The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 40
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2004
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    1,929

    Default Adult Children Caretakers of Abusive Parents

    I saw this article and found it very thought provoking.

    As the caregiver to my elderly Mother, who was always, and remains to be, a wonderful person, I can't imagine the struggle if you had an abusive parent.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/f...b_share_chunky
    Kanoe Godby
    www.dyrkgodby.com
    See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,317

    Default

    I don't think you "owe" your abusive parents anything. They chose their path in life when you were a child. I can't imagine how a parent can be abusive anyhow so maybe I'm too tough in my thinking but I see no reason to disrupt your life for someone like that.
    Kerri


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2012
    Location
    South of Mars
    Posts
    77

    Default

    Worst mistake I ever made was spending about 15 years caring for extremely abusive mother and somewhat abusive father. I thought it was my "duty", but it cost me so much of my life, friends, money and health that in looking back on it I wish someone would have tossed cold water in my face and yelled "THINK BEFORE YOU DO THIS!".

    As to whether Karma will give me any positive payback for being "the good daughter" I have no idea. Mostly, it seems that No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

    On the other hand, I also took care of my grandmother for a while who was a total sweetheart and I don't regret one second of that time at all.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2002
    Location
    way out west
    Posts
    3,265

    Default

    I'm dealing with this now, with my 90 year old father. He is a mean man. Verbally now, and physically when I was young. I live 1,000 miles away, but I'm the only daughter...so does that mean I have to take care of him as his health is declining? My brothers, who live close by my parents, seem to think so.

    He has no quality of life and is angry at the world...but mostly his family now, it seems. Just because the medical profession CAN keep people alive to an old age doesn't mean they SHOULD.


    10 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Location
    Center of the Universe
    Posts
    7,628

    Default

    so does that mean I have to take care of him as his health is declining?
    no, of course not. You aren't obliged to care for your parents whether or not they were abusive. They are adults and hopefully arranged for their own care before they got sick.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2009
    Posts
    2,550

    Default

    Finally, someone else who thinks the current cult of forgiveness isn't the end all and be all.

    To be clear my parents were/are great. Just commenting on the "forgiveness" crap in general.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    9,775

    Default

    No saddleup, you don't owe him a thing, and your brothers can care for him if they think it's appropriate (and I bet they won't either). He's not your responsibility, and you don't have to sacrifice anything for him.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


    4 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2003
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    6,591

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saddleup View Post
    I'm dealing with this now, with my 90 year old father. He is a mean man. Verbally now, and physically when I was young. I live 1,000 miles away, but I'm the only daughter...so does that mean I have to take care of him as his health is declining? My brothers, who live close by my parents, seem to think so.

    He has no quality of life and is angry at the world...but mostly his family now, it seems. Just because the medical profession CAN keep people alive to an old age doesn't mean they SHOULD.

    I'm confused. If you have a penis you can't be expected to take care of someone? F that.

    Not that anyone has an obligation to take care of a parent legally or morally. You didn't ask to be born.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


    10 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2010
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    340

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saddleup View Post
    ...so does that mean I have to take care of him as his health is declining? My brothers, who live close by my parents, seem to think so.

    He has no quality of life and is angry at the world...
    Really sorry you are in this situation! Just because you have ovaries instead of testicles doesn't mean it is your responsibility to take care of a parent, especially a really nasty sounding one, it you do not want. They can take care of him if they feel so strongly about it instead of trying to guilt you into it.

    What is it with family?!? When you (generic you here) call them on their crap, they act like everything is your fault and how dare you! SO showed me that you don't have to put up with the crap... life is much better.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,948

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mswillie View Post
    Finally, someone else who thinks the current cult of forgiveness isn't the end all and be all.

    To be clear my parents were/are great. Just commenting on the "forgiveness" crap in general.

    I agree. Sometimes I think those who didn't have egregious things done to them extrapolate to all. And they want sit-com like closure at the end of 17 minutes.

    It does not work that way. Forgiveness cannot be given unless the forgiver gains some power from the deal. At a minimum, forgiveness (how much, for what, when) needs to be the forgiver's call. And it must mean that the forgiver knows that the abuse or offense will not be repeated. If the forgivee is unrepentant, then the only way forgiveness can happen is when the forgiver is completely sure that he/she can prevent the repetition of the offense.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Out for Lent
    Posts
    34,227

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saddleup View Post
    I'm dealing with this now, with my 90 year old father. He is a mean man. Verbally now, and physically when I was young. I live 1,000 miles away, but I'm the only daughter...so does that mean I have to take care of him as his health is declining? My brothers, who live close by my parents, seem to think so.

    He has no quality of life and is angry at the world...but mostly his family now, it seems. Just because the medical profession CAN keep people alive to an old age doesn't mean they SHOULD.
    because you are the daughter?
    brothers are children too...

    besides, they make nursing homes for that.....

    I think conventions pressure people into 'doing the right thing'
    but some people are such a piece of work, you don't need them in your life, regardless of relationship connections.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2004
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    1,929

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mswillie View Post
    Finally, someone else who thinks the current cult of forgiveness isn't the end all and be all.

    To be clear my parents were/are great. Just commenting on the "forgiveness" crap in general.
    I agree with this, sort of. What I mean is you can forgive...let it go, move on. Forgiveness helps you. That doesn't mean that you forget, or become a doormat.

    I think what the article points out is the struggle people have against societal expectations. Sort of what folks here are going through.

    While I am very happy to be here with my Mother in her last years I am giving up a lot. I don't regret it though. She was always my best friend and my biggest supporter.

    I can't imagine feeling like I had to give up my life to take care of a parent that was cruel and abusive. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't (or couldn't) do it.
    Kanoe Godby
    www.dyrkgodby.com
    See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    9,775

    Default

    I read the Slate article, and I'm amazed by the writer who criticized the author who cut his father off, and thought he shouldn't have done that.

    You owe your parents nothing for being born, and any one who says differently is wrong. Why should you sacrifice yourself for someone who abuses you, or said they wish you had never been born? I've personally seen so many cases where an adult child sacrifices everything to care for one or both parents, and in return get screwed over. In one case in the family a woman spent her entire life caring for the parents, had very little income, and in the will the pitiful estate was split three ways. Fortunately, the other two siblings did the right thing, but many times everything is left to relatives who don't even need money, and the person who sacrificed everything and is broke gets nothing.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


    4 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    13,729

    Default

    I could understand not caring for an abusive parent. My mom is the best, so no worries there.
    But people should realize that even the sweetest, nicest parent can become really mean if they get dementia or Alzheimers. My Grandmother was the nicest, sweetest person ever. Growing up, my mom says that my gm never raised her voice. When my GM got Alz. she was horrendous. Cursing, yelling at my mom, calling her names, accusing her of stealing stuff, etc. It was really hard for my mom to not take it personally, even though she knew, logically, that she was sick, and wasn't herself.
    I feel that in the case of mental illness like that above, you DO owe it to them to make sure that they are taken care of, even if that means a nursing home.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Out for Lent
    Posts
    34,227

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    I could understand not caring for an abusive parent. My mom is the best, so no worries there.
    But people should realize that even the sweetest, nicest parent can become really mean if they get dementia or Alzheimers. My Grandmother was the nicest, sweetest person ever. Growing up, my mom says that my gm never raised her voice. When my GM got Alz. she was horrendous. Cursing, yelling at my mom, calling her names, accusing her of stealing stuff, etc. It was really hard for my mom to not take it personally, even though she knew, logically, that she was sick, and wasn't herself.
    I feel that in the case of mental illness like that above, you DO owe it to them to make sure that they are taken care of, even if that means a nursing home.
    But you know that is not them talking, it's the dementia.

    We are talking about those people who have inflicted years of abuse on their children.

    I mean, yes, forgiving is part of the personal healing process, but that should not mean you have to sacrifice!


    And I do have to agree with the assessment of the caregiver ending up screwed....
    My mom ended up with the short end of the stick....Grandmother was not teribly abusive, but always put mom down, blowing sugar up my uncles back...Mom was expected to bail him out, when she was putting pressure on him to get his act together, grandmother got mad....

    After as short time when uncle and grandmother didn't talk to each other and mom was the go-to kid....everything reversed when he returned....we lost complete contact, until after my uncle had died and Mom was now stuck with her care...and the bills...long story, sucked all the way around.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,948

    Default

    Thanks for starting this thread and all of the COTH-type wisdom.

    I'm in a family that could turn out with me getting the short end of the stick. Beatrice in the article reminds me of me: I seemed to be the kid that was most strongly "stamped" by the dysfunction of our family. I *could* be the one to take care of my mom because I was the one who didn't trust marriage, that I could be a good parent to a human (though I rock at horses and cats).

    But in a twisted way, I want to be the person who can do better for my parents than they did for me. It's twisted to get a personal high that way.

    Oh, and I can see that by wanting to have *someone* to provide for my mom at the end of her days and seeing my sister not hold the same values, I'm setting myself up to resent her.

    My point is that I might be taking the martyr's position... but that was set up a long, long time ago. It would take a lot of doing to undo it.

    That's why I'm grateful for your experience and opinions.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2003
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    6,591

    Default

    mvp-
    reading your post reminded me of a mid-nineties movie entitled "Marvin's Room." It was an excellent film with Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton. If you haven't seen it, you may find it illuminating.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,948

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    mvp-
    reading your post reminded me of a mid-nineties movie entitled "Marvin's Room." It was an excellent film with Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton. If you haven't seen it, you may find it illuminating.
    Yeah, I have seen it. I'll watch it again in my current state of mind.

    The hard part about my family is that everyone looks better on the surface than did Meryl Streep's character. You'd be hard-pressed to see my sister as the a-hole in the scenario.

    And with respect to the dementia possibility: That adds a complicated wrinkle, doesn't it? How do you hold someone mentally incompetent for never having done better by their kids? As someone pointed out, any cruelty or PITA behavior is just the dementia talking, not the person. But man, what a challenge for the caregiver!

    Fortunately, my mom has no desire to live that way and has made that clear in her medical durable power of attorney document.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 12, 2006
    Posts
    1,070

    Default

    Fascinating article, thank you for posting it, CDE.

    I'll up the ante: throw in old hurtful sibling problems to the whole issue of caring for an elderly, far-less-than-stellar parent, and watch the torment of the adult children begin.

    Also, in conservative church cultures that make idols of "family" and "forgiveness" and then pound "honor thy father/mother" into congregant, the pressure on the adult children is overwhelming.

    The point made in the article about rushing to forgiveness in lieu of justice is very very true.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    9,775

    Default

    I've always wondered when you hear reports of elder abuse by relatives, if it is mirroring the treatment the person received from the parent.

    I guess we'll never know about that, but it did make me think.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


    1 members found this post helpful.

Similar Threads

  1. Adult children of parents divorcing...
    By ReplacementHandle in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Feb. 5, 2012, 11:04 AM
  2. Parents, tell us about your (human) children
    By Lauruffian in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: Dec. 25, 2011, 03:28 PM
  3. Parents of adopted children?
    By rustbreeches in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: Nov. 1, 2011, 08:03 PM
  4. only children and parents of onlies
    By 4Martini in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: May. 2, 2011, 04:02 PM
  5. Any other parents of disabled children?
    By Curb Appeal in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: Nov. 12, 2010, 10:01 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness