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How do you walk the line between feeling responsible to your elderly parents, but feeling some resentment about childhood wounds? I feel like my parents don't deserve the amount of effort I've given them, and as their conditions decline I am unsure how much more I am willing to do.
To be clear, I wasn't mistreated. I always knew I was loved. They gave me everything I needed, paid for my college, and if I asked for $10 and it was the only money they had they would give it to me. It's more like emotional wounds that didn't heal - I got older and outgrew some of the stuff that was said to me.
I was a shy kid and mom was a social butterfly as was my sister. The two of them were best friends and I was their audience. Between ages 8-16, mom frequently told me to be more like the outgoing neighbor kids, told me I was a "zero and nobody would ever like me if I didn't change", and always told me to "just deal with" whatever decisions were made on sister's behalf that had negative impacts on me. Things like my sister wanted to go on vacation involving a 12 hour car ride, but I have terrible motion sickness. Didn't matter since they could pull the car over for me throw up. When I did, mom seemed disgusted. Mom even used to tell me she didn't have to like me to love me. Dad never engaged in this, but never spoke up for me.
I started talking back to her, but she would just walk away. Eventually, I got my driver's license and left the house often. When I went away to college, I guess she could tolerate me when I only came home on holidays because the negative dialog stopped from that point on.
Mom has dementia now. She and dad are getting by OK, but not great. I've delivered meals, groceries, provided lawn care, and attended dr. appts with them. I know they would like more of my time and attention, but do I have to?

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Please do not invest your time or your emotional stability in caring for them. Your mother sounds like my mother and due to unforeseen circumstances, she lives a few doors down from me and I am her sole caretaker. She is 92 yrs old and legally blind. I have been caring for her for almost 7 yrs now and it is pure hell for me. We never got along and still don’t to this day. I recently called in volunteers to take her on outings because when we are together we are like two explosive bombs. My health is out the window! Call in the Calvary if you have to, but don’t get involved. You owe her nothing. Words are so important and her words stung. Comparing you to others is the sign of a narcissistic person. My mother did this constantly. For your sake, let someone else care for her. Don’t give another minute of your time.
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This thread has been fascinating. My parents weren’t abusive, so we did all we could out of love. My in-laws, on the other hand, were & still are abusive. Every single one of their kids said they have no happy memories growing up. Yes, even the favored daughters.  I am still shocked when I think of it. Try as I might, I just can’t truly understand it. Reading to my husband these responses has given him some comfort that he is not alone. And has helped open my eyes.

Hugs to all of you.
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Dear GingerMay,

I really sympathize and empathize with you. I know its hard. I was in the same situation with my siblings. Your parents are lucky to have you in their corner. But always know if things are getting to be too much there are options.

I was a desperate pleaser. I never knew how to say no to people. I tried and tried for my dad, but he never even told me thank you for anything. If you can, maybe tell your mom and dad how you feel. Really have a heart to heart even with your sister. I know its not easy.

Thinking of you.
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No, you’re doing plenty for them. You’ve got a sister, remember?
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Ginger May:

As POA you have the power to use ALL YOUR PARENT'S money for their care.

You will not be doing anything wrong, if you do spend the money for their care.

It is your decision to accept POA. You have the right to refuse it, if it causes you problems.

If you continue with POA, keep records of all your expenditures otherwise your sister can make waves, and ask for an accounting, if and when they die.

As for "honor thy mother and father."

As, I have prior stated, their are religious doctrines in almost all known religions that state clearly that in cases where a parent is or has been abusive to their own child, that child has no obligation to follow any commandment to "honor the parents"

The parents are also commanded, in religious texts, to take care of all their children equally and properly.

If they do not, they lose the right to honored by the children they have abused.

Sometimes in dysfunctional families only one child is targeted for abuse, while the other children are treated well.

The reason for that can include, looking like an in-law or relative they do not like, being more attractive than the parent, etc..

Please do not let anyone guilt you into taking responsibilities you do not want by beating you over the head with obligations that do not apply to abusive parents.

If someone wants to take care of an abusive parent, this is their decision and their right, but if they insist someone else who has been abused MUST do so, this is another form of abuse.
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Thanks all for your very intelligent replies. You are more help than you can know.
As for my sister, she doesn't think mom and dad have any problems aside from normal aging. I work full time, she doesn't. Her three kids are aged 27-18. They are independent, but she never finds time to stop by our parent's house to visit or give dad an hour off to go walk around the block. I questioned her about this, but she said "Mom and dad wouldn't want me to ruin my life to help them". She just shrugged when I suggested spending 1-2 hours with them occasionally shouldn't ruin her life.
My sister is a bully. Attempts at rational conversations go nowhere. I used to rarely talk to her, but six months ago I went no-contact. I have no plans to involve her with anything I do.
My parents' finances will allow them to pay for ALF. They gave me financial POA to pay their bills should my dad become unable to. However, dear sister is the Executor of their Will and the Trustee Successor of their estate.... they think she is great.
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Ikdrymom, well said & done! You are honoring your dad by making sure he is cared for, honoring yourself/family, and keeping the boundaries you set so you can continue.

You have figured out & live the correct meaning of honor. You are my hero!
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I can completely relate to your situation. I was certainly provided for as a child but my father LOVED his brother's children and I was a distant second to all of them. My feelings didn't matter. My thought were silly. I was too sensitive when they all teased me. Everyone came before me and that leaves a lasting impression. Now he is 91 and has no one but me. I see that his NEEDS are met but I certainly push back on the WANTS. I set firm boundaries which make me look like a cold heart-ed witch to most people. I have no trouble telling the AL or social workers NO I can't do that. I am willing to do some things...on my terms, but I am not jumping for his every whim which he would love. My obligation is to see that he is in a safe place being cared for. That obligation does not mean I have to be the one caring for him.
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Dear Ginger Way. Nothing that you do it's “I HAVE TO" NO, just like your sister who has chosen not to get involved with the care of your parents. Everything that you're doing it's a choice that you make. You aren't obligated to do anything. But there is the moral compass regarding of religion or personal experiences that we sometimes choose to follow, putting a side all of our sorrows to do what we need to do. You're doing your very best under your moral and emotional circumstances. I applaud you for that!!
What I suggest that you should do first if you can talk with your sister, It’ll be the start.
Address the fact that the time has come when one of you has to be legally responsible for them. If she agrees to do it, welcome her decision. If she refuses to do anything to help than, count her out of the picture and if you wish it, have your parents give you a DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY where voluntarily can grant you the power to make all the decisions for them. Have the DPOA signed in front of a Notary Public that will make the DPOA legal and if you can have it also signed by a Lawyer to make it more enforcing. The lawyer's signature will cost you a bigger fee than just a licensed State Notary Public - They can't charge you a lot... I'm a Notary Public - The banks have one but they wouldn't sing this type of legal papers.. It has to be a Notary that has a special license to do it. I found one in the Internet, Maryland Mobile Notary Public who was able to come to my house to help signed all the documents need it to help my elderly friends, like the Advance Directive and the Last Will and Testament.
After being granted the DPOA find out their financial status, how much assets they have, if they house is paid in full. Gather all this type of information.
Once you know where your parents stand financially... than you can start making the decisions that will easy the emotional and physical burden you're carrying.
If your parents are financially established, use all that money for their care. You'll start looking for ways to help them. One of them it to find a place where they can be provide and cared.
There are many ways but the easiest is to search in google under retirement homes with assisted living. There are a lot of just Retirement homes for the elderly but few of them offer ASSISTED LIVING. You want with assisted living so your parents can be cared according to their personal needs. I've done that for my friends. (They have no one who can be responsible for them.)
Most of the retirement homes have an agent who represents them. You'll see that as soon as you turn on your pc. you' will have many of them advertising their services, you may be able to choose one that will suite your parent’s needs. I was lucky to have found a lovely lady (I never met her, It was her voice that prompt me to feel secure and felt that she grasped what I wanted and knew exactly what to do...) She helped me to pick a very affordable retirement home with assisted living in Laurel Maryland. Most are very expensive.
Most of the agents will try very hard to help you. They don't ask you to pay a cent for this service. I believe it's the retirement home that pays them a small commission. I really don’t know for sure.
Stand firm, hold on to what you’re looking before you’ll make any decision. Don't give any monies ahead. The real representatives wouldn't ask for it. As soon you hear one asking for a deposit, hang up the phone and don't regret it.
Once you settled with an agent, she'll take the first step by referring you to the retirement home with assisted living that you think you may like, if there is a lot more that you have chosen, she'll do the same. She sent me 13 references. My choice was in Laurel Maryland. Very affordable, lovely place, personal attention is great, they offer 3 meals a day, snacks, drinks during the day, entertainment, health services etc. etc. The special assisted care starts gradually as the elderly patient needs this type of special care. Ask from the beginning about the minimum and the maximum that’ll be added to the regular bill. You have to consider that the price of living in the retirement home is separate from the assisted living services. Most of the homes you’ll get refer too will send you the basic information either in an email or the post office. Someone – a costumer representative may call you or even the director of the center and they will take the time to talk with you in detail. They make it easy for you to compare since most of the homes follow the same protocol. I was helped to choose one with the very best in price and overall for the money we're paying. My friends are delighted. (They are a couple, he’s 90 with the onset of Alzheimer’s and his wife is 85 with acute Parkinson’s decease. They lived in their home, lost, alone, hungry, angry at their situation feeling abandoned. It’s a pleasure to see them now very happy and cared for.
Perhaps you can do the same as I suggested. After the agent makes the first contact with the retirement home that you have chosen that you may believe it's best suitable to your parents needs than they'll ask you to go in person to talk to them and see their facilities, show you the rooms, apartments, suites, etc. for you to pick and choose what you may like it or not. Take your parents with you and if they like the feel of it than along with them help them to make the right choice.
Once it's all set and done since you'll be having the DPOA you can start making the arrangements to have your parents move into a retirement home that you all have chosen. Always be kind on the phone. Always keep on alert and fallow your sixth sense (Woman, we all have it).
If they have their house, sell it and add to the rest of the money they have... Having the DPOA makes it a lot easier to decide where and how your parent's money can be spent. Set up automatic payments for the bigger bills. Have all their health insurances lined up and organized yourself so it wouldn’t become a burden to you.
Once you are done setting your parents in a retirement home with assisted living. I'm quite certain you wouldn't feel as bad as you're feeling now. To the contrary, you will start feeling proud of yourself and what you have achieved. You will see that have won over the emotional battle you fought your entire childhood... and if you're religious, you’ll have honored one of the Ten Commandments that it says HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER regardless of how they were to you as a child.
If your parents don't have the resources not the money need it, not the extra in savings or otherwise but only their Social Security pension than you have an easy choice. Call the Elderly Protection agency thru the Social Services, they'll tell you exactly what to do.
Social Services will take over your responsibilities and they'll have probably your parents moved into a retirement home with assisted living sponsored by the State. Social Services wouldn't take any responsibilities unless your parents are penniless and don't have any savings at all.
To help be able to help my very elderly friends I had to learn a lot on how to jump all the hoops and follow all the steps it was required it to get the help need it . I was very lucky to have found many people willing to help. Bless are all these people who can guide and help to resolve whatever comes onto our paths.
Keep your head up, be proud of yourself, be positive and things are going to be much easier for you You will see. I wish you the best of luck.
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There's lots of good advice here. I have a suggestion for untangling the web of family ties that is free (unlike therapists) and that is CoDependants Anonymous, a 12-Step program. The other is the transition between holding on to their home and moving to assisted living or another facility. If they understand that all the stuff the family does for them will stop and they will either have to do it themselves or move into a place that will do it all for them, the choice starts to seem more sensible. If the elder person has the money, use it to care for them in a way that makes most sense for your life. Good luck.
Betsey
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I had motion sickness as a kid too... but my narcissistic mother would load me and dad up (my dad was also like yours could not/would not protect me or my sisters. He was too afraid of her meltdowns...) and we would drive the 500+ miles to see her sister (from MI to Iowa) and other trips... AND SHE would give me Dramamine so I'd go to sleep and "Shut up!" *sigh* My sisters were 14 and 17 years older than me (I was an "opps child") and they never came to my rescue... We were all the "Walking Wounded" thanks to my mother.
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It is difficult to care for loved ones who you have had problems with from childhood. Be careful sometimes new scares can come up. I'm taking care of my father currently and a lot of the scares from my childhood are present and a new one. Which is too personal to discuss in a nut shell remember it takes special people to be caregivers I am the youngest of seven and have autism I cared for my grandmother who had dementia, my mother who had small cell lung cancer terminal and know my father who has congestive heart failure and is a doesn't follow a diabetic diet either. Be careful of caregiver burn out I'm there my mother died two years ago a week after she died my father figures he will do everything he can to get to her.
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While I agree that we are to honor our parents, that does not mean that you have to put up with abuse nor does it mean that you have to sacrifice your entire life for them. Honoring them means making sure you see that their needs are met, and if that means their living in a facility for your sanity, that is fine. It also means treating them with respect and speaking about them respectfully, even if they don't do the same for you. Love according to the Bible is not a feeling. It is treating people Biblically. You do not have to feel love for you parents, but you do need to respect them and see that they are not neglected, abused, or abandoned in their old age.
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This conversation has been excellent. I lost my mother almost a year ago at 89. She was in an assisted living home for almost 11 years. It was very good for her and for my four siblings because she had diabetes and needed to be checked on often. She also had a social life which she did not have when living alone at home. She was a very loving person. My Dad was not. He would go into rages about the littlest things and was verbally and physically abusive. That is one of the reasons I moved 5 hours away almost 40 years. My life has only gotten better. I don't put up with toxic or abusive people. Life's too short and it's not good for my health or yours. Get your mom into an assisted living place ASAP if you can afford it. They won't put up with her crap. She'll have to act civil or they'll kick her out. You have to live your own life before it's gone.
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I was writing at same time as Joann29, I think it was meant to be.

I agree with her, do only what u r willing and set boundaries and stick to them.

Can you let us know where the favored daughter is in all this?
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Honor thy mother and father, it tears at my soul when people try to guilt others with God's word. Honor does NOT mean give up yourself and your life to care for abusive aging parents. It means respect them, not ask how high when they say jump. Aarrgghhh! I am a God loving God fearing woman and I am here to say stop people. If you need to use God's words to force yourself to care for your parents, so be it. I do not feel that we are obligated beyond making sure they are safe, fed, warm and cared for, that does NOT mean I have to be boots on the ground. It means I make sure it is happening to the best of my abilities. We can not control our parents but, we can control ourselves. I believe that we are also told to separate ourselves from unbelievers, so if I believe and my parents don't do I just walk away? No, I make sure that their needs are met, if I had a sibling that wasn't a complete drunk, I would do my best to get their help but, I would not feel obligated to dance to my parents tune or ruin my own life to accommodate them, loving, caring, respectful humans DO NOT DO THAT TO OTHERS, PERIOD.
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I like the "care for their needs not their wants". I feel what we owe our parents is a warm place, food, safety and to be clean. Parents become like children especially with Dementia. They are used to things being their way. We and them have to get out of the mindset " We want to keep Mom/Dad in their home" This is not always possible and when it starts meaning we are taking care of two homes...decisions have to be made and boundaries set. What are you willing to do, pretty much what you are doing now? Then tell your parents that when they need more help with upkeep on house, cooking, bathing, etc that's where u draw the line. They will need to take advantages of outside services. Because...You can not do it all and get the other involved too. Otherwise, maybe they should consider an Assisted Living.
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I can relate to many of the posts here. I was a parentified child. My mom has always leaned on me for support from a young age to be her therapist, confidant, mediator between all the family drama, etc. It took years for me to break free of that cycle and do what was best for myself and my own growing family. Unfortunately, I again recently ended up taking mom into our home due to her declining mental and physical state and am in the position as her legal guardian due to my sister's abuse of mom, both physically and emotionally. I had a talk with mom though, and have made clear that this living situation in my home can't be permanent, but that I am working on getting her the best care possible, whether that be in-home care (her home) or assisted living. I know some might view it as selfish, but mom is only 56 and I am 37, and I just can't give up my privacy and put my time with my husband and kids (ages 17, 12 and 20 months) on hold for 20, 30 years or more, while mom's emotional, psychological and physical needs drain me dry. She has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia (which may actually be symptomatic of early Parkinson's as she's had muscle stiffness/movement issues also), and has a lot of fear and anxiety. I know it is just as frustrating for her as it is for me, and that she didn't ask to be sick, or afraid, but I think I can honor her most if I do what I can and then make sure we get some good professionals to do the rest so that we don't end up totally resenting each other.
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Lake Erie- I really relate to your story. In my case, my sister regularly steals from our 90 y/o widowed moms house. Then, either I or my husband are blamed for the missing items. She tells her neighbors that we don’t visit because we do not care about her & says we are lying about my theiving sister!!! It has become impossible and we are at the point of not visiting her anymore. I expect that it will just get worse until something forces her to have to be put in a nursing home.
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Could I look at myself in the mirror if I didn't do everything I could for my parents? Hell, yes!!!

This idea that our parents tried to do the right thing - with all due respect, I call BS on that! They make enough excuses for themselves without us making excuses for them. Neither of my parents ever cared about doing the right thing. They cared what was easiest, what was most convenient, what was most gratifying to them. It doesn't take an instruction manual to raise children in a nurturing environment. It takes a modicum of compassion, respect for others' feelings and point of view, and willingness to extend oneself. My parents lacked those things, and it appears GingerMay's did too. I wouldn't feel obligated to care for them either, except in a minimal "responsible adult" sort of way.
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Hi 1givingup:

You wrote: [" Thus, it took a lot of therapy to get passed the social conditioning that we must honor our parents.

It is not why we were born in that type of home. We learn the lesson of humility, we learn that too much compassion is not healthy, we learn that we expect love from the outside and lack it from the inside...

we learn that we are almost akin to "codependants" because we are somehow still seeking love from the stones that gave life to us. Stones. Yes. Stones. "]

Your post offered excellent and compassionate advice, from someone who has been there.

Unfortunately, people who think that all parents are doing their best, or would never harm their own children, are people who are in denial, or they are co-dependent, or suffering from stockholme syndrome, or they had amazingly caring and wonderful parents.

This type of denial, though, is harmful to a person who has been abused, all their life by a malignantly narcissistic parent.

I am not talking about a parent who has treated all their children equally and has always been a "good enough" parent, and then suddenly has dementia and becomes nasty.

I am talking about parents with a personality disorder.

A parent with NPD has always been that way and will never change, and nothing the adult child will do will ever be good enough.

Your suggestion for GingerMay to seek therapy is an excellent one.

A good therapist will recognize the abuse and will not encourage GingerMay to stick around to be further used as a doormat or punching bag by her family.  She will point out that codependence is an unhealthy state.

A good therapist will not guilt GingerMay or anyone into "honoring" these types of abusive parents, unlesss it is something Gingermay wants to do.
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Question: Could you look at yourself in the mirror if you don't do all you can for them?

We didn't pop out of Mom with an instruction manual. I have come to learn, all parents think they are doing the right thing (well, most of them anyway) but it's all trial and error.
Kind of "the proof is in the pudding" stuff - no one knows the repercussions until much later in life.

If you need more, how about "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" - - one day, hopefully, we all will get old.
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Try your sister first and see if in a few months things have changed and you are not the primary caregiver.  If you give your sister "Power of Attorney" over your parents' health you might find that she is just like your mother.  So please Share it and see if this alleviates your burden....but if you give it all to your sibling then be prepared to be cut off of all in the end.  Worse, my mother started to make up stories about me so that she can get more out of me in help, and also, to turn my sisters away from me so that she can play victim and have my sisters bully me into submission under the auspice that my talking back was "abuse" ...?  More like self-defence.... as I had abuse verbal and some physical most of my life from my folks, as did my younger sibs, but, I being older was given a lot of responsibility, including surrogate marriage counselor and parent to my sisters. I am extremely empathic, and my mother belittled me further by telling me I was "too compassionate" towards them. She was right and was aware enough to know she was being less than a mother to us. Thus, it took a lot of therapy to get passed the social conditioning that we must honor our parents. It is not why we were born in that type of home. We learn the lesson of humility, we learn that too much compassion is not healthy, we learn that we expect love from the outside and lack it from the inside... we learn that we are almost akin to "codependants" because we are somehow still seeking love from the stones that gave life to us. Stones. Yes. Stones. Thus, I would suggest, as I have had a heart ultra-sound, EKG, and stuff because of the pain I felt from turning my back on them all. That the only thing I needed to do was to move far, and I did. To know that I tried over and over to get us all on board and my sisters to meet with me to discuss things in an adult fashion in regard to my mother's care of my bed-ridden father. Instead, I have had my nephews turned against me and calling me lazy, good for nothing and a word that starts with the letter C. If you have a friend or two, be not too reliant on telling them what you are up to, but, keep in touch sporadically, or is it that might be my wounds speaking?...as I do not trust people now. I have had to learn not to tell people things as if I do my plans fail. Much like a mirror of what I went through with my childhood. My mother would sabotage my efforts to learn or go out with friends. So now, as an adult, I learn meditations for the heart, meditations on loving your gifts, loving your humanity, loving your imperfections and accepting that you tried. It takes tears, it takes time, it takes exercise, and eating healthy,and going to classes in whatever you want to learn... as I have had to re-learn. It takes time alone and just like a drug, they are your addiction, so do not go back to the places where that "addiction substance" is or has been found in, example, the mall where they shop. Seriously, I have had to imagine, that I am a runaway, and that I have finally run away from the abusers, the next step is in fixing the holes that were left in you. I have learned to do "repatriation of lost segments of the soul" meditations. For every trauma they put you through, it is like a fragment of your soul leaves your body, and then it is stuck in that room, that location...and you have to imagine retrieving that part of you and bringing it back to you. Ask a counselor or watch YouTube videos on soul fragments. Also, it helps to magine that the past was a different "dimension" and you are able to jump into a new dimension, where those things never happened, and that you are a whole and confident version of yourself where you are now no longer on that life track but jumped over to a new track where you decide a future...you are a happy adult orphan. That's what I am now. I think of them sometimes, but their voices are becoming fainter. I will not go to the funeral. I deserve respect, and these people do not respect me. I am not going to be a bigger high road person by going to that funeral...I am no longer living in that dimension. This is my current truth, and even if it alters in a year or two...I know that during this time, I have never done so much for myself, and to help myself move forward and find my own ground and not have to rely on external acceptance from family...nor friends. For that was my lesson...to love me and my imperfections and thus, not need anyone to approve of me. I believe that they are narcissists, and unaware and that they made me their scapegoat to remove all sins off of themselves. I hope my words are taken with a grain of salt and are pondered on and hopefully truly helpful to you.  You might not think you need therapy, and that is fine, btw, I just wanted to paint clearly what it is that might be giving you this need to be such a good "kid" to your parents.
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"Higher road of goodness and compassion" sounds judgemental to me.
You must take care of yourself also. In an airplane, if travelling with a child, they always tell you to first put your own oxygen mask on, and then you'll be able to put the child's oxygen mask. All parents, all of us, parents or not, are "imperfect". Don't confuse imperfect with actively "abusive".
And what about other responsibilities besides yourself - like your own family or your job or whatever. One can drown in trying to take care of one very needy person.
Having reread what I've just typed, it sounds awfully tough and hard. Don't mean it to be. Just want to create a balance.
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It is hard looking after an aging parent. My MIL has dementia and can be very demanding and nasty. I sometimes feel like never helping her again but not all of it is her. I take her to doctors and make sure she is cared for. She is in independent care and may soon need more. She is definitely not easy to deal with. She is also narcissistic and so feels we should cater to her. I think she is slowly realizing that we will not after 2 years since her husband died. I find you have to draw a line and find out what you are willing to do. I am not willing to visit when she wants only when I choose. I am not responsible for entertaining her or taking her places.
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Gingermay, I hear a lot of myself in what you say, even though our situations are very different. Your statement that you feel your parents don't deserve all you're doing for them, that is my problem exactly. Or one of them, anyway. And it sticks in my craw that my mother (who does not have dementia) fails to even realize how blessed she is to have the huge amounts of help that she relies on each day continue living "independently". Maybe I would have less resentment if my mother had dementia - she would at least have an excuse then. But it's sad in your case because it further reduces the (already slim) chance that you will ever get the appreciation and recognition you deserve.

No, you don't have to take care of them. I try to abide by the rule of limiting what I do for my mother to the extent I need to do so to keep my own resentment in check. It works most of the time, but not always. Last week I had to spend five days in a row with her, due to drs' appointments and some other circumstances. It was trying, to say the least. But if you try to limit yourself to doing what you can do out of care and concern, and not allow yourself to be roped into obligations you'll only resent, I think you will feel more at peace with the situation.
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Ginger may:

Your parents actions, as described are emotional abuse. There is an obvious difference between an imperfect parent and an abusive parent.

What you have described is emotional abuse.

Favoring one child over another typically indicates that the parent has some type of personality disorder. Typically narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), you may want to google that issue. It may open your eyes, and alleviate your guilt.

Abuse is abuse. It does not matter that your parents paid for college, much of the treatment you describe is emotional abuse pure and simple. The degree of abuse is neither here nor there. Any abuse is unforgivable.

Where is your pampered sister, now that your parents need pampering?

As for religious stuff, there are many quotes in the bible and other religious texts that point out that the "honor they mother and father" commandment does NOT apply to abusive parents.

No one would expect an abused wife to take care of an abusive spouse. The abusive spouse would most likely be charged with a crime.

Yet if a parent is abusive some ignorant folk, claim it is still the child's responsibility to care for an abuser. 

 Such guilting may stem from their own wounds and co-dependency or stockholme syndrome regarding their own abusive parents.

This is NOT however what religious texts say, if people actually read them.   Religious doctrines do not command abused children to honor their parents.  

If you still want to care for your abusive parents, that is your decision.

But, if you do not, you need not feel guilty. Perhaps you can call adult protective services in your state.

If you have POA, you can use their money to pay for assisted living or another type of elder care facility.

If you do not, and your sister does, then it is her responsibility to use your parents resources to fund their care.

In families with NPD, often the kind, responsible, hardworking child is treated like Cinderella, while the others, such as your sister are treated special, just like the evil stepsisters in Cinderella.

It seems as if you are Cinderella in your family and the parents now are calling you in to mop up the mess they have created by treating one child special and ignoring the emotional needs of the other.

If you do not want to pick up the mop, now, you have no reason to feel guilty.

Personally, I believe it is your parents who should feel guilty for the way they treated you.
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I question what you mean by not being mistreated when you were young. You are a caregiver now and you were a caregiver then, trying to please your parents who it sounds like they had their own codysfunctional behaviors growing up, and not sounding very loving and nurturing as parents. Shaming and disregarding a child’s needs is not what I consider healthy  parenting.  If you choose to be in an active care giver role now, consider your own emotional health and well being first. There are different avenues of support for you and your parents. Good luck!
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nope you don't. my parents did not do half of the things your parents did for you. i graduated late in college because i had to work and pay for my tuitions, books, food. the only thing i had for free was the rent( i had a bed in the room with other family members) . mom always been overly criticized of me by the way i dress because i like loose clothing and tend to dress like i am working in a farm. all this gave me low self esteem and withdrawn from people. mom had been sick for over 5 years. I help so much but she never seemed to be satisfy. emotionally i am drain from all the negativity around me. Dad never had my back, his actions were always calculating and manipulating to me to a point that i didn't not have my own thoughts. i found out some other stuffs about my childhood that i can not say here. so no don't feel guilty as you are doing enough already. you can talk to your sister all you want, it is up to her to engage. take care
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Ginger
So many of our old wounds revive whenever we are confronted with caring for imperfect parents. I agree with TNtechie that forgiveness is the gift you give yourself. But the path to forgiveness is not easy. Many of the caregivers who come into therapy struggle with two desires: wanting justice for those undeserved wounds and walking the higher road of goodness and compassion. We are, after all, only human. We do not deserve to be treated poorly.

Several people have suggested therapy for your emotional pain. Wise advice. As a therapist -- and a wounded child--, I can tell you that it can help you heal that pain and determine what level of care you can commit to without guilt, shame, anger, or self-neglect.
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