Stress and my Elderly Parents

by Josie
(Syracuse, NY)

Stress and my elderly parents go hand and hand it seems, as they are constantly worried about almost everything. The guilty feelings I have when I get short with them sometimes can be unbearable. I don't know if it is me or if they are just being picky, although to be fair, if I did not have much to do all day I could make stuff up to worry about too. Am I being awful about it? I am the only one caring for them as my brother and his wife are several states away, and although they are pretty good about not being critical, my parents sometimes call to complain which I know stresses them out too!

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Guilt as Product of Manipulation
by: Vicki

I came to the conclusion that any guilt that I feel over not meeting my mother's expectation for her care is a product of her manipulating me to feel this way. Usually it involves comments that suggest that to not dedicate one's life to the care of an elderly parent is a shameful betrayal and an act of outright moral negligence.

Even as adults we still cling to the idea that we need to "please" our parents. That is what makes us buckle under the weight of the guilt of feeling we have not measured up.

I am working very hard to only give to my mother that which is reasonable. If I fall short of her expectations, so be it. And there will be no associated guilt.

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