I’ll be honest, the last few months have been rather challenging when it comes to certain “family” dynamics.
A lot of you are probably a gen X like me, and you’ve reached that certain stage in life where you feel established and comfortable in your own skin.
...You feel good and you feel ready for the second half of your life.
But then, something I never even thought about until just the last couple years is this whole question of, “what about mom?” - What do you do when you have to become a parent to your parent?
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I thought I would share just a little bit on my experience with this.
My mom has developed dementia and her mental health has been increasingly deteriorating.
...Especially her memory. It’s one of those situations that you’d hear about on the news, where police find an elderly woman roaming the streets, not being able to articulate where she is, what she’s doing, or why she’s out on her own.
This just happened the other day, in fact. And other incidents have taken place, such as the one I’m about to share…
My mom stopped driving a number of years ago, but she’s had her car sitting in her garage ever since. We finally made the decision to give the car to another family member.
My mom was in full agreement that this was a good idea and that she was doing the right thing. And at the same time, it was also the first time she was giving away a more significant piece of property.
And so, in the last couple weeks I’ve been getting phone calls from her and voice messages, telling me that somebody’s stolen her car. She’s completely distraught about it.
And then I tell her, “Remember mom, we agreed that the car would go to your grandson, and remember, I have voice messages from you telling me you’re so happy to be giving the car away, and that you knew it was the right thing to do.”
But the problem is, I can’t just say, “remember mom,” because she doesn’t remember.
So, what do you do when you have to become a parent to your parents?
It’s certainly not an easy thing to process. I know for me personally, it’s been even more challenging from the emotional standpoint, considering the history of my upbringing.
Some of you know my story, some of you may not, but my mother was very physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive to me and my siblings growing up.
And though I found a place of forgiveness for her in my heart and walked that journey many years ago, I’m realizing that I’m having to continue to walk that journey day in and day out, reminding myself of the forgiveness that I’ve extended to her.
So, whether it’s mom or dad or somebody else, chances are, you may find yourself in a place similar to the one I (and so many others) find myself in.
…You’re processing how to deal with the situation, how to move forward, how to help that person to the best of your ability, without allowing yourself to be subjected to their drama.
Whatever the case may be, I want you to know that you’re not alone.
We all have real life to deal with. And when real life shows up, especially with its toughest challenges, having just one or two people in your inner circle who can provide words of encouragement (to help you move through the challenge), will do wonders for your own mental and emotional well-being.
And if you don’t have someone like that in your close family or in the friends around you, look inside the Empowered Living community, because we’re all here on purpose for a purpose to grow and live life to the fullest. And we’re here for each other.