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After caregiving for my mother for 13 years and experienced a gradual recession and cruel treatment from my immediate family, I am realistically 'seeing' this as the case. It's easy for people to brush this claim as false, but they're usually not caregivers (this was by fare the worst Christmas I ever had, as my family All ignored me... ). Not looking for sympathy, and I'll probably 'make' it through this huge stage of my life, that has impacted my years... But, wondering what you think (your perception)...

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STIGMA THAT CARETAKERS ARE "LOWER CLASS"!
I AM A CAREGIVER BY MY OWN CHOICE. MOST OF MY (?) FRIENDS THINK I AM FOOLISH FOR DOING THIS. MOST OF THEM PAID STRANGERS TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR ELDER PARENTS. THEY DID NOT LIVE IN THE SAME STATE AS THEIR PARENTS. HOWEVER, THEY WOULD CALL ME TO STOP TO SEE THEIR PARENTS AND MAKE SURE THINGS WERE UP TO PAR. LATER, SAME PERSON, CONFESSED TO ME THAT SHE JUST COULDN'T BE THERE AND WATCH THE AGING PROCESS. SO SHE SENT ME??!! MY TAKE ON THE SITUATION IS THAT THEY FEEL GUILTY AND NEED TO JUSTIFY THEIR BEHAVIOR. THEY ARE JUST TO SMART TO LOWER THEMSELVES - THUS THE LOOK DOWN THEIR NOSE ATTITUDE. IT TAKES ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE TO MAKE UP THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN. THANK GOD THERE ARE SOME KIND SOULS THAT ENJOY SPENDING THEIR TIME BEING OF HELP TO OTHERS AND NOT ONLY THINKING OF THEMSELVES. THAT ALSO APPLIES TO PARENTS. I HAVE FRIENDS THAT FEEL TODDLERS AND YOUNGER CHILDREN DON'T REALLY NEED PARENTS - THEY LIE TO THEMSELVES AND SAY WHEN THEIR CHILDREN ARE GROWN AND NEED MONEY THAT IS WHAT IS IMPORANT TO HELP WITH. WHAT ELSE CAN I SAY? I HAVE SPENT MY LIFE BEING A FRIEND AND HELPING OTHER PEOPLE ESPECIALLY THE ONES WHO HAVE HELPED ME. I DO NOT THINK I AM "LOWER CLASS" BECAUSE OF WHAT I FEEL GOOD ABOUT DOING. I GUESS I DON'T NEED TO BE "UPPER CLASS" - BUT I NEED TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF - NOT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF ME.

ROSEPETAL
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I find that the family members that judge me as being less than human for being a caregiver are not good people in general.
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Hi Jess... My mother does this also, so I know what you mean... To outsiders, they can be so believable and make you appear so 'small' and 'vulnerable', which undermines the very (strong, independent, caregiving and unselfish) person you are. It really has blown me away through time/years/decades to see how they have actually 'mastered' this 'art' (making it all so believeable to anyone but us). I now think after years of exhaustion, in trying to 'reason' with her to no avail, that they believe their story-telling to be absolutely true.. And, I think they fabricate it (possibly subliminally) because it gives them the only 'power' they have left (which gives them this weird satisfaction of running us over). At this point, there is no reasoning with them... And, all this 'trying' to have a conversation with them is so time-consuming, wearing and dead-end... a 'one-way' infinite conversation.
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I'm glad this thread was resurrected. It made me think of one thing that really bothers me that my mother does. She talks to my brothers and to anyone else who is listening about how her money covers all our bills. She makes it sound like she is taking care of me financially. This isn't true. She spends about $1K a month of her SS. I spend about $1.5K of my own money a month for my bills, insurance, food, car, etc. The only thing she provides is the house, power, and gas. Grrrr. This bothers me a lot. I want to correct her in front of people when she does it, but I don't like to do that. I really dislike being demoted from a working person to a kept servant daughter like this.

I've actually considered making her words come true. It would save me a lot of money. I don't let her pay my way, though, because it would give her leverage that she would use to manipulate. When she tries to cross my boundaries by saying how much she does for me, I can say no she doesn't with total honesty.

It's sad when you have to protect yourself against your own parent. I know she has the need to feel that she is providing something, but I also know that she would use it against me. I've actually not let her do anything for me since I was about 25 since I knew what she would do. Still, though, she makes up how she used to give me lots of money during my life. It is just crazy. She did give me $1K when I got my BS degree. That was it. I don't think anyone of us kids except my alcoholic brother ever got any money from her. He got lots of money from her -- a very codependent relationship.

Wow, I didn't know I was going to go on this long. I just wish she would quit acting like she does things for me that she doesn't. It makes me feel like others see me as a mooch.
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What a great topic & replies.
Perhaps I was nieve when this started thinking I was doing so much and thought others would identify and nod in understanding. HA. Siblings won't help nor listen to me express my parents needs for more care and the difficulties I am having and in need of help.
When applying for jobs to get on with my life out of here, prospective employers do not value 50+ applicants (please don't argue w me here - ageism is alive, well and been an issue in my job search). We are passed over for younger more energetic moldable folks who are paid nothing.
I don't date because of the endless jokes I've heard about older children living in their parents basement (as caregivers no less) and that is a sign of being lazy and pathetic in mainstream.
Not easy. We are tough strong & have much insight that those who never do this will ever have
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Yesterday, (on my way back from errands) I stopped by to 'console' a male friend I've known for a very long time (about 32 years). His father-in-law just passes, and he hand his wife were flying out of town today to handle affairs. Somewhere in our conversation, he mentioned that I was "old"... I said to him... "no I'm not" and he made a point to say "yes you are". Is it me, or do people go out of there way to hurt people? (He's 4 years older than me)... Why do people have to say things like this to make you feel badly, especially when they know you're taking care of someone and going through so much (he knows I've been down and out a lot of the time). I wish I never heard him say this as i they every day to lift my spirits.. life is hard enough.
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Carisgiving, first, I want to say I agree with you 100%, as I've had people say "I don't know how you did it". I guess, it depends WHO is saying it and how they mean it, as I have told a person I dearly love who cared for her Alzheimer relative, "I don't know how you do it", but she knows I went through a phase in my life, that she feels the same about me. I still am a caretaker, but cannot do as much or as fast. Like the young assistant, they don't see or know what you are doing, and certainly understand feeling 'slapped in the face' with her comment. Those who KNOW me, understand, but those who are 'not close to me', just view me as 'not doing much' and should 'perform MORE'. I'm SO TIRED, have health issues, and feel shunned from their judgement and treatment of me. I am veering off a bit, but I am just saying, the statement "I don't know how you do it", is not always meant in to sound negatively or dismissive, but more as a true complement of your fortitude and dedication. Happy New Year to all!
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Carisgiving... Bravo!...
1,000+% correct
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I do feel like a second-class citizen whenever someone addresses me as a caregiver. I feel like someone is kicking me in the stomach, actually, whenever I'm addressed as a "caregiver". At a recent doctor's appointment, the young, like 18-year old young, medical assistant reviewed my paperwork before the doctor came into the room. The assistant asked me "So what do you do for work?" I told her I'm my mother's caregiver. She replied "Oh, okay...you're just a caregiver..." Well, her tone didn't sit will with me and I clearly had way too much coffee that morning because I immediately snapped back at her and asked "What do you mean by that..that I'm 'just a caregiver'? If I had said, I work as a neurosurgeon, then would you have said 'Oh...you're just a neurosurgeon'...?" She was red in the face from embarrassment and gave out a nervous laughter. I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to care for my mother (and deceased father) because I became a better person for it. However, I'm so ridiculously tired of people thinking I have no brain - because I'm a "caregiver". As my mother's "caregiver": I'm her doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, chef, chauffeur, inventory supplies manager, billing manager, insurance claims advocate, therapist, hairstylist, grooming expert, massage therapist, investment manager, seamstress, secretary, counselor, housekeeper, motivational coach, psychotherapist, lawyer, teacher, business manager (move over Trump - I'm the ultimate negotiator), medical researcher...the list doesn't stop. I can't stand it when people say "I don't know how you do it..." with the glossy-eyed, deer in the headlights look. It's as if society becomes all of sudden physically and mentally paralyzed at the mere thought of caring for an aging loving one. Seriously! It's just such a bizarre reaction. I ask them: If you have a disabled child, will you sit on your ass - all day long - and wonder how do I do this? Of course not - you don't have time to sit on your ass let alone even thinking about sitting on your ass. You just jump right in and get the job done - because you love your child - and most importantly - you don't have an extra set of hands to help you out. You are it for your child. Period. I get irritated when people are surprised that I actually had a successful career - before I became a full-time caregiver to my parents - because they assumed that I've chosen caregiving - as my full-time career. 99% of us didn't choose to become a caregiver; we were just dealt with a difficult situation and are doing what we think is best for this chapter in our lives.
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Happy New Year to you all, all the best to you and your loved ones.
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My Aunt Mattie, was like a grandmother. Her and Uncle Spencer were like a safe haven for me. I went there to this childless couple and built myself back up and soaked up a little love so I could go back home to the narcissist mother and sister. jShe babysat and kept my son when I had dances and events. They treated my son like a grandson and me like a daughter.
Jesse in all your post, I see this type of heart you see the mother in you.the nuturer. Be nice if you could erase that woman and that encounter.
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Jess, that was cruel and thoughtless. Some of the most empowering women in my life did not have children. The woman who was like a grandmother to me. The woman who embraced my child.

Its so sad that people use this issue to hurt others. Some of the most endearing life savers of humanity and in neighborhoods where women who embraced the suffering children from their teribly dysfunctional lives.

I mean I have seen with my own eyes women have children and let men abuse them and kill them. And alibi for them. Its sad. So these women should be the caretakers.

So many children in fostercare because their parents chose the man who abused them over them.

Im so sorry people are so hateful. Look at me and a lot of us who have narcissistic mothers. The pain the ugliness we have endured.

Im sorry that the comment caused you pain.. People can be heartless. and wisdom does not necessarily come with age.
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Quote from my OB/GYN Doctor:
"There are so many people that shouldn't have kids"
(How selfish it is for someone to say/think that anyone is 'lessor' for 'not' having children... No,wonder this world is so messed up... many children come from single, divorced or wedlock... Does this mean they are 'lessor' also?... This subject infuriates me)
My cousin told me today that his 40 year old daughter may not marry and he would not think of her differently... (Why should he?)...
This is a very different world thank s to people that don't even know what 'commitment' is...
You rock Jess, Angel... !!!!
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JessieBelle, I have no kids of my own and never married and maybe people think the same of me. They figure I have no responsibilities therefore I have plenty of time to take care of everything. They don't get it though.. I really don't have a life and they do.
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Yesterday I felt how low my status was. A person I thought was my friend said that I was a woman with no kids, so it was naturally my job to take care of my mother. She asked if my brothers had kids. I told her yes, but they were grown. It didn't matter. He was still their father. So I figured that since I was a divorced woman I was now the chosen one. This conversation felt terrible especially coming from another woman. Funny enough, I have found men tend to be easier on women than other women are.
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Iam the caregiver to my husband who is 20 years my senior. We've been married for 23. It was very difficult adjusting to this new relationship. As with all marriages we have had our ups and downs. Our past definitely plays a part in our day to day. No longer is he my equal partner, or someone I can rely on to carry the load when it gets heavy. I love him and take very good care of him but the sadness I feel isnt the sadness that a neutral caregiver has. So in some instances looking into the dynamics of the family is helpful. I am lucky to still be with him and lucky our children are around to help. Some days are harder than others.
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I had a woman sit with my mom and dad for a few hours 2 days a week to give them lunch. I was very specific in the way I wanted my mom cared for, like take her to bathroom before lunch in case her depends was wet I didn't want her sitting wet while eating lunch. Sometimes she would be dry but I wanted it checked first because I could not imagine waking up to eat and sitting in wet pants. I spoke to this woman, who was the sweetest person every, and she now does the same thing for someone else. This woman who can not walk unassisted is left sitting in a chair for about 4-5 hrs until someone comes home. The caregiver said to me after taking care of your mom and how particular you were (not in a bad way) I feel that the family neglects this woman. After reading these last few posts, I am wondering if this woman was a shit to her family and they are not going the extra mile or is it neglect? Sometimes unless you know the history and family personally that there really is a fine line between the two. My mom was a pleasure to take care of and until I started reading this site, I think I lived in a bubble concerning the relationships between mothers and children. Will pray for all of you that are fighting the old age battle with an uncooperative and sometimes unloving patient.🙏
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I understand your thinking. Karma is huge. Im glad you are the type of person who still believes in kindness. I wish your message could be displayed in all areas that house the neglected.
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stew I wonder if those who treat their parent caregivers like dirt will expect everyone to treat them with kid gloves when they need help.

I have always had a real fondness for elderly peoIple but then I wonder sometimes if these people who I feel so sorry for were treating caregivers of their parents badly and maybe if things are not going great for them as elderly people, they are reaping what they sowed. I know it's not for me to judge and I'll continue to help people if I see there is a need for it but ................sometimes I wonder.
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I felt that when I was doing home health. The patients treated me with the same respect that I showed them. But when some of the family came in while I was there, the family would treat me like dirt. Most days I saw 25 to 30 patients and worked 12 to 13 hours. Some days I would swing by home and my husband would ride with me when I worked late. He would stay in the car and read while I saw my patients. I was much more verbal back then and he was my sounding board when I got back in the car when I needed it-and that was pretty often. Now I see those daughters and sons while buying groceries or at Wal Mart. They have aged and now have the same problems that their parents did and I often wonder who is helping to manage their care. Some even have the audacity to ask me to do it. I am so glad to be able to say "nope, I am retired".
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Yes Gershun... I'm beginning to think there's a lot more to this scenario than we first thought.
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Not the first family member to be used, chewed up, and spit out by selfish, self-centered narcissists.
My job is done now, and to look at it realistically, SO very happy that the time was short.
So, "they" are sending him away, that part is sad.
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Heart2Heart, a big Bravo to you! I think what you say is true. When my Mom was still alive and anyone asked what I did for a living, when I said caregiver for my Mom they just looked at me. No response. Almost like the whole idea made them uncomfortable.

I don't know who it was that said this but whoever said that when they were out and saw someone with their elderly Mom or Dad in the middle of the day they thought "don't you have a life?" I used to think like that too. I see it so differently now. Even this Christmas my younger brother seems to be so disdainful when I discuss the times with my Mom and incidents that happened. He seems like he wants to roll his eyes or something. I remember whenever he came to visit Mom and I was there he would look like he just wanted me to leave. Or he would get her in her wheelchair and disappear with her leaving me to wander behind. I really think he thinks he was the "apple of her eye" and I was like the clown cleaning up behind the horse in a parade. There was one week when he took the keys to my Mom's place from me so I could take a break and he said one day he went to see Mom and her lock had been busted in cause the paramedics had to break in the door cause Mom had phoned them when she had fallen once. I brought that up at Christmas and he doesn't even remember that happening. Where I remember every second of every bad day with Mom. It just annoys me.

I don't think he will ever stop believing that my Mom adored him and I was just the fallgirl.
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I have to agree.. yes Christmas was the worse this year. It was bad enough that there wasn't one and what really put a rotten touch on it was the fact and I had the same thing happen Thanksgiving too. People who claim to be your so called friends and tell you that you are a wonderful daughter and they wish they had someone like you to take care of them the way I do when they get old. Yet during the holidays when you really need a little support from those so called friends they don't even know you exist because you don't even hear from not a single one of them. Now.. when you do finally hear from them you get well.. How was your Christmas? Did you have a good one? and I am like. Do I look like I had a good one?? My way of thinking. if they are lucky.. my so called friends.. maybe they will have a good son or daughter to take care of them as well as I have taken care of my parents but if I were them I wouldn't hold my breath,
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Lol. Thanks, I answer to many names, my dad will call me my moms name and not even realize it.
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Thnak you... (I meant Rosebush... but, you're a Rose'bud'... ready to infold!
:)
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You go girl!
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Rosebud and everyone... It's so good to feel like you're not alone. I like you philosophy Rosebud... thank you for your experiences... I'm trying more to tune out the siblings... the holidays and birthday (for 'mother' of coarse) is the worst... I don't want to hear or ne involved with all the 'kiss-ups'... Like you... I get so tired of being the 'slave/go-to person/all-knowing/not-knowing-faulted person... etc. when I can't even think straight to do anything which concerns me in my life... no,wonder so many caregivers start to go downhill in their lives... I know that Christmases, etc will never, ever have the same meaning for me... I've already started to get rid of Christmas things/memorabilia, etc... I think I need to get rid of things so I can plan my escape one of these days... (oh yea, I'll try and see my mother through after all the time spent with her... but, in the meantime... I'll cleanse for 'my' future)... And, I'm working on what you said... tuning out... (and, saying "NO"... sounds so good... Thank you so much.
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So sorry for all i wrote! I didn't realize it was so long, I stopped and started 5x
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My dad is 87 so they are about the same age. When I am having a busy day I have dad help as much as possible, he complains but oh well. He always says what can I do to help but he doesn't always mean it. I have him fold face towels and wash rags, put silver wear away from dishwasher, empty old food from fridge, Swiffer floor from his wheelchair. I used to stop what I was doing to make him lunch now I say as soon as I am done i will. I think he now undetstands all that we do for him and is more tolerant and appreciative. The more that I have ignored my siblings the better that I feel. Even when they have their many suggestions i used to explain why their suggestion was so stupid in my opinion now I just say ok, gotta go put dads clean wash away. Sometimes to get a jab in i do say, back to work, bye!
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