Having to take care of my elderly father since the age of 12.
Hello to all. I come here for guidance and help to cope with my situation that I've been dealing with from my early years. My parents had me when they were already too old and now the consequences of that error are showing. My mother died at 50 when I was only 12 and all the responsibilities of taking care of my father, 11 years my mother's senior and an already pensioned and medicated veteran, passed on to me. All of my siblings who were far older than me had their own families when my mother died and my father kept insisting that he could still take care of himself. So, not much was done. But that wasn't the case. I've had to deal with years of emotional abuse and guilt for so much as just leaving the house for one night to watch a movie. My teenage years were hard and I had no one to turn to. It seemed that everyone I tried to explain my situation to, even a therapist I was seeing for a few months, would tell me that I was responsible for his well being and to be more understanding.
It goes without saying that I had little to no social life. I'm 23 years old now and it's only gotten worse. I only have one good friend and he's grown distant with me because my father speaks ill of him and treats my friend with no respect. I rarely ever go out and when I do my father will call nonstop and once I return home he won't speak to me, he won't eat, or even take his medication. He'll also call my siblings and complain about how I'm always out with friends and never watch over him when that is not the case at all. He berates me in public and yells at me for the slightest mistakes. I rarely get much sleep because he wakes me up in the middle of the night for things as small as getting him water.
When I try to speak to my siblings about how I feel they cancel me out and say I'm going to regret not watching over him if he passes. They tell me family is first before everything else and to be more considerate. It's made me grow resentful and bitter. I can never go anywhere because I'm terrified of coming home and finding him in some bad predicament because I wasn't there.
I've even gone into Nursing so I can better take care of him. I've sacrificed so much and he still makes me feel like I do nothing. When I once suggested him vacationing to CN to visit my sister for awhile in hopes that I could take a small break he threatens to never speak to me again or to stop taking his medication. I feel so helpless and miserable. I love my dad very much but I'm not happy. I haven't been happy for a long time. It feels like he's taken away years of my life and continues to do so. I'm scared that this will continue on and I'm going to grow older and not make any social connection. I already feel like I'm emotionally stunted and antisocial.
I don't know what to do. Please tell me how I can better cope with all this. I feel very alone.