just like the so-called stages of grief, i think caregiving must have its own set of stages. or maybe it’s a long, protracted version of same.anyway, i seem to be in the one where you become totally paralyzed and marginalized. symptoms: spending whole days just waiting, doing basically nothing but kill time, listening to the clock tick away the remaining hours of your life. nothing you can think of interests you in any way whatsoever, except things you can’t achieve. you know you should be making the most of the idleness while you still can, but you literally can’t motivate. you feel like you’re way out in some surreal parallel universe, unable to reconnect to anyone or thing. you feel like you’re coming apart and losing reality, a piece at a time, but you don’t have the wherewithal to find help. you just relentlessly drone on and sink deeper into isolation. the resentment is still there, along with the resignation, but there’s no energy to channel it into something productive or creative. anxiety and worry build up to the point where it’s hard to sleep, or eat right, or work it off in any way. you’re just waiting for….nothing. dreading what comes next, and paralyzed by just the whole horror of doing nothing but maintaining demented, dying parents for years. your own health is affected prematurely, only you know when it comes your turn, no one will be there for you, and you would rather die than to impose this hell on anyone else. which isn’t a whole lot to live for. suicidal thoughts are normal, but you know you won’t consciously do it, because it would only complicate things for other people. not that they’d miss you, just the unenviable role you performed so someone else wouldn’t have to be paid an impossible figure to do it. your excuse for a life will quickly fade from memory. this is just the tip of the iceberg of what it’s like, but i thought i would at least make an attempt to describe it to anyone out there who would be masochistic or bored enough to read this. i.e. myself. (my one confidant/ hapless victim is busy doing something productive and useful with his life, so i’m minus my usual outlet. which i certainly don’t blame him for.) ok, that was fun. what shall i do for an encore?