Coming away feeling empty no matter how you try. Do you feel like this?

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Your heart feels empty. We only have one family. Seems like I just can't win in any situation. It hurts me so much that no one in my family will acknowledge me or even thank me for anything (my mother lives with me and needs assistance brother's don't help, no sister's). It just doesn't feel 'normal'... I work and try to live 'my' life, but can't get over the hurt of rejection. Does anyone else feel this kind of 'abandoned' hurt? I just can't get over it.

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Hi heart
You are right, we only have one family. My situation became impossible, my Mom placed in a facility Saturday after I had cared for herr four years at home. My sibs rarely helped and in fact called APS on me. After that call I lasted another three years as investigator found nothing amiss, instead he reported excellent care.

Dementia has taken my mom, she is not who she once was. And her disease tore her family apart. If she onlky knew. But there is another kind of family that is found when one is a caregiver. These are the neighbors and professionals that were there for me as support. We had a regular caregiver on Saturdays and she has been my primary source of support.

They say you cannot pick your family. But you can certainly choose the people that provide necessary support. The people that consistently help my mom, and support me are my family, they get it! So latch onto friends and other helpers thay will be the only people that you will ever be able to rely on.
I am responding to this again, to get it moved to the top, hoping others will respond.
Thank you for doing this Glad... It's been a difficult task (caregiving) that I never thought would change my life in ways I never thought possible. And, while I feel my happiness/life being sucked out of me, time has gone by and have lost so much youth and optimism. It's so heartbreaking... Even people I thought I could 'go' to I find no longer want to be 'involved'. Sadly, I have experienced that the majority of people are selfish and self-centered, especially family-members. It's the 'world' we life in that is so difficult, but I guess it's always been that way.
Heart, it is a sad fact that, frequently, family members that you most feel able to trust take things that you do for granted. Siblings, children, spouses, parents - and the caregiver is usually the person who gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop. This is not a criticism of you for seeking support BUT the people that one goes to for support sometimes suffer the same fatigue that caregivers do - if you are only taking from "the well" and it is not refilled by you or something else the well of compassion will run dry. I agree that this task of caregiving drains you - and the world is full of selfish people. Fortunately this website exists, full of others that understand the need for a kind word or recognition of the effort. But our own pain makes us difficult to be around (and a painful reminder of their own shortcomings). Hugs to you for taking such good care of your loved one. But keep your own oxygen mask handy and create an exit plan when it is needed. I've had to do that with my husband's family. :)
Unless one has been given the task of taking care of someone 24/7 365 , they will NEVER understand. This is the first time in 30 years I haven't planted flowers. I am just stuck in this limbo that my life has become . Just waiting for the next " health issue " to "pop" up and turn my family's lives upside down AGAIN. Give up waiting for thanks or help from your siblings. It will cause you nothing but more misery and in your situation you don't need any more of that.
guestshopadmin... No, I'm definitely not the person that is always "taking from the well"... as a matter of fact (in the past years of caregiving) I have hosted many awesome back yard parties, offered to go out for lunches, etc. But, I just have experienced from other people [now] that 'their' lives (with or without children, etc.) are too important to reciprocate (especially if they are married and you are not). I have neighbors next door that know I am a caregiver, but never ask me over for a brief get-together. These are the people who I've bought girl scout cookies from for their children's fund raisers, etc. I just find a lot more self-centeredness around. Even if I pay a handyman to do something, some of them look at you like "you want me to do what?". My neighbors make sure that when they mow, it's exactly on their property (even if there's a sliver of tall grass in between our properties)... forget anyone helping out with shoveling in the winter... that would be a sin for them to help anyone (other than their own)... It's just not like it 'used to be' anymore (for one reason or another). Sure, there are exceptions ... but far and few... especially tougher as the years go by.
P.S. I wouldn't even ask my 2 brothers for absolutely anything... They've never, ever been any help and have been non-existent since my mother moved here 10 yrs ago...
Heart, I have been very fortunate with neighbors, though never invited over. One brings soup over occasionally, and helps shovel with a neighbor that has a blower. My mom has had a lawn swervice for years. I suggest that you call a nearby church or see if there are any seniors helping seniors type groups in your area. May even the boy scouts. Often these sorts of organizations are looking for people that need help. Give it a shot and let us know how it goes.
Glad... I've been doing just that... (and, I work)... My point is, it's just exhausting and 'empty' when you're the only one doing the caregiving... which means making 'all' the decisions 'all' the time. God knows (literally) that I try every day to do the 'right' things. But, I'm trying to say that it's hard for me to 'accept' the fact that I have no family that cares... and, even my mother supports my brothers while I am doing all the work... I guess I'm the 'scapegoat'... It just hurts.
Heart, please don't think me criticizing you. But I've had painful experience post cancer and after losing my mom of persons thinking I came too often for comfort. Maybe their own guilt or avoidance, I was just trying to reinforce you seeking understanding where it is. Some people have limited empathy and narcissism is encouraged in today's society. Funny though-- the very people that had no time for me called expecting I drop everything and come help them when they needed help. Karma. Ps I offered my good thoughts for them, same as they gave me. Got a temper tantrum and shock from them. *shrug* I don't do things to be appreciated but I sure don't keep doing things one sided basis. Take time for you too. You matter.
Heart, I know very well. I have done all the work for four years, it is now my twisted sisters turn to find out how difficult this has been. And now my Mom is in a facility with an entire team to do what I did mostly alone. I know where you are coming from. Try to get past the hurt, some of us can do this, but most cannot.

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