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The guilt is eating away at me. Again.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by SarahL, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. SarahL

    SarahL Registered User

    Dec 1, 2012
    #1 SarahL, Mar 25, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
    I apologise for writing again but I cannot seem to shake off the guilt of Mum being sectioned and going into the CH. I keep thinking if I had done more for her, kept her company and not so isolated that the disease wouldn't have progressed in this way. I did as much as I could in very difficult circumstances and even though I know things couldn't go on as they were, I still feel muddled about it all as she suffered from terrible loneliness when she was at home. It's when she tells me she's lonely 'at home' now (even though she's in the care home) which she did today when I was visiting, that has triggered this guilt I think.
  2. blandford516

    blandford516 Registered User

    May 16, 2012
    Hi SarahL,

    I haven't been on here for a while ,but can totally understand how you are feeling . Guilt is normal and in time you will see your mum more settled . Please don't let your feelings get the better of you . You know you did your upmost for your mum and now perhaps it is time for others to look after her needs and you can spend quality time with your mum . Everyone one reaches a point where it becomes more difficult to manage and you like many on here feel the same guilt . It becomes easier in time x
  3. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Dear SarahL, for our mums its the terrible illness of Dementia, for daughters and other carers its the terrible illness of guilt. My mum is still with me in my home, but not a week goes by without my questioning have I done enough? did I do it right? My biggest guilt trip was had I moved her to soon to live with me and could she have had a month or 2 more of independent living?

    You have done the right thing, try not to let the guilt take hold. When I feel it coming on, I look at my mum and realise she is now safe, well fed, has my company and actually has some sort of social life.
  4. SarahL

    SarahL Registered User

    Dec 1, 2012
    Thank you both. I am spending quality time now with Mum which is lovely. I think the abuse from the past years will slowly ebb away. It is comforting to know that despite all the guilt, we have done the right thing for our Mums and their safety (and ourselves).x
  5. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Sarah, I don't know all the details of your and your mum's situation but your thread struck a nerve with me. My mother was admitted to hospital after being found outdoors in the cold, disoriented, and injured. From hospital she went to a care home. This was in February. I knew she was having issues but never really suspected dementia/Alzheimer's until the hospital stay.

    I think it's very difficult not to have some feelings of guilt. I know I lose sleep at night thinking about what I did and did not do and how that could have changed things. In the light of day, I know that I didn't make my mother get this dreadful disease. At night, I worry about her having to leave her home of over 20 years and the city she lived in her entire adult life and what a cruel and awful daughter I must be (as she constantly tells me). Again, I know that she is now somewhere safe, with proper meals and getting the right medication. No worrying about her getting behind the wheel of her car and killing herself or someone else. No worrying about her overdosing on a medication or missing a dose of something important. No worrying about her starting a fire in her building and killing the children upstairs. I know I've done the right thing, but I still feel upset, worried, and guilty about it at times. Is that how you feel? I have a lot of people patiently telling me over and over that I've done the right thing for my mother AND for myself. I don't always believe them in my heart, even though I know in my head that they are correct.

    I also think it's difficult when the disease takes over and our mothers tell us things that aren't true. My mother will tell me she was fine where she lived and had all sorts of friends and the truth is, she was isolating herself and would go for days without any sort of contact, didn't remember to eat, and couldn't care for herself or her home. Now she is busy and has company at least eight hours of every day, she is clean and safe, she has clean clothing and proper nutritious meals three times a day (and all the ice cream she can eat!), yet she will call me and say, I haven't seen anyone all day, i haven't eaten in days, they don't give me my medicine...and of course that's just not so. It's hard. It's really, really hard.

    It sounds like you've had a difficult relationship with your mother which surely makes it all that much worse for you. The advice I get is to be kind to myself, so I will tell it to you.

    I don't know a lot yet about how this disease works, but I am certain that YOU are not to blame. Maybe when you have the thoughts about what you could have done differently, you might try telling yourself what you told us: you did the best you could under difficult circumstances, and your mother is now safe. That counts for a lot.

    Hope you can find some comfort or peace, or at least less turmoil, for yourself. Please hang in there.
  6. Beaky144

    Beaky144 Registered User

    Nov 3, 2014
    Hi Sarah

    I completely understand your post. My mum lived with me up until her admission to hospital, her sectioning and then her move to her care home. I constantly feel like I should have done more when she was with me and should have her at home now. I know the reality is that I could never have seen her sharp decline coming and I couldn't manage my full time job and full time care for my mum so the care home is the only place that she can be safe and cared for. But the guilt eats away at me each time my mum says "I just want to sleep in my own bed" or "I'm sure I would be OK on my own".

    As the others say be kind to yourself and know that your mum is safe and cared for

  7. SarahL

    SarahL Registered User

    Dec 1, 2012

    Dear Amy, thank you so much for taking time to let me know about your Mum and the situation you've had. I have also had the sad and at times very bad things said to me and about me (with neighbours believing bad stuff and acting against me) and I can empathise totally. I have been thinking so much about the fact that we didn't ask for our Mums to get this disease and that has really helped with the guilt/self-blame. I think i had been living with dealing with Mum alone for so long it became such a big part of my life and I wasn't able to see what the disease was doing to me in all of it. I am only now slowly coming to terms with all that I've been through over the years. I am really going to try and stop putting my emotional spin on how I'd feel if I wasn't going back home, as that is what I'm doing with Mum because she really is not in any state to go back home and was only just about functioning independently for so long because of my help and care. She was very paranoid when I went into CH last night which was a reminder of how she had been for so long at home, and which actually made me see more clearly that I have done the best thing for her (and I have always done my best - which is what we can only ever do). I am very hopeful I will recover in my healing from this and messages like yours give me hope and comfort. x
  8. SarahL

    SarahL Registered User

    Dec 1, 2012
    Thank you Beaky, that means such a lot and is really helpful to know. The decline you speak about is something that has happened to Mum too and it is the often unpredictability in all of this that takes me by surprise and takes time to heal from - as I feel I've just about got to a stage in my processing of what's happened, only to be transported to another stage/phase which needs me to come to terms with. I probably haven't explained that well so I hope you can understand what I mean. Thank you again and I hope you and your Mum are doing ok. I will definitely try to be kind to myself. x

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