Why do I feel so overwhelmed when I know that others have a far more difficult time than I do? I feel like a Yo Yo. I am tired.

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Why do I feel so overwhelmed with care giving when I know that others have a far more difficult time than I do? I know that is the case - I read lots of posts here on Agingcare and don't know how some of you do what you do.

I know that stress is perceived. How do I perceive it differently?

My family says to 'just let it go' - 'don't pay any attention to what she says' - 'you can't do anything about it' - 'stop worrying about it.'

Why can't I?

I have changed from a very caring person, happy person into someone who is uptight, stressed out and feels like crying a lot. Some days I manage OK and some days I don't. Is it ME or is it just that my hubby and kids don't understand what I deal with? If I were to explain my day - MOST would think I have it pretty good. Why does it FEEL like PRISON?

I do the care-giving. I don't feel that I get much understanding from my family. I know my husband 'cares' but I am not so sure he 'understands.' My MIL gets visits and caring phones calls - no one ever asks how I am.

I just feel that it is easy for others to say 'let it go' - because they CAN. Of course, they can also LEAVE. They have jobs and lives. :

I am even looking forward to a REAL break in a few weeks. Friends from and our kids are going to look after grandma while we go away for a while. The visiting nurse says 'go for it.' 'Don't worry' I spent 3 weeks enlisting help for twice a day visits and 5 evenings of meals and company for her. I should be thrilled to be able to leave. What's wrong? Am I dreading coming home before I even leave?

Maybe it's the gloomy weather :-( Guess this is just a rant with NO real answers required.

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As many have indicated, you can't measure your life against others. Other people might seem to handle more difficulties, but you can't really know that's true. And, even if it were true, it wouldn't mean anything because each person's situation is different.

My advice is this -- go on your break. Try not to think too much about the situation at home, although I know that is hard, but just try to get a break. At some point, you might want to think about whether there's any way you can change things. It's not about how hard you do or don't have it, but that you are being weighed-down. And, honestly, the grey weather does make us feel this all the more keenly. Try to be really honest with yourself whether you'd felt this down during the sunnier weather, too. If that's the case, you probably need more help than you've had, maybe more breaks than you've had.

I was just looking at Medicare and supplemental insurance about visiting nursing care, just in case I need a nurse to help with my mother. It does say it's covered but doesn't say how much, but maybe an option is to get a nurse or a senior-sitter more often, if it's covered or if it's cheap-enough for your situation.

Also, I know it might seem cruel to ask if you have outside activities. Your reply would be that you don't have time, quite likely, but you really need something to look forward to to help give you some breaks. Each person is different, where some find they need to get out, maybe going to something like art classes, others just hide in the back room and listen to relaxing music to get their breaks.

Also people probably don't really understand what you're going through, but they're probably trying. When my mom took care of my grandmother with Alzheimer's, it was in the days when we really didn't understand it, yet, and none of her siblings would ever help out. My parents are from the era where men worked and women stayed home and my dad wasn't a particularly feelings-oriented sensitive type, but even he realized my mother needed a break.I think he pretty much "made" her go to ceramics classes, once a week, while he watched her mother. I'm pretty sure it was mostly his doing. Young as we were, even my brother and I thought she was going to end up being carted-off somewhere, because she was obviously totally stressed-out.
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Sorry to hear that things are so difficult for you...it's been a long journey for you. I can't tell if you and your husband have had a good talk by yourselves, or possibly with a counselor. It sounds like you should reach out to your husband, religious counselor, department of aging, doctor or someone you can ask to help make some changes to relieve your feelings of desperation. It is good that you have expressed your feelings for the first time. Go from here to someone in your community who can help you in a more direct way. Good luck.
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Pensive .. you've taken the first step. We can't fix what we don't know or acknowledge is broken. The next step is to find ways to help YOU. Take care of you .. it's not possible to care for another, when you're broken. Then, you might want to consider finding another home for mom and dad. You're over your limit. It's okay to admit it. Find the problems, find the solutions. It's NOT easy. But, you've already proven that you're strong enough to do what you need to do. This is "simply" (I know, there ain't nuthin' simple about it) one more step in the process.

If you'd like more input, I'd suggest starting your own thread (post a link here), so more and more people will respond. DO keep us posted and let us know how it goes!

*hugs*
LadeeC
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I am another caretaker. I take care of my parents. I am the oldest of my siblings, the one that supposedly has an answer to anything and everything. I started taking care of my parents 17 years ago. First it was financially, then everything else. Eight years ago they moved in with my husband and I into our house. That's when all my problems escalated. My father is schizophrenic and my mother depends a 100% of what I say or do. My mother broke her hip two years ago and now walks with a walker and my father has now lost most of his sight. I have two siblings, but they do not help until something happens to me. My sister lives 10 minutes away from me and my brother lives out of the States.
My mother's personality has changed so much I can hardly see my real mother in her. She has become extremely demanding and sometimes she can say mean things to me. My dad is quite most of the time, but he is the wild card from time to time.
My home has never been the same, I had a small episode of a nervous breakdown and then my husband went through a short period of depression. I love my husband so much, and he has been such a gentleman and so helpful, but I think he is at the end of the rope with this situation. I am not the person I used to be; from a happy, sweet, caring, outgoing, full of life, I have become irritated, sad, anxious and insecure and I even sometimes have a mean answer to my parents. I am trying to cope with everything and to go back to whom I used to be, but it's a constant battle.
I had to leave my job because my mother would call me 10 to 18 times a day with anxiety attacks or panic attacks and would drive me nuts. I had to leave the office and come home to find her better because she knew I was on my way home.
I feel my parents, (specially my mother), breathes because I breath. I do not know what to do anymore. I feel I'm inside a prison with no escape.

This is the first time I dare to express my feelings and let them out.

A desperate caretaker.
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Sweety, its not the gloomy weather that has you down, believe me. I also am the caregiver for my MIL. She also takes the life right out of me. The way I cope is to make sure I do something for MYSELF everyday. Its just small, like spending time on the comp or working outside, but I do it for me. I believe everyone was put on this earth for a reason. I believe my reason is to take care of people. And Im good at it, as Im sure you are great at your caregiving also. And my husband doesn;t "get it" either. Pat yourself on the back and realize where everyone would be without you!!! Your a great person for doing what you do and you deserve praise for it. A lot of people would walk away from it or give up. So congratulate yourself for the strong, caring wonderful person that you are. Others may not tell you these things but you know you are. And that makes you a great person. Hold your head up and be proud of yourself. Good Luck sweety!!!!
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Oldcodger - I'm so sorry to hear your MIL brought you down so far. Please stay on here and let us know when she goes in and how you feel after the millstone is gone from your neck.
I take care of my mom, she is a wonderful mom. But even so things get harder as they get older, and it sucks the life and health from you.
I commend you for taking car of your MIL. I hope your husband realizes what a fantastic wife he has.
I also hope you go do something for "yourself" when she is gone. A nice vacation where you can be pampered for a change.
Keep us posted! Hugs !!!!!!
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Thank you all.
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I'm happy for you..Soon you will see the light , have peace of mind.. This caregiver job is not easy.. I think if I new what I was in for I would have never done it.. My Dad was so sweet til I nursed him back to feeling well , back to his self. Now he has become difficult to care for. He cannot afford to stay at ALF. Looks like I'm stuck ..Not a good feeling
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I read from the begining just never posted then just read up date hang in there... Breath It sounds like you will have peace soon.....Stick around alot of great people here... gread treads to vent on keep us updated....good luck...
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oldcodger2, you have not lost your mind ... at worst you have temporarily misplaced it! There is plenty for you to salvage. You'll never be quite the same, but some of the changes will be for the better.

I'm so sorry this transtition period is so painful for you, but I assure you you'll survive it and even blossom and thrive again.

Thanks for keeping us updated.
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