It's So Frustrating When Non-Caregivers Don't Understand. Can Anyone Relate?
Question from Leonard T.
As anyone who has read any of my posts know, I have a mom (now 100 years old) in my care who has borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. She's been this way all of her life. Came to live with me (didn't ask me if it was okay) when I was in my early thirties and after 8 years of hell and isolation, I told her she had to get her own place (I'll write a book about the fallout from that some day!). It was a good thing for her, but she is too old for that now, but in good enough health not to go into a nursing facility -- and I wouldn't want that anyway. I don't hold anything against her at all because she suffered the vilest forms of child abuse which damaged her psychologically all of her life. Still, it is an extremely difficult place for me to be -- I am now 66, and being a full-time caregiver has really limited my opportunities and my social life is almost non-existent. That's okay, goes with the territory and I know it's not a life sentence any longer. I also love my mom despite it all and want what's best for her, even in her tormented, muddled mind. Did I mention that mild dementia is now also setting in? But that is not what bothers me the most. Friends and church members don't seem to understand the challenges. I even get an indignant cold shoulder when I try to explain why I can't drop everything and join them, why getting to church is a challenge, etc. It's evident that people are afraid to ask me things like "How are you?" cause if I try to explain, they just want out of the conversation. It's really a lonely place to be. Anyone relate?
Answer from Michelangelo T:
Yes! People really don’t get it unless they’re in or have been in a similar situation. Not being snobby here - I didn’t completely ‘get it’ either until my family situation landed on me.
I don’t have friends who relate at all so this forum is invaluable!!! There are two former neighbors/friends who do , but they moved away. I visit whenever possible, sometimes we talk about parent stuff and sometimes not but I know I’m welcome to with them, and we always do something fun which is something I desperately need.
We also started using Senior Helpers of Tempe. Their office staff was so understanding and able to relate with my situation and express my sentiment to my siblings living out of state. Our caregiver, Temple, has been amazing and provides the R&R a need from time to time. I love working with Senior Helpers of Tempe and you would be wise to reach out to there office; 600 E. Baseline Rd Tempe, AZ 85283. Give them a call (480) 745-2493.