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My elderly parents treat me as their whipping board. How do I handle this?

Asked by  |  Jan 8, 2010

Mom is a borderline personality and dad is dysfunctional, trying desparately to just breath right so she doesn't act out. My parents that treat me as their whipping board. How do I handle this? It's very hurtful and frustrating. As the only care giver I don't even have power of attorney for their medical care. This goes to my long distance brother who barely even calls once a month. Mom's cognition is failing and she is getting harder to handle. Dad just tip toes around so she won't act out. Please, I need some advice on how to handle this situation.

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Sandy49

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Jan 20, 2010

First talk to your Dad then your brother. Talk to an attorney. He'll be able to help you with legal issues, or is there a welfare agency that can give you info. It's really difficult to deal with things from a distance and your brother really needs to come for a visit to help set things up.

 
 

psjpotter

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Jan 21, 2010

Sandy, thank you for responding. I almost feel guilty even writing my comment and, probably, should have put it under caregiving. It was my first time on this site and I was over whelmed that day. My dad isn't always rational due to his lack of oxygen and my mom just has issues. Dad and I can usually work things out, but my mom can be a bear. Whatever she wants she gets because she's dying and my dad is heartbroken. mom's cognition is declining which makes things worse. He's dying too, but in his mind that doesn't matter. As for my brother, I wrote to him about our parents 60th anniversary and he never even answered me. His attitude is that our parents are still going, and that's all that matters. I have found some peace in just reading about other people and their plights. I realize now I can't make everything better and it's not my fault when my parents unleash. I just need to calmly and consistently handle things - I guess. My best to you!

 
 

anonymous13319

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Jan 21, 2010

PSJ: why does your brother have PoA when you are the caregiver and he lives so far away? PoAs are given to those who are in the best position to assess your parent's needs. There will come a time when immediate decisions need to be made and your brother may be too hard to reach. Talk to your Dad and see if it isn't wiser to have the PoA changed.
In every family there are those who step up and those who step back.

 
 

Sandy49

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Jan 21, 2010

My heart goes out to you, Things might be a bit different here in Canada so I don't have agency info. Hopefully someone else who has dealt with this will reply.

 
 

Sandy49

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Jan 21, 2010

Is your Dad a vet? If so see the info about their helps.

 
 

psjpotter

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Jan 22, 2010

Thanks everyone, but the POA will never change. I lived away from my dysfunctional family for 15 years. Being a female, and talking to the doctors gently, but truthfully has my mom in an uproar. My dad will never cross her. My parents are not quite ready for a nursing home and can't afford anything but what they have. I just really needed to say some things out loud. I am much better having found this wonderful site and realizing that I need to learn to deal with what I have and not wish for something different. I now get up at 5:00 am to swim and that has helped my stress level tremendously. Thank you all for your kind words and wisdom.

 
 

sunny45

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Jan 22, 2010

God bless you and grant you peace.

 
 

anne123

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Feb 6, 2010

Psjpotter: I totally "get" and understand what you are going through. I read somewhere that an adult child caring for her elder thought to herself: "Raising my kids was a snap compared to this." I have found the same to be true while helping my parents through their final years on this earth. I love my parents more than anything, as I'm sure many or most of us here do, and have committed to keep on giving to them as long as I hold out. However, I have also learned along the way a couple things: to take time to nurture myself to preserve my sanity, health, and energy....and also not to take personally what my elderly parent says to me when he/she is speaking abusively. This is a tough one, no doubt! My mother died a couple years ago; she refused to accept hospice care toward the end ( she was very independent minded) which put a greater burden on my father and me. Now with my father, there are "declining cognition" issues to deal with, and I'm doing the best I can, as we all are. I am thankful for this forum to express myself transparently, and in private--without judgment. I would never judge another person on this forum either, because I know what we are all going through. It's harder than I ever imagined. I have found that God has provided "angels" along the way to help me when I had little to no strength left to care for my parents. These "angels" would show up right at the time I needed them, in the form of caring human beings. I admit at those times I felt pushed to my absolute breaking point, but then one of these angels would show up. I pray the same for you and everyone else here.

 
 

psjpotter

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Feb 6, 2010

Oh, you are so right. Angels! I have a couple of those who sit on my shoulder and help guide my way. They're what can make life beautiful and right when things seem to be going so wrong. Thank you for your kind response. Please take good care. P

 
 

SecretSister

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Feb 6, 2010

Dear psjpotter,

My heart really goes out to you. How did you learn of your mother's diagnosis? I am dealing with the same with my mother, only my dad has Advanced State Alzheimer's. My mom just got over Breast Cancer treatment, too. However, dealing with her Borderline Personality Disorder is the most difficult thing we've ever had to do. She is currently doing what the book, "Stop Walking On Eggshells, Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder," (by Mason & Kreger) says they will do: My mom is waging a full assault "Distortion Campaign" against me. She's calling the police, writing letters to family, lying to physicians, attorneys, etc., saying I am "abusing her," stealing, etc. I have also contacted the police several times concerning her (a friend is a State Police Trooper, and he went to court to try and help me). It's a living nightmare. But if you've read the book, there are suggestions in there to follow and walk you through. There's NOTHING we can do to make things better. It just is what it is, save a miracle from God. But, I'm also realistic, and living with, or caring for someone with BP is nothing short of a nightmare!!!!!

I wish I had some hope to offer you (and me). Simple truth you already know is: it's just plain awful. I do hope you have a good support system in place, of people who love and care about YOU. That will make a huge difference on how well you do. So sorry you have to suffer through all you have, and will be going through. Know you're not alone, and someone is praying for you. Please let us know how you're doing...

 
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