Why do I feel guilty that I never cry about my Mom's situation?

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I've brought Mom 400 miles north to live closer to me due to her diagnosis of dementia/Alzheimer's type. My husband and I tried having her live in our house, but her sleeplessness, disrobing, and wandering made it impossible for me to get any sleep. We looked into in-home care, but it was much more affordable for her to be in nearby asssisted living, which is a very nice facility.

My only sibling, my brother, has come several times from out of state to visit. Each time, he gets all choked up and emotional upon leaving my mom.

I have yet to cry, except the one morning when she was still in my home... I'd been up with her 12 times during the night and cleaned up her messes, bathed her and helped her get dressed and spent an hour with her at breakfast without a single word out of her. I pictured my life for the next ??? years as a constant repetition of this nightmare, and I sobbed into my pillow uncontrollably. For me.

All I can feel now is relief. She is doing much better now that she's in AL. The staff love her. She loves her room, enjoys the food, and participates in all the activities. I visit her 3 times a week, minimum, and she gets to see her granddaughters and great-grandsons often.

All I feel is relief. I know she's got Alzheimer's and this is as good as things will get, but I guess I've accepted it and feel that I can once again enjoy life, now that she's enjoying hers.

I go to support group meetings and people watch the videos and cry, or they share their stories and cry. Not me. Am I in denial ??? What's wrong with me?

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
Top Answer
I don't think there is anything wrong with you. Your mother is well off, you are well off. I quite understand the feeling of relief, and I think you have "earned" it. As you say - this is as good as it gets, considering her condition. Visit your mum, rejoice that she is dong so well in the facility, that it is the best place for her, and enjoy your life. It's OK to do that, and refreshing to hear from someone who is not consumed with misplaced guilt. (((((((((hugs))))))) and blessings - Joan
sympavt, you have been with your mother a lot, so you've seen the changes she has been going through. Your brother visits when he can from out of state. When he comes he gets a snapshot of her. When someone is declining and we only see them on occasions, it is a shock.

Something else that may be happening is that you are a practical person. Practical people feel things deeply, but know they have to keep going. This is not a bad thing, because it lets us get things done no matter how bad the situation is.
oops - I see that you do feel guilty that you don't feel bad and cry. I think Jessie made some great points. Also some people cry more than others. Please let the guilt feelings go - there is no reason for them. Sounds like you have accepted the situation well. Nothing wrong with that. And it was OK to cry for you after being up 12 times at night. You must have been exhausted. (((((hugs))))
Why Should you cry or feel guilty? I think from what you shared, that potentially, you keeping your mom in your home could have been emotionally, mentally, and physically destructive for you and your family.

So, KUDOS to you for having found exactly the right situation for your mom, AND for you and your family!

Crying is ok.
Not Crying is ok.
sympavt There is absolutely no reason to cry. You did what you needed to do for her as long as you could. That is commendable!!!! You know how difficult it is to take care of her at home. I feel this applies to any faith...
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
I believe you were granted the strength to know the difference.
You see your Mom is doing well and that should be a blessing not a punishment to you. You should not feel you need to suffer for doing the best for your Mom. Try to enjoy the time you have with her now, that's what's important for her and you too. If you should cry it's out of love for her not guilt. I will add... I always know in my heart if something is bothering my Mother I can't explain it but I know somehow, Intuition or something.... try reading your inner feelings, instinct is strong. I'm sure she wouldn't want you to cry.
I feel ya ! ! My Dad has AD. I moved in with my parents to help. I am there for my Mom. It was taking it toll on her. She says it nice to have me there, at least she has someone to carry on a conversation with. I cry for my Mom not my Dad. It breaks my heart to watch how he treats her. He is an old southern man. He expects some much from her, but he always has. The wife is suppose to do everything. All he does is sit in his recliner and give orders and ask the same questions over and over. He can do more than that, he just chooses not to. He says that's what he has mom around for. My mom is the sweetest, most patient and hard working woman I have ever known. ** thank God he is in a program that picks him up and takes him to activties 3 days a week. I have worked in Nursing Homes, I don't want my Dad to go there. But before he takes my mom down with him, he will go. My mom can't believe she looks forward to the 3 days he is away from the house. For 57 years, they have talked about everything and never been apart for more than a day or 2. My mom feels so alone, but my dad is in the same room most of the time.
Thank you Jessie, from practical Jeanne.

Sympavt, are you generally a crier? Even if you cry easily at other events, the profound loss you are experiencing with your mother may just have you beyond tears. And if you are not generally a crier, then you just aren't. It has nothing to do with the depth of your feelings.

My father died 14 years ago. I cried exactly once, 5 months after the death. My husband died 4 months ago. So far I have cried twice. I am just not a crier. Do I feel guilty? Good heavens, no! I know how deeply I feel these losses and I not need any one else's approval.

Some people cry for days. I have no doubt their feelings are genuine. So are mine. So are yours. There is no single "right" way to express those feelings.



Wow, thank you for all the affirmations. It's true that I'm quite a practical, "can-do" kind of person. If something needs fixing, I take charge and fix it. Right now, mom and I can still have good times together, because I don't have to be her caretaker 24/7, and can be her daughter/friend when we get together. The staff at the AL home are wonderful with her, and she is a very cooperative resident. So there's really not much to worry about for the moment.
It's great to be able to find support in this forum, from people who are, or have been, in the caregiver role.
Thanks everyone!

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