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How Can I Stop
Still Waters
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2016 2:16 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


I sit at my desk every day at work and cross my legs.
It's an uncontrollable urge.
My mom crossed her legs every day.
Every time I cross my legs I think of her.
When she was dying in hospice she crossed her legs.
She withered away to nothing, yet still crossed her legs.
I can see it in my mind and it drives me crazy.
Those skinny strong legs, lifting up and over each other.
Back and forth. All day.
Makes me think of my guilt.
If she was strong enough at the end of her life,
days away from dying and could cross her legs, she would have ate.

This is just one example of how everything reminds me of her
And everything that reminds me of her reminds me of my guilt.
I seem to find a thousand reasons why she should have stayed alive.
But all the reasons why I let her die, don't cross my mind.
I am never reminded of the stress and unhappiness.

My therapist tells me if I can't let go of my guilt, if I keep going into that dark place, it will destroy me.
Yet everything I see, everything I do reminds me of her.
I associate missing her with guilt. They are connected as one.
How can I stop thinking of the guilt?
Is it possible? Any thought techniques?


Moish
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2016 2:43 PM
Joined: 7/29/2016
Posts: 319


I think you need a good vacation. A complete change of scene, somewhere lovely and easy where you can relax and indulge yourself with some fun activities. You deserve it.
Still Waters
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2016 2:48 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


Humm. Thank you Moish. Maybe you are right. Been thinking about it, yet I feel like I would be running away from my problem. I would think my thought process would return soon after I return. What do you think?

Moish
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2016 3:11 PM
Joined: 7/29/2016
Posts: 319


It's certainly worth a try. I think we're all exhausted to the bone after being caregivers and then losing the LO. Much more then we realize.

Go somewhere absolutely lovely. 


Still Waters
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2016 3:14 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


Maybe I will run away for good. lol. I can do that now. I used to dream of that when I was a caregiver.

Moish
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2016 3:27 PM
Joined: 7/29/2016
Posts: 319


Hell, why not? I too am now free as a bird. I need to get off my arse and join in the world more. I even have some money now. 

I've been thinking of doing volunteer work somewhere in Africa or a similar place. And next spring I plan to go to the south of France. 


jfkoc
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2016 8:53 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17302


I do not think there is a way to run away from grief. I believe it is something we bear that almost always softens with time.
Most here talk of second guessing what could have been done differently but I get the idea from all that you have said that you accept  responsibility  for your mother's death... that you made a conscious decision to withhold food and liquid. I can not imagine what that is like. . 

I think you are likely not giving yourself enough time and that the guilt problem will lesson just as the grief softens. I am not a religious person but if you are you might consider some pastoral help.

sending a soft but strong hug...

 


Moish
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 12:33 PM
Joined: 7/29/2016
Posts: 319


JFK:  No no! It's not at all running away. It's taking a well needed and well earned change. It's a healthy thing to do. Doesn't lessen the sadness, but can help to start the healing. 

Wallowing in grief is not the answer; starting a new page is the responsible thing to do. The love will never die, nor will the sadness, but starting the beginning of a new life is the healthy thing to do. 


jfkoc
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 1:43 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17302


I am all for change and fresh beginnings however it has taken me over a year to get to the point where I am able to do better  than function. There was no wallowing... just took that long to see myself and my way clearly again.
Still Waters
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 2:15 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


I have to agree with Jfkoc, as much as I know I need a change, I know I could not get myself together enough to make it happen. I can barely function.

jfkoc
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 4:49 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17302


SW...I think that understanding the fact that  time was needed to heal helped. I understood that I would recover at some point.An example of this was where I slept.

When my husband had 24/7 care I slept in another bedroom. This continued after he died until one night 6-8 weeks later I simply went back to our bedroom. It was time. I was not even able to bring his ashes home for a long time. Then one day it was time.

\This grief is yours and it is life changing. Let it work...You have suffered a tremendous loss...there is a hole left even in your daily functioning... peace will come in its' time....in it's time...


Moish
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 5:26 PM
Joined: 7/29/2016
Posts: 319


Thing is that SW was reaching out for some help, some thoughts on how to get past her immense pain. So I suggested a trip, a wonderful vacation. That would take a great deal of planning, and the planning alone is a distraction -- and a holiday is bright spot on the horizon to look forward to. 

I think many do in fact need something new to do, to actually plan and prepare for. I think it's a healthy way to start moving forward. 


jfkoc
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 8:36 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17302


You could be spot on. Maybe it would have helped me to do that but I was not able to think it through or plan a trip. Truth be known I might not be a good traveler although we certainly went a lot all over the world. I don't think it was ever my idea...lol
Veterans kid
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 8:54 PM
Joined: 10/17/2014
Posts: 1245


  I agree that some time away can be very healing and therapeutic. Unfortunately that may not be an option for all. I do hope to get to the beach again, as I know the waves do help heal

 I say if you're able to afford it, go for it! Doesn't have to be an extravagant vacation, just a little time away to be able to take a breath can help-some different scenery, different walls to look at.

always be VK 


MPSunshine
Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2016 5:23 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 1953


I think there's something to be said for simply wallowing in grieving for a time and not trying too hard to escape it. There is an incredible amount of processing that goes with having cared for someone hands on for so long. It becomes an intimate very close relationship beyond the mother daughter relationship of youth in which mother becomes as daughter in some way though always the mother in the heart. Reliving the gestures, going over past events in the mind, all this is a part of this processing. There is an expression that one can never escape oneself. Therefore one must find a way to love even the memories that don't want to be loved right now all of it is a part of the self.  Then when it is time, you will know.
His Daughter
Posted: Friday, November 25, 2016 10:42 PM
Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 2273


Still Waters, I get what your therapist is telling you.  We all go through the natural, common and usual stages of grief.   Of course guilt is one of those.  But what becomes important is that we don't allow ourselves to get totally stuck in one of the steps.  We need to move through all the stages to reach health.  But sometimes one stage can become chronic.  That's not healthy for any one.  

So what you asked for was how to stop thinking about it all day, everyday.   Here's the only thing that I can suggest as a technique that has worked for me.  Think of this as a tape recorder in your brain.  This conversation you are having with yourself is looping, over and over again.  And every time it does, you listen and slink back into the emotion of guilt.  You are allowing this to beat you up day after day.  I bet you've had that head conversation a million times, and always come to the same conclusions.  

SO......... the only way to get beyond this habit of beating yourself up, is to change the head conversation.  INTENTIONALLY.  Any time this thought pops into your mind, you immediately tell yourself there is no point in thinking about it any more.  Have a couple, to a couple dozen, items that you will use to  immediately change the head conversation.  Make a list of things that are readily available, and in minute that guilt topic comes to your mind, change the topic.  MAKE and FORCE YOURSELF to let it go.   Otherwise this will be a habit, and possibly it already is.  The only way to change a habit is to make a conscious effort to change the behavior.    

Pick a time, say Saturday morning from 9 - 11, that you will allow yourself to think about it if you simply must. Say to yourself, "I can't think about this right now, but Saturday at 9 am I will."  But at 11 am you turn it off and move on with your day.  Or use the first 15 minutes of your therapy time to bounce your guilt around for a short time.  I have no doubt that your therapist sees that you did everything you could and was a excellent daughter to your mother.  He/she can see that some of this is self imposed and totally unnecessary.  

Everyone walks through the stages of grief at their own pace.  And please understand that I'm not criticizing the time this is taking for you.  Just that eventually you know you must move on.  Someday, when you are healthy, you'll be able to be mad and point the finger at the real bad guy in all of this.  And that really bad guy is Alzheimers' disease.  And I'll bring this point home by reminding you,  that IF IT HADN'T BEEN FOR YOU, your mom would have died much sooner than she did.  It was your daily help and support that was keeping her alive.  The disease itself, with all it's natural limitation on normal living,  would have taken her much sooner.    

You did good my dear, and your mom was very lucky to have you.  Now she is at rest and would want that for you also.        


Still Waters
Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2016 6:52 AM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


Hello his daughter. It's been a while since I've seen you here it's nice to see a reply from you again. I was reading the post you sent me a while back over and over again about how guilty you felt for feeding your father.  It's so interesting to me that you feel guilty for feeding him and I feel guilty for not feeding her. Your reply has helped me get through a couple of really bad days. I go back and read it frequently. This technique that you want me to use by just putting the guilt out of my head for a couple of hours works. I've been reading about guilt and also my bereavement counselor mentioned using that technique. In the beginning I did not want to do it because I am determined to figure this out without denial. But I tried it just as a test last weekend for about four or five hours. And I felt tremendously better. I became more productive. And more relaxed. I felt a huge burden lifted off of me. Which is proof to me that the way they died, influences the grieving process. However when I went to my computer to shut it off and there was a photo of my mom the last weeks of her life before she died, the guilt came rushing back to me like a flood. I very often look at the pictures I took of her while I was caring for her for in her late stages because I am proud of the progress I made, how good she looked and the good care I gave her. Then the photos appear of her during the last month and a half of her life. She looks so skinny. The look on her face is so upsetting to me. She even looks angry at me. The scared look on her face when she was admitted to the hospice house. And then I start to remember the way I treated her when I wasn't feeding her much throughout the last month and a half of her life. I remember the resentfulness I felt and how hard I tried not to take it out on her. And I feel sick to my stomach awful. I walk around all day crying begging her for forgiveness. I am angry at myself because I hate myself. I even feel evil which scares me. I've mentioned all these feelings I have to my therapist and bereavement counselor's. They all have different techniques for me to use to ask myself for forgiveness or to convince myself that I did nothing wrong. But I know in my heart what I did and I know why I did it. I did it so that she would die. I wanted her to die. I wanted her and me out of this miserable never ending existence. Now that she's dead I'm sorry. Every minute of every day of my life I'm sorry. I panicked. And I shouldn't have. I just should have fed her only when she was hungry and hydrated her only when she was thirsty. Even if that meant a little bit of food and a little bit of water. Even if that meant it would take a very long time for her to die. But I didn't. And I know better than that. I'm smarter than that. In 15 years of caring for her I never made one mistake. In the end I fucked everything up. I hate myself I'm angry at myself for panicking and making the wrong decision. It frightens me how wrong I was. I miss her. I'm lonely. I'm sad. I'm scared. I miss the life I had as a caregiver. Reality sucks for me because now I am alone. And I'm sorry. How could I have been so stupid as to not see this coming? I was exhausted and isolated and did not have good advice. But still - I have been exhausted and isolated and never had good advise for a long time and always did the right thing. Why was it different this time? I have not figured out a way to get rid of this guilt and figure out why I could be so stupid and not see that the life I had then was better than the life I have now. I took for granted all that she gave me. I took her love for granted too. How could I have done anything to make that angel suffer? Does all the good I did for her during the last 15 years make up for this? No. Not in my eyes. Am I hard on myself. Yes. Of course hindsight is 20/20 but that does not help me. In this case doing the right thing turned out to be the wrong thing. The way this ended has made me a bitter person and if I can not resolve it soon, it will destroy me.


VKB
Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2016 10:49 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 3469


Still Waters wrote:

The way this ended has made me a bitter person and if I can not resolve it soon, it will destroy me.

Still Waters,  This guilt thought has become an obsession, so you need to fight it like an obsession.  I learned from my therapist how to fight obsessions with the help of medication.  Paxil is very good for anxiety/obsessive disorders (ask you doctor about it).  This drug makes the fight lots easier. 

 Obsessions do succumb to mind control.  Run the following by your therapist because I am not a professional.   I learned from my therapist what I write here.  Every time the guilt thought comes you must hit it on the head by intentionally not thinking about it.  It will be hard at first, but the more you refuse to think about the guilt, the easier it becomes.  When the guilt thought comes, say something positive such as , "my mother still loves me.  She forgives me and wants me to be at peace right now.  I will forgive myself and not think about this."  You will have to repeat whatever words you choose to use over and over, and then do not allow the guilt thought in.  As I said, it takes practice but once you learn how to control your thoughts, you've got it for the rest of your life.  If this doesn't work, you may consider seeing a therapist who is experienced with people who have obsessions.

Prayed for you right now that the Lord will give you what you need each day in combating these thoughts.  Remember there is not one of us who is perfect.  God forgives us, and we need to forgive ourselves. 

Peace  Veronica

 

 

 

 


Still Waters
Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2016 11:33 AM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


Hi Veronica. I am on a high dose of anti-depressant. Not Paxil. Paxil causes weigh gain so I opted out of it. I am on Wellbutrin which is a stimulant. Other than that I don't know much about it. Never thought too look into anti-obsession anti-depressants but I will. Also look for a therapist that specializes in obsessions. Good idea. Thank you. Never thought of that, although its hard just finding someone good in general. I never thought of my guilt as an obsession but I guess it is.

What I am bitter at is the fact that a daughter had to end their mothers life in order to make both there lives better. I should not have had to do that. No one should. Then after I did, I felt like I made both of our lives worse. My mother is dead and I am miserable. That makes me bitter. There are no good options.


His Daughter
Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2016 11:40 PM
Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 2273


Still Water,  VKB used the term obsession, and I used the term chronic.  So let's put them together and refer to this as a chronic obsession.  But what we know is that you are stuck in the guilt stage of grief.    

I want you to know that that I hear you loud and clear, and that you truly feel justified in your guilt.  In your mind YOU, and the decision you made,  is the reason your mom died.   Still Water, can you at least see that many, many others have felt the same thing?  How many times have you seen a post asking if the LO died because they were put in a nursing home?  Were taking the wrong medications?  Should have had better care?  Shouldn't have fallen if they had been watched more closely?  The list of "should've, would've, didn't" is never ending.   And it all comes back to that one little space where we think we could have prevented their death.  We beg for their return and feel responsible.  We make ourselves responsible.  

Now, could your mom have lived another week, month, or year?  Well....possibly.  But I can pretty much guarantee you.......you wouldn't have liked that either.   Everything I read in your description of your mom's final months, are very similar to my dad.  I too have photos my dear, and if you need to personally see someone suffering to the end of this GD disease,  I'll share, if you think it will help.  I also have a very poignant written description of his condition and his days for the final 6 - 8 months before death.   Trust me, Still Waters, NO ONE SHOULD EVER HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT.  

 I too was privately begging for my father's death.  So if you're evil for wanting her to die, than throw me in your pot.  We can both stew in hell together.   And I mean this with all the love I have ever felt for him, if I could have put him down, I would have.  Sure as I'm sitting here I would have done it for him.  There isn't anything I wouldn't do for my dad.   I'm angry at a society who wouldn't allow our pets to suffer in this manner, but when it comes to people we love, it's like we just don't care how much they have to go through.   I nearly hit the fan about a post asking about a beloved dog who was now incontinent, with everyone writing back saying to do what was right FOR THE DOG, so it wouldn't have to suffer!!!!!!!!!    Are you KIDDING ME??????  (I restrained myself, but boy I wanted to let it fly.)  

That angry look you say your mom had?  Yep I've seen it.  It's not all that uncommon.  Oh, and did you get to hear her cry out every time you had to roll her over for a position or depends change?  Ya, that's a ton of fun.  The description I gave in my book is that he looked like something from a Nazi death camp in 1945. His legs were so thin they looked like they'd break if you moved them.   How about watching your mom try to eat something, anything, that came near her mouth.  Like a pillow, a flower, a toothbrush, a razor, or my fingers?   Or did your mom ever get to the point where her brain no longer told her bowels to move?  I always felt so guilty for having to manually remove fecal matter.  But I couldn't allow him to get backed up, as years earlier Dad had had a bowel obstruction, and then did the reversal surgery.  And I'll never be able to forget those incredibly blank stares, almost as though they have died with their eyes open.  Or simply left the building, without remembering to take their body with them.   With not a sound, or a peep for months on end.    And I've only scratched the surface of this disgusting final months.   So Still Waters, we all have those horrible memories of what this death looks like.  If your mom got to skip any of this, good for her.  I wish I could have ended this torture sooner for my dad.   My proud, strong, and brave WWII veteran dad didn't deserve any of this.  

In my book, there is a paragraph where I mention that everyone who writes about AD tells us that our LO is still in there somewhere.  Even when they can't hold their head up, talk, laugh, smile or roll.  There were times when that thought was a blessing, but often, that thought was my worst nightmare.  And I mean that.  If my dad truly had any awareness of his condition, it was torture for him.  In many ways, I simply hope he really didn't know.  

Now as far as you being sad, lonely, scared and missing your life as a caregiver, again, we all have that.  You cared for your mom for many, many years and this is a big life style change.  Look at all the posts where people don't know what they'll do with themselves after their LO is gone.  I still have moments where I think, "Oh I've got to call Dad."  It's been a habit for so long, it's hard to stop thinking like that.  And then I sadly remember.  

Now here's something that possibly hasn't been mentioned.  It seems as though you are looking for your mother's approval and forgiveness.  So take a lawn chair and go to her grave.  Sit, with her, and a box of kleenex, and cry yourself sick until you throw up.  Tell her out loud you did the best you could, and where you feel you made the mistake.  Somehow I really think you'll get the love she felt to wash over you, and wash it all away.  I can promise, she doesn't want this for you.  She's grateful, she's proud of her daughter that stepped up and lovingly cared for her for so many years.  Let your mom, not your mind, tell you she's at peace.  

And Still Waters, "How could you not have seen this coming?"  You did.  But living so many years with a mother, and as a caregiver, it just seems like it will go on forever.  Everytime my group tried to gently remind me that we were doing "hospice" care,  I heard the words, but they didn't want to sink in.  And even though we all though there is no way out of this disease except death (therefore we all know what's coming) once it happens.......it's now final.  Now the worst HAS happened.  So we're in a different space and place.  With new challenges, new worries, and of course, that dreadful but necessary stage of grief.  Our life has permanently changed.   You saw it coming, you just resisted and couldn't see what this would eventually look like.  Because you've never done it before.   And that's ok.   There's a first for everything in life.  For me, I lost my mother when I was 36, but had my Dad all the way to 59.  Now I no longer have the two people I most treasured.   On Thanksgiving, my daughter mentioned as we were cleaning dishes, that while she knows this sounds weird she just can't get used to the idea that she'll never see her Grandpa again.   We all feel that.  

I so want you to get better!  I so want you to move on with your life!  No rush, but please keep in touch, and let me know even about some baby steps.  I'm glad that technique I offered helped, if even a little.  So start using it more often!!!!!   If you can just get one full day without that chronic obsession of guilt, day two will be even easier.  

I'm with you here.  We all are.  You are not alone.    

 


Still Waters
Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2016 11:11 AM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


HisDaughter,

Thank you for trying so hard to help me with my "chronic guilt obsession". There is no place else I can go and find people who understand and try so hard to help with just the right descriptions and advice. I would like to tell you the guilt is gone. But it's not. Do I still feel justified in my guilt? Yes. Do I see others struggling with guilt? Yes. To me their guilt is not justified, only mine. If she lived another year would I have liked it? No. I would have hated it. Do I believe you when you tell me you begged for your father's death? Yes. I have begged for years. Did I go thru the constipation issues your father had? Yes and I was mortified. Did I witness my mother eating objects? Yes. Did I feel grateful yet sorry for her lucid moments. Yes I did. When I go to her grave I walk in shame with my head down, on my hands and knees begging for forgiveness. It does not help.

I want me to get better too. I can't tell you how much this is wearing me out daily. How much it is effecting my grieving process. I don't know what it is going to take. But I am going to keep trying because I know somewhere in my heart I did it for the right reasons. It was my final act of pure love to help end the suffering. I took my own feelings out of the equation and lovingly helped my mother to the other side the quickest way I could. There is no greater love that that. 

 Yet the guilt remains.


KML
Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2016 3:01 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105


I know for myself, there was no consolation anyone could give me.  I heard their words, the words made sense, but I could not apply it to myself.

Depending on the circumstances, depending on the person, the time frame for these intense feelings of grief and guilt can last a long while.

This may not sound comforting, but I want you to know that it does lessen.

I could not sleep very well for a little over a year. I kept playing out the last days of my father's life over and over and I could hear and see everything that he went through during that time.  It was awful.

Eventually, that did ease.  Eventually, you do see things more clearly.  I think what happens is that we mentally and physically become so exhausted by the grief, by the endless doubts, the unfounded feelings of guilt.  Luckily, our bodies, our brains say enough and we come back out of this grief fog, little by little.  We can function again, we can enjoy things again.  I can only say it takes time, how much time, different for everyone.  We do survive this, the strength we have, we continue on.  Nothing stays the same forever, we have seen this and experienced it.  Nothing will change us missing them, we will hurt, but we will see things more clearly and we will see ourselves as human.  Humans who did the best they could, which in our cases, the caregivers, something very huge and special, what we did.


MPSunshine
Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2016 3:08 PM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 1953


The counselor I talked with does not even refer people to any grief groups until it has been at least three months since the death. Only after three or four months have they found these groups to be a good place to work on grief. The person putting pressure on you to get better faster is, big surprise, yourself. My friend said she still thinks of her mom all the time; it has been five years for her.
His Daughter
Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2016 9:44 PM
Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 2273


OMG Still Waters,

   You have no idea how much your next post helped me feel there is hope for you to recover.  I believe you do have clarity on all this.   And you know you are sharing a similar story with others of us who have walked this path. But most important was your comment:   

 I know somewhere in my heart I did it for the right reasons. It was my final act of pure love to help end the suffering. I took my own feelings out of the equation and lovingly helped my mother to the other side the quickest way I could. There is no greater love that that. 

Yes you did, and no there isn't!!   That statement alone tells me that you can and will eventually forgive yourself, for the best, most compassionate decision you had available at that moment in time.    I don't know if you feel it, but I do.  And someday, that will be the ground you stand on.  You'll always look back with some sadness.  That's just about missing someone you love.  But with this topic you will simply say, you did the best you could and put your mom's needs before your own, and that you will always miss her.  

And Still Water, there is something inside both of us, that truly gets it.  People don't understand how I could possibly say that I would have made that choice for my dad.  (if death with dignity were legal for dementing illness)   Trust me, I would have done it!!!  I would NEVER EVER put my own selfish desires ahead of doing what was right for my dad.  NEVER.  And I know he didn't want this.   And I can't agree more, "There is no greater love than that."

Bless your heart Still Waters.  You'll get there when you are ready.  Maybe not this week, or next, but when you can.  Please let us know about the baby steps.  Before you know it, you'll be on to the next step.  Grief simply just stinks!!

 


Tay46
Posted: Saturday, December 3, 2016 12:20 PM
Joined: 9/18/2013
Posts: 242


Still Waters wrote:

I am on a high dose of anti-depressant. Not Paxil. Paxil causes weigh gain so I opted out of it. I am on Wellbutrin which is a stimulant. 

How well is this working for you? My doctor prescribed Zoloft for me but like you, I am also concerned about the weight gain. I'm trying to lose weight, not gain anymore and I certainly don't need another thing to be depressed about. Are there any bad side effects to Wellbutrin that you've noticed?

dayn2nite2
Posted: Saturday, December 3, 2016 9:36 PM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 1976


Still Waters wrote:

HisDaughter,

Thank you for trying so hard to help me with my "chronic guilt obsession". There is no place else I can go and find people who understand and try so hard to help with just the right descriptions and advice. I would like to tell you the guilt is gone. But it's not. Do I still feel justified in my guilt? Yes. Do I see others struggling with guilt? Yes. To me their guilt is not justified, only mine. If she lived another year would I have liked it? No. I would have hated it. Do I believe you when you tell me you begged for your father's death? Yes. I have begged for years. Did I go thru the constipation issues your father had? Yes and I was mortified. Did I witness my mother eating objects? Yes. Did I feel grateful yet sorry for her lucid moments. Yes I did. When I go to her grave I walk in shame with my head down, on my hands and knees begging for forgiveness. It does not help.

I want me to get better too. I can't tell you how much this is wearing me out daily. How much it is effecting my grieving process. I don't know what it is going to take. But I am going to keep trying because I know somewhere in my heart I did it for the right reasons. It was my final act of pure love to help end the suffering. I took my own feelings out of the equation and lovingly helped my mother to the other side the quickest way I could. There is no greater love that that. 

 Yet the guilt remains.

I'm going to make a suggestion because yes, it does seem that you're "stuck" at this point and until you become unstuck from the constant thoughts/guilt about her death you aren't going to get better.
If you're still at the same point a month from now, still with the same intrusive thoughts or the thought that you purposely starved her (this is what you keep writing and I know that's not really the case), then I think you may benefit from an inpatient stay (yes, psych ward) to be evaluated for medication to assist you in banishing these thoughts.

Extreme?  Yes.  But as I've read your posts these months, the situation actually seems to be getting worse and your guilt and self-blame is growing and not diminishing and that's not allowing you to grieve normally.

Wellbutrin isn't going to help you with intrusive thoughts and I believe I read you are trying to avoid weight gain side effect.  Many antidepressants list this as side effect and it really depends on the person as to whether you will gain weight or not.  Like anyone else, if you are emotionally eating and not exercising out more calories than you're putting in, weight gain will occur.  

So basically you're at a point where your treatment needs to change - either discuss a different antidepressant with your psychiatrist or discuss a possible short admission to work intensively to identify what's happening with your thought process.

MPSunshine
Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016 5:54 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 1953


Hi, Still Waters, I'm going to chime in here and say that I think you are doing all right with your grieving process. I have a lot of faith in you as a human being.  You are stronger than you know.  Please keep in mind that when stages of grieving were written down they weren't meant as set in stone.  They are stages that someone can cycle through and then gradually get better. Guilt does not by itself stop the grieving process. You are too strong for that. A person may get a strong reminder of the person they love when they see loved one's name, or even from seeing an article of clothing they loved to wear. I'm here to say that I think the push to get through grieving as quickly as possible is overrated. Pushing the feelings down can lead to substitute behaviors to fill that empty place and to dull the raw pain such as compulsive shopping, over eating, and substance abuse.  Better to let the feelings out, ugly raw and real. And know that there is the safety net of the millions of others who have gone through something like this and they are carrying their hidden grieving around too and when you share it you will let a tiny bit of light in to someone else that yes, we share this, this is part of the human condition.
Still Waters
Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016 3:46 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


DayintoNight: Why would I go to a psych ward? So they could drug me up and send me on my way in a week? What good would that do me? There is no happy ending here for any of us. I can't imagine anyone who cared for a loved one with Alzheimer's on a long term basis (unless they were very wealthy) came out of this experience without some kind of guilt along the way. It's the nature of the disease itself. Mine happened at the end. The end of a long battle that I am proud of. This is my cross to bear. I am pretty sure every one has there own. I could have lied to myself and every one about how this ended, and said "I let nature take is course" and painted a perfect picture but why should I lie? I am determined to make this right in my head, if not I will have to own it. There are those of us care givers who set high standards for them selves and the people they love. I am one of them. If I did not set high standards I would have left my mother in a nursing home to die at the hands of those animals, from some horrible infection or wound. I could guarantee you I would have felt much worse. So if it did not turn out perfect (I was close) at least I can tell my self I tried. I tried everything I could possible to give the person I loved the best quality of care. Not a lot of people can say that to themselves honestly.

No good deed goes unpunished.

MPSunshine: Thank you for having faith in me. I am taking the same grieving approach as you are. My bereavement counselor reminds me every week that I am expecting too much from myself too soon. That the longer you care for someone and the stronger the bond, the longer this will take. I keep having to remind myself and step back from my disappointing feelings about where I should be by now in the process.

Tay46: No side effects from Wellbutrin. A little insomnia.

 

 



surfergirl
Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016 6:07 PM
Joined: 1/23/2012
Posts: 781


Hi His Daughter,
I cried reading your post, not out of sadness, but because you said so well what I meant but did not have the right words to say.You guys I can pretty much tell are way younger then I am. I know loss, mom died when I was 23 6 weeks pregnant with my 4th child, lost dad from lung cancer when I was 34.Am 83 now and lost my hubs from stage 7 ALZ on th 4th of July 2015.I have always wondered why we can do to our humans , what might get us arrested for animal cruelty if we did it to our animals. As for myself personally, I did my living will, an made it clear should either my body or my brain cause me suffering and merely existing instead of living. (PLEASE LET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE) If you do not I may come back and haunt you..
Wising Still Waters peace,and well being.
Lots of hugs to all of you Surfergirl

 

 P.S.Moish, nothing like beach vaca to heal a wounded soul.
jfkoc
Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016 8:26 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17302


Still...I agree with the professionals you are seeing. I disagree with your statement that we all feel guilt. I have none, as I have said before. Only regret that as I continue here I learn and what I learn would have made me a better caregiver.

Based on your posts right after your mother dies I do think you are struggling, battling  with yourself. 

I have faith your pain will continue to lessen...it takes a lot of time to change to sadness.


dayn2nite2
Posted: Monday, December 5, 2016 9:54 AM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 1976


I'm sorry you are offended, but you keep describing in writing that you literally killed your mother by starving her.  That's how it reads here.  That cannot possibly be, can it?

If you truly view it like that, there is something distorted with your thought process.
Still Waters
Posted: Monday, December 5, 2016 10:35 AM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


DaytoNite: Your not sorry you offended me, you enjoy trying to offending people.
dayn2nite2
Posted: Monday, December 5, 2016 11:43 AM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 1976


Since you ignored the question, I'll ignore the remark.  Again, when our LOs are in the dying process, when offered food or drink, THEY REFUSE because they don't want it.

What you keep writing is that you wanted her to die and starved her to death.  The first time I read that, I thought I misunderstood.  Then you wrote in other posts the same thing.

If your LO indicated she was hungry or thirsty and food or liquid was withheld, that is DIFFERENT.   And not okay.  If that's what was done please stop talking about it on a public board.

If the food or drink was offered and refused, that's what we talk about here.  The other is not.


Still Waters
Posted: Monday, December 5, 2016 11:58 AM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


She wanted food and water and I held it back from her because I wanted her to die. If you are uncomfortable with that then do not read my posts! I am sure I am not the only one who has done this. But probably the one who admits it. 

dayn2nite2
Posted: Monday, December 5, 2016 1:16 PM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 1976


Well no wonder you feel guilt.  You need help and I hope you get it.