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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post

    besides, they make nursing homes for that.....
    The b!tches of that solution are several.

    Nursing care and bankrupt an estate that might have supplied kids with some compensation for what they endured.

    And the question of compensating the care-giving kid for their contribution in the distribution of assets.... oy vey! I can't even imagine how families sort this out.
    The armchair saddler
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  2. #22
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    You can retrain them. My father was a piece of work. He would needle, needle, needle, I would ignore, until finally a straw that broke the camel's back comment and I would explode. Then he would sit back and gloat.

    We instituted a 3 strikes you're out policy. I would tell him each time he made a hurtful, nasty comment. On the third, he went directly home. It only took a couple of weeks and he was mostly cured.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant

    Member of Kathy S. has me on ignore club.


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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    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.
    My takeaway from that film was that although others saw the Diane Keaton character as a "martyr" (your fear) that, to the contrary, taking care of her father gave meaning to her life, and that she felt very lucky as a result. What I guess I am trying to say to you is don't adopt what other people may think about the situation. The only thing that counts is how YOU feel about it.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  4. #24
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    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.
    Not directly related to the article quoted - our parents were lacking in some parental and financial skills that did have us in plenty of turmoil - but not to the extent cited here. And like the article says, there were loads of good times as well. But I am likewise in the above kind of situation right now. What compounds it, is my mother's never getting any counseling herself, and always acting a bit like Scarlett O'Hara - putting on airs. I thought she was a great Mom growing up, middle sister constantly whined that I was spoiled, so I believed her and felt guilty. Oldest sister and Mom always had a wall between them, but were polite. Although it was others' expenses and failures that Mom spent $$ on, leaving us no money for the mortgage or heating oil bill, losing our house, and my having to finance most of my college. Dad was in and out of jobs by the time I came along, and often nothing was good enough (because he had had important jobs in the past), even when he tried.

    She was extremely unforgiving about any failures I had as an adult. TG I read Ann Landers as a teen, and knew to get counseling. Has definitely helped in my own family situations.

    And still love my mother, who can be a very dear person. But her failing to ever straighten herself out, "buying" (charging) myriad gifts for everyone and loads of clothes for herself, created a situation where she didn't have a pot to pi** in when retired. We would alternatively house her, loan her money, etc. She is now, at 98, in the loveliest assisted living facility anywhere. The four of us splitting the up front costs years ago, and making up the monthly difference since then between her retirement from an affiliated facility. We are all worn down. That, plus everyone (except me) at retirement age. She truly believes she has paid for everything. It was long ago agreed to keep up the facade, it would tear her apart at this stage to know it wasn't all the benefits from that job... But her continued airs get to be a bit much...

    So, as much as I truly love my mother, and I just left her an hour ago, those bouts of dementia, when she's swearing like a trooper during 10-20 hour visits (waiting to be admitted) at the ER (once a month for the past 6) because we are "purposely hurting her" and she wishes every bad thing under the sun would happen to us in return, are hard to stomach. Especially when others come to visit, and squeeze in the middle saying what a wonderful gal she is, and she turns it back on as soon as they leave. Then as we're going out the door of the ER, she apologizes for her bad behavior. If she truly can't remember, how does she know?

    I don't think we had any other choice, and frankly, to her own ends, she raised us to be thoughtful. But it is scary considering our own moving on. Which is why I plan on riding until they carry me away. Would much rather ride out on a horse, than be confined to the above described homes. And I don't plan on foisting myself on my one dear son.
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



  5. #25
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    Interesting article but I think they confused issues. I agree that no one has an obligation to care for their parents, abusive or not. My mother, absolutely I will care for her (as I am allowed, have step dad from hell), my father, no. And there are plenty of gradations in that..somethings I might do, some I might not.

    But that is not the same thing as forgiveness. Forgiveness does not have to do with the "forgivee" but with us! It does not matter whether or not they are repentant or have stopped their wicked ways. It only matters that we do not care to carry around all the resentment. By forgiving (truly forgiving, really going through the whole process) we are freed from the binds of resentment. But that hardly means we then want to be around that person, that we are okay with what they did in any way.We may forgive and they may, on t heir own, decide to take some responsibility and the whole relationship changes. They may NOT, and we can decide if it endangers our sanity to be around them or not. I have forgiven many people with whom I do not want contact. I believe others have forgiven me (some want contact and others don't, yet, maybe some day).

    Every time I slowly, painfully get over a resentment and forgive someone, I think, "Why in hell did I wait so long? This is so much better! I do NOT want my resentment back!!"


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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilitiger2 View Post
    Every time I slowly, painfully get over a resentment and forgive someone, I think, "Why in hell did I wait so long? This is so much better! I do NOT want my resentment back!!"
    Yeah. Resentments are like cancer. They will poison us from the inside out.


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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    The b!tches of that solution are several.

    Nursing care and bankrupt an estate that might have supplied kids with some compensation for what they endured.
    That's not really a "b!tch" though. The elderly person needs care, and if their estate can be used to pay for it, it should. At least the kids won't have to deal with their abuser that way, but they're not owed the estate for enduring abuse, as harsh as that sounds.


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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    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.
    My reading of this had nothing to do with gender. OP has siblings all of whom are male. They decline to help her parents and therefore expect that saddleup should do it.

    My longtime house cleaner was number 10 or 11 in a family of 13, both genders. Although by all accounts both her parents were fine people and did a phenomenal job raising such an enormous family, nobody else but the housecleaner was willing to help much with them when they were elderly, though to be sure from what she said they all had opinions galore on what was to be done when they weren't looting the parents' stuff. I recall Pam saying that her brothers and sisters expected her to do it.

    Perhaps saddleup could clarify.
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein



  9. #29
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    Caring for elderly parents is a very complex consideration. I don't think anybody has a moral obligation to care for anyone to whom they have not personally and completely voluntarily committed in that way, and even making that kind of a commitment is not a blank check.

    The conventional argument from tradition and Western social custom that I've heard runs something like: "They took care of you and protected you when you were little and helpless and you therefore 'owe it' to them to reciprocate when they are inform and you are able-bodied." Even if one accepts this to one degree or another, the argument becomes threadbare when the parental caregivers abused their helpless children, because in fact the parents were not performing their parental responsibility. Parents whose abuse of omission or commission results in developmental short-circuits that plague their children's adult lives failed in their responsibility in proportion to the damage they inflicted. EH notes that one did not ask to be born. True if a bit flip perhaps. More importantly, NO child either asked or deserved to be abused.

    Parents of such victimized innocents are already overdrawn at the Bank of Ethics and Morality. Allowing them more overdrafts is not obligatory.

    It becomes very challenging for the victims to draw a bright line as adult children in that their abusers frequently as part of their abuse resorted to manipulative devices to induce guilt and shame in their victims. So the adult children are in effect being further abused in proportion to the residual ghosts of that guilt or shame.


    Separately, it's pretty well established that people become conflicted after they've been caught up in ongoing parental care for a while, assuming their perfect willingness to do it (for whatever motivation).

    One may wish to tend and care for them, but it can become a seemingly bottomless disruptive personal and financial pit. It becomes only natural and reasonable and not in the least unhealthy -- or so I've heard from those in the psychological profession -- to in parallel with wanting to help, simultaneously actively and consciously to resent the imposition and often to wish for the situation to come to its natural conclusion rather than dragging on and on indefinitely, all the more so if the parent is no longer all 'in-there' or 'in-there' at all, a husk for a former self. Healthy but unsettling. (I prefer the healthier Judaic formulation here to the later one: There are no thought crimes; all that matters is what you do, not how you feel about doing it or what you think along the way.)

    I like to resolve questions of how much I should do when I have willingly undertaken an obligation by doing a bit more than the 'contract' requires of me, because even absent any humans tend to somewhat overestimate the costs exacted on them and underestimate what they have contributed.

    Better to have a bit of a 'psychic cushion' than for there to be any nagging doubt leading to second-guessing onesself later on. Seems to me that I've heard somewhat implausibly attributed to Linus Pauling, that "20%" is an appropriate cushion if such things can be quantified.
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein


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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    The b!tches of that solution are several.

    Nursing care and bankrupt an estate that might have supplied kids with some compensation for what they endured.
    The kid's can choose to endure more abuse, or forgo it in lieu of a smaller or no inheritance.

    As one nursing home admissions person I knew used to say "You saved for a rainy day; guess what, it's monsoon season"


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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    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.
    It would appear that if you have a penis you don't have to take care of anyone - at least that is what happened to me.

    My parents both dropped dead of heart attacks - I thought I wouldn't have to "deal" with the taking care of elderly parents... Wrong.

    My lovely (male) cousin - when his parents (my aunt and uncle) were both diagnosed with terminal illnesses, my cousin was the one verbally and physically abusing his parents. The day after my uncle was put into the hospital (Because I called the ambulance - my cousin insisted that his father was "Fine - he's FINE!")- I physically took my aunt out of her bed and brought her to my house. When they released my uncle (just a mild heart attack...) I brought him in as well. I loved them and tried my best to take care of them til they died. It took a toll on me physically and emotionally (and we won't even go into the finances) but - their lives were - I hope - a little better at the end then it would have been if I'd left them alone.


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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coanteen View Post
    That's not really a "b!tch" though. The elderly person needs care, and if their estate can be used to pay for it, it should. At least the kids won't have to deal with their abuser that way, but they're not owed the estate for enduring abuse, as harsh as that sounds.
    Absolutely the parent's estate should go to his/her expenses first and if they die with the bank accounts at zero, that's cool.

    But! Watch what happens in families who think about distributing the care and financial burden of the unwanted parent. If all abuse were distributed equally among the kids, or all agreed about how bad (or trivial) it was, and all shared the same values about automatically caring for parents, there wouldn't be a problem. But when these things aren't agreed upon the whole shebang can become incredibly divisive among siblings, extending the dysfunction of the family one more generation.

    It's really not unusual for people (including the parent) to think about minimizing the cost of their elder care.
    The armchair saddler
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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamantane View Post
    Caring for elderly parents is a very complex consideration. I don't think anybody has a moral obligation to care for anyone to whom they have not personally and completely voluntarily committed in that way, and even making that kind of a commitment is not a blank check.

    The conventional argument from tradition and Western social custom that I've heard runs something like: "They took care of you and protected you when you were little and helpless and you therefore 'owe it' to them to reciprocate when they are inform and you are able-bodied." Even if one accepts this to one degree or another, the argument becomes threadbare when the parental caregivers abused their helpless children, because in fact the parents were not performing their parental responsibility. Parents whose abuse of omission or commission results in developmental short-circuits that plague their children's adult lives failed in their responsibility in proportion to the damage they inflicted. EH notes that one did not ask to be born. True if a bit flip perhaps. More importantly, NO child either asked or deserved to be abused.

    Parents of such victimized innocents are already overdrawn at the Bank of Ethics and Morality. Allowing them more overdrafts is not obligatory.

    It becomes very challenging for the victims to draw a bright line as adult children in that their abusers frequently as part of their abuse resorted to manipulative devices to induce guilt and shame in their victims. So the adult children are in effect being further abused in proportion to the residual ghosts of that guilt or shame.


    Separately, it's pretty well established that people become conflicted after they've been caught up in ongoing parental care for a while, assuming their perfect willingness to do it (for whatever motivation).

    One may wish to tend and care for them, but it can become a seemingly bottomless disruptive personal and financial pit. It becomes only natural and reasonable and not in the least unhealthy -- or so I've heard from those in the psychological profession -- to in parallel with wanting to help, simultaneously actively and consciously to resent the imposition and often to wish for the situation to come to its natural conclusion rather than dragging on and on indefinitely, all the more so if the parent is no longer all 'in-there' or 'in-there' at all, a husk for a former self. Healthy but unsettling. (I prefer the healthier Judaic formulation here to the later one: There are no thought crimes; all that matters is what you do, not how you feel about doing it or what you think along the way.)

    I like to resolve questions of how much I should do when I have willingly undertaken an obligation by doing a bit more than the 'contract' requires of me, because even absent any humans tend to somewhat overestimate the costs exacted on them and underestimate what they have contributed.

    Better to have a bit of a 'psychic cushion' than for there to be any nagging doubt leading to second-guessing onesself later on. Seems to me that I've heard somewhat implausibly attributed to Linus Pauling, that "20%" is an appropriate cushion if such things can be quantified.
    Preach it, brother!
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by red mares View Post
    The kid's can choose to endure more abuse, or forgo it in lieu of a smaller or no inheritance.
    With all due respect, where would the abused kid get the psychological equipment to decide to abandon the parent? Heck, folks with parents who were middle-of-the-road good struggle with this, so the person who grew up with the twisted situation in which your provider was also your abuser has a tougher-than-average version of this universal problem to figure out.

    Or imagine the case where one sibling has the money/time/life situation to care for the ailing parent. Doesn't want to. Other sibling has a family and kids to send to college with the inheritance. You can't imagine that there's some pressure there among the siblings?

    Getting out of a f#cked-up family and behaving rationally isn't quite as easy as it looks. It's best if the kid who was abused started that process in early adulthood where the emotional stakes were lower.
    The armchair saddler
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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    With all due respect, where would the abused kid get the psychological equipment to decide to abandon the parent? Heck, folks with parents who were middle-of-the-road good struggle with this, so the person who grew up with the twisted situation in which your provider was also your abuser has a tougher-than-average version of this universal problem to figure out.

    Or imagine the case where one sibling has the money/time/life situation to care for the ailing parent. Doesn't want to. Other sibling has a family and kids to send to college with the inheritance. You can't imagine that there's some pressure there among the siblings?

    Getting out of a f#cked-up family and behaving rationally isn't quite as easy as it looks. It's best if the kid who was abused started that process in early adulthood where the emotional stakes were lower.
    sorry....
    But when you willingly endure abuse for the $$ you deserve it.

    Equipped?

    true, it is a life skill hard earned to realize that 'No' can be a complete sentence.

    but seriously, the estate is not the children's to calculate on.
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  16. #36
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    It's been my experience that there's only one responsible person in a family at a time. No shared sacrifice.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant

    Member of Kathy S. has me on ignore club.


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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windyfoot View Post
    It would appear that if you have a penis you don't have to take care of anyone - at least that is what happened to me.

    My parents both dropped dead of heart attacks - I thought I wouldn't have to "deal" with the taking care of elderly parents... Wrong.

    My lovely (male) cousin - when his parents (my aunt and uncle) were both diagnosed with terminal illnesses, my cousin was the one verbally and physically abusing his parents. The day after my uncle was put into the hospital (Because I called the ambulance - my cousin insisted that his father was "Fine - he's FINE!")- I physically took my aunt out of her bed and brought her to my house. When they released my uncle (just a mild heart attack...) I brought him in as well. I loved them and tried my best to take care of them til they died. It took a toll on me physically and emotionally (and we won't even go into the finances) but - their lives were - I hope - a little better at the end then it would have been if I'd left them alone.
    You're a good person. Hopefully you'll get some good Karma for that.



  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    You're a good person. Hopefully you'll get some good Karma for that.
    Think of how topsy-turvy the world might be if karma were a significantly operative mechanism.

    I don't think the problem arose, by the way, because of the cousin's genitalia, but rather because the cousin was simply an asshat to use the COTH euphemism.

    I know of others who had wonderful upbringings with wonderful loving parents who for some reason went sour in their adolescence and became the originating fount of deeply damaging abuse for all the males and females in the next three generations. Like a bad mutation.
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein



  19. #39
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    according to the "era" in which i was raised, my parents weren't abusive, just the "norm".........except now, as an adult, when i talk to others that were kids at the same time i was, they were not subjected to the physical punishments and verbal abuses and tyrannical rules and regulations by which i was raised..........
    so then i wonder, WERE my parents abusive?.........certainly not to the outside world,were we were percieved as the perfect family..wealthy, well-mannered, well educated, well-travelled and so on...oh, and 3 times a week church goers........

    what is NOT seen from the outside is that the manners and obedience was only out of fear of consequences, not out of love or respect..............to this day, i hear the horrendous phrases that were shouted over and ovr again, the minor infractions i was beaten for, the privledges denied and the threat of my precious pets being killed if my grades were bad or i didn't comply in an appropriate manner...........i never knew any different and didn't have tons of resentment as a kid.........when i went to college, i had freedom, became an expert in decieving my parents...........and while i was not physically violent towards anyone, i had an explosive temper and my tongue was so sharp it could slice a hair in half............
    i married an abusive man..............from the outside,he had ALL the attributes of a perfect father and husband.........after 13 years i finally got the gumption to kick him out and divorce him (much to the embarrasment at church to my parents)....and realized that MY parenting style was reflecting my inner turmoil, and that i needed to change........................thank goodness my children were able to benefit from my revelation enough to become loving, caring, forgiving adults, and truly believe that at the time, i did the best with what i had..... i HAVE asked for their forgivness for being a harsh, angry parent for the beginning of their lives, and my slate with them is clean.............
    HOWEVER, the past several years i have been caregiver for my ailing mother..........and the kids have been able to see her in a different light than the doting grandmother they always knew........they were on the reciving end of nasty comments, saw her childish ,nasty behaviors when she could no longer command absolute obedience with the whip of the tongue or the brandishing of a "weapon".............................and they also began to understand how/why i was the way i used to be..........but more importantly, they saw me care for this woman in a loving and compassionate way,even though she would berate and shriek at me...........i even asked her one time about beating me for such minor infractions..........she replied that i was only beaten when i deserved it............

    my parents were products of their upbringing, which ,obviously, wasn't great............and in turn, i was a product of my environment............but at some point, an adult has to claim their life as their own, and decide which fork in the road to take.............while i was NOT abusive to my mother. i DID learn to stand up to her, and tell her she ws not allowed to talk to me that way, or talk about my kids or grandkids in a certain manner..
    i think she wanted to be nice, just didn't really know how to go about it...............and i took care of her to the end of her life because i knew i had to.........not for anyone else, but for ME, so that i knew in my heart that i did everything to the best of my ability..............it was not for HER peace of mind, but for mine..................but in the end, it served the both of us well, and that's what counts in the end.........


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  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windyfoot View Post
    It would appear that if you have a penis you don't have to take care of anyone - at least that is what happened to me.
    What a lovely thing you have done for your aunt and uncle. Agree it will come back to you.

    Will agree that it's usually women most of the time - but sometimes the alternative.

    ExSO had a very dysfunctional family. When his parents died - within 2 months of each other, younger sister who had been living with/off them into her 40's stayed in their cottage, ruined it, and almost lost it to non-payment of taxes. Older sister was already living overseas after abandoning her family, hitting the road with a grifter, and eventually finding work as a teacher. Just recently had to retire, had nothing, and was begging to stay with relatives when she returned.

    His father was reportedly a horrid man - and several generations Harvard educated. No guarantee of success there. What a waste.

    Quote Originally Posted by tallyho392 View Post
    according to the "era" in which i was raised, my parents weren't abusive, just the "norm".........except now, as an adult, when i talk to others that were kids at the same time i was, they were not subjected to the physical punishments and verbal abuses and tyrannical rules and regulations by which i was raised..........
    so then i wonder, WERE my parents abusive?.........certainly not to the outside world,were we were percieved as the perfect family..wealthy, well-mannered, well educated, well-travelled and so on...oh, and 3 times a week church goers........

    what is NOT seen from the outside is that the manners and obedience was only out of fear of consequences, not out of love or respect..............to this day, i hear the horrendous phrases that were shouted over and ovr again, the minor infractions i was beaten for, the privledges denied and the threat of my precious pets being killed if my grades were bad or i didn't comply in an appropriate manner...........i never knew any different and didn't have tons of resentment as a kid.........when i went to college, i had freedom, became an expert in decieving my parents...........and while i was not physically violent towards anyone, i had an explosive temper and my tongue was so sharp it could slice a hair in half............
    i married an abusive man..............from the outside,he had ALL the attributes of a perfect father and husband.........after 13 years i finally got the gumption to kick him out and divorce him (much to the embarrasment at church to my parents)....and realized that MY parenting style was reflecting my inner turmoil, and that i needed to change........................thank goodness my children were able to benefit from my revelation enough to become loving, caring, forgiving adults, and truly believe that at the time, i did the best with what i had..... i HAVE asked for their forgivness for being a harsh, angry parent for the beginning of their lives, and my slate with them is clean.............
    HOWEVER, the past several years i have been caregiver for my ailing mother..........and the kids have been able to see her in a different light than the doting grandmother they always knew........they were on the reciving end of nasty comments, saw her childish ,nasty behaviors when she could no longer command absolute obedience with the whip of the tongue or the brandishing of a "weapon".............................and they also began to understand how/why i was the way i used to be..........but more importantly, they saw me care for this woman in a loving and compassionate way,even though she would berate and shriek at me...........i even asked her one time about beating me for such minor infractions..........she replied that i was only beaten when i deserved it............

    my parents were products of their upbringing, which ,obviously, wasn't great............and in turn, i was a product of my environment............but at some point, an adult has to claim their life as their own, and decide which fork in the road to take.............while i was NOT abusive to my mother. i DID learn to stand up to her, and tell her she ws not allowed to talk to me that way, or talk about my kids or grandkids in a certain manner..
    i think she wanted to be nice, just didn't really know how to go about it...............and i took care of her to the end of her life because i knew i had to.........not for anyone else, but for ME, so that i knew in my heart that i did everything to the best of my ability..............it was not for HER peace of mind, but for mine..................but in the end, it served the both of us well, and that's what counts in the end.........
    Mine a bit similar to yours, although perhaps not to quite the same degree. I, too, thought it was the norm for most families for the physical stuff. Especially when you later saw some of the same on TV. Slapping faces on soap operas? Screaming? Constant arguing? And, yes, pious in public...

    As for caring for my mother, I also see fear in failing to do it. Well, I always know I'm going to be caught in anything less than doing the right thing. But also the pressure from each other to altogether get her through it. We have all had our times when we just wanted to throw up our hands.

    You are absolutely right in responding that it is up to us individually to get ourselves help to get through and over our own situations. Again, my parents aghast when I sought counseling my first year of college. But over the years I have been so lucky to have found some excellent counseling that has helped me in myriad situations. Would never have been able to handle much of what I have based on anything learned from my parents.

    Except, perhaps, the part that gave me the confidence to think for myself.
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



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