Im physically Ill over family problems

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Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Age: 45
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Location: North of Atlanta, South of Boston, East of the Mississippi, and West of the Atlantic

19 Feb 2008, 3:14 pm

ok, Ill try to make the back ground on this as simple and understandable as possible.
I have 2 living sisters. Im the only one not married and still at home (and has no kids) mom has been ill and in and out of the hospital for the last 7 months, give or take a week or two. When she has been at home it has fallen on family to care for her. She requires assistance. My dad and I have not always gotten along. I work 2 jobs, one requires my absense from the house for 24 hours at a time. He was fussing about my part time job long before mom fell ill. At the time of her first return home, we were told she wold be okay in several weeks, not months. At that time, I was giving one day a week to assist her. My oldest sister (lives 12 hours away) came for a couple weeks to help, I took off a week to help, and my youngest sister had just had a baby and couldnt help at all. At that time I promised one day a week to help. This was assuming she would be up and about by the new year, well after some servere complications she is back to square one.
I was offered a promotion at my part time job (and I need the money) if I could work more of the days I have off. Mom told me not to worry about anything and accept it. I did. All this time Ive been keeping up the house, picking up after my dad, feeding the animals and so on. My dad has told everyone in the family that I "wont help him" and that I "dont do anything" because I cant give the one day a week on the days that he wants. He has a sitter 3 days a week now and some half days. Im exausted to say the least and he thinks that all the house work Im doing "takes no effort" and essecantally doesnt count towards helping the family. and continues to fuss if I cant give teh specific days that he wants. I have to work wht Im scheduled and so forth. I also have a boyfriend for the first time in years and because he works alot I try to spend my evenings with him when ever possible. I was told by my preacher I should let him know about all the fighting at home and talk to him, because that is what couples do. I was reluctant because a former b/f left me after I told him about the same. SO, after much internal debate I did.
Here is the problem:
My sisters say Im not doing enough because thats what dad says.
Ive tried to talk to dad (even written him a letter) and we just end up screaming at each other I told him I was on the way to the funny farm if he didnt cut me some slack, he said he'd visit me on weekends. (he thought that was funny) he also doesnt understand why Im stressed. (working 2 jobs, trying to make a relationship work, and keeping up with the house is a lot alonw with out his attitude)
one sister said I needed to tell the b/f I cant spend time with him because of Mom and if he couldnt handle me putting family first then that was tough (for who I dont know) Mom disagreed here.
I dont invite him over because Im only allowed to watch rated PG movies at the house and I dont want him and my dad getting into a conforntation when dad starts fussing about what ever at me. Plus its akward to have him over with mom like she is right now plus I cant be at the house with out doing chores, again, counter productive to spending time with him.
Last night he (b/f) told me he didnt understand how ever since he's known me all I do is argue with my family. That scared me because I dont want talking to him about stuff mess up what we have got going. then again not talking to him means that I cant be open and honest about whats bothering me when he askes whats wrong
I miss the times when dad and I got along.
I try to avoid dad as much as possible, but I cant
the stress is causing me problems at work
Im literally so stressed I am physically Ill. My hair is thinning, Im sick on the stomach and so forth. Plus Im so upset all the time Im crying alot. I dont do that.
Mom said not to tell the b/f anythingelse or he might leave me adn she couldnt blame him if all i did was complain (I dont complain all the time I just told him some of the stuff)
She said I was helping alot, but she saw things more that I could do house work wise. (wiping out the sink, dusting etc) I have been doing a much of the small detail work as I can but cant get to it all.
No one else sitting with her is dong the heavy chores (trash out, laundry, dishes, etc) when my sister sits with her she might clean off the table or fold the towels I washed but thats about it. the older sister is at her house, but when she was here she did cook and freeze lots of dinners for mom and dad to have.
I need a break desprately. everyone said Im blowing it out of porportion, but even the b/f said he thought they were asking too much.
dad wants me to quit my second job. I cant really afford to.
I wrote him (dad) a letter, but all he has decided to do is ignore me unless he "has to speak". That hasnt solved anything.
I have been on a guilt trip from hell for weeks over this. and dad has to have surgery when mom is better and already is planning my time.
HELP!! !! !
Am I as selfish as my sisters think I am for wanting to have my life?
Why cant I deal with this? (my sisters are nice and cozy in their own houses, they arent living with this I think thats my problem) I cant afford a place on my own unless I work more, then I cant help at all. (GUILT)
Im at my wits end here.
Any suggestions would be helpful.
I really want to be happy, and want to keep my jobs and b/f, etc. im on teh verge of loosing all of it including my mind.
oh and mom's suggestion is valium. I dont want any meds! (some meds could get me sent home from my job)


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Joined: 30 Jul 2007
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19 Feb 2008, 3:33 pm

maybe sit down with your sisters and their husbands, discuss how you should divide the responsibilities to help your mom. agree on who should do what.

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19 Feb 2008, 5:19 pm

I am sorry to hear that you are going through all this. It sounds like your family is taking you for granted, and not giving a damn about your life. I find it unfair that they are able to continue their current lifestyles, but are expecting you to make huge changes to yours. Can people chip in the monetary expense of hiring a person to do the cleaning, at least? That would solve a lot of the problem, since you mention that its hard to keep up with the heavy stuff.

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19 Feb 2008, 7:14 pm

I understand as I have been through this. A lot depends on your parents age, mobility, living situation and mental conditions; financial and medical resources and since you did not mention any thing I am just going to throw out some of what I know.

You are a care giver and therefore are under a extremely stressful situation. There can be some solutions.

First, tell your boyfriend, If he is a man worth anything he will not leave and it will help him understand you. If he did leave then he certainly is not the kind of partner you want in your life and it would end sometime or an other.

If you can afford it get a housekeeper one or two days a week to help - or even hire a high school person a few hours a week to do bathrooms, floors, vacum, dust etc.

There are senior services available - look around your area - you can get relief help, ideas and referals. Talk to their doctor about getting them home care or nurse visits.

You can also find free help for getting their taxes done.

If your Dad is mobile there are senior centers he can hang out in.
Lots of time the elderly are lonely and depressed and thus lash out at people. Talk to his doctor - he may need anti-depressants.

There may also be an organization that will provide a visiting friend. They send an eldery man or woman to come to your house to visit two or three times a week just to talk. My Dad had one and he came to look forward to the gentalman's visits.

There are many forms of dementia. My fathers memory was not gone but his emotional and rational control became non-functioning. He would be demanding, argumentative, resentful, uncaring, selfish and totally unreasonable. (mmmm sound a bit like a two year old and not the father I grew up with). Again talk to his doctor about dementia. Don't bother arguing with him or trying to reason with him, it won't get you anywere. If you can just smile and nod and then forget it.

There is a lot of info on line about dementia and care giving and things you can do to make it easier on yourself.

There is also care giver relief people who will come to take care of them while you go out.

You can not count on your sisters and tell them if they don't like the job your doing then they can come do it themselves - so check with your doctor, hospital, social services, senior centers about help that is avialable.

Eventually we had to put both parents in assisted living and in seperate facilities because he would not accept that his wife could no longer care for him. He died a year ago and I am not sure if it is an aspie thing but I did not cry nor mourn. It was his time and he was in really bad shape.

Good luck and remeber that it won't last forever.

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If you have two options you have a delema.
If you have three options you have a choice.
Look for three or more options.
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Joined: 21 Oct 2005
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20 Feb 2008, 2:37 pm

well as far as mobility goes, my dad still works and mom was on disibility (due mostly from loosing part of a lung to cancer a few years ago) a few months before the new problem happened.
My dad's business was never incorperated, so it looks like he makes more money than he really brings in, so there are no services that will help because it looks like he makes a great deal of money (If health insurance for the two of them wasnt 2500.00 a month he WOULD have lots of money... but I digress)
He hired a lady to come in 3 days a week, and one half day, but says the days she cant be there he wants me there so he can continue to work. (this is great an all but I have to work too)
He wont allow a housekeeper. We offered to get one when mom was sick several years ago and were told in no uncertin terms that he didnt trust anyone and that we had better not ever get a house keeper. (mom loved the idea...but..)
He refused home care this time because last time they didnt work with her much and he thinks that going into town for physical therepy is the ticket.
I never thought about dementia, I always just thought that dad was tired. Mom said thats just his personality and for me to get over it....
As far as teh boyfriend goes, He said if he is there when dad lashes out he will tell dad off because I dont deserve to be fussed at like that. This is the main reason that I dont invite him over much because I never know when dad is going to be cranky and I really hate teh drama.
Its not my house so I have to follow their rules and regs. I cant get away right now because of money unless I move in with the b/f and he said he wants to "clean up his place and make room" first before I can move in. Thats great and all and I dont want to rush anything but he made teh invite a couple months ago and hasnt had the time (due to work) to make much of that prep happen.
anyhow its just nuts, and honestly Im stressed to teh max. Venting here helps, so many thanks for listening!! ! (And for the advise....)