H E L P!

by Anonymousduetoguilt
(Pennsylvania)

I am a 48 year old woman living with my 75 year old mother & 80 year old father. I am living with them because I am going thru a nasty divorce and am really ill myself. I have Lupus, RA, Hashimoto's, Celiac, IBS, Ulcerative colitis...and other autoimmune diseases that are made SO much worse by stress. So along with the divorce stress, tremendous financial stress etc., I have taking care of my incredibly difficult, verbally abusive elderly parents stress!


I have not lived with them for 20 years and coming back to their house is mind-blowing and VERY depressing. They have let everything just deteriorate. They have done no upkeep at all! The paint is literally peeling off the walls, the plumbing is leaking or completely broken, the oven doesn't work, the refrigerator door gasket doesn't seal, the back door frame is rotted out, the house is just dirty. No longer the house I grew up in.

I fix as much as I can and clean CONSTANTLY! My father has an incontinence problem and if he wets his pants he REFUSES to change them and then sits on the furniture leaving stink wherever he goes, he also refuses to eat a diet that agrees with his stomach and gets diarrhea often but can never make it to the bathroom in time which leaves pooped up clothes and a mess in the bathroom which he does not clean up!

I can't tell you how many times I have to clean up poop on the toilet seat, down the front, on the rug, on the vanity! And the kicker is most of the time I don't say anything, I don't want to make him feel bad but occasionally I am just SO frustrated and I do say something after I cleaned it up and I m told there was nothing there, and that I have OCD and am just a clean freak!

I have resorted to taking a picture of the 'crime scene' and showing them both to prove it! I shouldn't have to take a picture of a pooped up toilet and vanity and the bath towels you got poop all over and just threw in the bath tub!!

It's disgusting and unsanitary and just wrong! I have tried kindly telling both of them to please look before you leave the area, this didn't work, I have tried telling them I have autoimmune diseases and I cannot afford to get sick from whatever bacterial is being created by what he's doing/not doing, again I'm TOO CLEAN!

I should not have to clean the bathroom up to this extent constantly. He is lactose intolerant and should not eat dairy products, they give him diarrhea. I will not buy these things for him, however my mother sneaks it and buys it for him anyway! I can't take it anymore!

I have a sister who lives 3000 miles away and has just completely removed herself from the situation, not just in location but she has cut all communication with all of three of us. She and I were never really close however we were speaking.

She is married to an older wealthy man, she could easily be seen as a gold digger. Of course she claims she's not. About 10 years ago I lent her a little over $8000. She moved to California with someone, they broke up and left her in an apartment with no money.

I paid her rent for her for 8 months until she met her now husband who apparently took over financing her life. Thru the years I have not bothered her about paying me back even though it was a 'loan' not a 'give'. But recently I have asked her if she could please start paying me back especially in my current financial circumstance and even though she and her husband live extremely well she has not coughed up a dime!

At minimum I should be getting paid by her for the care that I give OUR parents instead of paying a caregiver to come to the house.

Instead she posts pictures online of her trips to Europe with her big fat old husband and her Chanel purse and Louboutin shoes.

My point to all this is I was always the responsible one I always worked I still took care of my parents after I got married now I am going through a hellish divorce on my own completely and have to care for my parents who are both absolutely losing their minds, my mother is a nervous wreck worrying that my dad will fall (again) and really hurt himself, is so incredibly upset about how my father treats her after 50 years of marriage or just that he's going to die and my father is so incredibly verbally abusive towards me and my mother.

He is generally grumpy all the time but he is also extremely argumentative, stubborn, starts verbal unrelenting assaults on me or my mother. And the cursing is out of control! I have not heard the F-bomb so often in my entire life!

He hates everyone and everything, you cannot suggest anything even remotely new or different from his opinion. Due to my own illnesses I cook very clean, but everything is very tasty.

I don't use/eat processed foods, and that's all that he wants. I pay for all of the food except his soda and junk food. I refuse to pay for crap, which becomes an argument of its own. I don't have any friends anymore, it's just me and them.

I feel guilt for complaining because they are putting a roof over my head right now but I can't handle everything anymore. I have no one to vent to and no one who cares.

I had to actually have a conversation with my neurologist who has prescribed me an antidepressant for the time being. I picked it up 2 weeks ago but still haven't started it, it's not how I feel I should have to handle things. I'm sorry if this is all over the place, it's so overwhelming.

Whatever I have written here is just a very tiny glimpse into daily life it is truly so much worse. I just don't know what to say or do anymore.

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I Agree
by: Greenacres

I agree with bittersweet. You should be able to find help caring for your parents. Do you live in a rural area or are you in a city? Because I know even way out here in area (closest city at least an hour away) People get meals delivered and nurses will come, but We don't need or qualify for any assistance.

I even see a van that will take people to doctor appointment, etc. I don't remember how long you said you have been caring for them, but you had better start helping yourself before you get sick. I hope at least every now and then you get a good day.

Don't let the guilt you probably feel sometimes get you down. I was that way at first because moving her in turned my home upside down to please her. I am in full blown menopause and sometimes I say the most awful things to her, well it's not that it's awful, what child ever feels right telling their mom what to do when they are the ones that raised you not to talk back.

I have to tell her I will not be her maid because she is quite capable. She acts all sullen and tries to get everyone to feel sorry for her. Now my younger sister and I aren't even taking because all the drama she creates.

I really think she knows how manipulating she is. I am so tired of kissing her ass, but I can't ask her to leave. I know it would be best for everybody, but my family is falling apart.

Am I enabling her to lose her independence? I don't know. AGAIN NO EMOTIONAL SUPPORT FROM ANYONE! My other sister stays removed from the situation and only needs mom's money. Sorry, got off track, I just wanted you to know you are not alone and this website has helped me tremendously.

Every family is different, but they don't want to hear complaints. This lets me vent and get things out of my system. I hope you find some help, sounds like you really could use it. Hang in there!

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get help
by: Bittersweet

Dear Anonymous, I feel very bad about your situation but I think I can offer you some good advice. Your city/state must offer some sort of elder assistance. I'm sure you would qualify.

You need to contact your town and get information on who to call. Once they have evaluated your situation they will put a plan in place to get some help into the home.

I have no doubt your parents will balk at someone coming in but you need to do this for your sanity and well being. Don't be afraid to ask for help.That is why it is there. Take advantage of anything you can to help you. You can't do it alone.

You can't change your parents but you can make your life a little easier. Get assistance!
I am also in a situation of being the only sibling caring for a parent. I recently had to put mom in a NH because of a stroke. (she lived with me for 12 years)

She can't be home alone and I have to work because I too am divorced and there is only my income to run the house. There are so many of us going it alone. We are not Super Women or Men...we need help.

Get yourself on a program that can help you. Where I live in Massachusetts, we have Bristol Elders. I urge you to call your town hall and get information.
Good luck honey, I care!

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