Care Giving for Elderly Parents You were Never Close With

by Peace Out
(Orlando , Florida, USA)

I was never close to my parents. I come from an alcoholic home and got involved in a very toxic relationship in a subconscious effort, at a young age, to get out of my home.

Now I'm strong in my life, centered and focused but guess what happened? I ended up being the only daughter--and that's mostly who plays the care giving role in our society--that lives in closest proximity to my dysfunctional parents and so now I'm being expected to be a primary caregiver when my home has always been a place that I cannot stay for more than 48 hours.

I am getting physically, mentally and spiritually drained and sick. I'm very sympathetic towards my Mom's illness and condition and I do love her but how does one cope with such a situation--caring for parents that were toxic and you never really had any type of positive relationship with? How do you balance the sacrifice you must now make with that?

They basically have never showed me any real caring and even when I needed them most in my life at times they were not there. I say at times because there were things they did for my children that I'm not ungrateful for, but even with that there was a time when I realized that I needed to protect my children from their toxicity.

I am extremely stressed and was wondering if anyone out there has ever encountered such a situation and may have some advice.

PS. especially when I'm in the middle of major things happening in my life. I even had to put off renting my home to move elsewhere--which is a good additional income; as well, I'm suppose to be traveling for my artistic career and cannot leave right now etc.

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Caregiving for Elderly Parents - Wow!
by: Anonymous

What an issue!.... Dare I ask why you are doing so much for people who have done so little for you? Are you trying to show that you are a better person? If so, stop it now, you will never get the recognition you are seeking and will drive yourself insane!

You have worked hard to build a life for yourself and should accept your right to enjoy it. Helping out because of guilt doesn't really help anyone, move on and provide a different outcome for your own kids!

Care giving - Burdened in Illinois
by: Anonymous

I too find myself in your position. My mother had me at a young age and dumped me on her parents then married a man and had 5 children and also dumped them on her husband until he died and his family had to raise them.

I have kept in touch some with her over the years but 20 yrs ago she blew into town with her man and set up house. Now her man is dead and she is in poor health and can barely walk. I have done little things for her in the past but now it is getting to where she constantly needs to go to doctors and surgeries and neither myself, husband or kids have the kind of jobs that we can just up and take time off in excess and cannot afford to use FMLA benefits as they are not paid days. Of course my half-brothers and sisters have disowned her many years ago and consider her dead.

I do what I do out of conscience but am very unhappy and resentful about it. She has lived her entire life just thinking of herself and now that she needs help, my family and I are supposed to deal with it. My husband and I just became empty nesters and are planning on selling our house and buying a campground in the smokies and now the question is what to do about her. I don't think it is fair that other people took care of her messes all her life and then I am supposed to clean up the last part of it.

So, no you are not the only one with toxic aging parents. I have no advice except my husband tells me to walk away like she did, but my conscience will not allow me too. I was so looking forward to my middle age with my husband and being semi-retired. I do believe that there is no law that says you have to like or even love your parents. Any advice for us?

Elderly Parents - Not Close to Either NOW
by: Anonymous

My parents have turned into 2 people I don't really know now. We were close at one time. My mother especially, she is a stroke victim and it is just not like confiding in the same person as the woman I used to know. I never want to lose either of them and I am sure I'll cry my eyes out when either one goes.

They are in a nursing home now because we all got so worn out trying to take care of them. My other 2 sisters live in the same town and I am an hour away. I go once a week just because they all think I should.

It is sad to have nothing left but I have loved them for years and done tons of things for them but now they seem far far away. I am sorry that you are not close to your parents but there are others who have similar problems. Just hang in there and do what you feel is right.

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