I am sure some of you are caring for a loved one that used to be, still is and will always be very independent and who loves to exercise control. I am the daughter (only child) and the caregiver of a person like that, my mom.
She is declining and doesn’t have the ability to do half of what she used to do from a physical standpoint nor to handle basic things in life from an emotional standpoint. I am here, living with her to allow her to be in her house, to feel and be the lady of her house, but in order to help her while allowing her to be in her environment I have to run all errands as she cannot/does not want to go out, I give instructions to the helper we have because my mom is in bed most of the time; I give instructions to workers that come because she is not dealing with them, I help her solve any issues with her bank or credit cards -when she asks me to- because she cannot solve them.
Yet, my mom gets profoundly saddened and even offended, because she feels I am nullifying her, while I am from my heart only trying to help her. She cannot hear well what workers say (when she does deal with them) therefore she is not clear as to what she agreed to, when they finish their work and it is not what she wanted I’m the one blamed. I’m the one blamed for everything and I understand the underlying cause, I know her fight is not with me, it is with herself and it breaks my heart! I wish I could give her all my strength so she could be who she used to be and who she so desperately wants to be.
I am here with her to try to make her life a little easier and better, and so she doesn’t feel lonely and so she has someone that helps her to face the world with dignity, Yet I feel I’m not doing that at all, all the opposite my presence seems to mortify her...I cannot leave because she really is unable be by herself, and I would never do that. Plus she really doesn’t want me to leave, she would die from sadness if she was alone ( she used to live alone and that marked her deeply)
I recognize this is hurting me tremendously, I always have a knot in my stomach, always! Cannot sleep well, feel hopeless and powerless. I simply, honestly want to help my mom. I love her more than life itself, but it is so hard to be her daughter specially now. My mom is struggling with this stage of life more than she ever imagined and I never envisioned.
So, how do you help without hurting?
How do you support without our loved one feeling useless or as if we are intruding? I try my best to be kind and thoughtful but nothing seems to be enough.
How do you make your loved one feel loved, when you are taking on part of what they cannot do anymore?
How to love as your loved one needs to be loved at this stage of their life?
Struggling with patience and wisdom.