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Caring for Aging Parents Who Didn't Care for You

Family10 ...Now her parents are getting frail. Nancy had been through a lot of therapy so she could learn to cope with her childhood issues. She's come to terms with the fact that her father did what he thought he was supposed to do. She rightly felt, as a child, that he should recognize and stop the abuse her mother was doling out. Through therapy, she has learned to forgive her father for his lack of involvement and the fact that he didn't stop the abuse.

She's learned that he likely didn't know about a lot of it. She's also learned that he probably was in denial about what he did suspect because he really didn't know what to do. He was wrong, but she's managed to forgive him for what he didn't know, and for what he didn't do about what he did know. Part of this is that her father recognizes where he failed. As he ages – and he's the one who is showing the need for care at this point – she feels she is capable of caring for him, in some "hands-on" capacity.

Read full article on Agingcare about how people who were abused as children must struggle to decide what they can do for their parents: 

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol 

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Comments

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Thank you for your kind words. This is a very hard position for people to be in. As in all of my personal work, I can only write what I feel will help people who are struggling. Most things are easier said than done but, as you said, the rewards can be huge.
Blessings,
Carol

This can be hard for anyone, whose parents were verbally abusive or simply ignorant. Forgiving is a much bigger reward than taking care of your aging parents. Thanks for sharing the blog. It's an amazing read.

I agree. It seems best for most if they can have some involvement, even if that means just being the advocate while others do hands-on care. Any time that some resolution can be had before the older generation passes everyone wins. Forgiveness can be hard to come by, but counseling helps many abused young adults get to that point.

Thanks so much for your input.
Carol

That's tough really. To care for your parents who verbally abused you throughout your childhood. But, it's important for children to look after their aging parents even if they were badly ignored. Thanks for sharing.

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