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I Am Being Neglected By My Son, His Wife and Their Kids

by D. Madden
(Middletown, NJ)

I used all my 401K money (worked 38 years) and gave it to my son to build an extension on his house for me to live in (at his request). I had to withdraw early so I have to pay the IRS 25,000!

The house took 2 years to build. I moved in never having seen it and nothing is finished. I only have the bottom of my kitchen cabinets because I have to pay for the granite and the top part of the kitchen cabinets.

I have been here 2 months and still have no water in the kitchen! I have to use a small sink in the bathroom. I cannot cook because of having no water so my son was giving me dinner (nothing more). That stopped last week and I was told nothing.

I also have not been given my mail, which I just learned was being put on their steps. My son has 3 kids all of which I do not see or talk too. I am totally ignored as if I didn't exist.

My son took back my new washer and dryer and now I have to rely on his wife to do my laundry (I usually wash what I can by hand in the bathroom sink). I do not get my laundry back in a reasonable time and also things are missing and I am told they can't be found.

I also have 3 little dogs which I care for and had to borrow money from my friend because I wasn't given anything to eat (dogs either) for a week. These are supposed to be "golden years."

If I had known I would be living like this, I would have bought a small apartment somewhere to live and never, never moved here! I suffer from depression as it is and I asked my son repeatedly to take me to see my mother who will be 98. I haven't seen her in a year. He says he's too busy. What am I to do?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time at this stage of your life. I will try to help.

The most important thing I want to say to you is that you're going to have to take responsibility for improving your circumstances. You have put a lot of power in your son's hands, and you're (understandably) not pleased with how he's handling it. If you allow the depression and feelings of helplessness to prevail, things will only get worse.

You can rise above this. You can improve your lot in life, and only you can do that.

First, I suggest that you read the following page on depression: dealing with depression.

Do all of the exercises recommended on that page, and you will start to feel more empowered to take charge of your life.

Make up your mind to make these the "golden years." That is not in somebody else's hands. You have what it takes to take charge of your life enough to improve it. You will find my Elegant Aging audio CD programs to be very helpful to you in the process you're going through.

Believe in yourself, and take one small step at a time. You can do this.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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