I am the oldest and I was adopted. I have one younger sister who is my aparents biological child, and she is two years younger than I am.
I grew up knowing I was adopted and my grandmother, my mother’s mother, made it very clear that I was not blood so I would not be able to inherit anything from her side of the family. My sister would get it all. My other grandmother tried hard to compensate, but she didn’t live anywhere close to us and we didn’t get to see her very often.
When I was in high school my amom had a stroke and asked me to take care of my afather and sister. I cooked the meals, did the laundry, etc. while my amom was in the hospital and recovering. I remember It as being a little overwhelming at the time because I was doing things I didn’t normally do, without any help, but this taught me that I was actually a stronger person than I knew and I gained a lot of confidence in myself from that experience.
When I was in my 20s I hired a private investigator to find my biological brother. I always knew he existed but my aparents did not adopt him. By the time my aparents found out my biological mother was pregnant again they already had orders to move back to the states so they couldn’t adopt him and bring him back with us. My brother is a lot like me and it is obvious when you see the two of us together that we are related.
My amom became terminally ill in the early 2000’s and died in 2005. After her diagnosis she was determined to move close to me so that I could take care of my afather after she died. I did what I could for her while she was alive, often leaving my husband to fill in the gaps at home. My husband is a wonderful man and knew my plate was full with working a full-time job, taking care of the kids, and helping take care of my amom and he gladly stepped in to fill any voids.
After my amom died my afather was an emotional mess. I never really had time to grieve because I was trying to help him get through the grief, getting her affairs settled, etc. My sister wasn’t much help, but she lives in a different state so there is only so much she could do.
I had been doing their tax returns for quite a few years and continued to do so after my amom passed away. I also took my father to his doctor office visits because he had a hard time driving. He wanted a cell phone so I added him to my plan to save him some money. He never could figure out how to use it, but wanted one since his friends all had one. He was terrible with the computer and would constantly need me to fix it for him and he always wanted it fixed immediately so I’d have to leave work and go over to his house and fix it. (I wished numerous times that Microsoft would come up with a senior desktop edition so I could lock everything in place to stop him from constantly screwing things up.) I finally got a program installed on both of our computers so I could remote in and fix things for him without having to drop everything and keep going over to his house. These are just a few of the things I took on after my amother died. He would call at least once a day, sometimes three or more times wanting me to do something for him, and most of the time he wanted it done immediately. My amother had made me promise I would take care of him after she died and I tried hard to live up to that promise.
My afather was in the hospital because he wasn’t taking his medication properly. I called my sister and asked her to find something that I could fill for him so he would know what he had to take and when. She found the perfect pill dispenser on Amazon and it was delivered by the time he got out of the hospital. My sister was always helpful with things like that, which was a big help for me.
My afather has been very rude to my husband even though my husband bent over backwards to be nice to him. When I discussed his poor behavior with him he said Tom was a great son-in-law and he couldn’t ask for anyone better, but his words were a lot different when Tom was around.
Time and time again we would take him with us on our vacations only to wish we had gone alone. One year my afather wanted to go on a river cruise so I made all the arrangements. That was a very expensive trip, way more than we would normally spend on any vacation. My sister and her boyfriend joined us. The whole trip was a disaster. My afather was rude to my husband the whole time and even my sister said he might want to be nicer to the person pushing his wheelchair or he might end up in the canal. I don’t know if anyone has tried to push a wheelchair on cobblestone streets, or on gravel walkways, but it isn’t easy. My husband and I had asked my sister and her boyfriend to take my dad for two hours on two separate days so we could spend some time with my biological brother and his family. Her boyfriend pushed him a couple of blocks on the cobblestone streets on the first day and then took him back to the boat because it was too much work.
Last year my afather got remarried. Prior to the wedding I suggested my afather get a prenup drawn up because he stated his fiancé had quite a bit of debt. He told me to butt out. This was my afather’s second marriage but his new wife’s first marriage. He was in his 80s and she was in her 70s. When my husband and I asked my father’s new wife about her past she said she didn’t have any stories to tell. She has five siblings but none of them have much to do with her. The alarms were going off in my head but my afather was not interested in discussing the subject with me. After the wedding she took over most of the tasks I was doing, like taking him to the doctor, putting his pills in the daily containers, etc. which made my life a lot easier.
My afather had my grandmother’s (mother’s mother) antique bedroom set, and wanted to get rid of it to make room for his new wife’s things. My husband and I emptied out one of the bedrooms and made room for it. My mother loved antiques, and was born in that bed, and she didn’t want the set to be sold and made that very clear before she died. I don’t live anywhere near any of my cousins and my sister doesn’t’ want it nor does she have the room for it in her house. One cousin, who is my grandmother’s biological granddaughter, likes antiques and would take the furniture, but she doesn’t have any money so I would have to pay to ship the bedroom set, which is not going to be cheap. Honoring what my amother wanted I kept the furniture, but I constantly hear my agrandmother telling me that I am not to inherit anything of hers and feel like I’m caught in the middle.
My afather wanted to add her to my cell phone plan so I told him I was not going to pay for her phone on top of his and if he wanted to do that than he would have to reimburse me for that cost. My sister never paid any of his bills, and constantly told me to let him pay his own bills himself. I was trying to save him a little money since it was a lot cheaper to add him to my bill than for him to get his own cell phone contract, but I wasn’t going to pay for both cell phones. Both my afather and his new wife are retired military officers and each get a nice pension each month so paying the bill was not a problem for them.
During the holidays I took up where my amother left off and would have everyone over to my house, cooked dinner, etc. For Christmas my sister would get a check from my afather for quite a bit of money and I’d get one that didn’t even cover the cost of his cell phone bills for the year. This has been going on since my amother died. I tried not to let it bother me, but it did and still does.
I bought tickets for all of us to go to see a play Charlie Brown Christmas at the theater last year. Yes, I know it is a child’s program, but it was something to do to pass the time. My father made it a point to tell me how stupid it was. I went through a lot of expense and trouble to try and make sure everyone had a good time, but he never bothered to put forth any effort in things like that so he wouldn’t know the time, cost or effort involved in getting nine people to do anything at the same time.
My son was born on Christmas Day so we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and have his birthday celebration on Christmas night. My afather’s wife decided to make a scene at dinner on Christmas over something that she fabricated and ruined my son’s birthday party. After telling my afather that her behavior was not acceptable in my home he told me I was making a big deal over nothing. I have never heard my afather tell anyone, “That’s enough,” but he told his wife that at the table. She told him in a very nasty tone, “That is not enough!” One of my neighbors were there, as well as my biological brother, his wife, my husband and son and everyone had their mouths hanging open in response to her outburst.
I told my afather what I thought about his wife’s behavior but offered him an olive branch and said I would be happy to meet him for lunch anytime, and it would be just the two of us. He said he was not going to leave his wife home alone so we went for eight months and didn’t speak to one another. Shortly after her tirade my afather paid off her debt and it wiped out the bank account he had with my sister and I. (He had added us to his account after amom died so if something happened to him we would be able to take care of the expenses.) My husband and I concluded that my afather’s wife had to get me out of the way so she could get to his money and figured out a way to do that.
My sister flew here for his birthday in August and his wife made it a point to let my sister know that I never cared about him and basically told my sister I was a rotten daughter. My sister let her have it in a very public place. I was out of town then because my husband’s mother had just died and we went to help his brother get her things moved out of the assisted living facility she was in. My sister let me know what happened and the day I flew back I went over to my afather’s house and told his wife what I thought about her. That was August and I haven’t spoken with my afather or his wife since then.
My sister kept demanding that I contact my afather after the Christmas tirade. Per her, and her boyfriend, they didn’t want his wife to win. I can’t seem to get it through their heads that the battle is over, she already won. The constant arguing and fighting with my sister is causing me a lot of unnecessary stress. My life has actually gotten so much easier since I walked away from him. I no longer have to deal with him being rude to my husband, who is much happier, too. I don’t have to stop what I am doing at work to take him to the doctor, or get interrupted in the middle of dinner to fix his computer, or do his taxes, go over to his house to put his pills in the containers, book his travel plans, or do all the other tasks he had me doing for him. He would have had to pay someone else to do most of those tasks for him. I do feel guilty that I am not able to live up to the promise I made my amom but I can look myself in the mirror every day and know I did the best that I could when she was alive and for the twelve years after her death.
I have concluded that it was only my amom that really loved me and I was only being used by my afather. It is painfully obvious to me that he favors my sister, his biological daughter, but she makes it a point to call him once a week, and wasn’t here at Christmas listening to my father’s wife fabricate a story and accuse my husband of something he did not do during my son’s birthday party. My sister doesn’t live near him so doesn’t have to deal with his new wife much. After the Christmas tirade, the years of verbal abuse my husband had to endure, and the way he treated me I’ve finally had enough. It is a hard pill to swallow, especially since I did so much for him, but it is what it is. My life will go on with, or without my afather in it. It took a lot to get to this point, but my eyes are wide open now and I can clearly see just how one sided my relationship with him really was.