Fallout from threatening to leave.

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I finally told my parents that I am so worn out and sick that I am considering getting an apartment. Background: I am the 'problem child' of the family and my siblings are the royalty. I do get some thanks for what I do, but the others get most of the praise for even the smallest actions that they do. The majority of the care has fell to me - while the others are out having a good time and enjoying activities, I am here often having to fix the dripping faucet, pick up fallen limbs, go to appointments, look after medicines, and get them through illnesses - and deal with negative behavior.

Since I also have some health problems, I am too tired even when I do get a little spare time to participate in anything. I just got one parent through a severe cold, and then siblings come in coughing and sneezing..... and they have no concern about either parent getting their sickness. This type of thoughtless behavior runs rampant in my family. I was told to use ' me sentences' to let them know that a behavior hurt me - but I just get blank looks, with no response at all. My father does seem to have some guilt, but my mother does not care. There are also no boundaries in my family, and I was often told that the family problems were my fault - until a psychiatrist told me that it was a bold faced lie.

So... now that I have mentioned that I want to go on a waiting list for a place, my father keeps coming to me, crying, and begging me not to leave them. Same father who did not want to hear any of my problems when I was a kid. ( Also reminded of how his sister said their dad would cry whenever he wanted one of the kids to turn over their paycheck to him) In his later years, he has
tried to apologize for the benevolent neglect and do somewhat better.

My problem is that I am now in such bad shape that I have had to depend on them for financial help. I think that this is one reason the others show little respect - they tie my self worth in with what type of job and your status in the community. I feel invisible sometimes.
I also know that everyone who knows my family will be blasting me to high heaven for 'abandoning my parents.' I have already heard the minister say that he likes my siblings, but not me. (Since I am the problem child this is not shocking that I would be 'so heartless.')

I would be able to tolerate it if they would just treat their children the same and demand that I get help more often, and actually treat me with a little respect. When I said that I am doing most of the work, they just agree that it's true, but offer no solution. "Well that's just the way your brother is.' Or they will turn it around so that THEY are at a disadvantage because I am the one doing the most.
Yeah, right.
In my town, the waiting list for apartments for elderly or disabled are long because there are so few places ...it could be a long wait.
Sorry for such a complicated rant.

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LivingSouth, excellent idea, the support group. Go, if only to keep getting away from your environment, often.
A long time friend shared this with me, about support groups:
Don't share too much, too soon, or with everyone. There really is no such thing as true confidentiality. Having things in common will help, and even if you cannot share your details, your issues may be covered by others. The groups can help you! Then, other groups you may visit only once and get an idea of what can be done.
Because of emotional attachment to family, it can be very overwhelming to consider leaving. If you decide to leave, be safe. Sometimes that may mean going on at your own pace.
It really gets to me when others are mistreated. I feel for you and others. Just do your best, and keep trying hard.
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Section 8 housing is not always in a drug infested neighborhood. I wish people would stop generalizing about these kinds of issues. Check out some Section 8 neighborhoods for yourself.
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I went online to see if there is a counselor who might be able to kind of advocate for me and help me to find a place. Looks like there are only about 40 apartments, so no wonder there's a waiting list.
I started to learn website design on a distance ed site, but, like I told Chris on the post today, I constantly get interrupted. I have all these little notes about websites I wanted
to enroll on to learn new skills... I even thought about going to the library to do the coursework, but the traveling would just be an added expense. Just summoning the energy to even take a course is is hard when the work I do here is just wearing me out. Plus this stuff I have affects my memory, so I have to work extra hard to remember the material or techniques. I just need TIME - without carrying everyone else problems.

My parents are so nutty that one minute they will be saying that I need to be living
where I can sell the skills I have - and then the next minute they are pitching a fit that I want to leave.

Now another relative is weighing in and saying how awful it would be that I might be living in a drug infested neighborhood, on section 8!
I have to do something, and I'm going to see if I find the right people to help me out. We have a new caregiver support group locally, so someone there may know about resources that I don't know about. I hope.
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I agree with Katie. Until YOU leave, nothing will change. Stand up for yourself. I know it IS scary, I lived in another state, and the situation I was in, well, we wont talk about that, (bad divorce, no family...)but it finally got to a point where I had to realize that nothing was going to change until I made it happen. It was a giant loop of negativity and depression....You do not need to be a victim anymore. You can do it. The hardest thing will be taking that first step OUT THE DOOR. Sending hugs...:) "The longest walk begins with a single step".
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I've just thought of a better way to approach getting a job. Instead of thinking in terms of the problems, issues and what you can't do, reverse it and think in terms of what you can do as the basic structure, then expand from there.

You can do graphics work, you can work at home (add more as you think of them) - what CAN you do with these? Again, how can you leverage these skills?
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LivingSouth, you absolutely don't need a masters degree to teach in adult ad. I taught craft and needlework classes, for which I certainly didn't need a degree. I doubt if there even are any applicable degrees for hands on experience for quilting, even if a status oriented person in the adult ed program felt a degree was necessary.

I believe there's some type of needlework curriculum and degree in the UK though.

As to your graphics experience, you have a bachelors and you have experience. LEVERAGE THAT. Create a portfolio of your work, COPYRIGHT all your designs and work or at least don't leave it with anyone you approach to teach in adult ed. I put the copyright notation on my syllabi after I discovered someone was pilfering the language I used to describe my classes.

I also collected brochures from various communities in my area, read the curriculum to see where I could fit in my classes as some communities have extensive programs and others have virtually none. Then I cold called communities to suggest adding a crafting element to their curriculum.

In adult ed, classes are generally once a week. You wouldn't have to be in class daily as you would with a regular teaching responsibility.

I also tutored academics subjects at a community college. The tutoring program was sponsored by the college; students applied, tutors were found from those who volunteered. I didn't have a Bachelors, so I was paid less than those who did, but there was a demand for tutors for students who really were lost in the academic environment.

The first step though is to develop confidence in yourself, in your ability to convey information effectively, and in the fact that so many obstacles may seem to exist...tackle them one by one.

There used to be an Operation Able in our area that helped older people adapt to what might have been for them the challenge of seguing into computer based environments. You might find a program like that, or perhaps even with Goodwill, teaching others in similar situations.

Even w/o a Masters, you might be able to get a teaching assistant position - again, the classes aren't daily but generally twice a week.

I really think the key though is building up your self confidence to believe that you can do this. And I wish you luck; that can be a mountainous hurdle, but take it one step at a time.
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Maybe you've answered this before....but are you being paid for your caregiving?
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Regardless of your healthand income, you have a right to your own life. You can decide how much you want to help your parents. I would advise moving to another city, though, or they will never leave you in peace. Dont't tell themyou are abandoning them, just setting the hours you can help - just like your siblings are doing. Take the first step and walk out. I wish you good luck.
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I looked into teaching, but two problems I have - no Masters degree, and the problem that Voc Rehab had with me - simply to be able to do it every day.
Goodwill is actually the one that sent me to the fast food job ( and my Voc Rehab counselor was not happy about it.) I will look into the temp jobs though, and try to find out if they have this program locally. Some days I can barely get out of bed, so just being dependable is a problem, and that's why working for myself seems sometimes to be the only option. I've done a good job in my past work - in fact, I maybe did too much of a good job sometimes.

I don't know if I could make it on my own or not, and that's why I wake up depressed almost every morning. Feel a bit like a rat in a cage! It's like everyone in my family thinks that since I am 'defective' that I am the perfect one to look after everyone else - while they're out having a good time.
If I complain, I just get blank stares... they seem to think that I don't need to have a life.
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Have you thought about teaching graphics in an adult ed environment or in a library? You wouldn't have to stand; classes are usually no longer than 2 hours. It's a good way to touch up your resume.
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