I feel horrible even asking this question because there's a part of me that thinks, "Well, what if they ARE that helpless, and its just your burnout mindset thinking they aren't?" That would make me cruel. In my case, my dad has been acting helpless for decades, the majority of my life really. He thinks he has gotten "so much worse" but from my perspective, he has stayed the same because he always acted that way.
If you read my previous post, I spoke about how my dad threatens to go into a nursing home whenever I establish boundaries. He threatened it again yesterday, and I took ya'lls advice and said "Ok, if you believe in your heart of hearts that you want to go into a nursing home, then go. I refuse to feel guilty for that."
It's so frustrating because I feel like I have taken on the parental role for my dad for years. He acts like a child now, because he has gotten used to me doing everything. I remember my mother raging before she left us because she was burnt out too, and I feel like I have taken her place. Most daughters in their 20s would have left by now, they would be too busy with their own lives to even worry about their elderly parent. They would maybe show up once a month to check on them or call them. I feel like that's the healthy thing to do.
Instead, I do everything for him, from cooking to cleaning to finances. I have zero support myself. I keep thinking, wow must be nice being able to call on someone whenever you want them to do something for you because I've never had anyone like that in my life. I do believe he acts more helpless than he really is. If I didn't exist or if I wasn't here, he would have to act like a fully functioning adult in order to survive. As long as I'm here, he doesn't have to.
How do you navigate this situation?