This is my first post and I thought it would be more helpful to talk to strangers than to family members. I have also found that when I talk to my wife, my parents or my brother I always manage to say things the wrong way, say things I shouldn't and just generally make the situation worse...when I am actually trying to find relief. I usually end up feel like I should have just kept my mouth shut instead of making problems worse.
I'm 45, have been married for nearly 18 years, have known my wife for almost 22 and my parents are in their mid-seventies. I'd like to focus this post on my parents. My parents are challenging to describe but have numerous health problems. My mom has not really been healthy for most of the time I've been married. She has had multiple broken bones, multiple joint replacements, cancer (that was caught early and treated), and problems with her mental health. She is more like a person that is 15 to 20 years older. Other people who have the same problems seem to be able to recover, but she can't. She really can't take care of herself and isn't mobile. My brother and I are constantly worried. When I talk to her, I actually miss her because she is not who I used to know. My dad doesn't really have physical health problems but has had brain problems like seizures that have caused memory issues and other changes to his personality. The point I'm trying to make is that, for half of my life, there has always been some sort of a problem or crisis. At first the problems were health related, but then I started encountering unpaid bills, unfiled taxes, compulsive shopping, hoarding, rotten food, unsanitary stuff. I'm not really able to have a conversation with either of them either. First, usually there is some kind of priority or situation I need to handle (make sure mom doesn't fall, make sure this bill gets paid to avoid a big problem, there was a phone call about some big problem) and I can never just have an "enjoyable" conversation for pleasure. Secondly, they are so mentally diminished, depressed, damaged, that I can't really connect and have good communication. I love them very much and they were wonderful parents when I was a child, but everything has fallen apart and I feel so frustrated that the people I loved are mostly gone.
So this is all while I've been in the stage of my life where I'm having a family of my own. My kids are 14 and 10 and I've felt a lot of frustration and regret. Things happen like I can't take the kids to the house where I grew up because it's full of papers and there is nowhere to sit - that's been my younger one's entire life. Very early on they could watch the kids if my wife and I were gone for a short amount of time, but my wife always acted very nervous about it. But that's been years ago before things really went bad. I'm just frustrated and sad for the circumstances. It has brought a lot of stress into my life and marriage. It's taken over too much of my mind. I think I'm predisposed to some depression and anxiety that I didn't used to feel but know I feel it daily.
Discussions I have with my wife turn into arguments and are driving us further apart in our marriage. Often they arise from her wanting to incorporate her mom into our life more and more when I wish we could have some healthy boundaries. I feel like her mom would like to be in our life at an ever-increasing rate, which was one thing 17 years ago, but is another thing after being married for so long. There is a lot of built up history there. My wife always says that it's because of the situation with my parents. I think there is some truth to what she says but she uses it as a catch-all for every disagreement and justification for everything. We could put the same situation and argument on repeat. I feel like I'd be happier living further than 15 minutes from them all. I want limits and boundaries and desire more independence. So that's our weekly or bi-weekly fight.
Anyway, this is my first post and it's kind of a messy rant. Not sure I have done a good job of describing it all. I feel pretty down and am going to make an appointment to talk to somebody about all of this stuff. I know I'm depressed and I've also gotten to a point where I'm just tired. I need a break. I feel frustrated that BOTH of my parents have odd problems and it feel like terrible luck, while other people their age are so much more functional. I should be glad they are alive. I knew it was bad this weekend when I realized I felt happy and I thought, wow, it's nice to just feel happy once in a while. I feel like the depression is damaging me. Like when I was younger I could tough my way through it, but as I've gotten older it's doing harm and I'm not able to deal with it. I have a lot of times where I'm crying in different places...at work, driving, at home, on the phone. I even have times where I'd prefer to be bothered by something different just to change the subject in my brain. I spend too much time worrying and not enough time trying to enjoy things. It's doing damage to my relationships with everybody and I'm feeling more alone.
That's enough for now. I hope that maybe this helps somebody or clicks with somebody. Thanks.