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Mental Trauma of being Abused in Older Age

(24 Posts)
westerlywind Fri 23-Sep-16 19:49:09

I have read the thread about people who were smacked/abused in childhood causing traumas.
When I was young punishments such as a smack or the belt etc were normal. Personally I do not feel the worse for having been brought up strictly. I knew people or around my age who were maybe not so angelic out of doors but still obeyed their parents to the end.
What worries me more now is reading about how the older people are being treated. I read of a lady in a care home who was sexually abused at the age of 101. We hear of the dodgy workers who go round the doors telling pensioners that their slates are dodgy and they just happen to have the right slates and will fix it all for a huge sum and will take the old person to the bank to make sure they get the money.
There are also stories on Grandsnet of older people dealing with drink and drug addicted adult children and others who have had to take on grandchildren full time because of drink and drug problems. Some grandparents feel put up because they are expected to babysit and some even getting criticised for that either because they don't follow the strict routines of the parents or that as mentioned elsewhere a gran with health problems babysat for a removal and then was told she should have done more. There are demands for money. Help needed to get on the property ladder
There is so much criticism of grans going on added to the emotional blackmail of it being threatened that grandchildren will be kept away if there is any non-compliance.
Does this make us the generation who were smacked by our parents and teachers and now we are the generation who are facing problems from out children and people of children age groups? It seems like a load of strife to me
What do others think?

Pollengran Fri 23-Sep-16 19:59:48

Don't worry yourself. You are reading about people who have family problems, but many of us don't. We just wander our way into old age with our children, grandchildren and their little cousins and parents etc all around. That is normal.

The MSM does highlight awful cases, but they are few and far between. Try not to fret.

westerlywind Fri 23-Sep-16 20:04:18

Thanks Pollengran. I do tend to be a right worry wart. There are probably many older people who are just fine.

Hilltopgran Fri 23-Sep-16 20:51:07

I used to work in the care services and met many caring and lovely people, those who needed care, family carers and professional carers. We did know of sad situations where older people were abused but it was a very small proportion.

There are people out there trying to scam, but that happens to all ages, so as long as you put your wishes in a legal document to safeguard yourself in case you are no longer able to make your own decisions, you can relax and enjoy life.

westerlywind Fri 23-Sep-16 21:22:07

Thanks Hilltopgran. Unfortunately I found things different from you. I am sure there were some nice people around but what I remember most were the nasty ones. That and the usual family squabbles over money and goods after a death has rather
clouded my views. I want to believe in the good people but the less pleasant seem to stick to the memory

Luckygirl Fri 23-Sep-16 21:47:40

People really are mostly good - that has been my experience all through my life. I was a social worker and saw so many people who would have been regarded at first glance as behaving unacceptably - but mostly they were just ordinary (and sometimes extraordinary) people whose life experiences had been different from most - and nearly all were good at heart.

westerlywind Fri 23-Sep-16 23:24:03

I think I fit your description of most people. I have been lots of things in this life from probably being the holy terror to miss goody two shoes. Maybe all of us have a streak of everything in us.
I am in a difficult time at the moment so that wont be helping my current viewpoint.

Hilltopgran Sat 24-Sep-16 00:04:48

My Mum was scammed put of thousands of pounds before we were able to manage her finances through POA, so my advice to anyone would be to make arrangements whilst you can. Having said that other people were so kind and helpful. In the end the safest place was a nursing home, which was costly but Mum was content and peaceful in her last year's.

It is difficult at times to remember that there is good as well as evil, there are some really bad people who will never change, others are damaged from their life experiences, Families are often split, and sibling rivalry is sometimes impossible to overcome, which is sad for all.

Westerly wind I am sorry that you are going through a difficult time and hope you are able to resolve your difficulties.

westerlywind Sat 24-Sep-16 00:44:13

Thanks Hilltopgran. It is all very bad and sad the way things are now. All the people on whom I relied are gone. Everyone is fighting, there have been a few con artists around, nosey questioning people who have no business asking anything, no help from those paid to care etc etc.
So much nastiness at a time when we should all be huddled together in support. I am fed up with it and cant think of any realistic solution right at this moment.
I prefer that it is me rather than any of the others now deceased who is in this position. I would not them to be in my shoes.

Judthepud2 Sat 24-Sep-16 13:18:29

Sounds like you need some kindness westerlywind. Most of those on here will be willing to offer it. If you want to open up about the problems you are having, you will probably find plenty of help and support.

As you have said, it is so hard for people in their later years who are vulnerable and easily damaged. It makes me so angry when I see photos on the news of old people who have been the victims of a brutal attack or a mugging.

For the time being, have a virtual ((hug)) from me.

westerlywind Sat 24-Sep-16 13:42:10

Hi Jud
Thank you for your post.
I think you are right that I am in need of some kindness and very lovely of you to give me a virtual hug. That is so kind. Much kinder than my family are being.
I have children but they are not as pleasant as you (or the other ladies) I have health issues and I am not 100% fit. I am shouted at a lot and criticised and made to feel useless. I know I am able for some things but I doubt myself because I am told loudly that I cant do anything.
The children and their OHs have tried to get more money out of me than I am willing to give.
They and their friends talk derogatively about me on FB. I know they are being stupid putting it in writing but it hurts
They decide or try to decide what I can do and various other aspects of my life. They know I am trying to do things to improve my abilities and they get angry about that.
They tell me who I am allowed to speak to. They don't want me mixing with people.
They have contacted people who were conspicuous by their absence when I was being a carer and restarted historic family disputes.
I have had the dodgy workers round the house. I was taken in before but not now.
Instead of encouraging me to start a new life now it is as if they want to make me be the useless item they tell me I am.
I am trying hard not to be useless and it only increasing the shouted criticisms.
I try to stay out their way most of the time but that is not much fun. It means that I don't get to see the GKids and I know that the kids have enjoyed times with me. This is par for the course, do as they want or the kids disappear.
I would not think twice about moving away and staying away if it were not for the younger kids.
I want to be a fun person not a moaning old pest. A friend who I met up with unplanned and then went for afternoon tea together said on the dreaded FB that she met a friend who was fun to be with. That is who I want to be more than the old person being shouted at and criticised.

Luckygirl Sat 24-Sep-16 13:52:39

You can be whoever you want to be. If it takes moving away from these toxic family influences to achieve this, then so be it.

Sometimes we cannot stop the bad things that happen to us, but we can choose how we respond to it.

Once your family see that you have moved on in your attitudes to how they are treating you and can see you have your own life to lead, then they will have to think twice.

Get out there, make new friends , do the things that you enjoy and then you can let out this lovely fun person who is currently buried under all the mire!

Hilltopgran Sat 24-Sep-16 14:54:42

Westerlywind I am sending a virtual hug for you. You can do what you want and be who you want, your friend sounds a good start to building some new ways and to avoid the toxic ones. Definitely avoid looking at Facebook if there are posts which upset you. It is sad when adult children think they know best, without taking the time to listen to what their parent actually wants.

Some organisations offer befriending services for older people, or are there any local groups you could join to help you feel less isolated.

westerlywind Sat 24-Sep-16 15:15:15

Thank you ladies. I noticed that you both used the word toxic it is probably the very word for this situation, I just had not realised it applied to me and what is going on.
The friend I met up with accidentally last week has moved away and is very encouraging for me to move too. We do have a laugh together and I used to visit where she is staying many years ago. She only moved 1 year ago. If I moved there or some other place I would be relieved as I would not have the pressure from family.
It would not be so bad if the nagging was helping me achieve what I want but I do think it is to keep me within "borrowing" distance. not that much is ever paid back!
I have to wonder why exactly people who have had many problems and messes in lives much shorter than mine think they are in a position to give me "advice"(at full volume).
I have been looking around at property.
Thanks ladies.

BlueBelle Sat 24-Sep-16 17:54:43

Hi westerly it sounds like you are not being helped by your family when you feel you need it
Just a few questions ... Are you able to look after yourself if you move, you talk about carers Is that all taken care of ?
Could you be helped by talking to someone who would listen and not judge There are systems for this kind of help from counselling to various groups Can you build up a life outside your family can you join some things You don't actually say if you are mobile or a car driver whether you live in an isolated area or in a town whether your health issues are serious, mental, physical, or your age or if you live alone or with a partner?
Are your grandkids old enough to come to you without their parents ? Could you invite them to tea alone and have fun with them
I apologise for all the questions but I m trying to get a feel for your problems

westerlywind Sat 24-Sep-16 18:57:44

BlueBelle thank you for responding.
I would have thought that my family would have reacted better than they are doing. To jump ahead, I think the main issue is that both parents and partner died and therefore I was left alone with only younger people. My Dad was the last of the older family to die. He was not pleased with the conduct going on prior to his death. The OH (not the father of my Kids) had been furious with various things. Once both Dad and OH were gone it was an open game especially as I was quite ill.
I am determined to regain as much as I can of me. Obviously I am older now but I try to be better every day. A lot of my problem was confidence. I was having my confidence eroded with all the put downs and my ill health causes embarrassing problems which further eroded my confidence. I am now doing things I could not have done a while back such as driving a medium sort of distance but not long distance. I do have a car and plan an upgrade when I get some place to live away from here. I have had counselling and that is where I started doing a bit more on my own, and building up confidence.
I was the carer of the now deceased people. I am not without health problems which started as a result of being overwhelmed as a carer. I have a few aid things from Social Work OT people. I am fully aware of my health problems I know that there will never be a cure but with a lot of care I will be able to manage better eventually. I also know the risks due to inherited conditions.
My grandkids who live with their respective parents are much too young to visit me independently. They are 7 and under. There are older ones but they have not been seen for about 7 or 8 years due to being in the care of the LA. I was supposed to be having 2 gkids to babysit last week but I walked out during a massive row (dictator-like viciousness) so they did not appear. I really do not like the kids being in any way involved in all the bad feeling. I am quite sure they like me and none of them has a particularly easy life.
Provided nothing else happens to me I think I would be reasonably OK on my own away from here (huge town) as I prefer smaller town and I think removing myself from the shouting and stressing can only be a good thing apart from worrying about the Gkids.
Thanks again

Judthepud2 Sat 24-Sep-16 20:35:22

This is clearly abusive behaviour WW. Get away if you are able. No one deserves this sort of treatment.

BlueBelle Sat 24-Sep-16 21:26:56

Yes I agree it sounds as if that's the best bet to move ... keep building up yourself, get more counselling if it helped Try and meet up with like minded people maybe you can send cards or letters to the grandkids Try not to have a row about moving just do it without too much discussion Keep taking small steps write a little diary of your achievements Have a 'pillow' book of happy thoughts and add one positive thing each night before you go to sleep Writing things down it can be quite cathartic
And good good luck

westerlywind Sat 24-Sep-16 22:02:06

Thanks Ladies
Confirmation and good suggestions is just great for me. It is all denied by the family but people have seen and heard the shouting including GP and staff and various workmen.
I am doing lists and ticking what I manage and moving what I don't manage into the next list.
I wont be telling anyone in the family about my actually plans.
I have already tried taking present for the Gkids. I went to the house stood well back after ringing the bell. It was the in law who came out. I just held up the bag and it was taken, No acknowledgement, nothing. I don't know if I could send cards to the respective schools.
I am going to keep on trying to build myself up and do more. I have more good days than I used to have with my health so I am getting there with that.
I know myself that I am being dictated to by people who have not done so well for others in the family. I just think getting away is my best plan. I hate the idea of leaving my home but hope I will get a better house/place

BlueBelle Sat 24-Sep-16 22:40:07

Keep posting I m thinking any kind of encouragement will prove helpful Is your GP helping if he/she has heard you being abused why don't you make a scrapbook for the grandkids and it can be given to them when they are older

Just keep do bit by bit and I m sure you ll get there x

westerlywind Sat 24-Sep-16 23:47:06

Bluebelle - I don't know what the GP is thinking. I have seen the GP once since and not a word said. I purposely let that happen in the hope that there would be help of some kind.
I read about another lady on here who is constantly giving her son money etc. I saw the thing on tv about James Cagney, other articles have been in the papers. People are not concerned about how the older folks are being treated. It is worrying which is why I think the older people are going to be ignored like the kids such as Baby P and others.
On a better note I have viewings booked for two houses quite a distance from here. I am worried. I have not been to that place for 14 years and don't know the road but I am sure I will get there.
Thanks BlueBelle

f77ms Sun 25-Sep-16 00:13:15

westerly It sounds as if you are being used and abused . Of course they will not want you to move because you are available for `borrowing` money . Please don`t let this situation go on any longer , reclaim yourself and get away from these people as quickly as possible . If you are worried about loneliness then seek out voluntary work (you may have to try a few things before you find something suitable ) We all are entitled to a peaceful , happy life as we only have one ! Please keep posting flowers

cornergran Sun 25-Sep-16 22:35:33

westerley I am so sorry for your situation. It sounds as if you have made plans to separate from those who have been undermining you. Good luck, be brave and take care of yourself. It may be worth just telling your GP, the nurse at the surgery or an organisation like Age UK how bad things are, it does no harm to have a difficult situation recorded. Please let us know how you get on. People here will,support you. flowers.

westerlywind Sun 25-Sep-16 23:50:08

Thanks f77ms and cornergran.
I am indeed finding all this very difficult. I am struggling with the isolation but I don't like the place/area that I live in. I am hoping that if I find another house I will like the place enough for the isolation not to matter as much.
I was really stupid and looked at FB and there was a nippy comment. I hate that my own DCs seem to prefer anything but me. On the other hand I am not so happy with their way of life.
I don't really think that I have much option but to try to find a new and happier life than this. My options are stay here and be shouted at and criticised and financially used or be alone somewhere else without the stresses. I don't want the abuses.
I will tell someone. Probably the GP and ask for it to be noted.
Thanks ladies.