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Will it ever be over

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Stella, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    I moved my parents to my city 4 years ago because my Dad was having kidney failure. Well, I physically and mentally fell apart trying to be the perfect daughter, perfect caretaker, so responsible, so conscious, so hard working, so driven then my physical therapists suggested I read Dr. Sarno's book. Then my world opened up and I finally had a better understanding of myself then I ever thought possible.

    I have gone through the TMSwiki program. 95% of my pain is gone for the 1st time in my life and the depression is gone most of the time. I journal regularly trying to stay on top of all those thoughts spinning in my head.

    My ongoing challenge is my parents, 88 & 87. Over the last several years I have backed out of almost all their health issues and they are trying to manage them by themselves. I know this is not going to last long and in the last few weeks several situations have come up that, yes, send me into the pain orbit.

    My Dad mentioned to my Mother "just doing away with it all." My Dad says if Stella were handle this none of this would have happened. Of course he knows my Mother tells me this. It took me 2 days to be able to sleep and get my pain back to a manageable level. The another situation comes up with my Mother being so depressed. Again my body is throbbing with pain all over. I have journaled and journaled and beat my plastic bat seeing each parent's head as the target trying to discharge all my anger.

    I am so fearful of the future. I keep hoping a car will hit them and they will both be gone. I know this is perfectly normal so I am not feeling guilty about my thoughts. I am so angry at them both. I hate having this constant burden hanging all over me. Longevity is in my family so they both could live for a very long long time. They are both in my thoughts constantly. Get out of my head.

    I use all the tools in my toolbox; meditation, journaling, walking 2X each day, beating my bat but the last few weeks have been very challenging because of all my TMS personality traits plus guilt, fear, worry.

    Thanks for reading. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.
     
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Stella,
    I'm going to reply to this as a clinical social worker rather than a fellow TMS sufferer, because I know you know all the TMS techniques and have had such success using them.

    First, you don't mention if you have any siblings that could help. If so, but they just don't live as close as you do, I would still enlist them in helping out. There are many ways they could help long distance or through occasional visits. Or are you being the goodist child and taking it all on yourself?

    Second, are there any organizations that have care coordinators that could assist them, e.g. senior services agencies? I don't know what their financial situation is but if they can afford it, it may be beneficial to hire a private person in that capacity. In my experience it is always better to have a non-family member taking care of these types of things to avoid all the parent-child issues that always come up.

    If neither of the above suggestions work, then I recommend finding a way to create very clear boundaries around what you will do for them and when you will do it, and then stick to that. For example, state something like --I will visit between 2-4pm on Mondays and help with XYZ. Unless there is an emergency, don't get involved again until that time--just gently remind them of the boundaries.

    Despite whether or not you can enlist some help in caring for them or develop clearer boundaries, you will need to work on keeping them out of your thoughts when they aren't right in front of you. I find mindfulness meditation and practicing being truly present to be the best techniques for controlling my thoughts. Recognizing that it is mostly your thoughts about your parents that are stressing you out, gives you some control over your situation since you can change how you're thinking even if you can't change them.

    My mother died about 3 months after becoming too ill to live completely independently. It was a very long 3 months, and I know I would be feeling very much like you are if it had gone on much longer. I hope you find some peace of mind and able to get back to feeling well.
     
    Stella likes this.
  3. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Hi Stella,
    What helps me when my pain resurfaces is to imagine one of those graphs where it starts really high, goes down a bit, comes back up, goes down more, then a wee bit higher, then down again. There will always be rising bits in the overall downward trend. It's so easy to get lost in the direction of the moment.
    I remember when you first started on this forum, and the incredible progress you have made in what isn't really all that long a time. You are an inspiration!
     
    Stella likes this.
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Stella, sweetheart I really understand how wretched you feel. On top of caring for my husband there has been an implicit assumption by certain members of his family that I will care for his mother too. She's disabled, housebound, and recently had a fall. Add to this the fact that I find her personality very hard to deal with and you see a fierce brew of tension. When she fell not one of them did a thing. I mean nothing. Finding the right balance of caring and boundaries has been a riot but I have held firm. I'll do tea and sympathy, the rest they can and must sort themselves. Anger has helped me clarify matters and assert myself.

    I'm currently reading a book called ' The Selfish Pig's Guide to Caring'. Maybe worth a read for you too?

    Sometimes I contemplate buying a oneway ticket to anywhere, just away from this very human mess. But then I think, can you really run away from yourself? I know people who upped and left situations like ours but somehow I find that spineless. In all the talk of people-pleasing, wonderful qualities like loyalty, love, courage and restraint are omitted. As awful as these situations are, the potential to nurture the best in us remains. I would rather heal completely from the inside out as opposed to letting my environment kid me into thinking I've changed.

    I pray you find solutions and send my love. There is a balance to be found. I hope you settle there.
     
    Ellen likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Stella, I guess "it's over" when it's over. We can't rush the healing.

    You can mentally buy a one-way ticket to anywhere... Imaging helps relieve stress, we know that.
    Imagine yourself somewhere beautiful and peaceful.

    I have to do this today because this morning my boss called with another gigantic book idea...
    He gets one just about every day. "Drop what you're doing and do this," he always says.

    I have to do it to keep paying the bills, but he would drive Job nuts.

    I relaxed after his phone call (on Labor Day, yet!) by deep breathing and mowing the front lawn.
    Laughing, too. I know he's nuts.
     
  6. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Thank you for all your support, comments and insights.

    My brother and sister live 3 1/2 hours away which is nothing really but they choose to not be involved. It has caused a terrible rift in the family. I know they both have lots of baggage too. I know I can only control myself not them.

    I am so very sensitive to everything about my Mother. I "hear" and "see" everything. I know from her first hello if she is sad, happy (rarely), irritated, etc. I can tell based on her breathing how she feels. I see them only once a week which is a real achievement for me. I know my Mother wants to see me more but I can't do it.

    I do have a mindfulness class coming up. I am looking to increase the tools in my toolbox. Yes, the thoughts are stressing me out. This holiday weekend has been slow allowing too much time to think. I usually am real busy.

    I love the visualization technique. I have already started it. I know I have come so far since starting this program and know I will be using all my resources as I move forward. Plus appreciate the support during these down times. Yes, I have considered a one-way ticket to anywhere but here. Onward....
     
    Ellen likes this.
  7. yb44

    yb44 Well known member

    Hey, I am starting a mindfulness class soon too. I hope it brings you some peace and allows you to less mindful of your mother's breathing and more mindful of your own.
     
  8. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Wow Stella, I was like that with my mom too. I remember creeping in after school to see if I could sniff the air to find out whether my mom was cheerful or on an alcoholic binge before showing myself. It was very scary. Amazing what we do as children to survive.
     

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