Role Reversal

by Casondra

It is so hard on parents to see their role reversed from being the caregiver to being the one cared for. It doesn't start as resentment because the desire is to love them with an open heart to help them with what they need.

Over time the situation changes because of their fear of aging and they second guess and doubt their children's motives. In their fear they become bitter but at the same time the fear of being left alone is an even greater fear so this struggle causes a lot of anxiety.

Wanting independence and not wanting to be left alone vs. wanting independence and not being able to handle being independent. Trying to explain the depth and breathe of your love for them in the middle of this conflict is very stressful for everyone.

My mother doesn't have the finances to take care of her home so she puts her head in the sand and lets the house fall down around her. She wants her children to do everything in and for the house. We all have homes, jobs and children of our own to manage with our finances. She has heel spurs, arthritis in her back, and has trouble walking any place with stairs, the bathroom, climbing in and out of a car are very challenging. Suggest ramps or making changes to the bathroom and we are trying to steal her independence. Suggest a senior condo for less maintenance and ease of access and we are trying to put her away.

We care deeply for our mother but she has withdrawn from almost everyone and complains about everything. She has disconnected herself emotionally from everyone. She doesn't want anything and she doesn't need anything from anyone so she says. But she wants to know every phone call, every trip to the store, every piece of mail she opens that is yours and she never says thank you for anything.

Resentment is overwhelming when you sit and cry because others in the family have given up on trying to help because their motives have been questioned. Resentment builds because my finances can't support her and my health is not good either as I age. Her doctor says there is nothing wrong with her because when she is around him she is a bubble of joy and very strong and independent.

Resentment is the least of my problems in caring for my elderly mother. The amazing part is that the Love I have for her hasn't changed and I only pray the the Lord will allow her to see it or that she will allow all of us to truly help her live the rest of her life.

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Response to Role Reversal
by: Anonymous

This is beautifully written. Sounds like you wrote this about my Mom except she does live with me and has a small apartment but can no longer really cook for herself but that is okay. I take her meals to her and do what is needed.

She is so grouchy and I to pray that she knows I still love her and want to help her live the rest of her life out. She hates not being independent! On top of every thing else, I'm not her favorite child.

Still compares me to the one she is not living with. Resentment, some but not to my sister but to my Mom who after all these years still throws up what my sister did or would do. Lord I pray you keep blessing her and me so we will survive in peace.

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