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  • Marnie Matthews, MSW, LICSW posted an update in the group Group logo of Adult Child ChallengesAdult Child Challenges 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    Many adult children experience significant guilt when they are unable to help their parent. Even though the parent may be refusing help, adult children frequently feel responsible for the conditions their parent is living and feel especially vulnerable to the judgement of others who think they should be doing more. Has this ever been your experience? If so, how did you navigate it?

    • YES. Tried to work with APS. Detachment is how you navigate this, unless you chose to beat your head against walls. I have a somewhat better relationship with code officer, but ultimately, nobody can help someone who doesn’t want help. My mother lives in her car. I do not live in her car. My mother is not safe. I am safe.It is terrible, but it is not in fact the end of the world. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to cope with this when I saw it coming, I tried to help and failed. I guess I am accepting her choice, not in the sense of approving, condoning, or welcoming, but resigning myself to the fact that she prefers to live in her car over all the alternatives. I don’t confuse this choice with autonomy, but I accept that I cannot change things, as it stands.

    • BUT, that said, while I accept that this is the status quo with my mother. I do not accept that this is THE STATUS QUO. It is too f-d up that we have all failed to help her for the last 35 years, so I prefer to devote some of my energies to how we might do better in the future, since I cannot help my mother. Perhaps there will always be those like her beyond our capacity to help, but I am NOT convinced this was inevitable. I believe an intelligent intervention 20 years ago might have worked a miracle.