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05/18/2011 03:20 PM

A group that no one wants to join

flo39
 
Posts: 4
Member

I need support for myself now. I feel so inadequate to do all that is expected of me at this time. My 89 yr old sister is in an assisted living home - I have her Power of Attorney so am responsible for her medical decisions and financial business. She has aphasia following several strokes. (This means she cannot always express in words what she wants to say. Or she says things she doesn't mean to which can be very hurtful at times.) My 44 yr.old bipolar daughter is unable to have a job because she is "disabled". She gets SSI and food stamps but doesn't handle what small amount she gets at all. I have made the bad mistake of transferring money from our account to hers when she "needs" something. I've discovered that was the worst thing I ever have done. Never should have started this. She calls with these very necessary needs and I transfer the money. This is causing me to about have a nervous fit. I began to realize a few months ago that things weren't quite right with my husband of 59 years. I guess I've known for much longer but just put it in the back of my mind. Finally I have gone to our primary care doctor who also is a personal friend. He knows both of us very well - I worked in his office for awhile when he first started his practice. His wife a nurse practitioner is who I see most of the time. We have an appointment next week and he will ask husband if he wants to begin some AD meds. So I am tugged from so many sides I can't find me anywhere. I have one son who will talk with me about all this but I hope to bring my problems here. Even if no one answers me I hope to get it out so I can leave my son alone. He keeps saying find a support group. His way of saying, please leave me out of this. Don't blame him. I want out!! But I'm needed. I pray for guidance and strength. I know this will be a long road with no hope of a happy ending. My sister has congestive heart failure and needs constant care. Daughter is beyond hope and I just want her to leave me alone. Then I feel guilty because she has no one else. Hers is a sad life story - for another time. My dear husband, I love him so much and we've had such a good life. No need to ask why him everyone asks that when this horrible "person stealer" comes in. I'm posting this while he is out mowing the yard. He still is very functional - drives sometimes - and does yard work. But he doesn't remember what day or month it is. Sleep is fitful. Gets up after two or three hours and starts dressing for the day. I take tylenol p.m. so I can get some sleep because when I go to bed my mind races over all the days happenings and all my short comings. Is there ever any peace for me. Where do I find me???
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05/18/2011 05:05 PM
alznotwell
Posts: 1145
Group Leader

Hi Flo. First of all, there is no need to beat yourself up about not managing well. There are very few people of any age who could handle a load like that.

My personal opinion is that you need to expect more help from your children. It may be nice for them to wash their hands of affairs and refuse any family responsibility, but it is not nice for you. You have done nothing to deserve this load placed on you (unless you deliberately raised your children to think of no one but themselves), and certainly not the load created by one of your own children. The only way to get rid of that problem is to inform your daughter that you have too many problems for one person to cope with and she cannot expect you to keep supporting her...then cut her off. Give her notice so she knows you mean it. I'm betting she will learn to cope. The way she copes now is by playing on your guilt and love for her, and she will continue to do that until her source of revenue is cut off. That is ugly behavior on her part, spending her money foolishly because she knows you will shell out for food or rent or utilities because she "needs" these items. Your major sin is enabling her to continue this behavior. Give yourself courage by acknowledging that this will be painful in the short term, but it may eliminate a continuing pain that will last until you are dead or bankrupt.

That is how you find yourself Flo, by helping the people you need to be helping, your husband and sister, and by eliminating the problems you know in your heart you should not have to be dealing with, in other words by standing up for yourself. Maybe you could ask your son to back you up in sorting out some of these problems (yes, he "owes" you that). Wishing you well Flo. Talk to us any time. Yes, even if you don't take one bit of my advice! ANW


05/18/2011 06:23 PM
flo39
 
Posts: 4
Member

Of course I know you are right. I worked for 27 years answering a crisis hot line. This is the suggestions I've given many times. She is asking right now for more money as her electricity was turned off because they changed the billing date and she didn't know it?? She borrowed money to pay bill and now wants me to pay it back. These folks live in govt. housing and are poorer than poor. But I'm now just ignoring the text messages I can hear coming in. She threatened to just get in a fight and go to jail. She has been in jail many times. I've paid off fines and more fines. So she may go to jail and will lose the housing. She was on waiting list for many months to get this. Rent is what she can afford. This has to stop sometime or we are going to be broke. I feel sorry for the person who loaned her the money. I'm sure she told her that her mom would pay it back but I don't have cash enough and bank is closed. I never use ATM altho I could but she doesn't need to know that. She will be ringing the door bell before long I know that but I must hold to what I said and not round up the money. My head is splitting and I have indigestion. Did I mention I'm almost 78 years old. Dear God what have I done to end my life like this. I need help!! I dread each day. I used to enjoy our retirement days. I love to sew and embroidery with my machine. I've made memory quilts for each grandchild and a t-shirt quilt for one son from the concerts he has attended. Life was good and now I'm miserable all day, every day. Well I was wrong she ran out of gas and called. I must go put a few drops in so she doesn't leave it to be stolen. She is supposed to come start mowing our lawn tomorrow a very large lawn to pay back some of this. Impossible life!!!!

05/18/2011 11:01 PM
tony36
tony36  
Posts: 1408
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Hi Flo and welcome to our site. I would normally add that we understand what you are going through as we have all looked after our AD patients and been through all the difficulties associated with that. But you sure have a lot to cope with and as ANW said you need to expect more from your children. For starters your daughter has to learn the basics of living. The more you give her the more she will expect and depend on it. You must say no and mean it. I like the idea of her working for it unless her presence becomes just more hassle. Even in you give her what she needs you must more and more say not now, I don't have it right now. If she gets herself into trouble or debt it is not your trouble and is not your debt. She has to see and feel the consequences of her decisions. You need all your strength to look after your hubby and you need more help for that. Come here as often as you like and vent. I would prefer to see you pay someone sensible to come and help you rather than giving your money to cover debts incurred by your daughter. Take each day one at a time. Each day has enough problems without worrying about the next day.

Tony


05/19/2011 12:04 PM
flo39
 
Posts: 4
Member

Me again - had a good nights sleep thanks to tylenol. Husband slept all night - no roaming that I was aware of anyway. Daughter called this a.m. there was lots of drama at the complex last night - a shooting she was in parking lot and saw. She said she had to go to the courthouse this a.m. because she was a witness - probably not true. Anyway she needs to pay back girl who loaned money. again I told her not going to do that she should not tell mom will pay back again. Big blow up I told her to not come mow. She says can't leave apt. because girl after her for money which is probably true. Daughter has told me she has cleaned some offices for a friend and this friend was to pay her a couple days ago but hasn't. I told her collect from her. This goes on and on and I just hung up phone.

I went to water exercise today was a little late as I was on phone with insurance company about sister's bill. Her insurance had lapsed and I'm trying to get caught up with that. Sister has enough money to pay her bills and for that I'm so thankful. She never had children (doesn't know what she missed Wink- She has had surgery for cancer (all gone!!) been in hospital many times since moving here almost one year ago. Is now doing o.k. lives in very comfortable assisted living home. Seems as happy as she can be under the circumstances.

Husband mowing fields and yard. He loves outside work and never really wanted daughter to mow as he is very exact in his work.

Thanks to anyone who took time to reply. I know what you said is right on. I know all this now if I just have backbone to do it. Oh yes, along the way I've misplaced or lost my debit card. Second time this month and never had lost one before. Called and put stop on this one and will get new one in mail. I've got to get a grip -- I'm losing it.


05/19/2011 01:47 PM
alznotwell
Posts: 1145
Group Leader

It takes a lot of courage to face down an out-of-control family member whom you love. Good for you Flo. Now you've begun the process, don't lose your nerve. If you daughter wants to gain control of her life, she is the only one who can do that. Otherwise your life is always out of control. She will see to that.

It's good your husband can do the outside work, and you should encourage him as long as he can do it. He needs the therapy more than your daughter does anyway.

Just a cautionary note. If you stick to your resolve, your daughter may get panicky once she realizes you mean what you say. Watch your money and your credit and debit cards especially carefully. Don't leave your purse and other information about money matters lying around available. Notify the bank to watch your accounts for anomalies. I know what I am talking about. Glad you are doing better. ANW

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