Stuck & Anxious

I’m usually the one who does the support and advice but now I’m just feeling paralysis and anxiety. I work full time and I’m an only child. I have ADHD and recurring depression. I have shared care of my grandfather who has vascular dementia but still living independently for now - the only person I can share care with is my mum - here’s the problem… mum had a stroke at 39 but recovered to some extent. She since had cancer but chemo left her with cardiomyopathy. She has some arthritis and we’re now off to Rheumatology next week as gp thinking she now has fibromyalgia. She finally managed to divorce my stepfather but to get them finally separated I had to buy their house as it wouldn’t sell. I’m now living with mum and feeling really trapped. My work is really stressful but tbh I’d rather be there on most days. I never know from one day to the next whether mum is ok for me to go out and socialise or not. Complains she has no social life or friends but doesn’t seem to make an effort to fix that. I’m also in the middle of a feud between her and her sister who lives about 1 hour away and contributes v little to grandads care needs. Mum can be controlling (but so can I) and the ADHD makes this aspect really difficult for me to deal with. I have another grandmother who I just have to leave to her friend and my cousin so I feel guilty I don’t see her - I’m just running around all the time or going home knackered. I’m getting referred to OH for stress by work but I just couldn’t get ready and leave to go in today as the anxiety properly took hold. In short - how the hell do you carve out time for yourself without feeling guilty and giving in to the controlling tactics (which I know are there to help mum in trying to cope herself) and still stay amicable as much as possible? I’m so done with arguing and upset.

Welcome to the forum.
You need to get your priorities right, for YOU, not anyone else. I would suggest counselling to talk through your concerns and develop a clear plan of action.
How old is grandad, how serious is his dementia? Is mum trying to do all the caring without involving outsiders?? Big mistake.
Tell us more about grandad, and we can make some recommendations. We all know how hard it is to care for someone with dementia, there is NO shame in asking for help from Social Services or the NHS. The more help you get the easier it will be.

Hi Leonie
Stop trying to do it all yourself, you will break.
You need to start using outside help in various forms.
You stop doing what they WANT and ensure their NEEDS are covered. Needs must be covered, wants are only wishes and are optional.

While BB and the other forumites come up with ideas of how to get help etc, I am lending you the forum’s invisibleTeflon coat. You wear it all the time to deflect barbs and critical guilt inducing comments. They just slide right off without touching you inside. The coat also has added backbone :wink:
No one can see you wearing it, but they will see the effects.

Just remind yourself that if you weren’t there, both Grandad and Mum would need other people to help them, so why not start getting used to it now?


Dear Leonie
It was quite stressful just reading your description of your life. The caring role/s we find ourselves in cause all sorts of emotions to surface and what you feel is what you feel and quite normal given the situation, after all it might surprise you we are only human and not super beings. Guilt, yes a tough one to deal with. The only way I could try and get untangled from it was to consider that I had rights too, that I had as much right to a decent life as the person I care for. In other words I realised I had the right to equal rights, sorry I am not explaining this well.Yes it is hard to put in practice, but if you try and hold that Idea of equality,when guilt strikes it might help.
Regards Tessa

" The only way I could try and get untangled from it was to consider that I had rights too, that I had as much right to a decent life as the person I care for. In other words I realised I had the right to equal rights, "

Here here! Completely agree.

Lots going on. Have you had a carers assessment. This will be an evaluation of your caring role and the needs of your mother. Carers Support, benefit Entitlement, living Arrangements, social support, and sign posting to charities can be accessed.