Feeling resentful.

Follow
Share

My Dad has dementia, and I am the primary caregiver. I have been doing this for over 2 years.
My brother lives nearby, and I was always close to him, but I have started to really feel resentful because it seems the only time he offers to help is when it's convenient for him..
He does help out as far as cutting the lawn, plowing snow etc, but when it comes to spending time with my Dad he has excuses.
I have tried to talk to him about this several times, and after each time he seems to do more, then it goes back to the same thing.
It seems I am always working around what he has going on, and months back I told him if he has something going on he needs to tell me so I can plan ahead as far as my work etc, since I am working around whats going on with him.
Well, last month was the final straw, even before then,( the end of May) I was suspicious because he was offering to help out more, and then my niece (his daughter) told me that he was "kissing up to me" because he and his girlfriend had plans to be gone for a week the end of June, and instead of telling me he put it on my my Dad's calendar, figuring that I would bring it up when I finally saw it.
I pondered how to handle it, so I confronted him and asked him why he didn't tell me, and he said that he knew I'd be upset and didn't know how to tell me. I said that it didn't show much respect for me, considering I had told him previously that I needed to know when he had something going on.
Then he said that I'm alway texting him trying to make him feel guilty,(though he admitted later that it was is own guilt), then brought up New Year's when I kept texting him to see if he was back ( i was concerned because I had to work and he wasn't back when he said he was gonna be) and asked me how I'd like it if I was "out having a good time" and he kept texting me. I said, tell when I'm ever out having a good time! Anyway, when he got back from his trip in June, he told me that he would take a couple days off from his work, so I could have a couple days off, well my idea of a "couple days off", is not 2 hours, 2 days in a row, it's 2 days, like maybe a couple saturdays, since we both work mon-fri, I never get a whole day off.
I am feeling really resentful, even though I hire a lady a couple times a week that gives me a little break at the end of the day, for a few hours but I go there and stay 6 nights out of the week.
Why is his life so much more important than mine?
My brother stops at my Dad's on his way to work each morning to get him oriented, but now with summer he doesn't want to be bothered in the evening, only when he doesn't have anything better to do, and I'm tired of always asking, and he never offers on a weekend, I'm at my wit's end, I don't like feeling like this, but I'm afraid that when my Dad is gone, I'm not gonna wanna have anything to do with my brother, any advice?

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
14

Comments

Show:
Hi new to all this, very interesting posts! My mum is going into respite next week finally I get to have a break??? or so you think my sister has decided to come home while my mums in respite??
So instead of me having a complete break im going to be here with an atmosphere as I dont want to be around her as shes NEVER supported me the whole time ive been here looking after my mum and patronises everything I do?? I am dreading her coming and have told her to stay out of my space!
(1)
Report

Jinx said "But the men only get out of child care because they are supposed to bring home the big paycheck!"

In my opinion, that holds true if the woman chooses to stay home and take care of hearth and home.

However, if both work full time jobs, regardless of who makes the most money (unless one works a lot of overtime to help make ends meet) a, then the child care duties should be split equally... alas, because of the nature of most men, they almost never are. Same with caregiving. As Karen says...she is the primary caregiver, although both are equal as children of their father and their father's heirs. They should both give equally, but he chooses not to. Just as most fathers choose not to be caregivers of small children. They feel more entitled to choose not to help, while women know it must be done, and if not them then who?

No wonder Karen is frustrated and resentful... but alas, she needs to accept it as it is. He's not going to be the primary care giver and isn't going to be the one to volunteer his time anymore then he has to. It's the nature of the beast.

Like my dad said when I recently went to stay with him for 6 weeks when he got out of the hospital after a stroke. In the Hospital he told the nurses "I love my sons, but sure am glad I had a girl."
(1)
Report

His circumstances don't permit... He did stay with my dad from 4:30 to 9:30 when he got him home and fixed him breakfast. I was happy for that. He is basically being a caregiver for his wife, he has no free time as he does laundry, cooking, yard etc.
(0)
Report

But the men only get out of child care because they are supposed to bring home the big paycheck!

IF his circumstances permit, ask your brother to BUY his way out of his responsibility to YOU and your father. Then he gets to choose to give up some of his free time or to give up some of his money.
(0)
Report

I understand why you think this caregiving to our father should be 50/50, or even 60/40 but there's no rules out there that say it has to be that way. I'm afraid I agree with the posters that say your brother is helping...mowing grass, shoveling snow, giving time when he can. It's not wrong for your brother to want to have New Year's evening or to take a vacation with his girlfriend without being nagged by his sister. You chose to be your father's caregiver, to stay with him 6 nights a week... You're brother has chosen to help out sometimes, but to not give up his life to the extent that he can't spend New Year's eve or a Week vacationing with his Girlfriend. And you shouldn't either.

If your dad has money, use some of it to hire "sitter's" for your dad. I'm presuming you and your brothers are equal heirs, so any money used will be coming out of each of your potential inheritance, so that's putting the 50/50 rule into play. If Dad is against this, then talk to your brother about splitting the cost of sitters when you need one. If he says no, then tell him fine, when you need a break your just going to take one and it will be up to him to look in on dad or not...that's all there is to it.

It's either that or quit texting him and putting a guilt trip on him (even if you're not meaning to) and do what you need to do for Dad.

You haven't mentioned if you are married or have kids... I'm guessing not since you're staying with dad 6 nights a week. If you did have kids, I'd remind you of who did the diaper changing, the getting up all hours of the night, who did 80% of the childcare for the babies and toddlers, even though you had a full time job. Some women get lucky and find men who jump right in and give their fair share of being a parent to the very young, but they are far out numbered by those that don't.

I suspect the numbers are close to the same when it comes to caregiving of the the elderly. Men are, for the most part, not good at care giving, be it at the beginning of life or the end, an no amount of "nagging" is going to change it. That's just all there is to it I'm afraid.
(0)
Report

I understand the resentment, though. I remember once my SIL said I needed to take a break. She said my mother and I could go to Atlanta or Florida -- anywhere just to get away for a while. I wanted to knock on her head. "Hello, is anyone at home in there?" Relatives can be funny.
(3)
Report

I think this is all too common. I moved my mother in with me around the holidays last year with AD. It was very sudden and has been progressing very rapidly since. She was driving in Dec. 2012, and is now end stage and is on hospice. She had been living with my sister, who, after a move to a different home would leave her alone for days on end. When my mother would get lost in her car, and strangers would help her home, my sister would give her back her keys the next day. I'm not blaming her..my mother is very insistent and very demanding. When I took on this job I expected exactly what I am getting. I became power of attorney and closed her accounts and split the money 3 ways with my brother and sister. I did what I knew was right and what she would want. I was never the favorite child by any means, and took care of my father in his last 7 years after 22 years with Parkinson's. I do what I do because I believe it is right. There is no pat on the back, no promises of help, and I didn't expect it. If you can let go of it...please do. If you can't, please talk to someone. Resentment only hurts us..it does absolutely nothing to those who we resent. Praying for you.
(5)
Report

Karen I had to stop and see if this was possibly a post I had maybe written in the past!!! very similar situation here. Kathy1 I two have sisters named Mary and Peggy, I was close to Mary(she is deceased) And Peggy moved herself an hour away. My brother is close but says he has his own issues at home. I find it is easy for them to sit back and say what I should do to get a break but never really offer to help. The others here have given very good advice in which I think I am going to try myself. But resentment is a hard emotion to not pay attention to but they are right the only one it hurts is us!!! Prayers to you.
(1)
Report

The reason they don't help is because they know you are going to take care of it.
When you get ready to take some time off, text your brother and say, "I will be out of town Saturday and Sunday." He will then take up the slack. He will probably gripe about it but I don't think he will let your dad suffer. This is the way I have to handle it in my family. My mom went into Assisted Living two weeks ago and it
has been so much better. She is happy and I'm not as stressed. Consider it.
(3)
Report

i like the reply that perseverance gave you. you cant control the siblings. caregiving is an exercise in self growth . you cant blame someone else for limiting how much of their life theyre willing to sacrifice to caregiving. it sounds like your brother does get involved a lot. he has just wisely set limits . perhaps you need additional outside / hired help. if your giving so much that its affecting your life and sanity that is a personal choice. be thankful that brother is helping and get just a little more outside help for your own sake.
(3)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Related
Questions