Good day everyone! I haven’t posted for a while but I do go on this forum everyday. The information and feeling that other people understand has been invaluable to me. So here I go, and I fear you all will think I’m crazy. RECAP: I had been living with mom for 12 years. She entered a NH in April 2018. I hired an elder care attorney to prove that I was her primary caregiver to the cost of $13000 dollars of my money. It was the year from hell with all the stress. Lawyer, money, running all around like a crazy person, court, paperwork and still working. I do not have to explain stress and exhaustion to anyone on this forum!! Well thank God I prevailed after 7 months of waiting and primary caregiver exemption was proven and the house is legally mine and mom was approved for managed long-term care Medicaid.

At the beginning of this, mom was a nightmare at the NH when I visited. She had vascular dementia plus many physical problems. She would refuse meds for a few days than take them and doesn’t know me but of course I was her target. Fast forward 10 months and here’s when you will think I’m crazy!! She has settled in very nicely and eats and partakes in all activities. The care there is awesome! When I visit now it’s a pleasure. She of course has had changes in meds along the way as well. I truly am grateful and blessed. When she was at home it was a nightmare for 3 years. Uncooperative, nasty at times and really to get her to get out of bed was a battle not to mention all the doctors appts. I have a very full life as a nurse myself and have a lot of friends. Can it be I’m just so used to doing for her for so many years?? And then when I visit, to see how content and cooperative she is now?! I’m very grateful don’t get me wrong, because I went through a lot!! Maybe it’s just because all the issues have been settled and I’m just not used to having so much less stress??!!

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Darla- I think you’re doing fantastic under the circumstances and should feel extremely proud of yourself. I do believe you have some PTSD-who wouldn’t? I felt the same way after 10 years looking after my mom though she didn’t live with me but I was her sole caretaker more or less as she went downhill with dementia until I could get her placed in memory care.

i can empathize with your sense of relief and then the “weirdness” when they unexpectedly adjust and actually thrive in an environment that you fear they will hate you for.

i too feel blessed and try not to look for that other shoe to drop. I’m trying to enjoy every moment more.

you are normal. So just enjoy your new freedoms and life as a nurse a wisdom of what you have been through.
Helpful Answer (1)

I've recently learned this is a type of grieving. And it's normal. It's a change in caregiving. Counseling is a good step.
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I would think that you may have a bit of unexpected resentment.

Why couldn't she have done this well with you, been more willing, more compliant, less combative and, and, and....i bet it feels a bit like betrayal.

Being a nurse you know you did the best you could and she couldn't help her behavior, mostly anyway. There is no accounting for how our emotions react to high stress situations. Give yourself time, months after a decade plus of caregiving isn't much time to fully recover and rediscover who you are without mom.

Congratulations for finding a good placement and hanging in for all of those years.
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Hi - I don't see you actually spelling out how you feel - anxious, panicky, depressed, scared, overwhelmed, sad... I went through a lifetime of a narcissistic borderline personality disordered mother who developed vascular dementia. I was her POA medical and financial the past number of year. Some of it was extremely difficult. Over the years I learned to detach and distance for my own survival. I had to work through feelings from verbal and emotional abuse, and was nothing but relieved when mother got treatment and was placed in a facility which cared well for her.

My suspicion is that you have not worked through all the feelings and stress from those earlier care giving years. I don't find that very surprising. The journey you traveled was very stressful. You may have PTSD from it. I know I have and it helps to know that and recognize the triggers.

Another point - any change is a loss even a good change and you need to process those feelings too. Some professional counseling would probably be worth while. Good luck to you
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Darla3 Jan 2019
Thanks so much golden 23. I think a little therapy will do me good. It was just those months last year, were continuous stress. Now things are resolved. Maybe I’m just so used to the stress, need to learn how to take it easy again...
Crazy as it seems, I think the absence of the perpetual stress is actually very similar to the stress itself.
Until matters were more or less settled I’d waken from a sound sleep and brood about all of the awfulness of what I had to do and what I’d have to get done.
NOW I wake up and do the same useless mental searches and CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING I HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT!
Planning to start tuba lessons soon, in hopes that practicing will be a healthy distraction.
Helpful Answer (2)

Ditto. What you’re feeling is RELIEF! It feels weird and bewildering. A new normal, but this one gets to be about YOU and YOUR needs. Be gentle with yourself as you figure out how to live again.
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Because you are finally off the hamster wheel? Sometimes, I think we get caught up just waiting for the other shoe to drop, because we have had so many shoes dropping, tripping over them etc.
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