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I'm not getting any better at this

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
0
Cotswolds
Could cry for you CG, when you're feeling so down. Looks like a big Group Hug has already formed on here, and I'd like to join in. There don't seem to be any answers, and I sometimes think about how one case of Alzheimer's can end up affecting so many members of a family, the Carers, then those who try to support the Carers, and the children who are having to learn about things they're not ready for. You are piggy in the middle, the worst place to be when you should be enjoying life, and you're doing so well, but no wonder your spirits are low.

Speaking as my husband's carer, and observing how my daughters in law are doing their best to help, I worry about Christmas too. This year we are going to spend Christmas Day with the son who's turn it is to have us, ( they think I haven't noticed) but we're driving home next morning as it's only Christmas Day that matters. Next year, further down the line, I think that if my husband and I spent Christmas Day on our own, my husband would accept a quiet day with the TV for company, and although my daughters in law would be concerned, I know it would be a treat for them to be able to do their own thing. One family love to go to their place in a ski resort the other likes to go to friends in Italy. Yes, I'd feel a bit sad, but when I think of the millions of people whose Christmas is so much worse... We're lucky to have warmth and comfort and food on the table.....

Oh dear, I do hope that didn't read like a sanctimonious lecture! What I suppose I'm saying is that it is possible to consider alternatives to a duty family Christmas. You might even find that your father welcomes the idea.
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,525
0
North East England
I just can't bear the idea of them being alone on Christmas Day. Mam won't be aware, so it's almost as though dad would be on his own, abandoned.

If mam wasn't so nasty and aggressive, even violent, it wouldn't matter. We can cope with everything else. But I can't spoil Christmas for my daughter. She's only 14. I know she's not a young child, but she's still young enough to be excited that it's Christmas, you know? Her nana's behaviour made her feel ill on Saturday. I think the anxiety builds up inside her until she feels poorly.

How do I keep everyone happy?

Even with respite - dad wouldn't be happy.

I just don't know what I'm going to do, or how I'm even going to talk to him about it.

I wish I could cancel Christmas altogether, to be honest.
 

angecmc

Registered User
Dec 25, 2012
2,108
0
hertfordshire
I just can't bear the idea of them being alone on Christmas Day. Mam won't be aware, so it's almost as though dad would be on his own, abandoned.

If mam wasn't so nasty and aggressive, even violent, it wouldn't matter. We can cope with everything else. But I can't spoil Christmas for my daughter. She's only 14. I know she's not a young child, but she's still young enough to be excited that it's Christmas, you know? Her nana's behaviour made her feel ill on Saturday. I think the anxiety builds up inside her until she feels poorly.

How do I keep everyone happy?

Even with respite - dad wouldn't be happy.

I just don't know what I'm going to do, or how I'm even going to talk to him about it.

I wish I could cancel Christmas altogether, to be honest.

Hi CollegeGirl, oh how I feel for you this Christmas thing is a nightmare isnt it especially when you think it really is just one day. I have to say, I feel you must put your daughter first before even your Dad, my children are both grown up now but my youngest son now 19 told me only yesterday how Christmas for him was a let down for all those years, we always had either my Mum and Dad or my MIL for Christmas which was ok until Mum became ill, he now tells me that he and his brother hated that every Christmas Day was spoilt by my Mum or MIL as everybody was uptight for the whole day. I have told both my two that for Christmas I am happy as long as we speak briefly on the phone, I will not expect them to worry about what me and their Dad are doing each Christmas. I am also sorry that the respite has hit a hitch for you and your Dad. Lets hope it is just a blip. Take care xx

Ange
 

loveahug

Registered User
Nov 28, 2012
1,071
0
Moved to Leicester
Hi CG

is there any way you can do dinner for the family at lunch time and take Mum and Dad's to them afterwards, along with crackers and presents to make it nice occasion? Or get them both into respite together for the day and then spend Boxing day with them? I apologise if I'm putting hoof into mouth.....

Hugs
 

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
0
Cotswolds
I agree.CG. Do you know, sometimes I get quite annoyed by all the hype about Christmas, and fantasise about marching along Oxford Street with a placard saying "HUMBUG". There must be thousands who are NOT excited about Christmas, or who anticipate it with dread.

Wish there was a solution for you CG. I feel for you, and your dad. Luckily my husband reserves his nastiness and aggression for me. Is your mum aggressive to him as well as others?
 
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CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,525
0
North East England
No hoofs in mouths, no worries, all suggestions welcome and considered, thank you :).

However, have decided not to think about it any more until nearer the day otherwise will drive myself bonkers with it, no offence meant :eek:

Who knows what will be happening in two months' time? Things might be completely different by then.

Thank you all for your kind words, they mean a lot xxx
 

Florriep

Registered User
Jul 31, 2012
56
0
Kent
Hi CG - Sorry you've had such a difficult weekend. Piggy in the middle is a horrible place to be. Of course you want to support your parents and look after your children - sometimes its impossible to do successfully but that doesn't stop everyone looking for the wave of your magic wand, making everything right!

Christmas has become such a massive pressurised hype, with so many unrealistic expectations. Could you get away with spreading it over two days - with and without parents so eveyone gets a piece of action?

I was going to suggest trying to put it out your mind for now as things can change so rapidly - but as you've already decided to do that, I'll just add my hugs to the collective pot and hope you're now recovering from the weekend.
 

Wildflower

Registered User
Apr 6, 2013
227
0
Brighton
I think Christmas should be a religious celebration for those who believe, and a fun time for children to look forward to and enjoy. I deeply dislike the commercialisation and the exploitation of people who are conned into spending money they often don't have, or being made to feel guilty for whatever reason, including trying to please various relatives and attempts at the usually impossible task of making a dementia sufferer happy for the day without ruining it for everyone else. No one should be made to feel they have to deliver 'The perfect day'

I don't have young children now, and so I avoid the hype as much as possible. Last year I bought dad some little token gifts, he didn't understand, asked me to unwrap them and them gave them back to me and said he didn't want them. This year I'm not getting him any. He will have one of his favourite meals, which is not turkey.

You can't keep everyone happy College Girl. Concentrate on your daughter, and be kind to yourself. x
 

tiggs72

Registered User
Jul 15, 2013
142
0
Oh if only I could. Can't abandon dad, though. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't let mam go into respite over Christmas unless it was absolutely necessary, but I will try to broach it with him because that would be the answer, if he would allow it.

Sorry, I've been so miserable since Saturday I haven't even said thank you for everyone's support. So, thank you.

xx

Never apologise we are all in this position at one time or another. I can't even think about Xmas - dad won't even consider coming to mine for lunch as he has ' too many chores'?! It will be our first Xmas without him - Easter was a disaster within 20 mins he wanted to be home.

Whilst dad is still pleasant to me there are so many other traits that drive me to distraction and then leave me wracked with guilt in the middle of the nite.

Xx
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,525
0
North East England
Thank you all. I feel a bit better since I decided that I'm simply not going to brood over it yet. We've just got over one hurdle and I can't spend the next two months worrying about the next one.

If I absolutely have to choose who to make happy on Christmas Day, it will be my daughter.

I've been reading lots of other posts today and this isn't the worst problem that anyone has ever faced. There are lots of people worse off than me so I need to stop bleating. Yes, it's hard, but it's not the hardest. We'll manage.

Thank you all, hugs and much love to you all xx
 

kingmidas1962

Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
3,535
0
South Gloucs
I don't want to make you think about it again, but could mum be in respite for Christmas day, and could dad visit and have lunch with her there? Apologies if this is a stupid idea ....

I totally agree by the way that Christmas is for children. My daughter is 15 going on 21 but even she says its a day she likes to spend just with us .... last year we had my mum with us and although it was tolerable all day I wished she wasn't there.
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,525
0
North East England
Thank you for your hugs, Chris.

KingM - not at all a stupid idea, it's something that has crossed my mind. I've been reading your positive thinking thread and am trying to look for positives xx
 

kingmidas1962

Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
3,535
0
South Gloucs
It's very hard to think positive when seemingly there are no positives to be found. But even if it's the nugget of an idea that makes you think 'maybe, just maybe...' it's got to be worth a try ... or at least thinking about ....

Never forget that you're a good person doing your best in near impossible circumstances xxx
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,525
0
North East England
I keep telling myself that however bad it is for me, it's infinitely worse for my dad. After all, here I am, leisurely on my ipad, sitting with my hubby, watching an interesting programme on the telly that we keep chatting about, having real and meaningful conversation. When we're tired we'll go to bed, together, at the same time, and snuggle down knowing that tomorrow will follow a similar pattern.

I wish my parents had that life again, and not the unpredictable, fraught one they have now.
 

kingmidas1962

Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
3,535
0
South Gloucs
I wish that too ... that my parents could go back, I mean. I also wish that they had acknowledged that there was a problem instead of burying their heads in the sand and leaving it too late for it to be anything other than a massive crisis. I hope at least to learn from their mistakes. ...
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,289
0
SW London
Oh, lord, Christmas can be such a nightmare once dementia is added in. The last Christmas my mother was supposed to come, my sister and niece had come from the US and I was just about to go and fetch them all when my sister phoned to say my mother didn't feel up to all the fuss and kerfuffle - she'd really rather stay quietly at home. Her dementia wasn't too bad then, so I went to fetch the others and took all my mother's presents and some nice food. And I don't mind admitting I was secretly thinking, Thank heaven! since she had had a 'nasty' phase the previous Christmas, made a horrible atmosphere and upset me very badly.

Scroll on a few hours, everyone else out at the cinema, and she's on the phone, spouting so much vitriol - what was she doing all on her own on Christmas Eve - what sort of daughter was I? she was cutting me out of her will, you can imagine. It was no use protesting that of COURSE she'd been invited, it had been her decision not to come - I would come and fetch her now if she'd changed her mind. No, she didn't want to come,
she'd rather stay at home anyway. I was in tears for ages, but by the next day of course she'd forgotten all about it.

After that siblings and us took turns to go to her at Christmas but really the change of routine and extra people was too much - she would soon get irritable and TBH never had a clue it was Christmas anyway. After she finally went into the CH we settled for just visiting in the morning, and of course now she never has any idea of its being a special day, even though the CH make such an effort.

What is so sad is that pre dementia it was always lovely to have her - she would bring a load of her lovely mince pies and even the dog was so pleased to see granny arrive, she'd be wagging her tail like mad...

My heart goes out to everyone dreading Christmas/dementia nightmares - it really does.
 
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