If you have been working your entire life, enjoying some time for yourself is something we most certainly look forward to. But, how can you enjoy a stable and secure solo life when your older siblings and your entire family rely on you for financial support? Then right after you decide to follow your dream, you learned that parent got sick. How can you care while not denying your feelings?
Your brother got married and already have 4 kids but is still unemployed. On the other side of the coin, you complain about this to your parents but your mother accused you of being greedy, selfish, and unhelpful. Also, every time they need anything, the only person they can think of asking is you.
You wanted to pursue what you want but your parents are also against it because that would mean you can’t support them anymore. Though this situation looks harmless on the exterior, there is a devastating kind of strain on the relationship between parent and child. This relationship strain, if prolonged and added with an unpleasant experience each time, can easily lead to hateful and toxic relationships that can last for both the parents and the child’s lifetime.
Fast forward to 5 years later. You are already settled in a different town and it seemed like you turned over a new leaf. You cut ties with your family for a while to start on your own but you were greeted with a devastating news one morning. Your mother had Alzheimer’s and your other siblings don’t want to take care of her. Since your father already passed away, it’s just you whom she can count on now. What will you do? Are you ready to forgive? Will you fall into the same toxic pattern as before?
You don’t have to. The good news is you can still show your love and care to your ailing mother while also keeping your boundaries.
Seek the Help of a Professional
It’s not a mortal sin to find somebody more capable to take care of your ailing parent if you’re not mentally and emotionally prepared to deal with a toxic past with them.
By finding a home care agency to look after her, you are actually showing love and care. It may not be the same love and care other’s standards would dictate but it’s the best you can do, at your condition. Stand up for your decision and if your relatives or your siblings demand that you do more, let them do their share. Maybe it’s time for them to also step up.
Know When to Say Goodbye
The sad thing about kids who had a bad or unhappy childhood is they have more tendencies of turning into abusers themselves. If you think that you’re still not ready to do the caring by yourself, look for back-up. It’s difficult to face a damaging situation and start the abuse cycle all over again. If it’s not healthy for you then step out and look for somebody else to take care of your parent, permanently or temporarily.
If You Need the Help of a Counselor, Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
If you also feel that you are also showing the patterns of an abuser, then it’s time to seek help. Also, if you feel like you’re drowning in your abusive past, seek help. It’s important that you get to deal with your own feelings and thoughts through counseling.
Toolkit to help you:
We all have stories to tell with the meaningful relationships we keep. Our families may have contributed a lot to these stories and they may not always be pleasant. Most children of abusive families end up resentful towards their parents in their entire life but they don’t have a way of dealing with their emotions. Most often than not, they don’t realize that they also developed these toxic patterns and apply the same to their own kids. These are sad stories to hear but it doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it. Seek help today and save more lives and relationships.
For more suport, visit CareGiver Forum and feel more connection with people having the same experiences.