The challenges in loving our parents come in different shapes and sizes. There are the big challenges of watching them struggle to move and of figuring out how Medicare works. There are the smaller challenges of coming home to find your Mom has devoured an entire box of See’s chocolates while you’ve been away.
But really, when you’re working hard to love your parents, all the challenges seem big. The reason they seem so big is that you are living through unchartered territory. Like the first day at a new school it can seem overwhelming. That is why it is so important that you don’t isolate yourself in this journey. You need to reach out for help and support — and there are many people and places to help you.
Dr. Phil recently had a story on Cyber-Bullying. It’s become a terrible problem in many schools. The bully succeeds when the targeted child feels isolated and is afraid to tell a loving sibling or adult what is going on.
Whether Mom or Dad is bullying you as you try to do what you know is good for them, or the medical system is bullying you as you fight for the best medical care, or worst of all, other people give you their opinions when they’ve never been where you are, realize you are not alone and help is a phone call, internet click or book away.
Call a loving friend, contact your local elder services agency, find a caregiver support group (many health centers/nursing homes hold these monthly for the public), or go online and search “Care-giving”, “Medicare” and any other topic you want information on. When you do, you will probably be overwhelmed by all the help available. But that is a good thing. Listen to your heart and reach out. You may be surprised to find that you will end up blessing others with your story and struggles.
It is easy to feel alone when you are loving your parents. You are doing a beautiful thing, yet sometimes the world seems to conspire against you. But that’s loneliness talking. Talk back. You are not alone.