Lovely evening - now the guilt!

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by Westie, May 27, 2007.

  1. Westie

    Westie Registered User

    Peter spent last night at his brother's for the first time - his sleepover he called it. He is still there now and I'm collecting him at lunch time.

    My problem now is the guilt I feel. Not for sending him there, but the fact I have really enjoyed him not being at home. An awful thing to say but the truth. It is the first evening/night off since his diagnosis and it was such a joy to spend time alone with my children. Neither of them wanted to do much or go out - just wanted to be home with me. No constant pacing around, interruptions, shouting, going in and out of front door dozens of time - just glorious peace. And what a difference an uninterrupted night's sleep makes!!

    I know I should be looking forward to collecting him but, to be honest again, I would be quite happy if it was next week rather than today.

    Just wanted to get this guilt thing off my chest as can't tell Peter or the children how I feel but hope someone out there will understand.
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Oh I understand, Westie, and you mustn`t feel guilty.

    24/7 hour caring is draining without children, so I can only imagine your struggle when you have children to worry about too.

    How lovely for all of you to have such a pleasant evening together, and how good that you feel so refreshed after just one night.

    Would you not consider regular respite? I don`t suggest this lightly, as I`m resistant to it myself, but if I did have children at home, I would be much more inclined to consider it.

    It would be so good for you to have a regular break to look forwards to. It would be good for your children too.
  3. Megan

    Megan Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Know how you feel

    My husband Colin is only just 58, he has had frontal temporal lobe dementia for four years and four weeks ago was taken into an assessment unit. For the first few nights it was awful, but once I'd adjusted to him not being at home and the, as you say, constant pacings, up and down stairs, changing of clothes at random times etc, etc it became absolute bliss! I also felt very guilty, but we have two older children in their twenties but also a young daughter of 10 and it has been so peaceful at home and we've been able to get our life back to normal, going out and not worrying about where Colin is or what state he will come home in and not having to listen to constant repetitive sentences. Now I really look forward to visiting him at least four times a week and I feel so much more refreshed and relaxed. So don't feel guilty, enjoy the times you have to yourself, Colin doesn't even know what day it is or when I've been in to visit, so it's only my own feelings of guilt that matter, he doesn't get upset when I leave in fact he barely says goodbye!
  4. annesharlie

    annesharlie Registered User

    I am so delighted that Peter's brother has helped you in this way, it would be a good plan to do it on a regular basis, don't forget, his brother WANTS to help out, and also wants to spend some time with his brother while he is able. You do need a sanity break, it sounds like you're living under such huge stress, it would be awful if you had a breakdown or something, it's much better for you to cope if you do have regular breaks.

    Ron went to his mom's for a couple of nights a while ago and I felt such a sense of freedom, just with the knowledge that I was responsible for no one but myself! I thought then that I want to do it each month while we are able - it's nice for Ron to have the break, and really lovely for his mom to have time with him. Ron is not hard to live with at all, but he is often very confused and need a lot of reminding about things, and help with motivation, but nothing like what you're going through. By the way, I felt no guilt, just pure joy at the freedom...
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Westie

    Please don't feel guilt. There's no need at all. You are doing a wonderful job looking after Peter, and to allow his brother to share with you is a gift for all of you. Seize every opportunity you can, and enjoy it with a cler conscience. You desrve it.

  6. SusanR

    SusanR Registered User

    Apr 29, 2007

    No, you should not feel guilty. It is so easy to say it to others. But, guilt is a continuous problem for me - guilt that I sent my husband away. I hope one day it will pass.

  7. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    Yep, I'm there with the guilt today. My sister told my Mum, in no uncertain terms, to call her not me if she was having problems with my Dad this weekend.

    Today I haven't called anyone, don't know how my dad is since I dropped him off yesterday at 9 p.m., and have done nothing productive (except some on-line retail therapy) and it was fabulous, but find it difficult letting go even for 24 hours.

    Feel so much more ready to face tomorrow.

  8. Charlyparly

    Charlyparly Registered User

    Nov 26, 2006
    Hi Westie,

    Don't feel guilty.

    You have to re-charge to be able to carry on working properly.

    It's that simple.

    Take care,

    Charly xx :)
  9. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
  10. Westie

    Westie Registered User

    Thank you all

    Thanks for all your messages of support.

    Nell - a child free weekend as well........miracle! At the moment though it is such a treat to spend decent time with them alone.

    Peter seems to have enjoyed his 'sleepover' and told me he slept really well. Different story from my sister in law who said he was up at least 5 times during the night. Normal night then. They all looked worn out after 1 night so did me good to realise how well I am actually coping with it!! Anyway, they have offered to do it again in 3 weeks time - I jumped at it.

    Annesharlie - how lovely for Ron to be able to spend time with him Mum. Lovely for all of you. Make the most of these relatively 'good' early times.

    The changes in Peter in just 8 months are frightening when I look back. (keeping a diary as suggested by Bruce) Daren't look ahead 8 months - too scary.

    Hope you all have a good day today - I have to plan a birthday. Our daughter is 10 on wednesday. That will be a very bitter/sweet day I think.
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    #11 Grannie G, May 28, 2007
    Last edited: May 28, 2007
    Dear Westie,

    Fantastic!!! On both counts. That you know how well you`re coping and that Peter has been offered another sleepover.

    I hope your daughter has a really happy birthday.
  12. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Westie, you're coping brilliantly!

    Let's hope Peter's family make it a regular date!

    Hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday.


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