I did this exercise with my life coach last week, and I found it enlightening. It really helped me with my feelings of guilt. I just wondered what others thought.

I am still growing daily, but I have learned how to ASK Dad if he wants help before just jumping in and helping (He would complain a lot about me not letting him DO anything), and if he insists on doing something that I know he really CAN'T do (such as sweeping the floor), I let him try on his own and he will normally ask after a while.

I am also learning how not to take on HIS stuff. I constantly have to tell myself that an issue is HIS, and I don't have to react.

Finally, I'm learning how to exit a situation that isn't comfortable for me with him or "family" (Dad and I did Thanksgiving alone and I didn't show up for the family celebration the next day because I didn't want the negativity -- VERY empowering).

I'm sure there's more, but acknowledging growth helped me not feel like a "bad daughter" for not catering to his every whim. Besides, we PAY people to handle certain things, and it's OK if they don't do it like I would do it... as long as it gets done.

I wish I knew this three years ago!!!

HUGS to the Caregivers!!!!

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Dear Tinyblu,

Glad to hear you feel stronger and that the life coach is helping. I really like those tips. In my culture there was no asking just obeying. And like you, I too felt like the bad daughter for not doing everything and doing it well. It was a recipe for disaster. After my dad's stroke it only got worse. The anger and resentment I felt towards my siblings and my dad and towards myself was poison.

Since my dad's passing I have learned many lessons about being a caregiver. I've learned like you said to ask, to listen, to step back and the hardest one of all to forgive. I have to forgive my dad because he truly did need me. He had no one to be his advocate. And to forgive myself for letting him down in the last year of his life.

Nice! And kudos to you for working on your personal growth! Yes, I definitely feel I have grown as a person, and have become stronger and more loving, as a result of being a caregiver.

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