I am just curious about something here. I have read so often here on the board that so many of us have the caretaker personality. And it has led me to wonder how far back this caretaker role has gone for so many of us and if it is possible that all this stress and early responsibility could have anything to do with our eventual crashes and burns. I know that for myself, it came to a head at age 17, when my father left my mom, for the first of many times, as it was discovered he had been unfaithful. But long before that, things were going on, hushed arguments which ceased when I would enter a room and yet, the tension was always there. Dad would leave, mom would cry and I would, even as a small and confused child, try my darndest to cheer her up. It was not enough. No matter how hard I tried, it was never enough. But each time dad would leave, he would tell me to keep an eye on my mother, because she was not well and she needed me now, more than ever. What a wonderful job to leave a small child with, eh? The pattern was always the same, dad would leave, mom would stop eating. She would sit and stare at nothing, drinking pots of black coffee and chain smoking and almost always wind up in the hospital. She had an irregualr heartbeat and did everything the exact opposite to what her cardiologist advised. So she would be hospitalized, word would get back to my father and guilt-ridden, he would move back home. All was well, except for me. I had been "put in charge" of taking care of my mother and in my child's mind, I failed miserably. Eventually, they divorced and even then, I felt I should have been able to prevent that. I "mothered my mother," trying to encourage her to eat, to get out and get some fresh air, call a friend, talk to someone, get some therapy, but she would have none of it. Now I have fibromyalgia and my mother is doing fairly well. She seems to have adjusted to being alone and has a pretty good circle of friends while my friends seem to have disappeared. Please do not think that I am writing all this just to whine or to cast blame. I love both my parents and did what I did because it was all I knew. Chances are very great this had absolutely nothing to do with my getting fibro whatsoever. But as I read how many of us were thrust into the caretaker role, I do wonder how far back it goes and how you feel about it all. I apologize for being so forthcoming or for TMI. Perhaps I needed to purge, I don't know. But I truly am curious as to what extent we have been put into this role and how many of us wound up being the parent to our parents?