Anyone planning to reinvent themselves after caregiving?

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I have grown so tired of hearing my names spoken in her voice. The voice of dementia. Each day as caregiver for my mother increase my desire to become someone else. To leave everything behind and start fresh. To change even the name she gave me . . . the name that never really fit me to begin with.


The woman’s making me hate my own name.

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I care for my Mother and my Dad. I love them dearly and honestly, if I survive this, don't think I would have the strength to "reinvent" myself. After a day like today, I feel like I've lost myself. God help me. Sometimes, I get so weary.
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Reply to dlpandjep
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I sometimes think about what my DH and I will be doing when moms gone and I’m not spending 4 hours/day every day at her NH. I would like to travel...we rarely go away even for a weekend now. But I also wonder if there will be joy in these travels as I can’t imagine my life without her. She’s 92, blind, zero short term memory but still a pleasure to be around 99% of the time, even now that I sometimes have to remind her who I am. Maybe she just hasn’t progressed to the point that I won’t want to see her, but my heart breaks for you people who have had enough and want it to end. I do understand why you would want to start fresh and leave it all behind.

Just for kicks Gremlin...what would your new name be?! Love that idea. A New Day.
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Gremlin Aug 21, 2018
One possibility is the name Reese.
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Are you alone in doing all this?
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Gremlin Aug 21, 2018
Yeah. Although I will still have family around we are not a close-knit bunch. I was more connected to the family dog (patches) but she passed in June from kidney failure. The only thing still connecting me to this place will be bad habits.
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I'm not ready to lose my mom yet, although in many ways I've already lost her. I've adjusted to the many "new norms" of life with dementia. Each time I feel like I've given up a little more of myself. Gone is sleeping in until I can't sleep anymore, going out with friends, shopping (not buying) all day with a good friend. My mom has me on a shorter and shorter tether. I understand - I'm her support, her comfort, her life-line, but sometimes just the responsibility of all of that weighs me down. It makes me want to have a tantrum like a little child and scream over and over, "It isn't fair!" I watch my friends lives going on. The vacations, the milestones, the date nights and I have to admit I'm jealous. So yes, I have dreams of getting on a plane and flying as far as my money would take me, which incidentally wouldn't be very far, changing my name and starting a new life. I know I will never do that. My roots go deep here and my home is a part of my identity. I have friends that patiently wait for the small times that I can arrange to go to a quick lunch or just stop by to chat. I do know that I will regain more of my "ME-ness," but I will also miss my mom more than I can even imagine at this point.
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Reply to 12LittlePaws
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I can understand. I have a father who refuses to go into 100% expenses covered hospice facility. So we are paying thousands of dollars per month in a private nursing home mainly because my mom is also there. My dad is awake only 20% of the day and my mom suffers from dementia. If my dad were as half as reasonable and thoughtful as he can be, he could ve agreed to be in fully covered hospice facility and I could have made arrangements for them to see each other few times week. This could have saved thousands per month. But my dad refuses, so in Essence it is eating up on what I could have inherited after he passes. Dad was volatile , and at times a violent person. His volatility has not passed, and it still seems he can't think of anyone else except himself. No one in family wants anything to do with him except me. And I despise his current nurse for playing along with him and wanting to keep him as his client, mainly because he is a good income source for her. Once a narcissist, I guess always a narcissist re dad..Needless to say, I am not jumping at opportunities to see him. Too bad my mom got stuck with him.. as they are out in same room in nursing home, I can't even visit mom, as dad usually hurls some kind of abuse at me. So I guess I can't see mom until he passes. How stupid.. I am fed up and I hope both of them will pass quickly. It's been chaos for f I v e long years now. To be honest, I am jealous of other parents passing away. My parents?? It is as if they are alive just to spite me. I Had to get this out and be honest.. Seriously every time I hear of someone else's elderly passing, I envy them. How long do my folks want me to suffer? Five years is not long enough for them???
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Gremlin Aug 21, 2018
I understand this completely. My mom's sister died of cancer last year and I envy her kids. Their whole ordeal lasted about 8 months from diagnosis to hospital to hospice. She was send home when the end was near. Friends and family filed into the house to say their goodbyes and she died the next day. Not a bad end. It was long enough to say her goodbyes but not so long as to suck the life out of everyone around her. I envy that.
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yes the "voice of dementia."  I get tired of certain 'phrases' I hear also.
I feel bad when I get like that...   :(

I always thought I had patience  - well I do, but I think I have a 'low score.'  

my mom is in assisted living so I know it makes it easier.

I probably not going to reinvent myself too much. I think I will sleep better - at least I hope I can. I feel like I have aged quicker over the last 8 years.

sounds like you need a good break - have you tried any resources for that?

edit: I dream of going camping in the mountains or at the beach.
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Gremlin Aug 20, 2018
I had patience when I thought she was going to die. It was easy to be kind when I thought the end was near but when the "rest of her life" went from hours to years anger and frustration quickly took over.
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I'm sorry you're feeling that way, Gremlin! But then, my mom never knew who I was when I was her live-caregiver the final 13 months of her life. Hey! was what she hollered. I didn't mind; she rarely called out. She was a good egg.

Reinventing myself? Well, I signed up for a CNA class that starts in October. I had wanted to take a class while caring for Mom but never got the time off to do it (plus I was too exhausted). After the class and getting my certification, I'm mulling over getting a part-time job in a nursing home or home health.
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Ahmijoy Aug 20, 2018
Mountain, can you share with us what your classes are like? How often do you take the classes and what do they teach you? How long are the classes and where are you taking them? Even at my age, I think that might be something I’d look into. Thanks!
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Hon, we hear you. There are times I hate my name too, especially when it’s yelled at 4AM because he can’t reach the television remote at the side of his bed.

Reinvent myself? Well, I’m not sure. My caregiving duties will most likely end when my husband passes away. No matter how big a pain in my a$$ he is, I’d rather do what I’m doing now than live as his widow, you know? I suppose I will reinvent to some degree. But there’s only so much I’ll be able to do with very limited funds and energy.

If Imagining your life as someone new and exciting gets you through the day, then for sure go with It! Whatever gets you through! For the time being, though, seek out a support group in your area.
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