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My mother has been in a slow-process of disintegration for years now, and there's no stopping it. At 56, she has mild dementia and she's had 7 (official) strokes with her first being in her early 30's, as a result of a genetic disease that I may or may not show symptoms for later in life.  I saw the same things happen to my grandmother, who was blessed to pass away at 67. I know my mom saw the same, and knew that she had the disease.

I see that my mom is scared, and I know that I'm scared, and seeing her scared makes me more scared. I moved far away in a different state very young, and my mother received one of the more major strokes two days after I left. I still feel guilt for causing it. Growing up, my mom was always a smart, quick-witted woman, and when I come home now, she's faded. She's not the same person, for the most part. There's good days where she can hold a conversation, and bad days where she sleeps all day and is so docile.

I already have a lot of major life changes happening - I'm moving back to my home country to be by my mom, I'm changing career paths, I'm leaving a life behind. I've had a little bit of time before this to start processing how I was feeling about my mom's situation, but I don't think it's enough.

The hardest part for me has been seeing the gradual changes and still expecting my mom to be my mom. My parents just found a full-time caretaker to help her around the house because of how much this is affecting her even physically. I don't know how much time I have left with her, but I don't think it's as much as I'd hoped. Most of the time it's as though she's not really there. My brother got married half a year ago and it was as though she was shell-shocked.. there was no response. Not even crying, and I know my mom is typically a very emotionally-driven woman.

I'm feeling very overwhelmed with everything, and I'm tired of not talking about this with others after suppressing it and avoiding even thinking about it for so long. I finally stopped running, I want to talk about it, but I don't know how. I'm in my mid-twenties, I haven't met many people dealing with this. I don't know what it is I'm looking for out of this, I just wish I could talk to someone about it. Talking to my family about how I feel regarding it feels selfish, they already have so much to worry about with all of this.

How do I come to terms with these changes? Surely someone understands this situation.

Thanks for reading

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Dear losmorados,

I'm sorry to hear about everything you are going through. It is a lot for person to cope with. I don't know if you can talk to a social worker in your community and find out what resources are available. Maybe consider talking to a counsellor or joining a caregiving support group. I found these websites helpful as well:

Aging Care

Tiny Buddha

Grief in Common

What's Your Grief

There are also many support groups on Facebook that might be helpful.  Please know you are not alone and there are many people going through this. Its really hard but I hope you can find some additional supports.

Thinking of you.

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