Back to square one

Ive done so well in the past but lately my minds gone back to the thoughts of suicide again which i do hate yes but things have been falling apart. Its not completely beyond my understanding why my minds gone so far down again cause i do know the main cause and that is my grandmother and i will explain why. First of all yeah shes got her issues so she forgets alot says things i know she doesnt mean but it hurts either way but everytime this attitude change affects my mental state and makes comments on my videos that much more painful. So either way i have something that goes horribly wrong and its been hard to control these emotions again and im just at a loss on what i can do anymore. Its like i have to stay up all day and night just to keep my grandmother company but i cant do that so im just asking for one thing and thats for my life to get back on track before things get worse. I made some real progress before but when i think therapy has helped me something happens to the point i lose every last piece of sanity i have left.

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Hey @emoamy666,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing what’s going on in your life. I’m sorry to read that your mental health is deteriorating due to the circumstances you’re facing with your grandmother. You have a great awareness and I’m glad to read that you want to take action about it.

Knowing about your grandmother’s issues is helpful to understand why she behaves the way she does. However, she is responsible for her behavior, not you, and even a lack of awareness on her side is no excuse. Her words hurt you and significantly impact your mental health in a negative way. Prioritizing your own mental health is always right. Is there a way you can put boundaries in place and get a break from keeping your grandmother company 24/7? Is she able to take care of herself?

You mentioned that you’ve been in very dark places mentally in the past. You found a way out of the darkness before, you are now equipped with tools, and very importantly, you have made the experience that despite all the hopelessness it is possible to overcome these thoughts and improve your mental health. You will find the way out of it again this time. You already started to take action by coming here and sharing your thoughts with us.

Do you still see your therapist or, if not, could you go back to seeing them or someone else?
What can you do to support yourself in terms of self-care? I just make some suggestions: Do you have close ones you trust and can talk to about your situation? Do you journal, draw, listen to music, exercise, etc., to have an outlet for your emotions? In times that are particularly hard on us, the time we spend with self-care, no matter what that looks like, needs to be increased a lot - and that doesn’t require any justification or explanation. Your health comes first. If you’re not healthy, you also cannot support others. Take good care of yourself, you matter. :hrtlegolove:

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my mom is usually around to help and i have been able to get other help i was actually thinking of getting a job myself and let my wife handle it since shes never the hostile one these days. Ive seen my therapist recently and he has talked to my grandmother but he also said of course with dimentia or however u spell it that its something ill have to try to manage. i also play games so that keeps me busy but i am doing my best to manage all this its just really stressful on my life which is the reason im on the meds i am for depression and anxiety.

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One of the things that happens with dementia is fear/paranoia, also the pain of experiencing “loss of self.” At a time when you are expressing more care and compassion than ever before, she is saying hurtful things. She may no longer trust anyone, or she may be very unpredictable, sometimes lucid and trusting, and other times lashing out in fear and emotional pain.

Caring for someone with dementia is extremely exhausting, physically, mentally, and emotionally. You absolutely must have help! Realistically, it takes two or three people at minimum to adequately care for a patient with dementia. You have a right to expect help from other family members, if they are in a position to provide it.

You do need to get your life back on track, as you won’t be good for yourself or your grandma if you are burned out, or suffering emotionally all the time. Sleep loss alone can lead to suicidal thoughts.

I suspect the only way you will regain some degree of emotional balance is to spend some time away from your grandma. You will be able to be more patient with her after having some time off.

There is a ton of literature available on how to care for a person with dementia. There are also support groups that can help with coping. They also discuss methods to manage behavior.

Are there “adult day care” programs near you?

Keyword “Alzheimer’s support groups” near your location, or maybe connect with online groups as well.

Is she on any medications?

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well my mom has been thinking of getting her someone else to be around here with her its just so i can focus on our 4 kids and i hate to see my daughter amie worry so much about me with her asthma issue. my wife can be more calm about certain situations though i worry that might change eventually but if shes willing to help we can just trade spots. not really sure i can do her hair stylist job though but i can always find a different one if i need to

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With taking care of your kids, your mental health, your grandmother, you do have a lot to deal with. I hope you can take on the role of an observer, look at your situation from an outside perspective, and acknowledge all what is going on and all that you do. It is crucial to take time for yourself to take care of your own mental health. I totally understand that this is not easy given how much is going on, but since the situation isn’t there just for a couple of days or weeks, not prioritizing time for yourself will probably be very detrimental in the long run.

Family constellations can be very emotionally charged, so when someone makes comments this can be very hurtful, especially if it is the same story we hear over and over again. I don’t know what it is that your grandmother says that hurts you and whether the following applies: Usually, when someone else’s words or behaviors hurt us a lot, there is more to it on our side.
As an example: A partner went to the grocery store and forgot the other partner’s favorite fruit. Someone who was emotionally neglected as a child will be very hurt, because for them it is yet another confirmation that they are not worth to be taken care of, whereas someone who experienced unconditional love as a child knows very deep inside that they are loved. They will only take note that their partner forgot an item on the list and won’t be hurt by that.
When I feel very hurt I ask myself which belief that I hold about myself was triggered. This makes it a bit easier to deal with the emotional pain, because I understand what’s going on on a cognitive level. I recently read that ‘no one can make us feel anything. We’re hurt because of the stories we tell ourselves’. Of course, this is no excuse for someone else to insult us or treat us badly, but it shows the we’re not completely powerless in those situations and that we can free us, at least to a certain degree, from the emotional chains by working on our mindset.
Again, I don’t know if that applies at all to your situation, but I wanted to share this with you because it’s been something I’ve found helpful for me.

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I also encourage you to read up online stories of helping to care for someone with dementia. This could help you to “normalize” your experience and help remove some of the isolation you Amy be feeling. Caregiving is hard, harder with issues/diagnoses like dementia added to the mix.

You will also see that asking for help is absolutely okay too, even recommended.

Would it help to remind yourself that most of the hurtful things your grandma says isn’t really a trie representation of how she feels? After abfew moments, she will probably no longer have those same thoughts, so it could help if you expect them and are better able to shield your emotions.
It’s a cruel disease, but maybe these tips can help build a routine for her that also included quiet time, so she can entertain herself while you or your wife take a short break for some self care.

You matter friend, and your efforts ate deeply appreciated in taking care of your grandmother!

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From: SuchBlue

Hi emoamy666,

It’s very tiring for someone to take care of someone who has things like dementia. It is not a job for one person and it’s going to hurt you a lot if you keep taking care of her alone. It’s okay to keep looking after her, but definitely not alone. There are lots of things that you want to do in life and work on those things, and while it might be taking this all in it’s going to be better for everyone. From what you’ve told us, this isn’t fair for anyone and you shouldn’t keep doing this. I hope you find help for you and your grandmother, I believe in you both :hrtlegolove: :hrtlovefist:

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From: Dr Hogarth

Hi emoamy66, Having to go through looking after a sick grandparent is an incredibly draining thing for one person to alone. That is a huge burden and I am not surprised it is taking its toll on you. I think you need to reach out for support with your grandmother so that you can have time and space to yourself where she is not your priority; you need time to look after yourself. You are amazingly kind and brave for supporting your grandmother like you have done, but you can’t sacrifice your own mental health. You matter too. x

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From: ᏒᎧᏕᎥᏋ

Hello Friend Thank you for posting, it sounds like you need some help taking care of Grandmother. I hope there is a family member or friend who can help you. ~Mystrose

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From: eloquentpetrichor

Hello, emoamy666! I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. I know how you feel. My grandmother frequently forgets she ate right after she did. Her memory just is rarely there anymore and it is so difficult to witness and to live around. I lived with her for more than a year while this began and to just watch that decline is so difficult. To watch the person you knew disappear and become someone else who is a stranger to you while she is physically still there. It is very hard to witness and I am so sorry that you are having to go through this.

I think you need to step back from your grandmother for your own mental and physical health. It is a hard thing to do and you may feel guilty for doing it but the fact is that you need to take care of yourself or you will be completely useless to yourself and your grandmother. Find others who can care for her to give yourself time. She may seem like she needs 24 hours of attention but I doubt she really does. Sometimes it can seem like it but if you keep her occupied with a tv show or audiobook then she can be left alone.

You need to take care of yourself. You may feel like it is your responsibility to be there for her constantly but it isn’t. Sometimes it is not best for them or you. I struggled to accept that as well but I did it and it has greatly helped my mental and physical health to accept that I needed to remove myself from the situation. I was with my parents and grandmother and thought they needed me there to help them. But they have found others to help and while I know things would have been easier for them if I had stayed it worked out for everyone.

Family is important and family responsibility as well but you need to focus on yourself and take some time to be you and not simply a caretaker for someone else. Good luck finding some rest and recharging your batteries. Good luck finding yourself again :hrtlegolove:

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From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hi Friend, thank you for your post, I am so sorry you are becoming so low again with your mood, I am slightly concerned by your post with regards to how much time you seem to have to spend with your grandmother? im sure you love her and its wonderful to spend time with the people with love but that seems an awful lot of time and its clearly having an effect on you that is not necessarily a good one, is there any reason why you seem to be with her all the time as opposed to anyone else? I would certainly suggest to you that you find some time to do some things that you want to do for yourself, get out and live a bit and not just be a carer, life is short and you deserve to be living it and enjoying it. I hope you can do just that. Also if you find you need to get some assistance with your mental health go and see you doctor and have a chat with them and see what they can to help. Much Love Lisa xx

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From: Dark Weeb 666 (Matt)

Hi emoamy666. First of you are super strong and honorable for doing what you are doing. I admire you but you just cant do this on your own. It is dangerous for you and your grandma. I know you love her but you are not a proffesional and you are not a superhuman either. You need to rest and focus on your life too. Taking care of somebody for a long time can be hard for a whole family and you are just one person. Are there any other relatives that could help you? If not the best thing you can do for your gradma and yourself is to give her into a proffesionals hands. You are not being selfish or bad for doing so, you are being reasonable and grounded. I think it might be the best think you can do at this point. I am sorry that I have to say that but it is true. If you continue doing this by yourself it will destroy you. Iwish you all the strenght you can get. Please take care of yourself :heart:

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its like this everyday if its not about her losing something its about others doing wrong when its not actually true ive gotten so bad headaches from all this and i appreciate all the support i have here cause eventually if i continue to deal with this i might lose it again and wind up back in the mental hospital and i know my wife and kids dont want to live through this so as of tomorrow ill swap with my wife and see how things go

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I’m so glad you get a break from the situation. I hope swapping with your wife will be a good solution for you and your family.

If you don’t mind, I’d like to appreciate your awareness for your own mental health and prioritizing it by setting boundaries and finding alternative solutions. This is so valuable because you matter as does your mental health. Only if you take care of yourself sufficiently, you can be there for others.

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