originally posted by rph3664
adult caregivers seem to fall into two categories: the ones who do it because they want to, and the ones who do it because they enjoy being a martyr.
originally posted by dudette10
it must be easy to sit there and categorize so cleanly, with a heavy dose of self-righteousness.
why don't you think about this scenario: your parent is teetering on the edge of caring for themselves with copious amounts of help from you, but still living independently. you're not sure when a change of living arrangements will be necessary. you struggle with knowing when the right time is. then, something happens with your parent--a wandering episode, leaving the gas on the stove on, taking too much otc meds, whatever-- and you know you must do something. however, the parent is still aware of his/her surroundings enough that nursing home placement seems...cruel. after all, the parent has spent much of their life talking about how they would never want to be in a nursing home. so, you bring them to live with you because you think you can handle it. you are able to handle it at first, because it was more stressful worrying about them living alone than it was with them living with you.
then, the disease progresses, as is inevitable.
you, again, are faced with the uncertainty of knowing the right time for placement in a nursing home...a place that the parent has never wanted to be. you feel the need to wait until they have no idea where they are. you wait until it just doesn't matter anymore. that point is usually after behavioral issues have started affecting your entire family. for some, a huge safety issue occurs, and you are grateful that an objective event happened to determine the right time. for others, no such objective event happens, and they still struggle with the decision-making.
you ponder promises made that need to be broken, thinking "if i was more patient, i could do this...i'm failing!", dealing with family/friends who are telling you "you should have done it long ago" and "i would never do that to my parents."
the comment i quoted from you was just nasty. we're either angels or masochists with the implication of sadism, too, right?
i'm getting so angry at it because your statement is what makes caregivers struggle in silence. i know i did for a long, long time. then, when i began answering the question, "how is she doing?" honestly, i got the "put her away" vs. "don't ever put her away" from people...people who never offered assistance. not even for a few hours. i could see the "martyr" vs. "angel" in their eyes. i hated it. there was no understanding; there was only convenient, self-righteous categorization. and, when you are as stressed out as an adult caregiver can be--and you feel the weight of failure on your shoulders--you begin to doubt yourself. you wonder if they are right when, in reality, they just don't get it, and they aren't interested in ever getting it.
there's no way i could have said it as eloquently as you, so i'll just say that i wish i could give you multiple "kudos".
very very seldom does something render me absolutely speechless, but the first post nearly did. i did not respond to it because there have been a few times in my life when my big fat mouth has caused trouble for me and i was afraid this might be one such time. i'll only echo the many kudos wish ruby