Eight of you all together? How did the responsibility rest solely on you.?
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Omg. Good for you, Katie. It takes a strong girl to do all those things. Stay strong and stay on that path! I'm not great at putting my foot down but am going to try come up with a plan. My mom is still able to do much for herself so I feel bad complaining when so many others have so much more on their plate. Your dad will be so proud of you for standing up for yourself!
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The people that do caregiving of family members without physical and emotional "meltdowns" are very special people.

Mother will be moving out of house shortly. I know this and look forward to getting our life back; however, last night I sat on our patio and cried for 2 hours. It has been a very rough week and I am exhausted from no sleep, extra lifting because Mother is suffering from extreme weakness this week and my daytime help has been ill with the flu. The light at the end of the tunnel seems very far away this week.

I completely agree with ladyleidy. This site has been such a blessing to me!

Hugs to all!
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This website keeps me from feeling so isolated in my world of problems. It helps me to stand back and take a more objective view of my life. I don't have answers, but have not given up hope and that's largely due to this community.
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Congrats! Katie. I've been telling a lot of new posters in other Discussions that you need to balance your life: You and Them. FYI, for those not familiar with me, I weigh only 96 lbs. and take care of my 2 bedridden parents. When my father had his stroke last year and became bedridden, I Refuse to give up my full-time job. My job is My Sanity. This is one of the places where I get POSITIVE feedbacks from people. If I didn't have this job, I would be Depress All The Time! Father is not an easy person to deal with.

Finky, I used to complain, ask, beg, threatened to leave, and said I was suicidal to my 7 siblings for help. Nothing. Just this past late May/early June, I stopped asking family for help and firmly decided that I will kill myself on Friday, when my bosses return from vacation (only 3 of us in the office.) I didn't cry in public (learned as a child NOT to cry unless for a good reason.) But, I knew something was really wrong, when I woke in the morning, went to use the restroom, and just started crying and crying. I was shocked that I was in there for 10 min just crying (cuz my 2nd alarm went off -set for 10 min after the first alarm).

I found this site about 2 days earlier. So, I came on, and I asked for help. I was helped. Since then, I now come here to vent because Family/Friends just Don't Understand what We Go Through. Venting here and getting tips, encouragements are such a lifesaver. Like, Katie, I remembered posting that My Humor Was Coming Back!! I still get suicidal thoughts but it's not as bad as before.

That'w why I'm sooo proud of Katie wanting to help others! When we find something that can help others, we post it because who know who will benefit from it? Maybe someone who has been just reading here ("lurkers") for months and just never posted yet. So many caregivers are just drowning on their day to day living.
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Wow, I read everyone's comments. Seems like I will be able to fit right in with the group. I've just been so busy that I have not yet explored the site. I definitely want to talk with everyone, personally.
I suppose I can quickly say that my depression was so bad that all I wanted to do was sleep or stay in my bed. This went on for a long time. I got up one day a couple weeks ago and said this is not ME. This sucks. I'm down because of my choices to be a caregiver, hence what about me? time for me? So, I got a shower, and did plenty of self talk. It wasn't easy by no means. But, I was in a position where I was not even getting my work done on time for my client. I laid down the law with my two family members and I refuse to balk on this. I had slowly been making changes in my lifestyle, but it wasn't enough. In fact, just a few days ago I finally got my ex husband out of my life, we are divorced over 8 years, but he's always around, a leecher. I had given him a loan to buy a car, he's obviously got problems, and I just can't deal with more negativity! That's a long story that I won't go into now. But, everyone is in shock because I am actually DOING all this. I am putting my foot down. In fact, in a few minutes I am going OUT with my friend for an early dinner. I have not seen her in over 6 months and she lives 3 minutes from me! Actually put on some jewelry too. The day before yesterday, I colored my hair, which my God needed coloring for a year. Cut my bangs. I know I'm goin all over with this post but I am proof positive that it can be done - you CAN come out of it. I will still be fighting every day for MYSELF, since my "aliens" as I call them, will not like these changes. Humor is a huge thing, I laugh a lot. I feel as though my old self from 20 years ago is coming back. I still have a lot to deal with, my only free time is on the toilet mostly!!! Keep in touch everyone, as I will too. As I write this my father is telling me it's OKAY for me to go out!!!!!!
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Hi Katie. THANK YOU! Never before have I ever even said those things out loud. Your invite to vent hit me and it all came out making me feel a little better. So, thanks so much for that. May I ask what has changed that allows you take time for yourself now? I'm 48 and just now taking some time due to depression. I went to dr yesterday and was crying so hard he couldn't understand why I was there. I ran out like a big stupid. Ahhh! WTH. What tings are you doing for yourself now?
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Hi Katie. THANK YOU! Never before have I ever even said those things out loud. Your invite to vent hit me and it all came out making me feel a little better. So, thanks so much for that. May I ask what has changed that allows you take time for yourself now? I'm 48 and just now taking some time due to depression. I went to dr yesterday and was crying so hard he couldn't understand why I was there. I ran out like a big stupid. Ahhh! WTH. What tings are you doing for yourself now?
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Welcome Katie-tfmW? When u come on here-that's when! We all care for one another n find a way to momentarily escape from our isolation. Yes u do have double whammy. Come back often, we'll get you laughing, promise! Especially that Judy girl! Hey Judy! May you all find a laugh and a moment of fun tomorrow. Kimbee
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TFMW, you have a double dose of hardship. I know a bit of what you are going through. I moved in with my parents 3 years ago. My father had what we now call Asperger's. He was a brilliant man who was able to work his entire life, but he never bonded with anyone. He disliked people, including his family. After he retired, he left the house less and less often. The last ten years were spent sitting in a chair by the window. The only time he would get out of the chair was to go to the bathroom or bed. Occasionally we were able to get him out to go to a doctor. Those were nightmare episodes, occasionally resulting in meltdown. Fortunately, I was able to calm him fairly quickly when they happened. His life was hard. He passed away last spring.

Does you son feel safer in the house because he can control his environment better there? Is he smart? It is sad to see a life lived avoiding things, since many people on the autistic spectrum learn to cope so well and actually enjoy working. Does he have any passions? My father's passion was for math and lists. He was very orderly and worked as an electrical engineer. It fit him perfectly. (Being a father, though, was beyond his abilities.)

I'm glad you are here. We are all in this family-constructed prison. I'm glad I can get out for a few hours at a time. My main problem is there is so much to do that I have trouble setting aside a block of time to get out, and I am in a city where I don't know anyone. After three years of cg, I don't know what lies ahead. Life has been totally interrupted.
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I am also new to this forum. I'm angry, sad and depressed. Taking care of both parents for more than 17 years. We moved them in with us when my father became ill which was 17 years ago. Just before they became to ill to care for himself they were bankrupt and facing forclosure. I was living hapily on my own when i found out and purchased their home so they wouldnt loose their life savings. They were so far gone it took a small miracle to get the house out of foreclosure and the 100k equity to them. My then fiance and i lived together for maybe 1yr in the home before they moved back in due to illness and we have cared for them ever since. again bankrupt after paying all bills and some bad investments. Dad passed away 5 years ago. My mother suffers from M.S. which has gotten really bad this past year. We have help now a few days a week which should help but unfortunately, it seems to have done the opposite. Almost seems like now I have some free time and now realizing the normal life we missed and deserved. I'm mentally exhausted and so mad for having to take care of them financially, physically and emotionally for so long. Feeling so much resentment but mostly just used in general. And of course there's the guilt for having these feelings towards my very handicapped mother who can't speak or walk etc. I think it's time for some professional help.:)
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Welcome... I try to relive my stress by telling my stories on here in hopes people can gain something good from them. My Mom has dementia and is quite a character so the things that used to get me crazy are actually funny now. I found out Mom is the easy part, rest of the family are the one's that are delusional. So I see Mom a lot at the NH the other residents have become my family too. A little attention and a smile is all they need sometimes.
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Welcome Katie, I too am burned out. I am 49.. Have been taking care of my mom since 2007..I just realized that I am in the beginning stages of depression, and at times angry all the time, I have just made the decision to put my mom in a living facility. Even tho it is tugging at my heart on what I am about to do, I also feel a big burden lifted off my shoulders...
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50 is young!!! 50 is the beginning of the greatest time. You've grown into your skin and have lots to share with us. Welcome! :)
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Hey! Come on over to the "Caregiver, how are you thread"! Nice people there.
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Hi Katie. Welcome! I think you would be a great help to lots of people here. I just found this site around May 30 of this year. If you click my name, you can see my background. When my father had a minor stroke last year and became bedridden (his choice), I ended up caring for 2 bedridden parents. I foolishly thought that my 7 siblings would help me. All my siblings have pursued their own lives, married, kids, grandkids, travel, etc....I thought they would finally help me. NOT. I was going through anger, resentment and depression and was quickly going downhill fast towards actually committing suicide. Not threatening to fam any more...
....One morning in late May, I woke up and realized that I was living in a prison. Strange, isn't it? That you also thought of your life as if living in a prison. Except, I thought of my prison as Forever. I started crying and came on to this site and asked for help...because I didn't want to die but I knew that if I didn't seek help NOW, I was going to carry the Plan on Friday. It was a very bad time for me. I've had a few meltdowns since then but not as bad as THAT one.

I think with your background, you would be a great help to others. Would you mind also introducing yourself to these? There are more but I have noticed that a lot of the posters comment over the stress of their caregiving on these 2 threads.
1. Caregiver, How are YOU?
2. Grossed Out? Need to Vent?

I would love to see you on these two threads! If you only have time to follow one, then you may choose whichever one. Take Care!!!
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Welcome TFMW, happy to see you here.... this is my life line.... so check out different threads, get to know some folks, let us get to know you...many many 'voices' here. And ya, we know about burn out..... hope you find a home here.... hugs
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