VVLC for almost 3 years and then the health bombshell

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weddingcat

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VVLC for almost 3 years and then the health bombshell
« on: November 24, 2019, 08:35:35 PM »
I've been VVLC for almost 3 years with my parents (their doing). I tried for years to stay in contact with them. When their computer broke, I would send them a new one.
No phone? Let me get you a landline. Computer was always broken and phone would never get plugged in.
I haven't heard from them at all this entire year. Not a call, not an email.
This past week, I look at my phone to 7 missed calls from a number I didn't know. (I don't have their number - they changed their phone # and never contacted me with the new one).
I call it and it's them. Mom answers, asks how I am, I say..ok? She says ok and hangs up.
I call back and tell her to talk to me. She basically tells me dad has dementia and then says I have to go and hangs up, will call tomorrow (they never did call back).
It just has left me dumbfounded. I feel side swiped. Speechless. They have alienated their family and us kids. I just don't get what is expected anymore. It was easier being disconnected
and not having a clue what was going on.  :stars:

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Seven

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Re: VVLC for almost 3 years and then the health bombshell
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2019, 11:11:52 PM »
Hello and welcome!

Iíd say expect the unexpected but that is so cliche. Iíd just take her hang ups at face value.  Donít go chasing the drama.  Itís what sheís after.  Stay clueless, especially if you have siblings.   I have 6 sibs.  Definitely too many cooks in the kitchen so I stay out of it as much as possible, even though Iím close in proximity.

And no more sending them things.  They just go unused and unappreciated.

Iíd love to hear more about the background though.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: VVLC for almost 3 years and then the health bombshell
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2019, 01:05:59 AM »
Welcome!   :)

I agree - don't go looking for drama.  Stay out of it completely and resume your VVLC - or make it NC, if you choose to.  :yes:

And *definitely* don't send them more things - or money.

Especially money!  :no:

Your mom sounds like she wants you to chase her down for information, then beg to help them out.  She'll refuse, of  course, so you'll have to force yourself upon them to help - and all your mom will do is complain that you don't do things right, or fast enough.  :roll:

My own mom, unBPD Didi, was like this to a degree - she'd play up made-up health issues, downplay real ones (I guess they weren't sexy enough or something?), then "hint" about all the things "somebody" (me) should be doing, but "nobody" (me) was.  :blink:

Her level of neediness and clinginess went off the Richter scale, and I distanced myself instead of coming to her rescue.   :ninja:

I suggest you do the same.  :yes:

Your mom and dad aren't alone on an ice floe.  They have *doctors.*  There are plenty of services to help out - Meals on Wheels, Merry Maids, the Senior Van, companies that supply home health aides, the Visiting Nurse - all your mom has to do is speak to her doctor or look up services in a phone book, or use her smart phone, if she's got one.   :yes:

What she *doesn't* get to do is reach out to you, only to play coy, with the intent to get you embroiled in problems that aren't yours to fix or solve.

If your mom calls back and mentions a health issue, I'd refer her back to her doctor - or your father's doctor.  If it's a medication problem, I'd refer her to the pharmacist.  If they need help at home, I'd advise her to call her doctor's office and ask for a list of companies that provide home aides.

Kicking problems up the food chain - and back to the appropriate agency or  person - is what worked best for me - and also would make Didi slam the phone down in my ear.

Believe it or not, that was how a *good* phone call ended!  :stars:

Seven spoke of too many cooks - I'm the only child.  Adopted, too, to pile on even more guilt and obligation!  :spooked:

But I stayed out of it - none of Didi's problems were mine, and besides, she had unNPD Ray - my "dad" and her enabler.

Your father may have dementia, but it doesn't fall to you to do anything about it.  If your mom needs help, she's the one who needs to hire aides   or put your dad in assisted living.  :yes:

If your mom doesn't want to do anything about the situation, then nothing gets done.  That's the long and short of it.  This is her mess to navigate and not dump on you - or tease you with, hoping you'll chase her down to find out what's really going on.

You don't need to know - and you really don't want to know.  :thumbup:

Personally, since it's been so long, I'd block the number she called from and forget about it - while making note  of the timing.  Interesting the call came right before things start heating up for the holidays, eh?  :roll:

Aaaaaaaaand - typical.  UnBPD Didi's makeitupitis went into hyperdrive around the holidays because I was doing nothing and paying very little attention to her.  Hers were not my problems  to solve - and Did wasn't owed a nurse or personal slave - which  I suspect your mom may want from you.

When you hear from them out of the blue like this, after 3 years, nothing good can come from it.

 :hug:

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practical

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Re: VVLC for almost 3 years and then the health bombshell
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2019, 04:58:23 PM »
Welcome!

To me it seems a question of what do you expect of yourself? And before you answer it, put away all those Hallmark images of children taking care of their sweet, loving, elderly parents, because that isn't your reality. You are dealing with parents who are rude, hurtful and unloving as far as I can tell from what you write. If they were friends, what would you accept this behaviour? I would stay far away from the situation as it is more than likely that you get hurt more while not making a difference in their lives as they don't accept your help or you.

Check out the Toolbox (top of the page) for more insights and advice. Sorry you are finding yourself in this painful situation. This is a great place to share, learn and take care of yourself. Hope to see you around.
ďIf Iím not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Iím only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when?Ē (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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weddingcat

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Re: VVLC for almost 3 years and then the health bombshell
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2019, 07:45:58 PM »
Seven - you are right to not chase the drama. It's difficult, but through so much no contact, I've managed to disconnect quite a bit. The old me would've rushed in, which I guess is what they're expecting, but I'm not that person anymore.

WI - you are also so right about the foodchain! And the help that is available out there.  You are also right that there is no much I can do about this. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with your adoptive parents. It's just sad.

Practical - to answer your question -no I wouldn't accept this behavior from anyone in my life. I don't know what I expect of myself here. I do expect respect from people and to be railroaded by a phone call after 3 years. It's like emotional torture.
Luckily I have a good therapist, but sometimes the guilt creeps in and I have to fight it. Thanks for the toolbox links. I have to remember that it is not selfish to protect your own mental well being. Heck, no one else is going to do it for you.
Other people may think what they like (extended family et al.) but I know my truth.

Thanks for listening.

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goofycrumble

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Re: VVLC for almost 3 years and then the health bombshell
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2019, 12:59:46 PM »
It just has left me dumbfounded. I feel side swiped. Speechless. They have alienated their family and us kids. I just don't get what is expected anymore. It was easier being disconnected
and not having a clue what was going on

Weddingcat Ė Iím sorry you are going through this. I donít have a solution but if itís any consolation, you are not alone so donít feel like this behaviour is normal. Itís not you

My parents are absolutely broke. My father has Alzheimerís and my mother Parkinsonís. Father decided to leave the USA 30 years ago to move to his poor home country in South America for cheaper living, it was the worst.
I was emotionally and academically stunted (didnít attend school for 7 years from 11- 17) and our familyís quality of life was troubled with poverty and instability.
Both parents were dysfunctional, dad controlling, aggressive and erratic, mom a raging co-dependent enabler. Mother barely worked during my lifetime and accrued no pension nor savings and my father changed jobs often and mishandled any income he got. Constant bad decisions.

By 22 I saved up and moved away overseas, found peace and worked hard. I handle life problems like a adult and to make the best life decisions I can responsibly

Itís easy for strangers to assume you should always be there for family. I want to help my mother but she only wants it on her terms I.E. Cash handouts. She manages dadís Social Security money and refuses to listen to anything I suggest, refuses to go see a doctor or consider a facility where she is safe  and the staff can cook, clean and wash her and she has a rest from my dadís illness. I donít even have money for a plane ticket to go see her, Iíve sent her all my savings. Iíve now used credit card to cover my bills etc. So a lot of the above advise is correct, if you can avoid please DO NOT send money.

I have to say no now as there is really no more to give. Now that I donít, Mother wonít pick up my call.

I just get quotes for nursing facilities and funeral homes in the background knowing at some point whether either parent wanted it or not this will have to be the solution for them. Am I a horrible person because I donít want their chaos ruining my life? I donít know.

You didnít decide to be dysfunctional your parents did. If they were not your parents would you allow them to affect your peace, finances and mental health? I would bet you would not