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What about us kids..................

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  • What about us kids..................

    I am struggling with this notion that people have always told me growing up. It really stung me when my mother-in-law said this and I tried to hard to hold my tongue, yet make her understand. What I have been told growing up is that, "I feel so bad for your mom. She has it so hard. She has is really tough... etc.. You and your sister have to help, have to be there for her... etc..." Moreover, My relatives render my sister and I useless. They are always telling us to help when we do. As disrespectful as it is, I stand up for my sister and me against my relatives. We get tired of hearing it.

    Background story is: My sister and I have an older brother with severe autism and a father who is suffering from a rare form of dementia. We've been struggling financially since I was early in high school because of my father's poor financial decisions as a result of his illness.

    I get frustrated at this because I often felt invisible and had to stay quiet about how much my brother impacted my life. I often have to stand up for my sister and me because we get so frustrated. I know my mom has it hard and I supported her the best I could. I helped out the best I can. I know I don't know what it's like to be a mother. I don't have children of my own. I'm sure I will understand one day.

    I've always been a caregiver and sometimes feel trapped in my own life. I feel guilty for moving out all because I want to pursue my career and have my own family; live my own life.

    I did not have anyone to talk to growing up (including my family) and no one explained anything to me until I was about 9 y/o what exactly my brother has. I grew up mostly confused. My mom doesn't talk too much to people either, but I hear her talk to people on the phone about thing every now and then and I'm happy she attends support groups now. I guess all I'm saying it's been very hard for me too, as a daughter and sibling. When I see my mom stressed and upset, and felt things falling apart, I always felt like it was my responsibility to hold everyone together. My mom has to be strong. People say that to me and I know that she has to be strong. I always have to be strong to and not make my mother worry more than she already does. My mom has never truly been there for my sister and me because of my brother and father. I completely understand that and I don't' even bother her about that. I have always tried to be there for her and put my emotions and feelings aside. Unfortunately, this has become a habit where I hid my emotions deeply and my emotions would burst out in anger. Many times I never understood why. Since high school, I gained better understanding of how my history and background has deeply molded me into who I am today and why I respond to certain things the way I do.

    I try not to listen to these things, but it just sucked hearing it from my mother-in-law. It's like I'm completely forgotten or ignored. My feelings and emotions have been completely undervalued. Many people I encounter don't get that it just doesn't effect the parents, it effects the ENTIRE family. I try to make my relatives/parents-in-law understand, but they've been a bit close-minded. I guess I would like some insight or just some comfort knowing that people out there do get that it's hard for siblings/children too. Perhaps it would helpful for me to know and learn why or their theory from a different person's perspective.

    I know my parents have supported my sister and me the best they could, but it would have been helpful to discuss some of the things that has happened growing up. It's been really hard. I'm working multiple jobs because I'm working on my clinical hours for my license. I've been supporting myself for over 12 years and it sucks watching your dad deteriorate. I feel like I've been grieving for years.

  • How hard it is to hide what ur feeling. For many years, i also strove to show others i was strong, but learned it is alright to be open when u are weak as well. It is not being urself, after all, when u just want others to think ur strong when ur not. It's different when ur faith allows u to lean on Your Maker, and tell others THIS is what ur doing... i am just remembering a verse saying Boast on what the Lord is doing... so in a way, pointing the glory to Who works in u, not on ur efforts and progress alone. Sorry, i often have minutes to read and sometimes reply, and in fact know i have missed to reply to something else here i wanted to. But if u can post/unload sometimes, try. sorry also for the u's=).


    • What caught my attention about this was how your dad has dementia. My dad had Alzheimer's so I can give you my story on that.

      I'm not sure about your brother's autism. My siblings had drug and mental illnesses like bipolar or schizophrenia. It's difficult. Also, when I deal with Schizoaffective Bipolar Type as well.

      Well, about my dad. My mom passed away from cancer when I was 9. My dad worked far away so I had different older siblings taking care of me (abusive but that's a different story). My dad got sick around the time I was 14. I was basically his caregiver while everyone else did whatever. I changed his diapers ect when I wouldn't be at school. I had to miss school a lot because "sitters" would not show up. It was so stressful. I remember crying a lot during this especially when my brother started doing bathsalts and i had to deal with him as well. My dad passed away when I was 17. I cried so much when he was alive and suffering more than when he passed.

      I'm now a week away from being 21. I think the only way I really survived for so long was my bf. We've been together for over four years now.

      I had a mental breakdown at 18. That's when I was diagnosed with my mental illness. It has finally calmed down after getting rid of a big stressor in my life which was the rest of my family.

      I'm sorry if this sounds weird. I'm sick in bed and kind of delirious with fever. Lol.
      I just have a lot of feelings with dementia. It really hurts. Honestly, what helps me is to not dwell on negative thoughts and move on. It's easier said than done. I get reminders about my dad when I see elderly people and things about dementia. Eventually, wounds heal but never completely. One day it won't be so bad like it is with my mom. Cancer does remind me of her, but it doesn't hurt so much thinking about it. The memory of my dad is still recent and hurts at times.

      I'm sorry for rambling.


      • limekinovaa - Thank you for responding on this post. Unfortunately, the original post is from back in 2014 and I don't think the original poster has been back much since so I cannot guarantee she will respond. However, your story is compelling and I hope you will consider making your own separate post. I too am very familiar with dementia and Alzheimer's as my grandpa died from it. I do fundraising an advocating each year for the Alzheimer's Association to help fund research initiatives and also enhanced care and support for current victims and their families. It's really a terrible disease....as is cancer. I am so sorry you've had to experience both of them so personally.

        I hope you are feeling better.
        "Be what you're looking for."


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