Guilt. Bitterness. Anger.

by Nancy

Hi, I really don’t have a choice being the caregiver for my father. I’m an only child. I didn’t like what I saw growing up so I never wanted to get married or have kids. I didn’t get abused or anything but if anyone is from an Italian family then you know the women worship the men and wait on them hand and foot. My mother even used to cut up his meat and iron his underwear.

So when this was all I saw,I swore I would never do that. Needless to say my other and I didn’t get along.

She was also VERY controlling and always putting me down and accusing me of wrong doing. If I went out with my friend Judy more than once a week I would get “What, are you a lesbian?" If I saw my boyfriend more than once on the weekend “What, are you a whore?”.

My grandmother was an ever loving nightmare as well. She controlled my mother and everything we did was for her. Now, she wasn’t one of those kindly grandmothers either. Let me just say since my grandfather died in 1977, we didn’t have one meal in or out or one day trip or vacation without her.

She made our lives about her. My father gave up and figured someday they would have time alone. He would stand up for me once and awhile but I swear secretly he liked she was the bad guy so he didn’t have to be.

My father got me to stay home for college by threatening he wouldn’t help me. So because I was so put down I had (have) no confidence, I stayed. Since I never got married, I stayed.

No point in paying for rent just to sit and watch tv when I could do that at home and save money. I know, big mistake.

In any case, my mother did everything for us and made is dependent on her. She used to taunt us about how we were “in for it” when she dies. She actually laughed with glee.

So guess what happens? She dies about 16 years ago, leaves her mother for us to take care of, and the child who never was allowed to gain confidence at decision making or
grew up emotionally, is now stuck taking care of everything!

Since my mother’s death, my father has been in the hospital three times. He doesn’t even know how to write out a check. AND with his arthritis, I’m cutting his meat!

He told me since I was a kid that he was so glad I was a girl because girls never leave you. Plus, oh everything they have is for me. Yadda yadda.

I know it’s stupid, but I feel like I was tricked. He won’t even call I his prescriptions.

I’ve become my mother. Am I am 52 still waiting for my life to start. I know staying here was my choice but I believed what I was told and put my life on the back burner.

The best part? I a NOT a caretaker! I became a medical technologist and worked in a private lab so I would not have to deal with patients.

Give me blood, crap, and urine, but after it’s come out of I feel guilty because I love my father and we always got along, but I feel tricked and trapped.

I had a boyfriend from England and when we split up he said he knew I would leave. I can’t even get a dog. Oh, he doesn’t deny me, but his hands are so bad that he can’t tuck his shirt into his pants or even close and fold a McDonald's bag.

So, I’m going to leave him a dog? I feel that I avoid those responsibilities that would turn me into my mother and I could have a life.

She really did have the last laugh.

I hate this so much. It’s only going to get worse and I will have wasted my whole life. The thing is if it were my mother that was left, she was like an Amazon. Her side of the family lives into their 90s, but she smoked.

I would never be able to live with her nor would I need to. Life sucks. I still feel like a 14 year old waiting for “Someday “.

It’s not going to happen. My father totally expected me to do this and what choice do I have. Oh, and I lost my job.

So there you have it. Guiltless. Bitterness. Anger.

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Sometimes it just helps
by: Kathy

Sometimes it just helps to have someone agree that your situation sucks. I feel for you . I hope you can find the strength you need to take care of yourself.

You don't owe anything
by: Gina

My grandparents came off the boat in NYC from Italy. When my grandfather died, my 2 spinster aunts took care of my grandma until she died at 96.

Now I'm the Power of Attorney for those 2 Aunts, age 97 and 100 who live in a house in FL. When they could no longer drive and one started having dementia bad, I told my cousins that I would bring them to MN (where I live) and put them in a nice senior complex near to me.

Well, they thought I was the devil incarnate. So now my 1 cousin and her husband are caring for them part or the year in FL. The rest of the time they have Visiting Angels come in. When one of them dies I will take the other up here to MN not matter what anyone says.

FYI I grew up with these 2 aunties in my house for 18 years, so I do love them and care what happens to them. But I'm not responsible for their happiness and I don't have to meet any of their expectations of care that are not conducive to my life. They are content and well cared for.

Why are you living like you have no choice? You DO, you just don't like the unknown. Get your dad into a good facility and forget about the inheritance. Once you are free from the control of the promise of money you will be liberated.

You may never see that money anyway -- most seniors use up the bulk of their savings in the last 18 months of their lives on healthcare and medical bills.

Move on with your life while you can. Make changes in baby steps and allow yourself to experience success and independence.

My mother lives next door to me. She can be a strega even at 90 yrs old. She is single and I'm an only child but the happiness of my husband and family trump cow-towing to the demands of unreasonable expectations.

Don't let the Catholic guilt work on you. Claiming your own life doesn't make you a bad person. It's never too late. Go for it.

Bless you
by: Cindy

You're not alone. You've been more than any daughter should be expected to be. I don't understand this generation of parents that just will not let go of their (now middle-aged and beyond) children.

My own parents were unable to let go and it has ruined my brother's life. He's an alcoholic and emotional cripple. I did manage to marry and have children but they still clung to me. I'm now still caring for my 92 year old mother and I understand all of your feelings. Bless you.

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