I've posted various questions here and mentioned briefly about my background. However as a quick summary, my father took his own life at the age of 79 this past March. This has obviously left our family reeling and dealing with multiple emotions. I am a nurse and currently in school for my Nurse Practitioner. I "know" what I am supposed to do, and I have counseling scheduled to help me work through anger, grief, guilt, etc. So, I know I can't NOT address my own issues if for nothing else but to be the best mama and wife I can to my family so they don't suffer because of any unresolved issues I have.

That being said...My 80 year old mom has been abandoned and is depressed beyond words. Understandably so. 55 years with my father. The woman is broken. She may have had some early signs of dementia a year or two ago (now that I look back), that maybe my dad was hiding pretty well. Because now, especially in the evenings, she says some very "off" things. She is sleepy all the time. She shuffles around and looks 120 years old. She is living in a first floor apt. literally 2 minutes from my home. This was because of her knees and also because I just don't think it is healthy for my mom to live WITH me. I love her and respect her but she is stubborn and fiesty and has no problem just walking in our bedrooms unannounced. So...this is best.

Ok, so what do I need help with? The Mindset question...I CANNOT seem to be there emotionally for my mom. I am irritated by the way she has seemingly given up on functioning. The shuffling. The unkempt look about her. The falling asleep talking to me. The getting on my pre-teen daughter (Who TRUST me gets it from me ALL the time...she doesn't need two of us)in a very mean way at times...just her VERY negative way now. As you're reading this I bet I sound so mean. How can a nurse and a future NP feel this way? How can I be so heartless?

I ask myself the same questions. I want to know if anyone has felt this way and has any advice on how to turn my mindset around. I do a lot for my mom and she always says "You take such good care of me", but I don't FEEL warm towards her. I have to think that what my father did has broken something in me, and I too acknowledge my mom and her grief would require me dealing with what dad did and I need some professional help with that. (Soon to come next week first session). I just feel cold. I want someone to tell me that it will get better. Or even tell me to get my head out of my butt and just BE NICE. Mom said tonight all I ever do is tell her what she's doing wrong (stand up straight, pick up your feet, let's put on a prettier sweater, etc). I guess I just feel like I'm trying to perk her up.

Anyway, this was more of a ramble than anything. Just wanted some thoughts or advice. Or, even let me have it :-)

This website and forum have been very helpful to me. Thank you!

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Ebmick, well done. I hope you felt it was beneficial.

Your mom may just be done. I understand being the one that picks up the pieces but sometimes you just can't help someone until they drag bottom.

You are not awful just overwhelmed. One step at a time right now. You got this!


How are you doing today?
I am visiting you as the Grinch, He had a very kind heart, deep down.
I forced myself to watch this silly movie, and found the villian was endearing with his truth.

Ebmick,not sure why but I didn't have the option offered to reply to your last post so doing it here. I know all too well the not wanting to know and not wanting to take med's as prescribed...and all the reasons/excuses that go with it over the years. I also know all too well what happens and who's lives get interrupted and who suffers when not following directions/caring for themselves properly causes an "event". Your mom's therapist might be able to help here, I know for us when it was made clear to my mom that the people she was putting out, making suffer and causing to worry/making anxious (she understands this emotion) was her kids, the people taking care of her and enabling her to live where she wants, her tune often changes and it has often been her therapist who is able to point this out. My mom cared for her mom for years and mom's therapist reminds her often of what it was like for her when she was in our place and her mom was being difficult or stubborn. We also have often used the last 15 min or so of her appointments for one or both of us to come in and talk about things either we or she need to as well as scheduling separate appointments a few times for all of us to talk about things we felt we or she needed Pat (her therapist)to help present or talk through over the last 2-3 years since her stroke.

Just a thought. My brothers and I will ask her to do something for us or point out the stress she is putting on us, gently on our own too depending on the subject. She has had enough trips to the ER because of things she wasn't doing well, diabetes, heart, not drinking enough fluids, not medicating right that reminding her we are just trying to prevent another trip again often helps to bring her around too, it's all part of taking care of us by taking care of herself.

Sounds like you are doing everything right for both of you though, don't be so hard on yourself. I would be thrilled to have you working with my mom. :)

I believe you're experiencing this inner conflict because of the nature of your occupation. After working in hosp for 20 years myself, I know that we must constantly review our patient's progress or decline; implement strategies. But in our minds, as we continue this role with sick a family member, (not intending to criticize or judge them at all), we may get their resentment. The professional identity, believes we can help our loved one the way we help our patients. Often the loved one doesn't respond, (but they do respond to a stranger offering the exact same counsel). Its the relationship with you that she seeks now, I think, cuz she can't get "straight-up" love from anyone else. As she dies, she wants to die with you loving, instead of advising. Let the 'stranger caregiver' advise her instead. From one "pro" to another, I understand your conflict.✌

Thank you for posting this. It has been over a year since MIL moved in and my attitude feels like it has gotten worse, not better even though I am going to counseling and so is my husband and I together! I am also homeschooling our 3 daughters 4, 13, & 15. I feel like MIL will live forever...she is 70. She can still take care of herself and drive. I do her wash and clean her room/bathroom. She’s had breast cancer off and on for the last 30 years. My husband felt that she needed to move in with us or a friend because of her declining health and financial situation. She refused to ask a friend so we moved into a house to accommodate her. She has been mean to my 13 yr old and treats my 15 yr old like an adult. I am constantly reminding her that I am the mother of my 4 yr old. Especially since she has different parenting views and never supports or encourages me or my husband in our role as parents. She has a typical entitled mentality. No thanks for dinner or washing/cleaning. Didn’t even sign “Love,” on my birthday card last month...kind of thankful that at least she was being honest. That’s enough for now...just wanted to say that I feel the same struggle and guilt. Unfortunately I’m “stuck” with her until she passes...great way to live...just turned 40 myself. Wish I could snap my fingers and be as sweet as Mary Poppins 24/7.

Wow! I am overwhelmed by the responses and thank you ALL for your input. What a wise group of people. I feel the love.

Even from the one person who asked "what is WRONG with you?" I get it. I knew I sounded cold. And as another person did say, I was putting my thoughts out there to a group of people I knew had some experience with at least parts of my situation. But hey, my thoughts are selfish. I get it. I don't like myself lately.

I do want to clarify a few things:
1. I got mom a counselor. She saw one in when she lived with my brother a few months one time but my bro and SIL convinced her it was too expensive. I was appalled and got her one immediately when she moved back here that takes Medicare. Mom really likes her counselor and felt good to be "validated" that she had been through hell. I just saw a counselor myself today for the first time.
2. Pretty immediately after my father's death, I got my mom into her provider, and she was written an antidepressant. Her PCP follows her closely and she has an appt. Thursday.
3. I could write a completely separate post on my mom and her STUBBORN attitude towards doctors/meds. Because of her years of thinking she knew more than her doctors and me, she is in stage 3/4 Kidney failure. She never took her BP meds. Anytime I would ask her about it she would pretty much tell me to back off. Well, last year (before dad died), mom had a scary episode of a complete cognitive decline, falling asleep while talking to me. She was admitted into the hospital in acute kidney failure. This was when she finally knew it was time to get serious about taking her BP meds. But even JUST yesterday, she told me to back off and she was NOT getting blood work at her appt. on Thursday. She said she doesn't want to know and is tired of everyone worrying about her BP. Except...I'm the one who picks up the pieces when things go south. But oh well.

So, I'll close with YES....I know I have to get help. I got mom help first actually. She's on antidepressants and has a counselor. Like I said, I just saw mine today for the first time.

I truly appreciate all of the kind words. And the "keeping it real" ones. I like the "fake it til you make it" and the "pray for a servant's heart", and the reassurance that I'm just going through a bit of a horrid time myself and I may just be a little numb.

Thank you all. I'll keep you posted.
Lots of love.

You have shut down enotionally to protect yourself from pain and more pain. It also might be depression. Numbing out. This is normal given your circumstances.
Your mother could also very well be suffering from depression. The unkempt appearance, grumpy/ crabbyness, lashing out.

Both of you need help. Can you hire someone to help, even if its for an hour or 2 a week? Give yourself a break. It could be a college kid who likes to be around the aged. Maybe they are going into Nursing/OT/PT and need the hours or it looks good on a resume. The elderly can put on a good front to strangers. Enjoy talking and hanging out with someone who is not family. Unfort family can get abused behind closed doors.
Do not move her in with you. It is more than you can handle right now.

You need a break and so does you mom. When was the last time you did something just for you? Something fun? It does not require money to take a walk, do your nails, a beauty appt, take a relaxing bath while listening to music. Meditate etc. Or have a girls day out and reconnect with the daughter for lunch, some shopping, a movie etc.
You need to address your depression. It is on both sides of my family, so I know the signs well.
You need to take care of you, b4 you can take care of anyone else. Id take mom and yourself to the docs office. Id go to someone that specializes in depression. They know the proper dosage. Most GPs do not and dont prescribe the correct dosage.
This will subside in time. I think it is compounded by having to take care of your mom on top of a busy life. I would get help instead of waiting it out. Good luck.

First of all, so sorry for the shocking loss of your father. It's totally understandable that the ground feels a little shaky under your feet right now.

Your mother is no doubt feeling much the same mix of shock, grief, abandonment, anger, and guilt that you are, but her declining mental state gives her far fewer and less effective tools to cope and process it all. It may also be that the apparently self-indulgent behaviors spark resentment in you because your responsibilities to her and your school program require you to pull yourself together whether you feel like it or not. And everyone grieves in their own way, so it's likely she is doing the best she can.

Its perfectly OK for you to feel detached from your mother, and not out of line at all with your chosen profession. You can think of your caregiver role as a professional one. Anyone on the helping professions has to develop a certain level if clinical detachment.

Is your mother under the care of a geriatric psychiatrist? It would not be a bad idea to have the progression of her dementia evaluated, especially since you suspect your father of minimizing it. The same person could be helpful in setting her up with some behavioral therapy and perhaps some antidepressant medication to help her.

You are in a stressful, high-stakes education program, assuming more caregiving responsibility for your mother, and grieving your father's death. So you are allowed to take a little space from your mothers emotional life and take care of yourself, first.

It doesn't get better, which is why there are now so many assisted living residences for those who can afford them. And try to remember that in 25 years or whatever, you may well turn into your mother, and what kind of example do you want to set for the younger generation who may take care of you? I am glad I have the resources and the willingness to go to assisted living or nursing home when I can no longer live independently. I don't want to burden my children, who are not very close to me anyway as I was a career-oriented woman, with my care. I would prefer to die before go to nursing home/memory care, but I suspect the window of time between the day you get the diagnosis and the day you are no longer mentally capable of suicide is very small.

So sorry for your loss!
And in the way you lost your Dad, through suicide.
Here you are, trying to help people by being in the medical profession.
And he gives up, plus, leaving Mom to you.

That would make anyone angry, at a loss, in a void, sorrowful, and needing therapy. You are not alone.

Depression is anger turned inward. It is unexpressed anger.
It could even feel like a slap in the face, that Dad did this to you.
In my opinion, someone's suicide had nothing at all to do with you,
not thinking at all of those left behind. It was your Dad, so you might feel abandoned, even though you are an adult. It is a sad loss for you.

Therapy will help you, imo.

Keep checking back, let us know how you are.

Warning: Bible quote, NASB
Finally brethren, whatever is true,
Whatever is honorable,
Whatever is right,
Whatever is pure,
Whatever is lovely,
Whatever is of good repute,
If there is anything worthy of praise,
Dwell on these things.

I know that this is not the response you are hoping for, but "It isn't going to get better". PERIOD. From the sound of things, your father was helping your mother hide her health issues more than you realize. Also, things she does that you are labeling as 'difficult', 'cantankerous' and 'mean' are more likely advanced Alzheimer's. I had no idea just how bad my mother was until very near the end because she hid her symptoms behind those actions/emotions; she passed last week (9th). So here's my advise, stop trying to make her do better (the shuffling, posture, etc), because she can't. Don't forget, she's dealing with the manner in which her husband of 55 years passed and probably has abandonment/guilt/anger issues; which is also making her symptoms worse. It's hard to deal with her "giving up", because you are so emotionally invested. By all means go to the counseling. Be vigilant with it, AND, take family members; all this affects them too. Encourage conversation about "what's going on with Mom/Grandma", especially your teenage daughter. I'm willing to bet she is acting out more and some of your (mom/dad) anger is trickling down to her. You are in NP training, the best way for you to survive this is to step back and treat her as you would a regular patient. Be a caring professional, it will help you distance yourself from the things she does (that she CAN'T control) that you are taking personally -- remember your training! Some may think it cruel, but once you decide to 'step back' both of you will do better. One last thought I want to share is a reminder that the spouse of such a long marriage rarely lives a year beyond the death of the departed...prepare yourself and your family.

Suicide is such a selfish act, it leaves those behind wondering why, how could they not see it coming, what could they have done to stop it, as well as, abandoned, unloved, angry and resentful. Feeling pizzed off at a dead person goes against everything we know, "don't speak ill of the dead." Yet, we are angry and we should be, but not forever.

I can't imagine how your mom feels all of these things and more, so much more intensely than you feel them. This was her life partner and she could not stop this from happening.

I would be quite happy that she was even getting dressed. She is trying but she has the weight of this awful thing on her shoulders.

I think correcting your daughter is her trying to find normalcy, her generation all the elder women corrected the younger girls and tried to help them be respectable young ladies, times have changed so far from what she grew up with. Maybe she sees that you are always having to give it to your daughter and trying to reinforce what you are saying. My grandma was the 1st one to correct me, so I don't find that particularly disturbing, your daughter and yours reaction bothers me more, respect your elders. G'ma may need to know her harshness is to much but if this is an issue that keeps coming up, we all increase the force hoping it will finally resolve. Just my thoughts.

If your mom hasn't had any grief counseling, you really should just schedule it and take her, ugly sweater and all.

Remember, she isn't the one that changed everything so dramatically, cut her some slack, she is trying but her world as she knew it was destroyed and she may be wondering if anything was as she believed it to be. She may even feel like it was because of her. As much as this has effected you, it has effected her a 1000xs more. Get both of you help and may God lead, guide and direct your healing and hearts.

Hugs for you and mom.

Your post helped me at least to know I’m not alone. I’m also a RN and have become very resentful of having to care for my MIL.
I’m angry with my husbands sister for dying young and unexpectedly. As stupid as this sounds. We became her only caregivers that day. Something I never expected and I’m very unhappy about.
Ive become a hateful bitter person that I truly wasn’t before. It didn’t happen overnight but in two years of her living with us it did. So much so we moved her back to her own place. At least for now.
I know it’s best because of how I FEEL towards her.
I had to accept this is how I feel and I cannot change how I feel. She is a burden that is holding us back from moving out of state and purchasing a home because we can’t afford a home that would accommodate her living with us.
It’s effected my outlook with my patients in long term care somewhat too. I understand when families don’t visit etc.
I share this to tell you I don’t think we can help our reactions or how we feel towards someone. Even defenseless little old ladies. There’s baggage there and I advise you to forgive yourself for feeling and reacting the way that you are. The more I tried to change my feelings the more resentful I felt.
Maybe consider AL or LTC for your mother in a nursing home. Your having to care for her is a new burden in your life and it’s not helping your feelings towards her.
Counseling of course is a great idea. I would try to disguise your feelings and visit your mom 3 times a week at first in the home. Don’t share the bad times or frustration with her with her staff there. In my experience they’re not going to get it nor would you really want them to.
I think to do what’s best for everyone would be to have her cared for by people that don’t have these negative emotions attached to her.
You're not alone in your feelings and reactions. It’s especially difficult to watch your parent decline. I think it reminds us of our own mortality and gives a gut wretching reaction.
Whatever you decide to do it it needs to best for EVERYONE involved. That definitely includes you!! All my best.

It is very normal,

I had the same feelings, my mom had a stroke 16 years ago, was left paralyzed on her left side & in a wheelchair. At first, I was at her house every day, several times a day. I had a very young son at the time and definitely put strain on my relationship with my husband, but it was my mom!! After a few months, I noticed that she was getting too dependent on me being there, so I started to back off. We had her bathroom equipped for handicapped accessibility - bars, shower accessibility, etc.... It was definitely tough love, but she needed to gain back some confidence & independence. And it worked! She was able to do a lot more over the next 10 - 12 years, but then started to decline. She started getting very needy, we had a service coming in to help her shower daily & get dressed, but there were days she just didn't want to.

We had to move her to a nursing home earlier this year ( needed 24 hour care), I love my mom, but I understand what you are going through, I almost felt dead inside and I felt like I missed out an a lot to take care of her.

You are still grieving, give yourself a break, keeping her safe is the most important part.

I wish you the best - happy holidays.

First of all you need to stop being so hard on yourself, I don't think there is anything wrong or unnatural about your feelings. You just lost your father in a horrible way (I lost my GF to suicide and while young, high school, I was very close to him) and you are suddenly faced with already loosing pieces of your mom as well and as I'm sure part of you knows, your mom as you know her. It's so much for one person to bear and I think you are doing remarkably well! You recognise your need for help and are doing things about that, you recognise the inherent problems with moving your mom into your home (for both, all of you) as well as the need to have her close and solved it for now, you are so far ahead of most and doing amazingly well.

Now, your feelings of detachment, I know exactly what your talking about and for me anyway I think it's a protection mechanism. Every time I see my mom shuffling, I know in the back of my head it's a sign of dementia/Alzheimer's and when I try to talk to her the way I always have I'm often reminded that isn't always possible anymore. I need to communicate with her differently now because her brain works differently, I need to work to figure out what she is trying to say because her speech is different (aphasia) but I also am reminded that her core basics haven't changed, both good and bad, she is as complementary,loving and kind as ever (sometimes overly so, I still get tired of hearing how wonderful my husband is when I'm annoyed with him, lol) as well as stubborn and oblivious as ever (still dumps her pills into a glass and lets them sit rather than just putting them in her mouth when the alarm goes off!). It's so sad for me to watch her struggle to communicate but it also frustrates me to no end that she refuses to go to speech therapy any more or have contact with people (other than my brothers and I) and use her speech because the difference in her ability to think and speak is so dramatic when she does, use it or loose it and it frustrates me to no end that she refuses to drink enough water daily and makes it such a struggle for us because it makes such a difference in her fluid retention (weight) and in turn her heart symptoms and cognitive ability. I could go on with frustrations and yes things that simply make me angry with her but then I remind myself that it has to be her choice. This is her end of life and while it makes me very sad and even a bit unloved and appreciated that she makes choices that will end her life sooner or at least her quality of life and therefore my quality of time with her, if it makes her happier I guess she is living the quality of life she wants. So even though it's problematic and will give us more grief eventually I don't lean on her as much about the salt as I was, I might remind her but I know how much she has always loved salt and I can't imagine how awful it must be to need more to get the same satisfaction yet be told I need to have less. She's diabetic too so sugar is something she needs to watch as well and she generally does a great job with that. I want her as happy as possible before she enters the next stage of oblivion I expect will come so I am learning to let as much as I can go and appreciate that she is happy. I also remind myself that she isn't in control of so much of this, her suffering for instance and how awful it must be for her when she's aware of that and she is but I have to cut myself a break too and not try to force the feelings I want but allow myself to mourn the mom I'm missing. Your mom has the added burden of mourning her husband and protector, that can take a long time in the best of circumstances and some of the behavior you describe sounds like depression to me but I also know how muddled that can get with the other things going on, for both of you. I would suggest getting mom to someone in geriatrics who might help with depression as well and of course look into things that help you keep her on her own if that's her pref

Most counseling therapists r pretty good, but for heavens sake don't get one that just sits and stares at u. I've had two like that, they take ur money and don't do a d--n thing. No feedback, comment, suggestions. Nothing! Then tell u to have a good week and see u next session. RUN! It's best if u can find someone specializing in caregiver burnout, who knows abt aging, care issues, etc. And at least COMMENTS helpfully on matters. What's trying is u might have to search and meet with several to find a good fit. Ask them there treatment methods, do they offer suggestions, resources, not just sit there any say nothing. Good luck!

Yes, indeed you are grieving! You're grieving the loss of your dad and the loss of who your mom once was. As we see our family members experience deep changes in personality and physical/emotional changes, it does affect us. Your mom sounds as though she's depressed and possibly has Parkinson's or similar type illness (shuffling was a sign to me and the fact my mom walked and looked like she was much older than she was. Eventually, the doctor verified that she indeed had Parkinson's and we saw a neurologist who was able to start treatment for her).

When my mom wasn't well, I struggled with my attitude, too. She seemed too young to look and act so old. I was busy with my own teenagers, husband, and part-time job. My parents needed more help and I didn't know how I was going to give them what they needed. I grew bitter at times (which helped no one). Thankfully, my relationship with God brought me out of myself and into His compassion and love that He promised to give me and to flow out of me. When I acknowledged that I could not possibly do this apart from His help and the help of those around me, I was able to see more from my mom and dad's perspective and less from my own wants and desires.

A friend of mine who was a hospice nurse, made the comment that she missed all the signs that her dad was actually actively dying. It shocked her when he passed so quickly. I write this, so that you'll understand that even medical professionals may miss something in a loved one that another professional would see. If your mom hasn't been to the doctor for a while, you may want to get her to one. If her sleepiness is more than depression, then a doctor should be able to note this. She may need some anti-depressants for a short time to lift her blues and make her feel more like living, or she may have another illness that needs to be addressed.

I feel for your daughter, too. I hope she has thick skin, because no one likes to be constantly belittled or corrected. She definitely needs some TLC and counseling herself as she's feeling things that no pre-teen wants to experience. She lost a grandpa in a horrific way and now she's seeing her grandmother unable to cope with the reality of her loss along with the general aging process—that's hard for anyone, much less a teen!

Truly, I hope your sessions go well. I will pray for you, your mom, your daughter to find genuine hope and peace in the midst of a stormy life.

How brave of you to put this all out here and to say the very things I would imagine most of us have thought.  You are doing so well and handling so many things at one time.  Yep, you're grieving for you Dad and for the Mom that is no longer the Mom you knew.  And that's ok.  That means you're human, not Superwoman!! LOL  I think also because you are a nurse, there's a part of you looking at your Mom with the Nurse's eyes - my daughter who is an RN was that way while trying to help me with my Mama.  It was her way of protecting herself from the awful knowledge that her Granny was dying.  I think it's just one of the ways your heart is trying to protect you as you come to terms with her changes.  It's good that you are getting counseling - you will need a safe place to work through all of this.  In the meantime, know that you are doing the best you can at this moment, you will find the new norm and most of all, your Mom knows you love her because she does say thank you and that fussing is what we do when we love someone. (I bet she fussed at you when you were a kid - that's because she loved you.)  But most of all, know that you are a good daughter and a great Mom.  The reason I know this is that you are taking care of your Mom and you're watching out for your daughter.  Hang in there.

My life is almost ditto to yours. All my mom wants to do is NOTHING. She lives with me and all she does is stay on her tablet all day. I wait on her hand and foot. I do get mad inside because she doesn't even try to do anything. I find myself saying the same things you do to your mother about her messy hair, clothes, etc. Offering suggestions nicely. Here's what I have discovered that works: I am still her daughter, not her mother. She doesn't like me to tell her what she needs to do, so I just let her go. She also says I take good care of her and that I have too much on me, but yet won't try to help at all. I have to step back and look at the situation and not what she does personally. I had to stop judging and criticizing and not take what she says or does personally. That alone helped my inner anger. I think you are going through a season with her right now because of your dad. Over time, you will understand things more clearly. It's ok how you are feeling right now. We all have gone through feeling this way. You are not mean or a bad person or you wouldn't call out for help or advice.

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference.

We call this “new dad” and “old dad” Our new dad shuffles when he walks, largely from the fear of falling, he has frequent bladder accidents, he cares little for his appearance and often wears worn out clothing though he has better, and he has what his doctor calls a “loss of filters” that has him say mean or rude things. We’ve all had to work on coming to a place of acceptance, and even love for new dad. We quietly miss old dad. He can’t help the changes even though they’re so hard for us to watch. I’ve never seen the movie Frozen and it’s likely I’m using its song completely out of context, but I often sing it’s song to myself “let it go, let it go” when being challenged by dad. He said something to me on Sunday that he often says, something annoying, and I told my daughter through gritted teeth “one day I’m going to miss that” I’m no saint in this, it’s often hard, and you’re not a terrible person at all, you’ve had a lot to deal with. Acceptance comes in bits at a time, and it’s truly our friend. Hope you can get to a place of acceptance of new mom and not be so hard on you

First, you don't sound the least bit mean nor heartless. You're suffering the loss of your dad and, in a different way, slowly losing your mom. It's the inability to fully accept our parents in a diminished way because, as their children, more than anyone else in their lives, we know what they 'should be'.

Sounds like your mom is depressed (along with the dementia). Has she been seen for that? Also sounds like she has very little purpose or socialization in her life. Is there a day program near you where she could spend a few hours a day interacting with others and engaging in some purposeful activity? She may resist, but press forward and make her try it out at least.

Of course, moving to and IL or AL community sounds like it would be just the thing, but that's a matter of finances.

Good for you for seeking help!

Oh gosh it sounds like you are both in deep grief and grieving differently. I’m glad you have counseling scheduled for you. What about her? I also learned after my mother-in-law died that grief can look like dementia. Hang in there!

If your mother were your patient you wouldn't worry about this. Forget about what you think you ought to be like because of your professional background and future aims. Not relevant, doesn't help.

H'm. I wonder.

You are doing all the "right" things.

Tell me, what is the "right" way to feel about your 79 year old father taking his own life? What's the least damaging way to process it? If you follow one kind of course, it's this damaging, but if you follow that other, better course it's only *that* damaging...

What I'm getting at is that judging by your post, and the various (quite correct, I'm not arguing you shouldn't) types of support you're seeking: you seem to think that if only you can find the right way to do the right things it's possible to predict and control what you feel.

No. 'Tisn't.

Don't try to change your mindset so that you behave differently. Other way round - instead, how about trying to do or say one small, nice thing for your mother at a time. The idea is to start a kind of chain reaction - you are kind, it feels nice, you feel better, you are kinder, etc. If it doesn't work, no one is any worse off.

But meanwhile. Your 80 year old mother has been blown out of the water. Apart from you - because I'm not sure it's any better for the grief-stricken to lead the grief-stricken than for the blind to lead the blind - what emotional and social support does she have?

I think you are being too hard on yourself. I think there is a part of our brain that shuts off when we are afraid of being emotionally devastated. I think your anger at your mom is protecting you from the grief you are really feeling at your father's suicide.

Also, you are grieving the loss of how your mom was and is no longer. It's much easier to focus on the irritations of your mom's decline instead of focusing on the fact that she will probably continue to get worse as her aging progresses.

I've heard it said that anger is just depression turned outward. I think you'll be a fine nurse. Especially since you are recognizing this in yourself and wanting to do something about it.

RayLinStephens, I believe she is expressing her feelings here, which is why these forums exist. We should be able to listen to each other without hearing "what is wrong with you". ebmick, you are in a very tough situation and I think it's very brave of you to admit when you are struggling with your feelings of negativity toward your mom. I think many of us go through the same thing as we attempt to do our best to care for our loved ones. This is such a trying time and even if our feelings are not the most positive as long as we are doing our best I think that is the most we can ask for. Blessings!

So very sorry for the difficult position your family is dealing with today.

Maybe you are angry with Mom because seeing her frailties is an in your face reminder that you may very well lose her soon too. That your father's action in effect took both your parents. You may be afraid to get close to her emotionally because you are already anticipating the pain of her passing. Maybe you are transferring a lot of your anger at your father onto your mother too. Anger is a natural emotion in processing grief. These are all natural feelings that you can work out in time.

You are a good person, supporting your mother and providing her care. Your concern about your feelings not being what you want them to be is also an indicator of a good and caring daughter.

Although I first encountered the expression "Fake it to you make it" in a public speaking organization, I believe that could apply to your situation with your mother. When you feel like telling your Mom to do something better - keep your mouth shut. Instead, compliment your mother whenever she does something better/well. If she has combed her hair, then tell her how nice it looks. Clean dress? Then tell her how much you have always liked that dress or that color for her. In any case, make sure the first words out of your mouth when you see Mom are pleasant ones. Take a couple of minutes for a "Good Morning" and a discussion of the weather or how a plant is doing or some other normal conversation before you start in on care giving tasks. You may even find this tactic works well with your daughter.

I believe qinom45's suggestion is a good one too. Some grief counseling would probably be helpful although I suspect what you may need more than anything is just someone to listen while you vent.

I understand... you are grieving and her needs are too much for you at this time, These feelings will not be forever and counseling will help- you need to do that for you.
I hope there is a way to have some help with your mom for right now.
I guess the goal is not to focus on what she can not do/irritates you. (Anger is a sign of depression ). When my mom is stressful I usually sing to myself or in a low volume and it helps.

Your mother is fighting for her life! What is wrong with you? This is NOT all about you.

My DH fought for his life the last 6 months, until his body started shutting down.

You see shuffling? Your mother could be mentally "high stepping" and you are focused on her shuffling?

I would KILL to have another 6 months with my DH - but he passed in May at 96 yrs old.
Along with my BIL who was not old but had incurable Pulmonary Fibrosis, who passed at 70.

As a nurse going for Nurse Practitioner - you need therapy - you should know better or find another field of work.

I'm sorry to have said this - but truly, this is NOT all about you. If you can't handle the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen.

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