The hard part is over.
I'm matching you with one of our specialists who will be calling you in the next few minutes.
My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your dad. I'm so sorry. Its so hard being the sole caregiver to an elderly parent. We all have our limits. And the truth is we really didn't know things would happen so quickly.
I thought my dad was coming home too. But he was getting weaker and weaker. The doctor even told us he had 6 months to a year and that was shocking enough, but then he passed two days later. And I feel as so many of you, rack with guilt. Us women bear this burden more acutely.
I keep going back to the last year of my dad's life. He was getting grumpy. Refusing his meds, eating and drinking less and didn't care about showers. All he wanted to do was sleep. I was at my wits end. And none of my siblings stepped up. All the decisions were up to me. So I feel so extra guilty for letting my dad down. I should have found a better way. I should have found a way to keep him alive. Now I have to suffer the pain and grief of his passing.
I know everything is 20/20 in hindsight. And I should try to move forward the best I can. I continue to seek out counseling, support groups and to read as much as I can about grief. I need to understand, but I still struggle with the guilt.
My guilt comes in because I would not sacrifice myself like this (or like so many on this forum do). Maybe it's guilt that I can't let things go; can't accept that I'm the one who is supposed to be the main point person for my mother, all the while being unappreciated.
I didn't see you at the family reunion. That is odd because we are clearly sisters.
Sometimes I wonder if I suffer some form of PTS from her accident and going through being told I should "prepare myself" for her death or staying in a coma and the (6) month journey to get her back home. There is no one left and she would need to be placed in a skilled nursing facility if I left. I despise any person who could just leave knowing that and even the thought makes me feel incredibly guilty and ashamed. So I push forward the best I can with no real future plan or dreams when a guy my age should have many.
I know the situations bad when I read posts about people trying to deal with aging parents and I see that as just a difficult period to go through and not a life sentence. I don't say that in disrespect or comparison because I know being a caregiver is an incredibly tough job no matter what you're dealing with. Just like the depth of the water makes no difference when it's over your head. I think it's just more a realization to me knowing this is not a temporary event in my life which will one day pass.
The guilt is part of the programming while they are doing things and treating us in a way that eventually leads to dislike and hate.
You know all I ever wanted to hear was thanks, I see how you are trying to help. But with narcissist its all about them. I felt like when I did good I was making her look bad so I had to be punished. Same with my sister.
She used to bam on the door like purposefully to turn off light or turn down tv. or to say she could hear me talking on the phone crazy crazy spite full stuff. I think when they see you truly love them you ae in trouble.
Anytime she is not up when I get down I think this is it. For a long time. I dread it because I believe this is going to be a very volatile period for me and that I will end up blowing up on my sister and nephew and anybody else who act like they want some.. I am just so filled with resentment and anger. I pray it helps actually keeps me in a good place but not for long.
Now, my issues is this sweet, thoughtful person, not throughly though but who is my mother. This is lasting too long. Lol. Im waiting for the switch to fflip. Plus she is a gemini. No offense to those of you out there but Yall know...I would put some money on that. Thats been a lifetime,, a thesis. My ,mother and sister Whew!!!! sick .
Sheri Jean my advice, is to stay on board her and keep posting and read through old post. Especially about narcisssim.
It amazes me as I read old stuff how true the post is to my life. How so many of us suffer from the same issues. That my pain is not uncomon. That the sickness in my family and my self is not just mine. Im not alone. But this narcissim is something to check out. It gave me understanding and wisdsom and tools to work with defending myself and my heart and my mind just by learning about it. I wish you the best in this journey its long and painful but can be rewarding just the same. My heart is with you. Just dont feed into the negative feelings and someone adviced me to find a lil humor in the mist of it and it works.
I could write a novel and be rich on the things I could share. Guess we all could, that's why we here :)
I wonder if when we spend too long caregiving for a difficult parent if we lose our ability to like them or love them. We are simply doing a job like a good employee would. I envy people who have good warm family relationships.
This last week we were talking about what might happen if her housemate/live-in helper were to become unavailable, and mom indicated that she thought I would have to move in with her and take over. That's not going to happen, but just the fact that she expects that and would undoubtedly push for it was enough to make me agitated and anxious. So I think I know how you feel. It's very, very tough!
For me it was more resentment, I wouldn't have the fun filled exciting retirement that my parents had for more than 25 years. And they never needed to take care of their own parents so they had no reference what they were doing to me.
I also resented that my parents didn't plan ahead on what they would do if they did get sidelined with their age. I am thankful that they did save for all those "rainy days" as it was storming out there. How I wished they would have used some of that money to help me out with their own care. Mom refused strangers in her house, and refused to move to Independent Living.
Oh well, at least we all can learn from our parent(s) on what to do and what not to do.
Sometimer ditto. I had the same experience. Friends disappeared like mist and for the first time in my Life I felt so abandoned and alone. I put this down to Their inability in dealing with alzheimers. People haven't a clue how to react or deal with it, when all Thek need do is just be Themselves. Yes I agree this is Our calling, the drill We must plough, I guess We were destined to be Carers. Any how I'm so glad I did Care for Mom at home in Her own home where She felt such great contentment and peace.
I did have regrets.
I regretted that we did not do many of the things that we said we would do.
I had sorrow.
sorrow that his children were not closer.
knowing that what I had to do for him would have killed him, he would not have wanted to live the way he was. He had always been a vital energetic person with a "can do " attitude.
I had frustration.
The most frustrating thing was finding caregivers to help me. Good, honest, caring people. the last 5 months I had 2 that were AMAZING. I am sorry I did not "discover" this way to find a caregiver sooner.
If I have any guilt it is now.
I am busy, maybe too busy. Is this a way for me to not think about what I have lost or is it a way to make up for all the time that I cold not get out and do things.
but guilt while I was taking care of him...NO. I could honestly go to bed at night knowing that I did the best that I could for that day.
We guilt ourselves over things we can not control.
You can not feel guilty if you place your loved one in Memory Care, Assisted Living, Nursing Home or anyplace. We all have the feeling that "I can take better care of....than anyone else" Well we have to get over that. If it comes to a point where for safety, yours or theirs, when you are so exhausted that you can't think straight, when they become too difficult to manage placing someone is doing the best and right thing for them and you. You can then become the loving daughter, son, wife, husband that you want to be and your roll as a caregiver steps back. You will always be an advocate but your roll changes.
Life is far too short for guilt or dwelling on regrets.
In a situation like that you either feel guilty about not spending enough one-on-one time with your loved one, or you feel guilty playing cards with them when you can see how dirty the carpet is.
My mother was eligible for (and got) Meals On Wheels, and housecleaning/laundry help. There was still an odd job or two to do while we were there, but this did give us more meaningful time with Mom. (And no guilt.)