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I’m shaking. I’m crying. Hard to express into words. My doctor is sending me to a heart specialist on the 13th. I don’t want to even go to the appointment. It all catches up to us sometimes. I have been so strong, a warrior because ever since I was a little girl I have had to be even when I was scared and confused with no one to talk to.


I’m so tired of stirrers in my family who stir up mom when I have done everything in the world for her! When is it ever enough? I’m not a machine. I’m only a human being. I know life isn’t fair but I just want peace and harmony in my family. It’s all I have ever wanted. I’m tired of feeling like the after thought, the one who was always expected to do everything while others did their own thing, screwed up tremendously and I am treated like I fall short! Seriously!


So tired of complaining or trying to explain things that I get myself more depressed. Holding it inside doesn’t work either.


I am even starting to feel like I will be a burden to all of you and I know that all of you care in my heart but I have been conditioned to believe that I don’t have a right to complain. They do but I don’t.


This isn’t a pity party. I’m just so freakin worn out. I never imagined my life this way. Please don’t criticize me because I think I will break into a million pieces and that’s hard for me to admit because I have always had to be the strong one.


I simply can’t apologize anymore for being right. I just can’t. What do I do when my feelings don’t matter? Only theirs? My therapist once described this as gaslighting from family members. I keep trying but today I feel so lost. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m hurt. I’m lonely.


When I first left home and got away it was the first time I realized how dysfunctional my family truly was.


My friends tried to tell me but I never knew anything else. I packed the little stuff I had and took off. It was the first time I felt free. Life went on. Wasn’t always easy but I was happy. Now I feel like that trapped little girl again confused and a bit scared.


Sorry for the depressing post. Sorry I can’t go into detail right now. I guess I don’t want to relive it at the moment. Maybe later.


Thanks for being here for me. I want to fight being negative. It has drained me being around so much negativity. I don’t want it to be contagious. A certain amount does rub off on me and I hate that. I have heard psychologists say that is fairly common but I want to fight that every step of the way.


I went to Catholic schools and you didn’t misbehave. But I remember thinking if I wanted the attention in my family then I would have to be bad like my brother because he got all of the attention. I didn’t want to be bad because even as a child I was intuitive enough to see his misery. At least I did not follow in his footsteps.


I wasn’t perfect. We all made our own mistakes but the irony of it all is that I didn’t fall into a trap like he did because I witnessed the hell first hand of what he went through.


I guess everyone will think I am super screwed up. So what’s new? Will I ever find peace? I hope so. I can’t lose hope.


I guess at some point I will bounce back. I always do. I know I am a survivor but I want more than that. I want peace. I want joy in my life again.


I’m tired. I’m so damn tired. I feel older than my mom! I know 63 isn’t young but I feel like I am 100 years old.

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Thanks Grannie,

Yeah, ups and downs. I am trying. Don’t know exactly what’s what yet. I think that is what gets to me at times. The not knowing. I really appreciate your encouragement and support. I do pray. Sometimes I have to push myself or get stuck for awhile but I keep trying.

I do thank hubby all the time. He’s a good man. I helped with his mom when she had lymphoma. She died far too young, 68. She had just retired a few years before she died.
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Dear NeedHelpWM,
You sound a bit better already.  Venting with feedback from those who understand is life-saving.  When you get overwhelmed and fall in that hole again, reach out again.  Just getting more sleep helps. 

My therapist told me it was OK to recall the bad stuff of childhood, but don't stew in it.  Put it on the back burner and take a break.  I do not know how you are doing all this AND caregiving.  Both are full-time exhausting.  If brother, or a NH, care for her a bit, you do not have to pay for it.  You have no control over others.  God and the Universe will take care of them, you do not have to do it all.  Thank your hubby for his support, make arrangements for self-care, and do it.  You are worth it.
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Thanks Golden,

I am going to give what you said a lot of thought. I appreciate it.
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Thanks Tiger,

I did get away for a day. That is when my brother started all of his crap with mom, stirring up stuff. I seldom get away. They make me pay for it when I do.
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Martha,

Yep, siblings from hell! So sorry you went through that crap. It’s hard. I appreciate your sharing and support. I don’t think after mom dies I will continue contact with my siblings. I know that sounds horrible but they haven’t been here for me when I have needed them. Just a phone call once in awhile would have meant the world to me, asking how I was. Never, ever did they do that, don’t expect it now.
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Panda,

I am open to options. Finding a good fit is rough here. Our NH’s are rated at the bottom of the heap. Still exploring. Also thinking about assisted living, palliative care, possibly hospice later. Going to make a call to mom’s social worker again. Her primary care doctor put me in contact with the social worker and I liked her. She was easy to talk to and she listened to what I had to say. She is the one that told me about this forum.

Thanks for responding. I appreciate it.
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Thanks Shell,

Your response really touched my heart. I’m just going through a rough patch. I know what you are saying makes sense. I am trying to sort things out.

I don’t want mom overly stressed. Her doctor has already said stress aggravates Parkinson’s symptoms more. My brothers do not see that they stir up mom.

Every time I get away which is seldom and my brother stays with mom he will inevitably stir up crap. It’s like they make me pay for getting away. Oh, but two faced at the same time. As I am leaving, he tells me to have a great time. Ridiculous!

I have no idea what the doctor’s plan of action will be. Maybe more test. Lifestyle changes, who knows?

I really want to cancel the appointment but I know my primary care doctor will blow a rod if I do.
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MidKid,

Maybe that is the trigger, mixed emotions about Mother’s Day. Holidays are harder.

Thanks for responding. I appreciate it.
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NHWM--
I can't even begin to advise you....

The mother's day weekend is brutal for me. I don't like my mother much and my MIL hates me--so I always get really depressed on MD. It's a fake holiday and such a trigger for me--my kids are super to me--but my DH refuses to acknowledge that altho I am not HIS mother, I am mother to his AMAZING 5 kids. Shouldn't that count for a card? Nope.

Endless caring for others, when our own wells are empty is dangerous. I like what Golden said--deep rest. I have learned that there are times when I MUST sleep and sleep like, for a whole day. I also have to say No and not feel the guilt that inevitably comes with it.

Give yourself a break. Take that deep rest. I know I am going to.

You are NOT alone.
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Bet your butt all hell breaks out. Everyone is scared they might get the job and your mother likes it just fine where she is.
does your husband support any decision to move your Mum on? If not then do what my friend has just done and leave the lot of them behind. It took a year but she now has a little one bedroom flat with a little garden that’s just for her and her little dog. She is very happy
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Hi. Why can’t you put your mother in permanent care? I have read your other posts. She sounds very demanding. You really need to stop beating yourself up and have your own life. Pack up here things and take her to your brother who no doubt is the golden child. You are going to end up killing yourself or getting cancer
honestly. What is the real reason you keep doing this.
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NHWM,

If you don't mind tell us what the Cardiologist has to say. And by the by you have the right to come here a vent.

May God be with you.
More hugs!
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NHWM,

Take a deep breath and just breath. First of all, you are right these circumstances that we find ourselves in being caretakers are not fair and you have every right to be mad about it. But you have to remember there is a reason for everything we go through. I believe this at my core.

Secondly, your body is sending you a message. I would be freaked out to having to see a Cardiologist. All this means is that your heart is trying to tell you something. This is in fact a good sign. No, it doesn't seem that way. This is a way to look at it. Our body will whisper to us at first. This gives us a chance to start making changes. However, if we don't listen to the whisper then it will yell at us. What do I mean? Your body is whispering to you right now. You have not had a full blown heart attack, right? That means you have a chance to make some changes.

Thirdly, stop letting people in your head. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks or say. You are doing the best job you know how. If people are getting your mom all worked up than maybe you need to cut these people out of your life and not just for you, but for your mom too. Your mom is ill and did you know that stress can have a big impact on most diseases? So these people are hurting your mom just as much as they are hurting you. Look I have learned in life that no matter what we do, there will always be people who want to stir the pot (so to speak). They are not happy until they can make some body miserable. You can do everything right they will still find fault with something you do. You can be rich and somebody will say something bad about you having money. You can be poor and guess what, someone will find fault with that. You get the picture.

Being negative is a battle all on its own. A battle that I find myself fighting everyday. I was never this negative, but sense I have been back home taking care of my mother it seems that I to have become that hurt, scared little girl with a pile of negativity to play with and I hate it. So what do I do? I fight! I have read books about it. I go to Bible Study and Sermons. I do what pyschology calls 'self talk.' I tell myself as my dad use to tell me that "this to shall pass." I tell myself what my future will look like and it doesn't even matter if it is true, all that matters if it is positive. Sometime on a good day I let myself feel the negative emotions ask myself what is it that I am feeling then I let it go. This is from a book called "Let it go" by David Hawkins.

Actually 63 is young for todays world. That is because people are living longer. You really need to for one, start giving yourself a break. A break in taking 5 to 10 minutes a day if that is all you can do. Give yourself a break that you can't be all things to all people and this includes your mom as well. You need to talk to a therapist to help you come up with a plan to help you figure out how to put yourself first. You are no good to anybody if you break or get sick. Ask God for help. He wants to help you. Pray for peace, joy, enlightenment, wisdom, and strength. It really does work!

You are not being punish for anything you did or didn't do. You matter! Do you know this? You are one of the most sweetest people on this forum. You matter!

I am sorry that this is so long, but I felt in my spirit to tell you these things. Just hang on to your rope, things will get better.

Hugs!!
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I've been where you are & if you don't get some counseling & some respite you are going to become ill or do something that will cause you to be injured or just go plain bonkers! I know because I've been there. I was so dead on my feet after 12+ years that I was a zombie. There was no one to help me & I was taking care of Mom's 5 pieces of property & 4 houses that she'd filled to the brim with stuff & not taken care of their maintenance. I lost 70 lbs, was existing on Energy drinks & little food, was struggling to put one foot in front of the other plus take care of my property 81 miles away. I just turned 69 & although my mind is telling me I'm 30, my body is telling me, "Oh, no you're not!" Please, please, please do whatever is needed to take care of you. It's taken me a year to get to the place I am no longer as gorked out as I was. I had one major surgery while Mom was still alive & a 2nd one less than a year later less than 3 months after she died. I neglected myself & my health & I'm lucky to have recovered.

As for your hopes for your family. I'm sorry but that dream is most likely never going to happen. You can't make anyone act the way you want them to or mend whatever the past has done to make them the way they are. And you are NOT RESPONSIBLE for how they turned out. PLUS, my therapist once told me that as I change & become stronger, family members will try every trick in the book to keep me the way I was previously because the entire family dynamic changes when you change. It may sound cruel but let that dream of a peaceful family where everyone gets along go! The only person you can control is yourself. I know it's not easy & to give up the dream is heartbreaking. I've found that there are individuals I have met with whom I get along so well that they would have been my ideal brother, sister, Aunt, Uncle, Grandmother, etc. I created my own family by including those in my life who truly care/cared for me. Your siblings are afraid you will leave them to deal with your Mom so they try to do whatever they can to erode the confidence you have in yourself. This is manipulation on their part. If necessary, hang up on them, walk away from your mother when she starts in on you because of what they tell her. You deserve a life of your own. I got so down & depressed that I didn't want to continue living. But what I really wanted was freedom to live my life.

I don't know what all is going on so I can't be more specific. Here's more

My older sister had a friend call the local police to do a welfare check on my mom because he told them she was all alone in the house without any food or electricity. Of course they found out differently when they came to the house. This was only a small example of the aggravation my older sister has put me through for years. Thank God she lives a hard 2 day drive from SW Indiana. My younger sister doesn't drive but for several years she would yell at me over the phone & criticize me about what I did or did not do. Fortunately, over the passing years, she's gotten past that. For my own sanity I had to basically ignore both sisters. I got to the point I had no communication with my older sister except on rare occasion & then I merely keep it "short & sweet". She still tends to "stick it to me" from time to time. When she does, I simply stop communicating with her until she contacts me again after several months or I simply ignore the fact she's sent me emails. I have a cousin who is forever "bitching" at me to do this or do that. I've gotten to the place I've developed "convenient hearing" although it still gets to me from time to time. I wish I could get a better idea of what exactly you're going through; however, since that's not going to happen & I have a fairly good idea, I'll just repeat. No matter what you think, you can walk away if necessary to keep your sanity & regain your health.

Tell us some more details so we can help with the specifics.
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So glad you shared, & Golden23 gave superb reply. But I'll try my best to answer anyway. First, I feel ur pain, (from childhood to the present, having tried your best &feeling like it's never enough). It hurts a lot to not have the family you desperately want, & have tried to please, so earnestly. I'm so sorry for that grief you are suffering. It sounds like such deep sorrow, that it will take you dangerously low if you dont get away (from them all) for a while. Please get a change of scenery a.s.a.p., (like go & stay with a far away friend). It's not giving up, nor have you failed at all, but our families aren't normal, (they're toxic). It's not our fault, & it won't likely change. Distance from them is necessary for our very life, & many of us suffer the same with you. Go away & experience some joy, & then tell us all about it. Love to you, M.
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I understand completely. You are too stressed.

Saw a good one recently by Jim Carrey. “Depression is your body saying, ‘I don’t want to be this character anymore. I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me,’” and “You should think of the word ‘depressed’ as ‘deep rest.’ Your body needs to be depressed. It needs deep rest from the character you’ve been trying to play."

Be yourself, look after yourself.

You and your husband work out what is needed. Never mind about your bros. My sis could only criticize me or get mother worked up. She did not support my decisions.

The thing about caregiving with your and my history is that it keeps repeating itself. It is not the past any more, it is the present. You may have dealt with it at some point, but I have seen others here who say the same -flashbacks. That comes from having PTSD from your childhood which are triggered by too much proximity to the family members which were (are) involved. I have it and that's why I kept my distance.

Who says "What do you know?" Yours bros? My sis was like that but she never lifted a finger to help. So you and your hub start to make the arrangements you need to make. A psychologist Dr Pauline Boss says that adults who were abused as children should never do hands on caregiving because of the very things you are experiencing. She recommends if they choose to be involved that it be at arm's length. I heartily endorse that. I developed a thick skin to the criticism of family members. Who needs it? I had friends who supported me.

Your life, peace and joy are in your hands. You do not have to live trapped by family. Make arrangements then go on a trip.
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Golden,

I know, I just feel lost. Very down today. Almost numb. Hard to describe, like I’m shutting down emotionally.

My husband supports me, brothers don’t. Mom flip flops back and forth about my brothers. They don’t contribute very often. Well, almost never.

Yeah, I have dealt with the past. Been to therapy but even my therapist have spoken to me about triggers. Why does that happen? Out of the blue, I have flashbacks of certain emotions of when I was younger. Know what scares me? I don’t want to grow cold and unfeeling towards anyone. I want to feel free enough to discuss rationally what needs to be done. I am the one seeing everything with mom on a day to day basis. Oh, but what do I know, right? Ridiculous!

I feel cheated out of my life.
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(((((((hugs))))) I agree there need to be some changes. The stress is hurting you physically and emotionally.

When you start discussing it with who does all hell break loose? Is you husband on the same page as you are? It is your home and your life and you do not have to use it them to caretake your mum to the degree that your health is suffering. Remember that 40% of caregivers die before the one they are caregiving. The stress can be horrendous.

Your mother does not have to agree with the needed changes. Your brother does not have to agree with the needed changes. Extended family do not have to agree with the changes. It is between you and your husband and perhaps your doctor - not your mother's doctor, but yours!

If you and your husband decide that you cannot do this anymore you then look for suitable alternate arrangements for your mother, medicaid applications etc. and follow through. If she or any family member has a fit - so what?

There comes a time to pull the plug. I was the strong one too -and strong enough on my own behalf to say no to mother ever staying with me. Caregivers are trapped to a degree by taking responsibility for the welfare of another human being. For those of us from dysfunctional families it has to be managed so that the harm done to us in childhood is not continually triggered off or made worse. First of all do no more harm to you. It is not the same for someone who was not harmed as a child. Caregiving is tough for everyone, but for those of us who were abused as children it is many times worse as the past gets repeated all the time.

Please do what you have to for you - what is good or you - put yourself and your needs first. Your mother can be cared for by others.
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I have considered journaling. Couldn’t hurt. Thanks.

I do need changes. Whenever I initiate the discussion all hell breaks loose. Sick of it.

Just a fantasy, but I would like to take a trip far away. I miss traveling. Monotonous doing this day after day.

I have to start on dinner. Thanks for responding.
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I am the same age as you. My mother has been in 2 AL facilities since 2013. That situation is basically stable.

I had to take control of all financial matters. She accepts this especially as her mind detoriates. I did not have a stable childhood.

Can you walk away from the situation and take care of yourself. Your attempts at caregiving seem to not be beneficial through no fault of your own. If all you do is in vain then start doing what you can for yourself. You are understandingly at total burnout. You need to change the situation and help yourself. This may seem drastic but from all you describe you are feeling worthless therefore try to change the dynamics. You still have a desire for a quality of life for yourself. Grab that and run and look after yourself in order to survive.
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When I used to knit, I’d go into my yarn bin and wouldn’t you know the skeins I wanted would invariably be all tangled up together. I had to sit down and untangle them all. This is what you need to do. Get a notebook and write down each specific negative thought or upsetting occurrence in your life. Then, under that, write down what you think you could do about it.

The past is the past. Don’t let it define and control you. It’s over. Don’t let yourself exist in the past. It’s what you do now, today, that defines who you are. Reliving bad experiences over and over give those experiences the power to control and trash your life now. Negative thoughts are like the worm in an apple just chewing and burrowing into the center until the whole thing rots.

Keep a journal and focus on positivity. Write down one positive thing you did or that happened each day, even if it was just hearing the birds singing when you went down the drive for the newspaper that morning. Then reread those posts.

Someone is always here. Come back whenever you need to. Sending hugs...❤️
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Many hugs for you on a difficult day!!!
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