Keeping it Together...

by Doug
(Florida)

How am I keeping it together?

I am not a religious person.... more spiritual, and I do pray and ask for help to be a good care giver and to always do the right thing. But I do pray for myself too. I need help and again a friend said "you are the only one that can figure a way out for you and your mom."

I am trying but she hates any kind of change. Be it simple or major life changes. Change is the only thing you can depend on in life. I know that well. I have lived in several large cities and held a few different jobs. Mom needs to relax and accept the changes that are coming. Mom can not afford to live in her home anymore.

I am trying to help out but went belly up financially to move here and due to the fact she lives 20 miles from the city in the woods and the bad economy I have been unable to find enough work. We are just able to pay the bills and that is it.

Any time I mention that I have lost my health insurance and not able to see a doctor she gives me a blank stare as if she has not heard me. She has health care and me of course here caring for her. I am now frightened for my health. The stress of living with her and her constant anger has my blood pressure way high and need to get to a dentist.

My brother is retired and lives with his wife. It would be best for her to spend her remaining days with them. They have each other for support.

I now wake each morning frightened of what the day has to offer. I have power of attorney now and may have to force the issue of a move on mom and my brother. It is time for both of us.

I am headed out for a walk in the woods to try and prepare myself for another day with mom.

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Self-Help Platitudes
by: Anonymous

I had to laugh reading Anna's comment. She says she is sick of self-help platitudes from well-meaning friends, but her last words to you are "Good luck! Hope it all turns out well."
It doesn't sound like her friends are very supportive.

Your blood pressure is up and you need to see a dentist. What's next? Heart attack, stroke, and teeth being pulled? Do you have to go to your brother's house in a walker with teeth in hand in order to prove to him you need help?

Your mom is not going to change. She will continue to stare blankly at you. She has her own problems. Your brother, on the other hand, is just sitting on the sidelines watching the show.

Sit at the table with your brother and his wife and lay out the facts. These are hard decisions to make and you shouldn't have to carry the burden alone. Refuse to leave that table until something is planned. It's going to be very hard for you to take a stand for yourself without guilt because you are a care taker.

Guilt comes with the territory. I don't understand why, when we give so much, that if we don't give our last breath, we feel we haven't given enough. But that just seems to be the way it is. And maybe that is the lesson for us all. You are a spiritual person, then you probably believe everything happens for a reason. But remember, it's never only about you. This may be a lesson for your brother, too.

In airplanes, before take-off, the flight attendant instructs us, in case of an emergency, when the oxygen masks come down, PUT YOURS ON FIRST, before you put the mask on your child.
This is how we need to learn to care take. Put yourself first. If you have a stroke, while taking care of your mom, you can best believe she will have help the very next day. Who then will be taking care of you?

Continue to pray for guidance, and continue to talk to your friends for support. But don't let your mom take you down. Do what works for both of you. It's not always perfect. It's called compromise. Everyone gives a little and everyone gets a little.

It may be God's plan that your brother come on board. Call him.

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I Know What you Mean
by: Anna

Bless you! I think I can understand where you're coming from. If you've read my own post, then you'll know that I'm in a very similar situation.

I've given up talking to 'friends' about it, because they just say things such as you can choose to walk away/ choose to be happy, whatever the circumstances. If one more person (non-carer, life of their own) smugly talks about 'choices' or quotes another self-help platitude at me, I think that I really will lose it!

Good luck to you. I hope that all turns out well.

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