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Well, My husband and sister are probably very sick of me talking about our dementia Mama! But I am the 1 person who run's the family store and I'm with her all day and do pills 2 x's a day etc. When they are with us all the time and on our minds, we have to talk about them! Just try to be sure you talk about other things also to people too. I think we all need a little "normal" talk too. Good for our souls and all of that! I'm sure many of us have this same problem at some point in our journeys!
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Yes! I was managing the affairs of a relative with Alz and now another relative who has slight dementia and other health issues. Even though the first was in a MC unit, I was CONSUMED by their care (I do not know how in the world people care for loved ones at home - I do not have it in me). I have a good friend who I regularly vented to. I could tell others were sick of hearing it. There were times I just wanted to pack my car and disappear - SERIOUSLY considered it.
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Oh Glad. You made me laugh — even though it’s not funny.

I got over Mom’s death. I’ll never get over the hare-brained perceptions of my immediate family.

My mom’s last 5 years were a double-header slide into a rare neurological disorder and the beginnings of Alzheimer’s.

(Both discovered via autopsy. That I insisted upon. Mom’s right to neglect herself did not supersede my right to know my damm family health history. Alas, one of the sickest win-wins in modern history.)

OK. Back to while it was all happening—

Stepdad’s assessment of Mom: She’s crazy.

Aunt’s (Mom’s sister’s) assessment of Mom: Anxiety. And she eats too many bananas.

Well thanks, everyone. That would make perfect sense, if we lived in the land of make-believe. Or a primitive tribe in the rainforest.

Shoot, maybe I should have joined them in la-la land. My quests to get Mom to a doctor.... explore home safety modifications.... bring in some help.... etc were futile.

And stressful beyond description.

If had a nickel for every time I tried to explain “executive function” (or lack thereof) to the bystanders who (ostensibly) did not have dementia. Aaaargh.

Keep praying. Yeah sure.
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Sometimes I do, about my mom. Mainly on here I probably sound like a broken record some days lol, and with my husband, although he has many of the same complaints as I do.

With friends, I have talked about it a little bit, but I've found that though most can sympathize with me, they just don't fully understand, especially because most of them have very different relationships with their mothers than I have with my mom.

I've had people say, "Well, they took care of us, so we have to take care of them." That type of thing. I've actually been taking care of my mom in one form or another emotionally since I was a teenager. My kids have never had the typical grandma either.

A lot of the time I feel like I'm keeping a lot to myself and when people ask me how I'm doing, it's just, "Oh, staying busy!" That's why this site is so helpful for me, plus I have a therapist once a week that I talk to that helps me to deal with how I feel about all of this.

We definitely do need some outlets, or else we'll explode. Also some "normal" time as Bootshopgirl mentioned, and to be able to laugh sometimes is always good.
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Maybe an advantage of dysfunctional families. I would let them know about mom's strange and bizarre behaviors. Then it became obvious they did not at all understand and actually thought I was lying. Got sick of family narcissism, accusations and indifference so stopped talking about mom with them at all. Continuing would have only raised my level of anger and frustration with them. So I found this site. These people here have become my family and emotional support.

We here understand where you are. We can offer support, ideas and understanding. We have been there.
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Frazzled: You make a good point. From a young age, I, too, was my mother’s emotional caretaker. I was such a doofus, I felt special. So proud of myself for being “more mature” than my peers.

The parentification never stopped, until I stopped it — in my early adulthood. Mom would have gladly kept me in “daughter-husband” mode forever. I had to move on. I didn’t know how. But I had to.

So awkward. Neither Mom nor I had the words for what was so “off”. And we did not have the tools to help us reset.

Blossoming into my own person meant that Mom lost her crutch and her mirror. I pretended that I did not feel like a traitor. Mom put on a surface show of being a well-rounded empty-nester. But Mom’s struggle was obvious to “the only one who understands” — a.k.a. ME.

We did our play-acting. Separately and together, Mom and I presented as “normally” as our acting skills allowed. We got along as adults, in our own way. Mom’s undercurrent of need was always there, though. That undercurrent of me being “the answer.”

So what if I was inexplicably depressed and anxious after every phone call and after every visit? I stuffed that down.

The decades rolled by. Then Mom & I hit “that age.” My middle-aged peers and I became caregivers (of some sort) to our mothers. Boom. Another disconnect — for me.

My friends’ caregiving tales were not always neat and tidy. But those adult daughters took a certain healthy pride in overseeing the natural progression of life.

To me, that “natural progression” was one trigger after another. And it nearly did me in.
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My cross to bear was not a spouse with dementia but a dad with dementia and a mom with no mobility. I was left as the last man standing about 5 years ago and have been dealing with all things mom and dad ever since.

I’m 63 so lots of friends had similar situations but none were the Lone Ranger like me. I would find myself talking them to death about my folks latest adventures. My long suffering wife would deftly change the conversation so that I’d shut the f.. up.

I don’t remember when I discovered this site but it’s been awhile. I didn’t post for a long time just lurked around reading. Oh! Shower chairs! Who knew?! You can’t reason with dementia......Divert...Fib..Hell yes!

This forum became a great outlet for me. I learned a lot, chatted a lot and shut up a bit around dear wife and friends. I also learned that all things considered, I had it pretty good compared to lots of others. Some horrifying stories come through here.

Mom died last month but dads in memory care about 12 hours away. Still in the caregiver army.
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Oh my gosh, yes! You described my life.

I too was able to separate somewhat. Left home at 16, but got married at 20 and moved back close to home because we wanted the kids to go to school here, and to be close to my grandpa, whom I loved dearly (he passed in 2007).

I can definitely relate to the gut-turning anxiety every time the phone would ring, or even just hearing mom's voice. I never knew what crisis would await next. I often wake up with a knot in my stomach for no reason, ever since I was a kid.

I had to go no contact for about a year when I was pregnant with my youngest and immediately thereafter because I had had a miscarriage before and I just could not deal with a high risk pregnancy and mom's drama at the same time. She would not listen to or respect any boundaries that I tried to set.

Now, as she has declined to the point that she cannot live on her own, and after more rounds of dysfunctional family drama between my mom and sister, I am once again in that role.

It does feel like play acting to outsiders, at least to me. If I say how I really feel sometimes, it seems callous and uncaring, even disrespectful, to those who have loving relationships with their moms.

It's not that mom is a bad person, it's more like she is a little girl that never grew up, and so I became constantly the parent. It is very awkward.
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If you live with the person you are caring for and they can't be left alone then your world shrinks; you can't really discuss the latest movies, social events, etc because you aren't able to do any of that and the longer it goes on the more out of the loop you become.
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BH, TOO MANY BANANAS?! The things crazy family members in denial will come up with. Thank you for the laugh!
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