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I can't take much more of this

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Although my parents are vastly different than your mom (they are very grateful for anything you do for them), I can also greatly sympathize.

I believe there are people on this earth (my father-in-law was one of them), that do not have the mental capacity or the ability for empathy toward others. Everything is the world is based on how it affects THEM, and no one else. Honestly, people like this probably shouldn't have children, because they genuinely lack the necessary tools.

When I married my husband, he was the only one of his siblings (six) still talking to his father. Ours was the only wedding he was invited to ... four of his daughters had other men walk them down the aisle. My father in law had also already alienated his new wife's five children. His neighbors ran for cover when he came outside; his coworkers shivered when he walked by and counted the day until his retirement.

I came from parents who couldn't do enough for their kids and my dad was a big teddy bear, the dad all the kids wanted to drive places because he'd stop for hot chocolate ... I decided I was going to be the peace-maker, the one person who would make everything o.k., I'd have a relationship with him despite what everyone else thought, I'd turn things around, find the decent part of him that HAD to be there ... heck, maybe I'd even reunite everyone one day and we'd all have Norman Rockwell Christmases from that point on.

As reality sank in and I realized even a Saint would have fantasies of killing this man in his sleep just to benefit society, I consulted my priest for guidance.

He told me that the bible says we are to honor our father and mother (yepper, what I was having trouble with). However, he said that he believed that there is also (and it's been so long I can't remember now how he worded it) a responsibility by the parent, after bringing a child into the world, to in return be a person worthy of honor and respect. To nuture. He told me that you try your best, but you have to realize that there are people who are incapable of having any healthy relationships. You can't control them, only your reaction to them (we've all heard that said before, even about cancer).

Am I suggesting you abandon your mom? Of course not. At this point, it would do no good at all for anyone. But maybe you do have to step back and set limits of some kind. Give yourself a couple hours, shut your phone off, whatever. If something happens, it happens. But it's like a parent would needs an occasional couple hours away from screaming toddlers. By having some time to yourself, you'll be able to better tend to your mother's needs. You have to be able to see it that way, and not let guilt take over.

My father-in-law died about five years after I married my husband. We never had a relationship I hoped we'd have ... matter of fact, when we realized he couldn't control me or my husband anymore, he kinda grew very distant to us, like he had no need for us. I've asked my husband and his siblings if they are sorry they didn't try hard to connect with their father. They said they are sorry they didn't have a father they could've had a normal relationship with, but since they didn't, they know there was nothing more they could've done.

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Jane, I edited the title of your post. I hope that helps some.

I can't imagine 30 years of what you've described, and I know that even with my Mom and the short time I was able to be caregiver to her that I had days that I just had to blow off steam.

You are in a hard spot and I am SO GLAD that you called your Aunt and that she is going to come to help. I would also encourage you to look around for a respite center of some sort. If you have home health coming in already maybe even ask them for a referral or two.

Do you have a venting post other in 'real life?' You can always come here, but I know it helps sometimes to have someone with 'skin on' to get it all out to. I hope that if a person like that is not in your life that you will find someone some how.

Hang in there, and I hope you have some days where your mind and body and spirit can rest a little.


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This is the kind of post that makes me wonder why I check the Family Members/Cargivers topic. Not a great way to start my day. I have an only child "son" that someday I am sure I will have to depend on for my well being. Jane I hope you do find some help for yourself as well as someone to help with your mom. It breaks my heart to imagine that someday I too could become the burden you are describing and that is when I can get down and wonder what I can to avoid this type of situation. I will say an extra prayer for you and your mom and to you I will say pray, pray, pray for the strength to get through the difficulties. Best wishes.

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Hi Jane, it's great that your Aunt is coming to spend a week with your mom. Take advantage of this. Also, please feel free to PM me if you'd like to vent. Although it is not the case with my mom,(she's amazing!) I can certainly understand your frustration. Everyone needs to feel they can share their feelings without being judged. After all, none of us are in the exact same place as another. I would hope that if I needed to vent someday, I would receive the support I needed here. Certainly, many others have. Keep looking for more outside support for your mom. Hang in there! Shelley

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What everyone has to remember when passing judgment here (and I know because I did it with my husband's family) is that you can't compare apples to oranges.

I looked at my husband's father and judged him against my own, and my relationship with my own dad (who is wonderful). I couldn't see anyone having anything but respect, honor, etc., toward their father. Until I got completely in to the situation...then I came to realize, all parents are certainly not the same. And while you think in general terms, we should care for them regardless, there are still a small percentages that makes that all but humanly impossible.

And Judy, you're comparing yourself and your relationship with your son to this mother, which I'm sure has no similarities. It's VERY likely that he would NEVER, at your worst, consider you a burden because you've been a mother much different than what was described here.

My mother's greatest fear is also that she'll "become a burden to her children". That can't happen in my situation because, regardless of how she might become, I have 48 years so far (and hopefully more) of knowing what a wonderful person, nuturing mother, giving (and spoiling) grandmother and just plain great friend she is. And, short of some horrific brain involvement that makes her a totally different personality, she'll remain sweet, grateful, and just plain happy to be alive. I'll take every minute I can get with her. "Jane" has not had this experience or anything remotely like it; therefore, you can't just judge her, or yourself, against the same criteria.

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Actual LCSC Forum description:


This is where you can air your feelings and get support from family members or caregivers who are going through or have been through what you are going through. Minor children of those diagnosed with LC are welcome to post here with the supervision and permission of their parents.

Connie B posted: "Also keep in mind that this Board is read by Lung Cancer Caregivers and Patients/Survivors alike"

In light of that post where do we caregivers safely air our thoughts, vents, and worries?

Just wonderin'... :)

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I have to say, it is unfair to come here and say "I wanted to feel better but this post made me not feel that way."

Caregivers in many way experience stages of grief...even before it is time to "grieve". I know I almost grieved as hard before Mom left as I did after.

Based on this, I would think the area for caregivers can sometimes have a "grieving/overwhelmed" tone. I think it just is what it is.

Finally, let's not sanitize things. Although Hope is wonderful and there is lots of it here, despair is also very real at times...and it stinks, sucks, just isn't fun...but it is real. And this post speaks to it.

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I want to first say what a great daughter you have been. You were there even though it hasn't been easy. You were given to much responsibility way to early. No child should have to worry about the things you had to worry about. I can't say I have been in your shoes because I haven't but I am understanding. I think many people would feel the same way given your situation.

Try and stay strong, seek any help you can when you feel overwhelmed. You are carrying a load that may be to much for one person. I am glad you found help from your aunt, if only for a short while. Please be sure to take care of you, it isn't selfish to do!!

My prayers are with you,


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Ok, I think pretty well everyone has been able to air their feelings on this one. And caregivers DO need a place to do that. But, no one needs to beat this poor deceased horse to death anymore.

Obviously the original posts were made on a very, dark, very overwhelmed day. Choices of words were perhaps not chosen carefully and janehill has addressed that.

We do need to consider our audience always, but and Nick says there is danger in sanitizing all the time as well.

There is no easily established middle ground except always try to find the way of compassion whether posting or reading. We're all here because we deal with a disease that has maimed us in one way or another. We all need that compassion. Past that, with threads like this I don't think there are easy answers.

And with that, I'm going to lock the thread for jane's sake and for all of us.

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