Reply with quote #1
I am so taken over with anxiety and frustration. My mom has visited the Dr numerous times for chest pain and they never find anything wrong. She is constantly complaining of some ailment everyday. I am to the point now where it is going to have to be pretty darn serious for me to waste anymore time at the hosp. My marriage is suffering terribly. My husband is at wits end because he feels that my parents are way to dependent on us for everything. we have decided that we will be moving to the west coast at the end of the year. I cant wait to get away from all of this, I need my life back. I do love my parents but I do not like them. They always act like the world owes them something and have accepted just being dirt poor. As much as I wonder what will happen when we move, I m so damn excited to get away from all of this negativity. I have been doing this for ten yrs now with no help from my brother and we have nothing more now then we did then. We both have great jobs and we deserve to not have the life sucked out of us. Yes they are both in their late 60's and have their fair share of health problems..all controlled with meds, but it is all from yrs and yrs of abusing their bodies with alcohol and smoking. I'm so done with the feel sorry for me and what are we going to do without you guys and the kids here.....I have been suckered in and made to feel guilty my whole life by their actions and now I'm ready to walk away from this toxic family of mine. Ill be 33 this summer I have a great husband and two wonderful boys to worry about..and if I stay any longer I feel like I'm going to crack. Please help!!!!!!!!!!
Reply with quote #2
You are well on your way to getting out of the situation! If you move far away, you won't have to be there for all the trips to the hospital. In fact, they will probably not make them anymore since you won't be there to cart them to the hospital.
When you move, you may want to not answer any calls that they make to you until well at the end of the day. If you get another false emergency call, ignore it, and follow up at the end of the evening or the next day. Or, you can ignore it for a couple of days, and say that your family was away. I really think physical distance from dependent parents is one of the best solutions to them sucking the lifeblood out of you. You are still young, and your children are too. They should be the priority. I understand your frustration with your parents not taking care of themselves. My parents are both obese, and my Mom is morbidly obese. She can barely get out of a chair. How can I help someone who I can't even assist in and out of a car without killing myself? When it comes time for someone to drive them places, they will have to rely on someone else. It is our responsibility to take good care of OURSELVES, so we won't be a burden to others as we grow older.
Reply with quote #3
Hi Insane, My dad was also a hypochondriac from an early age. (in his 30's) I grew up with my dad going from one doctor to another for various "illnesses" As a child, I believed my dad was very ill and I was always afraid that he might die any minute and he played on that fear! If I disappointed my dad in the least, he would begin to have chest pains and I would be scared to death that he'd die leaving me to care for my mentally ill, substance abusing mother. When I married in 1973, his hypochondria escalated and he became even more needy. I have no doubt that my dad's constant doctor visits and all the drugs that he has taken has lead to his frail health now. (he has been on prednisone since the early 1960's!) I would have to also admit that this also caused a lot of trouble in my marriage. My husband would try to make me realize that my dad was controlling me with guilt, but I'd get mad a my husband for insinuating that my dad was less than the saint than I believed him to be. My dad even called us home from the few vacations that we took with his various fake illnesses! My hubby stayed with me, but I will never know how he managed to put up with my dysfunctional family! My eyes were not opened to this fact until about 10 years ago and it has been a real awakening! I am glad you a moving away! I only wish my hubby and I had done the same thing. Oh, my dad would have grabbed his heart and feigned imminent death from a heart attack, but guess what he is now 79 and still has not had a heart attack! for the west coast and don't look back or you will find yourself living a life of servitude like I have! Don't feel guilty! Please enjoy your life with your husband and children! Run as fast as you can ~OK~
Reply with quote #4
insane, hang inthere, the year is fling by and you will be on the west coast before you know it. there is a lot to do between now and then. as long as your mom has checked out physically, with no life threatening problems, then step back and let her learn to get backup care in place now, before you go. also heartburn can mimic heart attacks enough to send people to er. so can panic attacks. i don't prescribe meds as i have no training, wish i did, but has she been evaluated for depression, anxiety or acid reflux? they are too young to be so needy, and you are too young to be raising them. enjoy your family now, build your lives and future, plan for your old age and don't step in sooner than you have too. also, it will give your brother time to grow up and learn what will be expected of him in the future. good luck and come here anytime. we are here for each other and care.
Reply with quote #5
all this hypochondria reminds me of fred sanford on 'sanford and son!'how did his tv son, lamont, handle it???!!! i always thought he was a cold son but i was young then!
Reply with quote #6
Billie Joe ,
Yes, she has been evaluated for depression, anxiety & acid reflux, and has all of the above. They put her on 60mg of cymbalta & prilosec otc. Thank you, it helps to be reaasured that i am doing the right thing. The sanford and son thing is funny!!!
Reply with quote #7
I've often referred to my dad as "Fred Sanford" behind his back! My husband has another name for him. (It starts with an A and ends with a hole!) My dad was always clutching his chest and staggering about when I was a teenager and I never did anything wrong! There was a lot of stuff I wanted to do, but feared my dad would die if I did! If I got a B instead of an A, I knew he'd go into cardia arrest! You should have seen him the night hubby and I eloped! Hubby and I told my dad that we were married, my dad clutched his heart, staggered about and made dire threats and predictions about our marriage. Somehow, I mustered the courage to just walk out the door! (Where did that courageous woman go!) Insane,...I beseech of thee......RUN before it's too late!!!!!!!!!!! I am 54 years old and I am still tending to daddy and pulling out my gray hairs! Wecome to the group and please keep venting here! ~OK~
Reply with quote #8
Thank you sooooooo much. The next 7 months cant go fast enough believe me. mentally Im already packed and on the road. Im so excited to start OUR OWN LIFE!!! Im just trying to take things day by day right now. I have been reading alot of information on how to let go without guilt. im not sure if it will be as easy as it sounds but im willing to find out.lol The only way that im going to heal myself is tooooooooooo ruuuuuuuuunnnnnnn!! Many of times i have often considered cutting all ties with everyone here. Time will tell as far as that goes.
Reply with quote #9
Good for you! I think that's a wonderful plan. And, reading this, I cannot help thinking of helpful advice I received years back: I cannot be responsible for the choices my parents made. That was their choice. I would not have made those choices, but they did. And, some of them were really bad choices, especially my father and his life cut short by cigarettes and alcohol and all the health problems associated with this. And, yes, horrible, to have to be pawn to their years of substance abuse. I bet they are still doing it too? If they are, their behavior will only get worse over time. Run, run, run, and seven months will go by fast. And, really, by your leaving, that will probably the last and only chance they will get to take a look themselves and, maybe, shape up.
Reply with quote #10
Hello Insane (haha!) welcome to the board. Wow you are so young - 33. Your parents too. Way too young for them to start acting like old folk!! I say -- go ahead and lead your life, be with your family. Because you know what, whether you are close or far, they are going to have the same problems. My brother and his wife live 900 miles from my Mom. THEY ARE THE LUCKY ONES
and the smart ones. His wife's mother is in her 80's and has health issues as well. So they are both far, far, away from all that. Sometimes it is about the only way to lead a life -- plus -- it forces the elderlies to NOT DEPEND on their adult children to solve all their problems -- they have to figure it out on their own. Tired Daughter is right, without you at their beck and call, I bet their endless requests and needs suddenly dwindle!
Hang in there, good luck over the next few months. Do not crack! It is so not worth it!!! Stay sane.
Reply with quote #11
Well..I cant believe it. My parents sold their vehicle. I was like WHAT IN THE BLUE He** did you do that for??? I am not going to be transporting them around town everyday, Ill tell ya that. I told you guys they are manipulative and crazy. Its just another one of their tactics to try to keep me around.. not going to work though. Unbelievable. I asked him if he needed money and he said that he didnt have to tell me why he did the things he did, he is aan adult. I said well then maybe you should start acting like one, buck up ..because i wasnt put on this earth by choice and its not my responsbility to keep catching the slack, I have my own family and life to live. If they think for one minute that im going to continue to fell sorry for the dumb things they do and not move awy, they are sadly mistaken. my mother thats a whole different issue.. I told her yesterday that I was so happy that all her tests came back negative, and she freaked out.. Shes goes well I guess I was just making it all up huh?.. I said no, but u should be happy that theres nothing major wrong. She goes whatever, I guess im just stupid huh? ...I didint answer that one...lol I just left. How do I handle such manipulative parents? See this is exactly why I really dont want much to do with them once we move away. As far as my brother goes, he only lives 20 min aways so he will have to do more. He wont though, he just uses them for a babysitter every now and again. Please Help me.....I have one foot in the crazy house..im so stressed out
Reply with quote #12
weeeellllll.... "Insane" ..... here is my gut feeling:
Your mother definitely wants something major to be wrong with her. That gets her sympathy and all that yada yada.
So: stop talking to her about her health. Don't try to tell her there is nothing wrong. Also, do not listen to her moans and complaints about this or that. Walk away or ignore or .... Do what you need to do in the situation, but just don't interact with her on any topic about her health. She will drop it eventually (or not).
Selling the car: yes they can sell the car if they want to. Yes, they can make their own decisions. Even dumb ones. Remember: they are really NOT THAT OLD!!!! So don't even comment on these decisions. BUT YES --- your life will NOT be affected by their decisions. Understand? No, you will NOT be driving them all around now. When they ask for a ride, ask them why they sold the car? DO NOT WAVER on this. Do not start kicking in. That is an order!! (lol).
Stay strong.... this message board is a wonderful support system for learning how to set boundaries, STICK TO THE BOUNDARIES, and not feel guilty! That last part is the hardest though. So lean on us, whenever you need a reminder or rahrah speech!
Hang in there --- remember: no discussion about her health, and no discussion about their decisions. They are allowed to do whatever they like. It just won't affect YOUR life, that's all.
Reply with quote #13
Good for you for feeling the way you do and realizing that you have nothing to feel guilty about. (I know - getting to the point where you DON'T feel guilty is hard, but at least you realize you shouldn't.) You are so young and deserve to have this time for your husband and kids and your marriage. Your parents are too young to be demanding so much of your time and attention and THOUGHTS. You're right - I think that part of ourselves gets sucked away when others demand more of us than we can give away. Your instincts are correct to get away. You are on adrenaline mode - the fight or flight response. Your parents grew up and took care of themselves to the degree that they wished - if it was poverty level, perhaps that's what they were content with. And then they raised kids, so they are capable of being independent - they've just somehow gotten into the mode of thinking that they want to relax now and have someone else take care of THEM. This entitlement is not fair at all, especially when they are relatively young and the medical tests are showing negative for serious concerns. I began - at age 40 - when my kids were young, too - taking care of my parents for one reason or another. My mother just assumed it was not much to ask of me - and actually refused outside help even when I pleaded and cried and told her I had too much on my shoulders. I actually felt guilty and thought I should be the perfect daughter - I didn't have the community of support then that I've found here - so I thought I was the one in the wrong - as my mother did. So, I DIDN'T run away or stand up for myself. I caved in, although made little inroads now and then by FINALLY getting some health aids in for my father who had Dementia. But every inroad took such a toll on me and actually damaged my relationship with my mother. She's 90 now - this can actually last for decades if you let it. I've always wondered why we - the caregivers - can't just say to our parents, "Mom or Dad, this is too much for me. I'm taking care of you as if you are my children and I deserve to have a life and raise my own children and have my relationship with my husband." And why doesn't the parent say, "Oh, dear, I'm so sorry. I didn't realize how much I was asking of you in time and worry." It doesn't seem to happen - or maybe those caregivers who have luck with that never look for this board. You just have to believe in yourself and stop getting rattled. That's also a result of the manipulation and button pushing your mother has always done. She pushes buttons and either she gets her way or sees that it takes so much out of you to resist that she's won, anyway. I should have learned this 20 years ago, but it took me to get to the age of 59 and have health problems to know I am entitled to have a life of my own. You are right, Insane - you deserve your own life. When you move away, your parents will realize that the button pushing failed and they will get stronger and it might be the best thing to happen to them - and it also will improve your relationship with them.
Reply with quote #14
I haven't posted in awhile, but this post drew me in. My n-mom is a terminal hypochondriac. When I was a teenager, she "took to her bed" for the winter months. Now she visits doctors two or three times a week, cost of no concern. She's repeatedly misdiagnosed herself as having cancer. Each year she has multiple expensive medical test procedures - all negative. Her medical issues consume a great deal of time and monopolize conversations. Yet she is extremely healthy, except for her pervasive narcissism and self-involvement. My family is well-instructed to take mom's health issues seriously as we go through another ambulance, emergency room, and overnight hospitalization fire drill, when she dramatically acts out symptoms that can't be detected by medical equipment. My dad grumbles about n-mom, but they are a united front in regards to their expectations of their children's full attention when mom goes through her medical crisis episodes.
"Insane", I recommend that you move away, and enjoy your life with your own family, without guilt about your parents' needs. I suspect that once you're out of "target range", they'll belatedly develop adequate coping skills to manage their needs for at least another decade. They're too young to insist that they need you to caregive them. Hurry!
Reply with quote #15
My mother passes away when I was young, but my grandmother took over-and she is a controlling, manipulative victim. I didn't understand this before, because my mother was normal and also protected me from my grandma. Anyway, my grandmother is now 90 years old. She has been obese since I can remember. She has diabetes and high blood pressure and that is it! Believe it or not- she has abused her body all her life and at 90 is still very healthy. BUT.... she has been dying since I can remember. She doesn't exist unless somebody is starring at her in the face. Since she has drove away about everyone she has ever known, she is alone. Very alone. So, he only way to get attention (or in her eyes- be alive) is to cry wolf. She has done it over and over to me for years. I woke up about 5 years ago and started setting big ole boundaries-meaning I really didn't even talk to her for a few years- because I ended up in a huge health crisis at too young of age. It was the stress, guilt and shame. So, I choose my mental and physical health over her. I know it sounds selfish, but it had to be. My point is, She is elderly and plays the dying game with me, while I am actually physically in jeopardy. They will play these game as long as we let them. If we set boundaries and stick to them there is nothing they can do. They WILL try, but it is up to us to reinforce our boundaries so that they will not take advantage of our good nature. Last visit with grandma, she was gently telling me how she wishes my mom were still alive- she needs somebody to help take care of her. Even though she said these words gently, the were screaming loud to me. It is called passive aggressive. I just looked at her and said ,"oh yeah, I bet it's hard." That was it. I didn't let her get to me. It bothered me that she tried, but I saw it plain and clear- control, guilt, shame. People like your parents and my grandma will NEVER be happy. NEVER. No matter what you do. So, if you are always going to be wrong in their eyes, why not be wrong and happy??????? They are adults making there own choices- and you should too.