When does it End?

by Angie
(North Carolina)

My husband has been the primary caregiver of his disabled brother, his mother, and, now, his father for 27 years! We both work full-time, have two kids, and no life of our own.


His brothers, on the other hand, take extended vacations with their families, have interesting social circles, and basically do whatever they want despite my husband begging repeatedly for their help. Hubby's been a caregiver as long as I've known him all the while juggling a full-time job outside of caregiving.

It's beginning to take a toll as my husband had to have triple-bypass heart surgery last year at the ripe old age of 40. His brothers, meanwhile, complained that he wasn't trying to recover fast enough - they actually had to pick up the phone ONCE a week and call their father - gasp! All our "extra" income goes to helping his father, and, after I lost a good-paying position in 2008, we had to file for bankruptcy. His brothers made no secret that they were ashamed of him for filing, and asked where our savings were? Um, we've been paying out of pocket for their father's extra medical expenses for 17 years so we can't afford to put any savings into the bank!

I'm so tired of all of this and hubby's reached the breaking point, too. We've decided that when our oldest graduates high school next May, we're gone. I know my husband will feel tremendous guilt for leaving, but it has to end, we have to be able to live a normal life, save for retirement, and have much less stress.

His brothers are being hateful and ugly about our desire to break free and have told my husband that if their father dies, it's ALL his fault. It's time each of them stepped up, but I don't look for it. They never have before, not even ONCE. They're too busy having a good time to give a thought to their father or to their brother. Only a few more months to go...

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Hey Gainsville, Florida! I Remember You
by: Anonymous

I was just scrolling through the entries, like I do every morning, to visit all my fellow caregivers and get my daily dose of support and advice, and I recognized your story because of the "living in the isolated woods" part.

Good for you, taking care of yourself. You were so down and out in your previous entries and now you sound strong and hopeful. It seems like you've done a lot of soul searching out there in those woods. Maybe that was meant to be!

Follow your heart and go forward with courage. Balance everything you do for yourself, and your family, with love and kindness. Continue to be the loving, giving person you know yourself to be. And remember, it's OK to take care of yourself, too.

Keep in touch.

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Same boat as you
by: Gainesville fl

Good to hear that you have made the decision to move forward no matter what happens. I too am about to break free of my mom. I have no more money left and have to return to work and life.

We are out in the woods in moms home and isolated from the world. I too have a retired brother who will have to step up to the plate. I am trying not to feel guilty about leaving but..... We need to act as a family and see mom through these last years of her life. I can not do this alone.

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