Life Advice



Ask Amy: Abused daughter is now angry caregiver

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I was physically and emotionally abused as a child. Mom probably has a personality disorder and Dad is a willing enabler and child beater.

I left home 45 years ago, at age 17.

I have a happy marriage and am close to my adult kids. Ditto for my long-distance younger brother. He has no love for either parent, but out of duty calls Dad weekly. He does not have any relationship with Mom.

My brother and I have good lives, but there is a broken place inside both of us.

My elderly parents moved close by me so I could take care of them in their declining years. I thought I could do it with compassion in my heart, but I find that I’m filled with anger and resentment. Still! Even though they’re very old. My dad is receiving hospice care, but Mom is robust, and could easily live another 10 or 15 years.

I visit two to three times a week, plaster on a fake smile, and pretend to care.


I know how grotesque that sounds. I hate feeling this way.

I’m seeing a therapist, but it is not doing much good unraveling 60 years of malice.

How do other people handle caring for aging abusive parents?

– Sad Mad Daughter


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