This is crazy - I never knew it was possible to argue with yourself and lose


Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
I guess my biggest issue right now is I don't know why, but I really really really am having trouble visiting my Dad (63yrs old - early onset dementia) for some strange reason. After several years of visiting him everyday its as if my brain has said, thats it, no more I cannot do it...and it has honestly become quite a battle for conscious and subconscious arguing over whether I will visit or not. This is really bugging me, its almost as if I have developed an allergic reaction to the thought of visiting where I cannot bare to think of it, and my mind keeps ducking and weaving away from thinking about it.

I don't know what to do...time is passing, I am missing out on seeing my Dad, I miss him...but my brain is screaming that it doesn't want to visit.

Once I do manage to go visit...I always enjoy my time with him :confused:

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hi Nat,

So sorry you`re having this struggle with yourself. Could it be a bit of burn out.

From your posts, you are still very involved with your dad, visit regularly and often, and I`m wondering if it is the journey to the home that is becoming a constant ordeal and an issue.

Of course, once you see your dad, it`s better, because of your obvious love for him, but the actual `going` is in some way twisting the knife each time. He is still so young, and you should not need to be doing this; visiting him in a home for people with dementia.

You are still very young. Give yourself some life, if you can. I`m sure your dad wouldn`t want you to give up on all the things you should be enjoying. Try to pace yourself a little bit more.

I hope I have not been too intrusive, but when I looked back at your profile, I felt so sad for you.

Take care

Love xx


Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
and I`m wondering if it is the journey to the home that is becoming a constant ordeal and an issue.
The home he lives in is just 700metres from my house, so I pass it every day even if I don't go in. So its not the drive.
Could it be a bit of burn out
It may well be that...I guess because his home is so close and every time I drive anywhere I think of him being there, it hurts. Also I think its the smell of the home when I do go in...its smells horrible, and then there is the people reaching out to me for help because there aren't enough nurses/carers...also its the continual having to hide my frustration. continual trying to understand and not judge the behaviour of nurses/carers.
You are still very young. Give yourself some life, if you can. I`m sure your dad wouldn`t want you to give up on all the things you should be enjoying.
Very true, I think that so often, Dad would be so unhappy for me to be going through this...but at the same time he brought me up to be the reliable one, to value kindness and this is partly the source of my argument with myself I think.
but when I looked back at your profile, I felt so sad for you
That made me think...what had I said in my has been quite a while since I joined...interesting to see that I thought the end was near back then and now Dad is 63 and still going strong. I think I had devoted so much energy to being prepared for his terrible ending and now I am lost at his continuing on and on...I don't know how to deal with that....funnily enough I think I was more prepared for his death.


Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
West Sussex
Hello Nat,

I can only echo Grannie G here.

I find it hard to visit Mum in the home from time to time, when that happens I cut back a little and go from there.

I always look forward to seeing her and miss her every day....... we only lived 2 streets away from her and Dad since I married 32 years ago.........but each visit sees a little more of Mum slipping away, yes it hurts more than I can say.

Each visit brings memories of other daily visits when dad was alive and Mum was well. We shared all of lifes twists and turns, supporting each other and experiencing the good and bad times together.

I'm so thankful that Mum is OK and has no inkling of what she has lost.

Maybe you need to space the visits out a little until you feel ready to see him more often, you won't be letting him down.



Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Nat, I do so sympathise with you. I know how much you love and miss your dad. But this is developing into a sort of phobia -- you want to visit, you're fine when you're with your dad, but you would do anything you can to avoid it. I think the fact that you pass the home every day is just reinforcing the problem.

Is there any chance that you could get away for a while, preferably with a friend? You really need to break this cycle, give yourself time to relax and enjoy yourself.

Just posting here will help, at least you are expressing your feelings and not bottling them up, and that's very brave. Believe me, so many of us understand what you are going through.

Keep posting, and if you can get away for a while, please give it a try.



Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Nat, I wonder if, as your mind is playing games with you, you should try playing games with it. I'm wondering if instead of continually thinking "I should go today" you could make a concious decision to visit on a specific day, and not before, and write in on the calender. It does sound as if you're experiencing burnout, and in a sense, having your father so close to you is actually making it worse. Only 700 m away means anytime "might" be an opportunity to visit, which means that you aren't able to relax in a meaningful way. One thing to be said for having to travel a distance to visit is that when you're not there, you're not there. Perhaps if you told yourself you couldn't visit for a period of time, even if you wanted to, you might be able to look forward to the visits with anticipation rather than dread.

Best wishes



Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Hi Nat, so sorry for the dilemma you are facing.

Jennifer speak a lot of sense in her post. Could you not give her idea a try.

Can empathise with the frustration you feel on visiting, is there no chance of moving dad to another care home? I know you have had your differences over his treatment in the past.

Just ignore me if I have said too much. Just thinking about you out loud.
Take care now, love


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Oh Nat - I think I know where you are at. I have never visited daily, but used to see mum and dad at least twice a week - then made a point of visiting mum at least once a week in the nursing home - and now, dont want to go. Almost feel that my mind has said "this is enough". I feel guilty - but it doesnt make me go - I know that if mum were to die today, i would have regrets, over the past few weeks.

So Nat, this is no help to you at all - other than to know that you are not alone in what you are feeling.
Much love Helen


Registered User
Feb 22, 2006
sort of north east ish
jc141265 said:
...and it has honestly become quite a battle for conscious and subconscious arguing over whether I will visit or not.
can you actually get hold of what each of the different parts of you are saying about it? and give each of them a fair hearing? not necessarily suggesting you share the details of the argument here, but perhaps if you listen carefully to what each bit of you is saying you'll understand the dilemma a bit better and be able to think more clearly about how to manage it.

best wishes



Registered User
May 14, 2006
The Matron at my Mum's Nursing Home advised me to vary the days and times of my visits and not to visit every day, as Mum would come to expect it and be disappointed if I didn't, because of illness or work commitments. I tried to visit once at the weekend and once or twice during the week.
Mum's NH was only a few miles from my house and I drove past it several times a week. At first I felt I should call in every time I passed, but these times may not have been convenient for me or the NH. I particularly felt guilty if I didn't visit after my Yoga lesson, as the Centre was next door to the NH. However the Yoga finished just before lunchtime, when Mum was tired or the carers were attending to her, so it was not a good time to call in.
Sometimes I would dread the thought of going to see Mum as I never knew what to expect. If I was feeling unwell or very busy, it seemed better not to visit. I think it is worthwhile making the effort to spend time with relatives while they are able to appreciate company, as my Mum had a heart attack and died very suddenly. I didn't see her just before her death, but I had made regular visits and knew that she was being well looked after and content in the NH.
It does seem very strange not gong to the NH any more, as it had become part of my routine. I feel as if I could go back to Mum's room and find her still sitting there in her chair. However now Mum is no longer with us, I find that I am remembering the times before she became ill and her dementia no longer seems so significant.
I do feel a mixture of emotions and it is rather confusing. I keep looking at the flowers in the supermarket and wondering which ones to buy for Mum and I remember that she doesn't need them any more.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
I never knew it was possible to argue with yourself and lose
I did , because I am always doing that , thats why i am still caring for my mother at home .

and then if mum was in care home , in really late stages , I would still be arguing with myself like you are, because I know what I am like . it a never ending argument going on in my mind .

Sorry if that is of no help , just wanted to let you know
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