1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Anyone else feeling resentful?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by setantaaidan, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. setantaaidan

    setantaaidan Registered User

    Dec 27, 2014
    My mam has dementia the past 6 years, she's only 66 and being cared for at home for now with help. I live next door, it just feels like my reserve of patience has run out and I feel like a terrible person. I'm on anti depressants to cope with this horrible illness, but just find it so hard. My mam is in the mid stages I would say, and I feel heartbroken and sad this happened to her. But I find it very hard to talk or even look at her, my way of coping is by saying very little and going into myself. I feel so angry at her sometimes, she thinks it's ok to speak badly to my son and has even slapped him when she thinks he's bold. I just can't cope any more and feel like I'm going mad. I feel so alone.
  2. PeggySmith

    PeggySmith Registered User

    Apr 16, 2012
    It's not ok for your Mum to slap your son. Not ever. I think you need to find an ally somewhere. I don't know where you live but in some areas the Alzheimer's Society provide phone support or Age UK.

    I'm in a bit of a rush but just wanted to drop in and say that you're not alone and somebody will be along in a bit with loads of useful advice and help.
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    You would not be normal if you didn't find it all upsetting. I dare say your Mum feels pretty bad herself about it and would be ashamed to know she slapped your son if she was in full command of her faculties. Dementia is what it is and you do your best up to the point where you can do no more then you have a hard talk with SS about what happens next.
  4. witchpig

    witchpig Registered User

    Dec 31, 2011
    Maidstone Kent
    YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Most of us if not all of us here have felt like you do at the moment.
    Has your drs given you any referrals to carers groups or support groups, not only for you but your son?

    Don't forget somebody is here nearly every minute of the day so you can rant and rave as much as you want. We have all been through it. We also give and get good advice.
  5. Bill Owen

    Bill Owen Registered User

    Feb 17, 2014
    #5 Bill Owen, Dec 27, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
    Happy new

  6. 14KTP

    14KTP Registered User

    Oct 1, 2012
    You're not on your own, my mum is 69 with alzheimers. I live 200 miles away from her and we have no other family. She came to us for Christmas and drove us nuts - she wouldn't change her clothes or go to bed as she sleeps in the chair at home in her clothes! I also feel angry towards her even though I know she can't help it.
    After a fight to get her to sleep anywhere on Christmas night and her saying she wished she hadn't come, I decided to drive her home yesterday (boxing day). I was so cross with her I drove for 3 hours there, put her heating and tv on and left again and drove home.
    Now I feel guilty for not being more patient, don't know what the answer is but try to keep your chin up, you have to live your life too

  7. dottyd

    dottyd Registered User

    Jan 22, 2011
    Is she safe to be home alone?
  8. SueShell

    SueShell Registered User

    Sep 13, 2012
    This is a mirror of my situation. I too live next door and am an only child. You are not alone. The only support I have had has been here on TP with fantastic people all carers. Feel free to read my saga, and sadly it is an ongoing saga that has had a serious effect on my health.
  9. janey106

    janey106 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2013
    You are anazing

    Just needed to say that whilst I and my sister are managing Mum with (still undiagnosed formally!) dementia now entering 5/6/7? th Year, we have each other, live very close by and have tremendous support from our partners and children. Yes, we both have to work full-time but I think that in many ways it keep me sane and acts as a buffer. I wanted to say to those of you doing this alone, at distance, full-time or whilst managing your own health problems, YOU ARE AMAZING. Truly not sure how I would get through like you do. I will remember to keep counting my blessings when being tested to the full.
    Sharing your stories and reading them over past few years has given me so much insight and allowed me to be prepared and understand new behaviours as they creep in.
    Thank You.
  10. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    Yes, I'm resentful, too, of the whole situation. I'm an only child and live with my mum, my daughter recently moved out although she is a great support so most of the time it's just me and her. She has early stages Alzheimers. I work full-time and it's a standing joke at work that I go to work to get peace!! Often I work 6 days a week and it's not just for the extra money, although that helps. I had 3 days off at Xmas and was ready to strangle her by day 3. I know she can't help it but that doesn't help in the least, we argue constantly because she would say black was white even if it was yellow (she's always been like that!). I'm lucky in many ways because I can escape to work and my daughter stays when I go on holiday. She's adamant we have stairs even though we live in a bungalow. Lucky we don't, I might just be tempted to push her down them! x
  11. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    May I agree with practically everything you have said, Opaline, except it's my OH. But the Christmas period has been horrendous, and still is (his children calming up today). I just thank god tomorrow is day care ( I very retired ).
    Next year, if he's still living at home, I shall be looking a Christmas respite. I can't take another year of this! Like you, no stairs!
  12. Pumpkin12

    Pumpkin12 Registered User

    Oct 16, 2014
    I totally agree and fully understand and some of the time I just want to pull my hair out and scream at the top of my lungs it's not even MY grandad !!!! But if I don't do it who will ?? whose going to change his pads, whose going to shower him, whose going to do all his washing, whose going to get him changed for bed, whose going to get him up, let along any other house work or are washing! We can but try are best and carry on :( hope everyone had a good Xmas as they could :) x

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  13. #13 Petrina, Dec 28, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
    Resentful towards myself as well

    [Long response...]

    Dad is now in a nursing home but the work isn't over. There always seems to be some minor problem to sort out even though the staff are wonderful.

    But he was a successful businessman who still has investments, property and positions (honorary or financial) relating to that, so there's paperwork; and after years of going from loving concern to habit to stress to resentment, I now have near-despair over dealing with bureaucratic institutions.

    I feel that Dad has stolen a part of my life and resent him for it, but I also feel that I have foolishly given a part of my life that I didn't actually have to give and resent myself for that.

    Dad was barely there for me as a child yet I've been there for him now. He was happy to expect others to care for me instead of doing it himself (when I wasn't simply parked at my desk in an empty house or playing in the street), but he wasn't so happy to pay others to care for him, instead of expecting me to. (This wasn't about money, caregivers' wages are peanuts to him, this was about control.)

    The point the penny dropped as to how manipulative and unreasonable he was being was when when he was being discharged from yet another stay in hospital following yet another "fall" and I persuaded him to accept three nights of overnight care.

    He had the screaming abdabs the night he got home and then in the middle of the night I had a call from the carer to come round because he'd had a "fall". (He does have genuine falls but he also fakes it and when he complains of pain you can catch him out later if you mis-prompt him as to where the pain is.)

    I was so angry I was in hysterical tears. He had "fallen" conveniently next to a telephone (which I had strategically placed next to the head of his bed about 15" off the floor) but wouldn't call an ambulance or let the carer call for one, no, she had to call me and wake me to get up, get dressed and hurry round to his house to call an ambulance.

    That was around a year ago and he's been in a home since early this year, but I haven't managed to disengage myself fully.

    His behaviour towards me has damaged me. I feel I have to please everyone, I'm on edge in case people are disapproving or angry towards me, I lack confidence and assertiveness. It shows in my body language, my eye contact, my tone of voice, the way I express myself verbally.

    And I resent myself for it.

    Yes, the sting in the tail - he treated me badly, conditioned me to put up with it from early childhood, took advantage of it when he got dementia, treated me like dirt, destroyed what recovery and career I'd made for myself along the way, destroyed my ability to respect myself and destroyed my ability resent him for his treatment of me more than I resent myself for putting up with it.

    I still visit him. I resent him for it and I resent myself for it. I know now that he will never change. I need to find the courage to limit my visits and to do more often what I sometimes do now, which is to simply leave when he either ignores me (pretending to be asleep rather than simply showing me the courtesy of saying he's not in a mood for company) or when he is abusive.

    If anyone has had the energy to read this and has not reached the point I have, please, please look after yourself and try not to let your relative's dementia become the perfect excuse for abusing you. Please try not to let your natural instinct to empathise with someone with such a horrible condition lead you to accommodating behaviours that have nothing to do with the dementia, that were there before it.

    I say this with no disrespect to all the lovely people with dementia. I say this with no disrespect to all those who care quite reasonably and properly for lovely relatives with dementia. I just say to those with parents like mine, don't let them use it as an excuse to abuse you where they know perfectly well what they are doing and where they have control. (I do not suggest that this is always the case with Dad - far from it - but it took me a long time to recognise when he is genuine and when he is faking.)

    In short, I'm sure I'm not alone in resenting myself as well as the person I've been caring for. It's natural, it's understandable, but please try to get the support you need to avoid ending up where I am.

    The nursing home is beginning to get wise to him but when a worker said to me a couple of days ago that he is pressing his help button more often, I had to point out that he usually phones me first and then I have to persuade him to press it.

    End of speech. I am trying not to feel guilty for posting it, not to feel guilty about telling the truth of looking after someone like Dad. Yes, I feel guilty as well as resentful, but that's for another thread.
  14. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    Yes - lots of resentment

    Caring despite the past is hard. My mother has had life long mental illness which has impacted my life since my first memories at age 4. She has never been happy and i finally figured out I cant make her happy. Its been a tough road.

    With the dementia the mental illness get worse and I cant tell if her eyes are blank because of dementia or mental illness. I leave worried sick about her and come back the next day to find her "normal" again, dressed, hair done and back from a trip out with her befriender.

    With mental illness - and I class dementia as a mental illness - they only consulation is that they dont choose to be this way. I have grieved every day of my life for the "normal" mother I wished I had. One who put me first and made me feel safe. When she does finally go I do think I will have any grieving left to do. I keep caring for her as she has no choice and I am her daughter. It is what I believe I should do and what my Dad would have wanted me to do.

    You are not alone. Carers are heros as they care despite how hard it is. They are not saints.
  15. florabunda

    florabunda Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    There are several things I feel resentful about. My mother refused to move nearer to her family while she was able, insisting on living 3-4 hours drive away from her nearest relative. I finally moved her to Kent this year because she really was not coping, living in squalor and not eating etc.; of course she has gone downhill, can't make new friends because she can't remember new faces, hates being here.... At least she has her own house and she can afford to pay for carers. No way could we live in the same house. My sister tried to live with her, and had a mental breakdown, from which she is only just recovering. I will co-ordinate mum's care and step in when necessary (every day over Christmas, unfortunately). But I will have no qualms about placing her in residential care when the time comes, just as she had no qualms about sending her children away to boarding school when we were aged eight.
  16. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    It's a true saying ''what goes around comes around'' and I think we all need to remember that when we are dealing with our own families now. None of us know what the future holds and we need to treat people now as we would like to be treated in the future, x
  17. janey106

    janey106 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2013
    Hi Petrina, I have passed through a lot of guilt and resentment for similar reasons; my Mums depression, anxiety, aggressive and vicious outbursts have been a feature of my life since I was about 7. However, I also experienced good and loving, caring periods between (often wondered if Mum was misdiagnosed in her form of depression years ago but too late now). Sadly, if I understand correctly, the parts of the personality which were previously controlled consciously (temper, cruel, nasty, control itself, abusive and even obscene etc), can become more prevalent as they are no longer able to consciously control them and feel dis-inhibited. I have, and continue to, grieve for the good things now long gone and take the rest on as a 'compassionate carer'. And by that I mean I have set some boundaries around what is reasonable to ask, accept and do of myself and others. This will be different for everyone. it sounds like you are able to do this now but feel pretty battle-scarred: thank you for sharing this and I hope you have some support for yourself; friends or family or maybe some counselling may help in due course to get back 'you'. It is so easy to get swallowed up in this. You must have your own life as well.
  18. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    #18 RedLou, Dec 31, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
    This is a nice comforting truism - you get out what you put into life etc etc - but it simply isn't accurate. Life is unfair. As adults we have to deal with that. My father used to visit his elderly mother once a month for a couple of hours if that. She lived only 30 miles up the road. Now he lives 1000 miles from me, refuses to come back to the UK, and I've been shuttling back and forth at his beck and call to the detriment of my own career and salary. Am I kinder person than he was? Debatable. Probably it's simply that he didn't have a guilt or empathy mechanism. I do.
    But now I have to set the parameters to keep him at arm's length. I have to prioritise my husband and my own life now. It's not easy but my father is an adult who made his own decisions when he had capacity and must live with the consequences. I don't have to take his consequences on myself, wondering if I'll 'reap what I sow.' I wouldn't want my daughter to have to go through what I have in any case.
  19. Bill Owen

    Bill Owen Registered User

    Feb 17, 2014
    All alone tonigth

    Hi wife is in bed . Went up about 5 pm after being to the care centre.im in the other room on the computer . make a change .from drinking in a pup on new years eve . soberrrrrrr. no hangover for me tomorrow. looking forward to getting up with out a thick head / Ho do lie all my friends have gone out . left to eat the chocolate on my own . now im feeling sick. to match chocolate now. should have gone out for a pint .

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