Only caregiver

by Susan
(New York)

I have sole responsibility for my father who is nearly 100 and still living at home. He should be in a nursing home but won't go under threat of violence. He was a violent father to me so I believe him. My only sister, lives 600 miles away but resents even having to make a phone call.

She won't be involved in any decision making and won't talk to me. I am overwhelmed and go to counseling and taking tranquilizers. I think my physical health is at risk.
I don't know what to do.

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Threat of Violence From 100 Year Old
by: Anonymous

Threat of violence? Really? What kind of shape is this man in? Can he out run you? Does he keep a gun under his pillow?

I think you're trapped in a victim mentality from your childhood and your current circumstances are just adding to it.

Don’t feel bad, we all do it.

I know that the needier my mom gets, the more I am getting trapped into thinking that doors to the outside world are closing. After a while we give up and feel defeated in the situation. Its so hard to separate our lives from theirs.

Lately mom has been scared to sleep alone at night and actually wants me to sleep with her. At first I was appalled and then last night I found myself promising her that one night soon I would do that for her. And why did I say that?

Because I remember when I was a little girl I would get scared at night and I wanted to sleep with my parents. So all this comes from my feelings. It’s all so interconnected and intertwined with our parents from so many years and experiences.

After a while it gets hard to be logical. It gets hard to remember our own identity and who we are. We just become here for them. We get sucked into the vortex of their world. It’s a strong pull.

I am so worried that in one moment someday, something will happen to mom that I wasn’t here to prevent. I’m worried that I spent the last 7 years doing everything right and in one moment, I will do the wrong thing and it will negate everything I did.

I don’t want someone criticizing my caregiving and I don’t want to feel like I was neglectful. That’s ridiculous thinking.

Keeping her alive and well becomes the focus, while she is slowly dying. Somehow if I don’t keep her alive, I’ve failed. And all along wanting her to peacefully pass away so I can get on with my life.

There has to be something new in the psychology books to explain this phenomenon that is happening to our generation because it's the first time it’s ever happened.

As usual, I don’t have any answers. We all just have to find our way through it without going under.

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