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Many of us, myself included, come from a dysfunctional family which adds a lot of weight to the challenges of caregiving. I have read stores on various threads on other topics and decided it would be good to have a thread just for this topic for people to share, vent and discuss.

The idea for this thread originated on the thread named "The Caregiver....How are YOU doing today?"

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Sharyn, or should I say Nancy? Be careful, don't push.

Sorry to hear so much worry over your brother.

What a deal! DD will work so you can cook? I don't know who has the more difficult job. But, I do know that you will have the most fun.
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Golden, I hope the meds are going to work for your mom. It is hard to see them depressed. It tears at your heart. It’s good you are recovering from the flu shot. I haven’t gotten one yet.

Glad, I have my mom’s recipe box. I sent several recipes to my niece. She loves to cook like I do. It’s a nice treasure to have.

Duck , you are moving in the right direction. Detach, detach!

My knee is slowly getting better. I’m now known as Nancy Kerrigan at work, lol! No one is stepping up to be Tanya Harding, ha ha, can’t blame them!

my brother has panic attacks when his wife is not with him. He is on an anti depressant and anti anxiety meds. The anti anxiety can be given in a lower dose but staff gives him full dosage which knocks him out for 12 hours and they put him on the ventilator. He misses PT and it takes 3-4 days to wean him off the ventilator again. My sil is very frustrated with the facility and they are trying to get him something better. She is with him about 15 hours a day and she would stay but they won’t allow it. He is suppose to get only filtered water in case there is bacteria in the water and him being on anti rejection drugs which lowers immunity. The staff will get him water out of the bathroom. We are all worried about his progress or lack of progress at this time.

I hope Thanksgiving will be a good day for everyone. My dd volunteered to work so I wouldn’t have to.....but I’m cooking the dinner for us, lol! She only has to work 8-2 as the store closes by 4pm.
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Oh book - SO awesome that you found the recipe boxes. Cherish them (and the handwriting..... and the dribbles). And make them!

My mom had a handful of signature recipes that I would have loved to have. When I cleaned out her house, I found everything but. ☹️

Good food and good memories are often intertwined. Go for it, book! 👍🏼
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Found my and mom's recipe boxes! Got those books from the "Book" room emptied and put on shelves. Gosh I knew I had purged books before the move three years ago, but this is the first time that I have actually placed them on the book shelves since then. Have yet to organize them, maybe old texts and such on one of the shelves in the room that will be office stuff. Then fun reading books in other spare room. Hmmmm.... My next goal is to finish unpacking boxes in kitchen, figure out where things will go so that room looks at least somewhat organized and useable.

Cold, sleety day here. Went out first thing this morning, before it got too bad, for my weekly coffee and a few groceries. My driveway is somewhat steep, slid a bit getting to garage. But now those outside chores are done and I can hunker down for the rest of the weekend. Maybe lentil soup for dinner tonight. It is a soup kinda day.🍜🍞 Or Marie Callendars chicken 🐥 pot pie.😌
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When I read the article, I just didn't realize how a hospital can become overwhelmed with so many abandoned seniors. It made me wonder about those news stories seen in the news of hospitals dumping their patients into another neighborhood - still in their hospital gowns. And why the hospitals do their hardest to try to get ANY family member to take their patient home.
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I just read that article that is so sad.
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I'm not gonna lie, the first thing I thought when I read the article was, "Gosh, there are times I'd love to put my mom on a one way flight, preferably to Timbuktu or somewhere." I wouldn't really do that, of course. I don't have that kind of money...

In all seriousness though, it is heartbreaking that we don't have more resources out there for our elders and their caregivers. We really do need a better system in place.

I hope you guys know I was joking about the first part, though mom does drive me nuts sometimes.
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Glad where I work we often get elders "dropped off" at the ER before holidays and such,, we call them "Granny dumps" and it is horrible. Then the family is not answering the phone, etc until they get back from their vacay or what ever. Just drop and run... They sit in the ER until someone sees them for intake,, and surprise.. no family around.. But at least they are warm and fed until the family magically reappears after a few days.. And of course no insurance... We get the same thing from the panhandleres that surround the hospital. They get "nipped" by a car and check themselves in for a few days of warm , TV and meals They have it better in the hospital than a homeless shelter. We really need a better plan in place for everyone.
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On the light side, my front door adventures were far less threatening than glad's, though having groceries delivered at 10:40 pm was surprising, and the loud knock the Loomis Courier guy gave on the front door unnerved me briefly, However, I was glad to see 3 boxes of items in good shape, and promptly put them away. Chicken rice soup, butternut squash soup, maple beans, polenta and corn grits will serve me well in the cold weather. It was fortunate I was still awake,

My other adventure was quite different, One morning a few days ago, a thin, older gentleman with a pronounced limp came up to the house, looked in my recycle bin, and took out a few bottles. I waved at him through the front door sidelight, went to the kitchen and got my inside recycle bin. By then he was back on the street with his cart, to which were attached several bags of cans and bottles. I put the indoor bin on the steps and told him he could take what he wanted. I also told him in future I would gather my bottles and cans into a separate bag and leave them outside for him. Before the fire, an Asian gentleman came biweekly and I did the same for him. This gentleman walked closer and we discussed and decided where was the best place for me to leave them. He was concerned that someone else would take them. I reassured him no one else did this. Then I wished him a good day and he reached out his gloved hand to shake mine, and said "Gary" and "Thanks, honey."  

I have some admiration for someone with a disability who will get dressed up and go out on the cold to make a few bucks, even if I might not care for the way he spends the money.

This morning I have Folgers in my cup, uh, mug, ☕ and can't get that ditty out of my head.🎵🎵🎵 But, it did have a nice aroma when it was brewing.

Finally getting over the reaction to the flu shot, so today is looking brighter. It is better than getting the flu, but...I guess I'll take my blessings where I can find them.

Be good to you, do yourself a kindness every day, even a small one!
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duck - narcs are jealous. My sis, and dd, and mother all are, I don't think there is much you can do about it, other than keep a distance. Dd is on various meds and they seem to help her, thankfully. I am glad your son is doing so well.

needhope -so glad you got a "spiritual boost". I get those confirmations too. Cutting the ties with your bro (and sis) sounds like the best thing to do. I grin and bear it and go through the motions when I have to be with my sis too. So glad you got to visit your dd and that you are grieving and letting go your dysfun sibs. My sis also worries about me getting whatever from mother. Honestly I don't think they missing anything because they don't want a relationship, they want stuff. They can't appreciate the things you do.

sharyn (((((hugs))))) take care of that knee, It must be hard seeing the conditions due to wildfire where you used to live. So sad for everyone.

madge -that is awful, People get desperate.

barb -thx for the link. I checked it out this morning. Dreadful.

glad- that is shocking. More resources are needed so badly.

Have a good day, all.
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Wow, so many elders being abandoned! There needs to be better resources available. It’s so sad and discouraging.

Ms Madge, the fires are just horrible. My home town looks like it is fogged in from smoke. People have lost so much, people still missing.
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I got an email from a friend yesterday with the verse Gods grace is sufficient ... It really blessed me a lot because I had posted it here the day before feeling it was the Lords word to me in my heart...and then having an email sent to me with it was just a comfort like no other... Believing the God of the universes talks to us in these subtle ways like a coincidence ... but they always come these little coincidences ...and through the years I have come to know this is the way the Lord talks to me through His word and then I will get the same verse from someplace else and it is just a comfort to me ...Knowing He knows and He is working behind the scenes on my behalf. Another word was that humility comes before honor. For me that means to accept my lot as from the Lord and serve Him to the best of my ability. Who am I ? I am Gods servant. I serve my mother and family too by caring for her as I do...but ultimately it is serving the Lord in what He has called me to do. I get the help and grace I need From Him...I will never get this from the family...and as the years now go by I see the reality of the way things are ....Thinking my sister and brother would be there has been such a great disappointment to me while I am here giving blood.... They see it as something easy for me to do. They are both so incredibly only worried about me getting something they wont. Well one thing I am getting that they won't is years spent caring for their mother 2/7... and really they are missing out in so many ways. So I am excited now suddenly about my future ...I know the Lord is here in the middle and it will be His doing whatever comes ....I am good with that. Hope all of you will have more grace during the holidays and have peace and joy in the middle of the storms in your lives....Praying for all of you as I see so many of you have it worse than I do! God Bless You and keep you in His Arms of love.
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Check 9news website. They are running a series on vulnerable adults. The rate at which the vulnerable abandoned at hospital ER's is frightening. There needs to be resources for burnt out caregivers. Some of these caregivers are nursing homes and other facilities. The issue in Denver is that there is a public guardianship program that the only source of funding is donations. The people that work in the office are volunteers. No benefits, NOTHING!
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https://www.wltx.com/article/news/man-with-alzheimers-sent-on-one-way-flight-to-denver-among-scores-of-patients-stranded-in-hospitals/101-614151227

In case anyone is interested!
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Looking for a break from the wildfire news, I stumbled upon an equally distressing story of a Florida woman sending her dad with Alzheimer's on a one way plane to Denver 😱
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Sharyn, be careful sounds like overall you are ok.
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Cmag, I can understand your feelings. I still have anger at my mom for seeing me as irresponsible and passing this mind set to my siblings.

This week has not been my best as I fell at work on Tuesday and had to get x rays on my left knee. I’m still sore and can’t left anything heavy or squat for several days. I’m slow at work but will heal with time.

Take care everyone and hoping the week ends ends peacefully.
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I have been sad i cant be with my daughter...she was better when i left but i cd only afford to cover moms care 3 nights and the flight left me so very broke now ... but at least i got to br there a little while..my daughter cried when i was leaving and i felt so torn in two... But God's grace is that i could go and find a great RN who stayed the whole time ...it was a blessing...first time away in 2 years here...felt good. I am letting go of the bitterness i feel little by little and it is a form of grieving the loss of famy ...they just are so not there and dont get how hard it is on my end. They never will. But God does....and thats enough.
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My grace is sufficient for you..

God says that. I believe it is true....My brother came to visit Mom... to celebrate his birthday we met at a restaurant...it felt so dysfunctional...since last time he taiked to her he got mad and hung up on her...she just skipped that and made nice with him...She was too tired to go to legal appointment so I went alone...while she took a nap. They made me the client instead and are looking into things best way to handle situation.. I want free from any ties with my brother whatever the cost. He is a constant rollercoaster and i just want off. Praying for God to set me free and provide another way since he is holding on to what does not belong to him. ...just because he can. HE is a very sick person and yet my heart hurts for him ...just sad. So will see if they can come up with any advice on how I can deal with the situation. My siblings are very much alike. They have both stopped talking to me ..
And it felt fake today with my brother going on about his ventures in the stock market...he did bring Mom some presents for her birthday 3 weeks away and also a coffee cup for Christmas as well so that he has covere FIND d it all with the one drive through the new year.. I guess he feels some obligation to avknowledge her on holidays ..
Last time we saw him was the week after mothers day. ..
But he feels no responsibility to help me with her care or help me get a break. Or help financially
SO i just grin and bear it going through the motions..
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The song I had mention in previous post was "Still Here" byt he Williams Brothers. The particular song is a motivator for me recently and reminds me of a private message "still I rise" :)

Sleep tight all!
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Rest easy, rays of love light and healing to all.
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Golden, I hope you feel better.

Glad, I meant to mention something about the twisteds and jealousy, because I was deeply moved by your post about that.

I wanted to say that we are good, in heart trying to do God's will, giving our all and we do get blessed. What I mean is I see my blessings in my son. Its like non stop, constant, especially when I need something to hold on too.

And I have noticed how my mother and sister oversteeped their boundaries with me as his mother and were insulted and put me down when I would stand my ground. I didnt know what it was all about but as much as I hurt I wont tolerate being bullied.

Well eventually I noticed how my sister and her son's stopped communicating with my son. I felt bad because I knew I was being used as the reason. Then I realized it was another manipulation against me. So now my son and his wife got a whiff of the truth. I cant bring my self to say dont deal with her or them, like my sister has done with her sons.

My mother was the same way always pitting one against the other. And hated me becasue I would not side with her in her wrong.

But anyways in the sense of jealousy, I feel so blessed from what I have been through with my son and that all that magnificent sabatoge he has been exposed to did not work on our relationship. He is his own man and a beautiful person and the fact that I am his mother eats my sister up and I hate to say it but I love it. And in a sense that is what I wanted to communcate to you. Your natural life and relationship is a source of displeasure to those who hate and are

So I am only going to do the treefor the holidays. since my mother has turned in to a nice person to me I feel compelled to make an effort to make special moments for her. I know as usuall it wont be appreciated. I have not been off on thanksgiving and been in my mothers house in ages. Ever since she locked me out for no reason when I went out. I think that is when thanksgivings stopped at the house. And I had been spending my thanksgivings with my son where ever he was. Last thanksgiving was my first one without them and this will be the second one. next year God willing I will be in Korea again for thanksgiing.

Holidays, have always been horrendous for me. Not when my son was growing up and home but always sad even then when it come to me. I raised my son not to focus on me because that is what I knew, and was used to. So I would get upset on mothers day when he would not really make distinction and give me my mother and my sister the same thing.
Anyway I will ramble and ramble, this is that season and so many memories.
I dont know where my road is going to lead. I am in a good place and usually for me that does not last long but I am praying my self up.. Listening to my gospel songs. I listen to a lot but on Kirk Franklin playlist a song call "I made it, God kept me here another day" . These songs take my mind off me and my pain and the crazy that comes in my head, the memories and they make me think of how good God has been and the Grace and How I seem to make it through these storms, and motivates me to care about myself. So I made a big dent in my room before I left for work. If I could keep going like I have been the past few days I could be in better homes and gardens :)

Also, I spoke with case manager the meals are not cut off. I dont know what happend last saturday I waited the whole day,and the saturday before I over slept. So she advised to split days so now I have to be sure to get up on thursday mornings and saturdays morning. Dang!! Dang!!! Heavens to Murgatroy!! I work nights and sleep late. Anyways I am going with the flow and see how it works. I let her know I am very grateful for the service. Its inconvenient but I have no problem trying to do the right thing for my mother. No connect with lawyer. Holidays are here. I suspect it may be a while before I get another appointment.
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I guess tomorrow is another day, but better late than never.

My reaction to the flu shot went normally till today when the CFS bus hit me. I thought of hanging out on the whine thread (to which I could have contributed liberally), but decided instead to take some OTC meds which have helped and I got some reading done that I wanted to do before seeing my counselor tomorrow.

My twisted sister has made a new deal with her dd (my niece) re the house and they have had lunch together twice. Roll on the good times! Niece and her hub can rent the house until niece dies, at which point the house will be given to the cathedral. This will become official after 6 months of niece paying rent regularly, Niece is ecstatic, seeming to have forgotten that this is the third arrangement in less than 3 months, so there is lots of time for more drama. So glad they are 1000's of miles away. Physical distance helps.

Had some bad news from a friend - on top of developing a-fib last year she now has Takotsubo cardiomyopathy - also called acute stress-induced cardiomyopathy, or broken heart syndrome. She is on some meds for it, The only stressor in her life before that was her husband's knee replacement which would not typically cause this in a spouse, but she is very high strung. 4 days after she got out of hospital for her heart, her husband's leg (non knee replacement) gave out, he had a few falls, and it has been determined that he has a deteriorated lumbar spine and will likely require surgery. Meanwhile he is on lots of pain killers. He had some retinal problems too. before this happened. Her brother died last week after it happened and her bipolar son is manic right now! All this, of course, increases her stress. They both are younger than I am - she is 75 and he about 78. It is sobering to see people like them going down. They are a couple who have lived right, eaten right, exercised, and had no "bad" habits.

What is that t shirt slogan "Eat right, exercise and you die anyway?" All except mother, that is. My bad, but I couldn't resist it, It is either laugh or cry right now.

Take care all, Be good to you. You don't know what is coming around the corner.
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glad - that was a lovely gift to your landlords. You are right the dysfunction does not die, I suspect your twisteds are jealous. Seems to go with the territory. Done and let it go is a good place to be, I am sure it will take you a while to get unpacked. TG at your ex's sounds good. You are so right that care giving changes us.

cmag -your dad's death seems to have stirred up a lot. I suspect your diagnosis is right. You knew her. You have good insights about losing your dad 4 times.

susan - I am so glad to be in Canada where we have TG way ahead of Christmas. It seems like such a marathon in the US. Mother is past any celebrations for which I am thankful. It was always an ordeal.

blackhole - practice practice practice - gets easier in time

fraz - it's that your mother wants HER way and her servant (you) but that is a want and not a need. I think you are very wise not to bring her back to your house. They can be very stubborn. Your sis's duplicity is remarkable. How can people do that? Mother never wanted peace either - she wanted drama with her as the center of it. Probably a good idea to check for PD. Thx - my sadness is replaced with some very mixed feelings hearing that mother could last till she is 110. Yes, emotional caretaker from a young age indeed. It is a role that scars us for life.

duck - you are making progress Let go and let God is good. I find keeping holidays simple is the best for me,

riverdale -we try to do better than we had. I hear you about being embarrassed by your mother. Me too.

Hi7 - You have to look after yourself -do some good things for you or you lose yourself. It may mean you give a little less to your parent, but you deserve care too and they probably are getting quite enough care. With some parents, you can never do enough, or please them so you have to draw lines as you see fit.

needhope - good for you for making a legal appointment. It is important to be on solid ground. Let is know the outcome.
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Tomorrow we are going to legal appt...hoping for a go between there I hope he will have some good advice.
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Cmag my heart goes out to you.

Hi7, keep posting, for one thing, and stay in prayer. Caring for our loved ones is very taxing to our very essence. Posting here saved my sanity, helped me learn so many things about mental illness and dysfunction and most of all the understanding and feeback was awesome.

One thing I can say is that the advice I got on my first few visits were on point but impossible to me. Now, I see that I need to do exactly what was advised from practically everyone for my own good.

And I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for caring enough to respond and tell it like it is. I apprectiate the honesty and the patience and the understanding.

Glad, its good to no APS knows vindictiveness and spite. Your post hit home for me.
Today my mother didnt want to eat not the first time at all but it makes me feel down. She didnt eat food but I found her tearing into a apple turnover. she did the same earlier in the week when I was off. I bought them in she ate two and i just knew it would mess up her appetite. I fried some fish and she ate. But I am wondering if leaving all the sweet snacks are causing this.

She also gave me a trial as I left house trying to lock the door, lock her in. It pains me when I have to do this and she is yelling and fussing on the other end.

So I am wondering if she is going into a new phase of dementia, each stage I mourn the loss of who she was. When I first got an inkling of her mental demise it tore me up inside, I cried like a baby. And the ugly got even worse or maybe it was just amplified by the dementia. As I came to terms with that struggle with spite and vindictiviness and sabatoge and sometimes just plain hate from my mother I was making my self sick holding on because I needed to take care of her in the mists of finally seeing and accepting this ugliness for what it was and learning about the sickness and most of all my own denial. If I knew then what I know now about my mother and sister I would have left a thousand years ago.

Noin a better place of understanding and I really dont want to hurt anymore, I dont want to cry. It seems I finally got a decent relationship with her as the dementia worsened and I know eventually I will lose even this.

Glad, its so good to hear the past and see someone who has survived the twisted and vengence. It gives hope. And so good to see you happy and focused and excited in fixing and planning in your knew home.

You, Golden and others give hope and light at the end of the tunnel.

Hi7, someone way back told me to try and find humor in the accusations and things my mother would do. I did, it helped, even if I laughed and then cried in the shower.

This caregiving is a long and winding road, for me full of pain, hurt and desparation, facing the reality of our mortality realizing I have not control in this process or any other process in life.

I am grateful to all who make up this forum.

I am out. Sleep tight, rays of love and peace to all.
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I am feeling more organized than I have in years! Still not done unpacking. Actually got the washer and dryer hooked up, guess I have a bit of that handyman still in me, thanks to mom that did not want to pay for fixes. A few loads done and put away. The dishwasher was hooked up but would not operate. Read the error code, no water supply. Knowing that the water supply to be on, the valve must be inline with the line. After a few times trying to start it, then turning on the water supply, it works! And it is so quiet, you would hardly know it was on! Feeling accomplished.
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Hi, welcome. How to survive a dysfunctional family? The antics are so very hurtful in the beginning, eventually you figure out you have not done anything to cause their treatment of you. Yes, the large majority of us provide care without any assistance. For me, I had to learn to focus on what was important and that was mom was receiving the best care that I could possibly provide, nothing else mattered.

I turned into a different person especially when it came to the twisteds. It got to the point that I wondered what in the heck they would come up with next. And when it came, I would shake my head, roll my eyes and chuckle, here we go again. It took awhile to get there as everything they did was so hurtful, even APS said it was nothing but vindictiveness and spite that twisteds had reported me. This site was invaluable to me, I posted often in those day. My friends here have supported me and have replaced the twisteds.

Complete detachment, sticks and stones, in one ear and out the other....
It takes a very strong person to be able to get through all of it. But you will and be an even stronger person for it.
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Question: how do any of you with dysfunctional families, whether who you are caring for or your other relatives, handle being caregiver during this? I mean how do you keep your sanity while giving loving care? Also, is anyone on here the sole person to care for an elderly parent with no one to help you? How do you make that work? Curious of answers that people have thank you in advance for sharing your experiences
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C magnum, I completely relate to the dysfunction and sense of loss you feel. All I am able to do is live my life completely in a different matter than the way I grew up. It is the only recourse. I can feel resentment but it only affects my well being. Sadly to say my mother's declining health has rid her of crazy thoughts such as getting books published which she never managed to do pre stroke. She had certain gifts she did not pursue. She pursued ones she had no aptitude for. She wasted money in so many ways until illness forced her to have my husband and I take over all her finances. When she and my father divorced when I was in my teens I completely accepted it because I couldn't understand any desire to be married to her. She has embarrassed me for most of my life. She looks like a hot mess. I only know I try to live my life completely differently than the way she lived hers. I lost the more functional parent first. She is basically being kept alive with medications that total over 350 a month. That is with a good supplemental secondary insurance plan. It is ironic because she refused seeking medical help for most of her life. It simply is what it is. I always felt I would have been better served with a different mother. I will be on antidepressants for life I believe because I did not receive the emotional support one should receive from a parent.
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