I Don't Know How to let go of the Anger and Resentment

Each day I try to start fresh and tell myself I am letting go of the anger and resentment that I have, having my mom living with us and all that is involved. She is 85 and it pretty good health while I am not and am dealing with multiple issues.

I have 3 siblings who "can't" take her in for various reasons.

I find it hard not to be resentful because my life is slipping away while hers just keeps getting better. It's so unfair and it makes me so angry that I can't get beyond these feelings. How can I let this go??

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Thank You
by: Anonymous

Simply thank you for your honesty. This helps put my anger into something that makes more sense and is more of the person who I truly want to embody.
Again, thank you for sharing

Day at a Time
by: Sadie

Dear Anonymous. I felt very sad reading your post; it simply should not be like this. How much time and attention do you give to your own self-care; by the sound of it not nearly enough.

You are entitled to enjoyment, hope, pleasure and love in your life just like we all are. I am a therapist in a hospice and I work with many clients going through complicated grief due to often decades of caring for a parent while their own life and health is ebbing away.

When it is all over they are then elderly themselves and their own quality of life is severely compromised. You are most definitely not alone in your anger.

Please ask yourself what is stopping you from getting any help or respite with your parent and ways that can begin to build your awareness and understanding of your own self-care.

Looking after yourself is NOT the same as being selfish. I cannot emphasize how critical this is to surviving this period in your life.

Reach out to those going through what you are going through and find some support. Please don't sit in that garage alone feeling despair; there are people out there who care and want to help.

Day at a time
by: Anonymous

How do you let go of the anger and resentment? You don't. Or I haven't. I take it one day at a time. Some are better than others.

There are days with my mom here with me that I have to go out into my garage, turn the car on and the air, and sit in the dark for half an hour to keep from screaming. That's how bad I want just some time alone to be "me." I'm not sure "me" exists anymore, though, as caretaking changes you.

It's a very thin line to walk in hating the situation you find yourself in and the person you are caring for as the two blur together.

The only way I can reach for and feel inner compassion to combat the anger and resentment is put myself in her shoes and look at this through her eyes. I don't always succeed at that, but it does help.

I try to imagine what it would be like to have to move in with someone, give up most of what you have, feel like a continual guest in someone else's home, not know where things are, lose the ability to cook, to drive, to shop, to feel comfortable in your own home instead of someone else's.

I don't run things like she did, so there's another adjustment of some things you've likely done your whole life. I try to imagine what it would be like to have to tell someone, "I'm going to take a shower." (in case of a fall, I need to hang around for that) You or I just go take a shower.

There's a certain degree of humiliation involved in having to inform someone continually of your actions. My mom needs help with washing her hair and she thinks she bothers me, so I try to imagine what it's like to want your hair washed, but you have to ask to have it done.

I may have given up most of my independence to bring her into the home, but she has given up hers more.

Thinking of those things and feeling sorry for what has happened to her own life helps to erode away somewhat at the anger and resentment that is perfectly natural to feel about the caregiving role.

There are days when I think OMG how long can this go on? Turning over each month on the calendar often brings me to tears as I watch my life slip by. But then I watch her slowly taking the walk out of life - the aches and pains and new illnesses and more dementia each day and I feel equally sorry for her.

Someday she will simply just no longer "be." I often wonder how I will handle that and if getting my life back will be as joyous as I think.

I hope this has helped you. Caregiving is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I don't want to ever do it again.

Take care.

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