Stressed, depressed, and angry.


Alright so I'm not just new to caring (about a week) but I'm also pretty young (only 20) and yet there is already so much to unpack. For starters when I first was introduced to the idea of caring for my grandma, it was introduced to me very poorly. Essentially my dad the second he saw me told me to pack a bag without even telling me why, just told me I was leaving. Then when I tried explaining to him how frustrated I was that he didn't even give me a choice in the matter or even an explanation of the situation he gave me an ultimatum of either I go and stay with her or I'm kicked out onto the streets. It lead to a screaming match, and after it all I heard from my sister that he wasn't even sorry about it. Her condition: she's had Parkinson's for almost 20 years now, she fell recently and they discovered that she also has orthostatic hypotension, and bad kidneys, essentially she's unstable and has back pain. She should hopefully recover eventually but we have no idea how long it will take before I don't have to take care of her anymore. My condition: I've been diagnosed with clinical depression for over a year now, and I suspect I also have PTSD from a long term abusive relationship I got out of 2 years ago. It takes all my effort just to maintain myself, just taking a shower sometimes takes all the energy I can muster in a day. How can I be expected to take care of my grandmother if I can't even take care of myself? What do I even do on my really really bad days? I've been crying uncontrollably all week trying my best to hide my pain because I'm supposed to be my grandma's rock right now but I just can't do that. I'm too broken myself. Yet I am my families only option aside from putting her in a home which would destroy her. I feel swindled, coerced, trapped, and so completely alone and I know if I tell any of my family they'll say I have no right to feel the way I'm feeling because I'm not the one who's ill. I'm stuck in a situation that I can not manage for an indeterminate amount of time and I can't even go to my family for support...

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Who was caring for your GM before you?
Does your GM want you in her home? 
How does GM get food, supplies? 
What are you doing for her?
Talk to us so we know you are ok. 
We can help you. 

Dear Cupiedoll,

I am very sorry to hear about everything you are going through. There is a lot on your young shoulders.

Are you able to talk to a social worker, family therapist or counsellor? There has to be resources in the community or through church that could offer you more options and support.

I know as a daughter a lot is expected, but what is happening to you is not right. Please talk to a social worker and make sure you know all your rights and options. Thinking of you.

To add on...

Your clinical depression, how is that being treated? With meds and talk therapy? Jyst meds? If you can't muster the energy to shower, it doesn't sound like your treatment plan is working. What medical professional is managing your depression?

Start there.

If I'm reading your original post correctly, your dad, in essence said " go care for grandma (i.e., make yourself useful) or get out"?

So, have you thought about calling dad's bluff? Choose to get out. Go to a woman's shelter. Get mental health treatment. Choose to change your situation.

Can you do that?

Hang on.

You are now twenty. You managed to get away from an abusive long-term relationship two years ago (makes eighteen). What does "long-term" mean?

Assuming that even a very young person like yourself does not consider less than one year to be long-term...

You cannot have been older than seventeen when this abusive relationship began.

Which means we're getting towards talking about child abuse, child sexual exploitation...

And your family's prescription for recovery from this is that you focus on helping those less fortunate than yourself, perhaps?

You come from an environment where what you have experienced is, at best, seriously misunderstood.

And, from an elder care perspective, what makes your family believe that you are qualified to provide the care needed by an elderly lady with long-established Parkinson's Disease?

This situation is bonkers: dangerous for your grandmother, destructive for you.


You have been diagnosed, so you are in touch with mental health professionals. Your grandmother also has a range of diagnoses, so the family is in touch with medical professionals. Reach out to those people and take advice. And meanwhile look up survivor groups in your area and reach out to them, too. There will be help and there will be answers; so although this is not going to be solved quickly you're not on your own and you won't feel like this forever. Big hugs, keep talking to us.

Cupie, I am so sorry that you suffer from depression. I hope you are receiving treatment for it, and taking care of yourself as best you can with good nutrition, sleep and exercise.

I also think you should start making a plan for getting out of this situation. I'm sure you love your grandmother but you're at an age where it is easy to get stuck. Do what you can to get un-stuck!

Cupie, what is Grandmas financial situation? Can she afford assistance for you? Or does the state you live in offer assistance of that nature.
I am so sad for your situation. I will be praying for you. Hang in there, it will get figured out. There is an answer. You are going to be ok, this is tough for everyone in this situation.

Cupiedoll, not all of us are cut out to be caregivers, I know I wasn't. There is nothing wrong with that. This article helped me big time:

Caregiving is difficult. You are thrown into a "job" to which you had no training. No mentor to guide you along. After reading the medical issues your Grandmother has, these sound like permanent medical issues. By the way, since you don't drive how does your Dad expect you to take his Mother to her doctor appointments?

I really don't know why some Dads think their daughter's know automatically what to do.
I agree with Pam's post above, get on the phone and call either your Dad or your sister and ask how to do this or that? Doesn't matter if you call once a week or 10 times a day. Your Dad put you into a position that isn't fair to you or to his Mother. His Mother needs skilled caregiving by a career professional.

Is Grandmother paying you to be her caregiver? I bet she isn't. Is your Dad paying you to be his Mom's caregiver? Bet he isn't, either. Are you under your Dad's health insurance?

We are all here to help you down this path.  If you can't call your Dad or your sister, then post your question here. 

that stinks in my opinion.
only because taking care of a sick person is difficult and only being 20 yo(please don't take offense) you haven't a lot of life experience to be in this situation. You are starting off feeling bad from the get-go. Life is hard and we all learn with age. Ive learned coping skills to get me thru rough situations. But Im 59!

Are you now living full time in your grandmothers home?

Anyway I just wanted to offer that I feel for you

could you write your dad a letter and try to explain how you feel and tell him you are concerned that you may not be able to do what he is expecting? this seems a lot to ask from such a young person.

to onelaststraw: no im not and i really dont think i could, even if i found the time i dont have a licence or a car so im almost completely immobile.

to gardenartist: well to be honest theyre both very busy and even if they werent theyre both really selfish. especially my dad, theres no way my dad would do it. but even still i think i would feel like a complete failure if i asked for help only being a week in.

Cupie.. just for clarification.. are you in school or employed at age 20, or did you live at home so Dad just "assumed" you were the expendable one ( yep,, I said expendable because he is treating you this way) I feel awful for you that this has happened, and that you are so stressed with no one to turn to. Do you have a pastor or any friends you can talk to or who may offer you some help? With your own health problems this does seem like a poor choice on your families part, and not well thought out. Perhaps your father paniced and just threw out the first thought that came to mind, and after a few days of thinking things over he will reconsider.. or perhaps you need to "call for help" a few times?