Lost in the Crowd and the Family Dramas

by Katy
(Bronx, NY)

I am exhausted - finally after 53 years totally exhausted by the family dysfunction, anger and dramas. I am one of 6 children, the only girl and the oldest. My father is an anger bitter vicious secret drunk who is also a mean bully has spent years drinking in secret, screwing around on my mother, and couple years ago we discovered he has a 'secret' illegitimate daughter who mother came looking for a payoff from him. but of course its never talked about and everyone acts like its still secret. My mother who I always thought was relatively emotionally healthy just isn't is she. Couple my brothers are also just a mess, the youngest more "frozen" than I am. several the others married to replicas of our parents and have their own drama-driven personalities, one is a wanna be savior but in reality he is barely holding on to his life as he knows it. We are so typical of classic Irish Catholic dysfunctional family, me the only daughter being the cook, dishwasher and the sons being well, the sons. They too are brilliantly dysfunctional - yet also scarily very much like our parents at times.

Me? frozen is the perfect description. Not that I'm not a nice person or caring - I have large wonderful circle of friends, several especially close ones who I know most of my life and are aware of my issues, many times more aware than I was. But I have never let a man get close enough to marry - I've had a lot chase me but I recently realized that I always put up solid brick walls so am single and childless. I feel like lately I spend most of my time navigating work and family life with too many mean angry spiteful people and drama queens.

I have never felt like I wanted to move away till now. My mom was very sick with bad case pneumonia, she fell twice and dad never even got up to see what happened even though he said he heard the noises. She laid in bed all day and waited till that night to call me. next day all day in ER and she's got meds, etc. but that meant she couldn't go on their annual trip to Florida and he was sulking, upset and childishly disappointed. She just finished second rounds of meds but she's seriously malnourished and anemic because she had been misdiagnosed for at least a month - he is getting her soup, juice, etc. but hasn't been doing any laundry, changing sheets, etc. and doesn't speak with her - during day she's been laying there alone and lonely - so when I did it all and she got up and had someone to talk to he got terribly angry and now she's calling me whispering for me not to come by so as not to upset him. HIM?? But still she's upset with me because I got angry that she'd even think of going to Florida even though there's no doctor there, no family or friends there to look after her and he doesn't give a crap so long as he gets there and only wants her to come as she does most of the driving and he's afraid to go on his own because he's such an jerk he can't get on with anyone wherever they stop off....

How do I "break up" with my family - hindsight being 20/20 it would have been better to do it when we were all younger and now with parents who are closing in on 80 and me being main 'caregiver' what on earth do I do? How do I limit my interactions without being neglectful of mom?

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May 11, 2012
You are Not Alone
by: Anonymous

Sounds very much like my own family. Get yourself a therapist. Try to control the situation/environment as much as possible so that it doesn't continue to control you. Don't let guilt make you into miserable caregiver....who foregoes their health and life--much easier said than done. Do your siblings feel any responsibility? Your parents make some poor choices? Are you going to remain miserable? Do what you can or want....I am childless and know I will be in a skilled care facility when needing care. Long term care insurance: a handgun.

Feb 23, 2012
by: Anonymous

It's hard to be put in a place where you have to choose self happiness over family due to amount of drama.

I can relate. Maybe you should really get to know and build a personal relationship with God. He will provide the supernatural peace that no one here can provide. This I know...

Jan 21, 2012
Do I sense some hostility?
by: Don

Hi Anne,

I hear your anger and realize their may be some pain from some of your own wounds behind them. Unless I am off base and out of line, please feel free to share those here.

To Katy, I suggest seeking help to take that wall down, but only in safe places and relationships. This means finding an Alanon, CoDA, or Adult/Child of Alcoholics group - then becoming active there.

It sounds like a good round of therapy to help you get started is also in order. All you can do for the chaotic family is turn them over and pray. The part of you that finds that impossible will need permission do let go. You can find that in those meetings and counseling sessions.

Jan 16, 2012
more booze
by: Anne

i say give him more booze so he can finish the job and drink himself into the grave and then your mum would be able to have a life at an age care facility and you would be able to live your own life and work out your own issues, good luck to you

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