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?