Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bad Daughter

This is not a funny post. I am essentially writing this for my IRL friends who know my pain. Sorry. I'll bring funny back another day.

My parents spent three days last week at my house. My mom asked me no fewer than 9 times why my family was not getting the swine flu shot. She was just obsessed over this and would not leave it alone. By the end I snapped and just...well...I wasn't as patient and loving as I normally try to be.

My dad was my dad. I just duck and cover the entire time we are together. I can do no right and so I have just stopped trying. So you can imagine the relief I felt when they went home. I feel so guilty that I feel that way, but it's true.

But then they were in a bad car accident a few days ago. A young girl rammed into them with her brand-new SUV. No one was seriously injured, but their car was totalled. My dad, however, in his stubborn state of mind that he lives in, DROVE THE CAR HOME! His seat was broken and he DROVE IT HOME. He won't see a doctor about his pain and my mom just had all that neck stuff going on, now she gets to go through it all over again.

I can't control my parents. But I don't feel like they should be 5 hours away when they can't make good judgments for themselves. I just feel trapped. And I feel like a bad daughter. I should be there, but I can't do that to myself.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.


catherine said...

You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your relatives.
My dad is the same way, I never do anything right according to him. Now due to him mixing his painkillers and alcohol, he thinks my husband "stole the will". WTH??? In his delusions, he thinks my dh drove 4 hours and took a golf bag that supposedly had the will in one of the pockets. I called up my brother who has power of attorney and asked him what the heck he was talking about. He has no idea, and that there isn't a will and he thinks my dad is losing his mind. Wonderful. Dementia and stubborn asshole. Great combination.

Charli-tan said...

Ok, first of all ,you are NOT a bad daughter! Parents are frustrating and, I am learning, STUBBORN as hell. You can't control them.
As for snapping at your mom, I feel you there too, because I am NOT haveing Oakley get the shot and I am being questioned left and right. After a while, I want to SCREAM mind your own business, I KNOW what's best for my son!
I think you do the best you can. It's hard ot try to have your own life when your parents are not taking good care of theirs. But as I was recently told, my child was placed in my stewardship and it is paramount that I am caring for him. Everything after that is secondary. I think you are an awesome mom, natural or not, and that is your number one concern.
We do what we can for our parents, but in the end, they are still adults who get to make thier own decisions, no matter how much it makes us crazy.
I'm glad no one was hurt. Didn't you mention that the other driver was texting? That makes me insane!!!!!

Bubblewench said...

You are not a bad daughter. Trust me, I still get lectures as to how much of a disappointment I am. I have had to force myself to learn that their problems are not MINE.. they are THEIRS... and I'm a good person, no matter what they say.

Anonymous said...

Parents! Can't kill 'em, can't get away from them, even after they die! I know a woman wracked with guilt because she avoided her mom because her mom wouldn't let up on telling her how to live her life, she died and now she feels guilt. The older sister was totally devoted and lived her life as dictated by her parents for the sin of getting pregnant and being forced to marry a man she was young and got pregnant by who hasn't treated her that well. How is she handling her mother's death? Guilt and anger, mostly angry that she gave up her life and it sucks but she's Catholic so she's stuck. Parents come with guilt, its one of their best motivators; some know no other way to parent. You're an adult doing the best that you can . . . that's all you can do.
And I'm not buying into that flu vaccine either! No matter what happens you're doing your best and you have to let go, or you won't be able to do your best.
Desert Dweller

Anonymous said...

You are not a bad daughter. And having them closer just means you would be dealing with their stuff 24/7, and have even less of a life for yourself.

You can't make everything right for everyone. Just do the best you can, within your own limits, and that makes you a great daughter - while honoring your commitments to your husband, your daughter, and yourself.


Anonymous said...

Since most of your guilt is still based on the "They moved from middle of country to coast to be near daughter who then moved five hours away" scenario, let me remind you that THEY made that choice and THEY were well aware of the fact that clergy and their families move and THEY were fully aware of the situation at old church, and yes, you moved further away than any of us really imagined you would BUT they are renters and could, conceivably, move wherever they want, whether that is closer to you, back to middle of country, to another country, whatever. You are not responsible for your parents any more than you will expect E to be responsible for you when you are their age. I'm not sure what your definition of "good daughter" to your parents would be, but sacrificing your sanity and your family's well-being should not be part of that definition. Speaking of crazy mothers and such, red arrives in 7 days. And is staying for 6 weeks. Oh joy.


Anonymous said...

Your parents are adults who are fully capable of making (and living with) their decisions. It's like your decision NOT to vaccinate E. You're an adult. She's your child. It's YOUR decision. Your dad wants to drive a broken car? His decision. Same for your mom. Now you don't have to agree with their decisions and, likewise, they don't have to agree with yours.

It would be worse for you to sacrifice your needs and the needs of your family to try and satisfy some fluctuating value of "good daughter." So stop it. Go hug your child, pet your dog, love your hubby. Love YOURSELF. You've done nothing wrong. They have been adults far, far longer than you have. They can stand on their own two (four) feet.

/ dw

enthusiastic said...

I'm interested as to why you aren't getting the swine flu shot?