I'm having one of those evenings when I can't stop crying and just want to runaway and never come back. Carer's burnout.......just doesn't even begin to describe how my brain feels when I am dealing with my mother.
Nothing is ever enough. I don't visit enough, I don't call enough, I don't do enough, never, ever enough, she's constantly lonley, and yet is waited on hand and foot.
She is always reminding me that her loneliness is worse than anyone else's and this enormous, vacuous, dark crater is my responsbility to fix, and I just can't take it anymore.
I'm going away tomorrow for the break I never get to enjoy at Christmas or New Years, year after year after year after year, when everyone I know is out enjoying themselves. And yet when I take a break I get guilt trips and emotional manipulation, little digs that I am not enough and could always do or be more - for her.
I am so fed up with being a function and having to disregard my own inner experience.
Its just too much for one person some days.
Other people go to their mother to be recharged. And I have to get away from mine.
I think that people think of care giving through rose coloured glasses (being influenced by TV ads for aged care and disability services) where the reality is that it is a hard slog dealing with people who are at times less than grateful (for some of us ...rarely grateful).
Guilt, resentment, anger, loneliness, worry, grief and defensiveness are the not so often spoken about emotions that come with the territory of being a carer which affect us probably more than some of us care to admit.
As @outlander says, finding a spot to vent is essential. I guess dealing with them falls under the 'self care' category of making sure we have other meaningful things to do that help detract from the down times.
Re: Can't cope with the guilt trips & responsibility
@Corny I hear you and feel for you very much. I have a MIL who is very much like this towards the girls of the family, of which she has birthed none, and her boys can do no wrong. We have a few family members to spread the demands for attention between, however my hubby is providing the lion’s share of it, flying across the country to do so.
May I gently suggest that you visit a counsellor for yourself, or speak with telephone support services. This is causing you grief and it is important that you are heard and cared for too ..... “who is caring for the carer ?” They May be able to offer experienced suggestions about how to curb some of her demanding behaviours.
You could try some “I statements” with her if you’re game ....
I feel that you are not appreciating how much I do for you.
I might need to wear earplugs when I come if all you are going to do is complain about me. It’s wearing me out.
I would like you to speak to me nicely please. (This one can become a mantra for any time she is rude to you)
Hugs and hugs. I hope some of these suggestions are helpful to you ..... ❤️
Thanks so much for replying when you’re spent yourselves, I know that people on here understand and don’t judge when you’re having a raw moment.
I went away for 10 days. I hadn’t been away for over 2 years. So, it was great to not be able to use a smart phone and be off the grid and uncontactable. When you’re left with that much quiet though, a lot of raw emotion that you’ve had to suck up and suck in comes out, so I’m feeling a little teary on my return, but I think that it’s actually a good thing. Just to acknowledge that the paradox of having so much responsibility and pressure, like my life should be full and deeply connected, and yet feeling so utterly alone in the world -is a tough gig, and it’s Ok to say you’ve had enough.
@outlander I hope that you are going OK and giving yourself some time. It breaks my heart seeing someone so young with your amount of responsibility. All I can say is that I understand and have been there myself through my 20s.
I concur @Darcy . People on the outside do romanticise us at times. I don’t know what that’s about. And I do feel all of those big emotions you named, much more than I have the ability to process all at once. That’s probably why it all erupts to the surface every now and then, it is just overwhelming. My own mental health issues don’t equip me at all. I guess I am still someone’s daughter but that has a tendency of getting lost.
Thank you kindly @Faith-and-Hope , I do have regular weekly therapy, and I have used hotlines in the past and would use them again to talk to someone. I have days when I just feel so weary and I just have no idea how on earth I am going to muster the strength to keep going for another 10 years or so. I find myself becoming quite mute when people ask me about it. Dad really put the boot in and broke my spirit. It’s hard to keep on caring for the remaining parent when you’ve had your own breakdown and coming to terms with your own disappointments, sadness and sorrows in life.
Re: Can't cope with the guilt trips & responsibility
Thank you for your post. I have been looking through this site at all the positive messages (which I know are needed) but I apparently needed to know I'm not the only one feeling trapped and wanting just to run away at times.
Doesn't change anything concrete for either of us but I just feel so much better reading your post.
I saw below you have been able to get away. I hope all is going well for you and you stay strong.
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