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Hi, this is the firt time I've posted here. A brief intro.

I am in my mid 50s and a single woman. My parents moved in with me when my son became ill in 2001. Long story short, I made a big mistake by doing this. You should never have your parents live with you, PERIOD.

My son passed away in 2003 and forever has changed my life. I miss him so dearly and no one can understand this. My daughter has totally changed since he passed away. I really don't know who she is anymore. So selfish and distant from her family. She is all about who is going to watch her kids for her while she goes and buries herself in work and her work friends (she had twins 6 weeks before her brother passed and has an 8 year old and a 6 year old). Her marriage is falling apart and it is largely due to her. Her priorites are all wrong. I have a cold today and know everything looks worse when your sick so part of my ranting is because of this but I do feel this way sometimes when I feel good. I have absolutely no personal life. I have no privacy and the only time my daughter calls me is to see if I can babysit. I am blown away by how selfish she is. I really feel for her children. She doesn't really interact with them but just watches them in a half-ass way, if you know what I mean. It is a crying shame.

Anyway, I know many people are a lot worse off than me. My parents are in good health and my Dad does more than his fair share of the work around my home, yard work and kitchen, primarily. But they don't clean up their rooms. Their carpet is dirty. My Mom is easy going and in a pleasant mood.

I guess I'm feeling pretty down right now and neede to vent. I'd liketo have a life for me but fat chance that will ever happen. Thanks for letting me.
Give Me Strength
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Givemestrength:
Welcome to our little corner of the world. I'm very sorry that you lost your son. I cannot imagine the pain that has caused you.
However, you have been blessed with healthy parents, and that is truly a blessing. As you read through the postings on this forum, you will see there are many of us caring for our ailing parents; many of us have our parents living in our homes.
My mom is 83 and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She is in stage 5 which basically means she can NOT be left alone. She needs assistance with a lot of day to day things, has great difficulty walking because of balance issues and occasional bowel incontinence. I have an aide here during the day because I work a full time job; I then care for her the rest of the afternoon/evening.
It's not easy and at times I become very frustrated, depressed, angry, resentful...you name it...yet, I wouldn't have it any other way. I consider it a privilege to be able to provide her with love and affection, to let her know she will not take this journey alone. I plan to keep her with me in my home until a time that I can no longer properly care for her.
I wish you well and hope that you and your daughter can come to good terms and find some peace...blessings to you, Mimi

[This message has been edited by MIMI427 (edited 07-05-2005).]
Hello:

I can relate to some of what you are going through. The year 2001 changed my life completely also. My father (now 88) was injured in a home invasion which brought me home to live with him. In 2003, I almost lost him to cancer. It is unfair that crime has caused him to give up his independence. But, had I not been here, he would have died. A blessing in disguise, I guess.

But, do not be to hard on yourself. You made a decision during a difficult time to allow your parents to move in. My heart goes out to you losing a child...

You have gone through a lot during these past few years. It is good that you have come here to share. Your situation is really a tough one. Have you talked to your parents about other living arrangements?

Your daughter may be reacting to losing her brother in an unhealthy way. She might not know how to handle her loss and is running away from family commitments through work. I gather he was her only sibling?

You are sandwiched between parents and caregiving for your grandchildren. It makes it hard to find time for yourself. In my situation, my son moved to Louisiana with my sister after the home invasion. That was the worst decision I made during a time of crisis. She was abusive to him. He is back with me now and finally getting back to his old self. I have had to make the adjustment from treating him as a child to treating him as an adult. It has helped!

Please be kind to yourself first and foremost. I know that for myself, I am trying to gain an understanding of family dynamics and am learning to stand up for myself as a result of adversity. Care-giving has driven me to counseling! Another blessing in disguise...

Take Care, Glenda
I do think my daughter is handling the loss of her brother in an unhealthy way. The stress she has been under was made more complicated b/c her pregnancy was very risky, the twins had Twin-to-Twin Tranfusion Syndrome, and the docs gave her 50/50 change of having a good outcome. Every week for months she would have to go to the doctor for heart monitoring tests for the twins. Then she had a very bad asthma attack and was put in the hospital, it didn't get much better and they had to deliver the babies. Then 10 days later, she gets a blood clot and had to be re-hospitalized. Then 4 weeks later her brother passes away from a pulmonary embolism (blood clot). We were all walking zombies. My dad said no one would believe any of this b/c it was one thing after another for a long time.

Anyway, now it has been two years later and I see my daughter putting most of her energy into her job. She worked long hours, and seems to have very little to give to her kids and her husband. I've told her she has changed so much but is just goes in one ear and out the other. I have suggested to her to go get counselling. I would have assumed she would appreciate the value of spending time with her family since she lost her only sibling but it seems just the opposite happened. I just don't get it. Now, in her defense she does have a very hectic and demanding job. I told her the other day that she can't realize how much stress she is under and wouldn't understand it unless she stopped working and looked back 6 months later. She agreed. Oh, I need to help her but don't know what I should or can do. At times, I feel as if I've lost my only remaining child. I am worried. This situation is the last thing I thought I would be dealing with after the loss of my son. This week, for example, I took two of her kids to the doctor (on different days). Each trip took nearly 4 hours because of wait time and going to pharmacy and wait time there. Two copays and 5 rxs cost me $100. I have a limited amount of money and no offer to pay me back.

I find I spend a lot, and I mean a lot, of my free time in my bedroom. I've lost the free use of my home b/c my parents live with me. I don't have the luxury of just laying on my couch in my family room and just watching tv. I use to love to do this b/c my couch is so comfie. But I can't do that now b/c I don't have that kind of privacy anymore. I remember telling my physician that my parents were wanting to move in with me. She said No, absoutely, no. Have them move into their own place (problem was they are broke). I was weak when they said they were moving down. It seems my Dad is totally out of touch with the fact that their move would result in me giving up my personal space and life. I am either taking care of grandkids, staying in my bedroom or spending time with my parents. My other siblings call once in a while and that's about all they give. I am disappointed my parents don't seem to mind that I've lost all my privacy. Since my kids left home I've only had a few short years to enjoy living by myself. At one time or another, both my son, daughter have moved back in with me and now parents.

I remember years and years ago my mother said she never wanted to live with her kids, she never wanted to become a burden to them. My parents aren't really a burden, but their presence here in my home robs me from a life as a single woman. I think what really bothers me is the fact that my Dad doesn't have any regard for my personal life and space. It never even occurs to him. Now, it is my fault I didn't have the strength to put a stop to it and now I will have to live with it. I am disappointed my parents don't clean the two rooms they have. Their carpet is very dirty, everything is dusty.I will have to vacuum and shamphoo. My mom use to take care of herself by wearing makeup and fixing her hair. Now, she just lets her hair go, no makeup and she has gain a ton of weight. She looks very unkept. I have to tell her over and over again to get a hair appointment made. It just blows my mind.

I will be downsizing soon and we will be moving into a much smaller home. My parents will take over all the rooms downstairs and I will get two rooms upstairs. It will be even worse than it is now. I feel trapped, completely trapped, and I have no one I can talk to about the frustrations I feel from time to time. I can't talk to anyone in my family. So, I put on a happy face when I am around my parents (they haven't a clue how I really feel inside). I am a little cheerleader for my parents, my daughter and my grandkids. To add more stress, my parents make no attempt to find friends or entertainment. They only do things if I suggest it. They would never, on their own say, "We are going over to granddaughter's to see her kids". It's all up to me to take them. They are isolated, have no friends and are totally dependent on me for any entertainment. Days and days go by and the only human contact they have is me. It is stressful. Of course, it would never occur to my parents that this is a stress to me. I sent an e-mail to their older grandkids asking them to call them once in a while. One one did, once. The others are so self-absorbed, I guess. Again, this blows my mind. And to top it off, my Dad only lives his life through me. His round-robin letters to his cousins are all about me (more added stress).

And to cap things off, since my Dad lives his life through me, he is always telling me what to do. It is unbelievable. If I were to discuss with my parents something I am thinking about doing, my Dad will usualy say that what I am thinking is wrong and that his way is the way I should do it. I have gotten so frustrated with him. He doesn't seen to respect the fact I am a grown women who knows how to do things on my own. For example, we had a family reunion to attend. It coincided with me putting my home on the market. He said to me that I couldn't go to the reunion b/c of the home being for sale. I said your right I can't go (even though I thought he was wrong). Then a few days later he said well, if I didn't go none of us would go. I told him, he could go on his own and didn't have to stay because of me. No one went to the reunion. Another example, we went to get fast food, after getting the food, Dad proceeds to tell me how to drive to my daughter's home! I put my hand on his shoulder and said. Dad, I know how to get to my daughter's home. I live in this town and am not a visitor. His reactions was to get real animated and suprised. Like he was so shocked I would say this.

My parents always went to see my sister for two weeks every year, they also used to go see his siblings yearly. Well, guess what, they havent gone since they moved in with me three years ago. I get no break.

I hope you all don't mind if I use this board to vent all my frustrations. I have no ones else to talk to about these things. NO ONE. Remember, I am the cheerleader for my family. Problem is no one is a cheerleader for me.

Thanks for listening.
Dear givemestrength,

First, let me say I'm sorry for the loss of your son. I can't even imagine what that must feel like except to say that if I lost my daughter, I would have no reason to get up in the morning. She is truly the one ray of sunshine in my life.

Secondly, the rest of your story really disturbs me. Like you, I am single and trying to care for my elderly parents. Mom is 88, has severe dementia and is completely immobile due to two broken hips over the past five years. Her mind is completely gone and she needs assistance with everything and I do mean everything. It is like taking care of a 112 pound baby. My father used to be in relatively good health but in the past four months he is has been in the hospital five times. Until yesterday, I used to say four but he is now back in the hospital. The last trip to the hospital resulted with a pacemaker being put in his chest. Yesterday, I took him again to the hospital with weakness, dizziness and body aches. After xrays and tests, he was once again diagnosed with low blood count. We thought for a while he was losing blood but it appears that his body is not making blood. Averaged out, it seems he is now needing blood every month. Dad is 90.

Last week, my parents moved to an very nice assisted living facility in their town that has a new dementia/alzheimer's wing. They can be in their apartment during the day and night but if dad wants to do something or go somewhere (which is doesn't because he's legally blind and can't drive), the staff takes mom to the dementia unit. They feed her and care for her there. In a perfect situation, this would be the ideal set up but it isn't. My father gripes and complains because he can't be in his own house.

Over the course of the past five years, my father has done just about everything to manipulate me into giving up my life to take care of them. Last Monday, I returned to my job after being off them them on FMLA for three months. While I was off, I was with them daily and working on a plan to get help into the house so they could remain there and have my mom still be cared for without it causing my dad to become ill from taking care of her. Due to my dad's verbal outbursts and negativity about having a stranger in the house, he and mom ended up moving into this apartment. Now you tell me. Isn't that just about the silliest thing you've ever heard? Leaving a 4-bedroom home where they've lived since 1962 and moving into a one-bedroom apartment, all because dad doesn't like people in the house and having his privacy invaded. Just before I was ready to return to work, dad became verbally abusive to the caregiver that was there and it ended that she left and they were alone again. Dad expected me to pick up the pieces and live with them again. I have my own home (Dad would love for me to sell my house and move in with them) but I'm just stubborn enough and selfish enough to want to have a little of my own life. Like you, I'm not married. I'm 53 and I don't have any sort of social life, either. This is because I was at their house every weekend before taking the leave and then I was there every single day and night.

I have no siblings that can or will help. My oldest brother (who lived in North Carolina) passed away three years ago. My oldest sister (who is 63) has dementia and her husband cares for her. The younger brother who is 62 has himself a wife 20 years his junior and he just doesn't want to. He's like an overgrown teenager. All he can think about is his hot rod restoration hobby. He's retired but he can't find time to come down to see mom and dad and help out. He hates my father and he won't bother with it any more. So here I am. Doing all of the work. I know that if my sister was well, she and I would be sharing the load. June is just the sweetest person and we used to work together to help mom and dad. But that's not the case any longer. I'm stuck with a lazy, selfish, self-centered brother who doesn't see anything in life except how it affects him. So be gone with him, I say! I'll take care of the situation the best way I can. Except that when you wrote your story, a flood of pain came to me because I realize that you have it so much worse than me. To be truthful, I don't know what I would do if I had my parents living with me. I think I'd probably just go nuts. I've always been independent. That's the one thing that my parents taught me how to do.

My dad is difficult but I understand him and can usually get through to him after a bit. My mom never wanted any of her children to have to take care of her but I don't think she ever realized that this horrible disease would take hold of her mind, either. Dad lives in a fairy-tale world, thinking that if he just keeps working with mom, she will get better. Denial, denial, denial. That's hard to deal with when all roads lead to nowhere.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I really do understand what you are feeling about having your life taken away. You have a tremendous load in your basket. I know that I could give you simple advice and tell you to get your own place and let your parents get their own but I don't know you and I would never tell someone to do something because it is up to the person involved to make their own decisions about their life. But I can say that I REALLY feel for you. I mean that, sincerely. I will suggest finding a therapist to talk to about your situation. I talked with one briefly and am now seeking out another in my own town. Another member of this site has been talking to one, too, and she says it has helped her alot. You're not weak by doing this, believe me. This situation is nuts and you need to find someone who can help you figure out how to either live with it or change it. If you don't, the stress will kill you. Caregivers usually dies before the people they care for do. That's a fact.

I'm not quite sure why our lives end up like this sometimes. Maybe lessons ... maybe just because we have been chosen because we can do it. Hang in there. I'm thinking about you and praying for your situation to get better.

~Jane
Hi Jane

It really helped me to read your post. We are both in a tough place. It is frustrating with a brother who just doesnt get it. I rarely hear from my brother. I sent an e-mail to his two kids and the other grandkids who are older suggesting to them call Nana and Papa once in a while. I told them days and days go by and it is only me they talk to. Only one grandchild called once. Isn't that the worse thing?

You said you thought I had it worse. I'm not so sure.I'd say we are both in a very tough place. I sigh sometimes wondering how did things get this way? My daughter has friends who Mother rarely have anything to do with their kids. Although it is hard on me at times I wouldn't give up that experience. But I do need to take care of me but I am not sure how just yet.

I am glad you can let your frustrations go here. I started to write an e-mail to my sister just now to let go of some frustrations and then said no so I cut what I wrote and will paste it below in this post. It really does help to let out the pain and frustration here. You are a stranger, yet I can tell you. I agree with the therapist thing. I did go to one for a year and a half after my beloved son, Jeff died. He helped me a lot. It is the most painful experience to go through. The only thing that could possible be a little worse is if your child was murdered. That additional burden is beyond me. There is no way for you to know the depth and breath of the pain of losing a child. There is no reference w/o experiencing it yourself. When my cousin's daughter died a few years ago. I knew it was bad but until I had it happen to me I had no clue how bad it is. It is so bad my work gave me two months off as disability. I tried to go back after a week and was blundering and crying. My co-worker said you are not ready. I took her advice. And to make a very long story short, I quit my six figure job last October. I had enough of a very bad situation. Had a psycho boss (who ws canned the week after I quit). Now it is July and I am coming around from being a major worker bee to just being able to go through and clean the house of clutter. It has taken me months to get to this point. Days on end I would just sit in my room and watch TV. Of course, I would talk to my parents, go help my daughter, take the grandkids somewhere and so on but I just took the time to zone out and heal.

Anyway, here is what I wrote my sister but decided against it. Why burden her???? Plus she really doesn't get it.

I came in from the garage working, its hot out there already. I had to get away from Dad, as well. He was obsessing about not being able to find something. He went on and on and on and on. Poor man, if he only knew how what he says affects other people. He hasn't a clue. It gets uncomfortable to be around him, at times. I've come to the realization that he doesn't care or have an interest what I think or feel. He never inquires, he just likes to tell you what he knows about world affairs or that what you are thinking is wrong. For example, today I said I was going to call the Salvation Army to see what time they are coming. He said they don't tell you that and went on about it for a while. I said they do b/c they told me so when I called for pickup. It doesn't really matter what the subject is it seems he will take the opposite position. It is pitiful and I have to think that his brain is shrinking or something which happens when you age. What is so sad is I would have probably not had this opinion of him had he not moved in with me. I accept it but it doesn't make you feel warm and fuzzy. I think that is why Mom is more and more to herself. They rarely talk.

Sometimes, when we are all together, Dad will start ribbing Mom and it makes her uncomfortable. He really thinks he is just teasing in a good nature way but it bothers her. I have to tell him not to pick on Mom. I say it in a fun loving way. Oh brother. it is sad.

On another note, I'm worried more about Mom, she has gained a lot of weight now. She is practically immobile, so to speak b/c, she doesn't do anything. She doest take care of herself like she use to do. Let's her hair go, no makeup, no attempt. It's discouraging. I try to encourage her and she says she knows. Says she will make a hair appointment later but doesn't. When her sister's husband died, she never even called her. I had to order the flowers and take of it. She may be depressed. I mean think about it. Living with a man whose only way to communicate is to tell YOU what he knows, for the most part. But with all that said, Dad is very helpful around here. Does more than his fair share for sure. For that I am thankful. He wouldn't hurt a flea but yet he does unknowingly. I always try to give him praise him in some fashion. You know, bolster the ego. Can't think of the last time he praised me for anything. Truly sad.

Jane, I'm sorry to hear about your sister. That's got to be hard. You and I are in such similar places. It is hard, it is painful, yet I want to rise above the pain and be a woman of grace. Let's pray for each other and vent here.

Have a good day.

Kay
Kay,
I just read your latest post and I just had to respond. When my mom moved in, I sent an email to all her grandchildren (7)letting them know that grandma is now settled in and suggested that they call her each just once a week. I explained to them that she is home all day and would love to hear from them. I invited all of them to come visit and spend some time in our home, or take her out to lunch or dinner. Of the 7, two call...it's been 8 months. I made myself sick wondering why....how difficult is it to pick up a phone? How busy can they be that they can't call from their cell when they are running errands or coming home from work? I have two sisters and they are not much better. I come to realize that they've just written her off. Since she has lost her short term memory, they must figure what's the point? She'll just forget...well, I don't see things that way, I guess I think of "in the moment"...I try to do things to make her happy and smile so she feels that experience "in the moment"...I know it will be gone two minutes from now, but right now, she's happy. I will never understand how others think, but I'm spending less time dwelling on it...just one more thing that I cannot change.
Like you, I treasure my time with my grandson, who turned 3 today. Unfortunately, we live six hours (by car) apart, but I have an awesome daughter in law that comes in every few months and spends a long weekend with us so we can see him and he continues to know his "Nana and Papa".
As far as writing emails to my sisters...been that route too...all I hear is how depressed they are for the situation...yes, they are depressed...no real feelings of empathy or compassion, so I've given up writing to them and come here. Here you will find many that truly understand what you are feeling and going through...warmest wishes, Mimi
Hello Kay:

It is hard to be stuck in the middle between generations while being the "responsible" one. It gets so wearing... Pay the bills; fix the meals, laundry, on and on.

You have sacrificed so much in the last few years. There cannot help but be some negative emotions as a result. The financial hardships don�t help. Now, to have to sell your home and relocate into a smaller home must make it even more difficult.

It is important that you take care of yourself. I know we all say that, but it is truly something that we all must do. I used to think that meant finding a matching outfit, combing my hair or whatever. Now I realize that it means much more than that� For me, when I started caring for my dad, he really didn't need that much care but the issue was that he wasn't that safe in his own home anymore. So, I decided to go to school to learn about the computer. Suffice it to say, I had no idea what I was getting into (hard work and major debt). However, it has saved my sanity during the more difficult times.

My point here is that we also need to focus on our dreams and goals in the midst and madness of sandwich care-giving. That includes personal and business issues. I go to therapy due to the years of hurt created through family dynamics and dysfunction. It is not easy to forgive siblings, mother, etc but, because of that, I will not let them do any more damage to me ever again. It is time to draw the line!!!

Now - fathers from our era (I, too, am 50ish) tend to be dogmatic and somewhat unable to accept the �liberation� of women. I wonder if your father may have decided that when you were in such pain, it was time to step in to care for and protect you from hurting. Whatever the reason is, it has impacted your life drastically.

Kay, not only have you lost your son, you have lost your space and given up your job. That is too much to go through in such a short period of time without help and support. It is time to take a deep breath and think about you. If this new housing situation doesn�t work for you, then it may be time to look at what your options are and to find the strength to pursue those options and reclaim your life�

Take Care, Glenda
Glenda and Mimi

Thanks for your great posts. Each one of you have different struggles yet we are bound together by the very tough place we find ourselves.

Yes, moving into a smaller house will be tough but there is light at the end of the tunnel, I hope. By selling my current dream home and making my smaller house (now rental) my home, I will be able to sell it tax free in two years. Then I plan to buy land and put a few small modular homes on the land. I hope I'm not repeating myself and have already said this. I will gain my own space once this part of my plan is done. Of course, along the way things could change. The housing market could crash and I won't be able to sell in two years and so on.

It is so hard for me just to get my current home ready to sell. We have made 7 trips to declutter it (Dad has been awesome in loading truck and both Mom and Dad go with me) and the last few steps to completing this is at hand. I am close to shamphooing carpets and then putting out the "For Sale" sign. I just don't know if I should try to sell myself or list with realtor. Relators charge so much. I could buy a car and have moeny left over if I sold it myself with the fee the realtors charge.

On another note, Dad called me this morning from his LR (one of my spare bedrooms made into their LR) and said his sister, my aunt had passed away. She was my only Instant Message buddy. I was hit by a ton of bricks - it brought back a wave of pain from losing my precious, humorous, intellegent son. I'm bummed. My dad sounded awful - I thought he was sick and asked so - then he told me.

Also, over the weekend my daughter and I figured out she is married to a Passive-Aggressive person. She is just now coming to terms with her brother's death and is waking up from this fog of grieve to find she has a husband that is pretty worthless. Here is what really got her attention: She had to have an hysterectomy and bladder repair in early April. 3-4 weeks ago she couldn't void. By the time she called 911 she was going delerious. Anyway, husband comes home just before ambulance arrives. She tells him what a crisis she is in - he walks passed her and went to bed!!! I've done some reading and these PAs (passive aggressive) are all about manipulating by action and not words. He did tell her later he was made at her. The good news is she is smart enough to not let this type of manipulation get to her. She was getting obssessed by how badly he treated her in those subtle - non-spoken ways - now we know why. She is prepared to take control of herself and not count on him. Why in the he** can't people be normal??? Bummer, bummer, bummer.

Anyway, I love reading your posts. It helps me to get away from my situation and get into yours while reading.

Have a great week. I pray for the ability to handle these siuations with grace. I love that quaility and fall so short.

BTW, I'm Mimi to my 4 grandkids.
Hi Mimi and Mimi (you figure out which one I'm talking to)

Your plan is good. Way to go, Mimi.

No. Not you, Mimi ... the other Mimi.

Seriously ... I'm glad that you are making plans to make life different. It sounds like a good plan, too.

My sincere condolences about your aunt. You probably wonder to yourself "what next?" Sometimes it does come in bunches. I don't know why it does that, but it does.

About your daughter ... hang in there with her. Things will change. They always do.

Last week, I was a basket case. I didn't post for a little while because I simply couldn't think of anything worthwhile to say. I did read some of the posts from late last year. In particular, one subject was on having faith and having that faith tested at times. I found a lot of wisdom in those words. The words helped me. This site has helped me. The people who post messages here have helped me. In fact, all of this .... taking care of my parents, watching them struggle yet continue to get up each day ... dealing with uninvolved family members ... having to make some tough decisions on my own ... all of it ... It has changed me. I can honestly say for the better, too. I will not have any regrets when all of this over and both my parents are gone. I know my priorities, I know what I should do and how to do it. I am learning to set boundaries, I'm learning about just how much I can give without feeling like I'm being swallowed up. I've also learned that the amount I am giving is just the right amount, at least for now. As time changes, the needs may change. But for now, it is working. I've learned that just because you are related to someone by blood, you are not necessarily a family. I've learned that no matter how hard I try, I can't turn back the clock, make my parents well again, or keep them dying but I can help to make their days a little easier. And when it comes to them, I don't always do everything right but every once in a while, I hit one out of the park. I'll bet that you do, too, Mimi.

Be well. Again, my condolences on the your aunt's passing.

~Jane
Jane

Wonderful e-mail. One thing age bring to us is wisdom, doesn't it. It still isn't easy but I liked very much what you said. This thread has really helped me. I tend to post here when I'm down and this is so helpful. On the surface most people think I am the cheerleader. If only they knew. The bummer thing is I don't really have anyone in my family I could discuss these things with, anyway. Plus, I really, really don't think anyone really deep down cares what I think either b/c they are so into their lives. Seriously.

This morning has been tough. My aunt's passing is hard for me and I know more so for Dad and my mom. My Dad is the oldest of his 4 siblings. The pain is there on their faces. My aunt lost her daughter in 2001 which is another whole story. She was my cousin closest in age. Now I am the oldest cousin on my Dad's side.

Today, I'm feeling a little down. I wrote my Dad's other sister an e-mail saying how sorry I was but she didn't reply. I really shouldn't expect her to - she was very close to her sister and I know this is so hard for her. Then I wrote my Uncle and his wife - they live in the same retirement center as my aunt who passed. No reply. I know it is silly for me to feel this way but I do. Sometimes just a quick thanks for your thoughts is so meaningful. I just don't get it. Maybe their notes will come later. I shouldn't expect it and I don't but it still hurts.

As I was getting ready to do go out of town today, my Dad came to me and said he thought he could help me by giving me his advice on selling my home. He had a look of pride on his face. I could barely talk. I had just told him I woke up with a bad headache. Still he went on and felt he could share some of his experiences with selling a home. I do give him credit for trying to word it kindly. Never mind the fact, I've sold 2 homes before on my own. I told him I was just trying to get the things done today that I needed to do w/o considering the realtor contract sitting in the kitchen. He seemed hurt and walked away. I felt bad but he tells me what to do all the time. I wish he would just let me be. This is what makes our living arrangement so very, very hard. I can't discuss anything with him w/o him telling me his thoughts which are always different than mine. Oh how wonderful it would be if only I got an "that sounds good or that sound right" from him. It would be so pleasant to have someone just listen. Parents should only offer advice when asked.

Then my granddaughter called (I was planning to take her with me as I have to go out of town to my property in another city.) She asked when are we going? I said about 11 AM. She said that was too late and she wanted to go earlier. She went on and on with her whining. She is almost nine so I have to consider her age. I almost started crying. Can't someone just be OK with what I say or do??? Is there something wrong with me??? It would have been so nice to have taken my granddaughter's call and hear her say. Mimi, I am happy we are going to be together today and just left it at that.

Well, I better go ready. I pray for the strength to be a caring and giving person w/o feeling sad or disappointed when others hurt me.

Mimi of 4
Dear Mimi of 4,

It is sad, isn't it when we realize that there is NO ONE in our family that really wants to hear or really cares? I've been dealing with these same issues and feelings, and believe me, I have no answers for you. I finally turned to a psychotherapist to help me deal with everything. I'm usually a very strong person and able to manage much, but I've become so depressed that I am not able to bring myself out of it. I use to be able to exercise and take a mild antidepression med and that would pretty much take care of it, but not now...I can't even get myself to exercise; instead, when I have an extra hour, I sleep -- that seems to be my escape. I kept telling myself I was just needing to adjust to mom moving in, but I now realize it's much more than just the caregiving; it's having the family members here, within a 20 mile radius and feeling so alone.
Mimi of 4, I hope you can work out your feelings. There are so many kind hearted people on this site, so willing to listen and give advice when they can...best wishes to you...Mimi of 7
Mimi of 4 -

Oh - I can so relate!!!!! You just rang big bells when you said - can't you EVER make your OWN decisions and have someone tell you that you are right!!!!! And the fact that you have already sold 2 houses in your life time - seems like well you know what you are doing.

My Father was so like that. Anything I ever did was never good enough. I used to get knots in my stomach when I would buy a house - or a car - or do something - cause he would always think it was a bad idea - Although MOST of the time - I still did what I "thought" was the right thing to do -there were many times that I caved to his way of thinking not to be yelled at or thought badly about. I miss him dearly now - I remember the 1st decision I made without him - well actually it was my daugther bringing ANOTHER dog home - oh he would have yelled and yelled and yelled - and I thought - boy isn't this strange NOT to be in trouble. Funny - I have a few "major" things going on right now - selling a rental property and pondering a job - and all I want to do it talk to him LOL!!! Go figure right!!!!!

My Mother who is chronic schziophrenic - yells at me constantly too - not about "big things" - but if she "catches me watching tv" - or "talking on the phone" or not feeding the animals at exactly 5:00 pm - how I am dressed - when I colored my hair red - OH BOY she yelled at me for two weeks how UGLY I look.

So you do touch home. I always "wondered" why can't they be like "normal" parents - who just support me in my decisions - but no - never had that - but always wanted it. Funny they trust me TOTALLY with ALL their medicial decisions - but they do not AGREE with my decisions on what color hair I have - or if I want to get a new shed etc etc -

But again - I do kind of miss being yelled at by my Father LOL!!!! Its funny - cause this is the 1st time EVER that I can make my own decisions about BIG things and NOT be in trouble - ODD..........

Take Care Mimi of 4!!!

Janet
Yep, there really is no one who really is interested enough to care or have a clue how hard it is for us. They are too busy having a life with their own family and friends. It's so disappointing. I really feel for all of us. Are we too weak to stand up for ourselves? Perhaps this is true. Are we too caring and that is why we do what we do - to our detriment?

At least we are helping our parents in some way or many ways. I'm fortunate that my parents are in good health but I am going insane.

I did lose it tonight. I realized just a few minutes ago why I had a hard time as a child. I acted out in unhealthly ways at times. Now I know why. My Dad is unrelenting. I grew up without recognition for anything. It was always a one-way conversation of how I could do better or whatever. No praise. No nothing but instructions. No wonder I acted out - it would only be natural. I overcame it after I left home but not without a struggle and now it's back again after 35 year!

I told my Dad I cannot do anything that I had planned regarding selling MY home because he found fault with the selling price, the contract, the wording, and so on. I told him it is impossible for me to act on anything b/c he always finds fault with something. He said I just want to give you my EXPERT opinion. It is more than an expert opinion really b/c he goes on and on and on. He wants his advice taken. For goodness sakes he insisted the price should be raise $10,000 more than what the realtor recommended and the homes are not moving fast here at all. I asked him if he was prepared to pay for the mortgage for 6 months as I said I wasn't. He said yes, yes he was. Then I said I'm done and you can sell the house. I didn't know what else to do b/c he feels he is right. Maybe that will wake him up to not be so intense and pushy. I walked away and he said no he couldn't do that and I said even louder, I done. Now I sit in my bedroom, the one place in MY HOME I have away from his constant overseeing of me. Even his letters to his cousins are about me and me and me. It is way too out of control.

I think I will pack a bag and go to my rental property to get away for a few days. There is some furniture there and I could just chill and think.

All this week my heart feels like it weights a ton. It is actually aching in my chest. Losing my aunt open up the deep, deep pain I had so neatly tucked away after two years. I'm always in pain from grief but the deep, deep bad pain seeps into the deep recesses of your brain and disappears for a while waiting for an opportunity to emerge again. I remember telling my grief counselor my heart ached so badly. Now, I feel that aching again. I think what makes it worse is there was no funeral, no memorial - well they did have a celebration of life tonight but my aunt instructed no out-of-town guests (she didn't want anyone to spend the money). Not even her sister whom she wrote emails to everyday came. I can't stand this b/c its just being shoved under the rug like they did with my son. We should be there with her kids and all. It doesn't seem normal to me. I mean I'm hurting, and my Dad is busy giving me advice I never asked for everytime I turn around.

I pray for Grace my dear Lord, for that wonderful quality. I so long to have it as the strongest part of me. I am reading a book on grace and loss. It should be a must read. It is called "A Grace Disguised" by Gerald Sittser. It is a short book and tells of a man's journey after a tragedy in his family. Beautifully written. He said he didn't enter the darkness of pain and emerge on the other side but rather went into the darkness (pain) and grew in grace with the pain all around him. I haven't finished it yet but it is meaningful to me.

Thanks for listening.

Mimi of 4
Mimi,

At this very late hour I have no words except to say that I truly understand what you are feeling. A lot of what you wrote about your earlier years are so much like mine. I wish with all my heart that I could take away both our pain. I sometimes wonder when it will end.

Rest. Be well. Find a small bit of comfort in knowing there are a lot of people who feel just the way you do and who care about you.

~Jane
Thanks Jane

What kind sweet words you said to me. Thanks again. We all come from some kind of dysfunctional family don't we? Some worse than others. We have to learn to rise above it somehow and someway. I am not a quitter.

I will pray for us to be lifted onto a new level of awareness and peace. I believe it can be done.

I left today for my rental property (its vacant). Good thing I remembered to get the dialup number from my DSL service or I would be lost w/o the Internet. So here I sitting in my rental - soon to be my home again after my home sells. It's significantly smaller but thats less house work for me, right???

I wrote my parents a very short note saying I was going away for a few days this morning and took off. Thank goodness they went to the store and didn't see me loading up. I did get an e-mail from my Dad a little bit ago apologizing for his actions and that he never wanted to cause me any pain and would be happy with any decision I make regarding selling my home. That took a lot for him to do. I don't remember him apologizing for anything before ever. He is a good man - just needs not to be so pushy about his advice. I pray that Dad will wait for me to ask for his advice from now on.

I've been busy here. I went to the local Walmart and got shelf paper, supplies, a small refig and microwave which I'll put upstairs where I will stay (so I can have a snack and drink w/o having to go downstairs to the kitchen sometimes.

My daughter called wanting to know if I would go to church with her tomorrow but I'm out of town and can't - darn it. I am so very happy because this is the FIRST time she has wanted to go to church on her own since she lost her brother!!! She had turned away from the church after her he died. She seems to be slowly turning the corner back to being the great mother and wife I know her to be. She had pulled away from them and buried herself in work when her brother left us. Just this week she said she realized she had done this and we talked quite a bit about this. It was like she woke up after two years. Isn't that wonderful? I've prayed for this to happen for a long, long time. Thank you my Lord.

Oh, my son - how I miss you!!! I miss your funess, your excitment of life, your intellegence, your caring ways - and our conversations nearly every night. OMG, your humor!!! He told me several times he would take care of me when I got old. Isn't that the sweetest thing? I do believe in heaven so I take comfort knowing it is a short goodbye before we meet again but it is so hard being here without him. I want him HERE.

Have a joyful Sunday inspite of the pain - we cannot let the darkness win.

Mimi of 4
Dear Mimi of 4:

It is good to hear you are getting a bit of respite. Fixing up your new and temporary place sounds like some fun. You certainly have made some wonderful real estate investments which are to your credit. Your long-term plans with the modular homes sounds like an excellent solution. And you know, Kay, that you don't need your dad's advice as much as he needs to give it...

My FIL (RIP) was a lot like your dad. He always had an opinion on something and it was the only opinion worth a darn. I think maybe it was his idea of making conversation???


I remember one Thanksgiving when he really got my goat. Right in the middle of dinner, he brings up the subject of my 14-year old dog and he says "You really should put that dog to sleep, Glenda". Well, there went my appetite! The dinner conversation went downhill from there. My dear old dog died six months later while I was holding him and crying. When I said "You are such a good dog" he took a deep breath and left my world - but not my memories - as was God's plan.

I am so sorry to hear about your aunt's passing. It must have been a shock. Sometimes it seems like it's raining one ton of bricks after another during certain phases of our life. You and your family are in my prayers that you may find peace with her passing.

In the meantime, enjoy your respite, and remember to love yourself. You deserve this time to grieve for your loved ones and gather your strength for the busy days ahead. God bless and take care.

Love and Hugs from Glenda



[This message has been edited by glenderella (edited 07-31-2005).]
Glenda

Great to read your post. It is so helpful and interesting to read about those in your life which can help us relate.

I have so enjoyed my days here at my future home. Just being able to roam around from room to room all by myself had made me realize how hard it has been on me to have my parents live with me. I have lost the freedom of my home. At home, I generally stay in my bedroom and keep to myself, for obvious reasons. It is no wonder b/c Dad is trying to run the show - however well meaning he is intentions are. So now I realize how confining it is to be only in your bedroom day after day!!! It has been healing here for me. Now, my rental home is actually a duplex so I have to give it serious thought about moving them in one side and me on the other. I really could use the income from the rental of the other side. Well, I probably could tough it out for a couple of years in one side. Probably by the time I want to sell the duplex the housing market will be in the dumps - they are already prediciting it. Oh well, cross that bridge then.

Glenda, you story of your dog really highlights how words can be so hurtful. Was your FIL trying to be helpful? Probably but during Thanksgiving dinner? Should he have said nothing. Yes, for sure. Sorry about what happened. You remember it so vividly - it must have been painful.

I give my daughter advice from time to time and I realize I must tone that down. I will wait till she asks me. This is so imporant.

Thanks Glenda. Have an awesome week.

Mimi of 4
Hi Mimi of 4:

You know, I think a duplex is an ideal living situation. I think it would be super for both you and your mother too. You know how it is with two many chefs in one kitchen, I am sure. It could be a happy solution and you each have your OWN kitchen, etc, your OWN life, etc, etc.



I have a dream about building a small "space" on our wild green acre here just for me. I have even thought about a tent in the summertime just to get my own space. I moved out of a beautiful home in Tum Tum, WA back into the family home into an 8x10 bedroom (I call it my bed "womb" because it is so small). It was the only bedwomb I was comfortable in and up AWAY from everything. It has no past childhood memories for me to deal with. Plus, it has the only view of our dead-end road from which trouble arises on occasion in the form of abandoned stolen vehicles and such.

I think you have some good things going on in your life and I am so hopeful for you. Your daughter is coming around again. You are making changes... and I have a saying in life. I always say: "Things change! That's the beauty of life!" and I believe it! You are doing a wonderful thing looking after your parents. And be good to yourself too. You deserve it!! Look ahead! Embrace change!

Love and Laughter for YOU from Glenda
Good Morning

I hope everyone is doing well. I've been doing quite well myself for the last month or so. The retreat by myself to my vacant home really did wonders for me. Just 4 little days all by myself renewed me so much! I came home and started taking Vit B and Omega 3 and I have had more energy than I've had since I lost my precious son. While there I wrote a long poem to my son. Writing to my son helped to say goodbye in a way. I did have a crying spell last night and this morning, though. He loved life so - always had a smile, always caring and always funny. I knew he loved me so much, too, which is very comforting but painful now because I miss him so. We did tell each other how much we loved each other often. I miss our evening calls to each other so much. I would look forward to talking to him and it always gave me a little jolt of excitment during the work day knowing we would probably talk that evening. Those jolts of excitment are taking a long time to subside because I still get them although now they are fewer and farther apart now. When I get this feeling I quickly realize the reason for this excitment is no longer possible.

For a month now, it has been easier to deal with the challenges I have with my father, It was a nice break, until yesterday

I won't bore you with all the details but I had to walk away from a project we were doing together yesterday because he would question my procedure for putting together these hygiene kits for the recent storm victims. I was collecting items from our neighborhood. Then, later on that day we went to pick up food to take to my grand-daughter's birthday party and he walked in the restaurant after I went in to pick up the food.My cell phone had rang so he brought it to me (which was fine). As I was figuring out the tip, he's right there observing what I'm doing and his very obvious expression showed he didn't like what I did. I said do you have a problem with my tip? He said he thought it was too high. I moved the receipt next to him and said: You decide what "my" tip should be. I was quite irritated. He proceeded to scratch out "my" tip and write what he thought it should be, which was half of what I put. I just turned around and walked out to my car. See what I mean? Everything I do, he questions. It gets intolerable, at times. He has a need, for whatever reason, to tell me how he would do it thereby implying I am wrong and he is very vocal about it. He is obviously unaware he destroys my spirit. It is a crying shame. I have to avoid being around him to spare myself his domineering way. Also, I feel I am loosing my Mom bit by bit because she is more and more into herself. It's like her mind is closing off very, very slowly. It's no wonder with Dad so domineering. I've tried to tell Dad that Mom should be checked out but he just stares at me because he never thinks anything I do or say is right. A couple year's ago Mom complained of a pain in her stomach. Right now, I can't remember if this happened before of after my son passed away. Anyway, it went on for 5 days. I keep saying to Dad as I was taking off for work that she needed medical care. He would just stare at me. Finally, on the 5th day, a Sunday, I said Mom, I am taking you to the emergency room. She had to have emergency surgery a few hours later. She had peritonitis from a tear they could never find (the surgeon suspected it was the aspirin she was taking every day). She almost died.

I think another trip to my vacant home with my blowup bed is in order real soon.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

[This message has been edited by givemestrength (edited 09-14-2005).]
Hello Mimi,

I am sorry I haven't responded in the past... glad you were able to get away and balance out.. i remember when my parents use to oggle me when I left tips... landed up I would let them leave the tip and say i had to go to the bathroom.. go back and leave more.. it was kind of a generational thing from those broughtup during and around the depression.

Obviously there are things you need to work through and I would encourage you getting some professional counseling to get passed your dad, to let you continue to grieve and for you to advocate for your mother in the best way even with your father's denial.

If I can guide you at all, or you would like to email me, please feel free to do so at:

grm4love@care-givers.com

you will pull through all of this...

gail

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