In case you're feeling guilty for the conflicting thoughts in your mind, we wanted you to see a few of the comments we received when we asked how people's lives had been affected by caregiving. After you read a few of these, you'll see that what you're feeling is normal and that you're not alone. It wouldn't hurt to print these out and keep them by your bedside to remind yourself that what you're feeling is normal.
"Stress and depression have set in."
"The emotional problems have just about driven the family apart."
"I'm experiencing depression and just a 'there's no way out' feeling."
"It's a typical sandwich scenario — you care for elder parents and children and there just isn't much left for yourself and/or your spouse."
"I no longer have a partner at home or a companion for social activities. My free time is severely restricted to provide meals, personal care and transportation, as well as full-time case management for my husband."
"I feel I have no time to myself unless I'm in the restroom, at work or in my vehicle."
"I had to leave my job, working part time now from home not making even 10k a year, not able to go out except for running errands, not able to do the things I had planned on doing with my life."
"I have a great resentment towards family members who try to micromanage long distance. They have no idea how hard this is."
"I grieve the difficult changes having a stroke has caused my loved one to endure."
"I see life from an entirely different perspective. I feel like I'm living in a parallel universe of some kind, everyone around me is living a normal life, life goes on, I pass people going about their day to day life but my life is someplace totally disconnected from everyone. My relationships with my Mother, my family, people at work have all changed. Everyone counts on me to solve their 'problem of the moment' but I am only one person and there are only 24 hours in the day."
"I felt anger and loneliness … people don't have a CLUE unless they have REALLY TAKEN CARE of someone. Seven months later I still feel outside of myself wondering when I will be normal and full of fun again. But I wouldn't change a thing I did for my mom. I have no regrets."
"Sometimes I have a feeling of guilt that I am able to do things and the person whom I help take care of can't do a lot of things anymore."
"I don't get any assistance from other family members. However, they are always willing to give an opinion or pass judgment."
"We have gone through total role reversal. Now he stays home while I go out to work."
"I can't commit to anything for fear she will end up in the hospital again and I will have to drop everything as I just did recently. I have no other siblings so it is all on me."
"I feel the pressure of making decisions for the loved one and having that person mad at me."
"I feel like I'm neglecting duties as a parent. I am unable to attend church services. I can't even THINK about a romantic life."
"There is such a lack of appreciation and constant fighting between my parents."
"My husband and I had one life one day — and a whole different one after his stroke."
"At first my family gave me a lot of support but that has vanished."
"I can't go on vacation. Can't go out with just my husband. Don't have a life other than caregiving."
"My world has been turned upside down."
"I don't meet up with friends. I am always confined to the house and also very scared to leave my spouse alone."
"I find I neglect my own family to care for my father."
"He expects constant attention, although he can walk around and take care of his personal needs. He is always saying do this or hand me that, etc. No personal time for myself until I go to bed in a separate bedroom."
"My husband used to care for me; now I have to care for him. I miss the protection and feeling I used to have."
"It's constantly on my mind, no matter what I'm doing."
"I'm upset with my husband for refusing to help my mother."
"I'm failing this semester."
"Sometimes I drive back and forth as many as six times a day plus take my lunchtime to care for him. But I must protect my job."
"I was a stay-at-home mom but I had to return to full-time work as well as take on all the responsibilities my husband can no longer handle. Mother-in-law had to move in to help with child care and caregiving while I work. It's a big strain to have someone else living in our home."
"I feel as though I've lost my best friend."
This content was last reviewed on 12/28/2011.