Aging without adult children

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    • #28790
      TheblueskyThebluesky
      Participant

      I’ve been doing this , estrangement that is,.for three years. Actually, probably longer then that before the final blow. ES completely wiped us out of his life three years ago, daughter, slow distancing for last ten years.

      There was no expectation in regards to my son this past MD. My daughter called late in the day, I listened to her for over a half hour about her life, which is fine. But she never said happy mother’s day. And then I realized that on our rare occasions of speaking, she never says the word Mom. Hi Mom, how are you Mom, hey Mom, know what? Or, I love you Mom. I always say I love you at the end of call, and she just hangs up. I have no one that calls me Mom anymore.

      Every word that I have posted here in support of everyone, that how time and perserverence, how Sheri, her book, all the wisdom and experience of the parents before me on this site, enabled me, held me up, carried me to a place where I felt I could not only carry on with my life, but that I could also encourage others, has been so pure and true, and appreciated. I have always felt that it was an honour to be part of this.

      I can say honestly that I have accepted my son’s decision. Aussiemom has commented frequently on accepting that fact, but not necessarily accepting the reasoning. And that makes sense. My daughter just couldn’t give two poops, but hasn’t told me point blank to crap off like my son did.

      So, I guess my point in this post pertains to what myself and my husband are left with as far as how we age. I know that there are many here that have had their only child estrange, or have had all of their children leave their lives. And many who have adult children aside from the one estranged, who remain loving and close.

      I’m feeling sorry for myself today. How I accept this on one hand, which I do, but not have the anxiety that we do not have one family member that gives a crap or would be there for us in a time of need or as we age. I’m not talking about money. Just someone who cares. And yes, would care that we don’t have the money. Just someone who cares.

      My neighbor of ten years, she is sixty eight, slipped in her shower last week and broke her collar bone. She lives alone. We took her to the hospital, sat for hours, got her situated and have ran small errends for her. But, although she never had children, she has nieces and nephews that have come to her aide. From out of state even.

      Yes, my husband and I have each other and I am so grateful that we do. But, I am anxious, even a little scared about our future. For us together, and for the one left alone.

      I’ve watched too many episodes of The Walton’s.

      Thanks for letting me get it out.

      TheBluesky 🌎 🌏 🌍

    • #28801
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      Oh Blue Sky, you certainly hit a tender spot for me too. Growing older as I am and in need medically as I may be eventually, I do have my son in my life but he lives an hour and a half away from me. I also have a husband who is very mechanically functional but emotionally-challenged…… If I have a health issue, I may as well tell him I’m having an affair with the milkman for all that he hears me….but if I ask him to fix something that is broken around the house, it engages his attention entirely.. …So, I’m left with my son as my personal care provider. Now, my son, who is in his early fifties and as nice a person now as he was a child, has ADHD. Do you think he’ll be able to cope with me if I have a medical issue? I don’t know. He’s not good with paperwork. So, you have anxieties, I have anxieties around growing older and hoping there will be someone there for me if I need help as you feel if you may need help.

      Well, one thing this estrangement has done for me is to make me more emotionally independent and more self-dependent. Emotionally, I don’t have the same dependent needs I had before I came to accept estrangement from my child, from my stepdaughter. What you’ve done for your neighbour is what counts, what matters and likely what has brought this to the foreground of your concern. I don’t have an answer to your question, you get down in the dumps at times, so do I, at times, I’d say we’re pretty human. You’ve coped pretty well, you’re still here to help others, and you don’t mind admitting to having times when you don’t feel you’re coping all that well. I think that’s so encouraging for new folks to hear…you and I and others who have reached a good point in our lives that we have adjusted to estrangement, well here it is…….. we still have times when we’re not entirely there. I look at this estrangement as a very fluctuating healing issue. For the most part, I’ve reached a point of letting go…yet this morning, a spam came in with my former stepdaughter’s name on it and my tummy did a flip over…..to see her name attached to an email struck a love nerve in me. I still care about her despite everything. That is not to say I’ll ever go back to what was….Right now I’m seeing a seniors at risk counsellor and recording on a file that if I have a medical problem and end up in the hospital, just because I have a husband at home, doesn’t mean that he will be taking care of me. He just isn’t capable of that…so this will allow a hospital, doctors, community care workers, know that they can access this file of mine and hopefully provide the necessary help from community care partners. The only ‘people’ I really worry about is my two dogs.

      All of which is to say, I don’t have any answers, I’m in the same boat as you, Blue Sky, It’s rather a scary issue, isn’t it.
      Aussiemom

    • #28803
      Avatarrosegarden
      Participant

      I’m with you, Bluesky. I too have been estranged from by daughter for 4 years. Through this site I have come to accept my daughter’s decision to keep her and her family out of our life. I realize that there is absolutely nothing I can do to change that. It’s sad, but I accept it and have moved on with my healing. But, there are times when I just get disgusted with ED and her husband. They just don’t care. That’s the hardest thing for me to accept. I remember about a year ago someone posted a question…What do I want from your EC? I remember my reply as it was so simple. I want to know that my ED cares. I don’t have to see her often, she doesn’t have to call frequently, or return my emails, but my wish would be to know that she cares and that if I needed her, or my husband needed her, she would be there for us because she wanted to be there. And she would be compassionate and caring. As my husband and I age, I’ve become more aware of the fact that we’re not important to them…at all. That’s what breaks my heart.

      My husband has a progressive illness and I’m his caregiver. Our world has become smaller and even going to the grocery store is a big production for him. Traveling to visit them and our grandson is no longer possible, so we see them once a year on their “obligation” visit. My husband and I are doing OK. We have each other. But my biggest fear is that something will happen to me. That’s probably what stresses me out most. I know that if something happens to my husband, I would grieve, but I know I am strong and can continue to live my life. He relies on me to be able to live his life. This past year has been busy from a medical standpoint for my husband. Four surgeries, various medical issues that we’ve dealt with for months at a time and some we are still dealing with. I would love for her to ask how her dad is doing. I ‘d like for her to ask how I’m doing too. After his last surgery, I texted her to say he was out of surgery, back in his room having sips of water and a cookie while waiting for the doctor. She texted back “good, at least he has cookies”. She never called back to hear what the doctor said, or to ask how he was recuperating, That’s when it hit me. She just doesn’t care; we’re out of her life and she really doesn’t want to be bothered with any information about us.
      I have accepted the fact of our estrangement, but I still have a very hard time accepting that she doesn’t care. Maybe it’s the era I grew up in. Grandparents, elderly aunts and parents were important and if they needed something we were there and happy to help them. They had our respect and we enjoyed spending time with them. Even my husband’s grandmother who was not an easy lady to please, We would take our kids on Sunday afternoon and visit her; have tea, look at her garden and just spend time with her. She was lonely. We cared about her. Same with both our parents, we made sure to call, visit, send cards on appropriate days, take a dinner by when they were housebound, or just call to see how they were. We cared. And they knew it.

      There’s been a lot of talk on this site about “forgiveness”. I never felt there was anything between my daughter and I that I felt the need to decide if I forgave her or not. I just had to learn to accept her decision to reject us. What I have not been able to do is to understand how someone who we raised, had a lovely childhood, was always loved and supported in what she chose in life whether we agreed or not with her decisions can just stop caring. I may not like who she has become or her decision to reject us, but I will always care about her.

      It’s a real head shaker. I’m sorry you are in this position. I think it’s a real worry for many of us who don’t have many family or friends around anymore. Everyone needs to know that someone cares!

    • #28819
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      Rosegarden, You have said what I feel and could have said and did not, thank you. I feel exactly the same way as you do. Forgiveness comes in letting go, for me. The concept of forgiveness doesn’t enter the equation for me of estrangement. That is a no-go as far as I’m concerned. It just isn’t an issue. Letting go, accepting what is, is. Like you, I will always love the two girls I raised, my daughter and former step-daughter. But both have been utterly lacking in compassion towards me and has been lacking all along. Your words for me say it all. I am of the generation you speak of in respecting for and caring for parents. I am assuming as you are very clear as a caregiver for your husband in where your life is now, that you have community care support if this is available in your area.
      Aussiemom

    • #28817
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose
      Participant

      Planning for a good aging life is one of my passions as I have worked in the field of aging and seen my parents and in-laws making poor aging choices which led to their isolation and unhappiness and inability to self care or self manage but refusing help. Its about planning and planning ahead. I am not sure its even fair to expect our AC, even our good AC, to take care of us when we need more help because they have busy lives or are raising their own children. Older adults often need way more care or help than they get because the AC are busy and the older adult won’t admit they need more. What I have seen is the AC, even the loving AC, won’t speak up and granny ends up living alone without being able to manage herself properly and is isolated and depressed. She can’t drive, she can’t cook, and now she won’t move into an older adult community where she’d get help and the kids won’t or can’t force her for her own good. Do I sound harsh? Not meaning to, but the average American lives between 85-90 years now and its natural that most will need some kind of help. Don’t wait and be isolated in one’s own home, unable to drive, dependent on others, think ahead and plan ahead. Know you will likely need some kind of care and plan for that early on so you feel good about your decision rather than waiting and being racked with fear as one ages and no longer can remember how to turn off the stove (this happened to my poor neighbor one time).

      Here are several suggestions: consult a geriatric social worker or geriatric care manager to help you decide what plans to make or what help to get. Move out of that big house into a senior living community (they go from independent living, then assisted living, then nursing home in the USA). In other words, move into a community where you can get help when you need it and don’t stay isolated in your home because “its my home and I don’t want to move” and do it before the time comes when we become incapacitated at decision making. At some point, almost all of us will have enough cognitive decline or executive functioning loss that we can’t make good decisions or make poor decisions and everything seems too hard to manage on our own. Get a roommate or two to help you live in that house, for company , to help with expenses, and for mutual care giving as needed. Hire a care giver, every day care giver if need be. Do it early before one falls or can’t figure out how to turn off the stove or can’t drive. If one is a caregiver for someone else, arrange for a part time relief person and insist on this even if your “patient” says it has to be only you. We get burned out when we are the only one. We must do self care for ourselves, we need it and are worth it. And isolated adults with cognitive decline are often targets of elder abuse (financial or physical). Sad but true and I don’t want it to happen to anyone.

      There a lot of stress relief when older adults who can no longer manage alone at home move into a community of care or arrange for appropriate care in their home. No longer have to worry about the lawn being mowed or getting groceries. There are things to do with other people. Look into what your community has to offer and what your budget might pay for. Get not the waiting list for subsidized housing early on. Think about what your particular needs are: for socialization, for activities, help with bathing or cooking, etc.

      Maybe because I have seen so many older adults having isolation and care needs not being met, I am planning ahead to move into a care giving community called an independent living facility at about age 70. Yes, that is early and yes it costs a lot but my husband’s and my own particular health needs/issues likely mean we will need this. I don’t want to be isolated and alone, afraid and unable to manage daily life and needing help but not having AC who will help or who can help. Sometimes older adults need more direct care than any family member could provide and sometimes older adults have a family member who doesn’t work and can serve as their live in and full time caregiver. Every family is different.

    • #28820
      AvatarAlexandra
      Participant

      I too worry about aging alone. My son and his family to whom I am close lead VERY busy lives and would be there in a pinch, but it would be impossible on an ongoing basis. My ED would not be there for me at all. I have chronic pain and high blood pressure which is being treated and so I am for the most part able to function on a day-to-day basis but I worry about when I am no longer able.

      I know when the time comes I will not want to bother my son and his family and I imagine I will end up in a retirement home. I’ve already thought about that and accepted it. I’ve had family members in retirement homes and many of them are very nice. So I think that’s going to be my fate. My daughter doesn’t factor into this at all. I can’t — and don’t want to — imagine what my life would be like if she took me in but fortunately that’s never going to happen. I would have to graciously decline, as if. lol

      So aging without our adult children is something we all need to face. I am lucky in that my son could be there in an emergency but as far as ongoing care, I’m going to have to rely on the help of others. That’s just the way my life has unfolded.

      Alexandra

    • #28834
      AvatarKmap
      Participant

      Oh my, this has been on my mind a lot lately. My mom and dad grew up in the time period the Waltons were set in so they passed those values to me. It never occurred to me to treat them the way my ED has done to me. Now that I am getting older, I find myself fearful of being alone and even worse, dying alone. where are the children and grandchildren I thought I would have? I have many friends but no family to really count on. I’m worried that I’m going to die a lonely old woman.

    • #28852
      TheblueskyThebluesky
      Participant

      Thank you all. I value all your advise and perspectives. I’m afraid that I have been living like I am still forty years old!! Not a bad thing, but I do need to face this reality of aging with my husband, and for he and I, alone.

      Aussiemom, we do have a senior center here that may help me, as you have set in place, a record/file of our abilities and wishes. Thank you. I know that I have been putting those things off, partly because of finances, and because I honestly can’t believe we are approaching that point. Kick in the Butt.

      We will only have social security between the two of us, which obviously will not pay for assisted living,.nor will support our daily living. We will.both simply keep working in some fashion until we can no longer stand up.

      That is our lot in life, that both of us take responsibility for. Not because we were, either one, bad or irresponsible, it’s just how our lives have thus far played out for so many different reasons.

      TheBluesky 🌎 🌏 🌍

    • #28860
      Avatarkittylvr
      Participant

      It’s always a worry, even with those who aren’t estranged. How does one know good places from bad.
      Even putting someone down to make choices and they to make decisions for you. I’ve seen horrible decisions made. I’ve seen a loving son forced by his wife to, put his mom in a nursing home. She said she didn’t have time. She had time, she didnt work. Her elder children took care of the home. I visited this poor lady and all she did was cry. She’d taken one fall and it was decided. No break. All she ever did was take care of her two sons with so much love. She didn’t live long. I know she gave up. She’d lost her husband years before.

      I know another, she just didn’t like her mom. When her mom fell and broke her hip, she was in rehab. She could have gone home, they’d have had to hire someone to come in as she wasn’t going to help. I know she’d never been close to her mom. It’s where her mom lived for over 2 yrs., in this nursing home.

      I know I’ve no one I trust. I’d trust my brother but not his wife.

      If you think of most aging at 70’s and older, their children in their 50’s. And I’m sure they are still working. The grandchildren out of college it seems. Are they sombusy with lives that don’t include the now great grandparents.
      My parents neither of them, ever a nursing home. There were enough of us, we wanted them with us. They shared us and we them. My moms parents were taken care of by their children. My moms sisters and brother who are still with us, taken care of by their children and grandchildren. In their own homes. This in England. They all live so close. I remember living in Italy. It was the same, the respect and love for family. It was one of the first things I’d noticed. It wasn’t a hardship. It was normal. It was family.

      I too stopped hearing the word mom from the e/d many years ago. Was never hi how are you mom. What are you up to today mom. When she went to emails, was a signed signature. With texts there was nothing. The word love stopped from her or only occurred as I initiated. I’d brought it to her attention one time, as I’d noticed and I’d wondered had she. She didn’t respond. It’s why when she’d said text only, she was too busy, I said no, it didn’t work for me. It wasn’t family. She was early 30’s, no children. She spends her days at the horse facility she works at. I was the one who loved the ponies, introduced her to them. Does she remember that. And she too busy??

      I’m not sure what I’ll do. I’m ok financially. My hope is a home service when needed. If I’ve my animals, it’s all I need. I’ve a few friends. My brother lives too far. He’d want me there but, like I said, don’t trust his wife, and I know him. He’d go along with her.

      As long as I’ve my trust, know my pets taken care of, and whomgets my things, I just Pray God lets me live at home my last days.
      We live day to day, we don’t know what will happen. Well at some point the end comes, a new beginning. But remember, anyone can get hit by that bus when they cross that road. I still look both ways.

    • #28875
      AvatarSunflowersDay
      Participant

      Yes, AUSSIEMOM, estrangement does make one more dependent upon oneself.

      I used to text my daughter back and forth with small problems, some big ones also. Now I must figure out for myself how to repair the toilet, fix the disposal, turn off the water out front of the house, find a particular item online, ask suggestions about something I am cooking or just shoot the breeze. Shooting the breeze is something I so dearly miss!!!

      My daughter used to caution me when she found out the I must climb stairs. Now that I don’t hear from her at all on the phone I can hear her voice when I do climb the stairs. “Be careful on those stairs, Mom.” I must pay attention. I turned around last Thanksgiving and accidentally bumped my walker and sent it down the stairs. I just stood there and thanked God that I wasn’t with it when it went down tumbling to the landing.

      Kmap, there is no need to die a lonely old woman. For one thing, you have us!!! There are things that you can do to stay connected with people even when your children disappoint you and abandon you. Look into other group things that you can do with other people. Volunteering is good for the soul. I joined a church, actually two of them. I joined a book club also. You can find these things online.

      For some of us, this estrangement may not be forever, you never know, but we must try to stay busy regardless, be functional, stay healthy and maintain a positive attitude.

      Some days this is easier said than done but right now I’m going to feed a bunch of hungry geese and ducks at the park. Funny how ducks always seem so happy! There will be strangers to talk to.

      Hugs to you all,
      Sunflower

    • #28871
      AvatarSunflowersDay
      Participant

      TheBlueSky,

      Hold tight to each other. I am in the same boat. You may very well find that your relationship grows stronger with time. Try to find something that you can do to help someone else. Maybe involving both of you together. Keep busy. Sounds simplistic but you must keep your mind occupied anyway with age. Soon this will become a habit.

      There comes a time, as it happens with many of us, when our bodies start to give out a bit. I had a horrible time getting out of bed this past month. I have slipped on the stairs just last week since I was doing as Sheri pointed out in her book…..not paying attention. I’m okay but hurt all over now!! Now I have arthritis in the hips along with most every other joint. Then there’s the upcoming surgery….again and other minor physical things that I swear make it a challenge to put my feet on the floor in the mornings. All this is worse when I am alone which is much of the time.

      I understand how you feel. I will head out into nature today, by myself, and enjoy the lessons it gives. It was hard as hell at first since thoughts of my daughter kept coming back and they weren’t pleasant ones. In was angry! I think that as time passes you will think of your child, as I do now, and you will just have good memories. The pain will fade.

      Oh, forget about watching The Waltons. I need a box of Kleenex if I do that and I’m done with the self torture. The Hallmark channel usually is so full of wonderful stories about mothers and daughters that I avoid that also.

      Now, put on your shoes and go out and walk if you can. On days like today when the sky is threatening I must use my 4 wheeled walker. I go out anyway. Exercise is good for the brain.

      Take care TheBlueSky, you will rise above all of this. It takes time.

      Sunflower

    • #28858
      Avatarsouthernhopeful
      Participant

      This is my last day without the internet as our movers will be here. So, I might not be able to respond
      for a while. Reading the comments, I want to share what my husband are doing. As some of you may recall, we are moving to a different state. I really like Yellow Rose comments. We are moving into a 55+ community. We will be downsizing. We bought a Villa. Therefore if we have to move into an Assistant Living, we can sell the Villa and have the money for that. The place we are moving to has a lot of activities which we will like. One of the pluses, they also have transportation to take you where you need to go when you no longer or don’t want to drive. In my research, there are lots of these 55+ all over the US. While my son is great to help out, I don’t want him to have to be our sole caretaker. I am trying to plan for the upcoming years and be as independent as we can be. I loved the Waltons too. I’m afraid to say, those days seem to be over. 🙁

    • #28918
      AvatarHealingheart
      Participant

      Greetings all!

      I have very much enjoyed reading all of your perspectives and I am so glad you posted this thread, BlueSky! I’ve been thinking about this as well and I have never planned on either of my children to be my primary caretakers. I guess it’s the “nurse” in me……but I have learned firsthand that family members are not always the most capable, interested, devoted, or responsible caretakers. Unfortunately. But it is true. And my ED would probably do everything she could to end my life rather than extend it with love and dignity!

      BlueSky- Don’t be scared. You sound like a very capable, intelligent, loving person. You may not have a family member on whom you can depend…..but I bet you have lots of friends!!!!! You can make arrangements for yourself and for your husband so that you can surround yourselves with security and love!

      And up until recently, my husband and I had asked his sister to be our healthcare proxy….and then we witnessed her care-giving skills when my father in law was dying…..and now we have designated someone else (not a relative, but a friend) to be in charge!!!!!!! His sister is a lovely person. But she is cooky! And she has ADD, and she never follows through with anything and she gets confused with details and gets off track on silly things…..OMG! She made decisions about things that were just not in line with how we think.

      I think what YELLOW ROSE had to say, with all of her experience, was exceptionally helpful! My mom used to always tell me it was not my responsibility to look after her when she was elderly…..that I would have my own life and responsibilities. Being the family nurse, I was ready and able to help my mom and dad. And I tried to be there and I did my best. But my parents both died when I was very young (35 years old, with two little kiddos)……so even though I really wanted to help MORE, I had these two little ones who also needed my attention.

      For a while I even brought my dad into my home to live with us…..horrible mistake. I wanted to be the perfect daughter (The Walton’s) but failed miserably. We were ALL miserable……..We were NOT the Walton’s at all! We were horribly dysfunctional and ill-equipped to deal with his rapid decline. What I hoped would be warm and fuzzy ended very badly.

      So, I will read and re-read this thread and take to heart all of the advice and continue to plan ahead. I am, after all, “all about a plan”. I may not have a daughter who will care when I am old and frail. But I do have a wide circle of friends and lots of resources. And thanks to you all, I am going to investigate and plan and tackle this one as well!

      Charge on, dear friends. We can do this!!!!!!

      Peace and love,
      HealingHeart

    • #28917
      Avatarnotagain
      Participant

      Hi all. This is the perfect topic for me at present as the events are so raw and so new. Thank you for all sharing your story as I will now.

      A few years ago when the estrangement started to happened with my youngest child, one where I never thought or suspected there would be an estrangement I was suffering a health condition where sadly there was only two medications that could be used and I ended up being allergic to both of them.

      As the time came for the youngest to not only be estranged but for EC to move a long distance away my health condition which had cleared up returned.

      I have had enough time on my own and living with estrangement to be comfortable in my own life and the new life I have built for myself. But I did not expect a serious health condition would return and return with a bang.

      I had an episode that resulted in hospitalisation and in being quite scared I contacted the last ec and ec came to stay with me on the night of my return from hospital. You could say the night went well, right up until the time EC wanted to make sure I had my Will in place as this EC did not want to fight the other EC’s over my estate should I not make it. I spoke calmly and firmly to the EC by pointing out that when the time came when I was nearer to that end I would have the will prepared and though I think she felt “reassured” little did she know what I meant when I was saying I would write my will, not that she was going to be my only beneficiary. How dare she think that.

      When a few years ago I had the health condition and then reflected back upon how my children reacted towards me I realised with a lot of sadness in my heart that not one actually gave a damn. When I spoke of my health to adult EC’s I felt in hindsight I could have been talking to brick walls. Also upon reflection I realised how EC’s are just so much not like me and quite frankly I feel quite ashamed of who they have become and whether directly or indirectly I contributed to the aspect of themselves where EC’s are so selfish and self centred. And so nasty. I have worked with and for people for decades of my life and sadly not one bit of that has rubbed off on my EC’s.

      Since the estrangement started to take place with my youngest a few years ago, I have rebuilt my life and formed new friendships and nurtured existing friendships. It has amazed me that with my current health issues how caring, loving and supportive my friends are but how hateful and nasty the EC’s are.

      I have been making my plans for retirement in the next few years and working towards building a new life after selling up where I am and buying elsewhere and I can see a future for me. It is a real nuisance having a health issue returning and having an event that was life threatening for I want so much to have the dream and live the new for the new future ahead.

      Yes it is scary living alone but when the crisis came and I needed to get to hospital I got myself there and back. With friends around I now have the support I would need if I need an urgent trip to the hospital again. I am not afraid of the future and being alone or should I say living alone. Being alone to me is not having people around who share my life and joys, ups and downs and health issues.

      Not having EC’s in my life means less drama or nastiness or trying to work out or let It play out why the recent contact has happened and behind the nice words why are the EC”s actually making contact.

      All of us RP have been through enough. Most of us will have lived lives with the ups and downs, good times and bad times. As we age and health takes over I feel strongly that with our own live experiences we can and will manage our aging without adult children, though with sadness for none of us I am sure expected that our ageing years would be without our adult children.

      It feels good to be able to share with each of you, hear your stories and to understand from your words your journeys and thought processes. Thank each of you for sharing, which in my view is also caring

    • #28925
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      Notagain, how honest we all are with one another it would seem and I’m sorry that your medical issue has caused such difficulty for you. I have had a medical issue which resulted in environmental sensitivities. Now, believe me, it’s not diagnosable in the current medical sense although it has become recognized by a prominent city hospital department and doctors are beginning to recognize how chemicals can poison one’s immune system. It is why I have lived in the country for the past thirty years. During the initial reaction to anaesthetics and nearly loosing my life and the following two years, I was reactive to everything chemical. Bounce I could smell from people’s clothes dryers a block away, perfumes sent me into crying jags and shaking, car exhaust made it difficult for me to travel by car, oil heating in my home led me to sell my home and move to where I am now with an electric furnace and wood heating. And throughout all this, when chemical sensitivities were considered a psychiatric condition because there was no medical test which could prove what I was experiencing, my daughter, now estranged, had no compassion, no consideration, in fact, she went into her own issues with drugs at the time. There was no respect, no love. At that time, my life basically fell apart as to my family. I, too, have reached the point of not wanting or needing family in my life other than those in my family who care about me, who support me, who are there for me. I’ve closed the door on the chapter of my life in raising my daughter, those days were precious for me, the earlier days, the later days were dreadful. In the end, we will all be alone with our dying, regardless of whatever family we have at the time. Growing old without the support we gave to our own parents, without the respect we gave our own parents, is not going to be an easy path to walk. There is a part of me that will always rest in sadness for what has happened, there is a part of me which will also feel a certain amount of anger towards a thankless child I raised and there will always be a part of me who loves that child regardless. Estrangement is not an easy path to walk.
      Aussiemom

    • #28927
      AvatarLBmomof2
      Participant

      In her last hateful email to me, my ED said, “I hope you die alone”.

      • #29012
        movingonwithmylifemovingonwithmylife
        Participant

        LBmomof2 posted:

        in her last hateful email to me, my ED said, “I hope you die alone”.

        I cared for an elderly woman whose daughter came into the nursing home her mom was confined to following a fall, and this daughter told the mother ” why don’t you just hurry up and die ” I reported this to the son, who banned this daughter, age 65, from the nursing home. Seems this same daughter had taken vast sums of $$ from the moms bank account, as well as ignoring and verbally abusing the elderly woman.

        Believe in karma and justice. Build your own support network, if possible. Keep them away from you.

    • #28933
      rparentsrparents
      Keymaster

      Projecting.

      I know that’s​ not a helpful comment….

      Sheri

    • #28905
      AvatarRainbow
      Participant

      Oh Bluesky, I understand your fears only too well. I am blessed to have my loving husband by my side and I thank God we have each other to lean on. My fear is for the last man standing. We are getting up there in age. I’m 70 and my husband is 71. I have been diagnosed with a health a health condition that should it progress can be life altering. I try not to allow myself to really think about it and what the future may hold. For the moment, I am just going to go out there and enjoy every precious day as a gift. God has always taken care of me and when the time comes I know that He will lead the way. I have to place my trust in His precious hands. Love, Rainbow

    • #28939
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      LBmomof2, after receiving that email, how do you then wish to handle communication with your daughter? It is a question worth asking yourself. Do you wish to be subjected to this sort of harassment or do you wish to take action and block her emails from coming into your computer? . You have a choice to accept abuse or not. A victim, or not. I can tell you one thing, I wish my daughter had said what her husband said to me this past February when he made an offensive remark to me. It would have saved me thirty years of grief and grovelling with my daughter who in the end left me anyway. I was treated to silent rejection. Overt rejection, projection as Sheri indicates, I would have acted immediately and told her to either quit it or it would be the end of our relationship until she either grew up or got help for her anger. At least you have something concrete instead of the smoke and mirrors I’d dealt with. The choice is yours, now, LBmomof2
      Aussiemom

    • #28938
      Avatarkittylvr
      Participant

      LBMomofTwo,
      How terrible and cruel the email you’d received. I hope she remembers her words. Just knowing she’d have thought such a thing, I just am so sorry.
      It seems to take cruelty to another level.
      I don’t know how anyone would speak such words to another. I just don’t understand. I’ll never understand.
      I wonder, sending by email or text, how much easier to say things you’d not in person. It’s not an excuse. Actually, the receiver has the words on paper.
      Terrible.

    • #28946
      AvatarMJmom
      Participant

      This post has made me think. Although we have willed our home to our son, and the plan is to make a lower level an apartment for us, I didn’t put into consideration ill health or injury that he would have to cope with. Although he would do his best, it would be selfish and unfair to him. Our ED once stated she could hardly wait to place me in a nursing home. Guess that is why I am so resistive to downsizing. However,part of the acceptance of circumstances is the ability to be responsible for our own well being. I need to revisit decisions and make plans. Thank you for the wake up call. Mjmom

    • #28978
      AvatarLBmomof2
      Participant

      Aussiemom and kittylvr, thank you. Yes, after that hateful email from my ED, I did block her from my email and FB. No one deserves such cruelty, especially a mom.

      • #29013
        movingonwithmylifemovingonwithmylife
        Participant

        I have blocked my ED from email, facebook IM and changed my phone number. I am done with the ongoing abuse. How dare she !

    • #29006
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      Good for you, LBmomof2. It’s hard to come to that point with a child of our own, but you’re entirely right, no-one, not even a parent, deserves such cruelty and verbal abuse. If I’d had said to me what was said to you, it would have saved me many years of sensing but not knowing, the disrespect that was there.
      Aussiemom

    • #29009
      movingonwithmylifemovingonwithmylife
      Participant

      I was blown off because IMO I am a liability to my daughter and SIL. When I state ” IMO ” in my opinion, I am basing that on such compassionate comments str8 out of the blue ” you need to take out longterm care insurance..we’re busy…,you dated and had BF’s so why didn’t you remarry….you are going to be all alone in your old age…we don’t have room for your junk in our basement …we were n ot prepared for your homelessness .”

      So I began counseling thru the county health dept. and as part of evaluation, which took 2 hours, I was told that I am likely suffering from PTSD and in need of social services for homeless seniors, as well as social support, since my own chilren could not care less.

      I would like to see communities for seniors 55+ affordable and that would help to develop social needs and helping eachother. There is just way too much of this going on.

    • #29034
      Avatarkittylvr
      Participant

      I know where I live there is a new apt complex going up for those over 55 and it will be based on your income.
      I think they need many more of these, but I do hope they make sure the tenants are taken care of and share resources and rides/drives to Dr appts and shops.

      Many offer games and small trips. These are offered by volunteers and donations.
      Squeaky wheels can be heard, just takes the right people.
      I know also one of the local Churches offers a lot to the community.

      Knowing people who know people really helps.

    • #29059
      AvatarViolet
      Participant

      Hello All! I have been gone from the forum for quite some time. But u have always been in my thoughts n heart ❤️. It’s been a journey, physically n emotionally draining, but I’m hoping it will make me stronger. I know that this experience has confirmed what I’ve read in this thread, that we must not rely on those who have proven no decency in caring for us as we age or face challenging illnesses.

      I moved from the state where my ED lives to escape the hurt n hypocrisy of it all. There, I was n always would be known as my ED’s mom, n also as the woman whose only child abandoned her (she must have done something wrong). Poor dear.

      I now live in a 55+ community. We have snow birds n year round folks. I am first n foremost ‘me’. I got to reinvent myself. With the help of my therapist, I decide how much I share with others about the estrangement, or if I share it at all.

      Unfortunately in escaping the state, I left behind my family n lots of friends. I’m not on FB because of the hurtful behavior of my ED n that does narrow communication a lot since I have family in England n around the world. I’m hoping that one day soon I will be able to try again on FB.

      I see many older people here who have loving, wonderful family. Many others are alone, very alone. They have family but they don’t visit or care! When I decided to buy my condo, I chose this community primarily because they had an extensive transportation system, a thriving recreation n theatre program, n a social service component. I’ve decided to volunteer for ‘We Care’ which makes phone calls, visits to neighbors living alone here. It also provides rides to medical n social appointments as well as to churches n temples. It only took one surgery prior to my EDs estrangement to teach me that she didn’t have a compassionate bone in her body towards me (her friends were kinder n more helpful to me than she was). I vowed after that experience to not to depend on her ever again n that was way before the estrangement. Imagine?

      Living here n seeing on a daily basis how my neighbors are dealing with aging while trying to remain independent, has given me great insight n hope. I’m not going to lie, growing older is no joke! But what I’m seeing is with the right support system, we can live n age with some grace.

      On a side note, I hear how so many of u r trying to provide for ur ECs or not in ur wills etc. The more I hear from aging family n friends on this issue, especially the ones who might be circling the wagon, the more I agree with those who opt to “spend it all on themselves”. One of my neighbors says she plans on leaving no money to her ECs, only her many house dresses! N she’s sure they will get her message. I don’t own house dresses but I can think of many equivalents.

      Be well, dear ones!

    • #29065
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      Violet, welcome back and thank you for sharing your experiences. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with an old friend whom I’ve known since the age of eighteen. We’re heading towards our eighth decade now. She’s battled three types of cancer in the last five years since her wonderful husband died and she’s done it with grace and dignity and turning her cancer, as she said, over to God. This was her husband’s family reunion yesterday. I was an honorary family member. I am also an only child, my late husband had a large family, of which to a degree I’m a part of but living this long, I don’t know the grandchildren of the family. My husband now, I’ve known since a youngster and his brothers as well….we are connected but I looked at this gathering of forty to fifty people, two of her three grown children in attendance and felt a sense of loss and yet gratitude for her. I will never know or be a part of a family like that. We both agreed, life is a balance sheet, there is good, there is or has been bad, but it’s what we ourselves make of it. Violet, you sound as though you’ve made good decisions for yourself, involving yourself in the community, moving to a location where you will be with others who are aging, I believe it is those who are in our present-day lives now who will take the place of family when ours are not present for us. There are many more parents of my generation and younger who are experiencing estrangement from their child or children. It is becoming an epidemic when you consider the broad swath of our forum here geographically. And, there is so much loss.
      Aussiemom

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