Help! What Can I Do About This NIGHTMARE?

Denise

Help! What Can I Do About This NIGHTMARE?

Denise
A brick wallAbout ten years ago, Sibling wasn't speaking to us so refused to celebrate Christmas with us. On Christmas Eve, my mom sat on the couch at my brother's and cried about not seeing three of her grandchildren. Understanding the difficulty of the situation for my parents, my siblings did their best to give my parents a good Christmas so gave them thoughtful, expensive gifts.

That my parents did not like. And complained about on the drive home.

When we arrived home Christmas Eve night, my parents piled their presents up near the back door, ready to donate to Good Will on December 26.

Each year, my siblings get the gift on Christmas Day of a break from being with our parents. I, however, spend Christmas Day with them. Just me. With them.

On that Christmas Day ten years ago, I did my best to organize a nice day for my parents and a better evening for myself (going to friend's home for dinner). I made reservations for my parents and I to eat at a nice restaurant downtown, thinking this would be a nice treat for all of us. I smiled and made gracious conversation. My mom scowled throughout our meal, at one point pointing to an awesome ring/watch (it was ring that had a watch inside it) my brother gave me for Christmas and said:

"Why did they give you that nice gift? It should have been something they gave to me!"

Fast forward to Tuesday, not even 30 minutes after I wrote "Moving to Hope." I spoke to my mom on the phone about her day. "I went to a friend's house for our book club meeting," she said. "I turned green as I sat in her beautiful home.

"And, I have to live in this dump."

My parents don't live in a dump. They live in a community that has made such a positive impact on their situation that they are in better shape now than they were in September. They are healthier because of where they live.

After that phone call with my mom, I meant to write a post entitled "Envy" but just didn't have time. The next day, I gave a presentation about caregiving at our suburb's senior center to a group of five, two of which were my parents. It was a nightmare, quite honestly. At that presentation, my dad explained their living situation to the other three attendees: "We live in a retirement community but want to move to a condo. We can't live in our home because of the stairs."

"Why don't you just stay at the retirement community," one of the attendees asked.

"I feel my health has improved so much that I don't need to live in a retirement community," my dad answered. "And, my wife doesn't enjoy it."

Okay.

Fast forward again to this morning.

After I finished changing my dad's ostomy bag, he said to my mom, "Well, should I tell Denise our good news?"

You and I both know this news isn't going to be good.

"I hope you'll see that this is good news," my mom added, all smiles.

"We're moving back home," one of them said. I have no idea which one because I can't make out faces when I'm filled with rage. "We gave our notice yesterday and will be home at the end of May. We'll live at home until we buy a condo."

I did ask: Why don't you just stay here until you move? (My dad says it's money, my mom hates it.) I also asked: What do I do about all my stuff I moved home? (I have to move it up to fit into two bedrooms and get rid of old furniture. Yay, me! Just what I want to do.)

And, then I left. I said "good-bye" and left.

As soon as I reached my car, I sent a text my brothers and sister that our parents are moving home and I'm moving out.

I do not want to live with my parents. To keep my business going, I've lived with my parents for years over the years -- moving out for what I hoped would be good and then having to return home as my fortunes changed and took a nose dive. For the most part, I hated every minute of living with my parents. I appreciate this sounds harsh. But, I did. I hated living with them. They were over-bearing, judgmental and often unkind.

But I made the best of it.

Two summers ago, my dad hung up one of my bikes in an area of the garage I cannot reach. He didn't ask, he just decided I didn't need the bike (I do! I have very good reasons for two bikes) and I shouldn't have it. After hanging it up in a spot where I couldn't reach it, he yelled at me in the driveway, "Get rid of that bike." I just hid up in my room.

When I moved back home to my parents' house in 2012, I only brought my clothes and my bikes. That's it. I left everything in storage until the end of March when they agreed it would be a good idea to move my furniture and boxes out of storage.

So, yes, I have to move everything – me, my parents – again in a matter of weeks.

I work a lot. I have a lot to do. If I don't work, I don't make any money. Living with my parents will suck the life out of my life. Just this situation this morning has sucked up time in my day. And, for no reason!

Envy is driving my mom's decision. She doesn't care how her decision impacts my dad or me. During our family meeting in February, my mom asked my dad if he wanted to move home. "NO," he shouted at her.

So, here's why I'm blogging.

Do I just suck it up, live with them, knowing that living with them will only be a short-term sacrifice as they will not be able to manage living at home? I know I will not sleep, I will not have any down time and my long days will become endless -- even with the help I will demand they get.

Do I move out, moving where I can afford to live, which means I move a far distance away from them? Moving out and away means they hire the help they need to manage my dad's ostomy care, meals, housework.

What do you think?

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Denise

Thanks everyone for all your support! I don't have an update yet so will share one when I do.

Desiree

For what little it's worth, I feel bad for the Mom here also. Envy is such a terrible, corrosive, toxic thing. It's the only one of the \"Seven Deadlies\" without even the tiniest element of misguided almost-fun-seeming appeal. No one will ever claim to \"enjoy\" this one :( .

Desiree

Dear Denise, I so feel for you right now. My own Mom can be a monster of selfishness, who will steamroll right over others in pursuit of what she thinks she wants, needs, or deserves. Other's needs be damned! I strongly recommend that you have a plan for yourself already made for when this move out of assisted living backfires, and the Manure Hits The Oscillating Device. As it likely will. Your parents (well, your Dad at least) will realize that his health improved because of assisted living, not in spite of it. And your Mom may discover that having on-call help and staff to take care of things like housework and cooking (not to mention, addressing your Dad's particular needs) really was \"luxurious living\", and she will come to miss that.\r\nHonestly, based on what you've told us here, I give this move back home maybe six months, maybe less.

Goldie

Do you know for sure that they have put in their notice? I assume this is an independent living apartment and not assisted living. Do you have POA? You might want to talk to the people in charge of the retirement community and see if they can put their notice on hold for a week or two. Is this something your Mom might drop after awhile or does she hang on to an idea obsessively? \r\nIs there a lease or is it month to month (I guess with seniors it would almost have to be month to month). \r\nMakes me grateful we sold our parent's house.

BeccaB

What if it takes a long time to find the *perfect* condo? By all means get the additional help hired now.... \r\n\r\nDo you work from home most of the time? If so perhaps it may be an easier transition to first find a place to work temporarily (one of your siblings?). \r\n\r\nI really feel for you. It is all too much to fit into a short timeframe!

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