Any other vampire families out there?

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My family is sucking the life out of me! Within 16 months we have lost my Uncle, Father and another brother. I had to take a crash course in home hospice care for my pops. Still here for my angry, bitter, hurting mother that now treats me like I’m invisible. I have given up my career, social life and church duties for the last 4 years. My brother shows up every couple of months to change light bulbs and dinner treats and that makes him the hero. Now my niece is upset with me because I am not paying enough attention to her first pregnancy. I explained my grief is finally catching up to me and I’m frayed at the edges only to be met with, “But it’s not fair to me.” Ssssiiiigggghhh I’m tired. Sorry for the rant.


MissAdri, stand in front of a mirror and say "no, I can't do this any more" many time over until you are comfortable in saying those words.

It's time to pass the baton onto another family member. As for your niece, she is apparently too young or too immature to understand what you went through. Hey, it's not fair to you, either.

As for your Mom, her husband has passed, the love of her life is gone. This isn't how retirement was suppose to be. She is allowed to be angry and bitter. And I know it isn't fair that she is taking it out on you, but you are there so she feels comfortable doing that. If your brother has Mom's full-time caregiver, she would be doing the same to him.

It sounds like doing caregiving is only for the women in the family, thus the reason why your brother is treated like a hero.
Sometimes it feels good to vent. It's been a year since I became the caregiver, POA, trustee and all around "get us stuff, make us better" go to person for my ailing and sometimes challenging parents. Best thing I ever did was move them to assisted living. They are still needy, but I am able to sleep in my own house at night, go for a walk and try to reclaim some of my life prior to caregiving. Agree with above response, pass the baton to someone else so you can get a much needed break.
I'm struggling today too. Taking care of too many people, too much on my plate. Feeling overwhelmed and frankly just a tad sorry for myself tonight. AND I know I still need to learn to say "no" and half the battle is learning how to manage that. I just agreed to volunteer this upcoming Tuesday for a couple hours, knowing full well it was going to stress me out to add yet ONE MORE item to my calendar. I'm simultaneously kicking myself for agreeing and telling myself it's only two hours and I will enjoy it. ha ha...whatever.

I don't know if I have a vampire family, but I feel that way tonight.

Sorry, MissAdri for all your losses.
Dear MissAdri,

My deepest condolences and sympathies. I'm very sorry for all your losses. I know the pain and sorrow is deep. There has been so much your shoulders. It is hard with family for those of us who give and give till the anger and resentment is swallowing us up.

Please know you are not alone. And feel free to rant as much as you want with us. I know its easier said than done, but remember to take care of yourself too. Its ok to have boundaries. Ok to say no. Ok to step back and say I've had enough. Its time to look for other options. I found it really hard to step back and say I can't do this anymore. We all have feelings. And its time for you to honor your own feelings and needs.

Thinking of you. Sending all my thoughts and prayers.
I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters. Among them I have 14 nieces and nephews. Ten of them have children. NONE of those nieces or nieces-in-law ever expected attention to their pregnancy from me. I don't even know what that would mean. I made baby shower cakes for most of them (I'm the family cake decorator) and they each received a baby gift from me. But attention during their pregnancy? Huh? Those that posted on face book I'd respond to. "Oh my goodness! Look how big you are getting." "Oh those are lovely presents you got from the people you work with." Has your niece lost her mother?

What is your niece expecting from you, MissAdri, do you know? Of course this is "not fair" -- to her, to you, to your mother. Life is not fair. People should be fair with each other, but not expect the universe to be. I hope your niece really isn't a vampire, but that she is just young. Perhaps you can share the wisdom of your experience with her (or perhaps she wouldn't hear you).

Could your brother be convinced to visit more often, for longer periods?

It may be time for you to retire from the primary caregiver role. It doesn't sound like there is a line of people within your family waiting to take over. So the next option is paid help either in the home, or in a care center of some kind. Is that being considered?

Vent away! And also plan ahead. You can't do this forever.
Oh boy, a narcissistic pregnant niece! Not even my daughters would have ,thought, much less said such. One came close in telling me that I had not helped to care for her two younguns in a while (because I was caring for my mom and her hubby). I put a stop to that immediately. How many daughters and nieces live nowhere close to moms and aunties?!
MissAdri, I wonder if your niece is more upset FOR you than upset with you. There she is, bringing good news after so many sad events, and she must have hoped that it would be as joyful for you as it is for her. So although her response may sound self-centred, I expect it came from her feeling disappointed and deflated that you didn't say "oh wow! Fantastic! I feel all better now."

What she can't possibly appreciate is how rough your journey has been so far and how worn down it can make a person feel. As you'll know better than I do, when it comes to what caregiving is like you can explain, you can describe, but until you've been through it you can't really understand.
"retire from caregiving"
Perfect jeannegibbs!
It's a shame that we feel we have to give our lives to parents. And I don't want to hear they did it for us. Changing an adult is a lot more than changing a baby. Like mentioned in a post, are parents and u are Seniors. Yes, their limitations are more but we have them too. Which at 70 my husband is realizing. No, I never thought I'd put my Mom in nursing care. I also didn't realize what caregiving involved. It's like having an irrationable child that never grows up.
That is so much loss in a short time. You need some support IRL. It's hard to generate the energy but you need to start making time and doing things just for you or the vampires will suck you dry.

Don't worry about the pregnant niece, first-timers can be so nutty thinking everyone will be interested in morning sickness, eating habits, stretch marks, baby clothes, nursery decorating etc. If she is not involved already let her know there are online and real life groups of pregnant women that support each other and are delighted to spend hours discussing baby names, OB vs midwife, formula vs breastfeeding, and all those things that seem incredibly important. Well, until the second baby comes along.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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