The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done
I'm going into my 14th year of caregiving for my mother. My father was ill and asked if I'd take care of her, that she wouldn't live more than 2 years without it. Well she did and though she's not at all healthy, she doesn't have a thing to worry about. I take care of all her needs, have a caregiver come in a few hours a day to help me.
I'm completely burnt out and never never never want or expect anyone to care for me this way. I'm also a Respiratory Therapist so I know that there's no quality of life in old age.
I have no desire to end my days that way. I know we don't always have a choice but more often than not, we do. I'm trapped in a web of guilt, never doing enough, never being enough, it's how I was raised.
It's clear as I write this that my mother has always played head games with me and still continues to. Don't want to live whatever is left of my life with guilt once she's gone.
To be truthful, if you look at your parents and "people" and not your "parents", some of them haven't earned the care, attention and time that their getting from their kids. Caregivers can never get those years back.
So hear we are sacrificing for parents that have never had to care for their parents, worked full time or more, and in the sandwich generation with kids and even grand kids that need help.
For those of you that are starting on this journey, take care of your life first. If your caregiving you'll realize quick that you never want to burden anyone else with your care.
Our parents had their time. What gives anyone the right to take someone else's time now.
I hope that as we get older and sick, we can choose "not to". That there are human ways to call it quits. We do more for animals that people. Makes no sense at all.
My mother wants to die, not because she doesn't have great care. She lives in a gorgeous MIL apt, has an incredible caregiver and me that does absolutely everything for her. She was never a happy person and she still isn't. Her exceptions are endless.
When I'm there it's a list of things she needs done. I remember how she treated my father this way and I hated it. Now she treats me this way never thinking once about me.
I'm stay in a house I don't want to be in, married to a man I don't want to be in, and work 3 jobs to pay my bills. Why in the world would I want to live to be old. 75 is where I draw the line and my mother may outlive me.