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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

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    RMH, ((hugs)). I am so sorry you went through all of that.

    I have found this distance to be hard, but I have had to move for work and such and can't be home to deal with this. I haven't yet mentioned the fact that i am supposed to take care of Grandma too...and she's even farther away in WY.

    These are women whom I love and want the best for but it's an uphill battle at times.

    And I'm getting ready to go back overseas. I wish my brothers or uncle were more interested.

    I'm the oldest, can you tell?

    Ha.

    Well, I have dodged the bullet tonight.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,224

    Default The Code of Silence

    In my family we call it the family code of silence. My parents get upset if we don't keep them informed about our health, but I have to rely on my brother and sister-in-law to know if Mom or Dad is in the hospital. Steve, my brother, and I now joke about the Cone of Silence (does anyone remember Get Smart?) and we keep each other informed about our parents. I think my parents have finally given up trying to keep things to themselves.

    When my aunt went into the hospital last fall I was amazed to find the Code of Silence existed with our extended family as well, to the point of my aunt's daughter not letting her dad know his wife was in the hospital because he was taking care of his mother out of state and her mom (my aunt) didn't want to trouble him. Of course he did get informed.

    Now Steve and I inform our relatives before my parents can say to not tell anyone until they have more information from doctors since they don't want to worry anyone. It's all about beating them at the silence game. My cousin has bought into this as well so the Code of Silence may be broken in our family.



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,224

    Default The Code of Silence

    In my family we call it the family code of silence. My parents get upset if we don't keep them informed about our health, but I have to rely on my brother and sister-in-law to know if Mom or Dad is in the hospital. Steve, my brother, and I now joke about the Cone of Silence (does anyone remember Get Smart?) and we keep each other informed about our parents. I think my parents have finally given up trying to keep things to themselves.

    When my aunt went into the hospital last fall I was amazed to find the Code of Silence existed with our extended family as well, to the point of my aunt's daughter not letting her dad know his wife was in the hospital because he was taking care of his mother out of state and her mom (my aunt) didn't want to trouble him. Of course he did get informed.

    Now Steve and I inform our relatives before my parents can say to not tell anyone until they have more information from doctors since they don't want to worry anyone. It's all about beating them at the silence game. My cousin has bought into this as well so the Code of Silence may be broken in our family.



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2009
    Posts
    2,576

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    Thanks BuddyRoo. Anybody who wants TRUE info on doing the executor thing, I am not a lawyer, but an accountant, ask me.

    The thing with my dad is he knew the death "business". Everybody in his immediate family is now dead. He knew how it went with wills, probate (if it is needed), etc. He I think on purpose didn't put anybody payable on death (pod) on anything he had. He was not good with numbers at all. But he seemed to get by. So since everything was in his name only, we had to go to probate. But, if I had lived in his city or even the state or even CLOSE BY, I could have done it all myself with the filing. You do not have to BE a lawyer to do so. UG. $$$

    I got his house sold in about 6 business days. I am johnny-ette on the spot on getting things done, I always have been, quickly and fast and efficently. OMG it is a total fixer that house of his. Once again, if I had lived down there I would have fixed (myself) and flipped it - even in this economy. But, I am 5.5 hours away, and do have a life here. I sold it as is. He was a chain smoker of 5 packs a day, also he cooked lots of fried food so ALL the walls of the ENTIRE house are greasy and smoke stained. Everything is out of date. Years ago he toyed with the fact of moving to be closer to "his family" in KY. But I know he.just.couldn't.leave.the.mgm.grand.in.Biloxi.ms. Yes, KY has the track, but I think he would not have been given the princess treatment like the mgm grand did, and also his family (my cousins) may find out his dirty little secret. Ok, moving on.

    Sanely E, YES you are so right, there is a Code of Silence. Grrrr. What the heck (f) is the deal with that? Do they think we are so simple and drama queened (oh sorry we are not YET talking about my mom but we did talk of the other princess above) we can't mentally handle it and we will have to have a slap in the face, a stiff drink, or a sedative when we hear the news of such horrible medical health of somebody else? sheez! Get real!

    I found out a couple months ago, ok, my mom, yes one long sorted tale, lets see what chapter is this - oh I digress - , ha ha, she has been "allegedly" (my thoughts) diagnosed with early Alz. She is a fake, dramaqueen/princess/diva (same as my dad) lies to make her look more important or to suit the situation, tells all kinds of tales. She is a nurse (not a good one, and she is 74 now), so she knows how they act, etc. I think she is suiting herself for the attention. She has changed herself so all the family that hates her, she doesn't remember anything (lie), so none of her past drama actually happened. I know, cryptic but take my word for it. BTW my mom's father had it and she left him high and dry and NEVER saw him after he got ALZ. She let her step-mother do all the work and her family also. But when he died, she sure had her hand held out for money. And she was a nurse! Go figure. When my dad died she had her hand held out but she was not given anything, but she is now claiming some of his ss. I guess divorce is never final, not even through death.



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,785

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    RMH - it sounds like 5.5 hours is to close!!! Good luck with your mom. And remember, you can chose your family. My closest friends are my family and I would not trade them for anything.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2009
    Location
    Dairyville USA
    Posts
    2,979

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    I once called my dad to say happy birthday. We had the usual 5 mins of small talk, I asked what he was up to and he goes "Oh, Uncle XXX is just giving me a ride home" and I go "Oh, did you guys go fishing?" and he goes "No, it's just my pacemaker, they won't let you drive yourself home after they put one in" WTF. Mom goes on a girls' retirement cruise around the world, dad gets a pacemaker without telling ANYONE. I wanted to wring his little neck after I made sure he was ok.
    Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
    Sam: A job? Does it pay?
    Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
    Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    426

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    2 years ago December, my extended family was dealing with 2 of my uncles who were in life threatening vehicle accidents (neither of them at fault) 4 days apart across the country from each other. My parents were in Mexico when the accidents happened.
    A week after they got home and while still dealing with the accidents, 1 uncle still in life threatening condition, the other perhaps losing the use of his voice and his right hand. My father has a heart attack and tells NO ONE until February when he needs surgery to put in 3 (ended up being 4) heart stints!

    What they don't understand is, it's actually WORSE not knowing and being left to worry instead!



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2001
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    4,388

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    This would be my parents. I finally went off on them and they quit, but when I was little it caused me a lot of anxiety.
    However, when I suspected I had cancer, it was hard to know when to tell family. So I somewhat get it.



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,582

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    I think it's not only that they want to be independent, and not admit they're aging and need more care, but that they don't want to worry anyone. And there's the "if you don't admit something, then it didn't happen" school of denial also.

    And I think many older people are afraid of being dumped in a home, everything sold, and neglected. Unfortunately, this does happen to some, so they want to preserve the illusion of total independence and competency, even when they aren't.
    Last edited by JanM; Nov. 5, 2012 at 04:23 PM.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2000
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    973

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    My mom, who passed away from cancer, did that, too. She called me AFTER she had been in the hospital for several days, unknown to me (the only child, and I lived within driving distance), and was already back home, to tell me she had cancer, but she was fine and home now, so not to worry.

    *blink*

    I think part of it is also their coping mechanism -- or rather, not being able to cope with that kind of news, and needing to avoid dealing with it or talking about for as long as possible, as if somehow not talking about it or facing it can keep it from becoming real.

    Oh, it still made my brain want to explode, and made me want to cry and yell at her, a lot. But I didn't.

    Now, my mother-in-law (out of state) is having dementia issues, but we never get a straight answer from my father-in-law about how she is or what's going on, or if she's taking any medication or what kind it might be, or even what her doctor has said, or even if she's seen a doctor recently. All he says is that she doesn't have Alzheimer's, but when we do see her, it sure seems like it could be. On the one hand, it's their business, I suppose, and if he or they want to keep it private, they do have that right. But it's frustrating as hell to us "kids." We do care, and love both of them, and we want to know what's going on.

    Old, secretive parents -- can't kill 'em, even if it's out of love and for their own good!! And hugs to everyone going through something like this... at least you know you're not alone.
    Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
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  11. #31
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2012
    Posts
    49

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    Oh wow, hugs all around! I'm too tired to get into it now, but this is exactly what's going on with my folks and it's not fun. (Nothing like explaining your parents to people by starting with, "Have you ever seen that show Hoarders?" )

    In the case of my parents I think a lot of the secretiveness has to do with their ongoing shame etc. related to dysfunctional/abusive childhoods. They're mortified that people know things about them, period (and in the case of my mom, alternate non-disclosure with WAAAAY TMI explanations.) But yes, I can have an hour-long phone conversation with my mom, where it seems like she's telling me where they're at, medically, and then talk to my sister who lives out there by them and find out that my dad was in the hospital again for a week and my mom never even mentioned a thing.

    I have actually reached the point of not trying to help them or even figure out what's going on - if they don't want to tell me, I can't be playing the mind-reading savior. I just ran out of resources, emotionally and physically. And also, I genuinely have started to feel like if they want to hide the reality from outsiders as a way of preserving their dignity, at this point in the game, why disrupt them? My dad isn't going to be around for too much longer and I doubt my mom will be able to function on her own when he's gone, anyway.

    Ah, parents. And I thought my horse was self-destructive!



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2005
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    3,259

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    As a parent, it's your job to take care of and not worry your children.....just sayin'.

    If it's your kid withholding information, you give them holy you know what, because they're your kid and you want to take care of them no matter how old they are.



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2000
    Location
    Chatham, NY USA
    Posts
    4,100

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    BuddyRoo - my younger sister could empathize with you more than I, but I do! And I understand what you're going through. My parents were divorced when I was VERY young. I was 21 when I met my father, and we have a good relationship now. I didn't know until about 10 years ago (I'm 67) that my father had left the Marines and worked for my grandfather and was THERE when I was born - my other-mother mentioned it and was HORRIFIED that I hadn't known.

    Not sure why that would have shocked her so. When my younger half-sister (theirs) was in college, one of their dogs died. Pop wrote me to tell me, with "Don't tell Janet, she'd be upset." WHAT? Like she won't be upset in 6 months (she was in Europe) when she comes home to find the dog died 6 months before? Then my half-brother died. Again, Pop wrote - only this time it was "Don't EVER mention this or him to Betty (my other-mother)." So I didn't. This was 30+ years ago. Probably 5 years ago, she & I were out gallivanting, and she mentioned him. I told her how terrible I had felt for all these years that I had never been able to talk with her, comfort her, give her a shoulder to lean on. Then Janet & I were talking a few years ago, and she told me how angry she & Maxie had been when they were told they had an older sister. They were 10 & 12; I was 21 and coming to meet my father for the first (as far as I knew) time.

    WTF??? I don't get it. Secrecy causes so much angst and heartache/break and misunderstanding. Better the devil you face than the one that lurks in the shadows - whatever the devil it is.

    Hugs to you - and others with these dysfunctional families. We have a lot of company, it seems.

    Carol
    www.ayliprod.com
    Equine Photography in the Northeast



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2000
    Location
    Chatham, NY USA
    Posts
    4,100

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    Oh yes, Sanely E - my niece and my sister (two different sides of the family) each have a Cone of Silence with me. Life-saver! Or at least, sanity-saver.

    C
    www.ayliprod.com
    Equine Photography in the Northeast



  15. #35
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2009
    Posts
    2,576

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    Quote Originally Posted by JanM View Post

    And I think many older people are afraid of being dumped in a home, everything sold, and neglected. Unfortunately, this does happen to some, so they want to preserve the illusion of total independence and competency, even when they aren't.
    You know, my mom has said she wanted to go into a nursing home, that way she would have "better" servants. sheesh

    THANKS Sketcher, I loved what you said. And yes, my close friends and my husband are my family. My dad is now dead, so he is not 5.5 hours away any more as of June. My mom is a couple hours. But I do not see her any more. Way too stressful. With her *imo* faking her alz, she seems to have taken on the good princess/mother mode, but even my sisters, and all the grandkids (6) are not fooled either by her new "self". She changes her "self" every few years. Weird. She was really weird like she had just got off the good ship lolli pop when I went to my niece's wedding in August. I was not fooled. I have learned the hard way with her.

    My dad's house will close here in the next week or two, so no more of him keeping secrets of his health. Now he can't his ashes have been cast onto the beach. Literally.



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