Major Introductory Vent! (Long)

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2003
Major Introductory Vent! (Long)
2
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 9:42pm
Hi Everyone~

I'm new to this board, and relieved to finally find someplace I can go to to lower my blood pressure!

An outline of my situation:

Husband, 2 teen daughters and I live with my Great-Aunt, who is 82. We moved in with her some 8 years ago after she was widowed, and we were at a point where we felt the move would benefit us as well.

My aunt is very deaf, has hearing aids, but half the time doesn't use them. The resulting dynamics of this affect the entire household, and are mostly a cause of frustration and friction all around.

One moment my aunt treats me like I'm the lady of the manor (and she's the scullery maid), and the next she makes me feel like an 8 year old child. I can sympathize a little better nowadays because I have a sense of how difficult it is to let your kids go... (she helped raise me until I was 12, and then continued intermittently; I am the closest thing she's ever had to a daughter), but STILL! Another issue is her memory is showing a significant decline; until recently it was only her short-term memory... now she's starting to forget stuff that she's known for years... this is scary. She's also OBSESSED with illness. (She is extremely healthy for her age.)

My kids and I have been unusually close to each other up til about a year ago. Older daughter, 18 1/2 going on 28, wants to move out and move in with boyfriend (this is also scary). Younger daughter, 17, is much calmer, but, joy of joys, she is enthralled with the Jehovah's Witnesses. The thought of my level-headed one thinking about going knocking on doors makes me crazy. I can only hope it's a phase she'll work through in time.

My husband is great about living with my aunt; he's a balancing force when I start to get crazy. He's looking forward to the looming empty nest though, whereas I spend a lot of time these days in tears whenever I think about it. Probably a lot of that is menopause starting.

I spilled a lot of it to my doctor, who recommended exercise (I'm overweight with heel spurs, which precludes many exercises), and prescribed a trial run of Zoloft. I liked the way Zoloft made me feel during the day, but it made me wakeful at night, so I never asked for a renewal. Maybe I'll ask for something different when I see him next.

Arrrrgh! I'm tired, I'm stressed, have had a nervous eye tic return from an earlier stressful time, and I'm getting big as a house! Fortunately, I work for a public school, so I have this summer to try to pull myself together... I have to do something, cause things are definitely worse than they used to be.

I need sympathy maybe, but I need suggestions more. The only flesh & blood support groups around here are for families struggling with true Alzheimer's issues, and we're not that bad, yet. When I read about what those people are going through, I feel guilty for complaining about the comparatively minor things I go through with my aunt.

Thanks for any help you can offer~

"Lou"

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 2:19am
Is there any way u could get some help for your great aunt? Like live-in help (maybe partly paid by Medicare or something? I dont know much about all that but that's what my grandma got help with), or maybe even a better place she could get more care? It sounds like she is getting worse and its becoming really hard on u maybe more even than u realize. Then maybe u and your husband and daughters could find a different place to live w/ less stress on all of u. Of course this is easy for me to say since I am still a "kid" (18) myself, but it just sounds like that might be the best thing for your family. I can imagine u are scared about your 18 yr old daughter moving in w/ her bf because frankly I am exactly her age (I'll be 19 in January) and I feel pretty mature but not mature enough to handle that - yet anyway. As for your other daughter I've never been thru anything like that, thats for sure...but it sounds cool that u are just trying to help her keep her head and see it as a phase that will hopefully pass. You sound like a cool mom. If I were u I would be freaking out over that too tho! Have u talked to your doctor about your menopausal symptoms when u were talking to him about all this other stress & stuff? My mom is starting that too and so far it's been not TOO terrible mainly some mood swings and hot flashes but my aunt had a BAD time when she was going thru menopause and needed a lot of help getting thru it including medication and counseling. I am sure u probably did talk to the doc about that tho. I'm just trying to think of anything that might help out :-) Good luck!!! Rhiannon

Avatar for cl_2and1more
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 08-02-2003 - 4:12pm
Hi Lou,

I'm so glad that you found the board. It sounds like you have some very stressful things in your life and they are all happening at the same time.

I am 34, I'm not at the stage of teen-agers yet. But I certainly see how those two things would make you crazy. Your oldest daughter is ready to start out on life. I remember that time in my life. I so wanted to get on with life. My home life was insane. I married one month after high school. Now things worked out wonderfully for me. I'm been married 16 years and I am very happy with my life. But I always tell people that I missed out on so much. Both my sisters moved out and did things on their own. The both made it fine. I have never taken care of myself. I encourage everyone to be on their own and prove to themselves what they are made of before they hook up with someone. Just my thoughts on one. I have many thoughts about your youngest daughter but I choose not to get into spiritually things on this board. I would encourage you to ask questions. Make her thinbk about the things she is saying that she believes in. many times I find that JW don't know why they believe what they say they believe. If you make her think - at least she is thinking for herself and not being told what to believe.

As for your aunt. That I understand. My DH grandparents live with us. 90 and 82. I encourage you to go to the support meetings even if it isn't exactly your situation. Get the help that you need. Look at the situation and think about what things would help. Does she need to be more independant? I can not even imagine what it is like to come to the ending time in your life and have everything that you worked so hard for stripped away from you...your body, your mind, your indepedance, your money, your freedom. Could she have her own space? Get meals on wheels delievered? Can she have a caretaker? There is a message board here at Ivillage for caretakers. It may help you have somewhere to voice your irratations.

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-bhcaregivers

And please go see the doctor again. Talk through Menopause. Hormones, exercises, anything that will work. See what you can do to help yourself. And make a plan to do it. If you don't take care of yourself - you will not be able to take care of the others that you love.

Please post again and let us know how it is going.

Melissa