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The only man I could ever trust......

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I work at a job Im totally burned out at , for 37 years I have been at a nursing home where there is illness, craziness, and death.  My parents were very independent until my dad turned 89 or so.... he gave up driving and mom cant drive, so I took their groceries out every week, they lived about 30 minutes away, and took them to drs apts. Daddy got sick pretty quickly when he was 90, was in the hospital for 8 days, then we had to admit him into our nursing home. Mom was admitted to be with him. He died on Sept. 2, 2014, after being at the n.h. for about 2 weeks. Mom has now had to stay at the nursing home because there is no one to watch her at home, and they live to far back in the country. I live with guilt that she is there.... I just wish I could quit and take her to her little house to spend the rest of her days... she is 94. Daddy was the only man I could ever trust in my life....... the only good and decent man I knew. I have been married and divorced 4 times. So obviously I never found one like him. My problem is that my emotions are COMPLETELY out of control. I cry at work, I resent my friends for having normal lives, I have no significant other to lean on. I am a Christian and pray continually for a spark of a miracle to help me... Im on antidepressants but they do not seem to do any good. I know I have to turn my thinking around and see what I do have as opposed to what I dont have, but at this point I am just completely numb. I also have alot of resentment toward my only sibling, my brother, who lives in another state, who doesnt seem to care too much about what is going on.... as I get my mom ready for bed every night after work, lotion her, put her pjs on , comb her hair and pick her clothes out for the next day.  My best friend encourages me and tells me what a good daughter I am, but I still feel so guilty about putting her in the n.h. and it has changed her life completely. She is very frail, but very good mentally and all she does now is sit in her chair and watch t.v., which is totally not her. My 2 grown sons are busy and dont have time for me, and I find myself hibernating more and more.... I have quit many of the organizations I used to be in because I just cant seem to face people. I know others have it so much worse than I do, but I have to own this, its mine.  My ex husband , who is on dialysis 3 times a week, calls every week to check on me and see how IM doing. He says that everything negative can turn into a positive if I just resent my thinking, but right now, I just need help to get through every day.

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Hi, Anita, welcome to this site.  I can relate to much of what you say.  My dad died 34 years ago, but my mom had to be put in a dementia care facility.  I felt bad about that and I had room for her in my home, but I knew I couldn't watch her 24/7 and I had no one to spell me or help out.  I have five siblings but it was mostly just my brother and I going to see her and talking to the staff about her.  She also slept day/night in her room the first couple of weeks, so I told the staff I wanted them to get her up and put her in the main living area and only have her in bed at night and for "naps".  She began to socialize and perked up.  She did pretty well until the doctors made them take her walker away because she'd have bad falls.  Once she was no longer ambulatory, she began to get depressed.  I live two hours away from there, but went to see her every week or any time I was in town.  

You feel bad and yet you put her in bed every night?  Your mom is very fortunate to have you in her life.  I also have two grown children that are busy with their own lives, and don't seem concerned with me.  I was there for my parents and in-laws and set a good example for my kids so it's hard to understand, maybe this is just a different generation, but I don't get it.

Your brother thinks he is escaping responsibility, but in reality, you are the lucky one because you are building memories with your mom and you will treasure this time with her all of your life.  I know, because my mom passed away in August 2014 and I treasure all of the time I had with her, especially the last couple of years when she had dementia.  It was a special time and I'm glad I was able to walk through it with her.

I suspect rather than depression, it's grief, and it might benefit you greatly to see a licensed grief counselor, one who has been trained specifically in grief.  At least your XH checks on you, that's good.  It helps to have someone that cares about us!

Your mom is probably watching t.v. out of boredom.  What kind of activities do they have for them at your nursing home?  It helps to bring in outside people, give them something to do, someone to listen to.  If they don't have anything going on, you might suggest it.  See if there's someone who can bring in a trained service dog, they really perk people up!  Have a group of children visit, see if a church choir could come put on a special.  Even someone playing a guitar, anything to occupy their minds besides vegging out in front of a t.v.  They used to have things going on at the dementia care facility, and also at my FIL's assisted living place.

I'm a Christian too but sometimes we need help in a tangible way in addition to prayer.

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Thank you so much for your kind words.... I am currently trying to make an appointment with a grief counselor... which I feel will benefit. mom has lots of visitors and goes to activities she wants to.... but she is very frail and would just as soon sit in her chair at times. I do need to do something about the feelings of resentment I have for my brother.... his boys didnt even come to Daddys funeral..... which I still cant get over. He promised Daddy he would take care of their little house over the summer, yet he has not visited mom since Daddy died in 2014. Sometimes I feel like I need to write him a letter and tell him exactly how I feel, but mom doesnt want me to make waves. I realize that I am lucky to spend time with mom and will have no regrets when she passes.

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When we know the end is going to arrive, we have what they call anticipatory grief, and it feels weird because they're still there, but it's like we watch them go, little by little.  The person we once knew is disappearing...

I guess you can only respect her wishes.  She loves her son just like she loves you, she knows who is there...and who isn't.  But with her love for her children comes forgiveness and of course she wouldn't want him to suffer...deservedness doesn't enter in.

I hope you enjoy every minute you have with her, I did with my mom.

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