What can I do to assure that I will be different than my parents are when I get older and need help?

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I have so much trouble with my elderly parents that I hardly know where to begin and to make matters worse my siblings do nothing to help. It has gotten to the point that seeing my parents is something I almost dread. My one sister moved away years ago because of the treatment we received from my Dad...verbally and mentally abusive, controlling, alcoholic, etc. My other sister also moved away but has never admitted why. Now she is extremely obcessive, compulsive and controlling herself. My brother lives in our same town but had nothing to do with my Dad for years. Now he does at least talk to him again. He has very little to do with me. When I told his wife I did not know if I could take care of everything any more, she said my brother would not help and that I had no idea what it was like for him to live with my Dad when he was young!?! Hello! I lived there too! To make matters worse my parents constantly choose to pacify my brother and sisters often at my expense. I am certain they do this because they do not want to alleinate (sp) them more or upset them and they know I will always be here no matter what. For example, this year for Father's Day I waited till the end of the week, on Friday, to invite them to dinner on Sunday night to give my brother plenty of time to invite them. Friday night he had said nothing to them yet so I invited Mom and Dad. Sunday afternoon my Mom called and said my brother just called and invited them to dinner so we would have to get together another time! I was so hurt. We were out of town but came back as soon as we could and went for ice cream so I could see them on Father's Day. One time when my Dad told me he could not see, walk or eat any more and could not get into his doctor I got him into my doctor. He was upset with the diagnosis and was furious with me. The doctor after 4 days of tests, which I took him to, said there was nothing wrong with him. He suggested he see a mental health doctor and get medication to help him deal with the issues in his life. He did not talk to me for days. Another time after my Mom had been in the hospital for three weeks Dad told me he no longer wanted me in their lives! Mom said she could no longer do all of her house keeping and wanted a cleaning lady. I offered to help them find someone. That was all it took. My parents are very wealthy people so it was not an issue of them being able to afford it. I know better than to think I can do the cleaning for them because it would be disasterous. Just last month my brother's son wanted to buy something and so did my son. They each bought half of it. My parents told me they did not want my son in their house ever again. My son should have let my brother's son buy it all. That time I finally said something. I had enough and told them that they have treated me like this for years and I put up with it but that I would not put up with them treating my children that way! They had no clue! I felt terrible for saying anything but I know it had to be said. Anyway, I will continue to be a good daughter and help as long as I can because I have accepted the fact that things will probably not change for me. But I do not want to act the same way they are acting when I get old. I read so many letters here about people with terrible issues as they try to handle their aging parents. I do not want to be like that. We have nursing home insurance, I keep a journal, pray and have already talked to my kids about this. What else can I do? Thanks for listening to me. Sometimes it just helps to put my thoughts down on paper.

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Trying, As Meiho has said "You have already broken the chain". The fact that you see things for what they are and care enough for your children not to do the same. I applaud you. The letter to self is fantastic!

You can have what you say.....believe that you will not be a burden....get that thought stuck in your head & make it true for you and your loved ones.
We truely do reap what we sow. You are & will be a blessing to your children.
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That is a perfect idea! I am going to do that! I have talked to my children about my concerns but having it in my own words and handwriting would be better. Hope I am open minded when the time comes and my daughter decides to give it to me. Even better yet...hope she never has to. Thank you so much!
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I'm glad you have a great relationship with your kids. That shows that you have already broken the chain of behavior that you dislike.

I had a friend who said many of the same things that you have said about her parents. She wrote a long letter to HERSELF and outlined all the things that she wanted to remember to do and NOT do as she got older. She sealed it and gave it to her oldest child, asking her to save it and give it back to her when she got older as a reminder of her present thoughts. She told her daughter to be sure to give it to her before it was too late! She wants to have it in her own writing and read it while she is still aware and alert so that she doesn't repeat the behavior that she saw in her parents. I thought that was a great idea!
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Thank you! I love the idea of considering myself a case manager. I will try that approach. My children and I have a wonderful relationship and I have already discussed my fears with them. They assure me that I am different than my parents now and that I will be different from them later in life but I want to be sure so I asked for help from everyone here. I am having a much better day today than when I wrote my question, thank goodness. It is so nice to get the suggestions and hugs that I have received here.
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I once heard someone say, "You can only be a doormat it you lie down." You cannot control how they behave toward you, but you CAN control your reaction to their behavior. A counselor told me that, for my own mental well-being, I would have to "divorce" my father. Once I had that thought in my head, my reaction to him changed. Now, he's 90 and has dementia and I care for him from a distance, making sure that his bills are paid and that he has a good place to live. In my mind, I am a "case manager," but I can not be a "care giver" because he did not give me care when I was younger.

Your frame of mind has everything to do with both your present situation and what you become as you reach the age and stage where you need help. As someone else suggested, I highly recommend family counseling. Perhaps a counselor would include your children so that you are all reacting appropriately. Who knows, it might even strengthen your relationship with your kids and they will be even more supportive of you now and in the future. I wish you the best, but you have to want the best for yourself, too!
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i really feel for you , but why do you let them treat you like that tell them how you feel right now they know anything they do to you you take it, try treating them like your brother , they treat him better than you, maybe they will start to apprciate you more
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PLAN YOUR OWN ESTATE. DONT BE A BURDEN TO ANYONE. Seriously, start looking into the future, make sure you find a place you want to be cared for, and call them for info! Never too young to think about this & getting it semi set up, you know?

"Don't let others go through what you do, or me, or anyone else going through it".
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Dear Trying,
My mother lives with me and though I do not experience the issues you do, there are times I wish she was not so dependent on me. It seems like all I do is take care of her and have no life of my own. It sounds to me that your parents are acting no different than they did when they were younger, so changing them or making them understand how you feel likely will not happen. They are abusive to you because it is their nature and they know they can get away with it. As difficult as it may be, I suggest you tell them their unhappiness with you is affecting your health, walk away, and get counseling for yourself. I have told my children repeatedly that when I get to the point that I cannot live on my own to put me in a facility. I do not want to become a burden or take away from their lives. (Also, depending on the size of the city you live in, there should be volunteer transportation sevices, house cleaning, etc. through the county health department at little to no charge. If your parents refuse to accept, that is their problem.) I hope you find peace.
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There is a saying that the fruit does not fall far from the tree or something like that. While one can remove oneself from such a sick family system, they carry it inside of themselves to some degree and grow another similar type tree as you have seen in your brother and your sister. Now it is possible and not unusual for two siblings to see their family experience differently. For example, my wife's twin sister was raised more by her effeminate, castrated, enslaved, nurturing father and she did not bear the brunt of what my wife got from her queen wicked witch of the west mommy dearest borderline, narcissistic personality disorder mom. It is possible that your brother has told his wife things about his dad that you never knew.

Putting your thoughts down on paper is a useful way to vent as is praying, but the social/psychological bondage in the family system described above needs the help of a trained professional who is experienced as well because as my wife learned the hard way, you are not going to be able to break that chain alone.

I'm very glad that you raised this question. It is important and one I've not seen asked as the subject of a thread much less at all. I hope you feel very good about yourself for the insights that you have which it sounds the other two are blind about or refuse to deal with.
Keep coming back and posting to let us know how you are doing and to vent as well.
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