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  1. #81
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Crap, I just hijacked my own thread! Oh well, guess it was going to happen eventually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    I do think you need to set some boundaries and make her aware of the things that her sacrifices and volunteering do to affect your own life, and to also make her aware that most people need a LOT of extra help caring for Alzheimer's patients.
    Quote Originally Posted by ergophobe View Post
    I don't know if you've already done this - you could encourage your mom to get some help so she (or you) won't be so burdened by the care for your grandmother. Perhaps if she was less overwhelmed with the care, she'd be less demanding?
    After 14 months of at home care (with me staying at her place 3-5 nights a week), we eventually found a good Alzheimer's assisted living place for grandma. Of course, that was 8 months after I told my mom I was starting to run on empty. She's a nurse very well suited to hands-on care, whereas for me it's very draining and stressful. Also, the lack of sleep 3-5 nights a week was a killer.

    Anyway, I need to quit venting on this. I did eventually tell her, and it helped open up my schedule a bit. However, I'm going to need to do it again and push the boundaries even further, and that's why I'm trying to figure out reasonable expectations. I'll likely need to remove myself physically from the area at some point if I want to grow as a person, and, well... that leads to a turbulent chain of thoughts.

    Fi isn't very good at perspective sometimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaur View Post
    eta: Perhaps she is just terrified of getting alzheimers. Have you considered just trying to assuage the fears that she wouldn't get the care she needs if she does?
    She is definitely terrified... to the point where she won't get the test to see if she has the genetic markers, nor financially prepare herself in case she does need care. So she's basically deferring the responsibility to me down the road, if the situation arises. Considering how much quality care costs, it's disconcerting.

    However, you do have a good idea. The only issue I see is that her definition of quality care doesn't match mine. When I suggested that the home does a very good job, and that she doesn't need someone to visit 6-7 days a week, suddenly she realizes that I'm a bit more heartless than she realized. From my perspective, grandma's about as happy there as she was at my mom's house, and to me that fits within reasonable enough that we deserve a break. Of course, you can see the trouble with sharing that with her...

    Okay - end rant.

  2. #82
    Welcome to Sunnyside Mondo's Avatar
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    udog: You should try to convince your mother to prepare herself financially in case something happens.. that's putting a lot of work on you.
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  3. #83
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mondo View Post
    udog: You should try to convince your mother to prepare herself financially in case something happens.. that's putting a lot of work on you.
    Probably a lost cause - she hasn't listened so far, and she generally doesn't. Around 2002 when home loan interest rates were really, really, low, I calculated approximately how much she would save if she refinanced and payed off all her credit cards with a home equity loan, and she shot me down. Then when her ESTP co-worker and friend suggested it several months later, she went ahead and told me about this great idea her co-worker had, and very shortly afterward went ahead and did it.

    Ultimately, I'm her son, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't find it my place to help her make financial decisions. I do realize there are implications to this attitude as far as my responsibilities for her future. I just haven't figured out where that fits yet in the scheme of things.

  4. #84
    Allergic to Mornings ergophobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post

    Anyway, I need to quit venting on this. I did eventually tell her, and it helped open up my schedule a bit. However, I'm going to need to do it again and push the boundaries even further, and that's why I'm trying to figure out reasonable expectations. I'll likely need to remove myself physically from the area at some point if I want to grow as a person, and, well... that leads to a turbulent chain of thoughts.

    Fi isn't very good at perspective sometimes.

    She is definitely terrified... to the point where she won't get the test to see if she has the genetic markers, nor financially prepare herself in case she does need care. So she's basically deferring the responsibility to me down the road, if the situation arises. Considering how much quality care costs, it's disconcerting.

    However, you do have a good idea. The only issue I see is that her definition of quality care doesn't match mine. When I suggested that the home does a very good job, and that she doesn't need someone to visit 6-7 days a week, suddenly she realizes that I'm a bit more heartless than she realized. From my perspective, grandma's about as happy there as she was at my mom's house, and to me that fits within reasonable enough that we deserve a break. Of course, you can see the trouble with sharing that with her...

    Okay - end rant.
    From your mom's perspective - can't blame her for not getting tested. I don't know if I'd like to know that fate either since it may mar the years ahead before the disease sets in. Sounds really frustrating. Ultimately, we can't make our loved ones do anything. It is her decision to save/not and to get the test done. You can only point out the benefits. You can however make the decision to get your life back on the track you wanted and thus
    a. be happier -- good for you but also puts you in a better position emotionally to help her. When you feel this burned out, it's hard to comfort anyone else. You'll likely just end up locking horns with her regularly without meaning to.
    b. work towards being financially secure so that should she not be able to afford care if she does inherit the disease then you can help out in a very concrete fashion. That's all you can do and it should be okay.

  5. #85
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    Probably a lost cause - she hasn't listened so far, and she generally doesn't. Around 2002 when home loan interest rates were really, really, low, I calculated approximately how much she would save if she refinanced and payed off all her credit cards with a home equity loan, and she shot me down. Then when her ESTP co-worker and friend suggested it several months later, she went ahead and told me about this great idea her co-worker had, and very shortly afterward went ahead and did it.

    Ultimately, I'm her son, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't find it my place to help her make financial decisions. I do realize there are implications to this attitude as far as my responsibilities for her future. I just haven't figured out where that fits yet in the scheme of things.
    She will probably be able to get care through medicare/medicaid, though it will require the loss of all her assets.

    I suggest, if she is reasonably able-bodied, get away and get some distance now while you can. You may resent her terribly later if you don't. The time between when you need their care and when they need your care is the time to build a life for yourself. I have a friend that neglected to do this and now her mother is dead and she is lonely and financially strapped at 39. Not fun.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #86
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    ^^ Gawd, that is a worst case scenario. UDog, Cafe has good advice! Don't let guilt rob you of your freedom or your youth. From the snippets I have heard of your story, I would say you've really met the challenge during a crisis but if there are truly unreasonable demands being made of you for the long haul, you need to do what is right for yourself. And you excercising your independence may actually set an example and create a better backdrop for your family relations moving forward. Once people see that you are not there in the way they were relying on (unreasonably) you may be surprised at how this forces them to adjust in positive and healthy ways.

    And to just plainly answer the OP question in the thread title - I feel you owe your parents respect. And protection. To make sure they are well fed, clothed, safe, comfortable, and well taken care of - hopefully the way they were able (or wanted to) provide for you growing up. Basically returning the favor of their care. I think there are cases where biological parents give up that future right of care, but otherwise ^^.

    I don't think we "owe" our parents or anyone else love - because you can't make someone love you and even if all the right factors are there, some people just don't love their SOs or even family. Ethical reasoning has no effect, it either happens or it doesn't.

    However, most people do love their caretakers and parents, for better or worse, it's the way we were wired.

    And many people love their parents enough and feel enough gratitude (and are mature and aware enough of their own mortality and human shortcomings) that they feel they owe their parents something.

    For me, culturally the idea of filial piety is pretty ingrained in me as is the concept of family obligation and being directly down the line from forebears and ancestors. I don't have a problem with it. I think so often people chafe at the idea of responsbility or obligation or owing anyone anything. It's unfortunate. Because in that obligation is community and connection. And independence is so much and so often an illusion.

    I think from experience and observation though, most healthy adults do not want to be a burden or considered a burden to their children or grandchildren.

    And all in all, I think you can definitely balance a strong family unit and concepts of family obligation with concepts of life stages and personal needs.

    I know even in my own extended family, my mom's side encourages (or just expects) me to do my own thing. They care about me enough to want to see me succeed on my own. And they are also very practical about the hardships that 'obligation' can bring and that sometimes you need to adjust things to be more fair to people involved and more realistic of what people are capable of expending.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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  7. #87
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ergophobe View Post
    From your mom's perspective - can't blame her for not getting tested. I don't know if I'd like to know that fate either since it may mar the years ahead before the disease sets in. Sounds really frustrating. Ultimately, we can't make our loved ones do anything.
    I agree - I almost feel like because I can see how this may play out, I'm responsible to prevent it now that my mom refuses to deal with hit herself. However, I know that I can't force her to prepare for her future. I am just trying to re-wire my views on whether she can force me, as her son, to prepare.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I suggest, if she is reasonably able-bodied, get away and get some distance now while you can. You may resent her terribly later if you don't. The time between when you need their care and when they need your care is the time to build a life for yourself. I have a friend that neglected to do this and now her mother is dead and she is lonely and financially strapped at 39. Not fun.
    Agreed. Thank you for reminding me what I will likely become at 40 if I continue down this path.

    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    And to just plainly answer the OP question in the thread title - I feel you owe your parents respect. And protection. To make sure they are well fed, clothed, safe, comfortable, and well taken care of - hopefully the way they were able (or wanted to) provide for you growing up. Basically returning the favor of their care. I think there are cases where biological parents give up that future right of care, but otherwise ^^.

    For me, culturally the idea of filial piety is pretty ingrained in me as is the concept of family obligation and being directly down the line from forebears and ancestors. I don't have a problem with it. I think so often people chafe at the idea of responsbility or obligation or owing anyone anything. It's unfortunate. Because in that obligation is community and connection. And independence is so much and so often an illusion.

    I think from experience and observation though, most healthy adults do not want to be a burden or considered a burden to their children or grandchildren.
    Thank you for your thoughts. It would make sense that the more freedom and support a parent gives YOU, the more they deserve the same when they get older. A parent that has not provided these things loses some of the ingrained right to these things.

    I guess in the end, a child should protect a parent from the world, but a child will never be able to pretend a parent from themselves.

  8. #88
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    I didn't get a choice in the matter, I can't be held accountable for actions that were not mine. Their decision to have a child was THEIR decision, NOT mine. It's like I don't see how people can be so fanatical over things like religion or their country, if they were converted for a religion or moved countries I understand that to a degree, but just going with the first thing yeu were given before yeu were even born? Why?

    The clear answer is that they get respect they earn, yeu have to earn respect, and it's a lifelong thing, though respect is 'given' technically, so it can be possible to never earn it regardless of whot yeu do. If an individual is biased, yeu may never gain their respect. We are expected to be biased towards our parents and love them unconditionally, even if they were to beat us to an inch of our lives, rape us, torture us, berate us, and do horrible other things... but yeu are supposed to love yeur parents because they're yeur parents.

    I've since lost all respect for mine; they felt no need or desire to maintain any respect, and they lost it of their own accord. They had many opportunities to earn it back, they didn't bother to try for it. Yeu reap whot yeu sew.

    If they love yeu and care, then they deserve to be shown compassion later on. If they made yeur life a living hell just because they COULD, and not because they were trying to help, and I do mean not just "whaa mommy didn't give me $6000 worth of designers clothing I was going to throw out next week ;_; " but moreso just that they seriously didn't care if yeu lived or died, then at that point, why does society still expect yeu to respect them when they have done things that would disgust even some of the worst criminals out there?

    There are children out there whom have had to be "raised" by parents that were either never there, drunk, abusive, or just cruel in so many ways, and really, can yeu honestly consider that childrearing anymore, and actually expect to get a reward for that?

    In short, people think yeu should be grateful to yeur parents simply because they're yeur parents. Afraid not; if yeu want to be unbiased and objective, they suffer the same fate as everyone else, they have to proove they deserve it. If they don't want to earn it, then they won't get anything out of it. Or at the very least they SHOULDN'T, and yet still so many do because often people will forgive them for any atrocities committed simply due to blood ties... kind of sad that they can always count on someone to love them no matter how much malice they may hold to that individual.

    Even more sad that it's encouraged. If yeu're in an abusive relationship as an adult, yeu're encouraged to run like hell. If yeu're in one as a child? Well unless child services drops by, yeu're screwed because it's expected for yeu to endure it as a good child.

  9. #89
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Hmm, according respect does not mean that you need to be involved with someone who is dangerous, manipulative, or destructive. It means that you are grateful that you were given life.

    The problem I see with the approach you are suggesting is that your parents are still haunting you whether or not you respect them or choose to ever see them again. After they are dead, they are still a problem to you if you cannot find a way to deal with what they did to you and let go of it (for your sake, even if it isn't for theirs!). That is not to say that what you experienced doesn't matter, wasn't wrong, or that in some cases your parents do not need to be dealt with appropriately.

    However, if you can understand what it was that they themselves lacked/had happen to them that would have made them act this way, it helps you to let go of it better so that what you experienced does not have to poison the remainder of your life as well. As it stands, they have been given way more power over you than they deserve. Of course their deficits do not excuse terrible behaviour and there still is a need for accountability. However, nothing you could ever do to them will make up for what happened growing up. You can't get your childhood back. You can't make theirs just as bad. So then it leaves you with deciding what redeeming factors you can take away from it (empathy for others, advocating for children's safety, etc) so you can move on.

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