Just Need To Talk Really

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by DNMATHER, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. DNMATHER

    DNMATHER Registered User

    Mar 1, 2008
    8
    #1 DNMATHER, Mar 1, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
    My Mum was ok till she lost a son five years ago to cancer, 4 weeks from diagnosis he died at 51. We noticed her changing about 18 months ago, just little things. Now, she still lives in her own flat, but hates being on her own, so my sister and I do it in turns to have her as much as possible on alternate days. Because my husband has had to leave work because of cancer, although in remission now, I have had to go back to work full-time. I go to see Mum each morning to give her breakfast, then my husband goes up, and if my sister is due her day off, my husband has her back at our house until I get home and then we take her home about 7 at night and make sure she's settled in. However, I feel like I'm leaving a young child on her own.

    The weekends my sister and I alternate Saturday and Sundays. Today I have had Mum and I have just dropped her off. I have cried and cried since returning home. I hate myself for being so irritable with her. My brother who has moved to Kent, even though he knew there was something going on with her, sent her a little butterfly brooch and a card and she hasn't stopped going on about them all day. When I sat her down in front of the tv she criticised everything I put on for her. I have an 11 year old and it's so hard on him, he is great with her, but he sees how stressed I get. I want so much to have more time with him and his older sister, but at the weekend all my energies go into looking after Mum.

    A fortnight ago, my sister and I actually came to blows with each other, things boiled over because both of us are tired. She said I didn't have to work, etc. etc.... load of cobblers as I remortgaged not so long ago and my mortgage payment is really high now, and said that I wasn't the one looking after Mum, my husband was. I haven't spoken to her since as I was cut to the quick. My Dad left my Mum when I was in my early teens. He left her penniless, with 5 children, and I didn't go to University so I could earn money to help her, and as the eldest daughter I felt she needed me. She has been my best friend and I have always had a different relationship with her than my sister. To say the things she did I am finding it hard to forgive. I had just got my husband through stem cell transplantation, going backwards and forwards from the Isle of Man to Liverpool for his treatments, sometimes once a week, and was getting him back on his feet, then Mum started going downhill.

    What I find the worst is trying to be continually patient and understanding when the person you have always known is changing into someone who is so different. But I find it frustrating because there are times when the person I know as Mum comes back for a short time and is more like her old self, but then she disappears. I even said to my husband tonight that I don't want her go on like this, I'd rather she died. When I get irritable with her I just know that if anything does ever happen to her, which it will one day, I will regret every moment I have not treasured with her, because I know that's the way I feel about my brother now that he is not here, and I keep trying to remember how much I miss him and wish he was here.

    Mum knows there is something wrong with her, I'm sure, but she won't admit it to herself. She has had a couple of visits to the doctor where he has asked her questions and her score has come out awful. I felt so bad for her because I couldn't help her and she was looking at me as if I was letting her down. She refuses now to have anything to do with doctors and certainly wouldn't let us get anyone in to keep her company the odd day. My sister and I take care of all her cooking and cleaning and hygiene care when she's at our houses. But with both of us having young families it is so hard to be with her all the time. I just thank goodness that my husband went through a similar thing with his own Mum, but she was more open to having outside help, otherwise I think he would have left me by now.

    I'd be so grateful to hear from anyone who understands.
     
  2. rhallacroz

    rhallacroz Registered User

    Sep 24, 2007
    106
    merseyside
    I understand

    Hi There
    We are all on the same journey. We must try and be our own best friend not easy on this journey. I am in a similar position to yourself in that i care for dad and have 2 young children 8 and 11 Who are marvellous and care for dad in the same way as myself even changing his pads and caring as one has to do. It is an awful journey slow bereavement. All we can do is gleam strength from each other and get through each day. TRY and get the support in place if you can sooner rather than later. Not easy I started to get help in for dad in February and now we are almost at the point of full time care. I am lucky in that i get wonderful support from NHS and social services. It is so hard and i like you wonder when it will all end and will life ever get back on track. Please feel free to post as much as you like even privately we all understand here.
    Lots of love and support
    Angela x
     
  3. melly

    melly Registered User

    Mar 1, 2008
    19
    I completely understand how you are feeling...It is honestly like listening to myself talking!

    My sister and I talk often about how guilty we feelwhen we get frustrated with mum. She is so precious to us and I want to treasure every moment but find it difficult to be as close to her because she is so different.

    As Angela said, we are all going through the same thing and just talking to other people will hopefully help you get through this.

    Take care:)
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,879
    Kent
    And I understand too

    And I`m sure everyone on TP understands.

    What a lot you have on your plate, you certainly don`t need family arguments as well. It is probably because you and your sister are both under so much stress, your frustrations are bound to surface eventually.

    The story about your mother`s reaction to the brooch and card from your brother brought back memories for me. We were caring for my grandmother and all she could talk about was her wonderful son who lived abroad and sent her loving letters, while we did all the work and had all the responsibility.

    I hope the support you get from TP members will help you feel less alone. Please keep posting. You`re among friends here.

    Take care xx
     
  5. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    dnmather
    When I read your post it brought back some very uncomfortable memories for me. Dad has had Vas dem and was diagnosed 5 years ago. At this time my children were 6 months and 5 years. Unfortunately dads illness happened very suddenly after being admitted to hospital he has been in and out ever since. I tried to help him remain independent for about a year. Before his last admission he was in an EMI home. Its hard enough coping with looking after a relative with this dreadful disease, but to have to put up with family bust ups, and grief over your brother is too much. My situation was that my two other sisters wouldn't have anything to do with Dad and I just can't describe the feelings, it was intolerable. I used to think that as a family we would be able to rally round but sadly this was not to be the case and it often happens that the burden is placed on just one person. However I now have accepted the situation and just get on with things on my own (with the fantastic support of my husband and 10 year old son )I wish I could give you more practical advice, but I think in time you will be able to sort things when you have to. My thoughts really go out to you at this time, try and keep yourself strong. In time you will be able to deal with the family issues surrounding your mums situation.
    take care
    hendy
     
  6. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    #6 Lynne, Mar 2, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2008
    Hi DNMather

    I second that, and how! I'm sure many Talking Point readers & contributors were sitting nodding their heads, as I was, and SO much identifying with you.
    I have one brother, who lives in Australia - you know, where the sun shines from ...!! Not to be unjust to him, he has helped financially & has visited twice in the past 4 years, but I get the impression that Mum won't see him visit again now, although at the moment she would still know him & benefit from seeing him. But such a visit would be SO painful for him, he would rather remember the vital, witty person she was (so would I!) And I can't really blame him, but it is galling to keep hearing her tell people about her wonderful son who has made such a success of his life. Her daughter, of course, just lives at home with Mum... She used to work, but she doesn't now:mad: :eek: .. Give me strength!

    (Actually I used to have a career; I took redundancy & now I have £7 per DAY Carer's Allowance - Yippee - and more emotional stress than I ever thought possible. And I KNOW that many other carers have had to completely disrupt their lives too, It's not just myself I feel sorry for)
    Me too hun, me too.

    Best wishes
     
  7. BeverleyY

    BeverleyY Registered User

    Jan 29, 2008
    716
    Ashford, Kent
    To all those of you who have siblings that do less... but appear to have the sun shining out of their behinds:

    I have one of these, and spent many a tiff with my Mum telling her just what I thought of my sister.

    Now, sadly Mum has gone (she died 6 weeks ago), and I have realised that the reason the sun shone so brightly, was because it was my Mum's way of protecting herself.

    She couldn't bring herself to say that my sister couldn't be bothered with her... it was easier (less painful) for her to make an excuse for my sister... she can't because she is this.. or that.

    I wish now that I had not said those things to my Mum a) because I regret highlighting the fact that my sister couldn't be bothered and b) because I regret having cross words with my Mum:(

    If she were only here with me now, I would sit and listen to every story of how wonderful my sister is, even if I was boiling inside.

    So remember.... if you do have a sibling that appears to be the golden child... your parent probably does know deep down.

    Two weeks before she died, for the first time ever.. my Mum told me that she knew what I had done, and that she realised my sister was not so forthcoming. Whilst hearing the kind words my Mum said to me that day was precious, at the same time as being happy for me, I felt sad for her, because she was admitting that her eldest daughter just didn't have the same depth of love/committment as I do.

    Best wishes to you all.

    Beverley x
     
  8. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    558
    Stow-on-the-Wold
    What a sorry tale which is all too common on TP. There is so much to comment on in your posting but I will limit myself to one. As one who is well into old age I feel very strongly that the very young are entitled to as much love and attention as we can give to them and I would be angry if my daughter paid more attention to me and my wife's needs over those of my grandchildren.

    Old age is a short and final episode in life, childhood is just the beginning of a long journey and you should cherish the short time you have to accompany your son on that exciting period of his life.

    Life has taught me that nothing worthwile in life is easy and you have some very difficult decisions to make.

    Love

    Dick
     
  9. DNMATHER

    DNMATHER Registered User

    Mar 1, 2008
    8
    Wow, What A Difference Having You All Out There

    When I first looked tonight I didn't have any replies and when I looked again I had 7. I feel so happy. This is the best thing ever. I've never done this sort of thing before, like chatting on-line or anything. Can't believe how heartened I feel having read my messages. Even though you don't know anyone, what they look like or anything, words are so powerful aren't they. I love it.

    Anway, my sister had Mum yesterday most of the day as it was her grandson's 2nd birthday and Mum loves to see him as she isn't expected to be anything other than the way she is with him. I spent the day thinking about Saturday and how I must try harder, even when I'm tired, to be more patient, because I can't stand the thought that the latest memory of me and her together might be one of upset. But tonight, we've had her down for tea and she has been really bright and it's been great. How frustrating is this disease. I cried after taking her back home because she was so much like her old self, even gave my son a couple of pound notes out of her purse, which she hasn't done for ages. When she's like that you just wish it would last, but it doesn't. Tomorrow she might be diffent again, anxious, confused, frail.

    Although my sister and I fell out a couple of weeks ago, and I'm still hurt, things were said on both sides. But I know it will work itself out because we have all been so close over the years. I do get resentful because my brothers are away and we are left to cope, and the stress on both my sister and I has led to it boiling over and, typically, you shout at each other because you want them to feel and understand your pain, but it's hard when each of you are feeling the same way. For now, my husband remains the go-between, so we'll see how it goes. For now, I'm just going to enjoy the feeling of being a littler happier than I was on Saturday. Thanks everyone for your words - it's been a real shot in the arm, and I am going to go on here every night I can.
     
  10. DNMATHER

    DNMATHER Registered User

    Mar 1, 2008
    8
    You are lovely

    Dick, thank you so much for taking time to reply. My daughter, 18, and son, 11, are my joy and have been so supportive. I think sometimes it is a good thing that they see that sometimes life isn't all rose-tinted and that it can be very hard at times. Fortunately, the days we have got free time we make the most of it if we can. Although it is trying, it does have its funny side, with some of the things she comes out with, when you have to laugh. It's all part of life's rich tapestry eh? I guess one day we'll all get to understand what's behind it all, just what this life really is all about. Anyway, take care Dick, and remember, age is just a number, you are always 18 in your head if you are lucky.
     
  11. DNMATHER

    DNMATHER Registered User

    Mar 1, 2008
    8
    Thanks for that

    I suppose the relationship that a mother has with each of their children is different. I accept that. My husband had with his mum, his brother hardly bothered. My sister and my brothers have always been brought up to be very close, I think that that suited Mum after my Dad left her, but it's probably been too close really, now it feels as if we are all feeling that now Mum is ailing, it's like the glue that has kept us all fixed together for so long is coming apart. My sister does her bit, just like me, I know that. I do feel I could kick by brothers up their backsides though, but what can you do.
     
  12. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    #12 117katie, Mar 3, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2008
    You use the word (?)’ok’ and I am beginning to wonder about any definition of ‘ok’. You are feeling that you are “leaving a young child on her own” – that is how she is now, she resembles a young child to you. Which is why she needs you to cope.

    You and your sister “came to blows” – which may be something you will have to get used to gradually, and also to learn how to handle …. gradually and slowly.

    Of course you are both tired … and you will become even more tired. As we all do, when trying to cope, which is becoming my preferred word.

    ‘care’ seems so obvious.
    Of course I care.
    Of course I love.
    Of course I try. ​
    But then I am left trying to COPE with my love and my caring and my trying.


    COPE is not a selfish word; it is a word that originally was used to describe a brick, laid sideways at the top of a wall.
    And that is how I feel sometimes: like a brick laid sideways on the top of a wall. Being hammered down and down into its allotted place and space.
    Or alternatively, a sort-of cape – meaning a cloak, or something that you place over your head, shoulders, arms, and so on, right down to the ground … to PROTECT you from whatever may be coming your way.

    You are coping … not only for yourself, but for your Mum. Just as she did for you and your sister and whoever else was in her younger years.

    I am sure your Mum doesn’t look at you as if you are letting her down.

    Personally, I can only suggest that you forget to worry about sibling(s) that may be doing less than you are doing. That is their problem – not your worry. If worrying about your sibling’s self-image is more important than your own, then …. Where are you now? Are you in today or in yesterday? And where will your future lie?

    Is your Mum more important to your today than your sibling? Yes, perhaps. No, perhaps not. As long as you are happy with YOURSELF, then why should you worry about your sibling(s)?

    As Dick said: “the very young are entitled to as much love and attention as we can give to them.”

    And you and your husband are also entitled to as much love and attention as we can give you, or as you can give to him and to yourself.

    So, keep trying to smile, day by day by day.

    Katie
     
  13. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    1,213
    south lanarkshire
    Hi DickG

    My Parent's in their right mind would so agree with you, that the children have to come first.

    Unfortunately, they are not now, in their right mind and Mum especially is like a child herself.

    I have been so wrapped up in the care of my parent's, that I have missed quite a lot of my grandchildren's life. I haven't been there for them, because I haven't had the time.

    I have also been quite stressed from caring, so that, I haven't been relaxed enough to enjoy my grandchildren.

    I admire your attitude, being a carer yourself, you haven't let it engulf you

    Take care
    Alfjess
     
  14. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,879
    Kent
    Dear Alfjess,

    I`ve also missed a lot of my grandchildren`s lives. It`s ironical really as we moved down here to be nearer to them.

    At the beginning, I took them to school three days a week and picked them up, made their tea and helped with their homework till mum and dad came home. It was a good time. I had 2 hours with them in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon/evening.

    But then Dhiren became very confused. He didn`t know where I was, he was frightened I`d have an accident, and he didn`t like me going out early in the morning.

    So I had to put him first. The children had their parents. Dhiren only had me.
     
  15. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #15 Margarita, Mar 3, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
    Your so right .

    Oh what a silly argument I had with my mother to day all about a pie she said she not not want, so I gave her soup like she said she wanted . then an hour later she says where my pie !

    Then tell me where she going to go to get a decent meal , So I tell in a Care home :D, where she come out with This is my house also I am not going anywhere . so I tell I am leaving, she says lots of elderly people live alone and she got grandchildren that look after her ( as if ) . ( well blow me down I have never heard her talk so much ) she tell me never to tell her to go in to care home again , all of a sudden she holding her chest , saying she having a heart attack . I won't comment on what I answered

    I know if may sound cruel to of said care home to her . it really upset her that she would not stop , wailing pretending that she was crying , so told her that if she does not stop I am walking out of the house . She stop :rolleyes:



    before AZ did this kind of argument happen to us No , because she would of cook her own food . I hate the feeling of my mother being so depended on me , as I know how I would hate to be so depended on my children. I'm thinking with a logic mind now , but dame I hate it really as mum not thinking with a logic mind and I still end up having childish arguments with her . oh well and life go on !
     
  16. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Dear DNMather (do you have a more personal name we can call you?), it sounds to me like you and your sister are stars, and of course you are stressed with a young family and your mum's illness to cope with, and of course there will be some conflicts, but it seems that you both accept them and will get over them. It is so understandable.

    I know what you have said, but maybe the time has come to enlist the help of social services and their daycare facilities. Yes, mum has said she doesn't want them, but it's surprising what mums will accept eventually. Let's face it, you are not going to have a lovely life looking after your mum easily, it is going to get harder and harder, and with a young family all the more so. We cannot be perfect to everyone, it isn't possible. We can be responsible, yes, and do our best, that is all that can be asked.

    In my case I have no siblings, neither does my husband, and two grown up daughters who live miles away, so everything is down to me. I am giving up work next year so that I can spend more time with mum, but I am not giving up BECAUSE of her, but for other reasons, and maybe I can enjoy some time with her. But if I had children to cope with as well, well, you are probably asking the impossible. Do you best, love, accept if it isn't perfect. You and your husband and children are people too.

    Much love

    Margaret
     
  17. DNMATHER

    DNMATHER Registered User

    Mar 1, 2008
    8
    Thanks For That

    Hi Margarita, for some reason, when I was reading your message I found myself smiling, because it was the way it was phrased. You sound like a really lovely person and thanks for taking the time out to spread a little joy, it worked on me a treat.
     
  18. DNMATHER

    DNMATHER Registered User

    Mar 1, 2008
    8
    Just want to say thank you for bringing a smile to my lips

    Hi Margarita, for some reason, when I was reading your message I found myself smiling, because it was the way it was phrased. You sound like a really lovely person and thanks for taking the time out to spread a little joy, it worked on me a treat.
     
  19. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #19 Margarita, Mar 4, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
    My mother does do my mind in , she mind blowing :D

    I went today for my first session of talk therapy, therapist tell me what triggering all theirs feeling I am feeling , she says I have an hours ( thank - god I thought ) she writing my whole life down since it all started with my father passing away 02 till now .

    she says that its a wonder with all the people I am caring for its a wonder I have not had a mental breakdown ( I put my hand up ! I have, but I I have ! Joke ! )

    she did ask about how I was feeling what feeling come up when I think of mum without medication of AZ, I found the session really good because its not like counseling where you just talk to a person , she giving me feed back . tell me that I must find time to just for myself even if its a walk with head phone listening to music .

    she ask me what goals I have for the future . I had to smile because I thought to myself I don't have any I am 49 at my age have goals :eek:

    well do really its-doing some voluntary work in a charity shop one day a week , then get mum in care home me going back to work full time as I like connecting being around people , where she tell me that be easy because government are encouraging people to go back to work and I would still be caring for mum , but in a different way .
    ( all sounds positive but putting it into reality is a different thing )

    So when I go home and mum get back from day centre memory nurse rings , cut long story short they going to do an assessment on her at AZ day centre , as it be easier to distract her they if she gets upset , then I hear mum walking towards the room while I am talking to memory nurse , God I do not want her to hear I am planning to put her in care home so have to cut short conversation memory nurse will arrange with AZ day centre for all of us to meet they for the assessment on mum memory , find out what happing with her mood changes and medication she on

    As I put phone down , mum says to me , don't abandon me please , don't abandon me put me in Care home I would have 3 heart attack and die . I really really had to hold it in , in trying to sit her down make her see the logic and reality that I am would never abandon her, that going to a care home is not in my perception abandoning her .

    so I kiss her , said don't worry I won't . then rush around looking for something to clean to stop me from trying to convince her other wise I would never of heard the last of it , and I would of ended up having an argument .

    See I am learning :D
     
  20. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    .................................................
     

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