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i have caregiver burnout right now and it makes me feel so guilty. I just want time alone. Just a day or two. I have been taking care of my mom since my husband died which will be three years november 5th. I don't want to have negative thoughts about my mom and that is what is beginning to happen which makes me feel worse. I just wish someone in my family would notice I need time and take over for a weekend or a day even. I love my mom but I am beginning to think I am a horrible person for the things that go through my head...
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You are NOT whiny. And even if you are, who cares - you've earned it. Hang in there!
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Cajohnston,
That unfortunately is normal. I know exactly what your talking about. I feel awful I need to keep her at arms distance and not get too personally involved because I start to go nuts at times. Yes, it's just me taking care of her too. Try not to be so hard on yourself. I grew up with the Irish Catholic guilt so it seems to be the default feeling and she still makes those little comments like, "I hope I am not a burden to you for too much longer" and other wonderful things that make me feel awful. *Sighs*
Just keep coming here and vent to get your feeling out, there are so many people here that are in your shoes and understand your thoughts and feelings. Don't chastise yourself, as hard as that is, I am sure you are doing your best.
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Thank you both for your responses. I also grew up Catholic, school and all so I do have that guilt as you describe. What bothers me most is that my sister that does come over twice a week said to me well at least you work! We have caregivers coming everyday while I am at work and she comes two days caregivers three days and me after work and weekends. Yes, I do have a job however, that does not help with being alone or going shopping or see my grandkids, etc. I could not believe she said that, so because I work that means that that is my time? Not in my mind as I am still stressed and overloaded with no time to myself. My mom has grown so attached to me that when I get home from work she follows me from room to room and I practically run into her she is that close to me. I know I should love this but at times it is overwhelming and again comes the guilt! Letting it out here and knowing I am not alone has really helped, so thank you all for listening to me. I should change my name to winy!!
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Cajohnston,
This following you is a common thing called "shadowing." Lots of elders do this to their caregivers especially if it's family. I know it is annoying, sounds endearing unless you experience it all the time, then it is unnerving! No, you are not whiney, I believe you are perfectly normal to have these feelings. Now say 5 "Our Fathers" and 4 "Hail Mary's." 😆
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Reach out for someone to help...I was able to find someone that would come over for a minimum of 4 hours in the evening to give me time away. Try and not feel guilty about taking a little time to yourself. If you don't and it starts getting to you, it makes things worse because you will get shorter and more and more frustrated
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Love it Rainey. And A Glory Be. cajohnston. My mother drives me nuts. I'm in the kitchen, wiping up water the dogs spilled, trying to avoid a slip and fall for her and I see her brown shoes first because I'm on my hands and knees drying the floor. Then the rest of her. I can't bring clothes to the laundry room with out her next to me saying " I 'll do it". By throwing all of the clothes in and not separating them. She's here 24/7. I have to tell her where I'm going. When I get in my car in the garage, she follows me. She writes on newspaper the time I leave the house, where I am going and when I return. I am only sane because I get away fairly often. My 21 year old spots my husband and myself or a good friend comes and spends hours with her when we go away for a day or two. You aren't a whiner. You are human.
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For me, personally, I have to keep busy and involved. That takes on a new look. I read and learn as much as I can about my mom's condition and what will come next. I offer to fix dinner for my kids on nights I know they are having crazy days, like school, then music classes... They can not have to worry about getting home late and still needing to do dinner. I also work... But my boss let me work from home almost full-time once my mom needed 24/7 care. I read...I love to read. I bake and share with others. I have the grandkids over to play. Once a month, my husband stays with mom for a couple hours and I do volunteer work. I am happiest and most productive when I am busy. ;-)
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All of your answers made me feel so much better. I was actually laughing about the laundry and her asking if you need help. That's my mom....she is always right behind me and I am practically stepping on her feet but she will ask me if she can help with dinner....sure mom although you don't remember where the pots and pans are...! Its such a sad disease especially when it is someone you have looked up to your whole life. But I just try to keep her happy and me sane....thank you all for your support.
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