Caring for the uncaring.

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A post I skimmed yesterday struck a nerve. It was someone who felt jealous of the caregivers who had nice, loving and supportive parents, because she/he did not have kind and loving and supportive parents.
I, too, have had mean, abusive parents, and now is our turn to take care of them. They remain mean, ungrateful and self-serving; Dad has accused my sister and me of meddling in his affairs, and even went as far as to say he doesn't trust us.
I paid for a $2000.00 car repair ( body damage to his car that 'wasn't his fault') because he messed up his credit card ( was as simple as replacing an expired card with a new updated card; all he had to do was activate it...huge dilemma!) and he took over 4 weeks to write me a valid check for reimbursement.

This issue is two-fold. First, he didn't remember why he owed me that large of an amount, thus the reminders. Second, I truly believe that he did not want to pay me back. WHY? I don't know... he has always screwed me over with money. WHY? I do not know, cuz he's an a$$.

He did not record the two checks he wrote (the first check was not signed and had the date whited out and re-written), so my sister (POA) had to review it with him, and I could hear him yelling in the background " I don't owe her ANYTHING!!!!"

Two overnight emergency room visits, a weeks vacation from my job spent on him, and thousands of dollars in commission ( I work in sales), and this SOB is nickle and diming me for damage to his car that HE did!

I completely empathize with the poster who is resentful toward people who say ' At least you still have both of your parents'. That statement is right up there with people who tell a young woman after a miscarriage that 'You're young, you can try again'.

I know I'm ranting, but I sit across the desk from all sorts of situations everyday. The most frequent buyer from me are parents looking out for their kids best interest while protecting their own.

I was never me on the other side of the desk; my parents always looked after their own best interests. And now I ask myself, If they turned their backs on me, why am I giving them every day off, my vacation time, and losing money at work when they still don't even care enough to take care of themselves, and resist the help that we've offered them.

Should we just leave them alone to deal with themselves and the bed they've made? ( My Dad used to always say " You made your bed, now you'll have to lie in it."

It just seems cruel and unloving, but maybe he was right.


Here is what therapist Pauline Boss writes about this situation:
"Taking care of someone who years before was abusive or neglectful of you is beyond what is expected of you. Caring for a family member who was or is physically or psychologically abusive is dangerous. Feeling as if you want to retaliate is also dangerous. These are justifiable reasons for NOT being a caregiver. ... Each case is different, but with most, I encourage some kind of continued management -- often through a social worker -- to make sure that the caregiving team or the nursing home professionals are treating your family member well. This may be the best you can do given your history together."

2tents, they made their beds, now they will have to lie in them. Be better than they deserve -- don't turn your back on them. But DO NOT get sucked up again into their dysfunctional world. Detach. Do the right thing, from a distance.

Not NOT give them every day off, your vacation time, and your focus and concentration at work. Some, yes. You might give some even to a stranger, if you are a compassionate person. But do the some willingly out of love, not as an obligation.

Begin detaching now. In all likelihood the worst is yet to come.

Jeanne is right, the worst is yet to come. Establish boundaries now.
Yes, wonderful response from Jeanne (as usual!). Detach and set boundaries. Do what you feel like you can do without feeling resentful or used. And if that's nothing, so be it. They made their beds, let them lie in them. Hugs to you!
I've not seen the jealous person post, but I've seen plenty posts by adult children of abusive parents who abused them as children either verbally, physically or sexually.

The quote above is very accurate. Basically don't be their direct caregiver. My wife has been told that. The danger as stated above is that as the abusive parent weakens, the adult abused child's rage, not just anger, might just come to the surface and as such take them over and make them do things that would severely damage or even kill the parent.

I think there's an article here about murder suicides that happen sometimes.

I must say that it was frightening the night that my wife suddenly found herself totally in touch with her pain and rage as well as told me that she knew exactly how she wanted her mother to die, how much she wanted her to suffer and how long the whole thing would take place. I got her professional help that night.

You may want to look at the thread here about emotional blackmail. Depending on how loud your parents' voice in your head is, it may be a very good idea to see a therapist for validation, support, objectivity and ideas for boundaries, consequences when broken and more.

Take care of you. Please keep in touch. We are here for your to cheer and support you on your journey which is not an easy one by any means. Plus, many have been where you are in one way or another.
WOW... And THANK YOU to all the responses! My first question was 'dangerous? how? and what does that mean?'
The subsequent responses have addressed that question! I'm blown away by the level of understanding and empathy in the answers! I am grateful, more than you'll ever know.
I am so tired of a life of toxic anger and frustration. I had finally(or so I thought) broken free of it when I left a nasty 23 year old marriage...just history repeating itself...many of you know the drill.
I was fortunate to have two years off from the toxic dynamic of family, parents, husband, siblings, etc.... However, my father, having been a die-hard Christian Scientist all of his adult life, suddenly accepted an invitation to medical intervention when he knew he was on death's doorstep.

After a deep investment of time and energy, as previously stated, and FAITH, not previously stated.... I see that my father is not taking his health as seriously as I and my sister.

SO let's ask about boundaries, then. I'm all about boundaries, and have learn lots about them in the last 3 years... still in the learning stages.

I'm thinking that if Dad wants to be a beligerent a$$, he can get his own meds from the VA... he and Mom can take the senior van to appointments and bring notes so he can remember what he's there for.

Gosh that seems so mean... So I need some help with realistic boundaries.

Tents, how much are you willing to do? Taking care of your own emotional health is not mean. Decide what you are able to do without having to suffer the after consequences. There are other ways for them to get the help they need. And maybe a facility makes the most sense for all concerned.
Gladimhere, not much more than I've already done. All it takes is those nasty, sniping remarks from both parents stabbing me in the back to make me walk away.
I've disillusioned myself to think that they would suddenly see me as an adult, deserving of respect, and perhaps a drop of gratitude. Not gonna happen; I'm clearly expecting too much.
While I hate to have all of the work fall to my sister, I need to remove myself from the line of fire, and let them flounder helplessly until they accept the outside help that they need.

Such disillusioned is not unusual to take place.

Very often what I learned in therapy is that the hurting/adult/ child seeks to compensate for something that was absent from their childhood. They very often will endure abuse that not one else would in order to possibly see the parent become the loving, non-abusive parent that the never were. Sad to say, but they never will despite all presumptive hope that they will be the exception

While a lack of verbal or physical abuse is missing for some adult children, for others is another abuse that my therapist told me about and this is as much abuse as any other abuse which often creates an enmeshment that is very hard to pull away from.

The eternal child who has been groomed by a parent to always respond like they are still the little girl or little boy. Technically that is called infantalism.

The adult/hurting/child wants this to change so that they will stop treating them as the eternal/adult/child and finally see them and treat them as an adult. However, keeping the person from their point of view as an eternal child gives them a sense of power and meets some other sick needs.

The pain of being the hurting/adult/child and the enmeshment of being the eternal/adult child make it very tough to detach and not sacrifice it all for change that will never happen.

I have a relative who is still in this bondage by this in her early 60's and somehow her marriage has lasted, but not well. She's been to therapy, but quit. She at times wants someone else to fight her war for her, but she want fight.

I'm glad that you are not disillusioned anymore! I've been working a song about "20 Ways to Leave Your Abusive Parents." I've not finished it yet and what you are doing is an understandable act of self-protection.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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