From a_luxe: So im not quite sure im comfortable with sharing this, its mainly to feel less alone. Im in a situation where im quite depressed and unsure on where to go with my life. my father had a stroke many years back and is wheelchair bound. I am somewhat his carer sorta sometimes but my mother does the rest of it. as of me writing this she is chanting and groaning with anger and speaking in a language i dont understand (im not from her home country) its not nice to say the least. I essentially feel ive failed as a son. I often compare myself to others my age (or the mental image i have of others my age) and consider myself quite far behind. i dont have any fancy academic stuff i dropped out many years back. ever since ive worked around doing basic things sadness set in, years have trickled by and things have gotten worse. from my parent losing their house to me losing contact with friends because im too embarrassed about my low social status. im very used to verbal abuse from my mother, she accuses me of a lot of things. some criticisms are totally valid, but even valid remarks are made with such cruelty. I cry myself to sleep sometimes. she does too. my disabled father has become somewhat apathetic to life, I do feel like i failed them both yet also understand some of the things she says and does to me are wrong. Her behaviour is erratic and her personality switches on a dime. I do feel somewhat overwhelmed when it comes to dealing with my future, im expected to stay with them despite how sad i feel around them. I do need to look after my father so thats also an aspect, i feel like ive missed a few milestones like getting a solid education or starting a career but i got time i guess. all in all i dunno anymore im quite apathetic, still have hopes and whatnot but they are tempered and often i go to sleep with hopes and plans and i wake up shattered and wanting to never get up. this isnt everything of course i also dont expect any replies just being able to write is nice. ty
It sounds like you are in a stressful, sad and dreary situation. Just existing in those circumstances can lead to apathy, especially when you feel compelled to stay there.
There is no fair comparison between you and others who have not endured your hardship and felt stuck in an unhappy situation. Besides, even people who seem to have a happy existence tend to become stressed when they compare themselves to others.
Do you think it’s possible that you have a good friend or two who would disregard your financial status and just appreciate hearing from you?
I missed some milestones too. I didn’t enter college until I was 38. I didn’t have nearly as good of a reason as you do, having to help your parents.
You have not failed as a son. You have been heroically tolerant and steadfast in being there for your parents. Making mistakes and even falling short of your own expectations is part of being human. Quite possibly your mom is experiencing the same feelings.
I suspect that your mom often feels overwhelmed and lashes out at you because of it. So, it sounds like both of you often feel overwhelmed and are dealing with a situation you really can’t change very much.
That you take to heart her criticism, even when it’s express with hostility, speaks well of your emotional maturity. It’s also apparent that you feel empathy and compassion towards your mom.
Have you thought about taking some online classes?
First off, well done for writing all of this here. It sounds like you’ve been carrying heavy things on your shoulders and on your own for a while. Just the very act of writing down can help bring a little bit of relief, so I hope it being here will contribute to feeling more supported through all of this.
It must have been incredibly difficult to navigate this sudden transition with your dad having a stroke and needing some more intense care from you and your mom. I imagine how that has taken its toll on both of you over time. Being a carer is a huge responsibility that can be very overwhelming in itself, if not leading to burnout. On one hand you want to help and you do, but on the other hand you also have a life to live and feel like you may be missing out on life opportunities.
On top of it, your mom is having this changing behavior and keeps saying things that are painful to you, which doesn’t help and only add the the hurt you’re already carrying. It is possible that she is tired of the situation with your dad and that this stroke has collectively your life in a way that was not expected. Although it is unfair to put it on you as a result – these emotions, regardless of where they come from, should be worked on, ideally with the help of a professional.
If I may ask, have you received help from anyone ever since your dad had this stroke? Are there volunteer organizations or hospital/clinic services that could be available for you and affordable? For a long time, my mother had to take care of her own mother when her health started to decline. It took a lot of time to navigate the different helps possible and to find something we could actually access to financially, but in the end we did find the possibility for her to have a volunteer coming in twice a day. She was cleaning her home, helping her get up/out of her bed, take her pills, etc. My mother and grandmother’s relationship was strained before they got this help – they were always angry at each other and you could see how exhausted they both were by the situation. Having someone taking in charge some of the daily tasks that needed to be done was truly helpful.
It doesn’t even have to be medical-related. Sometimes, even having a person once a month doing a deep clean into your home can be a huge relief to everyone, and something less to think about.
You are definitely not failing in life, friend. Actually, you have been handling situations that take a lot of energy, commitment, dedication and strength. A lot of people who go to college don’t have to deal with these situations at the same time. This truly speaks a lot in terms of how you’ve been caring and trying to help, and also that maybe at some point it will be important for you re-create space to focus on yourself. You too have needs and feeling depressed as you do may be the sign that those needs would have to be addressed. Again, it makes sense to feel the way you do, and your future is not all written already.
What are the plans and hopes that you’ve mentioned at the end of your post? I would love to hear about this part of you that still envisions things for your future, because there may be things for you there to rely on and develop into life projects, little by little. There is absolutely hope for you, for taking steps to change your situation, for taking care of your dad and of yourself, for setting appropriate boundaries with your mom if needed.