It’s good to be unpopular
Sometimes, it is good to be unpopular. I am growing into it.
Anyone who has done a quick post trawl knows that I look after my mother, who has dementia. I also took care of my father when he had it, and she was trying to be responsible, and not really managing it. I have restored a large house, and maintained the grounds. I have done this at the expense of my career, family life and personal freedom. There are people in a state of slavery that have more freedom than I do.
My family, in response, who were brought up, if you could call it up, when my parents were in a different life phase, fear that there is some financial implication of my doing this, and have repeatedly attacked me, legally, medically, and in terms of trashing my name at every opportunity. They have also attempted to take my mother’s money and blamed my terrible behaviour for this. My terrible behaviour consisting of taking care of their parents and their inheritance whilst they do nothing, and avoiding them as they repeatedly refused to help and attacked me.
You would think that at some point in twenty years, perhaps during the years when I spent a considerable portion of my day weeping whilst I looked after everything, that my mother would perhaps show some support of my taking care of everything. Not so. When she is with me, she will either tell me that I should not say anything, or find a way to blame me for her other children’s behaviour. When she is with them, she complains about me. I am not sure why people like my mother have children when they, and I quote “do not see why they should parent adult children, and have declared themselves retired from parenting.”
As far as I am aware, my mother had retired from parenting before she had me. If the first three children are an example of parented children, and I am an example of a non- parented person, this does not say much for a parent who should be instilling compassion, helpfulness, self-worth and open-mindedness in their offspring. The first three wasted no time in announcing that they had no intention of being helpful, either in person or in terms of support with issues such as repairs, prior to my father becoming ill. I tried many times to call them and ask for their help in imparting information to their parents, to be told that as I had no rights, I should not even bother telling them.
Is a role-playing sense of entitlement the only thing you should take away from your experience of being in a family? Would you allow your at times unwittingly cruel parent to be placed into very expensive care at the expense of their health? Especially when the alternative is that your life is taken away. I have not been out for an evening from this house since 2003.
I have little to no prospect of using my education, making the career that I worked extremely hard for, having a family, building up a pension, or restoring my personal life to any semblance of normality. I am unable to access third party help, because my eldest sister, in particular would see this as an opportunity to drag my name through the mud as she has done in the past. My friends have long since become fed up with doing the chores along with me to see me at all. The only people I see are my mother’s POA and tradesmen or people at her medical appointments. There are times when I cannot even attend my own appointments, as she would be left alone too long. Is anyone really worth this level of devotion, especially when she cannot spit out five words “you are putting my care at risk” to stop her own children from attacking you on the basis of their own dishonesty?
I have had to make this decision many times over the years. I have been extremely ill twice, during which she informed me that I could take a break whenever I want, simultaneously refusing to stay with one of the others or allow me any time off to recover. As a result I have often wondered if her intention is for me to die, and I am really just here to make sure her idle children get as much money as possible.
Basically it is a question of how much stress you can handle. Having watched my father’s unpleasant end in a hospice, where it was decided within days that he was difficult and needed to be drugged, I am not in a hurry to repeat the experience with my mother. My family’s repeated attacks have told me a lot about supposedly respectable people, and the only plus in this situation has been having time to pursue creative projects. I have learned a lot, but am yet to monetise this creation, so I keep learning. This keeps my mind relatively flexible, but my physical health is now suffering to quite an extent.
I am quite sure that my mother’s POA, a neighbour and friend I was introduced to years ago when on another local project, is quite sick and tired of my constant anxiety in relation to the family, and I do not feel great about keeping him informed of the activities of my frankly scummy family. He has done what he can for me, and anything else, I guess is probably superfluous. What bothers me, is that I now get the impression that sticking up for myself is frowned upon from every angle.
My mother does not help, none of the supposedly supportive third parties can help, he cannot help. I am supposed to sit here, taking care of parental family health and business, with the expectation of being attacked by the beneficiaries. This situation makes no sense to me. I have lost count of the number of days I have lost to anxiety and worry. The house has never looked better, but with a property this size, you always have a list of things to do. When my life is draining away, for the benefit of others, you would think that somebody somewhere would appreciate that I have to stick up for myself on the basis that nobody else is going to do it, even over things as simple as people turning up when they say they are going to.
I sat for years, miserable and saying nothing. It did not stop the attacks. Recently, I have taken to writing letters when issues have to be addressed, so that nobody can lie about what I have said. Even this is risky, since the sisters are in a state of sufficient lunacy that my saying, for example, that it is not OK to make false police reports is evidence that there is something wrong with me rather than them. This on the basis of them having more credit cards or property than I do. At one point, my family even debated why I should be provided with somewhere to live whilst taking care of their parents. (even my mother had to have this explained to her several times before deciding that yes I could have somewhere to live)
It took a long time to accept that I was not the problem. I basically did most of the work before I woke up and realised that the loudest and craziest complainants had not devoted a single day to the family, whilst I have had to give up everything. I find it incredible, when there are so many people in a similar position, that there is nobody to protect the carer. One care home owner told me that if she had a pound for every carer being attacked by their own family, she would not have to run a carehome.
So, in the event that everybody is claiming that you are a problem, even when they do not know you, or help you in any way, it is not necessarily because you genuinely are a problem. It is because they are inadequate, selfish and are trying very hard to defend themselves by attacking you. It is up to you whether you take the sensible route of getting as far away as possible, or put yourself through the trial of strength required to decide that no, you are worth more than money, that you are able to tolerate more than you thought you would ever have to, and that stupidity comes in many forms. You are perfectly entitled to defend yourself, and perfectly entitled to opt out of toxic relationships, no matter who they are with, and just because society says that parents, for example, are supposed to protect and instill moral values into their children, it does not mean that parents are infallible or capable of actually doing the job.
Basically you cannot depend on anyone. It is up to you how you respond. You can be as shitty as they are, or you can be the better person.