How Can This Be?

by Sherri
(Durham, NC)

Reading some the posts on this website I get the feeling that there are a lot of people like me going through anger and resentment at a parent or parents as they get older.

My Mother left Dad several years ago after 35 years of marriage and now I have had to take over his care as he seems to be declining rapidly (at least in my mind).

Mother said at the time that she got fed up with all of his whining and barking orders and overall I see why she left!

We (my husband and I) have had to move Dad three times in the last four years...from his bought and paid for house, to a place by the water, to a place that offers independent living arrangements and now back into a house he bought closer to I can care for him, run his errands, take him to Doctor's appointments and general "go-fer" issues.

I am a handyman, cleaning woman, chauffeur, lawn boy and all around "jack of all trades"...I keep asking myself "how did I let this happen"? I want some time off so badly, but I have let him integrate his life with ours that I think it is too late to try to pull away even for a little while so my husband and I can get a much needed few days off.

Between his ever increasing need for care and our house, our jobs and my husbands family, we have not been truly away in 5 years now...I am afraid that the constant stress and especially the anger and resentment will not go away and be taking it's toll on our health and our marriage. My husband says this is "just the way it has to be for now" but I really can see where we both are really getting worn out.

Dad seems to expect me to give him all of my away from work hours at night and weekends and taking care of two households really adds up.

It would not be nearly as bad if he would make plans, write a list so I can budget time around all of this...instead when he thinks of something or something comes up the phone rings and he expects for me to really drop everything and be there asap.

He wanted to go to the grocery the other day as he wanted some fruit to snack on and wanted to go right then....we took his car keys away several months ago after a prolonged battle (and a number of unexplained dents, dings and scratches and now he wants me to be his on call taxi/chauffeur.

I can see from others on this site that all of this will probably sound familiar for this issue as well as many others....just felt like writing about a no-win situation in this forum for some therapy....and I think it worked...

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