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Sibling Relationships: Resolving Issues While Caring for Parents


My younger siblings are too toxic to deal with and were hateful long before my father died but really started to bully my mother when she was grieving. I know other people who have had the same experience. One lady looked after her mum for years but her older brothers all moved in when the mother was sick and now she has to share a house with them while they all try to sell it to split the proceeds (with her share, she will not be able to afford to live in her own neighbourhood close to her workplace and all her friends - so on top of her grief she is dealing with finding a new home and probably a new job and social isolation).

Forgot to say: I turn 60 in a month and have no one. I feel there is nothing left for me so any tips are appreciated. And yes I know the situation is my fault but to be fair when one is manipulated from birth to think abuse is normal, before the internet learning this was not in the cards.

This article leaves out when a narcissistic mother pits the children against each other to get sympathy or attention. I'm the caretaker and my 88 year old mother endlessly bashes me to the other siblings. They, who've not seen her nor visited her home for a decade or more, refuse to take my word that she has cognitive problems or that she/we need any help even if something simple they do everyday such as do internet research. Now that she's used me up (I just finished 15 months of almost daily hard physical labor cleaning up 42 years of hoarding and filth in preparation of downsizing her), she's ready to dump me and give all the items I cleaned up to her loved children and let them reap the benefit of my labors by giving them the assets from the house sale. They are all set for life and financially well off while my life is a shambles because I spent too much time on her. How can I move on (admittedly I don't know where and don't feel in a mental state to make a permanent decision) and not lose it from her breaking me mentally and physically and then rewarding those who did nothing for her (leaving it all to me to do) and don't need the rewards?

I see I am not alone. It is sad when a parent needs help it should bring siblings closer but sometimes it does not. My situation is that I lost my mom and brother back to back. My father got dementia and other illnesses. Because of this he no longer was able to drive or maintain his diabetic medications. My sister who never helped came around only to steal from my dad then disappeared. I have another brother who lives across the country but always has an excuse why he can't help or send money and he is financially able too. My dad made some poor decisions as a self employed person and thusly does not have saving or xtra money. I get no help from any of my siblings. My dad has now had a stroke and needs much help after rehab. I can no longer take care of him as my health has started deteriorating. I have told my siblings I will sell his home and put our dad in nursing home which I have never wanted for him but I can no longer lift him and help him while trying to keep a roof over my head and raise my kids. It breaks my heart that I had two great loving parents, but their other children are awful from my sister stealing his last of his reverse mortgage that he needs for his care. I have now just cut them loose as they have done nothing in 4 years of his dementia.

It's taken a lot of time for me to come around the circle with my sister. I don't think she realizes a simple acknowledgement of an email conveying some empathy for what I am dealing with means a great deal when I feel so alone in dealing with the day to day demands of caring for our parents. And I know so many have it worse in their caregiving...

My mother in law is no longer with us. She had vascular dementia. We had a sibling who lived far away from her, called daily, and believed everything Mom complained about...the caregiving sister was stealing her money, she hadn't seen anyone for days, etc. Of course, none of this was true. Caregiving sis is an angel on earth. Faraway sis is a narcissist. Detaching from her has preserved us all.

What if the narcissistic, abusive sibling is the one who has put herself in charge of caring for Dad and won't let me make any decisions?

I could go on and on like everyone else on this thread but I won't. The true tragedy is the lack of professional help. The rule of "ask and you shall receive" does not apply here. I've asked and all I received was booklet after booklet of advertisements. Call and the first question is "what is your mother's income." Not one would help me on the road to finding help for my mother or me. Everything is about money. It is ingrained into our society. Even my siblings don't want to risk financial difficulties and give up their time, energy, etc. My mother died this year and I still miss her ten months later. I will NEVER forgive my siblings. It is NOT anger or resentment. Her life could have been so much better with their help. My siblings will get what is coming to them. Life will see to that. Unfortunately, our society will continue to run the same way--ignoring those who really need help and enjoying the monetary profits from the elderly, infirm, and sick.

Wow! Seeing I'm not alone! ycatsms I could of wrote your story! Are you sure we don't have the same useless brother? I take care of my mom but, he gets all the praise! And he's conned her out of everything! House, Land, money, boat etc. She has absolutely nothing left to leave me but, I'm the one who has always been there for her. Him? Not so much! Like I said, you just described him. It's very hurtful and mom just doesn't understand any of it. She resents me for being the one taking care of her. She says she gives to those that need! Our heating and air is going out, we need a new roof, help paying the house note would be awesome!! But I get nothing! I soothe myself by constantly reminding myself that in the end, I get the best parts of her. I have the memories from beginning till end just as I had with my brother that I took care of that just passed. Material things can't replace that. My oldest brother will never have that. I pray one day something clicks with him and everything he did to her and everything he didn't do for her and every lie he's ever told her comes back to haunt him! Sadly I just don't think he has that humanity in him or he never could of done the things he's done to his own mother and brother. I can guarantee being there for him is not something he will ever have from me. I'm done after mom is gone.


I am SOOOOO living this life!! I am the only one here, but I have a brother who has never had to have any responsibility in his whole life! He has ownership of our house that we live in, and he won't give me title so I can do a reverse mortgage and get the money out of it to fix it up, so thus we have a huge gaping hole in the ceiling where it leaks every time it rains, and you KNOW it's got to be stocked with mold and mildew?? But my brother thinks when my grandmother passes away, he's going to inherit the house and make money on selling it. But he can't afford to pay his bills now, so he won't be able to pay the mortgage when she passes. So the bank's gonna get the house. And he's always been the FAVORED CHILD. If I was lying on my death bed, and he walked in, it would not matter if I didn't take another breath...they (meaning my grandmother, and my Dad - they are really the only ones left) would not notice!!! And it's just not fair...he never calls, he never comes home and he lives 3 hours away. When I have to call him about the fact that something is going on with her, he doesn't pick up. She broke her leg a couple of years ago and I blew up his phone and sent tons of messages, til I just gave up...after 3 weeks, he called me on my phone bc he couldn't get in touch with her on her phone to borrow money. I told him she was in the nursing home with a broken leg, and he blew up at me for not making sure he knew!! So this time - she just got out of the hospital today after being there since Saturday night - I sent him ONE message and called him once. My dad finally called him and let him know what was going on, and when I called my brother to ask why he hadn't called to get a status report, he started cussing me out! So I hung up on him. My family consistently make excuses for him - he works, his car doesn't work (which is a lie - he uses that whenever he doesn't want to whatever he thinks people are trying to make him do something that looks like RESPONSIBILITY...like come home occasionally...)...Well, I told my dad that if he was going to continue to make excuses for my brother, I was not going to talk to him either!! I work 2 (TWO) jobs - my job that I work from home, and a small business that I am trying to get started on the side, ON TOP OF BEING THE SOLE CARETAKER of a 98 year old grandmother with mid-stages of dementia. I have 0 - Z.E.R.O. - HELP from ANY other family members...and in order for me to get a break, I have to put her in an assisted living, that costs me an extra $100 a day added to my own vaca expenses...so it's A LOT for me to carry by myself, and my dad is making excuses for my brother that he works ONE job! And he has a daughter that he never sees, and won't do what's right by her, and expects all of us to just expect him to be pitiful! Well, I'm 48 and 45 of those 48 years have been with people making freaking excuses for him and I AM TIRED OF IT. So I told my dad that if he continued to go down that road, I would not continue to talk to him. I am resigned to the fact that when my grandmother passes, I will no longer have a brother, but that is fine with me. The only reason I try now is because of her...he is the reason the world turns for her, so I TRY and make him care for her, but it just doesn't work and that's what causes most of my stress (that, and the fact that I loaned him, against my better judgement, money, but because my grandmother wanted me to, but NO MORE)...(but I am also resigned to the fact that I won't be getting that money back either). But when she's gone, and I don't have to try and make him care FOR HER SAKE, I won't be contacting him at all, and since I won't be loaning him any more money, he won't be contacting me either, so therefore, I won't have a brother any more. But that's just fine with me. I just cannot take this type of narcissistic selfish behavior any more.