Thursday, October 09, 2008

What Goea Around, Comes Around

Imagine the emotional toll of being left at a hospital because your parents don't want you anymore.   For the seventeen kids dropped off at Nebraska hospitals in the last month it's their reality.  Proving once again that just because you are biologically capable of having children doesn't make you a good parent.  It's one thing to give up your child at birth and another to give them up when they are capable of processing the fact that mommy and daddy don't want them.  Nebraska needs to rewrite their "safe haven" law and limit it to infants.  And maybe, just maybe, having nine children isn't a good idea.

On the other hand if my parents had nine children maybe I wouldn't feel so overworked taking care of mom.  I'm the eldest and since my parents had four years to mold me before I was replaced by my middle brother, my childhood was brief.  I brought my dad's mom from Virginia to California for my baby brother's wedding and she stayed with my parents for many years.  Mom took really good care of her mother-in-law, even after my dad died.  With that background I fit the model of the daughter driving herself into the ground.

No criticism intended, but this is all pretty standard advice both from friends and professionals. But often caregivers can’t or won’t peel themselves away. When an adult child, especially a daughter, refuses to delegate anything and runs herself into the ground, what is going on emotionally or within the family that makes it impossible for her to back off a little?

This is an area where family history plays a huge part in how we respond to the caregiving role. If part of the family lore or story is that grandmother took care of eight children under the age of 7 while also taking care of both her aging parents and working as a seamstress while her husband worked in the mines — that becomes ingrained in us each time the story is repeated, and the story takes on different meanings in each of the listeners, like the childhood game of telephone.
Except that it isn't as fun, but at least I have a clean conscience and know that I've done the best job I could under the circumstances.  I would no more abandon my mother than I would my substitute children.

So the Treasury Department wants to put buy a stake in failing banks to help stabilize the financial system.  I don't know why it is so difficult for conservatives and the people running our government to understand that if Joe six pack doesn't get money then this situation won't stabilize for a long time.  They are literally throwing good money after bad at this point.

Janet, thank you very much.  Your help is greatly appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad that I could help, Deb. I'm also unemployed right now. But, fortunately, I live in a place where I can get a job tomorrow (at a decent rate of pay), plus I don't have to pay for any medical expenses (universal healthcare, baby!).

    Anyway, I'm going through the same sort of thing you are re: your mum. My mother (and to some extent my dad), are slipping into senility. I expect I'll be moving out to where they live to look after them fairly soon.

    I was lucky in that my last employer paid me a large sum (I was made redundant)and I'm eligible for Employment Insurance (it's different here - everyone pays into EI). So I'm not hurting in the least. I hope to send you some money every month for as long as I can.

    You take care, my fine girl...