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Old 07-20-2019, 12:59 PM
 
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I feel at times my family is either crazy or I am. Please help me decide and what advice on how to best deal with this situation. Let me give some brief family history. My mom is a manipulator and has pretty much control over my dad and my younger sister. When my other says "jump" my sister and father pretty much say "how high dear"? Now my mother is sick and getting worse where she can barely walk, take a shower, and eats very little and ends up in the hospital 1-2 a year due to small bowel obstructions which cause her to get weaker because of a 10 years ago she had gone in a coma due to going septic with diverticulitis. Now my dad is also sick and diagnosed with pancreatic cancer stage 4. He is doing fantastically awesome with the chemo but is being stubborn in refusing to minimize his lifestyle and get money that is tied up in material things so that him and my mother can live more comfortably where he can have someone come to the house and take care of them maybe 3 times a week. My sister enables them but is pretty much going to end up having a nervous breakdown because she enables both of them. I am the bad daughter whom does not and they are basically just talking to me at this point for the simple matter that if they should need my help, I can help them out when I can. Don't know if this makes sense but this is the way they roll because of my mother. My sister has a husband and a daughter and lives 50 minutes away from my parents, but lately she's been sleeping at their house just to take care of them. I feel this is unfair to her and I've told my sister but she refuses to listen. I have lived far away for 21 years and I can see their situation from the outside looking in.

So my sister is to leave town tomorrow on vacation. She wants me to come and take my dad to chemo on Tuesday. My dad and other patients are able to drive themselves, plus I think there is transportation to the cancer center, but they refuse to use it. My dad says that he has a lot of friends to help him out, in which I told him, people have their lives to live and we can't be bothering them just because you both (meaning my parents) feel entitled to special treatment. My mother is the type where she treats people badly and expects red carpet treatment. I am more than over this. I am over 50 and have dealt with enough of their bolony at this point.

I feel I shouldn't drive 3 hours to cater to such behavior. I spoke to my dad the other day and told him he should sell everything and buy a town-home, he told me not to tell him what to do. Their marriage has not been a pretty one either and it's like they are two children arguing constantly and wanting to do as they wish. But at the same time, things are getting worse for them. I also have this week some unexpected procedures that I need done which will cost me a bit. I am divorced and alone where I live. This is also a bit of challenge for me and my parents don't seem to understand the expense of traveling so much over to their coast.

Any advice would be great.


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Old 07-20-2019, 01:26 PM
 
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I know it seems impossible but a face to face conversation with your dad is in order. Ask him how he can solve the problem of transportation and health care support. Remind him that he must want him to be in control of his life and independent as long a possible. It's up to your dad to come up with a solution that doesn't involve you or your sister. Let him give his solution a try. He'll learn that relying on friends isn't flawless and expecting you and your sis to do things he can do for himself is unreasonable. Expecting you to drive a total of six hours to help him is unreasonable when he can move to an easier home or can hire someone to help him.

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I spoke to my dad the other day and told him he should sell everything and buy a town-home, he told me not to tell him what to do.
Most folks of any age resist being told what to do. When things get difficult enough he'll come up with a solution that works for him.


I know you and your sis will step in when your parents need more support but for now, your dad needs to come up with his own solution.
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Old 07-20-2019, 01:38 PM
 
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It sounds like you distanced yourself years ago and with good reason. Blood/=family. I'd keep distance from the toxicity. No guilt. You come first. Hang in there.
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I did speak to him face to face...
Old 07-20-2019, 01:59 PM
 
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I just got back from spending there five days with them helping them. Thanks for the advice. Most of our friends and other family members think they are toxic in they way they do go about things. I spoke to him and told him all of that you mention above.

Thank you again.
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:30 PM
 
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Your sister has been doing a lot of caregiving work for your parents whether you like it (or them) or not. She would feel better if you came while she's on a well-deserved vacation and drive your dad to chemo. It can be overnight if you want or a long day trip. If you live three hours away, I don't consider that a long distance at all. You can do the round trip on one tank of gas.

I think it would be kind to your sister (and yes to your parents) to do this.

I'm sorry you feel as you do about your family. If you had a major health crisis tomorrow, who would take care of you? Do you have children who would do that? Would your sister show up? Someone else?


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Old 07-20-2019, 03:13 PM
 
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I completely disagree with the mentality that you should drop everything to help a toxic family member. You don't get to be a toxic family member, and then magically demand people are there for you at your beck and call. No one asked her sister to play the role of martyr either, and it sounds like she's driving herself to the point of a breakdown over it. The responsible thing would be for her parents to make those necessary adjustments in their financial situation. If they need this much constant care, they should be exploring assisted care facilities or an at home nurse. However, it sounds like your family prefers to boss your sister around.

Toxic people aren't entitled to your time/energy, no matter the relation.
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Thank you Overlightness...
Old 07-20-2019, 05:20 PM
 
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You said it right. As a matter a fact my mom said many years ago to spite my sister's husband and mine at the time (I am divorced now), she told my dad not to leave us an inheritance of the things they had so that our lazy husbands would not get any of it. Does she not realize she is hurting her daughters too? This is her selfish way and how she would talk all the time. I am done!

This was just one of the verbal abuses from my mother, there have been many more throughout the years and things she has done to our family. My sister and my dad have condoned it. My sister's husband is not a bad man and neither was mine at the time...it was very disrespectful of my mother. However, I agree with everyone's post except for you Ms. Cassieree...

Not that they have a ton of money, but they did at one point own a duplex which they rented out, my dad has many other things that he can part with and give him the enough income to have a lady come by at least three times a week. Their marriage has been my dad fixing my mother's problems every time she yells at him and/or my sister. I live hours away and I am so glad. She is controlling and manipulative. My father is able to drive and has been getting very little reaction with his chemo, if I didn't feel he could drive the distance I would go, but then again, I can't deal with the attitude and the way they feel they need to get special treatment every time. My sister had been all day at the hospital with my mother the other day and because my mother prefers her to touch her hair, and massage her feet constantly or yell at the nurses, my sister would not leave to go rest when I got there.

I got upset and said I don't know why I'm here....you won't go home to rest and leave me here attending mom, so after four hours of doing nothing, I felt there is no point in me being there when I could be home helping my dad, cook and do groceries, etc. My sister makes herself the martyr, she chooses to do this because she is afraid of my mother. I can't help choose for people I can only control myself.
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:37 PM
 
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No wonder you feel confused about how to help your parents, everybody in your family has a job but you. Your mom is busy being the helpless and demanding diva as your dad works at attempting to solve her problems while playing the subservient husband. Your sister is a master at her job of being the helpless martyr with no voice of her own.

I think your family doesn't need your problem solving services. They all have their dysfunctional jobs.


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I can't help choose for people I can only control myself.
You're exactly right.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:27 PM
 
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Take the toxicity out of the picture for a minute.

Aging is hard. Giving up independence, selling a home, minimizing a lifestyle, hiring outside help are difficult things to face for any aging person. Some do it better than others. No matter what has happened in the past your parents are at a very difficult stage in life.

Your sister has a different relationship with your parents than you do. I wouldnít spend any time judging or thinking about why she has taken on the role she has chosen. Itís her choice. Many, many people choose to be caregivers for their aging parents.

Focus on what you need to do to maintain your own mental health, but do extend some grace to your family, even if you feel they donít deserve it.
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I myself have a
Old 07-21-2019, 03:28 AM
 
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Procedure this week which will cost me a copay. I feel one week someone can take him. Iím nervous and donít feel I should drive this way. Iím alone and need to do what right for me at this moment to survive a lot going on and school almost starting. Iíve prayed about this. Thank you all again for your input.


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Old 07-21-2019, 07:21 AM
 
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I would,go,and take my dad to the treatment. Even if he can drive himself, he probably is worried about his health. Having someone else to talk to can help take is mind off of this health scare. I also would like to spend the time because you donít know how long he will live and this is time you canít get back. My father died 5 years ago after being sick for 2 Years. I miss being able to just talk to him.
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With stage 4 pancreatic cancer, your dad most
Old 07-21-2019, 06:02 PM
 
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likely won't be around much longer. My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and was gone 4 months later. Chemo is not very successful. (even though it might appear to be helping)

I'd take him to the appointment and spend a couple of days with him. At one of the chemo appts. I took my dad to, he was admitted and never came home from the hospital.
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Old 07-22-2019, 05:04 AM
 
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You are right - he can rely on friends for a week. You have a medical procedure yourself this week so tend to that. Having been dealing with sickly in-laws over the past six months, I have seen how each of their children has a role to play. We have a martyr, a bull-dog, an easy-going one, and an administrator. It is not easy, especially dealing with the guilt! But you just have to do your best to balance honoring your parents with taking care of your own physical and emotional health. No advice, just a hug and a prayer today.
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Thank you SLG.
Old 07-22-2019, 07:22 AM
 
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Thank you all. Prayers will help too.
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Yuck...
Old 07-22-2019, 07:59 AM
 
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This whole situation is a tire fire sprayed with napalm.

I went through similar nonsense with my family.

But...with stage IV pancreatic cancer, you are usually talking months instead of cure/years. PT for a sore neck with transportation? I probably wouldn't go. I would (because I'm an idiot), drive the 3 hours to take him for chemo. I would not bring up the dumpster fire at home. I would talk about anything else but the present. What did he like growing up? Things you couldn't get an for answer once he's dead.

If you know you aren't going to do much when their personal Hindenburg melts, it's not worth throwing your two cents into the suggestion ring. You aren't going to undo decades of dysfunctional living/thinking. Taking dad for chemo is really for you to make some closure. (If it's just you and dad). It's maybe one last outing of just you two. If your dad isn't going to dredge up 50 years of BS, go.

Pancreatic cancer is a very cruel beast. You may have months of tumor regression, or maybe no growth. Then 3 months later the sh*t has metastasized everywhere and you are talking weeks before a funeral.

So...that is why I suggest going. Your dad is still with it and healthy enough to get out. Your sister won't be there pot stirring, and it sounds like your mom won't be making the chemo appointment. If all.that is true, this may be your last true "me and dad" time you'll get.

Believe me, I wouldn't sign up for chemo driver duty, but in this specific circumstance, I'd do it for my own selfish reasons.

My parents were maniacs of the first order. I drove my dad for radiation treatments for his brain tumor a few times. Mostly just so we could talk. I had very few opportunities after that. Had became unresponsive about 3 months later.

Sorry you have to go through this mess. (huggles)
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