This sure isn't how we envisioned our 50's. We had children young on purpose, we wanted time later in life alone to be able to enjoy life together and we had seen what our parents had done with their parents and care needed. We were prepared for that. The general assumption is; raise the kids send them to college, even though neither of us ever went to college. They get jobs, they become independent. Well 2 out of 3 ain't bad. But that third one, what can you say.
My mom is 80 years old. She is a very young 80. Some 80 year old people are feeble but not my mom, she even still works, goes around to grocery stores loading up those coupon machines. My sister lives with her and my brother is great helping with her. I ask him quite a while ago if he could be the point person with mom because my son was taking everything I had time and emotion wise. He has done it. Alzheimer's has ravaged my family, several of my mom's brothers and sisters have suffered though this disease. Every time mom forgets something it scares me. But right now she seems to be doing OK just normal old age stuff, fingers crossed.
My wife's father is 80. He is retired but still farms. Has over 100 acres and way over 50 head of cattle, along with all the hay, feed, equipment and stuff to take care of them. He does that very well and is as independent as they come. Yesterday that nearly came to an end. He decided to dance with a cow, the cow won, he now has 2 broken ribs, broken nose, and the inside of his mouth is trashed, truth is he was lucky that was all that happened. Looks like all of us are now going to be taking care of a few cows for a while, too.
This stuff wouldn't be and isn't a catastrophe in a normal family without an addict. As we are well aware an addict consumes an extraordinary amount of resources, emotionally, physically and financially. We struggle with what we have left after our son. Regardless of how much you try to detach they work their way into everything you do. Then how do you divide what is left between others and yourselves. As I tried to explain above, life happens.
I am a believer that energy is finite. Just like budgeting if something unexpected happens you have to shift energy available from one pot to another. I cannot allow our addicted son to consume so much energy that others are left starving. This is a discussion I will have with him when he gets out of jail. His days of commanding the bulk of our energy and attention must end.