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I can't do this!! - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

I can't do this!!

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Welcome to the forum.

It was a big turning point realising (with forum help) that I am not responsible for my parents happiness or physical health. I gave up work as I couldn't juggle their needs with a young family and a job. No matter how much time I gave, it was never enough to make them better or happy. The sad reality was they had got old and sick. This made them unhappy. Making myself and my family miserable giving all the care never made them any happier. And inevitably I reached breaking point. Just like you.

Your Mum has had a nice life in France and I can understand why she doesn't want to come home and why it is horribly hard for her. But it is what NEEDS to happen as she can't afford to live there anymore. Now she NEEDS some help to help to live an as independent life here as possible. You sort of have to disregard what she wants, and look at what she needs to keep her safe and looked after. My Mum HATED having carers in, but it was a necessity as myself and my sister just couldn't go in every day. You have to adopt the carer's Teflon coat and just let the negative comments slide off it!

You may have a period of pain to get through. But it can get better. I hope the social worker is helpful today.

Maybe your brother is right about the councelling? It might really help?

Best of luck, it isn't easy.
I found counselling hugely helpful, when everything got too much for me.
It made me realise that as far as mum was concerned, I was still behaving like a child, being a good girl, doing what mum wanted, never saying "No" although I was 60, have travelled the world and studied for a degree when I had a family to care for, including a brain damaged child.
I was given "permission" to think differently, to be proud of what I could do for mum, but not always guilty about what I couldn't. Mum was something of a job creation scheme for me, the faster I did the jobs, the faster they came at me. The counsellor taught me how to slow them down!
I have been reading a lot lately about this illness. Overwhelmed at times but mostly tremendously helped. One thing, I said to myself is, “I can’t stand this anymore” then I read, well you are standing it... so I have to change, another (“oh really”) and when I read “the gifts of Alzheimer’s “ I must admit I had another incredulous “ oh really” so in the course of this journey,I expect to repeat that phrase.... life is life, I dunno where my brain has been all this time, but I am in the middle of a firestorm and I must remain calm (?) good luck to me and all the other wayfarers....peace,try to breath the best you can, some seconds will be ok,some won’t but , I know I won’t be bored and if I am, Hurrah! Wishing you well so very very welll.
I can’t believe this went through, I just joined and don’t have the slightest idea what I am doing! I don’t know how to navigate to the topic page . My first two replies are off in space somewhere. And I actually posted to some sweet person in England!! Hope that helps because for the most part I haven’t a clue in dealing with Alzheimer’s! Just whatever seems to be the case for me, sometimes I think I am the person with the disease, so there you are...
Thank you for all your replies. I woke up at 5am with the now familiar heart sink feeling that I've had since my mum moved back here. Her coming back has thrown up huge psychological issues for me. I have suffered from chronic anxiety for most of my life. It has been helpful to read from the comments posted that I am not responsible for my mother's happiness and that I can't make everything better for her which is what I have done for years.When she was living in France I phoned her daily - there was always some problem that needed sorting out which involved me spending hours on the phone talking to people in my limited French. I think my role as a problem solver has become so ingrained now that I find it hard to step back from her. I feel like I am the dutiful daughter who can't say no rather than an adult who has her own life - it feels like my mother's happiness is more important than my own. I am seeing a counselor next Tuesday.
Yesterday eventually worked out to be a better day. After her outburst on Monday she wasn't talking to me. I went to see her in the morning to make sure she had enough food etc then left. I went home and had a sleep, went for a bike ride and had a massage. When I went back to see her in the evening she was fine with me.
Yes, I am prone to those 5am sinking feeling wake ups! But less so now. I find it helps to embrace it, get up. Use the time! try not to lie and dwell.

It definitley sounds like the councelling is a good idea for you. Me and my sister had also "learned" that Mum and Dad's happiness and wishes came above all else. But that can be unlearned - I promise. Dad died back in Feb, it wasn't a great last 18 months of life, he was unhappy in the care home, but he was also unhappy at home. Just at home he was grinding Mum into the ground, and my sister and I were on constant call to deal with the almost daily emergencies that occurred.

Mum now lives at home alone with Alzheimer's with some help in. My sister and I worked out between us what we could do. The rest of the stuff has to fall to outside help. I reached a point of really hating them both. Not really fairly, but I was so ground down by the situation that I dreaded any time spent with them. I feel I have a much better relationship with Mum now as we sit down and chat and go out from lunch rather tnan contantly "doing" and lurchign from emergency crisis to emergency crisis. Which makes me happier in the precious time I have left with her.

Glad yesterday was better. I hope each day can get increasingly better for you.
Thanks for sharing your experience Sally. It's good to know other people share the same feelings and have experienced similar situations. I saw the social worker this morning - my mother was on her best behaviour - having said she didn't want to see the SW ever again she now thinks she is 'lovely'. They both felt I have a problem with over worrying and being overprotective about my mother. My mother came across as the most sane and sensible woman and I am slightly barking! Went to see the GP afterwards to get some Propanalol to help calm my morning anxiety - he said that the current situation is unusual in that most parents would appreciate and understand why they could no longer live abroad on their own, with no access to any support and no funds to support themselves. That has made me feel slightly better about myself. The only glimmer of hope on the horizon is that my mum has agreed to move into some new flats - assisted living - but they will not be ready for another 2 months. She says she will live there as a temporary measure until she can move back to France - hey ho!
Good, once she is in the flat you must really step back. In the meantime, make an "Exit Plan" for mum, does she have furniture etc.?
Hi Suzanne, really sorry to hear that you're having a difficult time with your mum. I'm glad to hear that you found the other forum member's suggestions beneficial and you were able to take a break for yourself. This is really important as carers too often put themselves last. You mentioned you have chronic anxiety, have you been in touch with mental health organisations such MIND and Rethink about this? Also, you might find it helpful receiving local support. You can use our directory on our website to search for your nearest carers centre:
https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... al-support
Hi Bowlingbun - yes she does have furniture - she still hasn't unpacked her belongings from when she moved back to the UK in March - everything is sitting in our garage. I'm sure it would help her to feel more settled if she can start to rebuild a home here. If she does go into this assisted living place it will be a huge relief for me as there will be other people on hand to help - I have felt pretty alone for the last 4 months dealing with everything and hugely resentful that my sister has not even been in contact even though she has known how desperate I have felt at times. My brother lives abroad and is supportive over the phone but it has been me doing all the day to day graft.