My emotional upheavals


Registered User
Oct 15, 2005
Hi everyone

How I have missed TP and am so glad it is there now that I need it more than ever before. When I posted last, I had a wonderful caretaker who left on November 25th after her contract expired as she wished to go back to her young children in a far off town. I had originally planned to have a couple of caretakers to take care of mum in India while I shunted between Germany and India. I am glad I got a timely warning when one of them I had just locked my mum and went shopping while I was in another town looking for assisted living facilities. That and my being down with Sciatica made me realise I can't manage it all alone and that it was now getting to be a question of my retaining my own sanity after "being there" physically and emotionally for my mum for 27 years although the dementia 'developed' only recently.

Well, homes for Dementia patients is still a distant dream here but I managed to find a suitable home (basically a home for seniors) in my mum's own seaside hometown of Mangalore where the food, the language and the weather would all be to her advantage. I have been offered a trial run of 1 month to see how it goes . Finally, I admitted mum yesterday but even long before that and ever since leaving Stuttgart, I have been an emotional wreck - I break down while making a conversation, cannot stop crying, cannot look at the situation objectively or logically. I guess it is not so much about admitting mum in a home which I never wanted to do until safety became a prime issue but the plethora of emotions that are squeezing the muscles of my heart . This disease does not give the kind of closure to a relationship the way death might give - it is a prolonged losing of a person, a relationship, the memory of being. I seem to feel for her exactly in the same way that a mother feels for a child and I do not know how to extricate myself from this reversal of roles. I know and I have read other people's postings in the past about having to admit a loved one to a home but being prepared for all the associated feelings is quite another thing.

My problem is coming to terms with it all, being torn between two locations and two people and trying to do the juggling and balancing act. Just hoping TP will help me balance it all out and keep me from falling into this deep abyss.

Thank you all for listening - am in tears again ... can't type anymore...

Love to all
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Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Sue, It must be so difficult to care from a distance, my heart goes out to you.

I hope your mother settles well,and you are comforted, knowing she is safe,and in a familiar environment.

I beleive the grieving begins with the onset of AD/VAS.DEM. It`s a slow drawn out process and the knife twists without mercy.

You will cope, Sue because you have to. I wish you well. Love Sylvia x


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Hi Sue,
Be kind to yourself love. No wonder you are an emotional mess at the moment - elastic bands can only be stretched so far. You are right, the prolonged grieving can be so difficult to bear; not knowing the timespan involved - how can you pace yourself? You know mum is safe now, so you need to try and give yourself some time to recover.
TP members automatically get waterproof keyboards - so don't worry, the tears can do no harm, they can help you heal though.
Love Helen


Registered User
Apr 30, 2006
Hi sue and welcome back
just want to send you my love and will cope again....just give yourself time....
love xx

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Stimpfig said:
- it is a prolonged losing of a person, a relationship, the memory of being.
Dear Sue, another member here helped me realise that this is not just a 'prolonged' grief (credit to Skye for helping perhaps without realising, thank you!) but a series of losses - reaching one plateau and then suddenly it is gone - which each need to be grieved .... each 'stage' another loss ... and the beginning of a 'new phase' hardly comforting .......

That almost constant state of loss and grief is almost inconceivable ..... except to the friends you have here .....

Much love, Karen, x


Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
Hi Sue

Just a line to say how I feel for you - your heart-strings and nerves are stretched so tightly they must feel as if they are strangling you. This awful disease, it is SO generous ('not', as the kids say) with its capacity for emotional pain & tears.

I do so hope that the month's trial at the Seniors home for your Mum works out, and please try not to panic when the first week or two is a rough ride, as I suspect it may be. Once she adjusts to the 'routine' of her new environment, she will probably settle - you have to believe that, otherwise YOU won't last the month! How long before you have to return to Stuttgart?

Long distance virtual hugs for you ...



Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
Stimpfig said:
Hi everyone

I seem to feel for her exactly in the same way that a mother feels for a child and I do not know how to extricate myself from this reversal of roles.
The role reversal is not, in my opinion, necessarily the worst aspect of AD except, of course that it is a role you never asked for. It can feel unjust and inappropriate, but I think it's possibly worse for people who didn't particularly like their parents or who had difficult relationships with them before AD took hold. And even then, some people with AD actually soften as the disease progresses. I have heard relatives say " Well she was a bit buttoned up and unapproachable when she was younger, but now she seems more uninhibited and agreeable.."

It is hard to suddenly take on the responsibilities of a parent when you may well be beyond the age of new parenthood, with your own creaky health to delay you. The thing is, you don't have to do it. We know now that caring for elderly people with mental health problems takes a lot of skill and support and very few people can do it on their own. There is no shame in arranging the best support you can for your mother. With good luck and a fair wind, it will give both you and her a new lease of life and time to spend with her where you are not completely immersed in the mundane side of caring. The only, probably rather trite, thing I would say about the role reversal is that despite the similarities to childhood and babyhood, there is actually a mature adult within the skin of your relative. Keep respecting the person, however they behave. ( But you didn't need to be told that anyway, did you?)

Oh it's a peculiar universe you enter, but all I can say is that you can only do what you can do. Do not go beating yourself up. Not on any account. Verboten! You are doing the right thing for your mother, and if you think at any stage that better or different things need doing, well do them as and when you can, but just be gentle on yourself. This story is about your life as well as your mother's, and I think you might well start by thinking back on how much you have done, how diligently you have looked after your mother, how phenomenal your commitment has been. Nothing is going to take that away. You love your mother and you will do the very best you can, so try to think positively about yourself (I'm sure TP contributors who know you and read your posts do) because it will help you to face the challenges of the future, I think. Love Deborah


Registered User
Oct 15, 2005
Your words mean a lot to me now.

Thank you so much Lila, Mel, Amy, Grannie, Lynne (your hug is so comforting), Karen and Deborah - for standing by and holding my hand right now. I know there are other members here who might need more instant comfort than I do but presently I am just being selfish and appreciate your objective thoughts, words of love and wisdom more than ever before. Thanks Deb for putting all that in perspective.

Well meaning friends see it as a situation wherein I want to protect my mum from the slightest pain but, they say, pain for every individual is in the end inevitable and that I cannot cushion my mum forever as I have always done . When I visited her the day before, she threw tantrums which made it very difficult for nurses to manage her later - they have asked me to stop visiting for a while to help her settle.

I wonder how others who had posted about their loved ones throwing tantrums (sorry can't think of a better phrase right now) when they visit are faring currently. Any inputs/tips here would be gladly received. For instance, what is the best thing to say when she asks for me (she still has not forgotten me as the most significant person in her life) ?

Am going to a spiritual discourse (from the Vedas) in the evening - and hope I will be able to observe my own feelings, thoughts and behaviour with equanimity giving one the much sought after peace. I have come to think of events as memories and experiences as feelings and both constantly changing.

Thanks again and much love from me to all of you here on TP - I hope to be able to respond to individual posts soon.
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