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Lets see..i have never really reached out to anyone to express my true feelings on what i have been dealing with for the past 10 years.


Its all startes when i was a junior in high school. About 2007. I was 17 at the time..now 27.. My mother became paralyzed from the waist down. Completely bed ridden. To this day nor my father or mother have told me exactly what happened despite me asking multiple times. All i know is that she has slipped disks and herniated disks in her back. She was having trouble walking and falling a lot before she woke up one morning and could not get out of bed. It was the day after halloween. Ill never forget it.


Next came the first nearly year long stay in the hospital after she had back surgery where they said shed have a 50 50 chance of walking again. Well it didnt work she was kept in an induced coma for about 4 or 5 months. Over the next few years we remolded our home so she could fit a wheel chair thru all doors and turned. Bedroom into a handicapped accessible bathroom. I ended up dropping out of school to help care for her. Its been 10 very long years and just recently in the past id say 2 years have been experiencing horrible depression and anxiety. I couldn't hold a job due to feeling guilty that i was gone.


Im 27 working full time now. Still living with her and caring for her. I feel bad writing this.. But ive never fully expressed my feelings with anyone. I feel very overwhelmed.. Sad..even mad at times. I so badly want to have my own life. When i express these feelings to my father he says that this is our life now. I cry. A lot and sometimes i just cant controll it. Ive been on zoloft but it made me feel like a zombie. Whats next? I feel bad getting angry but it hurts to see her just lay in a hospital bed all day. Any words of encouragement out there?

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Alisha,
1. Go back to your doctor and get another antidepressant. If one doesn't work, another one will. Psychiatrists are generaly better than GPs at figuring this out, so if you can get to a psychiatrist, do so.

2. Mom is a paraplegic. I have friends who are paraplegics who go to work every day. Does mom have other health conditions?

3. What other home help does mom have? What is she eligible for?

4. When are you moving out? Set a date, make a plan and stick to it.
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I don't blame you for being angry. I would be angry, too. The balance was taken from your life. It was not your job to give up everything to take care of your mother. You could have helped, but it appears too much was asked of you.

If you live in the US, a good thing would be to take your GED test and then train for the job that you want to have. You need a chance to get back into life. You have a lot of years left. The way it is now, you are going to grow old alone and with no money to live on. You owe it to yourself to make sure that doesn't happen. You are in a most depressing circumstance and need a chance to build your own life.
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Alisha, the first thing you need to do is understand that there is no sin in feeling bad about this situation. You need to talk about it and feel that you are ALLOWED to feel bad. You might benefit from talking to a counselor or therapist. You might benefit from a different med, or an additional one. Go see your doctor to start that process.

At some point, your dad won't be able to be mom's caregiver anymore. Your best bet at that point will be a good nursing home. Start doing the research now, and start reading about Medicaid.
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Alisha yikes yikes yikes.

Your father's health is a big worry. What he needs to wake up to is: what happens to your mother, his darling wife, if anything happens to him?

He deserves limitless credit for his loyalty and his determination, full stop. Then given that, there are two "buts":

1. He can be 100% loyal without feeling that you and he have to do 100% of the caregiving work.
2. Your mother's personal care needs are greater than you and he have been able to manage, in spite of superhuman efforts, and your mother needs additional expertise to keep her safe and well.

Actually, there is a third but:

3. He shouldn't have volunteered you to share the workload without giving you all the options. That wasn't right. It may be water under the bridge, it isn't an accusation it would be fair or helpful to throw at him now; but all the same. Not right. And you have every right to correct the situation now that you are an informed adult.
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With responsibilities come rights. Since your parents expect you to share responsibility for caring for your mother, they owe you a clear understanding of what took place, what her diagnoses were, and what her condition and prognosis are now. Understanding exactly what has happened, is - wouldn't you think? - a crucial first step towards accepting it. To suggest an opener, would you be able to say to your father: "I need to understand mother's situation fully"?

Whatever did take place, your mother's disability and treatment must of course have been traumatic for all three of you: your parents and you. Nobody can be blamed for not having handled that situation brilliantly: people just have to do the best they can, and clear up the mess afterwards. But the fact is that you, a seventeen year old, were not safeguarded and supported as ought ideally to have happened. You have suffered as a result, and now here we are ten years later. It is high time the mess that got made in your life was cleared up.

So expressing your feelings is a good start. It is *definitely* not something to feel bad about doing. It's crucial to your recovery; which in turn will make you a better and stronger daughter to your parents - in other words, everybody wins.

I want to pause and ask a question: how would you say your father is doing with coming to terms with what has happened and rebuilding his and your mother's life? Marks out of ten?
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Babalou my mother has no controll of her midsection and can not sit up on her own. She has a very deep bedsoar on her bottom that is painful when she is in her chair. We have tried all different kinds of special paddings but all are painful. We are her main source of income. For the past 10 years before this happened she worked in hine health care but for a family friend for cash. She she can not get disability due to not having enough work credits. She has had septumis about 4 times. Copd. Very bad arthritis in her hands. We have a cna that comes for 2 hours while im at work so that makes me feel better. Im just starting to save for a place so setting a date is going to be the next on my list
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I got my ged at the end of 2014. I have just beeb focusing as much as i can on work. I have recently toured a very nice cosmotology school that im thinking about attending...im tired...wore out..abd exhausted. Id give anything to be able to focus soley on me. But shes my mom and i cant just give up. Gosh its all so hard.
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BA Lou, your answer was excellent on all points. I agree that you need to e press all this to a *caring* physician and lay it all out. Usually though if on an antidepressant a competent doctor will also want you to include talk therapy and. It just throw a prescription at you. Even if you don't have a lot of money there are clinics with sliding scales for incomes. I agree you need to give yourself hope and a future beyond caring for your mother. Hope is what I see missing here. But do not give up...there are similar stories out there and people do pull themselves out. Do not give up. you need guidance. But regardless of your father's health, this should not all be on you. Right now you need an advocate..beginning with a doctor and any agencies and therapist he or she can direct you to. We care!!
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Alisha--
DO go back to the dr and find and antidepressant that works. Zoloft can leave you feeling "nothing", and that is almost worse than the depression. You are depressed because you are in an untenable situation NOT of your making.
Can you get out and exercise? Do you have friends who are away from your home situation? Can you speak clearly and honestly to your father and let him know that this is wrong--to rob you of your life? There are many care agencies that can come in and help care for your mother, it should not be on you so heavily.
My mother "opted out" of family life several times over the course of my life. Simply didn't get out of bed for months on end. I was the middle child and very sensitive--and was called upon to put my life on hold to care for mother, and 3 younger siblings, the house and all the "mom stuff". I resented my mother deeply for just giving in to whatever was wrong with her (I don't know to this day what was going on-probably a drug addiction coupled with depression).

Check out the cosmetology school. Tell (don't ask) your parents that you are moving forward with your life, but that you'll be there for them as much as you feel you can be. And DO IT.

You are still young enough to have a wonderful life. Oh, and try to get some counseling! I know it can be expensive, but look into it. Your "guilt" is not your fault!!!!!!! I know, as I have tremendous guilt over so many things--and I am 60 and still working through issues from years past. Very little of what I feel guilt (responsible) over is not my fault--as it is not yours. Moving that knowledge from your head to your heart is what you need to do. (It's really, really hard).

We are here for you. Bless you, you have been handed a tray of problems that you didn't ask for--and you deserve a life. Please keep us posted.
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Hi, Alisha,

I know you want to be helpful, but I don't think anyone who is just 27 years old should have to sacrifice her life as you have. Dropping out of school. Having no life. I am 58 and depressed that my life is basically on hold. I can only imagine how you feel. I hope others can come up with some specifics to help, but I absolutely believe you should not be sucked into this at the risk of foresaking your life for many years - I'm assuming if you are only 27, your mom is in her 50s. Please talk to an outside relative, area for the aging agency, or someone who can help you extricate yourself from being basically the primary caregiver. Best wishes.
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