by Christine
(Middletown, RI)

I've written here before, but every situation - and every relationship - is it's own, so I'm not asking for anyone to understand my life, nor I theirs.

My question is...is anyone else who is doing all the right things just plain tired?

I'm not allowed to have needs of my own, so do I even exist any longer?

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Crossing That Line
by: Anonymous

As caretakers, we made that decision to step across that line, and be there for our parents. Sometimes we are the only sibling who steps up to the plate. That is a huge endeavor unto itself.

It's like jumping into the deep end of the swimming pool. At first you flail around, you go under a few times, you swallow a lot of water, you think you are going to drown, and then you start treading and then you learn to float and at some point you figure it out and you calm down and take a breath. We jumped in, because we knew we could swim.

I read a lot in these stories, that the caretaker complains that they have lost themselves, and don't know who they are anymore. But actually we know ourselves very well. We knew we could not walk away and live with ourselves if we did not do what we know we have to do, and truly, what we want to do. We made this choice to help because of who we are. We are not people who could've turned their backs on these situations.

It's very telling of our character that we are all here on this forum, maybe complaining to high hell just what a bitch it can be sometimes, but never forget that you are a person who stepped to the plate and took up the bat and hit that home-run when you decided to take on this challenge.

No one, who has not given up their life for another, has any idea, what we go through on a daily basis. The hard part is figuring out how to do it. It's certainly not easy. And every situation is unique.

Remember that you are a caring, kind, loving individual who has empathy, compassion and understanding for others in this world. This is who you are.

At the end of the day, ask yourself, would you know who you are, if you walked away?

by: Anonymous

I think the thing to do is set aside time for yourself, no matter what. I know it is easier said than done, however, when I take the time to just commit to myself and do what I enjoy I am in a better mood and better able to deal with the care giving.

It doesn't always work but I tell my mom that if I don't take care of myself I will not be able to take care of her. Set aside an hour each day, if possible, or whatever you can come up with. with the support of your husband, boyfriend or whatever you should be able to set aside some time just for you.

You will be amazed at how it changes your attitude.

Same Here from South Africa
by: nadia

What can I say....I agree and my feelings are the same as all of yours. It seems the harder you try the more you are taken for granted.

The hardest is to accept and let all control issues go. Something that is very hard for a control freak like myself! Keep strong everyone.

Exhausted And Burned Out
by: Anonymous

I live the closest so I am the caregiver for my mother. I have 2 brothers and 1 sister. I am tired!

I go home in tears at night after my "visit" with mom. I work full time. I have grandchildren I want to spend time with and my own children. I get resentful because I don't get to do these things like my siblings do because I have the responsibility of my mom.

Right now I am on a downhill slide because I am exhausted mentally. My mom is not an easy person to have to deal with. She refuses to do anything for herself, even though she is capable of doing some of the things for herself. There is a CNA that comes in and helps during the day for about 3 hours however, when I get there all I hear is negative comments about the CNA and complaints.

I keep in contact with the CNA regularly and we go over mom's care and what goes on during the day so, it is attention getting on my mother's part. I am confidant she is getting good care. It is difficult when you are the only one.

I have asked for help but since the siblings are not here (two are only 30 miles away, one is 350 miles away) no matter that the CNA and I report the same thing to them. they refuse to acknowledge it so, I have no support. But I am told by one of the siblings to "hang in there".....that is my support. So, I hang in there and hope for better days but, my health is suffering because of it and my relationships are suffering. Thanks for listening to me vent. It helps some.

Added comment (A GIFT)
by: Walking the Walk with You

I forgot to post notify me...but another thought come to me:

You are sharing so much of your love with your Mom...we do tend to neglect ourselves and expect other to fill that void... got to let go of this expectation by using the word:

INTIMACY = "Into me I see"... treasure the good you see in you!

Walking the Walk with You

by: Walking the Walk with you

Dear Exhausted,
I share your feelings and exhaustion, like so many others.

It takes good people to make the hard choices in life, the HARD ones!

I try really hard to turn the negatives into the positives. One way is to look at you being exhausted as a gift of accomplishment for love returned to your mom, time that others will regret as not having, treasures that are priceless, and a clear conscious free of guilt...

I share similar circumstance especially with brothers and sisters. I finally had to accept the fact that I can not control the fears of others and the choices they make b/c of those fears...
I don't preach anymore, offer suggestions...I just do what needs to be done, and when the day is over, as exhausted as I feel, I praise myself, I thank God for another day with Mom, and I pray for peace of mind in spirit and heart for family members who struggle with making the hard choices.

I pray you can find some comfort from a good friend that you can rely on for a shoulder to cry on, a good listening ear, and a person who supports your gift of love and time.

Hope this helps some...remember this out of anything else I've shared: Allow every worry, tear, aching bone,, etc to be known as a GIFT to your MOM and to YOU!

You are in my prayers.

Walking the Walk with YOU!

In a Nut Shell
by: Jann

Amen to all you say, sister. At least we all realize that we are not alone. I'm told that I will received jewels in my crown when I get to Heaven, but wow, what about my life here? What about my family's life, my husband and my children who also suffer because they know I suffer?

If all our siblings divided the care like they should, it would be bearable. Maybe this is where God draws the line and where our true character is really shown and judged. That doesn't make me feel much better, but hey, are there any of us stressed-out, ragged-out, resentful care takers who could ever ignore our parents like our siblings do? I don't think so. God made us special. Tired and weary, but still special.

God bless us everyone who do right even when we'd rather jump off a mountain side!

I Hear You
by: Anonymous

Oh, how weird that you would write what I was thinking the other day. You are not alone in how tired care taking can make you feel (it is draining to live two lives). I was feeling "invisible" the other day after my brother informed me that the toenail specialist (they make money clipping toenails btw) told him that mom's toenails needed to be trimmed "right now"
(I had just done a fine trim on them the night before the appointment).

In the weeks I've been working with mom's feet the toenail fungus is gone on most of her toes and she says her feet are feeling so much better (using tea tree oil soap), but do I ever hear "you've done a great job" or "you and your brother are taking great care of your mom"?.

Frankly, I felt invisible and worthless and yes....tired. I don't want to "advise" you of anything just want you to know I hear how tired you are and I understand!!
Santa Rosa, CA

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