Too Young to Have no Life!
Both my parents are in their early 70's , I am an only child married with no children and do not work due to post traumatic stress. I live about 5 minutes from their house and drive.
My parents have not had a perfect marriage with family issues on both sides and as a result they offloaded onto me from a young age and I became the go between for communication. This improved a little when I married late in life but now it has resurfaced and due to the above issues our family unit is very small, mother,father, my husband and me!
Over the last 4 years both parents have started to develop health issues- my father had a tumor removed from his chest and radiotherapy, which left him with weakness in his legs and so slowed him down, especially with mobility. My mother fell twice, broke her arm in 4 places, required surgery and has osteoperosis.
Since then she has also developed spinal problems, severe pain and often is unable to walk. Then last year my father went in for a routine operation and it developed into a life threatening 8 months of hospitalization, which lead to doctors believing he would not survive.
Of course my mother relied heavily on my support, advice,decision making, driving, general help and waiting at the hospital for @ 8 hours a day. Luckily, the doctors were wrong and today he is home but only able to drive 5km from home, as well as fragile.
Then while caring for them both and my husband, I discovered I needed a serious back operation, with a collapsed vertebrae and
bone graft, with fa bone spur touching my spinal nerve. I had an operation in November last year and although my parents were nice, I do not think they realize how tired and stressed I am now!
As an only child my mother believes it is my duty to cater to all their needs, which if necessary I do, however with all the stress I now have teeth problems and just a few days ago I had a kidney stone attack, which means more problems.
I guess my problem is that for all my life I feel like I have tried to smooth out my parents problems and now I feel trapped by their needs and lack of recognition that it is all taking its toll on my health and marriage. My mother especially is good at guilt and manipulates it so I feel compelled to do as she wants, even if I am tired. I am beginning to feel trapped, unhappy, angry, frustrated and resentful towards my parents, which adds to my guilt and does not help with my relationship with my husband. Why can't I just say no or tell them the truth!!! Is this all my life has come to?
Added to my depressive post traumatic stress, I begin to think what is it all for? My only saving grace is my husband who is supportive to the extreme and understanding however, even he is fast losing patience with the demands and toll being placed on me.
What can I do? Am I trapped in this cycle? Is there help out there? How can I explain to my parents without completely alienating them?