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Feeling like the parent with my parents...

I'm needing some major advice with my parents.  My parents have always acted like children. I've felt like the adult since I was a teenager and left to take care of my younger brother because my parents really just checked out on their marriage and us kids.  I'm now 32 and my brother is 29. My brother, while making some mistakes in his personal life, has a flourishing career in the Air Force and so I feel like I did some good.  My parents, however, still act like children.  I'm so grateful to have a stepmom who takes great care of my dad so I do worry less about him.  However, my mom and stepdad are a different story.  My mom has always acted more like a child than an adult and unfortunately, my stepdad is the same way.  They both open their mouths at the wrong times, discuss things that aren't their business, tend to tell things to people that is no one else's business, and my mom tends to butt in my brother's personal life where I don't think it's entirely necessary.  My dad's mom used to do the same thing and that was one of the many reasons their marriage imploded.  My stepdad was fired from his 20+ year job earlier this year because he shot off his mouth again to the wrong person and his supervisor decided enough was enough.  He's been drawing state unemployment which has ran out and now is drawing federal unemployment but he's gotten himself in a mess there.  Now, because of said mess, he's wanting to file disability.  Yes, he has had 2 bypass surgeries, a mini-stroke, and a work related injury so at one point he probably qualified but he worked for 2 years past his last bypass without problem.  He only needed the 2nd bypass because the 1st one was botched.  For his health problems, he's in fairly decent shape so I don't think he'll qualify for disability.  He really could go back to work but he doesn't want to.  Who does? He and my mom got into a huge argument last night because now he's wanting to take out his 401K and do God only knows what with it.  My mom thinks it should be saved for a rainy day.  I agree.  She's also wanting to get life insurance on him and a policy to pay off the house if he dies first.  They only bought their home 3 years ago so of course it's nowhere close to being paid off.  My mom has a small policy for him at her work but he doesn't know about it.  He also has no health insurance. He refuses to get any kind of insurance to take care of my mom after he's gone and she hasn't asked him why yet.  He doesn't even really want to leave her the 401K if he dies first. My mom called me with this lovely bit of information while I was at work sending me into a panic attack and tears.  My brother and I can't afford to take care of my mom if something happens to my stepdad and I'm terrified my marriage would suffer due to the stress my mom puts me through and the money.  My mom stayed at home with us for 13 years and while she does have a college degree, it's so far out of date that it hasn't furthered her jobs any.  She also has no interest in going to school or trying to find a job that pays better either.  My husband is an amazing man who patiently deals with the crap my parents have done over the years but he isn't their biggest fan because of how they've treated us kids.  I've had to work through a lot of issues thanks to them and I'm still scarred by their mistakes.  We've pretty well decided on not having kids due to all that I have to deal with with my family.  My mom's health is so-so, she's needed to go to the doctor for things for years but won't no matter how many times she asks my opinion and I tell her to see a doctor. (I've taken several medical classes over the years.) My dad's health isn't great but my stepmom is awesome.  I can totally depend on her.  Both sets of grandparents have major health challenges but thankfully my aunt helps out my dad's parents and recently my uncle has stepped in to help with my mom's parents since he lost his job in Mississippi.  Until then, I was constantly trying to convince my mom, who's their power of attorney,  she needed to get some help for her mom who more than likely has had some sort of stroke or has developed Alzheimer's.  My uncle has since taken this over.  I feel like I'm constantly beating my head up against a wall with my mom and I don't think I'd ever have time to have kids and care for them properly.  My husband's family is awesome and they're all in pretty good health but that may change one day. I'm to a point that I'm ready to check out since my family seems to be unable to help themselves at this point.  Is there someone out there who can suggest a way to get my family to grow up already?

Re: Feeling like the parent with my parents...

  • No, you really can't get people to do what you think they should do. You need to learn how to let it go and set boundaries. Accept the things you can't change, even though it's hard.
  • Please set some boundaries.  You should not be taking care of oyur parents emotionally, that is their job, and if they aren't up for the challenge than so be it.  Quit that job now!  You sound so much like me a year ago.  My mother has Borderline personality Disorder, it is impossible for her to see beyond herself or how she affects others because it truly is all about her, it sounds like you are dealing with some form of that with both parents. My mom is married to an enabler who is so scared shitless of her that he allowed her to do whatever she wanted to us over the years
    (rages, abuse, food withholding, etc.) until we complied with her.

    DO NOT let their issues rule your life.  It will wear on your marriage.  I know it is easier said than done believe me, I am only on the outside of it for a year and I constantly struggle with the feeling that I am doing something wrong, when in reality I am protecting myself and my family from the crazy.  It is not your job to take care of your parents, yes they may have medical issues, but again it is not your job they are grown people.  Repeat this over and over again.

    Also Please do not let your issues with your mother Dictate whether you have children or not, either directly or indirectly.  Don't let her issues make that choice for you, that is something you and your Husband can discuss, once you have set some boundaries, and have removed yourself from the caretaker position of your parents. 

    I am so sorry I sound so pushy, I just see a lot of me in your post and If I can save one person form continuing down the road I did I will do whatever I have to.

    Also Check out this website: www.bpdfamily.com It may not be The level of which you are dealing with but a lot of it sounds familiar to me, and it took me 31 years, and almost losing my marriage to see what was happening.  Again I am so sorry if this comes across as mean or pushy or rude, it is truly not my intention.
    Please let me know if you ever want to talk or need anything.
    <a href="http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Pregnancy"><img src="http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt17deaf.aspx" alt=" Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker" border="0" /></a>



    <a href="http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Baby Names"><img src="http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt17deae.aspx" alt=" Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker" border="0" /></a>


    <a href="http://s156.photobucket.com/user/donniesgrrl_2007/media/05fbdeda-5890-422b-8992-a3a998164de1_zpse84d3b5e.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t30/donniesgrrl_2007/05fbdeda-5890-422b-8992-a3a998164de1_zpse84d3b5e.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 05fbdeda-5890-422b-8992-a3a998164de1_zpse84d3b5e.jpg"/></a>


    and baby makes 5
    [url=http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=UBB&utm_campaign=tickers][img]http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt1478fb.aspx[/img][/url]
  • DonniesgrrlDonniesgrrl member
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited November 2013
    EDIT: DOUBLE POST
    <a href="http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Pregnancy"><img src="http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt17deaf.aspx" alt=" Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker" border="0" /></a>



    <a href="http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Baby Names"><img src="http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt17deae.aspx" alt=" Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker" border="0" /></a>


    <a href="http://s156.photobucket.com/user/donniesgrrl_2007/media/05fbdeda-5890-422b-8992-a3a998164de1_zpse84d3b5e.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t30/donniesgrrl_2007/05fbdeda-5890-422b-8992-a3a998164de1_zpse84d3b5e.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 05fbdeda-5890-422b-8992-a3a998164de1_zpse84d3b5e.jpg"/></a>


    and baby makes 5
    [url=http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=UBB&utm_campaign=tickers][img]http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt1478fb.aspx[/img][/url]
  • I'm needing some major advice with my parents.  My parents have always acted like children. I've felt like the adult since I was a teenager and left to take care of my younger brother because my parents really just checked out on their marriage and us kids.  I'm now 32 and my brother is 29. My brother, while making some mistakes in his personal life, has a flourishing career in the Air Force and so I feel like I did some good.  My parents, however, still act like children.  I'm so grateful to have a stepmom who takes great care of my dad so I do worry less about him.  However, my mom and stepdad are a different story.  My mom has always acted more like a child than an adult and unfortunately, my stepdad is the same way.  They both open their mouths at the wrong times, discuss things that aren't their business, tend to tell things to people that is no one else's business, and my mom tends to butt in my brother's personal life where I don't think it's entirely necessary.  My dad's mom used to do the same thing and that was one of the many reasons their marriage imploded.  My stepdad was fired from his 20+ year job earlier this year because he shot off his mouth again to the wrong person and his supervisor decided enough was enough.  He's been drawing state unemployment which has ran out and now is drawing federal unemployment but he's gotten himself in a mess there.  Now, because of said mess, he's wanting to file disability.  Yes, he has had 2 bypass surgeries, a mini-stroke, and a work related injury so at one point he probably qualified but he worked for 2 years past his last bypass without problem.  He only needed the 2nd bypass because the 1st one was botched.  For his health problems, he's in fairly decent shape so I don't think he'll qualify for disability.  He really could go back to work but he doesn't want to.  Who does? He and my mom got into a huge argument last night because now he's wanting to take out his 401K and do God only knows what with it.  My mom thinks it should be saved for a rainy day.  I agree.  She's also wanting to get life insurance on him and a policy to pay off the house if he dies first.  They only bought their home 3 years ago so of course it's nowhere close to being paid off.  My mom has a small policy for him at her work but he doesn't know about it.  He also has no health insurance. He refuses to get any kind of insurance to take care of my mom after he's gone and she hasn't asked him why yet.  He doesn't even really want to leave her the 401K if he dies first.

    It is likely it will be left to her at any rate -- she is still his next of kin, according to the law, because she is his wife.

    If he has no will, it could get messy as far as inheritance and probate goes. I will bet he has no will and that's another mess in itself.

    The 2 of them either both have a bit of a mental issue and/or they are immature and have some type of behavioral problem, at best. Geesh...who mouths off to their boss???

    My mom called me with this lovely bit of information while I was at work sending me into a panic attack and tears.  My brother and I can't afford to take care of my mom if something happens to my stepdad and I'm terrified my marriage would suffer due to the stress my mom puts me through and the money.  My mom stayed at home with us for 13 years and while she does have a college degree, it's so far out of date that it hasn't furthered her jobs any.  She also has no interest in going to school or trying to find a job that pays better either. 

    School is no guarantee for a better job. Ask anybody who is unemployed who took classes and/or got a degree to get a better job than the one they lost. A lot of them are still minus work, despite the new education.

    My husband is an amazing man who patiently deals with the crap my parents have done over the years but he isn't their biggest fan because of how they've treated us kids.  I've had to work through a lot of issues thanks to them and I'm still scarred by their mistakes.  We've pretty well decided on not having kids due to all that I have to deal with with my family.  My mom's health is so-so, she's needed to go to the doctor for things for years but won't no matter how many times she asks my opinion and I tell her to see a doctor. (I've taken several medical classes over the years.) My dad's health isn't great but my stepmom is awesome.  I can totally depend on her.  Both sets of grandparents have major health challenges but thankfully my aunt helps out my dad's parents and recently my uncle has stepped in to help with my mom's parents since he lost his job in Mississippi.  Until then, I was constantly trying to convince my mom, who's their power of attorney,  she needed to get some help for her mom who more than likely has had some sort of stroke or has developed Alzheimer's.  My uncle has since taken this over.  I feel like I'm constantly beating my head up against a wall with my mom and I don't think I'd ever have time to have kids and care for them properly.  My husband's family is awesome and they're all in pretty good health but that may change one day. I'm to a point that I'm ready to check out since my family seems to be unable to help themselves at this point.  Is there someone out there who can suggest a way to get my family to grow up already?
    You can't get them to grow up or change.

    In yoru case, it would be better if you cut the offending parties out of your life.  Then again, this is a catch 22 situation for you since you are concerned about the non-offending party.

    What you can do for yourself:

    See a therapist. I am sure that you still have a lot of residual issues with the way you were treated as you were growing up.

    Plus the offenders need toughlove. If they ask you for money or try to embroil you in whatever baloney they've caused, you refuse to get involved.

    Wishing you luck. This sounds like a royal mess. Sorry to hear.:(
  • You are not responsible for taking care of your parents when they have nothing left. 
    Your mom was the one who married your stepdad, not you. So she is the one to take care of his BS. If she is left with nothing in the end then that's her fault.

  • You are waaaaaay too involved with your parents and their lives.

    He doesn't even really want to leave her the 401K if he dies first. My mom called me with this lovely bit of information while I was at work sending me into a panic attack and tears. 

    That sort of thing shouldn't put you into a panic attack and tears. I get that this is your mother and you care for her and her well-being. I even get that your reaction might be out of fear for having to finance her life yourself. However, this is not something that should put you into a panic attack and tears at work.

    Your reactions are the problem here right now, not everything else. Not what you think about your mother's husband, your mother's education or work or anything of the sort. Sort out how you are reacting to this information FIRST, and then you will be in a better position to help your mother with her problems. I am not saying that these things are not relevant, I am saying that you are far too reactive to them, are giving these things far too much power in your own life and that if you backed the hell away from it for awhile you could see things more clearly from a holistic, protected view and then make some real progress.
    image

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
    EastCoastBrideDonniesgrrlPrincessVeganSillygirl45
  • You are doing too much, you are trying to guide multiple peoples' lives. I know it's very hard when it's family, especially close family. The only thing I can suggest is that you give your mother and stepfather a book about financial advice. Then they have the information and the choice of whether to act on it for their own behalf. You have enough of a life to lead. Don't live theirs.
    x
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