I try to explain my husband how I feel, why I cry so often, why I just don't care about doing what I used to enjoy...
Sometimes I feel he just doesn't listen, or doesn't understand. I can't explain I am not choosing to feel this bad. It is a kind of illness... Burnout? Depression?
It seems that the very moment he sees me ok he just forgets and he pulls exactly that trigger which makes me cry...
Probably he doesn't want admit I am feeling bad...
What is your experience? Any advice?
P. S. The trigger today was just hurrying me up for lunch because I took like one minute to take a picture of our bunny sleeping... Lunch was getting cold!
I had just told him I feel bad because I am constantly under pressure, not being master of my time.
Was this minute really so important?
I also had just explained what the therapist told me on Thursday about this...

Dear Anche, it comes across from your posts that you have been having a hard time for much too long. Your husband hasn’t, and he finds it hard to see just how much it has affected you. He doesn’t sound much worse than the average bloke, and yes I would take up his offer to come to the therapist with you. At a minimum, you can be honest with the therapist and he will have to listen and take it seriously. He might get a bit more sensitive to the sorts of things that upset you, and he might even think about how to help you to ‘toughen up’ so that you don’t take things so hard. You are not to blame, but you can see that it is difficult for him as well as for you.

Your ‘free Sunday a month’ is a VERY good start. A trip on your own could be even better – can you suggest to your work that getting all the employees together would be good (and perhaps develop a bit more team spirit from the woman who gave you a hard time a while ago).

You are probably 50 now, and your mother is 90. Your profile says that she is 29 kilos, which sounds impossibly fragile! How long is she likely to live? At 90, some people have another 10 years to go. You aren’t going to last that long – something has got to give!

If you continue to feel this bad, mother simply has to live somewhere else. Remember that if this kills you as well as your friends, she certainly will have to live somewhere else. It’s better for it to come as an improvement to the situation, rather than the inevitable result of an avoidable tragedy for everyone involved. Put what energy you still have into thinking about this option.

Lots of love, Margaret
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
Anche71 May 17, 2021
Thank you Margaret!
At work things will probably change since after not respecting the journalism ethics code, the lady will receive a letter from the lawyer of the company I work for.
Her boss has been told we probably won't renew the contract we have with them which expires at the end of the year.
We spoke a lot yesterday evening, husband says he will be more careful...
I once thought I would have a tattoo saying Fragile on my forehead! Just jocking 😜
My DH does his share.. washing, cleaning etc but when I was called away so much my lot he helped by doing more housework. Thing was, I wanted someone to listen, to get what I was saying & I wanted my old life back (chores & all!) His mode of helping is more doing, not listening. He knows this, but I suppose I just keep trying...

When I took the leap to finding a different a listening post! Wow. What a difference!

I finally had someone (1 hour a week..) to listen, I felt some pressure relief. (DH felt MUCH relief he told me later).

I signed up for a short time with a councellor. She used the words *compassion fatigue* to describe how I presented. Her first aims included daily strategies for stress relief & self-compassion. This was more than an undefined coffee break. It was finding things that worked to actually restore me: breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, powerwalks, exercise, music, warm baths etc. Plus journalling my thoughts/feelings.

Talking round & round & round was letting words out but not actually restoring me, not building me back up or moving me forward. Felt like I was at the bottom of the bog, cold & just squelching around in circles going no-where. It took time. Time to build my way up & out. I have a different perspective now. (Hopefully I will see the boggy patches next time before I step in!)

((((Hugs)))) to you today.
Is your DH a hugger? Hug your Mom too? (Sorry you got old Mom, sorry I can't fix it).

I always told myself tears were ok. Tears meant I could still feel. Feeling like a rock must be worse.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Beatty
Anche71 May 17, 2021
Yes! That is exactly what I am feeling! Thank you so much!
Un abbraccio!
I have been on both sides of this spectrum so I can understand both sides. I took care of people and was fried by the end of it. He did not understand what was really so difficult taking care of 2 elders (originally from Germany, so you know that mindset, ugh), working from the house for minimal money. Its lonely, frustrating, takes a toll on mental and physical health. It is not a good place.

When his brother went psycho and relieved me of my duties, that was supposed to be the end our involvement, that lasted maybe 10 days before it got thrust in Ms hands.

Now, mostly (except he is in rehab for a stroke now), you sit back and watch the same thing happen to them that happened to you. I get frustrated over watching someone take on undo stress and pretty much drown. It is sad to watch. Maybe your husband feels the same and is trying to communicate your attention is not on your relationship, you are distracted.
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Reply to Stacy0122
Anche71 May 17, 2021
I am sometimes afraid my husband will get tired of me always having to care for my mum. But he says he loves me, in good and bad times.
I sometimes feel guilty to have him face all this.
Glad that you are seeing a therapist. Sounds as though your husband is not being cooperative in any way from what you write us. He doesn't want to hear what might help you via you OR your therapist. You are learning some real lessons from your therapy and you are now being faced with the reality.
I must ask. Is there ever a time your HUSBAND fixes lunch? Why is it necessary you eat when he does? Sounds as though some of this is marital issues that would do with some JOINT therapy to talk it out; seems he doesn't want to talk it out with just you.
If all of this is common, the inability to help, to listen, to care--and if he refuses to explore all of this--you may have some difficult decisions to make. Sometimes a separation can be a massive wakeup call, and in any case it is often a respite. A nice quiet hotel room and lots of good "bad TV".
I have forgot who you are caring for Anche. If your own elder, it may be time to explore placement. If your husband's elder it may be time to create a way to show him what caregiving IS.
Whichever is the case, again I am happy for the therapist. I have three times gone to one over the course of my life and each was more helpful than I can even begin to say.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
Anche71 May 16, 2021
I am taking care for my mom... Husband helps a lot with cooking and cleaning. I guess he can't understand what he can do to emotionally help.
We have been discussing this right now. He apologized, said he did not want to put pressure on me... I asked him not to call me next time he sees me doing something for myself and just wait if it is not urgent.
He said he is willing to come to the therapist if I think this can help.
I often wonder why he has not left me... It has been a long long time I am responsible for my mom's health but till February I could leave her at home for a whole afternoon but after she fell it is no longer possible.
My mom doesn't call for help often but we cannot leave her alone for more than an hour I think. Actually we never leave her alone. I stay in my part of the house but she can ring when she needs me. She never does it but the problem is in my head I just can't relax. And she is sometimes confused and do not remember she cannot get up and walk on her own.
I have not spent much time with her today.. I am sorry but I just couldn't.
Caregiver burnout is very real, and unfortunately unless someone has been there done that, there is no way for them to begin to understand what all is involved, and the emotional and physical toll it takes on ones body. You've been caring for your mom for a long time, so of course you are feeling burned out. Who wouldn't?

You need to start taking care of yourself now, before you end up as one of the statistics where the caregiver dies before the one being cared for. I'm glad to hear that you're seeing a therapist. Hopefully they can help you in the areas where you need it most.

Go out today and do something nice just for you. You deserve it!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to funkygrandma59
Anche71 May 16, 2021
I am afraid exactly of what you wrote.: not to live my life...
I am trying my best to help myself but do not know exactly what to do. The therapist helps
See 1 more reply
Thank you Barb! I had salad for lunch they had Pasta... So it was not about my lunch.
I do not think he would come to a session with a therapist. I asked him to try and go to counseling after one year of mariage but he did not want to. I work to solve problems then... I do not feel that strong now.
He helps me a lot, but it seems he can't see the emotional aspects which make me suffer.
He cooked for the rest of the family but then completely forgot that even this small reproach is a trigger for me.
And I am the one who is always perfectly on time! He arrived our first date with a delay of 40 minutes! 😜
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Anche71

It's almost impossible to put into words what it's like to be stuck in a negative caregiving situation. Even the closest and most well-meaning friends and family just don't get it.
No one can really understand what it's like unless they've been a caregiver themselves. I can tell you one thing though. Everyone in this group gets it because we've all been there and many of us are still there.
When people who've never been elderly caregivers see one of us losing it or spiraling into depression because of it, they think we're either nuts or overreacting. They don't realize that most of the time the elderly "loved one" we're caring for behaves very differently to us then they do to the rest of the world.
They else see an adorable spunky old lady that's everyone's favorite grandma. Or a lively, fun old-timer who's everyone's favorite grandpa. They don't see the constant arguing, fighting, viciousness, and snide abusive behavior that we get turned on us every day and sucks the very life out of us. They aren't there to answer the same question two hundred times a day. Or witness the "stubbornness" which often ends in a hysterical tantrum when they don't get their own way. All that is only for us.
These same people don't understand what it's like to be in a house that stinks all the time because an elder refuses to bathe or put on clean clothes.
Your therapist gets it and maybe they would be willing to have your husband join you in a session. The therapist will be better able to explain to your husband what caregiver burnout is and about the severe clinical depression that elderly caregivers very often suffer with.
In the meantime, you're not coping well in the caregiving situation with your mother. Try to bring in outside help to take some of the burden off of you. Good luck and I hope your situation improves. Keep us updated.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to BurntCaregiver
Anche71 May 16, 2021
I have hired a home aid and we are all happy with her but she comes Monday to Friday when I work. I will follow the therapist advice and get organized to have at least a free Sunday per month.
Oh, Anche!

Do you think that your husband might come with you to a session or two?

Was he upset that YOU were going to have a cold lunch, or that HE was going to have a cold lunch? The first is that he is worried about you; the second is that he is only worried about HIM.

I find that in general, men think of themselves as masters of their fates and see that everyone around them should feel the same way. My brother, who is quite a nice guy, thought that our mom's increasing anxiety and worry was her "chosing" to have a pity party.

It took an indepth cognitive eval to show him that is was real, demonstrable, quantifiable decline.

Is your depression being treated adequately? No one should have to cry every day.

Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

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