Guilt and misery

GabbyO

Registered User
Dec 10, 2022
23
0
I am carer for my 90 year old mother with Alzheimer’s who is obviously deteriorating. Although she is still able to live independently, she is increasingly unkempt and forgetful and crabby. I do my best with no support at all from my toxic Narcissist elder sister who I’ve totally fallen out with anyway. But I’m finding it so exhausting and joyless and recently found myself feeling totally envious of my friend whose mother is in an home now and doesn’t have the worry any more.

It’s hard because through choice I fly solo in life - apart from my beloved dog and now miss having a Mum to support me. Now she doesn’t seem bothered much about me at all which I don’t take personally but it’s hard - and she is very bad tempered with me a lot of the time. I know this is all par for the course with dementia.

I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, I genuinely think she may well outlive me out of sheer stubbornness and because I’ve had serious health issues (and may well die of a broken heart when my dog goes!) so the rest of my life is going to be consumed with caring for her and subsequently just difficult and miserable and burdened. I probably sound like a horrible selfish daughter but I do everything I can to help her and get no thanks whatsoever while my vile sister just lives her life and snaffles as much of our parents money as she can.

Hoping I’ll feel better in the morning- it’s been a long week…
 

CT9004

New member
Apr 21, 2024
1
0
You don't sound like a horrible selfish daughter. You sound... human.

You and I are in the exact same situation: My selfish greedy brother (my only sibling) is totally out of the picture. I am divorced and have no partner; I am child-free by choice. In short, I am totally alone in the caregiving journey -- other than my beloved dog.

Please be gentle with yourself. Would you ever say to someone, "You're a horrible selfish person." No?
It's not okay to talk to yourself that way, either.
When you hear it, stop. Consider it. Re-phrase. If you can't come up with something positive, give yourself a neutral message: "Caregiving is hard, and it's okay to wish I had someone to help me."

And, let others know that you need help. When we "fly solo" in life, we're independent and often reluctant to ask for help. This has been a really hard one for me! But I'm getting better: When I could still leave my mom at home alone for a few hours, I asked by dearest friend for a weekly outing at our open-space dog park. Two hours for a three-mile hike, uninterrupted conversation, and watching our pups romp and play. She was happy to oblige. Another friend carves out time for a monthly lunch, scheduled for a day that my mom is at her adult day program. These get-togethers have helped me keep my sanity, and all I had to do was ask.

I, too, felt like there was no light at the end of this tunnel. That's a scary place to be... so I sought out a therapist to help me with the feelings of hopelessness and despair. She has been terrific -- so blessed to have found a really, really good one -- and she helped me in derailing the negative self-talk and learning to ask for help. I am so glad I took that step.

Be kind to yourself, Gabby, and know that this isn't the end of your story. It's just one really hard chapter.

Take care.
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
6,281
0
Hello @CT9004 and welcome to the forum. Thank you for posting such a positive and helpful response to @GabbyO 's post. I hope that you will find the forum helpful and informative.
 

GabbyO

Registered User
Dec 10, 2022
23
0
You don't sound like a horrible selfish daughter. You sound... human.

You and I are in the exact same situation: My selfish greedy brother (my only sibling) is totally out of the picture. I am divorced and have no partner; I am child-free by choice. In short, I am totally alone in the caregiving journey -- other than my beloved dog.

Please be gentle with yourself. Would you ever say to someone, "You're a horrible selfish person." No?
It's not okay to talk to yourself that way, either.
When you hear it, stop. Consider it. Re-phrase. If you can't come up with something positive, give yourself a neutral message: "Caregiving is hard, and it's okay to wish I had someone to help me."

And, let others know that you need help. When we "fly solo" in life, we're independent and often reluctant to ask for help. This has been a really hard one for me! But I'm getting better: When I could still leave my mom at home alone for a few hours, I asked by dearest friend for a weekly outing at our open-space dog park. Two hours for a three-mile hike, uninterrupted conversation, and watching our pups romp and play. She was happy to oblige. Another friend carves out time for a monthly lunch, scheduled for a day that my mom is at her adult day program. These get-togethers have helped me keep my sanity, and all I had to do was ask.

I, too, felt like there was no light at the end of this tunnel. That's a scary place to be... so I sought out a therapist to help me with the feelings of hopelessness and despair. She has been terrific -- so blessed to have found a really, really good one -- and she helped me in derailing the negative self-talk and learning to ask for help. I am so glad I took that step.

Be kind to yourself, Gabby, and know that this isn't the end of your story. It's just one really hard chapter.

Take care.
Thank you so very much for your reply. I didn’t think I was unique in feeling the way I do but it’s really helpful to hear from someone who is such a similar situation. It’s so blinking unfair that it so often falls to one child to carry the entire burden and pick up the slack left by the others, but that’s sadly how it is. I have an estranged Narcissistic brother too so I really lucked out in the sibling stakes!

But I’m aware that things could be even more difficult. Mum is managing after a fashion for now. And I don’t live anywhere near her so, although I have a lot of worry, I also have some freedom.

I don’t generally like asking for help either. I feel people are busy enough with their own lives. I do have some lovely friends - I just wouldn’t tell them the depths of despair I sometimes find myself in. I definitely could benefit from some therapy. I have had some help from one of the other charities with free counselling which was good up to a point but I think I need some proper psychotherapy as there’s an awful lot to unpack!

Thanks again for your thoughtful words - I do hope this isn’t going to define the rest of my days…

All the best to you
 

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