I’m just going to throw this out there – I come from a long line of crazy people. That may be one of the reasons I was so attracted to the helping professions…I feel comfortable around “crazy!”
To make a very long story short, my dad is almost 80. He hasn’t drunk alcohol in over a decade now, but he has spent his life suffering from significant mental health issues and alcoholism, none of which he ever had treated. However, as a (former) mental health professional with my own mental health struggles, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to diagnose the guy with OCD, depression, and panic disorder with agoraphobia. The man had more obsessions than you can possible imagine. His primary obsession is about his medications – when he will get them, if and when I will come to refill them (he uses a daily medication tray), etc. Now, he doesn’t drive, nor does he use the internet, so it’s up to me to handle those medications. My sister and brother-in-law live with my dad, but this is my job, just to help ease the burden a bit.
I am a very, very reliable person. If I say I am going to do something, I do it. If I say I’m going to be somewhere…I’m there…early. During the past six years since my mom died, I have always filled my dad’s medication trays, weekly or bi-weekly, as scheduled. Yet he constantly calls and asks (often, several times a day) if I’ll be able to make it over to refill his medications. Now, these calls have increased since I’ve been sick, because I’ve had to explain that since it’s very difficult for me to drive these days, and sometimes, I may have to reschedule by a day. Let’s also keep in mind that TWO grown adults live with this man, and if I died, they SHOULD be able to handle this on their own! But no…no…..my father doesn’t want to ask my sister to take over this job temporarily since, “She might start screaming,” (which could happen…she is known to go on screaming tirades for no good reason).
It would be nice if for once in my life, I could have my family’s support during a time when I’m sick. I would love it if my sister just took this over for a bit. But that’s not going to happen, because that’s not how my family works. I’ll be expected to keep doing this, because I guess I’m viewed as a responsible and reliable person, which is lovely. And I’ll keep fielding constant calls from my father, repeating the same question over and over and over.
Yeah….this doesn’t help my stress levels at all. Will it ever be my time to get some support?