Overwhelmed with What has Turned Out to be an Enormous Responsibility

by Linda
(Rockland County, NY, USA)

My husband & I agreed to care for his Mom after she had stroke, 2 & 1/2 yrs ago. Initially, it seemed to me, to be the "right thing" to do. It has turned into a nightmare.

These are not my parents, they are my husband's. Yet I am bound to be here, because of my marital vows - I did not know what I was undertaking when I said, "I do"! Currently, my husband, who is disabled, is feeling ill (probably due to a hernia, that I think is causing his distress). I am overwhelmed with the care of the parents, being certain their bills are paid & our bills too, there is a never ending supply of laundry between the 3 of them - I have a hard time doing their laundry, so my laundry falls to the bottom of the list, going to the pharmacy to get their medications, only to have Dear Husband (DH) chastise me when I return home that I did not yell at the pharmacist because they did not do something they should have done, I regret accepting this responsibility.

Friends tell me that I am assured a "place in Heaven" because of this wonderful act I am doing - I think not, since I am quite angry and do not consider myself cheerful! There are times, though far & few between, when Mother In Law or Father In Law will express appreciation for something I have done.

I have tried "offering it up", a phrase I heard often in the Catholic schools I attended - I never imagined this particular type of hardship, between caring for the parents & then having to deal with the husband & his disabilities, on top of which I have my own issues with chronic pain, which one doctor attributed to being brought on by stress.

There is no help from my husband's brother (he stated when Mother In Law had stroke, that this caring for parents - yes, they are HIS parents too! was all on my husband) or any of the extended family, i.e., uncle, nieces & nephews.

I get some encouragement from my Church family, the priests, fellow parishioners, it is just that when DH & I have a disagreement, as we did earlier, I feel so alone and that I made such a grievous mistake, by agreeing to be here. I feel like I have lost my capability to cope with these issues. Thank you for letting me vent. Take care.

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