I have been the sole caregiver for my mom for 6 years. Why do I feel like I am disconnected from her? Sometimes I feel like she is my patient and not my mother. Our relationship wasn't the greatest when I was growing up but, I know I love her, but don't see her as my mom sometimes. I feel so guilty for feeling this way. Am I wrong?
So.....enter ME. Daughter. With all the attendant twisted pressures that accompany that. Did I mention only daughter? Only child, in fact.
I am a walking, talking bundle of mom's genetic material. And she's too special to get a diagnosis. Too narcissistic to get over herself and find out what I have a good chance of succumbing to in 20-25 years (based on her trajectory). Real nice, huh?
I feel disconnected because my primary take on all this is Screw It. Mom spent her whole adult life treating everyone to her "shoulds" and her life lessons and how-to advice on everything -- but primarily health management and getting affairs in order, as they say.
Now that it's time for mom to take her own advice, she's proven herself to be an A-1 hypocrite. And everyone thinks I'm The Golden Ticket, because I'm THE DAUGHTER.
I feel disconnected because......it's either that, or I go on an epic rampage. My disgust at all this is beyond words. The pressure is sickening.
Thank your lucky stars you feel disconnected. That means your psyche is functioning well enough to buffer you from the sad reality of your "life." And mom's "life."
This crap sucks. It really does.
You ( and I) are in limbo- mourning. The person we knew is gone.
Compassion fatigue in their caregivers is often the result. I had an episode of it after my inlaws were pushing all the wrong buttons every day not listening to a thing my husband or I said to them. I snapped and withdrew because I was so angry and went on a good long vacation and didn't communicate with them at all until I returned.
Compassion fatigue is a symptom that you are giving much too much of yourself to another person. Your mom is like a person who cannot swim and is drowning. She will pull you under to save herself. It's basic instinct. Pull back.
Maybe you had some emotional wounds when you began to care for her and now they're like scars. It's not right or wrong. It's just the way it is.
I am kind and sweet to Mom, but she is at a bitter part of her life and has a lot of discomfort and pain, plus many disappointments in her life. She manages to be appreciative on occasion, which I am starved for! This morning she got angry at me because I answered a question on her behalf. She found it rude; she blows up any error I make, and I am putting my life on hold taking care of her. When I feel connected to her, its easy to get my feelings hurt. So, I disconnect. The important thing is to find ways to be connected to yourself and life. Today I sat in the sun. That's a nice connection!
If you really look, you may see that it isn't you. You have been giving her so much for the last six years, which is quite a lot of caring you have shown her. You may be suffering from compassion fatique. I know I am after being with my mother for six years.
If she complains about it, just say "We were never close, but I'm all you have right now. Might as well make the best of it."