by Lena M. Darling
I am a divorced, 69-year-old senior with four adult children. I saw these people through some difficult teenage years, some young adult jail stints, and many other not-too-pleasant life challenges, but nothing prepared me for the disrespect that came after the two of them were grown.
It behooved me that they could so easily disregard me as their mother and talk to me any way they pleased.
For twenty-plus years, I allowed this behavior to happen. I agreed to unreasonable demands and gave money, time, and whatever it took to keep the peace with these two. Several times, they would move back into my home, and I would immediately lose control of my life and self-worth. I would have to get into an unpleasant altercation with them before they would leave. Then, the cycle would start over again. I found myself low in spirit with health issues. I didn’t like the person I had become. When I would see their phone numbers on the caller ID, my heart would sink. It was never a pleasant conversation; it was always about themselves and their needs.
On January 12, 2012, a simple phone call from one of them caused me to have a mini-meltdown, and I decided to take control of my life and step away from theirs. These types of people verbally abuse their senior parents which at times is more hurtful than physical abuse. I believe there’s a great number of seniors out there that have this same problem but are too ashamed and feel so dishonored that they can’t share with anyone. They go on pretending that their children are wonderful and doing well.
We lie and cover-up, and, because we love them, only a few know about the problems. We try to stay away from these people, never ask them for anything, and rely on community services, neighbors, and friends to help us. Seniors, please demand your respect. Even if they don’t honor us as parents, they should respect us as they would any senior. We are valuable citizens, worked hard, and gave up dreams and visions. We deserve our respect and dignity.
May God bless and keep us strong.
Copyright 2012 – Lena M. Darling, All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.