This is not so much a question but more of a rant.

In the last couple of years I have found myself fending off requests of assistance to assist with an elderly parent. Requests for money. Requests for time. Requests for care assistance.

For the most part I have fended them off. But I do what I am comfortable with and that is all. I am often judged by others for this. Aunts, Uncles, family friends. But those others do not know what I have been through and were never there to assist me when I needed it. So I don't care. Their opinions are irrelevant. They mean nothing to me and I never have anything to do with them anyways. Aunty or Uncle status means nothing. They are basically strangers. Every source of support in my life has always come from outside of the bloodlines.

Now in my 30s, I have been the victim of neglect and abuse as a child and have never had any support in my life from my family. Neither emotional nor financial. So why should I drop anything now just because the remaining parent is old and infirm? I am not grateful for what has been done to me. I have always had to do everything for myself and fend for myself.

I do feel bad for the remaining parent and I do not want them to suffer. But I also don't want my life dragged down by it and I wont let that happen. I am just going to do as much as I am happy to do and that is all.

What tops it off and makes me even more angry is the parent arranged for all inheritance to go the step parent. I know it sounds entitled of me to complain about this but I don't care. After their gross lack as a parent the least they could have done for me is leave some kind of legacy rather than give it all to a step-parent who was part of the abuse and who I utterly despise. Part of that money also includes money left from the parent who I did love who passed a long long time ago and from two sets of grandparents. And they can't even leave me a cent. And yet there still is an expectation for me to be there at the beck and call and drop everything after all of this and they cannot even do that.

Children of abusive parents - do not let yourself be pressured by others who know nothing of your circumstances into over -extending yourself to look after them when they are old. Stuff them. If they were never there to help you when you were vulnerable and needed support they are IRRELEVANT.

Parents - be careful of how you treat your children because you reap what you sew. And if you abuse your children they will not look after you when you are old. Children do not abandon their parents for no good reason.

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LilyBear, I can relate to so much of your story! I was also the only D, and my parents ended up settling in my city, 10 mins away. After my father died, my mother slowly started failing, but it didn't get bad until she stopped driving at age 90 in 2016. I became her chauffeur, and she didn't like it when I placed boundaries about that.

One good thing that I did was to send my 3 brothers an email when I'd been with my mother, telling them what I did, how she was, and how long it took. This was smart on my part, since they would otherwise have had no idea how time-consuming she'd become for me.

My 3 brothers are out of state, and it took quite a while before they started seeing what I was seeing, as she could showtime. Eventually a gall bladder infection landed her in the hospital for 17 days, then rehab, then LTC in the NH where she finished rehab. Previously to this hospitalization, she lived "independently" in a condo, with the only help being a cleaner once a month (she was fastidiously neat and tidy). She refused to hire help with bathing, which she needed. I didn't offer to help, and don't know if she would have even allowed it. She sure accepted my help when I stayed with her for 8 long days and nights with some kind of muscle ache a few years prior. She became nearly helpless at that time.

She threatened to cut me out of the trust. She did cut me and one of my brothers out of being POA, so that left 2 brothers with joint POA (each could act independently). (One of these brothers took her to the attorney on one of his rare visits -- he later claimed he had no idea what she did at that visit.) At this point she was in the hospital about to transition to rehab. My mental health was being affected, and I told the main POA brother that I needed compensation if I was to continue on in my role. He readily agreed, and agreed to compensate me with back pay also. (I'd brought up the issue of compensation with my mother previously, and she'd gotten indignant and disgusted, telling me, "You don't pay family!")

Just as well that I wasn't POA -- now the POA could pay me $20/hour. (The POA couldn't pay themselves.) No taxes taken out, I simply sent my brother an accounting of my hours, and he paid from that. My mother would never qualify for Medicaid. Things got better from that point on, because I considered it just a job. I had threatened that since I wasn't POA, that one of my 2 POA brothers could move her to be near them.

My mother had made it clear (no filters) that I'd always been a disappointment to her, was a nasty person, was trying to cheat her out of her money, etc. She even wrote a disjointed note at the NH to tell one of my brothers (got the name wrong) at the wrong address (was kind of HER brother's address). The staff thought it was quite amusing. I felt humiliated.

I wish I had been able to access your letter 20 years ago! In a nutshell, both of my parents were toxic. My mother was cold and emotionally distant and my father was a malignant narcissist. When they were still young and healthy, they moved near me and my family. My kids were able to develop a relationship with them because they were good to my children. Good grandparents. Poor parents.

It started slowly. They needed help for this or that, we didn't think anything of helping them out. I did not sign on to become their main caregiver. I have three other siblings who lived too far away to help. Mom started having real issues along with severe dementia, and my father refused to place her. He would take care of her, and when I came over once a week, I'd spell him. I didn't want to have to bathe her, change her poopy pants, take her pills or try to appease whatever delusions she had. And, he wasn't capable of taking care of her. Eventually, he realized she had to be placed, it was more than he could handle.

She died and he fell apart. I had to have him hospitalized three times that year, and every time he was angry with me. How dare I take him to the emergency room because I thought he was septic? This brilliant man also developed dementia. He started accusing me of stealing his money. I wasn't stealing his money, I was paying his bills because he had refused to sign a POA. Was I supposed to let his lights go out? Not have TV? I accessed his bank account, with his permission, and paid everything online. With his paranoia, he told my brother I was doing "nefarious things" at the bank and taking his money. So, my brother called the bank believing him rather than discussing the situation with me. DCF was called, and when I realized what had happened, I called my siblings and told them I quit and one of them was going to have to step in.

They were horrified. Take care of him? But, he's so mean and difficult! So, for the first time, the family got together and made a plan to help me take care of him. But, they weren't there for the day-to-day abuse. It just kept getting worse. It was my fault he was old. My fault he was fragile. My fault he was blind. He'd go into rages at me often because I wasn't helping him enough with his laptop. Can you imagine trying to teach someone how to work a laptop when they're blind? He couldn't even remember how to turn it on!!

I had promised him I would do everything in my power to allow him to age in place. In the end, I realized that wasn't going to work, even though we had contracted with two different agencies to make sure we had 24-hour coverage. One of the aides who was caught sleeping made a complaint to DCF. Kind of a CYA kind of incident.

He was difficult until the very end. Convinced I was stealing his money, he kept asking for an attorney to cut me out of the will. After the DCF investigation, he went to hospice to wait for a bed at the ALF I had selected for him last year.

In hindsight, I should have listened to my therapist who advised me to let go of my relationship with my parents and my brother. But, I had been trained to be a "good daughter".

Yes, I'm getting my inheritance. However, I'm going to have to use quite a bit of it to get counseling to overcome my PTSD and my bad feelings about myself because I don't mourn either of them.

You are describing my extended family to a tee. I truly feel your pain and empathize. When my mom died I got nothing but criticism and blame and now that my dad has cancer I’m getting the same criticism while the critics themselves post on FB and then send their elderly to nursing homes. Hypocrites! Don’t let them get you down. Live your life. Family can be built through friendships not bloodline. You are loved and respected by friends, you can release the family. Prayers for your present and future

What makes things worse is when people don't know our situation. For example, those who have a great relationship criticizing those who don't. And saying, they raised you, now it's your turn.
While they might feel that way for their own, we have a different scenario, one of pain. And so it hurts when they say those things.

Hi Anonymous1,

I was beaten so badly that I have permanent physical scars. My NM claims that it is all in my head and that she has done nothing to be forgiven for.
She now 'uses' her age to be extra cruel, verbally and emotionally abusive and as an excuse for her behaviour.
I did have care & love shown to me by my great-aunt. When my mother wasn't looking, she would feed, care for me and love hold me.

My NM does have dementia but can be 'normal' for all doctor, community ageing worker visits and so on.
I was always on egg shells trying to please. As an adult, I lived with 'the guilt' of being such a "terrible child" so that it was my fault that I was beaten, abused and humiliated
She does her 'act' all the time.
She is so good at manipulation and threats that lawyer and doctor are afraid to sign any documentation. I can't get her any other more help without it.
I am expected to be her help. My 'golden-child' sister lives so far away and won't really help me.

I have found out that I am now getting very sick. I think is was the stress I have endured that has actually damaged my heart and body. .
Whenever I try to explain to mom that I am too weak or too tired to talk for longer than 30 minutes. then her phone calls and retaliation; get more and more meaner.
She continues to expect me to be at her beckon call even though I have tried to explain that I am sick. Apparently, cancer is my fault.
It is, was and will always be about her.

As children of abusive mothers, it is hard to believe that there is real dementia and not just another excuse to abuse us.

I thought I had forgiven my mother many years ago.
Though, I can never forget what she did to me and continues to do to me.

I am also a mother who has made many mistakes with my own children now, 34, 32, 30.
Sadly, you are so right... you do reap what you sew.
I never hit/hurt, burnt, slashed them, called them names, belittled them, criticized or took away hope, or set them up for a fall. I did try to give them better life than I had... but.... it was not enough.

I know that "you can't give what you don't have".
I probably did not try hard enough to overcome my upbringing because my boys all have problems; with me and with the world.

After your parent dies, you won't get the chance to offer forgiveness. By giving forgiveness, you can get forgiveness from others.

I think that abusive narcissists will abandon anyone and everyone (including children, siblings, 'friends' and parents) if that person is no use to them.
In fact, they might walk over and kick a small hungry child--- unless someone is watching.. then they make a HUGE deal out of giving them a dollar.

It is my belief that trying to forgive will at least show you that you have an inner strength that was not pulled out of you and trampled on.
Forgiveness is not for the forgiven but for the forgiver.

God Bless you

Adult children abused by parents who are now elderly.--great article...thanks for posting.

Sparnold, if you want a hold on brother exercising his various powers before the court date, and it really matters, you should apply for an injunction to put it on hold until the matter is resolved. That's almost certainly the way your local legal system works.

I am in similar situation. I hired a litigation guardian attorney because my psychotic brother had our mother sign him to control everything (PR, POA, Guardian, medical directives) My mother is 86 with dementia. Even before she had dementia she had always ignored his bullying. Recently my brother stole lots of property from our family agriculture business/ and elderly dysfunctional father. This became a lawsuit. We got the property back but their are lots of legal fees that both brothers have to pay.

Now the brother is guardian until court date in July. It is hard for me to grasp how the legal system in Lake County Fl is so negligent. They have the lawsuit in their system.
My parents have been divorced for decades. Both of them enable his greedy behavior. I am at the point where It has gotten too much to be around either of my parents anymore.

You are right to feel the way you do. But usually in a marriage, Wills are written "what yours is mine" and visa versa. Thats how ours are written with the children inheriting only if we die the same time. Its the responsibility of the surviving spouse to write a new Will leaving their estate to who they please. So if step dies before natural parent, you may still inherit.

Just keep doing what you are doing. But do forgive but that doesn't mean you need to forget. Doesn't mean now u have to do, you can still walk away.

First I have to say that I am very sorry for the abuse you endured as a child, and that no one stepped up to protect you. Sadly I can relate to that. So I will say, good for you for standing your ground, and not caving in to your extended families judgement. You continue to do what you're comfortable with, and the hell with what everyone else thinks.

I was abused by both parents, and was fortunate that I lived thousands of miles away from them as they both aged, so didn't have to be a part of their care. But even if I had lived right next store, I would have opted out as well.
Now all that being said, I did long ago forgive my parents, as I had to, to be able to move on with my life in somewhat of a healthy way, so I hope in time you will be able to do that as well. Remember forgiveness is not done to benefit the abuser(s), but it is done to benefit you. And even though I forgave them, I still chose to remain out of their lives, as it was just healthier for me to do so.
Both of my parents are dead now, and I have no regrets in the way things went down.
I wish you peace and joy as you continue on your journey of life, and may God bless you and keep you.

I would not have anything to do with this parent. You say you do only what you feel comfortable with. What is it that you do for them now?

Yeah that's a final f-you by the abuser to you the child. I would tell them in no uncertain terms everything you are feeling and tell them to pound sand when they ask for help. My sil had an abusive parent to and that parent is leaving everything to her male grandchildren only not the daughter that has taken her back and forth to chemo and cooked and cleaned her house and taken care of her. There's just something defective in these sick abusers that can never be fixed. The sooner they die the better but these types seem to live a really long time. And tell the aunts and uncles to puss off too. More than likely they are also abusers as this stuff is inherited and generational.

You will receive no judgment from me. You feel how you feel. It’s your business. You can cut ties all together if you feel that is best. You don’t owe them anything. You are generous to give what you do give.

From what you have posted, you had a miserable childhood. I will not pry. It’s none of my business. Even if someone asks you what happened, you are not obligated to share. I will respect your privacy. It’s a personal matter and reliving details can become painful.

I am with you on, it is irrelevant what others say. They have not walked in your shoes. You don’t owe them any explanations.

It’s fine to rant. We all have done our share of ranting when needed. So, rant away!

Wishing you peace during this stressful time in your life. Hoping that joy will fill your heart in the near future. Do what is needed for you. Your parents are responsible for themselves.

Take care.

Right on! You are the only one whose judgements matter!

Fair enough. Sounds like you have some good boundaries for yourself now & going forward. Well wishes.

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