Healing thread for the over-responsible adult children here.

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I find that there are some of us here who seem to take on more responsibility and more guilt in caregiving. ...Especially with regard to hospice, some of us seem to feel responsible for the fact that our parent died. Some of us appear to be suffering from Post Traumatic Caregiver Syndrome. Some of us just need to talk about strategies for post caregiving healing and self care. Please share your journey, and what has worked for you, post caregiving.

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CW- We youngest are responsible, too.
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CW, im sure youre right about the youngest often being appointed caregiver ( perhaps bullied by the elder sib(s)? I've certainly seen that dynamic!
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JoAnn29, your is very emotional; thanks for sharing your experiences with us. You definitely faced some challenges!

Lizzy, that "high alert status" is one reason I think caregivers suffer from our own form of PTSD.
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JoAnn,

It feels to some extent that I haven’t come down from that high alert status we are on as caregivers. I’m much, much better than I was 2 years ago. Just not quite there yet.

Or, sometimes after all we’ve been thru I wonder if my patience and tolerance for petty stupid “stuff” is just gone. I find myself wondering “ why and how is this even causing a disturbance around me?!?”

And I question myself about what I may be getting wound up about...am I over reacting? Usually not. But years ago my patience would hold out longer before My eyes would start rolling and I Would slap my forehead.
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Like Izzy I get "wound" up and overwhelmed easily and have no patience.
I am the oldest of 4. My sister passed 20 yrs ago leaving a 7 yr old boy. My sister was dying of breast cancer and because I had a 16yr old with a baby I watched, she asked my brother to take her son. At 18 my nephew came up here to live to go to school. Because of a neurological problem, that didn't work out but he chose to stay with Mom. Nice, but she was 80 then and could not deal with getting SSD for him and the Special Needs Trust he needed to get it. I am his POA so handle his Medicaid, etc. I worked p/t till 2011 when I retired. After 1 yr, I agreed to watch my daughter's baby until ready for Daycare, 18 months later, I had to take in Mom. I think it was the final straw. It was always ME. I gave up opportunities Because I was caring for someone. Now it was 24/7 with very little breaks. She grew frail before my eyes. At times I couldn't look at her. She would have her paranoid episodes and of course I was the bad guy. ME who she always depended on. I know, it's the disease, but it still hurt. Since I have a split level, she had the family room on the lower level. I dislike that room, mainly used by the kids and friends when younger. But, it had a bathroom w/shower and easy access from the house. I hated having to gate her in but she didn't do steps well. If she fell, she would land on cement covered with carpet. Finally, decided on an AL. Figured she would have others to talk to and able to get up and walk when she wanted. Eventually a NH. I try to think of the times before Dementia. It's hard because all I see is a frail old woman who was in her own little world. I was mad at her Church for forgetting her after years of volunteering for committees and getting together a big dinner the Church had once a year. When she passed, it was a relief. No longer did I have to worry about her and be overwhelmed with the responsibilities that come with caring for someone and...The house they left. My brother says I am my own worst enemy and I agree. A little OCD there. Mom was 89. Her journey thru Dementia was six years. She never would have wanted to be like she was. She believed she was saved so I am sure she is in a better place and that gives me peace. My regret is I had no patience. Just pray that my experience will help someone else deal with the loss of a loved one.
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As the last born child I am a little offended at the implication that only first born kids are responsible - in fact I've often noticed that the older kids manage to fly fast and far, leaving the youngest to become the de facto caregiver.
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Ihave, ((((hugs)))))). Glad your sis stepped up to handle the funeral. Worry about one day at a time this week.
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It’s 4 in the morning. I realize this website has helped me through this whole thing. There are so many like me out there. This parent care is so large, almost an epidemic. I would like to thank you all. Next thing. I am the first born. Always the responsible one. Now , I feel so bad for my mom. No one ever just came up and said , I can handle 2 hours, talk to her, take her out, or even just buy a milkshake. I think I was with her so much, I never really saw the signs that she was starting to fade. I just kept throwing her in the car and away we,d go. Her half slumped over, sleeping, seatbelted in. Boy, what did I look like. Now,, my sister is around , involved with funeral. I am numb and just want to get through it. I will never take on someone else’s life on again, it took everything out of me. I stare in the mirror and try to figure out who I am. Turning 60.
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Ihav-so sorry for your loss.May God help you through.

Great thread Barb,also the disease of this youngest. So many coulda, shoulda, wouldas. My dad has been gone for 1 year and almost 6 months.I miss him everyday and I loved him so much. I still cannot rid myself of these thoughts. Therefore, I seem to try so much to cover these things with my Mom. So that I won't have those feelings. But, yet I KNOW I will still have them when her time comes. 
Even though we don't have any power over these things, we still feel somewhat responsible even though perfection is never attainable. It seems even more difficult now, to not feel responsible for many things. Experiencing the loss of Dad, sure makes me want to do so much more for my Mom, because the loss of her will be the hardest for me. :( 
Thanks again Barb, and all of you who have shared, we learn so much from one another and draw strength from each others journey. May God bless you all.
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Having been recently "fired" from any caregiving for my mother by my brother with whom she lives---I have been experiencing an increase in depression and anxiety that I see now probably is attributable to the sorrow I feel that I am simply not allowed to be any part of mother's care. (In all honesty, I KNOW she complained about my "meddling" (read: cleaning) and trying to help her--and brother, instead of trying to work WITH me simply kicked me to the curb.) Mother is now very sad as I am only allowed to take her to lunch and not allowed in her apt anymore. I was the only kid who even talked to her--all other sibs are MIA and completely off board.

I wanted to have a better relationship with my mother before she dies. I probably won't get it. Once a week lunch? Maybe, if brother "allows"....I'm sick to death of fighting him over this issue.

I guess I am grieving the fact we never had a healthy relationship, I never felt loved by her and I probably never will. Very sad.

Therapy saves me. My beautiful grandkids save me, my loving kids and their spouses save me.

After mother dies, I wouldn't be surprised if I never talk to some of my sibs again. Heartbreaking.
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