Living at Home Caring for Elderly Dad & Bipolar adult Sister - at Wits End!!

by Jill
(NJ)

Hi! I am 38 living at home for 10 years since my mom passed to take care of my dad and sister.

Originally, it was to save me money on rent for a short time and help my dad with a few things as he didn't know what to do with helping my sister as she was just officially diagnosed with bipolar.

Fast forward 10 years and my dad now has me doing much more care giving. We just figured out that he needs someone everyday to help him with little things, but a lot of things he can do for himself but he won't even try. It was that way with my mom so he figures I can do it for him too.

My sister needs to live there financially because she can't work and she can't afford her own place and would need someone to help her.

I now have a boyfriend. Thank goodness! So now they both don't like that I am not home all the time. I can't really work because of the time and emotional drain on me.

My sister doesn't drive so I have to take her to all her appointments and anywhere else. My dad has trouble walking and with stairs so I do all the outside driving errands.

I also deal with anything in the house that needs fixing like dealing with contractors, estimates, etc.

But my sister feels I don't do enough inside basic shores like garbage, dinner, and little things. Basically only the days I am not there.

She is just jealous I have a boyfriend. Which is what she says. So she starts these fights every week or more. My dad can't take it.

Last wed my dad and I talked and I told him he has to work it out with her because I am not able to be around 24/7. We need like to work together. He said no, it will be me only. I said that is ridiculous. He said we can work around it. I said how? He said when I am out with say a friend or boyfriend I can come home in the morning do what he needs, and at night come home each night to do stuff for him.

But, what if I come home past 11?

Then he said also he wants me to eat all 3 meals with him.

I said but I want to have a little bit of a life. As it is most likely won't have kids because of my age. He says well, when I am gone then you can do what you want. He said that is my lot in life.

Okay, I know I have said a lot but I ended up leaving because he told me to just leave to my boyfriend and I did. He said I should be ashamed bc I should be so thankful he is here and I should be doting on him. Of course the next day my sister said he accepted the help from her which had been my point all along.

I even took her food shopping and picked up his medicine on Friday and he didn't call me or anything.

Oh, I have an older sister who "got out" and hash husband and kids and lives about an hour away. I called her and she doesn't seem to care.

I have been in therapy for about a year and on medications for depression and anxiety from this. I even pay all his bills every month for the past 5 years!

I am so hurt and upset. Apparently all he wants now per my sister who is bipolar and has severe maturity issues is he expects my room to be clean and I must wake up at 9 am everyday to live there.

My conditions are different...I just want respect. I am an adult. I paid him rent of 30k in a lump sum 10 months ago even though I have no freedom really. Also if he wants me to do things for him I will as long as I am there.

You know big things like surgeries, etc are different but putting in his eye drops doesn't require me to run home. I will do the shopping, pick up his medications, go to his doctor and blood tests, do the bills, drive my sister, etc. but won't except being told things like I am in the army.

Okay, so I know this is a lot but I don't know what to do. He hasn't called since I left on wed afternoon and it is Tuesday.my older sister didn't even text me to see if I was ok. And I haven't heard from my younger sister who is with my dad. I know they are all ok bc they have been on Facebook, etc. although they could be thinking the same thing about me.

I am not ready to call my dad though. I feel he thinks it is a game that he wants to win. But there are no winners.

It is so sad. I don't want to resent him. I want to move out. I have savings. I can be close by. I can finally get a job again if on my own and not have to be there every day.

Okay, any advice please??

Comments for Living at Home Caring for Elderly Dad & Bipolar adult Sister - at Wits End!!

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Run, Forrest, Run!!!!
by: Anonymous

Congrats on saving yourself! Keep those boundaries, get your own place, get a job, get a life. Don't play those head games with your Dad. He's trying to manipulate you, he probably knows every button to push to drive you over the edge.

You sound like you finally found your footing, don't give up on yourself and don't give in. As long as you maintain a healthy emotional boundary with your family you can give to them in a loving way.

Love shouldn't cause one person to die while the other lives. Love is a two-way street. Even if your sister and Dad are incapable of understanding this concept, you know it in your head and your heart.

At least in your own place with the physical distance you will be able to think clearly and have a chance to grow into your own person. This sounds like a crucial time to make or break you.

You certainly know how to give to others, now learn how to give to yourself and you will find that balance in life that you desire.

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Hurray for You for moving out!!
by: Crazy Issues

Wow, I am so relieved and happy to hear that you left your totally dysfunctional family situation to save your life! That therapy must have helped you.

My own family has been trying to squeeze me into their cage for their own needs since I was born. I am now 61 and see the light. You have a whole life ahead of you. Pat yourself on the back for taking care of them for 10 years and say, enough is enough. That was a lot of time coming!

Time to respect yourself. Time to get well inside and out. Tine for your sister to grow up and your Dad to respect you.

Time for the other selfish sibling to applaud and appreciate your efforts. But don't expect anything from that crowd.

Let them all go. They have abused you for your whole young life. Shame on them. I sure hope you have a loving and supportive boyfriend. If you are re-acting the same patterns with him, dump that situation too! Get healthy and get your life back.

With boundaries and caring maybe you can gradually help....but from a distance. Don't buy their script for YOUR life. Your life is precious. If I were you I wouldn't even talk to them in person, only a few letters a year, until you are sure you are free from getting enmeshed again.

I'll be interested to hear how others think about your situation. Bless you in your new life!
J

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