Author Topic: taking care of our parents  (Read 6324 times)

Robyn

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taking care of our parents
« on: August 16, 2007, 10:33:15 AM »
Hi there, this is my first post on this bored however I have posted my story on the main bored.
I lost my 34 year old sister on March 16 2007-5 months ago today.
She became suddenly ill in the last month of her pregnancy and within 8 hours her and the baby were both gone.  The medical information is still kind of grey to me, I know it was DIC but that is about it.
When we were in the hospital waiting to see if she would recover I was hysterical.  Hyperventalating, sobbing, wanting to puke a complete mess.  When the doctor came to tell us she was gone a had a few more tears and then became very, very calm.  We brought my mom to my house, I told my little girls that they had lost yet another person they loved and began the phone calls to family and friends.  Because of the suddenness the reactions I got from people were awful.  Everyone thought I was calling so late to tell them that Mel had, had the baby-when I told them what had happen I was called a liar to F-off...you name it they said it.  My husband, brother in-law and I planned the funneral without my mom as she was in no state to be any part of it.

Since that day in the hospital I have not cried around my mom.  My dad passed 7 months before my sister and I am all my mom has left. I feel the need to be strong for her, I know that as bad as this is for me it is so much worse for her.  I have my moments by myself or with my husband.  Now my mom believes that I am not sad about my sister because I don't let it show around her.
While we were a very close family truth be told my mom and sister were much closer than me and my mom.  I try so hard to give advice, be silent and let her talk, inclued her in everything I do but it never seems to be enough.  what have some of you done to help console your parents?

Thanks for listening,
Robyn

Coco

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Re: taking care of our parents
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2007, 11:23:21 AM »
Robyn,

I  often wonder the same thing.  Love my brother is my story.  I guess the most important thing to do for our parents his be in constant contact so they do not feel so alone.  Including them is great I also may suggesta support group for parents who have lost their children.  My husband often says why do you speak to you dad so much, it does get overwhelming but I want to and the reality it makes me feel less alone.

I am glad you came on line...

Be Strong.

Coco

Lonnie

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Re: taking care of our parents
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2007, 01:11:51 PM »
Hi Robyn: I am also caring for my widowed mom, though at the moment she is still trying to live in their house. She is an insulin dependent diabetic who goes low unexpectedly, and sometimes falls as well. In the beginning, I took on the burden of keeping her alive and well everyday, and then realized that I was killing myself with worry. I had to trust God and do the best I could. I knew I could never take my dad's place, and I finally came to terms with that. It has been so difficult at times, and my mom has moods as well. Sometimes she gets very depressed and withdrawn. Other times she is better. I guess the thing that I learned through counseling that helped me the most was: I am not responsible for my mom's happiness. I cannot make her happy. I also cannot give her immortality (as much as I would like to). And so, I have dealt with the pressures of all this, by finding things to soothe me, and nurturing myself once in awhile, spending as much time as I can with her-doing our errands, but also some "fun" things, and trying to find a balance in all this. It is so hard to leave her alone some nights, but all in all she has amazed me. Please remember that it is so early yet in your family's grief. You are probably still in shock. Perhaps in time, things will feel a little less intense, and she will be more open to your unselfish gift of the loving care that you are giving her. You cannot be your sister, and you don't need to be. You are a wonderful, loving lady in your own right! What you are doing shows how much you care, and it is a huge adjustment. Many Hugs-Lonnie

jazzgirl

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Re: taking care of our parents
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2007, 08:38:17 PM »
I was like that too when my brother 1st died. I was there for my parents and sister and the rest of the family. I didn't even cry at his funeral. I actually had a really good time. I felt like God lifted me up for my family. It sounds like that is what is happening with you. I can tell you that the 2nd year for me was harder than the 1st. I think the 1st year was just trying to be a rock for my parents. I just do a lot of listening with them. They go to a suicide group session 1x a month. It seems to help out a lot. Lots of hugs are good too. I just squeeze them that much tighter when being around them also. Bringing my kids around too seems to help. Kids seem to lighten the mood a little. I've had to be there a lot for my parents too b/c they have had to fight a battle for a long time to try and see my brothers oldest child. It has just been so hard on them emotionally. All you can do is just keep the lines of communication open and continue including her in your plans. Good luck with everything and your family is in my prayers.

Jazzgirl

sweetpea

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Re: taking care of our parents
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2007, 12:18:36 AM »
Hello All, Lonnie I know I posted on another board' Sibling loss, and I loss my brother, that I was going to take time for myself and try to grieve. But my family just won't let me!!!!!!!!! Yesterday morning my Mother who has been quite distant to my surving sister and myself, called me with the news 6 days after my brother's service that she was being evicted!!!!!!! in 6 Hours..... She had been so secretive about moving to my sister and me, when ever we questioned her she just acted like we didn't even exits, we heard bits and pieces through other people that she had plans on moving. Lonnie I am at my breaking point!!!!! I have always been there for my mother!!!!! and yet she treats me like I am nothing she doesn't even say thanks. After she called me yesterday I told her why didn't she let my sister and I know that she was planning to move? and she said nothing!!! but now that her back was against the wall she comes running to me for help, because she could not get her furniture out before the landlord locked her out. I had to call a moving company to move her things out at a moments notice!!!! mind you I am on disability, and she knows this. I feel like the the part that Don Cheadle played in the movie CRASH the police officer son who did every thing he could for his mother, and she praised her  other son, the worthless thug  for everything that Don Cheadle did. I just don't understand her!!!! the more I do for my Mother the more she takes from me!!!!! I forgot to mention my step-brother who I am 22 years older than who is so worthless it is unspeakable, he did not even attend my and his brother's furneral!!!!!!! and didn't lift a finger to help my mother move but yet sleeps in her house and eats her food!!!!! he is a 33 year old man. Lonnie please give me some advice I am falling apart. I didn't think I was going to make it through my brother's services, and everything else that came with my Mother's family. and now this, is it ever going to stop ???? my baby sister is so angry at my mother and brother for what they have done to me.  I just need some peace of mind and rest, if I couldn't vent here I don't know what I would do.     >:( sweetpea

Lonnie

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Re: taking care of our parents
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2007, 01:28:10 AM »
Sweetpea: You really need a "Bless Your Heart" first of all.  :) I have been trying to think what I could say to help you with this situation, but I know I tend (like you) to take on way more than I should also, and end up feeling sick.  So I in no way pretend to know the answers, but I will give it a shot, okay? We have had a discussion before on one of the threads about the fact that some people are givers (you) and some people are takers (your mom and her family), and the more we give, the more they take it seems. It is a good thing to honor our parents, but not to the point where they disrupt our lives and drive us insane. There have to be some boundaries in the relationship. It is not right to use someone for your own gain, and yet not acknowledge them unless you need something from them. If it were me, personally, I think I would just have to sit down with her and put it all on the table. Being honest is so difficult, but it is necessary in order for you to keep your sanity. I think it would be wise to decide what you are willing to do for her, and what you can't. This means financially and emotionally. If you are on disability, you likely have little money to spare, and are probably living sparsely as it is. Let her know that you have reached your limitations. You didn't say where she would be living, but if it is with you at the moment, she will need a deadline for how long she can stay. I think I can read between the lines in your post that a living arrangement together will not work for you. You don't need any more frustration or stress right now. It seems that she expects an awful lot from you, when she was not there so many times when you needed her. The purpose of the talk is not to hurt her, but to share with her honestly your feelings and your pain. She is an adult and should act like one. Not calling you until 6 hours before needing to move out was inexcusable, and it sounds like she expected you to rescue her from a disaster of her own making. I cannot know what your life experience has been with your mom (other than what you have shared), but I do think you have to decide how much you are willing to do. Right now, you have had to handle arrangements for your brother's funeral, and have had no time to mourn. You have been through a huge amount of stress already from your brother's illness and your mother's side of the family. If they are so sure they know so much, why don't they try and help your mom? (Not likely, I suspect.)
I can only tell you that in my own life, I have overextended myself countless times, and am finally having to learn to say "no." A situation we have had with our adopted daughter, who is 18, became so stressful that we finally had to ask her to move out, because we could not take anymore. As you know, I am caring for my widowed mom, and life is really, really hard right now. I felt like I would have a heart attack or worse if things continued as they were. My health has not been not good. So I had to finally do what was right for me for a change. I have a difficult time with guilt and learning to protect myself. I think we all do. So, my advice would be to talk it out with her. State clearly what you are willing to do and what you are not. Tell her that you love her unconditionally, but you have to take care of yourself as well. Remind her of your financial limitations, and your emotional state. It will be difficult, I am sure. When it comes to my mom, I have a very difficult time with trying to please her at all times, and not standing up for my own needs. So I guess only you can decide how much more you can take. If you could spend a little time getting some sleep, and then get your thoughts together and approach her in a logical, calm way, you will feel better about whatever you decide to do. I have to do this with my daughter as she can certainly unnerve me at times. My mom also!
I don't know if any of this helped, but I hope you found something in this to give you some inspiration, or to clarify your thinking. Take what agrees with your own thoughts, and use what you can. I am so sorry that you are going through all this. Let me know how you are. Love and Prayers, Lonnie

Coco

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Re: taking care of our parents
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2007, 09:59:32 AM »
Hello I am sorry for your loss and I know how hard it is to see our parents suffer.  I am the youngest of three and my brother the olderst passed awaa little over a year ago.  My dad is a widow and is so lost without him they both lived in Florida.  My dad is really searching now for his place he relied on my brother to basically give him a life.  He often calls 2-3 times a day.  I have begun to realize that his needs may be to big for me to handle I have to save my energy for my self, my husband and my job so sometimes I just left the voice mail pick of the phone.  We owe it to ourselves to keep ourselves healthy and alive and give to our parents when we can.

sweetpea

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Re: taking care of our parents
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2007, 06:44:38 PM »
Hello Lonnie. I know what you are telling me is the right thing to do, believe it or not I am the "Strong One" in my family and I think that's the problem. Everybody leans on and needs me. There is nobody for me to lean on and for me to need, Except my Wonderful Husband of 33 years and my 3 Beautiful grown sons, they are my heaven. My sons have never been in any kind of trouble have the most thoughtful manners you have ever heard, the eldest two who are both married with children are always there for me, even though they both live out of state, when ever I need them they are here . My youngest who is 22 works, and goes to school still lives at home no children. they are such wonderful young men My husband and I couldn't have wished for anything more. I have always been a loving soul, my Mother just takes advantage of me and she knows it, and I am aware of it also. I guess I just can't bring myself to see her in the streets, even though she abandoned me and my brother and sister's we were young. She is still my Mother I have told her she has nobody to depend on monetarly wise but me, and she agrees and yet she still pulls these stunts. I believe she thinks that, because I live in the suburbs, and my husband works for the goverment and we aren't doing bad,  she thinks I have money lying around. I was a Gourmet Chef until I had a total right knee replaced, and had 4 vertibrates in my back messed up, and I had  back surgery. The last 5 years I have been through physical and mental hell with 3  1/2 years straight physical theraphy The doctors never thought I would ever be able to walk. But by the grace of God I persevered. I was never so crushed when I came home from the hospital after my knee replacement, and for a whole year my mother never set foot in my House!!!!!!!  >:( >:(  I know that everything you are saying is right, believe me I am not a  dense woman. My mother know's I am a mother's child and I will not see her suffer. That is my weakness. My sister says God surely has a place for me in heaven for all the pain that I have endured from our Mother. I have told my mother that I am not her personal banker, and that my sister and I are here to help her and not hurt her, we just want her to be happy and enjoy her last days in peace, she just doesn't seem to get it. I have made up my mind that I am going to have another talk with her and let her know that she just takes advantage of me because she knows I have credit cards, money in the bank, etc. They are for me to enjoy my days that I worked all my life for. Not for her to use and keep her money!!!!! she gets 2 checks a month!!!!! she doesn't  know I Know this. I am her power of attorney. She will not come to live me. I would never get any peace. I am  going to keep my distance, after we have our sit down talk, my sister  and myself. I am going on a vacation, my husband says after all I have been through he is taking me away, whether I want to or not....smile so just keep praying for me and I'll keep you close to my heart and in my thoughts and in my prayers, we all need Hugs today...and tommorrow :D :D Sweetpea
« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 06:49:14 PM by sweetpea »

Lonnie

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Re: taking care of our parents
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2007, 08:43:52 PM »
Terrific Sweetpea!!! Some time away would be so good for you! I like your husband's idea!  ;D  It may be the only way to get any peace, right? Let me know how you are! Love, Lonnie