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Elder parent - highly narcissistic - lives about 2.5 hours away - after being told five years ago - I cannot care for you there and take care of my child. And work. And be divorced. Since child has been diagnosed with autism. Needing extra care. I work PT to care for her. That includes attending school events. That frankly my parents - as a latchkey kid of the boomer generation - cannot get through that I am - special needs or not - going to be PRESENT for my child's life.


Parent cannot see - that she's been warned - 'you must have an emergency back up plan fo my father with dementia' and despite years of problems with this parent - selfishness - hatefulness - we still are asking them to move here.


Get crappy emails about being in the ER and my kid coming first. Bc I didn't drop what I was doing at what parent desribed as an 'event' like end of year play in which my autistic kid is the LEAD. I told her repeatedly I'd come afterwards. Or if they put her in the hospital. Nope gave her a breathing treatment and sent her home.


How would you deal with this? I've been nice. I've tried to validate feelings - it makes it worse. I've been nonconfrontational. I've been rude. I've been nonresponsive. I am sick and tired of manipulation. And sadly does not even see it on her part.


I've offered to care for dad - in my home if she will pay me enough to offset gas - his food- and some for my time.


I have offered to come up. I have told her to please think about assisted living. I have told her I cannot do this long distance. No matter what I say - what I do it's always criticism. No thank you.

Well, you've already done the difficult bit.

The difficult bit was to make certain sure that you're two and a half hours away from them, and keep it like that.

Only - could you *please* cut out the "I'll look after Dad" bit - do not leave this juicy bait hanging around a second longer. NO YOU WON'T! Are you kidding me? Your - lovely, I'm sure - Dad has Alzheimer's Disease. As well as a kid and a job and a life, do you also have a qualification in dementia care? And a fully-equipped home, with all adaptations? And additional expertise in explaining the emotional impact of dementia on family dynamics to a child on the autistic spectrum?

Sorry, enough said. Just - you can't look after your Dad in your home. Forget it. And feel no guilt.

As for your mother's ongoing assault on your mental health... And why do you have to choose...

The person who is making this look as if it's a choice is your mother. It isn't a choice, not a real one.

Here is a comparable choice, to show through absurdity how nonsensical your mother's choice is. Would you like a pedicure, or would you like to have your foot cut off? The first would be very nice, healthy self-care. You would be nuts to go for the other, except in extreme medical circumstances.

Would you like to lead your life and care properly for your child? Or would you like to neglect your life and your child, in order to play a supporting role in your mother's drama and - much worse - to maintain the pretence that your father doesn't need the structured support of a good facility?

Look at your choice through outsider's eyes and see what makes sense.

There remains the problem that your mother does emotionally assault you and you find it upsetting and exhausting. She is not going to change. You need to change how you protect yourself, and it's mainly about expectation management, really. Have you had or would you consider getting a therapist's help with this?

Also, to show that I'm not just having a pop at your mother: she is an elderly person with a significant burden on her hands. I expect she is tired, afraid and in need of support; while your father is in need of high quality, trained care. I wouldn't altogether expect her to be fair or rational in her thinking or her demands, necessarily - which of us would be? But the fact that she has needs does not mean that you are the right person to meet them. Make sure you've convinced yourself of that before you try to work on her.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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If you have a child, parents can't be too old?

I think you have explained enough. Next time she starts just say "I am not going to respond to this because it has been discussed before. The answer is NO. You need to find out what resources there are in your area. If you can't handle Dad, then maybe its time to find alternate care. Maybe an AL or LTC. But you have to do it Mom, I can't do it for you"

All she needs to do is call her Office of Aging. Depending on finances, she may want to protect her half. Medicaid has a Community spouse regulation that allows the Spouse to keep assets and spend down the spouse's that is receiving care. Once spent down, then Medicaid can be applied for. The Community spouse will not be made impoverished.

I would not want this woman living near me. Nor would I take Dad into my home. He is Moms responsibility. You have a special needs child. What energy you have needs to be for her. Taking care of a Dementia patient is 24/7. Mom took vows, for better or worse.

I guess you don't have other siblings? If you do, then point Mom in their direction. You are not the only person with this problem. There is a similar post on the forum.

I hope that you have found resources for your child. I have a special needs nephew who I am POA for. He has physical and neurological problems that over road that he had Cerebral palsy and is probably a high functioning Autistic. He now has "people" thru the State and here locally. I am trying to back off and allowing them to take over. I am 70 almost, he is 29. I won't be here forever. I have read on this forum where parents need care and so does the handicapped sibling that the parents never set up with "people". Your child may not need this now, but he/she will later. You may find there are resources out there you knew nothing about.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I am a parent of a “child” with Autism. Rainman is 26 now, functions at about a 2-3 yr old level, completely non-verbal and lives at home with me and my husband.

Back when I was young enough to have more children, I decided not to - in spite of really wanting another child. I knew I could not give either Rainman nor another child each the time and attention they would need - should there be more than Rainman. His needs are too great. And, what if a second child fell on the Autism Spectrum? Lord knows, I’ve know lots of families with more that one child with autism.

Taking care of a parent with dementia is much like having a child with autism. I know - I looked after my mother for six years, the first year included my father as well. It nearly broke me - by the time I was finally able to get my mother into a nursing home I honestly believe I was near a mental breakdown. Not to mention that during those six years neither Rainman nor my husband received the proper level of my time and attention that they deserved.

The kicker is that my mother never even lived with us AND she had enough money to pay for a caregiver and to choose very nice IL, AL and finally a NH. Still, my mother was a difficult, high maintenance woman back in the best of her years - long before old-age related physical and mental decline. My mother with those issues - she was impossible to deal with. Like I said - it nearly drove me to mental and physical collapse.

My advice? Figure out what you can do without it having a significant impact on your daughters care - and your own well being. Draw up boundaries and STICK TO THEM! Whatever you do - DO NOT bring your parents to live with you. JUST DON’T!!!

It won’t be enough for your parents. They will complain and try to make you feel guilty. You will feel torn. But - your first responsibility is to your child. Period.

In the end - while I at times regret not having another child, I know it was the right decision. Rainman is a sweet, gentle young man. Everyone says so. What I do wish I had done differently - not a regret really - but I wish I had known more about dementia and made better decisions as to my mothers care those first five years. I short changed my own family and myself. Years I’ll never get back. I was very luck I had my husband for support and for filling in some of the gaps I created with our son. Very lucky!

You say you are divorced. So, at least for now - it’s all on you - your daughters care and well-being. Remember - you won’t get these years back.
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Reply to Rainmom
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Is it possible that your mom also has dementia? I'm not mentioning that as though it changes YOUR stance in all this.

But if dad gets admitted to the hospital again, you might consider ringing up the discharge department yourself to point out that they have no support at home. And that sending dad home in moms care would be an unsafe discharge.

It could be that mom turns down offered help with a grand "oh no. Our daughter will be coming to stay and be our slave...."
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Your child comes first. It was THEIR job to plan for this, not yours.

Do NOT offer to care for you dad at your home. Even for pay. Dementia and autism are a very bad mix for everyone.

There is a discharge department in the hospital if dad gets admitted. Your mother should talk to them.

Explaining yourself will get you no where with a narcissistic person
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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