Having a low moment

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whole hearted

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Having a low moment
« on: January 05, 2020, 06:20:11 PM »
I'm feeling so battered and alone right now. My husband is sick and in hospital and when at home needs a lot of care. He's had the first of three surgeries that he needs to fix his problems but it hasn't gone too well and he's had to return to hospital to manage his pain and work out where to next. I'm home alone and have no family at all nearby. I am NC with my birth family, apart from one brother, for very good reasons. I have three grown up children; one overseas for more than a year, one lives about 3 hours away and one recently moved to the same town. Until they left I minded my grandchildren weekly for an entire day and saw them frequently. We popped into and out of each others homes all the time. I miss my little grandchildren enormously but as my husband has needed constant care since September, I can't get away to visit very often. They come when their busy lives allow.

Both daughters came to our place for Christmas and as we live near the beach, unlike their inland city, both came to stay for a week to 10 days. I'm quite drained from full-time caring for 3-4 months and had only brought my husband home from hospital the day before everyone started arriving. I'd done all the house prep for guests alone and had the place looking lovely.

Normally I'd cook, laugh, care for the grandchildren and allow everyone else to relax but this stay I was clearly tired, low in energy and was feeling overwhelmed by having 10 people in the house continually. It was really all too much. My husband wasn't doing well and I had to call and ambulance for him a week ago, and he's still in hospital and unlikely to be home soon. It wasn't the best stay for any of us, and I could feel both girls but especially one was frustrated and judgemental that she wasn't getting what she wanted from the break. i.e full-time child minder and cook.

I've had feedback from that daughter since leaving, delivered in a miffed tone, that I wasn't myself, had depression in her opinion , never smiled and looked exhausted all the time. I've tried to explain to both girls, that caring is a lonely, hard role but I'm not getting much support anywhere. Friends just call or message to ask about my husband or go to him directly. 100% of the concern and support is going to him; I feel as though I've become invisible. If I mention that I'm exhausted, people look at you as though there is something wrong with feeling anything; and I've learned to just shut up. I feel hurt by this lack of any concern for how I am.

With all children moved away, or overseas and no family, I'm just so alone all the time. I feel too drained  and constrained to go to a walking group I'm part of a few days a week and there's no-one else. Today I promised myself I'd go to walking group but I've woken up sick myself. I'll still have to do all the chores and drive up to the hospital an hour away.

I have Complex PTSD as well and generally manage this pretty well, but I feel so triggered right now; worthless, abandoned with very low confidence, energy and mood. A real low moment.

It's not 100% an OOTF topic but I feel lousy and Ive had such lovely support from the forum members before. Thanks for listening

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NumbLotus

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Re: Having a low moment
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2020, 06:46:36 PM »
I am so frustrated that your daughters "accused" you of not being sufficiently happy, cheerful, available to their needs, etc. It really should have been the eaxct opposite - "Mom, you seem drained. Anything we can do to help?"

My mother has been going through the caregiving thing for a few years now, and I see how draining it is. People don't understand how hard it is when you are tethered to a person, when everything is literallly 100% on you, when there are no breaks at all, how tiring driving to the hospital is every day, when there is no "me" time. Things MUST slide, and your needs are the first to go, then some of your chores slide (housekeeping? lawn? healthy eating and exercise?) and people may judge. And of course your ability to help others slides - babysitting, community service, church activities, etc.

I really hope your family can see the light. There's a degree to which people just honestly don't get it, and they would understand if they could. But some just will not understand. I hope your children are in the former group.

They say that self care is critical, and it seems absurd and trite - so much to do. But it's true, you have to fill your tank a little at leastest you clean run dry. Are there services you can look into? Respite care? My mom used to use the ohysical trainers that visited my dad every week as respite care - instead of hanging around while they did their work, she'd leave and get coffee or whatever. Just sit in her car alone, too, I think. She also hired out the cleaning, and the cost was really fair for her (haven't had quite her luck in my area, though).

I also think that it may be time to take a break from hosting holidays. Or you can ask people to bring dishes and forgo decorating, or reduce it a lot. Keep things simple - order pizza and make a big salad for one of the non major meals for example. It's really okay. And if your family will judge you for that and make it anything less than okay, then it's time to take a break from it for a while.

I hope things get easier in some way so you can start refilling your tank or at least keep it from draining more. Caregiving is hard and invisible. Best wishes to you.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Having a low moment
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2020, 07:14:52 PM »
Oh, dear, whole hearted, I understand your sadness.  I have one immediate suggestion:  Don't go to the hospital today (or tomorrow, if you've already gone today). Take care of yourself first.

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Spygirl

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Re: Having a low moment
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2020, 09:30:49 PM »
I agree with poison ivy.

Imo, Please use his hospital stay as a mini vacation. You can call to see how he is. Get some sleep for yourself.

If you are not rested, you are no good to him, but mostly, no good to yourself. If it were me, i would ask my daughters for finacial help to get a part time caregiver for him. I would also not have holidays in my home until your husbands' situation resolves.

I am so sorry you are struggling. Your feelings are justified. Get some rest.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Having a low moment
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2020, 04:46:35 PM »
Perhaps you should just focus on your own needs at home while your spouse is at the hospital.

A couple days of sleep, a hot bath and some good eating might put you in shape to get more out of the rest of the time alone.

Don't feel bad about being tired and drained.  Bob's tend to give and give and give until they can no more.  It's also common to loose yourself in all of the giving and sacrificing and not even know who you are any longer. 

Once you get you strength care for yourself holistically. Socially, intellectually, spiritually, psychologically etc etc.  When was the last time you cooked something just for you, something special or interesting or new and unique.  When did you last turn on music and enjoy it.  Or smell a lotion or bouquet or popourri that made you smile. 

Take your power back a small bit at a time.