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Hi Everyone, I just wrote a very long post and when I went to Submit it, I got a mesage stating that my post could not be posted b/c I used the symbol of a backward arrow... I'm just in a lot of pain physically and emotionally and am exhausted. I wouldn't hurt myself. But entertaining just the thought of "taking the easy way out" scared me. I have a strong Faith and feel like I'm losing that Faith! I want it back, but don't see a way out of the constant labor or caring for others and taking care of Everything! I'm just so tired and my own health is declining fast. I want to thank you all for being so supportive and for sharing your story with me/us! I'm sorry that you too are in the seemingly endless caretaking roll. We all need something good to look forward to! Well, I'm off to the grocery store for the third time this week. My body hurts so bad. My spirit hurts even worse. God Bless you all!
Kathy

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It sounds like you need to get yourself "fixed" before even allowing a second thought to assisting others. Panic attacks come when you allow the physical feelings (caused by adrenalin) to make your decisions for you, it's called the fight or flight reaction. You HAVE to get ahold of this panic disorder immediately. If left untreated, it worsens and eventually you are paralyzed from even enjoying doing daily activities. Don't take this the wrong way, but you are going to have to toughen up Kathy. Stop allowing other people and circumstances and past memories and events rule your present life. In order for you to enjoy life, you must take a stand, stand firmly on your decisions, whether they be right or wrong. If they ARE wrong, you will learn by it. Life is nothing but a learning experience and the knowledge we achieve in our own lives should be shared with others who need direction and guidance. And most of all, FORGIVE. If something someone has done to you has you in such a grasp that you cannot move on, then you HAVE to let go of it and forgive. The people who have offended you are usually off doing their own thing and aren't even thinking about you or what they did to you.
You really need to let it ALL go for a season, and get your own life in order. Stop worrying about what will happen if...WHEN it happens is when you need to deal with the situation at hand, to spend one ounce of energy worrying about what will happen if, is just that, wasted energy. It could have been energy used to do something productive for yourself.
Here's an idea, run a HOT bubble bath, light some lilac candles, and turn on some soft music. Lie back and let the relaxing water and the scent of lilac bring some long needed peace to your stressed out mind. You deserve to take some special time for yourself. Take care of YOU and the rest will fall into place.
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Kathy: reading your notes makes me sad in a dozen ways. Mostly, I hate hearing that you are not taking care of yourself. Others have given you great advice...now take it.
1) Hire in-home help to come by once a week for personal care and light houskeeping. My Mom resisted this for awhile, now she looks forward to talking to her paid caregivers. Also, it lets your parents know that you are their child not the unpaid help!!
2) Can you get disability and medical help? You need to get back on your feet physically and heal. I just went through a series of minor ailments that I attribute directly to caregiving.
3) continue your counseling...you are thinking of "suicide" because what you are going through is hell. Remember that it is temporary. And the reason it IS temporary is because you are now going to take charge of your life, stand up to your parents, and get well. Your life is precious - do not squander it.
Let us know how things are going.
Peace,
Lilli
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Please first thing Monday morning called the discharge person at the hospital and tell them everything. They are not there over the weekend because people are not discharged on the weekends because not much else happens on weekends except what takes place in the ER.

BTW, one of the biggest if not biggest the 12 step program and nothing else has or will work is that you keep going back to the same sick, abusive environment which is tough not to do, but for your own survival, you must. She never protected you from abuse when you were a child which is abusive itself and she sure as ___ an't going to change now. She's been and still is abusing you.
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Hi again and thank all of you SO much for all of your guidance, support and encouragement. Everyday things seem to just get worse. I'm not one to look for the negative in situations and have always been able to handle whatever came my way in the past... This time is different. I'm already grieving the eminent loss of my mom. She's not the person she used to be and I miss that person who used to be strong, active and enjoyed her life. The person I call "mom" now, is not the one I knew. The woman that I see now no longer gets dressed, but lives in her robe and nightgown. Ever since I can remember, my mom has had two personalities. There's the mom that loves me very much and will talk to me, and then there's the other side of her that critisizes me for the smallest of things and is not so nice to me. I know I still want her approval, and I know I'll never get that. My mom is very angry inside. She doesn't have empathy for other people most of the time. I don't know why she's so angry and I've tried to talk to her about it, but she's built a wall that no one can get through. I know she "hated" her father and when she had to be his caregiver and took him into her home, she wasn't nice to him and was actually a danger to him at times. My mom "hate's" children. She told me to "never have any kids!!!"... I feel that maybe she didn't want me either, even though she'll say she did, of course. Throughout my entire childhood on up, she's never protected me from various abuses, even when the abuse was right in front of her. Still, I love her and have done everything I could to help her and make her happy. I'm totally codependent and I've gone through 2 twelve step programs to try to get well from past abuses that have caused me to be the way I am now...which is very depressed, anxious all of the time, in physical pain 24/7 for the past 9.5 years, etc... (Sorry if I got off of the subject here!)

I did not go into visit my mom yesterday and won't be going in today. I just can't. The other day when she had me doing the nurses work, it all became too much for me to handle. I'm hurting worse physically since then and am just disallusioned at how little she seems to really care about me at all. Her surgeon is away on a conference until Monday night, and my mom say's that she's being discharged to home on Monday am. Today I vacuumed the entire house and I'm paying for it now big time. I had to call my mom in the hospital to ask where new vacuum cleaner bags were. She told me in a dull and un-interested voice and there were no "thank you's"...not that I was looking for praise. I feel like Cinderella. How would I get in touch with her social worker (if she has one) over the weekend? Would the social worker or any other medical professional I s/w about my mom keep that info confidential, in that I went above my mom's head to try to get her to go to a rehab first before coming home? My mom is already discouraged with me b/c I said "no" to handling the IV meds for her at home and I have told her that I cannot take care of her regarding lifting, turning and positioning, bathing, and I do not cook... Cooking is NOT and never has been in my personal job description/resume! Of course they've been offered 'meals on wheels', but that's not good enough for them. For some reason, they don't want anyone they don't know to come into their home. It's like there's some huge secret that they don't want anyone else to know about. If she comes home and does need a LOT of help, I'm going to call the Office of the Aging and have someone come out and assess the situation. Of course I'll need to move...and take my puppy with me. I can go to my step-sisters, but I know I'd feel so guilty that I'd have panic attacks. I did leave and go to live with my s-sister for about a week and a half, about a month ago, but had such bad panic attacks that I came back out of guilt. It started when I visited and saw that they had very little in groceries. I have MAJOR issues with guilt, yet I don't know why. I'd leave and move in with my s-sister again in a New York Minute if I thought that I wouldn't panic and come back into their home. I have no privacy at all here, so if I can find someone to call I like a social worker, etc... I'll need to leave the house if I want to use my cell phone to call and talk in private. Do Social Worker's work on weekends? Being on disability, I've been away from nursing for so long now that I can't remember who works on weekends. My mom is set on coming home on Monday, 2 days from now. I'll need to work fast. Right now I'm hurting so bad physically from vacuuming that I can't drive.

Thank you all again for being here!!!I'd be totally lost and totally alone without all of you here! God Bless your tired hearts!!!

With love,
Kathy
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Willow, before your mother leaves the hosp, you talk to her doctor and tell him that you will NOT be taking care of her. He will be forced to put her somewhere else for rehab. You should have spoke up the very minute she told her doctor that 'my daughter is a nurse, she'll take care of me', You should have said, 'no I won't be taking care of you this time'. Stick to your guns, don't let yourself become a martyr.
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Tell social services you WILL NOT nurse your mother at home. Make the DR the bad guy and have him INSIST on REHAB. Good luck.
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Willow, please hang in there. The easy way out is not so easy and is so very permanent. Like they say it's a permanent answer to a temporary situation. Change happens every day. You never know what's going to happen and you'll never find out if you're not around. Don't beat yourself up for thinking it. Life can get overwhelming, but it's still life and it's always a better choice than death. See a doctor and maybe they can help you or recommend something to get you through this touch time. Take care and I'll add you to my prayers.
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Hi Everyone! Thank you SO much for keeping in touch with me, even though I've not been able to reply in a couple of days. My mom came through her surgery okay, but is now becoming very demanding and unreasonable. When I go into the hosp. to visit her, all she has me doing is nurses work, turning her, pulling her up in bed, wanting this and that, etc...Other than that, she sleeps a lot b/c she's on IV narcotics in addition to oral narcotics for pain. She wants to come home asap, and thinks she'll probably come home on Monday, 2.5 days from now! I can't handle her here at home!!! I'm on disability myself for chronic pain conditions + multiple hernated discs and cannot be lifting her, walking her, etc... In the hospital she's been incontinent, confused, refuses to eat the hosptail food, but then has my s-dad bring her cupcakes and other non-nutritious things. She's not drinking and they took her IV out, leaving only access for IV antibiotics that she gets four times a day. She can't even roll by herself, lift her own feet in while in bed...The surgeon and her other doctors and the social worker want her to go to a rehab to recover more fully and gain strength. She blatently refuses and say's that, "my daughter is a nurse and she'll take care of me." Taking me for granted like that makes me feel angry and used. She's going to need IV antibiotics for some time b/c of infection in a wound she has that has gone into her bone in her leg. She refused a Port, which would have been easier on her, and now they're talking about putting a PIC line in. I'm an LPN and have Never worked with PIC lines! Her surgeon told her that she's going to have to have someone come into her home and give her the IV meds 4 times a day after she's discharged...Of course, if she went to rehab first, that could be done there easily. She told the surgeon's assistant, "my daughter can learn how to do the IV meds so no one will need to come into their home." I told my mom point blank that I will not be learning and hanging IV meds for her when she comes home b/c I've never done it and I'm not comfortable with it, plus that would be just one more way that her and my s-dad could try to control me! I'm also not going to be able to change my mom if/when incontinent, keep the entire house clean, do all of the laundry and go for all of the groceries, etc... My own health is failing me right now. My throat is sore, stiff neck, bad bad headache, nausea, severe fatigue... I think I may have Mono again. I'm exhausted and in all honesty, I don't want to be living in their home anymore and don't want to be the "do it all" caretaker anymore! They can afford to have nurses come in to do the IV meds, but my mom "tried" to make me feel guilty this morning by telling me that "Medicare probably won't cover a nurse to come in." BS! They have the best of health insurances. I have NO health insurance and am in pain 24/7, and I wouldn't be living here if I could work. Honestly though, I feel like I'm working harder now than I did when I had a full time job (that I got paid very well for!) I pay them to rent a bedroom here. My own life has been reduced to basically nothing. I can't have friends here. Can't have a boyfriend. I have no privacy. Also, I have no money to get out. I am trapped. I do have a 2 year old Pomeranian named Bailey, who is the light of my life. I've tried to get into low income housing, but the waiting list in my area is over 2-4+ years long!!! Even though I don't want to be taking care of other people 24/7, I know I'd feel guilty and then have panic attacks if I left them out to dry. I must get stronger so I can leave without the major guilt bringing me back her into this house. I go to therapy, am on antidepressants and antianxiety meds, in addition to my meds for fibro, RSD, etc... Coming from a very dysfunctional childhood, teenhood, on up to the present time, I've become very codependant and and a total people pleaser, but it's killing me. I'm getting chest pain, short of breath, nausea, sweating profusely at times, etc...

I don't know what to do. I'm SO sorry for complaining!!! I just have a bad feeling that if my mom is sent home and can't do anything for herself, I'm going to burnout what's left of my body and mind! I still miss my real dad so much and it hurts knowing that it's come to a no-win situation with my mom too. I'm terrified of becoming an orphan!!! I have the two half sisters from my real dad, but neither of them have ever wanted to be close. I tried. They're both angry with me b/c "I was born first"...lol. I so have 1 step-sister who has really stepped up to the plate to help me, but she works full time and has her own life. She doesn't have to come into this house and can leave whenever. I do appreciate ANY help at all, especially the emotional support. Basically though, I'm on my own.

I hope to keep in touch with all of you often! I am reading all of your posts, that I can read off of my cell phone email, but it won't allow me to reply on the cell phone. I thank God for all of you and wish you could get a break from all of this insanity!!!

God Bless you all!
Love to you all,
Kathy
willow215@gmail.com
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My heart goes out to you. I am watching the same situation with my mom, who is caring for my dad. Is there someone you can talk to . . . just for YOU . . . someone separate form the situation. Took my dad to a psychiatrist this morning to check his meds and the dr. told my mom that the best way to help her deal with my dad was to talk to a social worker or psychologist . . . for her outlet only . . .for her health only. I thought it was a good idea . . . mom is stil thinking about it. Actually I am thinking of going for myself for help dealing with both my mom and dad. Hope this helps . . . hang in there and know that God is by your side and loves you very much.
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It doesn't just destroy people's marriage's, it can destroy one single persons life, IF you don't fight to get yourself back. My Mom has demetia & this is different from your situation. She really doesn't have an evil bone in her body, but, the outcome, unfortunately, is still the same. Hence, yes, I am agreeing with crowemagnum, who probably said it clearer than I on what will continue to be, unless you find some strength somewhere to change this.
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From what I've seen in 53 years of existing on earth and from what I read here, there sure seems to be many parents who had their children to be their slaves in old age as seeing how their child slavery is destroy the adult children's marriages, etc. And wow, when you are an only child and they want you as their slave, it's horrible. Willow215 you like every human being is far too valuable, although you might not feel like it or believe it, to be anyone's (including parents') slave or target of emotional or physical abuse. You'll probably have to reach really deep to find the energy and their might only be enough left to do this now to somehow set yourself free. Otherwise this slavery is going to destroy you into the shell of who you are and the shell of what you could be. Please, set yourself free, take care of you and cease trying to champion people who don't want it and have written you off or trying to finally get them to love you which you can't force people to love you that just flat out don't want to. They are concrete all mixed up and set in stone and your seeds of awesome love are being eaten up by the birds for there is no soil for them to sprout into.
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Thanks oqt for your words of wisdom! The question is whether you or others, including me, want to be in their world or whether you want to be in your own world. I am looking at the exact same thing. Though I love my parent, I want to live my own life too. I will not be able to do this if I continue to conform everything in my life to their needs. The needs change either daily or weekly or monthly. I never agreed to give up my life, but, it seems I am doing just that. It needs to change for my face will not be smiling if it doesn't. Reach down inside and let yourself know that your life was given to you. I don't think they had you to be a slave to them in their senior years. Most parents do not want that, so stop it in its tracks now. I know harder said than done, but, I am in the process and it has to be. I am a person too, just like you!
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Praying for your peace, stregnth and comfort.
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Thank you ALL so much for all of your support and for sharing some of your stories with me. My mom just had major surgery yesterday and she did well, but it's going to be a very long and hard recovery. I'm NOT up to taking care of these people. I've s/w my therapist and doctor about my depression, the caretaking and feelings of 'not wanting to wake up', several times. My s-father is now acting distant toward my mom since she's over the surgery she had yesterday. I was going to try and get a bit of rest today, but my s-father made those plans history. I've lived with his moods and this families total dysfunction since I was 3 years old. You just never get used to it! My mom asked me to come and sit with her for a bit, and I need to take my puppy to his sitter again today, which is 23 miles away, and then backtrack to the hospital, then later backtrack to pick up my puppy and then make the trip back home sometime much later today/tonight. I'm exhausted and right now I hate my life... I'm trying to keep a positive attitude, but it's so hard. I thank God for all of you here! I'd be totally lost if I thought I was alone in the overwhelming job of caretaker, therapist, nurse, cleaning woman, laundromat attendant and cleaner, etc... It never ends. Last time my mom was in the hospital I did s/w a social worker, but she told me that as long as my mom refuses help, there's nothing they can do. My therapy money is now going to the dog sitter. I thank God for my puppy. He's my world and my happiness!!!

Thank you all again for being here! It helps so much when I see yet another wonderful post from y'all!!! God Bless and much love to you all!!!

Kathy
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Willow, what happened to trying to have a relationship with your dad's kids? Did you abandon that after he died? If that's still an option, then can you go back to Seattle and stay when them till you get back on your feet? I say leave your mother and step dad to stew in the juices that they've created for themselves. Forget their will, forget the past and move on.
Enough already. Even those in prison eventually get paroled.
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Willow, You're caring full time for people that disowned you? The people that have all but written you out of their will? The people that removed all your belongings after talking you into letting them keep them for you?
That is TWISTED!!!!
You are to be their one and only slave without any hope of compensation ever?
You are putting your life on hold for these people?????
Please make some plans for your future and stand up for yourself. You have rights according to our constitution just as anyone else.
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That's a scary thought sylvester and it might be a good idea to talk with someone about this. When my wife got fully in touch with her anger toward her mom she suddenly knew exactly how she wanted her mother to die, how long she wanted it to take and how painful she wanted it to be. Either side of this two edged sword is dangerous. On the one side we want to get rid of the pain and out feelings of total lack of control by the ultimate act of control in taking our own life. The other side, we are so in touch with our anger about who caused this pain that we have thoughts about how we would like for them to suffer and even possibly die. There's a point on that edge from which there is no return. The edge my wife was dealing with was she going to let it so over take her that she would blindly in an understandable rage lash out violently at anyone nearby thinking they wore the face of their mom. According to one of my police friends this is often at the heart of a domestic murder. So, long story short, I got my wife some help to assist her as well as to protect me and the boys. I"m not a therapist but it sounds like you need some help from one.
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I've thought of pushing down on the gas pedal of my truck and slamming into a tree to end the battle of being abandoned to deal with this load by myself, but I then think, NO, I want to live to see the karma come back on the very same people who abandoned me and let them see me gleaming in blessings while they are wishing they would have been giving instead of selfish.
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That is terrible, but look at how much fear and anxiety they have churning inside of you over being concerned about them when they have disowned you. Maybe, it's time to cut your loses, let them sleep in the bed they have made, take to heart that you didn't make them that way-you can't control how they are-nor can you fix them or reboot them into the people they ought to be, and face that all you can really do is put yourself on a healthier path in life regardless of what they do or don't do. It sounds like it is time to stop over investing emotionally in people who were abusive of you as a child and now don't care a 'monkey's uncle' about you.
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Ogt, you're so right! Still, my s-dad won't allow anyone (a stranger) into the house. My s-dad is in very poor health too, but is so stubborn and tries to be the martyr (?sp). These people are extremely hard to deal with. They've lost all of their 'friends' over the years and now no one wants to come visit with them. If it were just my mom, I'd get help in here asap! But it's both that need help...well, I need help too big time! I'm ready to pack up and go live in Assisted Living myself... I'd be there if it weren't for my puppy! I have 2 stepsisters from my s-dad and then there's me, who is here 24/7. Only one of his daughters speaks to my s-dad. I have no idea of what to do if something should happen to either parent b/c when I had my health and was out on my own, I decided to move to Seattle WA for a while, and try and get to know my real dad's daughter, my half-sister. My mom and s-dad were so angry with me that they got rid of all of my things that I was storing in their garage (I wanted to rent a storage unit, but they convinced me to use their garage instead of paying...)... A lot of my real father's things were packed in my belongings. I'd just lost my real dad right before going to Seattle. I live in PA (South Eastern PA - approx. 40 minutes from Philadelphia). So, I have no idea of what to do if/when something does happen b/c they basically disowned me, sold some of my things I had in storage in their garage and called for a dumpster co. to take the rest of my things away. Then they changed their Will also, so I'm now only a very small part of that. I don't care about their possessions. I do fear homelessness if/when anything should happen. I'm so riddled with anxiety and fear of the unknown. I just pray that I don't lose my dog if I end up homeless! I couldn't bear to be w/out my precious puppy! He's my world and sanity right now.
Bless you all!
Kathy
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Willow215,

It sounds like the bondage of your dysfunctional childhood is still in place and your parents can be much nicer to you now because they have you emotionally trapped. Often it is that feeling of I'm trapped, this pain or whatever has no options to deal with or any end in sight which leads to suicidal thoughts which can escalate quickly into suicadal plans. Sometimes as in my case, I was washing dishes and suddenly my mind was filled with not just wanting to die, but how I wanted to kill myself and well as where. Please talk with a doctor about these suicide thoughts. Please talk with the hospital discharge people and tell them your situation and that you can no longer handle this mess. If the hospital has a chaplain, I'd talk with that person too. As an only child also, I feel for you and wish you well. My own childhood was very dysfunctional, but I think that as an only child I got the abuse worse from my mother than my three male cousins who were raised by mom's sister. Please, take care of yourself.
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The fact that they refuse outside help and are willing to keep you as a slave should be the sign that you are an abused caretaker.
Refuse to take her home after her surgery because you are incapable of taking care of her (suicidal thoughts?!). She will go to rehab for a couple of weeks and you can get a break. During this break figure out what she qualifies for in terms of home care, sign her up, let them in and decide what you need to do for yourself. Do not back down. Groceries once a week firm, you out of the house for a day each week firm make an agenda with health aides and stick to it. If you stick to your guns your parents may treat you better. My sibs and I have had to make what some would view as selfish decisions but had we not we would have been stuck in my parents dysfunctional world. (They are old and alone now but their behavior over the years to us has been nothing short of horrific, recently my mom had dad arrested, a play that has had many repeat performances) It sounds like your life is getting to that point. Get healthy, take care of yourself FIRST. A dead caregiver is useless.
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Thank you all for your support, guidance and encouragement. I know things won't always be this way, but I do have a problem with depression, anxiety and PTSD, stemming from a very dysfunctional childhood...This childhood included the people that I'm presently taking care of. They're much nicer to me now, but I feel so alone and so overwhelmed in caring for others. My Faith is strong. I'm already on anti-depressants and do see a councelor when I have the money. Tomorrow morning my mom is going into the hospital to have major surgery (vascular - a vein/artery bypass in her left leg b/c of PAD). My own pain is usually near a #10 most every morning and tomorrow I must be able to function, get my puppy to a sitter (who lives 23 miles away), then backtrack and drive to the hospital to sit w/ my s-dad and wait for the surgeon to give us 'hopefully" good news. Of course my mom and s-dad absolutey refuse any outside help and I'm an only child. I have pain meds, but they don't work and I've been running around like crazy getting groceries, cleaning, putting on a smile and trying to cope. Finding all of you here has been absolutely a God Send!!! I appreciate you all so much! I don't feel so alone when I'm here and see what everyone else is going through... Caring for anyone 24/7 is totally overwhelming and we can't clock out... There is no end to this shift. God Bless you and Love to you all!
Kathy
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Hi Kathy,
You are so tired and rightfully so. Please try to see your doctor. Even though this was a fleeting thought, and nearly everyone has such a thought from time to time if they feel overwhelmed, depression among caregivers is high. Lifestyle changes and even prescriptions and/or counseling can help - really it can. Please take care of yourself. You can't take care of others if you are sick, so do it for everyone.

Hugs,
Carol
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Willow,
One thing you can be sure of. The situation WILL CHANGE. It always does.
GOD grant Willow peace during this storm & stregnthen her during this difficult time. Open divine doors to help her in her struggles. Amen.
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I believe that people who commit suicide, really just want 'it' to stop. Whatever 'it' is, is different for everyone. Your 'it' is being the sole caretaker I assume, so how do you get 'it' to stop without killing yourself? What kind of steps can you take to make it easier on you? Also, get yourself into a good church and start leaning on fellow believers. We were NOT meant to go thru this life alone, that's what the body of Christ is all about. I would start by being practical, you can't do this alone, so make other plans with that in mind. It's NOT a sign of weakness, or that you don't love the one you're taking care of, it's just a fact. When we as humans get all emotional and worn out, we lose our ability to think clearly I believe. Step back and look logically at your situation, (if you can) and make changes. If you're no longer able to see what to do, then reach out to someone who is detached from it and ask them.
I tend to be more left brained than right, so being logical is easy for me, so if you're not, find someone who is. That may be just the ticket to getting you back on solid ground instead of quicksand. And please find a church you like.
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