I'm new to these boards but have been lurking for a little while reading through posts. Finally got the courage to post my story...I could really use some advice....
A little background. I am a 35 year old working mom to two fabulous boys- ages 5 and 9. I also have 2 parents (mom 65-dad 71) who have been on a path of self destruction for many many years...over the years I have tried to help but neither one of them has wanted change-crippled by each of their own demons... pushing me away and/or any help I've tried to get. Has broken my heart over and over again. Recently, things have finally caught up with them.
Trying not to write a novel, but there is alot: My mother has been an alcoholic for many years. My father has been a very good provider financially but never able to emotionally meet my mothers needs. Over the years, my father grew sick (diabetes, stroke, major depression, now onset of dementia) and lost his ability to drive. This is when I noticed him to begin to self neglect (hygene, sleeping all day, taking otc sleeping pills constantly, a diabetic who eats and drinsk everything he shldnt) and delv deeper into depresssion. As my mothers caregiving responsibilities increased, so did her drinking resulting in quite a dangerous situation. There is history of domestic violence in the house as well. Mom would drink-get highly highly intoxicated (quiet person but a very mean drunk) and than keep my father up all night saying horrible things.....taunting him sometimes until 5 in the morning. Dad would snap and lash out at her. Although I tried to get her to press charges, (noone should ever be abused!) she never would. Here's to the point. 1.) Recently, there was a incident where my mother was intoxicated and my father came after her. She held up a kitchen knife and told him not to come any closer. She was defending herself. Dad called police and mom is now being charged with assault with a deadly weapon. 2.) Mom checked herself into detox-dad came to my house and was under my care. 3.) Took dad to ER while he was with me because of cough and he was admitted with pneumonia and severly anemic. Turns out he is in stage 4 kidney failure and his pneumonia was caused by him aspirating foods/liquids into lungs 4.) Dad went to ST rehab, fighting every step of the way. 5.) He is not declared incompetent although mild cognitive decline...so will be going home. Mom is also now home and trying to stay sober. 6.) I am trying to help them both and found myself offering to move into their house temporarilly with my family to try and help. I would prefer to not uproot children but feel we need to stay as a family unit as much as possible. Mom cant take the burden on by herself anymore. Nor does she want to-still hasa trial hanging over her head. 7.) Dad due to come home sunday and I will be uprooting jmy family to movei nto their house to help. Now having panic attacks.... 8.) Dad will NEVER accept going into any type of assissted living situation. 9.) How do I tell my mom I dont know if this will work. I am very skeptical but trying to follow my heart and help them. As this may be the last chance I have! Havent slept in a month and afraid this will destroy my family. I may move in for a short while to help get resources in place and clean the hosue up but not sure I can now commit to anything longer?! Doesnt seen realistic. Horrible, I know. WHat kinds of resources can I offer both of them? Might add-dad is not on mcd...only medicare and BC. Open to your outlook....crazy life I have, I know! First time I've talked about it.....
Hi. I'm marla. Esp cuz of tbe little boys. U and they need some kinda stability. How's about any relatives pitching in? Aunts uncles cousins or any close friends of ur parents at all? Your children nust be considered first is my belief. Keep us up-dtaed. We wanna help u out! Best to u. Marla.
Natural consequences. That's how your parents should deal with their lives right now. You need to step back, tell them you love them, but they haven't taken your advice in the past so what's going to be different now.
Moving your young children into this environment is unhealthy. They do not need to see this abuse (of each other and of food and drink). They need a solid foundation to grow strong. I personally would not move in with them.
You love them and want to help. There's a saying 'you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, or you can teach him how to fish and he'll have food for life.' Tell them the help you can give them is support and guidance, but you have to prioritize and put your children first. good luck
You didn't say if you had a husband. If so, all the more reason not to move in with your parents. There are many options for you to help them without doing that. See if you can set up an aid to come and check on them. My mom has one each day for two hours. She also has a nurse check on her periodically. Look at the resources available to you. Sometimes advice from strangers is taken better than from family.
If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.
No matter what you do, it isn't going to be right for your folks. You are beating a dead horse here. You have tried before and have had no success.
If you want to go for a weekend to clean and get some meals made, that is one thing. But moving in? That is so unfair to your children. They do not need to see their grandparents duking it out, or drunk or bitter. Let them remember them when they were better. It can have a lasting impression on them. And it isn't fair to uproot them from school and friends. This isn't their burden. I am sorry to say-it's yours. And I speak from experience. My mother had Alzheimers, my dad had vascular demetia and an abodominal anuerism.
Whether you say your dad will go to assisted living is sometimes not the point. When there is no other option, then that is where they need to go. With your parents in the state they are, you need to have durable and medical power of attorney over each of them. You also need to be on their checking accounts. this way if anything happens, you will already had the power to take care of them legally.
Your best bet is to get a home health aid to come in for a couple of hours each day or several times a week. Then you will know that someone is there to wash clothes and feed them.
I wish you the best of luck..and please consider your children and family first. Wanting your parents approval is something all children seek. But at this point I think your parents are past being able to give it to you.
I know my parents are in a very messy situtation but I need to clarify something. First of all, my children have- and always will... come first. I would never put them in a harmful situtation.
My mother has been through detox, seeking couseling and going to AA meetings on a regular basis. She is on the right path. To recovery.
My father is a very sad, lonely, sick man. He has silently suffered for many many years. Unfortunatly, yes-both of my parents are to blame for where they are today, but I can't turn my back on them without giving them the help they both deserve. I have temporarilly moved my family into their house to support my parents by getting the resources in place they need and by also bringing alittle life into the house. I am now durable power of attorney for my father...handeling both of my parents finances so that is one less burden. I am married, and have a wondeful husband who couldnt be more of a rock for me. Together we have helped bring to life the house my father built, the house I grew up in. For many years it has been neglected but we have accomplished quite a bit, in a short amount of time. I havent seen my father smile in a long time but yet my boys have the ability to bring one out of him.
Again, I appreciate everyone's feedback....but I felt the need to respond when I read responses concerned I put my children in harms way. I would never push them to the side for anybody....
No one is accusing you of deliberately neglecting or harming your children. But sometimes when you are in this type of situation, you get caught in the middle of everything and don't see things as clear as an outsider may. Or we may have lived through a similar situation ourselves and just wanted to offer a warning. It's a difficult road to travel. Please make sure you have medical POA also in addition to the durable POA. You actually need both these days.