Is anyone else out there feeling depressed about the holidays and the loneliness of being a caregiver?

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I'm starting to feel the judgement of others of how i'm handling this caregiving chore. They think I should walk away or wonder how I do it, but what are my choices. I don't see anyone stepping in to help or even staying engaged. They have no idea of what emotional toll it is taking.

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Wow, I just stumbled upon this website! I really wish I had found it years ago, as I was the primary caretaker for both my parents until their passing. I totally understand how you feel. Unless they have walked many miles in your shoes, they have no idea. Don't waste what little energy you must have left trying to explain it to anyone! They won't get it. Instead, surround yourself with others (even on line chats) that have been or are still going through it. You need support, praise, and encouragement; not to mention HELP! While I was going through this, I had a cousin that was totally supportive. Although she lived 1000's of miles away, she checked in regularly with positive support and also let me vent. Now that my parents have passed, I can tell you that I have no regrets. My children have a great appreciation for the elderly and it is second nature for them to be empathetic and caring. I was a good role model for them. Hang in there.
sosad2. Absolutely! It is depressing, lonely, overwhelming and tiring and more. I buried my husband a couple of weeks ago after years of being his sole caregiver and I understand where you are. That is being human, as was said so well, don't be so hard on yourself, make time for yourself in whatever way you can in whatever small increments you can take them to survive. Friends who allow you to vent, any encouragement from positive people wherever...they are out there. Take advantage of everything that comes your way, don't expect it from certain ones or you will definitely be disappointed, it can come from ones you least expect. God sends special "angels" to help us when we need it most when we least expect it from unexpected sources! When your journey is complete, you will have no regrets for what you have accomplished...one of the greatest gifts you can give, especially at this time of year YOURSELF!
Yes, the holidays are an inconvenience to me this year. I'm doing so much for my mother that I get so impatient that she wants to send cards out or wants me to make her a wreath for her door. Things that I feel are sooo insignificant at this point and I don't need one more thing to do. Then I feel soooo guilty. There just isn't enough time, I have no life and it IS lonely in *Caregiverland*. Most of the time I can laugh at a lot of the things she says, but today is just one of those bad days as she bit my head off when I went to help her today.
I am finally free of being a caregiver for my Mom. I remember wishing for a break and I complained it was just too much. Now I am so sad because my Mom passed away in May and this is our first year without her. I knew for the past two years that she would not be here someday and that was what kept me in focus to help her when she needed me. She took care of me as a child and she was there for me for many years. Now my freedom is not the enjoyment I thought it would be. Caretakers are blessings and I wish you all well.
I have been struggling with depression, too. It helps if I put on some Christmas music, listen to some of my favorite TV pastors, and play some monotonous games online. The games are not real helpful but take my mind off other things. Mom is in her mode of I am not really needed and I should go get a job. I would love to have a job but that is too much responsibility for me and taking care of her and running her to 2 doctors or more some weeks. I wonder just who does she think will hire me when I have to take so many mornings off to take her places? I also need to be with her because she does not know how to talk to the doctor about symptoms she is in denial of! lol She thinks she is on a social visit. I am mostly tired of everything about her. Me, me, me is all I hear and she wonders why I don't want to listen any more. It must be wonderful to be so self important. I just want to be able to go to coffee or dinner with friends (I don't have any because I am giving of my life to take care of her). But I know that any moment things could change and one of us could be in the hospital or gone to be with the Lord. I TRY to make the best of it. She is mostly happy and upbeat. I know that one day it will be worth it because I didn't leave her alone and lonely as she did me for many years. I will know that I did what I wanted done to me. Someone to take care of her that loves her and mostly appreciates and sometimes more than tolerates her. I don't have any clue what I will do when she goes. I don't know if anyone will hire me then. I am too old and what skills I have left other people have the same or better. I don't know.
Having the worst last few days, with Christmas eve tomorrow... I am absolutely going insane, as my mother talks to her 'perfect' son behind my back, and he hasn't done a THING to help or make my life easier.... He lives in Calgary... and, I'm glad he does... I've never felt so much hatred from my brother's family and my mother does NOTHING to defend or support me... All this after just about giving up my life to help her for the past 8 yrs!... SHE LIVES WITH ME!... My 'milestone' birthday in October was ruined and now my Christmas and New Year will be also... And, nice ... yesterday I called my mother a selfish bit#$%%@^!... In all honesty, I have toted her around all over the place with 'gambling' being the love of her life... (even above me)... This is all really making me sick... Caregiving... don't recommend it for anyone... because, there's really no one out there that gives a sh@^!%!$!... especially, the one being cared for or your siblings. (so much for being a christian)
NO NEED TO BE DEPRESSED AND NO NEED TO APOLOGIZE. BE GREATFUL AND THANKFUL THAT THEY ARE MANAGING. SO MANY FOLKS CAN NOT. THANK YOU TO THE FRIEND WHO BROUGHT IT TO YOUR ATTENTION. BEING A CFAREGIVER MEANS YOU HAVE TO ECOME THICK SKINNED. IF SOMEONE SEES A PROBLEM AND THEY CAN NOT ASSIST YOU IN SOLVING IT THEY ARE JUST AS MUCH OF THE PROBLEM THAN A SOLUTION.
HUGS TO YOU. DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF. BE HAPPY YOU HAVE THEM BOTH.
BLESSINGS,
DPRAYS
I loved this website.I read all of your answers and I feel you are speaking of what goes on with me.
My mother was the pioneer in this family.Took in nephews,nieces,all the family that live in the US now.
Do you think they have ever called me or even bother to visit.Those are the first ones to be at the funeral.
I truly believe that mom won't need me at her funeral.Its all over by then and she had me when she needed me and had diaper rash.
Satin 2 ribbons,I know how it feels to be angry. I noticed it was eating me up and affecting my health and I let it go and gave it to God.I can't afford to be walking around all day angry when I need my strength to take care of my mom.
I know it is not easy,especially when you have seen how wonderful she was with every family member and how much she cared to buy gifts for the holidays.
I know one day we will be old also and what goes around comes around.We can't forget we age too and those that don't truly care will have their compensation when they see themselves in a nursing home and no one goes to visit.I do not wish this upon anyone,but such is life and you do reap what you sow.
I hope we can all forgive these people who have hurt us and think they got away with it.Trust me, they will be taken care of.Just let it go and dont waste your energy on wicked wrong doers.
God bless you all!!
I'm pretty fortunate that my parents are doing fairly well. However, this morning I got a phone call from my dad's friend who is younger by about 10 years. He and his wife had been visiting and wanted me to know that the chairs Mom and Dad sit in are dirty and also that my mom keeps wearing the same top over and over.

I do appreciate that he called and I know he is a good friend to my dad and wants to be helpful, but on some level I felt like I was being judged. My parents have never been good about keeping things clean, it just doesn't seem to bother them. They are living in a retirement community and have someone who comes in weekly to clean, so mostly their place looks pretty good. However, around Thanksgiving time my husband noticed their refrigerator was a mess, so I did talk to my dad (offered to help) and he ended up cleaning it out. For whatever reason, I didn't see that their chairs needed cleaning.

As for my mom, it's a struggle getting her to change her clothes. It's not that I haven't mentioned it. I've said something about it in front of my dad more than once, but he apparently doesn't notice or doesn't want to argue with my mom.

She's been wearing a ratty old sweater every single day since it's gotten cold. I said something to my dad and he did try to find something, but I guess it was too difficult. So, I managed to find a sweater online for her birthday, which she loves. Of course, she'll wear it every day until summer! (I got her another color for Christmas.)

It doesn't sound like much, but it's exhausting dealing with their stuff and my own. Dad got a new cell phone and I ended up spending a couple of hours this afternoon helping him with that. Dammit, it was even confusing for me!

Anyway, I guess my point is that I'm feeling stressed because I see them getting worse. And having someone else say something made me feel so defensive because I do care about them and I want to help them, but to some extent, I end up backing off because they are managing and THEY get defensive, especially my mom.

So, tonight I'm kind of depressed and I apologize if I used your post to vent about myself.
My mother suffered a stroke last year on Christmas Eve. It marks one year and I am fighting so hard to maintain my composure. I did not decorate, I am not buying presents and am not cooking or having anyone over.
I don't feel depressed,but I am so tired and exhausted,that I chose to be different this year. I can't get anyone to help me out or at least drop in once in a while and give me a break,so why should I go out of my way (with no strength) to please others. It is not that I'm getting back at them, but I prefer to be at ease,relax and watch TV this year. That doesnt mean I don't love the season and wont wish anyone a Merry Christmas,I just want to relax.
Christmas has always been a time to run around,do the house,shopping etc.etc. and that is not something I am motivated to do with all the hours I must put in with mom.
Therefore, I wish you all a Merry Christmas,a wonderful and healthy New Year and don't feel guilty if you aren't celebrating with others.
All you are doing is being different this year and if you are mourning as I am,(lost 5 relatives in 3 months) the best you can do is have lots of good food and snacks , relax and enjoy the ride. Maybe there will be one good friend who can drop by,but we are family here also and can log in.
It's not a crime to stay home and enjoy your holiday.
This season is a time to reflect what the true meaning is and it is all about the babe in the manjor.
God bless you all..
Cathy

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