SOOO angry today!

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... at the world...at myself...at my situation... at my Dad (probably not fair to be mad at him)... Just mad. After diligently being "everyone's everything" at the mere expense of myself, I THOUGHT I would get the chance to celebrate paying off a large amount of debt. There was an opportunity for me to join a girl's trip to the Carribean in January, and I put my deposit down without hesitation. For a few weeks, I was looking forward to it, but then I realized that my back was hurting because I was sleeping on an air mattress. After moving earlier this summer and getting rid of my ancient furniture, I was on a quest to finally do something for me. Then Dad had a bill... then another... then another... and being the responsible, good codependent Tinyblu, I saved the day, but my back couldn't take it anymore, so I decided to find a mediocre bedroom suite to hold me over until I can get something nice (which will be NEVER!!!) So, the payments on the furniture are doable as long as nothing comes up with Dad, but I think it would be hugely irresponsible of me to take a trip now. Why make TWO bills when I never know what's going on with Dad. That's when I inwardly directed ALL of my anger towards Dad. If he wouldn't have raised me in such dysfunction, maybe I wouldn't feel the pressure to be the "good little girl" and pick up his slack. My siblings go on vacations and sleep on mattresses. Heck! Dad has REALLY nice furniture and I'm on milk crates and an air mattress at 40!!! I've got a big case of the woe is me's today. Granted, I've been working both jobs every day this week (I think I'm subconsciously punishing myself for self care). I think I'm just emotional. Just needed to vent. In actuality this is all my fault for not having the backbone to say no (children honor their parents, right) In my whiny baby voice... WHAT ABOUT ME?!?!

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We get it, tinyblu. Never thought I'd be sleeping on a child's bed with an old mattress at age 65. Maybe I should follow your lead and get a real bed... but as soon as I do, then something will happen and I won't need it. I hate living out of a few drawers.
Tiny; I just wanted to share what is below with you. It's from a very respected Jewish organization that takes Jewish Law VERY seriously.

"...In general, a child should be eager to fulfill his parents' wishes. There are some limits, however:
If a parent instructs a child to do something that violates Jewish law, the child should respectfully refuse to do so. [30]
A child need not comply with a parent’s request to do something painful or demeaning [31]
Similarly, a child should refuse to assist the parent in doing anything that is dangerous or unhealthy. [32]
There are three specific areas that, due to their intense personal nature, a person is not required to respect his parents' wishes:
choosing who to marry [33]
maximizing one's Torah studies [34]
wanting to move to Israel [35]
Regarding financial loss: A child does not have to support or listen to his parents if it involves his own personal loss of money. However, he is required to bear an "indirect" loss – i.e. by visiting and spending time with them, even if this means a loss of potential wages....
...The Difficult Parent
The reality is, of course, that parents are not perfect. And some parents are objectively problematic. Yet no matter how difficult a parent's behavior, a child is still obligated to show honor and respect. [67] This applies even if a biological parent has abandoned his child. And it applies even if the parent is rude, unpleasant, and an embarrassment. [68] The Talmud [69] tells the story of a mother who spit in her son's face – while the son kept his composure and continued to accord her honor.
At the same time, while honoring your parents is a tremendous mitzvah, you also need to be responsible for your own welfare. One is not required to endanger his emotional or physical health for a parent. Therefore, if a child cannot cope with the parent's behavior, he is permitted to keep his distance. [70]
The obligation of the mitzvah, however, still applies. For instance it would still be forbidden to use the parent's first name or to contradict him publicly. And it is always appropriate for a child to feel a deep appreciation to a parent for giving him the gift of life....."


You are obliged to arrange for your dad's care; you are not enjoined to impoverish yourself or ruin your health in honoring him.
Well said, Barb.

Tinyblu, you MUST take care of yourself. It's not selfish, it's necessary. If you're not taking care of yourself, then you can't take care of your Dad. Think of it this way, when they do that pre-flight safety demonstration on airplanes, they always tell you, "If there's a loss of cabin pressure, put the oxygen mask on YOURSELF first, THEN put the mask on your child." (And for a bit of humor, the Southwest flight attendants sometimes add, "...and if you have more than 1 child, pick your favorite..." ;)

Anyhoo, the point is that even though you're caring for your Dad, you have an obligation to also care for yourself. One thing that stood out to me when reading these forums, is the statistics on caregivers. A significant percentage of them (30% or more?) die BEFORE the person they're caring for dies, due to the stress and the physical and emotional toll. That scared me, and was enough to convince me that in my family, my husband and I need to take care of each other and make sure we take time for ourselves. So, we've been doing that; last night I watched Dad by myself while hubby took a few hours for himself. He did that for me a couple of days ago. It's necessary. And if you need to buy yourself a mattress, DO IT! Back issues are a big deal.

Also, I assume you've cancelled your trip? If so, you have my sympathy. I understand; we had to cancel our big anniversary trip, and I had a few days of "poor me".  It's ok to be disappointed! But take care of yourself, whatever that means doing.   ::hugs::

And remember: You've lost cabin pressure. Put your mask on NOW.
Are you paying for Dad's AL? If so, your siblings should be helping if not, it maybe time to transfer him to a nursing home.
Dear Tinyblu,

Sending you love and hugs. I hear you. I know there is a lot of frustrations, anger, resentment being the good daughter. It is not in our DNA to just walk away and to heck with it all. I know everything is easier said than done, but Barb and Whirled Travel are so right. I was never good at this either but in hindsight I wish I was better at taking care of myself. Please get that mattress. Get respite care. Go on that vacation. You deserve to have a life too. From everything you said, you have done more than anyone. I know us women tend to go above and beyond for everyone else but ourselves, but I feel now this is a mistake.
Tiny — everything that cdnreader said. Take a “reset” and be good to yourself. You deserve a mattress. You deserve a vacation.

I, too, talk tougher now than I acted when I was in the hot seat. Girlfriend, if you can’t learn from your own experiences, learn from ours!!

We’re rooting for you. ((((BIG HUGS))))
This is very helpful, BarbBrooklyn! "Regarding financial loss: A child does not have to support or listen to his parents if it involves his own personal loss of money. However, he is required to bear an "indirect" loss – i.e. by visiting and spending time with them, even if this means a loss of potential wages.... "

I think this applies particularly to the long-distance siblings -- they shouldn't have an out because of distance!

"Yet no matter how difficult a parent's behavior, a child is still obligated to show honor and respect. [67] This applies even if a biological parent has abandoned his child. And it applies even if the parent is rude, unpleasant, and an embarrassment. [68] The Talmud [69] tells the story of a mother who spit in her son's face – while the son kept his composure and continued to accord her honor.
At the same time, while honoring your parents is a tremendous mitzvah, you also need to be responsible for your own welfare. One is not required to endanger his emotional or physical health for a parent. Therefore, if a child cannot cope with the parent's behavior, he is permitted to keep his distance. [70] "

If the parent's previous abandonment of the child or the parent's difficult behavior endanger's the child's emotional or physical health, the child can keep their distance. The child is responsible for their own welfare. Too many of the 30% of caregivers who die before their parents aren't being responsible about their own health.
Thanks everyone. Sorry about the punctuation. Sometimes the ask question page eliminates the spaces between paragraphs.

Well, I haven't cancelled the trip... YET. I have until 12/4 to pay for it (which is VERY reasonable), Instead of reacting out of pure emotion, I decided to see how things work out with the furniture payments and keep contributing to my "trip fund". If I get to a point where I still can't wrap my head around the trip, I will just pay off the furniture with the trip fund and wait another million years for the opportunity to go somewhere again.

I enjoyed BarbBrooklyn's post. I'm so glad that there is clarification on the boundaries children are ALLOWED to take with parents. My Dad always got stuck on the "honor your father and mother" scripture but ignored the following verse that says "don't provoke your children to wrath".

Setting boundaries is so hard. In fact, I came to post about my ongoing struggle with self care and feeling very guilty anytime I do even the smallest thing to put myself first.

One day at a time...

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