How do I get over my trauma?

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I'm still struggling and I feel traumatized every time I think of the day 9 months ago when I had to place my mother at an assessment centre knowing she was going to be deprived of her liberty and that she would never be going home. After assessment I found her a lovely dementia facility where she is now settled but I can't forgive myself for placing her there. I live alone with only my wage. I wanted to live with her and have carers in while I worked, but nobody would fund the care for that. They would only go in 4 times a day which was no good as she was starting to wander. She was looking for her childhood home which she would never find. Now I wish I had given up everything to care for her. I know it would have been hard, and no matter what people say to convince me I did the right thing, I can't get over this. It's the worst thing I've ever had to do and I will never forget that day that I left her. It still breaks my heart and I don't know that I will ever be at peace. I feel like a horrible person and I'm being repaid for doing this to her. Don't know what to do any more. I'm so happy go lucky in front of everyone, but in private I'm so very sad.

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Is your mom happy where she is?

Is she safe and no longer wandering, searching for a home and a time that no longer exists?

Could you give her her mind back?

Are you maybe being selfish in wanting to be her everything?

Look, dementia is not your fault. We can only try to keep out loved ones safe, if not happy?

Focus your energies on visiting your mom and making good memories with her now, in her reality.
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      Kath, my heart went out to you. I felt as you do when my mother went into a nursing home eight months ago. I had moments of panic and disbelief that she was actually staying and not coming home, even though my siblings and I had made the decision for this to happen. My mother over the years had been hospitalized and sent to rehab numerous times, but she always came home. It was hard for her, and my siblings and I to accept that she wasn’t coming home and that my father would soon follow.
      I liked what rocketjcat had to say, that you didn’t do this “to” her but “for” her. I am sure, like me, you have a story that involves many years of caring for your mother prior to her entering the dementia facility.
      What caught my attention is that you feel you are being repaid (punished?) for your mother being there. Yes, I have had those thoughts too, and I realize how destructive and non self-loving they are. Please banish them from your thinking and take active steps to do self-loving things. I can only speak through my Christian perspective that says that one of the greatest commandments is to love your neighbor as yourself. You honored and loved your mother by taking care of her and when you couldn’t, making sure that she would be taken care of, and you must love yourself too. Self-destructive thoughts have no place in loving yourself. 
      Yes, you were traumatized when it happened, and even though your mother is settled, you are stuck in the original feelings. Love yourself as you have loved and continue to love your mother. If you have let your health go, start eating right, drink lots of water, take walks, exercise, get some counseling, anything that is life affirming and loving.
      You say that you put on a happy face for others but in private you are very sad. I say that you have taken a very positive step in coming here to be real. You don’t know it, but the healing has begun.
      I have had a lifetime of learning how to function, and live happily in the world under at times great hardships, and usually I can pull some strategy or coping technique from my bag of tricks that pulls me out of a depression or difficulty, but sometimes all my efforts are useless, and I find that the most powerful thing I can do is to stop trying and say “God help me”, and then just do the next right thing. The next right thing could be to wash your dishes, make your bed, visit your mother, straighten her room, etc. You continue to do the next right thing and the next, and the next, and trust that God will take care of you, and heal you of your sadness
        Take a deep breath and think about what you used to like to do before so much of your energy, thoughts and time were taken up with caregiving by yourself. Take baby-steps toward rediscovering you. You are still a caregiver and a very much needed advocate for your mother. Sleep well tonight. My prayers are with you.
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Now that Mom's care needs are being met in a care center, you have the opportunity to visit as just her loving daughter. You can make sure she is getting cared for properly and be her advocate behind the scenes.

I hope your sadness does not prevent you from taking advantage of this opportunity.
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BTW, I hope this continues to be the worst thing you'll ever have to do. All of us have "worst thing" events in our lives. If you are having excessive trouble getting past yours, please consider counseling. You deserve the support of an objective outsider.
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I am so sorry you are still suffering with your decision. Are they giving her better 24/7 care than you could? I know my Moms NH provides much better care for her needs than I ever could, with LPNs, RNs & NPs constantly available. I can’t imagine the countless trips to doctors that have been avoided. And she has caring staff. I try to reflect that instead of doing this "to her" I actually did it "for her". I visit daily and instead of being a weary caregiver I’m able to enjoy our visits with special & loving times together. If you are able to visit often and can take advantage of those times together it might help to ease your pain. I know it was a hard decision, but I also think it was the most adult and loving decision I could have made. I hope you find peace with it.
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My heart was broken When I placed my mom in memory care 2 years ago and it took a long time for that sadness to go away -

Remind yourself everyday, hourly if you must, that You have not abandoned her - you are making difficult decisions like any responsible person does, and then do what you can to enjoy being with her - create new routines together

Our first routine became Friday night fiesta with brownies and milk shakes - later it became Saturday night pie and now it's pancakes on Sunday -
When I help put her to bed, we always say our prayers

there have been plenty of ups and downs and anxiety the past couple of years and I hope the memory of all that fades and I only remember the vision of mom waving at me when she sees me come into the facility
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Thank you for all the support and understanding.I too liked it when it was said you are doing it for her not to her.I never thought of it that way.most of the messages were very nice and said in a way to make me think in a more positive way.maybe I am a little selfish to want to be everything to her.I just want her to be happy.as for the advice from polarbear.maybe you think being so mean in your reply helps.it really doesn't.I dont want sympathy,I come on here for guidance when I'm struggling a bit.please feel free to not get involved in any of my future posts.
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If these answers help give you a more positive outlook, print them out and read them at the start of each day.

polarbear's response may seem a little sharp-edged to you. But she is right. You could change your mind, and make a different decision. Why aren't you doing that? Well, I suppose that in addition to feelings of regret and sadness you also still have the feelings of responsibility and the desire for the best for your mother. You concluded several months ago that placement in a care center was the responsible decision to provide the best for Mom. So why would you change your mind now? Have things changed? Did you win the sweepstakes and can now afford to quit work? Have her care needs decreased? Are the signs of dementia improving? Is she being abused where she is?

There were reasons why you made the decision you did 9 months ago. And I suspect that the reasons still apply. But make a list of them and review it with today's situation in mind. Are those reasons still pointing to the decision you made? If so, please try to accept it. Fretting over it again and again or constantly does not change anything.

It is awful to see someone you love being deprived of their liberty. Your mother's dementia did this to her. That is totally out of your control. It is frustrating and sad that we aren't all-powerful and can't magically remove all obstacles for our loved ones.

Print out these answers. Read them each day until they all sink in. Make a list of the reasons placement is what is best for your mother. Look at it often. Accept that you are not SuperDaughter any more than the rest of us are. Your mother's dementia is not under your control.

If you are having a really hard time giving up your irrational view of your power in this situation, sign up for a few sessions with a therapist. You can be more helpful to your mother if you are kinder to yourself and "get over it."

And/or come back here often and get fresh doses of reality.
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Have you ever considered an Alzheimer's support group? They can be found on the foundation website, nursing homes, newspapers. You will find many people who feel the same way that you do. The group that I go to share, laughter and tears. Two people still come even though family already passed away. Try one to see if it will help you find peace
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Kath
Hope you come back to A/C
It will help you cope

Just last night I made a late night stop to drop off some things for mom - I stayed and helped staff with an 11 pm diaper change

Mom was a bit cranky from being woken up but then she started crying and said I was ruining her life

While I can easily rationalize away her comment it nonetheless has reverberated in mind today as on some level she knows I'm the one who put her in the facility

Dementia is a long tiring journey for everyone
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