1. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    If you are wondering why I think an update on here is appropriate....I used to be a regular on here...:eek:

    This year...what a year...regarding Dad, things have not changed that much...(the first time in 10yrs!) except that he has been very slowly now continuing to fade away....although some days he does come back with a vengeance!:p

    As my new career (started in February 2006) has captured my interest, provided me with new and exciting challenges, I have found that after 10yrs of my world being just Dad, Dad, Dad...I too have begun to drift away (although some days I too come back to the world of dementia and Dad with a vengeance! lol)

    I don't know if it is really the career, or whether the career has become my excuse, but something in me seems to have decided that it is time to live again, time to try to let go of the grief, time to do what I had meant to do when life seemed to be just starting for me at 22yrs of age, but what got put off as a result of this tragic disease.

    As the year has passed, I have found that my religious daily visits have wained to every second day, then as I noticed no significant change in Dad, and no apparent hurt showing in his eyes, the visits became weekly and sometimes not at all. Some days I have been disgusted with myself, I have become like the family members of all those other people in the home who never get visitors. How could I do this to my father? Yet my brain seems to have taken over and is refusing to listen to my heart. Maybe its self-preservation, maybe I just like to tell myself that. Yet I find my subconscious is blocking him out, I get home in the evening and am stunned to realise I had forgotten about even thinking of visiting...and I guess I've decided to stop fighting that, evil though that may make me be. I've tried being a saint for so long and frankly I kinda think its overrated..Oh I can be a shocker!

    I joke about it, but in some ways I have been wondering, I have been wondering if my attempts to be saintly in a way have had an unsaintly result. I suspect my regular visits are prolonging Dad's life, which is wonderful if that is what he wants but terrible if he's only doing it for my sake...fighting the good fight, so that his daughter doesn't cry. I want my Daddy to let go, if that is what he wants...Oh I don't understand any of this. The arguments in my head are enough to give someone dementia!

    So I have been slowly letting him go....don't get me wrong, there's a whole other side of me that things this is wrong, but I have been trying to ignore that voice, as it has had its time, and its kind of like enough already Natalie. Dad was always a practical man, he would have so objected to me not living life.

    As I mentioned in another post on here, I have even made the huge decision to leave, to move away 2000kms. I suspect people think I am running away, but I have thought about it a lot and to me it just seems like it is time.:confused: When I mentioned this to my husband, whether he thought I was just running away, he said if I didnt make this move, I would be running away from life itself...

    The surprising consequence (?) of my decision, although I have been assured that this event is not actually because of my move...is that my father is actually going to be taken home. After years now of me being sad and angry about my father having to live in a home, in the city where i live rather than near where he used to live, where all of his friends and family were close by it turns out that the moment I decide to leave, my mother has decided that she is not happy about the care he is receiving in the home, feels that she is now able to cope with looking after him again, has put a plan into action to use the money saved by not having to pay for the costs of the home, to hire in-house helpers to help her care for Dad. So it seems that as I let go, my father gets to be returned to where his heart truly lies anyway, his home town, his people, his friends....and that makes me happy.

    Funny how things happen.

    P.S. Despite my absences from posting as frequently as I used to, I do think of you all regularly and come in and every now and then to catch up on your lives, my love goes out to those of you who have now lost your loved ones and those that continue to be carers.
     
  2. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    1,665
    Hi Nat

    You've got a life to live honey, so go live it .................i'm sure that its what your Dad would want, i'd want that for my child if i was in your Dads position.

    Thats the thing with guilt, we feel guilty about not feeling guilty!!!!:eek:

    You seem to know where your going and how to get there, so go for it and don't look back............good luck to you honey.

    Love Alex x
     
  3. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Hi Nat, thanks for the update.

    Alex has said it all so well, I will just endorse her wise words.

    Take care sweetheart. Love,
     
  4. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    Dear Nat,
    Are you going East to West, or West to East??!! (OR even North - South??!!)
    Sounds like a fabulous decision for you and the right one at this time.

    No-one doubts your love and commitment to your Dad and I'm sure he would want this for you and your husband if he could let you know.

    Make the most of a wonderful new start and really ENJOY your life! As my sister says "this aint no rehearsal - it's the only life we got"!!

    Every best wish for happiness and health.
     
  5. blue sea

    blue sea Registered User

    Aug 24, 2005
    270
    England
    Hi Nat
    I always used to read your posts and marvel at your commitment to your father.. To be honest they made me feel rather guilty as I could not give up my life in that way. I am sure you are making the best decision. Your love for your father is not diminished, rather strengthened, by your choice of seizing the chance of living your own life. Good luck!
    blue sea
     
  6. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Registered User

    Aug 23, 2007
    36
    #6 Cymbaline, Sep 3, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
    Hi Nat

    I'm glad that you're striking out on your own. I know where you're coming from because my mum developed Alzheimers when I was in my early 20s as well and for better or for worse, it has been a big part of my adult life. Even though I've had countless people tell me that I need to live my own life etc., it really is hard to let go and do that. I don't think anyone who hasn't had to live with something like Alzheimers truly understands what it's like to be torn between the urge to help our parents and the need to get on with our own lives.

    I've a friend (who grew up with a father who later died of MS) who says things have a way of working themselves out and for what it's worth, I think she's right. I've had rough periods of my life where I've almost climbed the walls with worry over what would happen at home (including last year when my dad, who's my mum's carer, was diagnosed with prostate cancer) but somehow solutions have always cropped up. Your story is evidence of this.

    You are NOT running away either. Your father would never have wanted you to put your life on hold for him and if he was in the full of his health, he would have been so delighted at your success in your career. We can be our own worst enemies at times by allowing ourselves to be sucked into the Alzheimers whirlpool.

    I wish you well and hope things are more straightforward for you from now on xx
     
  7. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    785
    Buckinghamshire
    Dear Natalie,
    Your posts have struck many a chord with me, and your dedication to your father, even your appearance (in the wedding photos you shared with us) have always reminded me of our daughter. And now, the conclusion of your post is making me think that so often, we take our worrying just that little too far ....... in your wildest dreams you could not have imagined that your father would be 'going home' again. Yet, just at this crucial moment in your life, this is what is happening. I hope it will make your departure and your new start that much easier.
    Best wishes! C.
     
  8. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    542
    Dear Natalie

    Thanks for posting your update. I have drawn great strength from it. I have read many of your posts and admire what you've done for your dad (and I'm sure this will continue, albeit from a distance).

    The last few weeks, I've felt a weariness creep over me with mum's illness. She's early stages and yet the logistics of managing it and her life and mine sometimes seems quite overwhelming. Reading your post has made me realise that we are still their children, not their carers and it's good to be reminded of that fact from time to time!

    Thank you and I wish you and hubby well for the future. Also hope the move restores your libido!! :D

    Do post back from time to time; your down to earth posts are just what the doctor ordered.
     

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