It feels so horrible to admit this, but I need an outlet for these feelings because I can’t talk to my family about it.
I am 26 and I live at home with my mother father, older brother and grandmother. Pre covid 19 I was completing my MA in political science and working from home.
My my grandmother has dementia. She has had symptoms for around 6 years but it worsened when her partner died in 2016 and she was diagnosed around 4 years ago.
I adore my grandmother. We have always had a very close and positive relationship, which is why it pains me to admit that I am beginning to resent her terribly.
While she is physically fit, e.g. she loves to dance and cleans her space daily, she is incapable of day to activities such as making her own meals, feeding her cat, bathing on her and she needs frequent supervision. She also has anxiety so she asks questions constantly (e.g. where is my cat; what day of the week is it etc; has my cat eaten) and she will ask the same question over and over again in the period of a couple of hours.
She also has terrible mood swings. She can be happy go lucky one moment and depressed the next. She also has ‘tantrums’ when she doesn’t like something or is told she can’t do/have something (e.g. she forgets she has eaten and could happily eat two loaves of bread and a two packages of lunch meat in 2 hours. When we tell her she had already eaten she become very irate. We are not unreasonable, we feed her substantial snacks between her meals). She can also be really rude and difficult.
I am totally aware that none of this is her fault and is a result of her disease. However, I am having a really hard time coping with it and I feel like it’s causing me to miss out on my 20’s.
My mom also cares for my Gran and my dad and brother help a bit. But my brother and I seem the only ones home during the day and it usually falls to me to feed her/ feed the animals/ answe questions/deal with anxieties/bathe her.
I still live at home and while I do contribute, I am aware that I am lucky to have such accommodating parents and I am so grateful and happy to help out. However, the first thought when I wake up is feeding my grandmother. My free time from work is often spent caring for her, and my work and writing is constantly interrupted by her questions and anxieties. I feel like I am emotionally drained from dealing with the trials of this horrible disease.
I am not an unreasonable person, I know that adulthood comes with responsibilities and I am not trying to shirk them, but your twenties are supposed to be a bit more carefree before kids and caring for your own parents when they are elderly. I am missing out on the carefree (and have done for the past 3 years) and I feel like I might not want kids because I am so drained from this experience already. I don’t know how to address this resentment but I feel like it’s having a massive impact on my life. I can’t speak to my family about it because I don’t want to make them feel bad and none of my friends can relate in the slightest to my experience and feelings.
I just needed somewhere to vent. Sorry about the long post.