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As a kid growing up I was raised as an only child as my siblings are much older. My parents both had issues. My Dad cold and stand offish and my mother and alcoholic. As they got older and there health started to catch up to them it fell to me to take care of them. I took care of my father till he pass two years ago and I am still taking care of my mother now. She has been sober 7 years. But I find I get very resentful for so many things. I an 38 now and I have been taking care of them for the last 8 years. I have done my best to put on the happy face but when my dad passed I found I was left with many regrets. I am trying not to let that happen with my mother. I need help finding away to be more patient and calm.

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its a wonder your head hasnt exploded dave. cut yourself some slack. a year ago id have told you that doing your best was a bulls**t cop out but ive learned from a great article on here that in the caregiver situation there really IS such a thing as doing your best.
i assure you that your efforts will someday bring you rewards from all directions, its just impossible to see right now.
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Frustration comes with the territory. You can not help how you FEEL, it is how you handle those feelings that matter. What I do when I get frustrated or angry or annoyed is.......walk away. I will go clean something ( That's my particular ocd way of calming myself) or get online and vent to these wonderful people that listen and understand, or go smoke a cigarette.......These are my little things that help me. Find little things you enjoy for the short term. For the LONG term, make sure you get plenty of respite. Get those siblings to take their turns and get out and do fun things. Spend time with people your own age. Take care of YOURSELF first. Welcome to AC. Lots of wisdom will be coming your way.
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I am currently reading a book called "Counting on Kindness: The Dilemmas of Dependency" that was giving some examples of how people giving care overextend themselves and end up resentful toward the person that they love and how that erodes the relationship. If anyone is interested, the author is Wendy Lustbader and I got it from the library system. It's been helpful in reminding me how to get more perspective on things.

But I do sometimes snap at my mother. I'm trying to be patient with her but am not trying to be perfect, either. Since she's living with my husband and me, there's no point in trying to pretend that we're all wonderful and happy. We're just ordinary folks with ordinary days, some good others bad, crabby sometimes and not so much on others. It would be impossible to pretend otherwise 24/7.
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Learning to do breathing exercises has helped me deal with the overload of frustration I tend to get while caregiving to abusive, absentee, deadbeat, neglectful father. I understand resentment very much. BUT… if you want to get past it and just do what you have to do, then figuring out tools to keep you patient and calm, like you said, are needed. Some of my tools I use are: breathing exercises for on-the-spot help to get out of that head-will-explode feeling. Also, going to gym or doing some sort of exercise that requires me to focus on that and nothing else for that period of my day… I started out with following some yoga videos (1st time ever) on YouTube. Because yoga also uses meditation (focusing on your breathing) it really calms you. I also recently started taking an anti-anxiety med at bedtime and I was previously resistant to the idea of taking any type of habit forming or hard to stop medication… but caregiving to bad parent isn't "normal" life circumstances, and I've decided that one is allowed to be willing to try anything and everything to keep your sanity. Hope this post is of some help to you. Good luck!
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Daveronline, I forgot to mention another important thing I learned while researching how to deal with the stress and resentment - I learned that compassion is opposite emotion of anger. This bit of info came from an extremely in depth scientific lecture I watched online, it was a stress study. And so if you can get yourself into the habit of finding things, thinking on the things about your mother that will give you compassion towards her, this will help to keep the anger and resentment from welling up. I need to remind myself to do this more often, too. Note to self.
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Daver, I had a father that was nearly autistic in his final years. Many times I also feel regrets that I did not try to get closer to him. The truth is that I got as close as he wanted me to. It was not my fault. I have a feeling the same may be true with your father, and that the regrets you are feeling are not your fault. If he was comfortable being distant during his life, he would not likely change much as he was nearing death. There was probably nothing more you could do than what you did.

Something I found after my father died was that it is harder to take care of one parent than two quite often. My father provided some buffer between my mother and me. When he was gone, it was just her and me. My brothers are not involved. I feel resentment a lot, because I am only human and she was never a good mother. I wonder if I had done something terribly wrong to be going through what I am now.

I wondered if you are working and building your own life. My thoughts are that you are in the most productive years of your life, so I hope that you have time to concentrate on yourself. At your age I would probably be feeling more resentment, because devoting so much time to parents would have such a huge effect on my own life. Let us know a little more about you. We can't fix the problems, but someone may have some good ideas.
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You let go of all the dark times, and try to focus on the brighter memories. Go through old pictures, there are always moments you can cherish. Toss the rest away. Sober seven years is no small accomplishment. Better late than never. Frustration will always nipping at your heels. You push it away by having some time for yourself, with friends, online or offline. I'm not an alcoholic, but I have driven a few men to drink. Read some of the stories here and you'll say " Sheesh! at least it's not THAT bad"
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Thank you all I appreciate your words. My father was always was a hard man and had many chances to turn things around and would be good for a while but then would go right back to his bad habits. Towards the end he was scared and depressed I know that more now than ever because I am more educated and I am stuck with the feelings that I could have and should have done more. My siblings are not involved at all my mothers alcoholism and my fathers hard exterior drove them all away years ago so it is just me. As of late I am feeling quiet overwhelmed. I feel guilty going out or away or to be honest most of the time i just feel so run down i dont want to go out. I am actively trying to change that now. I am trying to acknowledge these things and move on and grow from this.
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Personally, am having the same issue and considering a lobotomy as the only true altnernative! ;-)

Seriously, though, it's hard. I would stop the "put on a happy face" thing, for one. I just try to get through the day and get my chores done. Period. It's not my responsibility to be happy and make it all seem like it's great. It's hard work and I make no effort to try to make it seem like a happy thing.

That's basically my strategy and it works for me. I'm calmer when I just approach it as a list of tasks. That doesn't work for everyone but I'll pass it along to anyone who might find it good for them to try.
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Daver, I hear ya. There is a lot of grief for what could have been, and a lot of layers of acceptance of what is instead to go through, and when the relationship was not what it could have been it is oddly enough harder rather than easier when it is ended. Only do the smiley face thing when you really have to. And realize you are doing it when you have to, and realize it is because you have to...not because you want to or because you are a saint. The rest of the time let yourself feel what you feel and let it out in a safe place, like here; and sometimes you really DON'T have to! There are times you really can - and need to - set limits and say no to unreasonable requests, and times you don't have to accept unreasonable comments or statements. Especially when the person has dementia, as much as you may want to respect their choices and not upset them, you just can't let them make the decisions and run the show. Some of the resentment turns to pity when you have a moment to feel a little less stressed, but forgiveness and recovery is a lifelong journey. If you are really lucky you can get folks to talk about what made them the way they were, what some of the good things were if there were any. It helped me to know my mom at times had a more normal relationship with some other people, even if they were just pen pals, than she had with me...weird, but that's how it worked for me; I guess knowing she had a life besides being my mother took a little guilt off my shoulders for being unable to fulfill all her expectations and be everything for her...that it was her story, not mine.
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