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I am a 50 year old stay at home Mother of two boys 18 and 11. My mother suffers from a degenerative spinal disease that is very painful and limits her mobility greatly. she is currently on morpheme. My Father is also very limited with knee problems and arthritis. Since my family's recent financial problems, my Dad proposed to pay me to help my Mom, so my Dad could go out to play golf, and meet with friends. He has long term care insurance, but said he would rather pay me tan a stranger. This all sounds so neat and tidy, such a great deal! I have never felt so trapped, guilty and obligated in my life! Nothing I do is good enough , done with enough great fullness, or love, or respect. I walk on eggshells constantly, trying to comply with my Mothers impossibly structured demands. my Father cannot keep up with her either, and has to put up with her constantly berating him that he is not fast enough.
Recently, I made a huge mistake, I responded with what she construed to be a frustrated response, she began to cry, as she does, and flew into a self putting rage. I snapped. I yelled right back... Horrible. In her rage, she proceeded to tell me how selfish I was, how I was only helping for the money and how even my Father thinks I am not caring enough. When she calmed down, she said she would not tell my dad, because it would kill him,but when I called in the morning, he was very cold and terse with me. I'm sure she told him I have lived with this for years. They are scared, negative elf entered people who never trust anyone, have always used money to manipulate mine and my brothers behavior. My oldest brother committed suicide, and they were mostly concerned with making sure everyone knew it was not their fault. They are always telling me I am their primary heir to keep me in line, they hate my husband and suggest I Divorce him and move in with them with11 year old.
Please believe me when I say I don't care about the money! I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown! I have always tried to honor my parents because I know they have no clue they are like this, but I cannot live like this anymore!

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Money? What money? **laughs** Elderly parents don't HAVE enough money to pay the people that care for them. I wouldn't go through what I've been through these last 10+ years for a million or more. Money. Please.

Long term heath insurance, you say? Yeah, baby. Get the hell out of this role and tell your dad to use it and what he wants you to do be damned. The end.
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If you were evil and heartless, none of this would bother you. You're anything BUT evil and heartless. You are thoughtful and caring, which makes you sensitive to their criticism. Your first priority should be your own husband and children, NOT your mom and dad. Good luck, I'm glad our answers have helped you. Please keep us posted with updates on how you're doing.
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Thank you for your understanding! You don't know what it means to be validated in my feeling!
I was really starting to feel that I was an evil, heartless person. My parents negativity had begun to infiltrate my behavior towards my children and husband to the degree that I was becoming my mother in feeling sorry for myself , and feeling irrationally unappreciated. I need a good mental " house cleaning " to get my self esteem back and gain the confidence to continue my life wherever it may lead. I thank you for your beautiful phrasing and advice!
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Blannie is right on. Resign from the position and tell them it will be better for everyone to hire skilled caregiver and you will continue to visit and support as you are able. Give a timeline for them to find someone and hand dad and mom a list with contact numbers. There are many in home care agencies in every area. Start with a list of those that are bonded and insured.

Step back and regain your sanity. You tried, it didn't work out, now mom and dad have to find their own way.

I've been down a similar road with demanding parents and refuse to be held hostage by a "will" and estate used as blackmail or constant threat. I love my parents without condition but unfortunately they loved their money more and figured we kids would too -- they are very wrong and it's such a shame.
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Some parents deploy the guilt card, others use the financial carrot on a stick. Politely resign your position, advise them to call an agency in your area. Reserve your visits to once a week, and if they are nasty, excuse yourself and leave quickly. When they pay you, they think they own you. It's all about controlling the world around them. Happens all the time. My FIL once told me he was going to put some property in my name. I told him no, I could see him coming a mile away.
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Thank you for your understanding! I tried to calmly refuse payment, but my dad became so angry. I think they think they are helping me, it they don't realize it is only making things worse. They are so used to manipulating this way, they see money as love. To disappoint them in any way is to be ungrateful. I fear there is no winning but to say I can no longer help till until they decide to arrange for care. Then to continue to be available when I can , with love. I do love them very much, but I cannot go on this way.
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This incident with your mom is the PERFECT opportunity for you to let them know that they need to find another caregiver, since she wasn't happy with you. You could say something along the lines of, "After a recent incident with mom, I realized that this job is too much for me, I think you need a really experienced PROFESSIONAL caregiver to help mom. I just can't meet her needs." Then get yourself out and away from their toxic grasp.

And get some counseling so you can distance yourself from their manipulations. If the money doesn't matter, then don't let them use it like a club to keep you in line. Set boundaries and let them make someone else miserable. You're too emotionally involved to try to make those two miserable human beings happy. It can't be done. You deserve a better life! You don't owe your parents your health and happiness.
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I feel so strongly for you, because I know what you are going through. If you are like me, you blame yourself for any of the negative things that go on between you and your parents. The truth is that sometimes they can be impossible and we put up with a lot. Most of the time the negative things we do -- e.g., not agree with them -- cause them to go into snits of angers. It is one of the reasons that I do not want to be paid. My mother would be absolutely unmanageable if she were paying me. She would use it to take over my life totally. I know her well enough to know that.

What helps me with my mother is to pull back emotionally. It is sad that by pulling back so much that I really don't feel anything at all for her most of the time. I don't think she even notices, because she is only aware of herself. When she starts arguing, which is all the time, I simply say that is isn't important or walk away. I don't know why older people do this. Sometimes I wonder if sniping at the adult child or trying to push their buttons makes them feel better. It makes no sense to me why a parent would emotionally attack the child they are dependent on -- I guess it is all about anger and loss of control. All we can do is to pull back or leave when it gets too bad.
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