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Don't Know How To Cope

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Hello, I was searching the internet all last night and stumbled across this site.

I am so sad, so upset I cannot cope, my brain feels as though it's cracking.

I think I want so badly for someone to say everything's going to be okay but I know it's not going to be and my heart hurts.

I feel as though I just cannot take anymore, I know I'm going to ramble but here goes because I think I have to write this out, my mother has Alzheimer's, a sibling of mine was abusing her, I did not know this until a few years ago, when I think back when I would call mom she would say things like.."Mike" is so nasty and has a terrible temper.." I know it, he has always been that way but what I didn't know was he was abusing her, I just didn't know and feel so guilty I can't explain it, that I didn't get on a plane sooner (we went as often as we could and called all the time) to save her, when I visited the last time I saw first hand how he spoke and treated her, absolutely terrible, screaming, swearing at her, I called the police and he changed all locks on the doors to get rid of me, I know it's all about money which I don't care about, it's mom's welfare that counts, long story short I went through Social Services and the courts to get mom in to a nursing home away from him and I do have some peace knowing she is being so well cared for but she doesn't know who I am, she comes to the phone and I just want to cry because she doesn't know me. (I try to wait until I'm off the phone to break down)

I am so angry too that other people let the terrible abuse go on and never did anything or worse did not tell me, they just totally ignored it.

Two years ago, my younger sister had a massive stroke, it hit her so hard and she has severe brain damage, she lives in a rehab center, when I visit her she looks at me like a deer in a headlight, all I can think of is why...why did this all have to happen to them, it is so cruel that she is never going to be able to come back from this, what kind of life is she going to have, my mom doesn't understand what happened to my sister, of course I have never said she had a stroke, at the time I visited her at home she kept asking is my sister ok over and over so she kind of understood she was ill, (my sibling had cruelly told her my sister had a stroke and was not going to get better, how cruel) everytime mom asked me I said yes mom she's going to be fine, what else are you going to say.

When my sibling locked me out of mom's house I had to come back home but did everything I could to help mom and as mentioned above finally something was done but the stress, pure guilt etc has almost sent me over the edge.

Now my beloved dog has a brain tumor, he is my baby, he sleeps all the time, not himself atall, his personality has changed and all I can think of now is I'm going to lose him, I hurt so badly, it all hurts so much, I just want everything to be fine, I don't know how to cope, I honestly don't. I cry all the time, already on anti depressants from my dr which help I suppose somewhat but how do you cope from all this?

I feel so frantic, guilty, you name it.

Thank you for any words or advice, how do you live life with all that's going on?

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Kaanen, my dear, I've just read your story, and my heart goes out to you. I'm so sorry to learn of all the sadness in your life ~ but what a good and brave daughter you are to have rescued your mother from such a horrible situation ~ I simply cannot imagine how difficult that must have been for you. Clearly you have the courage to do what needs to be done, and for that you have my admiration and respect.

You ask how you live life with so much going on in your life. You do it exactly the way you're doing it now: by putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward, even if it's just an inch and a day at a time. I hope you've taken some time to read some of the posts you will find on this site, if only to assure yourself that you are not alone in your pain, and to discover that, if others can survive the most devastating of losses and the most horrible of circumstances, then somehow you will find a way to do it, too. You'll find lots of compassion, empathy, understanding and support among our members here, and as they respond to you, I hope you'll find some helpful suggestions for coping with all that's on your plate right now.

You don't say whether you've ever been in counseling or in therapy, but I hope you will consider exploring that as yet another way to find the support you need and deserve. At the very least, I hope you'll take comfort in knowing you are welcome here. ♥

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My heart goes out to you. I can relate to what you are going through, even though my circumstances are different, because I've also had so much loss in my life, particularly in the last seven years. Just a little over seven years ago, I was blissfully happy, and then I got some news about my daughter that was horrible...I got her into therapy and then another crisis, I dealt with that and then my husband died unexpectedly. Then I lost my job. I remarried and he turned out to be a con, ruining me financially and breaking my heart. I got through the divorce and in time I met someone special, someone I felt I could spend the rest of my life with...after a year's engagement he unexpectedly broke up with me. Then my job was cut again. Did I say that during this time I lost two cats and my sweet dog, Lucky? Now my mom has Alzheimer's and to complicate matters, she has severe mental illness. She won't cooperate with us so we've spent the last year trying to go through the courts to get her into a safe place...we finally found a place she would agree to and they don't have an opening in dementia care and her last evaluation said she needs it. So back to square one.

But this isn't about me, it's about you...all of that was just to let you know, I have been through hard places in my life and I've asked the question "why?!" I heard no resounding answer. I'm not sure an answer exists...stuff seems to happen randomly to people and I wouldn't waste the energy to try and figure out any answers...that energy is better needed figuring out how to deal with it. It is as Marty says, one day at a time, one foot in front of another. There are days you don't want to get out of bed, want to stop the world and get off, but that's not our option. It's not about being strong or weak, it's about just keeping on keeping on. It's doing your best. It's loving your mother even though she doesn't know you. It's forgiving your dastardly brother even though he doesn't deserve it. Yes, forgiving. It's not for him, it's for you. Otherwise you give him power over you, to change who you are, and frankly, I wouldn't give him the satisfaction. He has his own demons to chase and he'll have to deal with them in his own time and way. You have a sister to still love, even though she may not be able to respond like she would like to. My grandma suffered strokes...her last one rendered her a vegetable, so to speak, for about 13 years before she died. I'll tell you this though, my grandpa, bless his heart, went to see her every day. He talked to her, he read her cards from the grandkids, he told her what was going on in his life, he stroked her hair, he held her hand. We don't know if she was aware or just trapped and unable to respond, but he did it anyway. Their marriage was a legacy. I only had love like that once in my life and he had to go and die. I don't understand that, why, I gave up trying to a long time ago, I just know that what is...is. I was fortunate to have him in my life for the period of time I did, some people never get that.

One of the things I've learned in my long journey of grief and hardship is to try and focus on something good. It's like taking baby steps. You may not be able to run marathons when you start out, but you can take a step. I started this just a couple of weeks after his death. It might be acknowledging a beautiful sunset or seeing an elk in the yard, or a stranger holding a door open for me. I learned not to let what was or might come rob me of the joy of the present. It takes effort to focus on joy, however fleeting, however minor, but it works miracles inside of you, it helps you look for good, it helps you to expect something good, it changes your outlook. I'm not always good at it, but that doesn't give me cause to give up. Your poor mother has suffered so much but I dare say she is probably beyond that now...I had a dear friend that died of Alzheimer's, it seemed the hardest part was when she was losing her mind and knew it...she was frustrated and scared. but when she reached the point where she no longer knew people, well...she didn't know. I have all of that ahead of me with my mom. She doesn't know where I live, if it's morning or night, can't comprehend simple things, her mind is gone most of the time. But I know it will get worse before her release. Me...I got another dog in due time. I know he will die someday and I will face going through loss again...but it's a price I gladly pay because he's worth it. I love him with all of my heart and can't imagine life without him. But that's how life seems to be...it has it's phases...we're with someone, whether husband or dog, we love and are happy with them, and then we lose them. Some people manage to go through life without big problems or losses...I don't know how they escape them when they've seemed to be a regular part of my life, but I don't wish it any different for them. Still, I've learned a lot through all of this, not stuff I can put into words, but I just know it has shaped and molded me into a compassionate person, made my life about more than shallow existence. I felt I lost my sense of purpose when my husband died, but even though I may not have a big sense of purpose with one person, I hope that my life counts in even small ways for others.

You have to be feeling overwhelmed and a whole lot else I can't put a name to, you have so much going on at once. If only life could just dole out one thing at a time, it seems it'd be easier, but I'm not sure it would. Each of those things is so hard in their own right. Please come here, if only to vent, any time you want...I want you to know there are people here listening, caring. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

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Marty T and kayc, thank you so much for your kind words, I just wrote a long reply, hit a button and erased it all! don't know what I did, I will write it all again tomorrow, I feel so tired right now but I just wanted to say thank you.

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I hope you can forgive yourself soon. Everyone seems safe. Enjoy right now with your pet. He may be different but he is still your friend. Breathe deep. You accomplished a lot by getting your mom the care she needs. If she can't thank you, know that I am grateful you helped someone I don't know but is vulnerable. I am truly grateful for that.


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Teresa said everything I wanted to come back and say. Thanks, Teresa!

I hope you got a good night's sleep!

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Hi TeresaR, thank you very much for your reply, sounds pretty pathetic if that's the right word but I don't know if I can forgive myself, or at least maybe in time I will be able to, I can't see it right now, deep down inside I know I have truly done everything humanly possible to help my mom, I ran on pure adrenalin trying everything, hardly sleeping and I remember telling my husband I wasn't going to rest and will go to my grave until she was safe and being taken care of! she did need to be in a nursing home, we wanted her to come and live with us but the Alzheimer's had progressed so far she needs 24/7 care. My brother wanted her to stay alone in her house, running all over the place at all hours, not eating etc, so she would go so far downhill she'd give up, no one told me how bad it was or I would have been there sooner. That's part of the guilt but my rational part says I didn't know.

MartyT: Thank you for your wonderful kind words, I was in therapy for a while but then I think my brain did something very strange(!) and it seemed as though even though I thought about my mom and sister every single day, everything went to the back of my brain if that makes any sense and I became so busy doing everything I had no time to "think", don't know if your brain does this to protect itself as I know I was very near to checking myself in to a hospital.

You are right, we have to put one foot in front of another every day, don't know any other way to do it. I am so grateful to have found this website.

kayc: Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and for your kind words, you have and are still going through so very much, the pain I have felt from everything has literally brought me to my knees, to the point where I have thought I cannot go on anymore with this pain, please someone take it away and make everything okay, I know people here understand.

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom, and for your grandpa to visit your grandma every day and the things he did, the feelings he must have had and how difficult it had to have been, bless his heart.

I think my mom was the same way as your friend with Alzheimer's, she did know something was wrong, she would often say...I think I'm losing my mind, I hope it's not Alzheimer's, that was her fear and it had to have scared her, but now I try to think she doesn't know anymore, in a way it's a blessing she doesn't if that makes sense. Mom is 80 years old now bless her, she doesn't know about my sister and again to me that is a blessing at her age, it would probably have 1/2 killed her to know the condition my sister is in.

My husband has always been a person who says, don't worry everything is going to be okay, you'll see, and it usually is but with all that's happened even he hasn't said it and that was very difficult too, I don't think even he knows what to say.

I really hope an opening comes up for your mom in a safe place, you will know she is safe and that is huge.

Thank you all so much again, it really means a lot to me. I have always thought time can heal, it just takes time.... but with all this I just couldn't see that time is going to do it, I guess it's going to take a lot of work.

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I think it's good your husband recognizes he doesn't know what to say instead of saying the wrong thing. I'm glad you have him there as a support to you because what you are going through is very hard.

One thing I've learned is that some people are copers and some are not, and it could be that your brother is one that is not, not that it excuses him in any way, it doesn't. I took care of my MIL for nearly three years when she was bedridden with cancer. My FIL could not cope and I understood that, and so did she. While he didn't abuse her, he didn't always handle things appropriately either, and we had to confront him on it, yet we learned to forgive him too. Fast forward 22 years and it was him I was visiting in assisted living, every Friday night. Now he has passed away and I miss him and Mom (my MIL) so much. Last night I drove by his house and just sat out there and cried.

I totally agree that it is sometimes a blessing when an Alzheimer patient no longer realizes what's going on and are spared...it beats knowing their mind is going and the fear that comes with that. I think when a facility finally opens up and my mom is settled in and safe, and she no longer has to worry about trying to do the things that are beyond her to do anymore, it will be a relief to her and then she can just go peaceably, if there is such a thing. At least, that is my hope. Tonight I'm taking her to dinner, we'll see how it goes, one never knows.

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