Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 7:47 am
Dear Annie: My father is 87 years old and has congestive heart failure. I am the youngest of four siblings, two of whom live out of town. For some reason, everything falls on me.
We pay for a caregiver to come in for four hours a day, but she leaves at noon. My brother sometimes takes over until I get home from work, at which point I stay until my husband relieves me. Then I go home to change clothes and return. I have not enjoyed the comfort of my own bed for a while. On weekends, my husband and I take care of Dad together.
When my two out-of-state siblings last came to visit, I told them this is too much for me and I have no time for myself or my family. One told me he didn’t care about my life, that all he cared about was Dad not being alone. I told him to ask the neighbor how many hours I am with Dad. He became angry and said that after Dad dies, he never wants to see me again.
I left my father’s house and decided if that’s the way it’s going to be, I’ll take the night shift and stay with Dad from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. every day, but no more. If they want additional coverage, they’ll have to do it themselves or pay for it. One of my brothers can fly here anytime he wants.
Dad doesn’t know we argued, and I don’t plan to tell him. I took care of my mother when she was ill and don’t appreciate being treated this way. I think it’s time everyone contributed their fair share. — Hurting in Texas
Dear Hurting: Your siblings are being terribly unfair to you, but that’s not uncommon in these circumstances. Can your other siblings contribute financially to extend the caregiver’s time during the day? Would it make sense to put your father in an assisted-living facility or let him move in with one of you? You might also look into respite care so you and your husband can get a break. Check the National Family Caregivers Association (thefamilycaregiver.org) for resources and support.
Dear Annie: My boyfriend recently broke up with me via text message, stating that I “deserve better.”
He leads a very active and busy life, and so do I. He also told me our relationship wouldn’t last and wasn’t going anywhere. But the funny part is, he keeps inviting me out. I did go over to his place, and he apologized and said he regretted the breakup. But he added that in the long run, it was for the best.
He keeps asking me to stay all night, and he holds me real tight. I am confused. What should I do? — Devastated
Dear Devastated: Walk away from this manipulative guy. He’s looking for “friends with benefits,” not a real relationship. He’s been honest enough to say there is no future for the two of you. That much you can believe.
Dear Annie: I read with interest the letter from “Troubled in Tallahassee,” whose supervisor is constantly interrupting her.
While your suggestions are helpful if her claims are true, I was surprised you did not mention that one reason why her supervisor interrupts might be to keep her on point. I have supervised many employees in my life, and it never fails that at least one employee in a group feels the need to prattle on endlessly about tedious details, sometimes totally unrelated to the topic.
I suggest you add to your advice the suggestion that “Troubled” trim down her responses to “just the facts, ma’am,” and rely on her supervisor to ask any questions if further information is needed. — No Time for Nonsense in Imperial, Pa.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 3.6.12