I am currently dealing with a very complex situation. I have a parent who is suffering from Alzheimers. The Alzheimers is getting very bad.
However what makes things more complex is that I have never had a good relationship with my family. I had a psychologically and physically abusive childhood. My parent with Alzheimer's and my step parent have never been a source of support in my life. My other parent died when I was young. I believe I have psychological issues as a result of my life growing up. Life is difficult for me. I have been extremely independent for a long time also.

Since leaving the family home I have not had much to do with my parent or step parent. Asides from the occasional meeting for a dinner or lunch two or three times a year. This has been in the nature of formality rather than an engaged experience. I have always remained distant from my family.

Now that my parent is getting bad there are increasing calls upon me to help. This parent has to be supervised at all times due to safety risks and cannot be left alone even for 30 seconds. I have spent around 8 lots of 4/5 hour sessions with the parent in the last couple of months since they got worse. There is increasing pressure upon me to assist and spend more time, supervising, entertaining, helping to toilet, feeding etc.

Now I am concerned about finances. The parent needs to go into care. There is some govt support but its all very complex. There is a fair amount of risk there might be insufficient support to cover it. I am concerned that I will be subjected to pressure to help fund it.

I am also very angry that the parent and step parent have been to blame to be in the financial and health state they are in. They have been reckless with spending for the last 25 years. Holidays, boats, dinners, drinks, parties, excessive travel, cars, non stop. And it still continues now. They have also been unhealthy and the parent undertook all the lifestyle risks for contributing to alzheimers: smoking, drinking, rich diet, no rigorous mental stimulation, no exercise.

I have very little in the way of time to offer. I work two jobs, 6 days a week 50/55 hours a week. I have some money but not a great deal. I don't have enough to afford to buy a home as a live in an extremely expensive part of the world. I live in an extremely frugal manner to try save enough for a deposit.

I am concerned about what little I have being threatened by my parent's situation and the pressure placed upon me after how I have been treated.

I am not sure where things sit with this. I am annoyed by advice from most people who have had a supportive family not have a dysfunctional and abusive childhood and family life like I had so they cant work it out. I feel like my family has caused issues for me and created psychological problems for me rather than been a source of support at any time.

It also difficult as despite all this I still place myself in the shoes of the parent and the anxiety they probable feel and want to help try and ease that.

So I am interested in thoughts as to what might be appropriate level of support I could provide or maybe none at all. I am especially interested to hear from adult children of abusive parents without much resources in a similar situation and what you have done.

In an ideal world what I want is to maybe visit once every three weeks for a couple of hours while there are staff who can take responsibility for feeding and safety etc while I just show them photos or something and also that all the care is covered but that I don't pay for a cent of it.

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My mother was an abusive manipulative drunk, and she hates women to boot. I spent most of my adult life trying to make peace, a total waste of time. I have not spoken to her for 8 years and never will again.

To make a long story short, she had to be placed in AL, my brother was the go between, I worked behind the scene found a home for her, packed up her furniture and waited for the movers. We will go back in March, clean out her house and put it up for sale. She lived in NC we in Fl, she is now in Fl.

So, my conscious is clear, I have done what I am willing to, and no more, she is safe, she is in a lovely facility and she loves it!

My boundaries are cast in stone, I will not waiver. It was me or her, I chose me.

Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (27)
Reply to DollyMe
Shell38314 Jan 13, 2020
Good for you Dolly. There are times in life were we just need to pick ourselves over other people!😊
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I really am sorry that you are in this nightmare.

My mother was a mean, physically and verbally drunk who abused me when I was little. It makes me sick to think back on how she could treat her own kid that way. I was so little...

Anyways, you DO NOT owe your parent Anything! DON'T you Dare use YOUR MONEY to pay for their care!!

You only do what you are willing to do and if you decide to do nothing then do nothing. You have all rights to walk away if that is what is best for you. Because I live with my mother I can tell you that all the old painful memories will come back like a flood that can drown you. If I knew then what I know now I would have walked away yrs ago!

Your parent made his or her bed and he/she can lay in it. You don't owe them anything! You are worth being love and you deserve to have peace and joy.

Some parents do not deserve the respect or love from their kids!

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Reply to Shell38314
Anyonymous1 Jan 13, 2020
Thanks for your thoughts Shell :)
I had an emotionally and physically abusive childhood. One parent chose a new spouse (after divorcing my other parent), and their new children they had together, over me. I became the scapegoat, but the problem was I half-rejected and half-believed the narrative. One of my new half-sibs became the golden child. I tried for 40 years to have a good relationship with parent and step parent, to no avail.

The thing is, the abuse continued into adulthood. I was physically hurt and had very serious physical conditions in my childhood which parent and step parent ignored, and which I didn't even get properly diagnosed until my adulthood. When I was a very young adult and was hit by a car as a pedestrian, I called my parent crying and asking for help, and the parent changed the subject, and quickly hung up. I began to hide my health problems from them, relying only on myself or my closest friends. At 40, after one final abusive phone call from the parent, I decided to go no contact. It has been years, and I have felt free and happy--well, freer and happier--since that decision.

All this to say that even if I were still in limited contact with the parent and step parent, I would never lift a finger to help them. They had the chance to have a good relationship with me when I was totally dependent upon them as a child. They failed that test. I would never put myself in the position of helping them. A dynamic of scapegoating will only be exacerbated once a parent's health turns in their elderly years. It's a terrible thing, trying to help someone who brings up such heartache. It engenders actual physical pain to be in the abusers' presence. It's not just, 'oh, they make me stressed out'. It's physical, emotional and mental torture to think about them or talk with them, or read an email from them. Heck, I still have a visceral reaction when I see their name.

I had PTSD for decades, and I didn't even know it until so late in my life.

The golden child texted me a few years ago saying that parent had some heart issues and was in the ER. I composed many, many responses in my mind to that text, but in the end did not answer it. I am still in limited contact with the golden child, who is otherwise a nice enough person, although with their own issues.

I hope this has been of help to you. It seems strange sharing this intimate story online.
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Reply to RedCrush
Anyonymous1 Jan 13, 2020
Sorry to hear about your experience but thanks for sharing it. Your situation of the accident as a young adult is the sort of situation I have worried about happening that if something happened to me they would never have helped. Luckily I haven't had to test that.
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I also want to respond to the biblical quotes that someone posted.  No where in the bible does it say that you have to run yourself into the ground physically and financially to take care of a parent and if you don't some how you are dishonoring God and will be punished. 

Making the decision to place your parent in a facility that has round the clock care can be one of the kindest things you do for them and yourself.
Helpful Answer (23)
Reply to Jamesj
lealonnie1 Jan 16, 2020
Well said James. As if placing a parent in a care home is 'neglecting' them or 'dishonoring' them or any such nonsense. Just another way to cast guilt upon us for doing what NEEDS to be done. I wonder what 'the bible' says about THAT?
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I don’t think you have any obligation to them. I have that kind of relationship with my father who was an abusive father. He’s now 96 and we just put him in a nursing home. He begs us to go home but I really don’t have any feelings toward him. He was lucky that I got him into a VA hone that is very nice. So that’s all I’m doing.
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Reply to Kashi60
Anyonymous1 Jan 13, 2020
Thanks Kashi. Did you fund the care home or was it paid from his assets or the govt?
One thing that I want to clarify, your parent and stepparent are responsible to pay the bill for the care required.

Once all their assets are depleted according to the rules then they can get assistance, but that should never come from you or your siblings. You all have your retirement to plan for.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Anyonymous1 Jan 13, 2020
Thanks. Yes this is true. Step parent is wanting to avoid liquidating the assets to keep on living an expensive lifestyle and trying to get the children to pay the costs because there is no liquidity. But ultimately they will be forced to liquidate if they cant come up with the money themselves
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I was severely abused as a child and I had 8 glorious years of peace before Adult Protective Services contacted me to help. They called the first time in late May or early June; at the time, I told them that her behaviors seemed normal to her and that I was not available. In July they called again, and hubby & I decided to find out more.

I was afraid she would shoot me, so hubby drove her home while I worked with the attorney on emergency guardianship. We put her into a memory care here immediately, even while we worked with her problems. I found I could not visit or take her to the doc alone. She still has would slap & spit at me, but if hubby were there, she was fine. I moved my visits to monthly with the good advice of some of the ladies on this forum who heard what this torture did to me.

Your step father has choices, and he knows it. So what if he hoards the money and keeps it from mom's care? She picked him and then stayed with him even as she knew him more and more. You have no obligation to work or pay for mom.

If anyone asks you about why aren't you serving mama, you can always say, "As a survivor of her childhood abuse, it's best if I'm not in any hands on care for her. Thank you for your concern." The statement is true and makes the inquirer wish they hadn't asked.
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Reply to surprise
Anyonymous1 Jan 13, 2020
Thank you. Sorry to hear about your own back ground. Your right my parent chose my step parent so I guess that has been their chose to decide where to place their trust.
Today is a difficult day. Had another discussion and lots of time and financial pressure was put on by others. And it all seems to be about self interest of step parent. I resisted it. There is a rift. I am feeling huge anxiety and depression about this whole situation now. I need to batten down the hatches and look after myself I think, It might mean that I cut off all communication at some point if it gets too much,
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Reply to Anyonymous1
Isthisrealyreal Jan 13, 2020
Do what you need to protect yourself.

Of course it will escalate, be prepared. That's how some people get their way. They make it easier to do what they want then to deal with their uglies.

You can do this!! Hugs!
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to quote, you said "in an ideal world what I want is to maybe visit once every three weeks for a couple of hours while there are staff who can take responsibility for feeding and safety etc while I just show them photos or something and also that all the care is covered but that I don't pay for a cent of it."

While I think that is even overly generous given the other demands on your own life, this is exactly what you should do. You have no responsibility to provide for their finances.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to Karsten

My mother was emotionally and physically abusive towards me (we haven't spoken in years) I've told all family I will NOT take care of my mom if she ever needs care.

I feel no guilt.

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Reply to Sqbear50

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