I know this may be an unusual question but I am looking for a way to come to terms with things that have happened in my life.
My grandmother became sick when I was 7. I was very close to her and my mom took care of her for many years (off and on for 15 years total). My grandmother had a lot of medical issues that required very painful surgeries and because she was from a small town with limited medical care and we lived three hours away in a larger city, she came to our home to recover after each surgery.
My grandfather helped a little when she would go home but they often did not get along. He was often a hateful man and I can't really blame her but she would never fully leave him.
My uncle lived 1 mile from my mom and he never helped. Nor did his wife or their children. Both my cousins were older than me. They always had excuses from social activities to the situation being "too depressing."
I spent tons of time in various hospitals growing up. Once, my grandmother was hospitalized for 3 months straight. I did my elementary school homework in hospital rooms, high school homework -- and yes, even college assignments. I sat in doctors offices for hours with my parents and grandmother.
I wanted to be there and I loved her, but as I got older I started noticing things I did not like. My mother was not in good health. She was severally visually impaired (glasses like coke bottles), had a ruptured disc, bouts of anemia from heavy periods, and later we discovered renal insufficiency. Her feet would swell like crazy. Yet, all I would ever hear from my grandparents is how they did not want to go into a nursing home.
My mom would ask my grandmother why her son (living just a mile away) would never come and pick her up to take her to his home? Why he couldn't stop in to say, "hello" and my grandmother would go into rages. She would scream and yell and I started wondering, "how can someone this 'sick' that needs all this care have such strength to throw these fits?
Once after a surgery, I helped my mom take care of her and never left the house for 2 weeks straight. It was during the summer, so there wasn't any school.
My mom once got up, cooked a meal and said all my grandmother had to do was warm it up but she was going to take me out shopping. My grandmother had a fit and ended up throwing herself on the floor. We went anyway.
If my mom was sick and didn't say hello soon enough, she had a fit.
She had moments where she was truly a loving, giving kind person but she was always looking for that miracle pill that would make her 16 again.
By the time I got to college, I had to take a leave from my job to help but was still carrying a full college load. I remember she was getting sicker and was in Intensive Care. I begged my mom to just let me stay home because I desperatly needed to study and she had a fit saying how could I not be there? I HAD been there at that time for the last 13 years. I was so mentally and emotionally exhausted that I broke down in the middle of a college class sobbing.
When my grandmother died, my mother had little to do with me or anyone for a year. I was once so mad that I asked her, "do you wish it was me that died instead so you could have your mother back?" She came close to hitting me.
I have told my mother over the years that it was not right what we were put through (my dad and myself were right there through it all and my dad would work a manual labor job and then come in to sit hours in a doctors office because my mom did not drive (eyes).
Mom has told me she has not one regret and would do it all over again. I find that bothersome after she knows how I feel. By the time my grandmother died, I was up to 3 ulcers. I also had health problems and was a nervous wreck.
My husband now is a caregiver for his father who still lives in his own home but has small help from a helper and hospice has been call in but does precious little. My husband is responsible for getting perscriptions, groceries, meals and does an hour commute daily with 3-4 visits to his house. Our 8 year old daughter says she rarely sees daddy. My father-in-law has always been hateful and resentful (wasn't real happy his granddaughter was born a girl and reminds us of such but says now it's okay). He throws food, curses at my husband, threatens him and the list could go on.
My husband says his dad educated him and fed him. I told him he would have had less debt with a long-term student loan. He feels he is "honoring" his father as is commanded in the Bible. My mom took the same approach.
This current situation is reminding me of my childhood and I find myself more angry and wondering, "why do these people even have families if they are going to worship their parents?"
How much do you feel should be taken into consideration when you caregive? Do you feel your spouse or child should endure it with you? If so, how much? Am I just a cold person? Is something wrong with me?