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Author Topic:   I AM NOT A CARE-GIIVER ANYMORE
meyers
unregistered
posted 11-09-2002 07:55 PM           Edit/Delete Message
I AM NOT A CARE-GIVER ANYMORE, and that is the reason for this message...I recently lost both of my parents, who I have taken care of for many years. They both suffered from severe health problems and had to come and live with me (they were very much wanted in our home by my entire family). I wish I had found this website during those years, because sometimes the stress of taking care of my family, working and taking care of my parents seemed overwhelming! My Father passed away about 4 years ago and my Mother this past February. The guilt I am suffering through right now at times seems unbearable. I have to admit that there were times when I JUST WANTED MY LIFE BACK! Well, I have it back now - and all I want is my Mother and Father back. Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it!

I never realized what my role was as a care-giver until it was too late. My heart breaks for every elderly person I see. It's a much harder time for them than it was for me - I just never realized that until it was too late. I feel like I could have done so much more to help my parents through this very difficult time. Sometimes my frustration with the situation showed and I know I broke their hearts a time or two with my attitude. I have a lot of guilt that I could have done so much more than I did. I could have made their last days so much happier than I did. What I'm trying to say is, I was really happier caring for them than I am right now - having my EMPTY life back. I hope this message can help you cope just a little better than I did! Thank you,
I would appreciate your feedback.

IP: 68.60.66.42

AtoDisciple
Member
posted 11-10-2002 04:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AtoDisciple     Edit/Delete Message
Meyers:
Isn't hindsight a burden. Sometimes I wonder if God should not have allowed us to forget actions of the past if there is no way we can change them. However, he has said that he is faithful to forgive if we ask and I believe him. Nonetheless, I have a very hard time forgiving myself and have to intentionally think about it and do so.
I am still caring for my husband. Do you remember that you were tired and perhaps even ill or under-the-weather yourself at the time you were short with your parents. Do you remember seeing others go freely off to entertainments when you couldn't go? I hope and pray that you can do some reconciling in your own mind and not continue to whip yourself for being imperfect. There are no perfect people. Old age and ill health was more responsible for your parents hard times than you were. You could not make them young and happy again anymore than I can regain the energy to work flower beds etc at age 65 after doing the housework and caring for my husband. Your parents knew that old age was robbing them and did not expect you to replace the happiness that age stole nor did they expect you to attempt to make them happy all time. Like God, parents tend to love us no matter what we do. Although, parents are not perfect either (there are no perfect people).
I pray that God will comfort you, give you peace, and give you a new life. Perhaps some volunteer work might help.
Nina

IP: 64.12.96.235

PrairieGal
unregistered
posted 11-10-2002 04:38 PM           Edit/Delete Message
Hi meyers....and welcome to the messageboards....
I am so very sorry you have lost both your parents...and sorry you feel any guilt now.
It is normal to wish for things, to become frustrated, to become angry, to become burnt out while caregiving. I am sure both your parents appreciated everything you did for them, and more than likely also understood when you did have a bad day.
My belief, when my mother passed away, was that she went to a far better place, and her pain and suffering had ended. We absolutely loved the time we cared for her, but, in all reality, we have to at some time, understand that noone can live forever, especially when their health has deteriorated to the point where nothing can help, and they have not much quality of life left. As hard as it is, we have to let go. I too, miss my mom very much...we were very close. I know though, that she would not want me consumed by anything other than happiness, and I know she is watching over me, as I know your parents are with you.
I do hope sharing on here has helped you just a bit and please...if you would care to share more...feel free...sometimes writing our feelings out can help us in so many ways..
Take care
PrairieGal

IP: 24.66.94.142

GRM4LOVE
Moderator
posted 11-10-2002 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message
Hello Meyers and welcome..

I too am sorry you didn't have this site available to you... there was nothing like this when I cared for my husband in the mid eighties and I still didn't have internet or computer access for when my dad passed in 1995.. thus the reason this site was born.. but you know Meyers, we are in the right place, at the right time, for the right reasons. There is truly no right or wrong way as a caregiver when we have no support or awareness of what caregiving can or could be like.

Even with a wealth of support, many of us go through exactly what you are going through, even if we were basically fully conscious striving for the highest good of all concerned during the experience. So I offer you choices at this time.

Hindsight is always powerful but while you were going through the experience, you had all the ups and downs as we all have had. If we are all connected from the same source, we do the best that we can in any given moment even if we whine and complain at times along the journey. Personally I believe we are more than our bodies and that we do have souls that live on.

One of the most important things caregivers can learn from those we care for in their end of life stages is how to embrace life and begin to live our own lives more fully. If we are caught in the past, it's history. If we are worried about the future it's a mystery...the present is all we have. And that is why the present is our gift.

So in any given moment you have choices as to how you want to feel. There is no right or wrong way to grieve... you can only be who you are.. but where you put the power of your attention is what you will manifest in your life. If you are down in your thoughts and are feeling empty, your experiences will follow in kind. If you encourage yourself to find creative and loving ways to fill the emptiness you are feeling within, so be it, you will find yourself filling with warmth and good thoughts.

Many of us reflect back and see ways we could have done things differently... and the truth is that if in the moment we could have done them differently we would have.
To care for both of your parents as you did is a blessing and I have a strong sense that the majority of the time you gave out of love... their souls knew and understood the mixed range of emotions you were experiencing. Certainly they do not judge you now...and certainly the higher power doesn't judge you...we can be our own worst enemies beating ourselves up, dimminishing all the positive loving things we have done...making ourselves wrong and causing ourselves to suffer more. I am sure it was difficult bringing your children up while caring for your parents...these are huge undertakings and we have not been prepared to do everything perfectly. Life isn't perfect and we are actually making our lives up from moment to moment as to how we will perceive it and how it will evolve by our thoughts and intentions.

I think it would be safe to say that both your parents would want you to stop feeling guilty, to grieve as you need to and to begin living your own life more fully. If you can take time to write in a journal about what you are feeling...writing daily at the same time, you will find it quite carthartic... and revealing..your handwriting might change and you might discover some beautiful realizations coming through if you are committed.. take time and sit still...see if you can sense and see or feel or hear your parents... they may be around you but if you are so upset, you won't be open and in a receptive space to tune into them...

Most of all, if you cannot really pull yourself out of it with the help of family, friends and perhaps members here at the site, I would encourage you to get some professional counseling for a short period of time so that you can work through it and begin living more fully.

You might also think of doing some work or volunteering if you are so touched by the elderly... volunteering can be wonderful and healing and a step in the right direction for you...please keep us posted.. try and visit with us in chats as well.

Richest blessings
Gail

IP: 66.108.75.139

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