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I'm feeling like such an awful person. My boyfriend and I have only been together for 4 months but its been wonderful. He's very sensitive, affectionate and wears his heart on his sleeve. But it's a long distance relationship so text messages, email and telephone calls are how we most often connect. His mother was diagnosed with Alkheizmers about 2 weeks ago. It seems she had signs about year ago that he didn't recognize so he's been feeling guilty. And she has rapidly gotten worse the past 2 weeks. But he's only told me bits and pieces. He's the primary caregiver because his father is deceased and his only brother lives across the country. In fact he lives 2 hours away from his mom.

But he's suddenly just stopped communicating with me. Just one text message saying "Happy Thanksgiving". I've been sending him sweet, thoughtful emails...and I"ve gotten nothing from him. I told him I was worried about him and still nothing.

Well, I got really upset about his lack of response a couple days ago...I sent an angry email to him - saying if you wanted to break up with me just tell me don't ignore me. I was just so frustrated and felt so ignored. I too am under pressure with things but didn't want to bother him with it so I think I let things bottle up and get out of control.

I feel so horrible. Is it normal behavior to just shut out people that you care about when you first learn that a parent has a this disease? Can I ever make it up to him? Do I just leave him alone? I feel so selfish yet so hurt by his shutting me out.

I just don't know how to deal with this or help him. Now it seems I let my frustation push him away forever.
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Hi Chicago Girl:

This is a very difficult time for you and your sweetheart. Try not to be impatient with him... Caregiving can be very hard - even on relationships that are stable and mature.

Lives are changed drastically when parents need their children's care. Alzheimers is especially difficult... For now, there is not much you can do but, perhaps, let him have a bit of space.

Do not be too hard on yourself. Your heart is in the right place. I am sure your boyvriend is not upset with you but more at the situation. Chances are he will be most appreciative of your support when he works through things. Meanwhile, take a deep breath and try not to worry.

Hugs, Glenda

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