Feeling resentful.

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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?


I identify with your situation. I take care of my Dad 24/7. He has Parkinson's stage 4. I have 6 siblings who all live within 10 minutes of Dad's house. My sister Mary, a teacher gave an hour and a half on Tuesday during the school year. She has a 10 week vacation. I haven't seen her since. My brother who gives me 4 hours a week, informed me he has in laws with the same situation and he has to help them. My other 2 sisters are useless and worthless, no help at all. Thank God for helen, who gives me days off every month, and 5 or 6 hour stretches at a time during the week.

You are asking for positive help. Okay here is what worked for me. First stop texting and begging your brother it never works, instead thank him for everything he does. . Second get clear in your head what you need to do this job. Third research community resources that could take do some of what you need. Try your local gvt aging agency. They will give you adult day care, advice, and help finding support in the community. If your Dad's a veteran google VA respite care. There is options out there, but you must search for them. fourth when your calm and have your facts sit down with your brother, and give him a list of what you need to do this job. A weekend a month to start Friday night 6pm and go to sunday 6pm he comes to Dad's place. No excuses no canceling when he get he gets a better offer.

I find going to a therapist helps greatly. My stress levels are lower just knowing he is there. He tells me exactly what to say and do. I have given up on Mary, and Peggy, I don't want nor need sisters who are so selfish and worthless. Even if they don't want to help Dad, they should help their sister. I neither expect nor demand anything from them anymore. I am at peace. It is freeing to release that rage.

About the importance of your life, try not to look at the problem through that prism, but try what do I need to do this job. One distresses you; the other empowers you. Good luck, this is a great site, people here understand. I have gotten many practical suggestions that are highly effective.
Those of us who care for/have cared for our parents without little or no assistance from siblings must forgive them because it really only hurts us to hold onto resentment. It's an ongoing process for me, finally resulting in a commitment to myself to not talk about Mom to my siblings - little if any face-to-face talking, no emails, no texts, no phone messages. When I did give updates, I was blasted and hostility and filth was the byproduct. They were insistent I was making them feel guilty (when all I was doing was giving updates). I cried several times over - for me and my Mom. In the end, I realize that I am changed for the better, loving and serving my Mom, and my siblings will reap their actions in multiple ways.

Remember, this season is really temporary. Love strongly.
I've learned from 4 years of caregiving that there are 3 types of siblings -- those who help, those who show up in the hospital, and those that show up for the funeral. Your brother does help some, which is good. It seems that most siblings don't participate at all. They are just too busy. Trying to make them do more is usually wasted effort. You can only decide how much you can do and find resources to help you, e.g. paid help. Trying to talk an unwilling sibling into doing more never seems to work.
"First stop texting and begging your brother it never works, instead thank him for everything he does." Kathyt1 is correct.

You are the one with the problem - taking care of your father. You want and need help. You need to ask your brother for help as a favor to you, not as something he owes. He doesn't have to do anything to help.

Honestly, neither do you. You could walk away and leave everything up to your brother or the state. Remember that you are doing this by choice. All the other choices may be unacceptable to you, but you made a choice to do this.

The other choice for you to make is whether to resent and hate your brother. Of course you will feel angry if he lets you down. If you can forgive him and love him for the good he does, you will feel better, and maybe he'll even do more! You don't forgive him for him. You forgive him for you, so you can be at peace.

What I'm asking you to do is hard, and goes against the grain. But it is one of the truths at the heart of most religions, to put love before anger because that is the best and happiest way to live. Good luck, and get any help you can.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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