My dad moved in with us over the summer. He is 87.. I am an only child. Between my dad and my husband, we have gone through nine surgeries since July. My husband had a tumor that was cancer, but they did get it all. Now my dad has terminal cancer. I love my dad, but he is very hard to live with, and makes things very difficult. He only focuses on his own needs, even over our children. I feel as if I do not want to go on... I am depressed, and don't even recognize myself. My personality is angry and I am sad all of the time.

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Dear patriot1,
You are overwhelmed and burned out. No human being can go on and on as you are doing without all of those negative feelings that you are experiencing. I agree with both bookworm and JessieBelle. You need help, right now. Do you have CG that can come in during the day or night hours to give you a break from taking care of Dad? Is he eligible for a good, good AL or NH? You must save yourself, your husband and your children first. The elderly world gets smaller and smaller as they age and when they reach the point that they are the only ones in the world that matter is how they get. They don't purposely do it to make your life miserable I think. But it seems to me that you are the one who needs more help than Dad right now. That is what the hospice doctor told me when he came to assess my Mom. The doctor was more worried about me than Mom because of all the burnout and stress I was going through. Seek help as both women said above. Do not delay until you have a true emotional breakdown. It is not pretty. I have gone through it.
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Hi Patriot, when I was age 23, I stayed home to help dad care for mom who was just diagnosed with Alzheimer. I have 7 siblings. In the past 22 years, it was just father and I caring for mom. My oldest bro with his wife and 3 grown kids (with their spouses/children) all living next door. They don’t help out. Father had a stroke last year and is now bedridden. I assumed that now that I’m caring for 2 bedridden parents, that the siblings would step up to help. Not! When father had his stroke, I knew that my situation will continue to get worse. Finally this past June, I became suicidal. I finalized A Plan, how to do it, where, etc. I woke up one morning in June and it hit me that my life is a prison. That there is no way out. Death was the only answer.

We grew up from a very dysfunctional childhood. I and my 2 younger sisters have No memory of our childhood. We were physically /verbally abused. I cried when I decided to stay home to help (due to religious beliefs). Father never appreciated what I did. He still continued to verbally and physically abuse me.

My personality before Alz was very shy, introvert. Before AC (this website), I was always angry (got mad at drivers, everyone, the TV, etc..), Bitter and Resentful (of my 7 siblings who had a Life). I found this site and asked for help. Just as you did now. They helped me a lot. I’m still improving and I still need a lot of work to be done on Me. I have been gently (and some not so gently) encouraged to seek counseling. I’ve been dragging my feet because I do not want to remember my childhood. But I am working on therapy as a goal to reach. Therapy to help me say No More to my 6 siblings and that I want my own life back. And I need the therapy to be able to pack up and leave my parents. Let my brother of next door take over. I’ve been doing this for 23years. It’s time for my siblings to step up and do their part.

I know that feeling of not wanting to go on. It’s seeing the future as hopeless – no way out. And dealing with problem after problem non stop.

How to Avoid Wanting to Die?
1. Vent, vent and vent here! Get it out of your system. You can check out the “Caregiver How are YOU?” ….or “ Grossed Out? Need to Vent?” Sometimes, when I vent here, I also get some advice to improve my situation.

2. Jessiebelle gave some good advice about seeking someone to share your thoughts and frustrations like therapy, caregiver support group, etc..

3. Seek Respite – by calling around for organizations/programs that provide 1 hour or more respite for you to get out of the house. Is there a cancer association in your area? Or a senior citizen program? Call around and see what you can get out of these programs.

Sorry, it’s midnight here and exhaustion just hit me. My mind just went blank. Time for me to go. Later, book
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patriot, it sounds like you are being squeezed in a sandwich. It would be enough to stress and depress anyone. It sounds like you need to take some time for yourself to get some help picking your mood back up. I know that is easier said than done, however, when there are so many with needs around you. Not only are you an only child, you're an only mother and an only wife. That is a lot of responsibility.

I can't give any advice on how to sort things out because I know it is more complicated than any simple advice I could give. I do think you need someone to talk to about how you feel, what your fears are, and your feelings. This is only for yourself, not to help your family more. I know you do a lot for them already.

Your father seems to have developed what I call tunnel vision that often comes with getting old. As many people age, they see less and less of what is happening with the people around them and soon they see only themselves. I don't know what causes this. We would expect older people to become more expansive and generous with themselves. More often than not, the opposite happens. It may all be part of going into survival mode. I don't know, but you are not alone. It is not really your FIL, but his age and sickness that is creating the narcissism. The best thing to do here is to set limits on what you will and won't do, then stick to those limits.

I hope you can find someone to talk to about how you're feeling. It is good to write here, but even better to talk to someone face to face. Usually to get by in the world, we have to act like everything is okay and not crazy at all. It is good to have someone that you can be truthful with. A lot of us are living in crazy situations. I think it is totally normal to feel angry and sad. However, feeling like this isn't good for us, so we have to find a way to feel better. Talking helps a lot. (I've heard that hitting trees with golf clubs is really good, too, but I don't want our trees to look as bad as I feel sometimes.)
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