Hello!

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DreamingofQuiet

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Hello!
« on: September 21, 2019, 09:26:50 PM »
Howdy folks! I am not entirely new here. I used to post here regularly a few years back under a different screen name. This place saved my sanity. My first post way back when, I was about to come unglued. I guess I've made progress, because this time I feel concerned but also a certain jaded, "here we go again."

My parents are in their late 70s. Both have mental illness diagnoses. I'm not criticizing, as I do as well. But the PD traits are where it gets really 'interesting.' Both parents have PD traits. My mother of BPD, Histrionic PD, and Covert Narcissism. Very manipulative. My father's diagnosis is OCD, but I think he's got the full-blown PD. He hoards and is quite rigid in a lot of ways. They've been married for 50+ years, are super co-dependent and enmeshed and have one of those lovely, can't live with you, can't live without you sorts of relationships.

My mother has threatened to leave my father, but it's never and will never happen. Come to think of it, she fits quite a few DPD traits also. She hates my father for a number of things, hoarding at the top of the list, but is completely dependent on him. She has never lived on her own and though quite intelligent and employed thruout her adult life, she lets my father handle all the boring, tedious adult stuff.

The problem now is my father is starting to get senile. She is getting forgetful too, but not nearly as much as him. She is noticing and is terrified. I have been MC and LC for a while now, and she's pulling out all the stops to get me to be more involved. I had a barrage of stream of consciousness texts from her yesterday directed at my brother and I alternately berating us for being uncaring and pleading for us to offer them some support.

So far today, I am ignoring it all. She called and left a message telling me of several incidents that occurred today demonstrating how senile they both are. But she ended it with something along the lines of just take this as a joke and don't worry about it. But THEN (lol) texts me a while later to ask me if I'm ok and if I call to do this that and the other (another snafu demonstrating how overwhelmed and helpless they are).

I'm not calling. But I wish I could just block it all out. At the same time, I feel tremendous guilt, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I am not at all in a shape financially, physically, or emotionally to caregive either one of them. I have mental and physical health issues myself and am baseline functional. I am extremely fortunate to have landed a good job in April that pays a decent amount and that I am doing well at and enjoying. Other than that, I keep to myself and spend my spare time at home, reading, resting, and hanging out with my cat. No partner, no kids. I've never particularly wanted either, and energetically being alone and living a quiet life seems to suit me.

I could go on and on, but there's no need. Suffice it to say, I've already been reminded of some practices. I don't have to answer texts or pick up the phone. I don't have to engage. While in a dither at the moment, I believe my parents are basically safe. And I'm acutely aware of the timing. Holidays are approaching, and meltdowns are starting. Ugh. I know you all feel my pain.

If you read this far, thank you. It's good to come back.

DreamingofQuiet

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2019, 11:13:23 PM »
Good for you ignoring all the so called joke texts and pleas for support. Your plan to protect yourself is a good one. I think you're right about the holidays and your mother gearing up for more contact with you. They all play by the same handbook.

If it were me, I'd start saying to her what you said here, you aren't in financial, emotional or physical shape to offer any care giving. You hope they can find a good care giving assistant or something to that effect. She's not going to be happy no matter what you do so do what's best for you!

Glad you're back.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2019, 01:40:02 AM »
Welcome back, DoQ!

I agree - ignoring all the texts and calls was the smartest thing you can do.  If your parents need help, THEY are responsible for acquiring/obtaining it - and should NOT expect you to rush to their aid.  :no:

The *only* thing I'd do in this situation is call APS in their area and let *them* deal with it.  They can do a welfare check, see how your parents live, and make recommendations - or if things are that dire, they can pull rank, have them taken to a hospital and assessed.

Be *certain* to tell APS you cannot and will not act as any sort of caregiver and no, they can NOT come and live with you.    :aaauuugh:

You listed many valid reasons why you can't be a caregiver - APS is going to write down "unwilling."  They'll write that down, no matter what you say, so I just want you to know that.  It's nothing personal - it's a FOG-inducing tactic, meant to make you feel *guilty* - and they're not just singling you out.

Don't try to sway them or argue with them.  I said, "Write down any damned word you want, the answer is still NO!" - and they were okay with that.  :evil2:

Let APS take point on this, while you stay OUT of it.   :yes:

It's not even *fair* of your mom to try to dump all this on your shoulders - first, there are TWO of them, and *one* of you, you have your own life, finances and wellbeing to think about  *and* your cat to consider, too.

We have nine cats - I know where my priorities were when unBPD Didi popped up on the radar, followed by unNPD Ray.  The cats came first, every single time.  8-)

Your cat may demand food - which is reasonable.  Your parents will NOT make reasonable demands or requests, and will just keep piling MORE on you, if you were to allow it.  :stars:

So don't allow it.  Stay in the shark cage, with your hands and  feet inside!  :ninja:

If your mom tries dumping on you again, I might text back ONLY:  "If you and dad were in Assisted Living, none of this would be an issue." - and that's all I'd say.  I'd probably just ignore her, from that point on - or even block her.  :yes:

You've GOT this!   :cheer: :cheer:

 :hug:

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Bean_Counter

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2019, 05:58:14 PM »
I just want to say good for you, keep doing well for yourself, and welcome back!

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DreamingofQuiet

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2019, 05:21:39 PM »
I realize I never responded to this thread or acknowledged any of the replies. Even tho I've been reading them over and over.

Thank you each of you for your welcome and excellent advice. It's been over a month now since I came back and I've been reading, reading, reading. I am beginning to feel more clearheaded by the day.

I like the idea of mentioning assisted living as a standard comeback. It will result in a barrage of defensive excuses, objections, and outrage (well, any reply will, short of, "I will be down there tomorrow Mom, and I will magically fix everything!"), but I feel like it still puts the ball back in their court while also affirming, "Sorry guys, but I can't take you in."

My mother insists that financially they can't afford to live apart. And my father refuses to move. Neither of which is my doing and neither of which I can do much of anything about.

And while it's distasteful for me to think in the following way (I am not just some sad victim), but it could be argued that one of the reasons I'm not in a better place to provide even moral support is that they did not raise me with the intent of me being fully functional. I think they think they did. That might have been their conscious intent. But they both came from very dysfunctional families and received no treatment for those injuries. So while they thought they were doing one thing, they were subconsciously doing the exact opposite. It was and is crazymaking. So, as a result, I have no business trying to take care of anyone but myself. And my cat. And thank you, WI for the cat love support. 😺 I've had four great cat loves in my life so far, and they've gotten me thru a lot of crap.

DoQ