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Some responsible others just a burden. We see lots of posts on this site about the one son or daughter that ends up totally responsible for caregiving of parents and the worthless sibs who do nothing but make things worse. What is it? Do parents unconsciously treat kids differently? Mom always liked you best? I know there's lots of scholarly material out there but what do you guys think is going on? I'm the responsible one in my family. My sibs passed away and I often wonder how we ended up so profoundly different having come from the same place. People who knew all three of us have always made remarks to me that we seemed to be from three different planets. I'm far from perfect and have had the sames kinds of life's downside as any one else who is 60 years old but I survived (so far anyway) and do what has to be done. What are folks thinking about this subject?

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My dad has 3 kids with his first wife, my mother has 2 kids with her first husband then together they had me. My dads 2 sons are very self centered and will not help me at all with my dad, his other daughter usea my dads health problems to get attention, but still wont help me. My mothers two daughters both have drug problems, one is married and has a boyfriend and ignores her kids. The other has two kids but wont get a job so they keep ending up homeless. Im the youngest by atleast 8 years but the oldest is 28 years older than me. Im 26 almost done with my bachelor's degree and ive been working since i was 16. Sometimes i really think i was adopted.
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Somehow I missed this thread but it's certainly going to be interesting to read the earlier responses.

Without repeating what anyone else has said, I think that there are perennial "nature vs. nurture" theories to consider, the family dynamics, conditions when the children were growing up, their own personalities, capabilities and goals, and even more in the last few decades the widespread dispersion of families as mobility has increased.

There are also the individual traits and skills - some people are just not comfortable or qualified to be caregivers, any more than I'm qualified to be a rocket scientist. or an executive.

What I try to do is create a mathematical construct: given a, b, and c, knowing my skill sets and temperament, parental personality, sibling involvement, etc., what can or can't I do? Geometry provides a good reference point for these kinds of analyses as it establishes the "givens", and allows for creation of alternatives within that framework.

E.g., if a sibling isn't going to help, and certain things must be done, how can they be done without relying on someone who's unwilling or unable? That helps control the aggravation at being stuck being the sole caregiver and allows me to move forward to focus on solutions, not resentment.

I won't deny that it still takes effort to maintain this perspective, but it's better than focusing on what ISN'T going to happen.

It also helps take the emotion out of the equation.
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I have lost all respect for my 2 selfish brothers.They have shown me zero respect .3 years ago,when Mother was just placed on Hospice,I needed to go buy a winter coat to keep warm.When I asked my brother if he could stay with Mother 2 hours,he said he was too busy.He went hiking with the other brother and that was way more important than hiss sister being warm.Another day,this same brother told me"When Mom dies,you will have to get out fast!I caught the other one sneaking and writing down the vinn numbers on Mothers cars.
These are grown men.One is 57 and the other is 61.When they do come by,they pull up a chair and sit and show Mother pictures on their phones of the pretty waterfalls,etc.they saw on their hiking trips while I am doing every single thing Mother needs or wants in alot of my own physical pain(aand emotional).They never lift a finger to help in any way and most the time,they dont put thier chairs away that they got out to sit on their ass.Today,they are out picking berries for their sorry wives to make pies for themselves.They have seen me struggle with a broken foot and wrist and still did nothing.When all this started in March 2006,the doctor was giving out the instructions.My 2 brothers stepped backward as I went foreward.Ofcourse I will always help Mother.
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Still going through it. Inherited one third of Dad's house...Its a vacation house and one co-owner (sibling), is dominating all the time there for her family without regards to others. I cannot afford to subsidize her unfair usage, paying one third of the expenses), while my large family cannot use the house. My husband and I are older and we started to divest our holdings to out children. I gave my one third share to one of my children....Now, I am being accused of unfairly hurting the sibling and her family because of a buyout request for the one third share....
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Lots of interesting comments. What causes some sibs to be total uncaring s...ts? Who knows. Mom loved your best, he was the handsome one, she got all the good toys, I think its multiple issues and we can read big , thick books about it.

But in the end many of us are stuck with worthless, burdensome sibs. Then there's the dynamic of the "Responsible Child" . That would be me. It can really suck. I've been critical of folks who don't just walk away from horrible parents an d sibs but oh, that nagging sense of responsibility drags us back into the fray every time. I wish they would invent a new drug: "responsi gone" .
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Theres a book about this. It has to do with birth order. Dysfunctional roles in familys. ect.. there is the scapegoat child, the performer, the one that escapes. Middle child usually i think. Every child plays a part in the dynamics of this family unit. Learning or being born into the part. Each one serving the purpose to keep the wheel going. Very interesting. Deep. Also after the 3 roles are filled, amd there are more children added there is another scapegoat or angry child, another performer class clown perfectionist, and another escapee. The roles can change and each can fight to find their role. If one falls to a different category, then another child will move to take the place. They dont even know their doing it. Dysfunction at its best. I often wonder why we cant all be equal.
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I hope my brothers have regrets.They should.They chose to throw away precious time and memories they could have made with Mother.I have no respect for them and I am ashamed of their selfish behavior.They were raised with the Golden Rule,the same as me.
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My husband is the middle child, and looks more like his mom than his older brother and younger sister who look like their dad. He was always her favorite. His Dad died in 86, So my husband and I have been taking care of her every since. With her declining health, she moved in with us. His sister has done nothing but cause us pain and make everything harder for all. And what we here everyday is they are stealing your money.. Really, what money, we do not need all this stress !!
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every one is responsible for their own actions. Siblings who don't take responsibillity are a fact of life. I do what I can do and have one brother and sister who are responsible and we divide up our time so someone is with mom almost every day.
When she is gone, we can feel that we did what we could and hopefully made her life better. The lone sibling who is never there will have to face his own demons and regrets (assuming he has them).
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Ok, I am going to bring this up... horoscopes... yep, what is your sign.

Turns out most of my friends and some of my co-workers were born in the middle of July... we all had similar traits which we found most interesting, especially one trait of being pigeon toed when little. This could all be just coincidental. Or not. Don't know if date of birth makes any difference or not.

One thing I read that with me being born under the sign of Cancer, if I am married or living with a Leo, I will spend most of my days in tears.. oh my gosh, how true that is.
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ilovemom2, sorry for your loss.

It's unnerving isn't it? The way I found to deal with it is I told myself this person(brother) is no longer my sibling. But a stranger, an alien. May sound odd but I found mentally that is best way to deal with it.

You're raised the same by decent parents, and all they're concerned about is their cut, unless you have gone through it(and I don't wish this on anyone) it is simply unnerving.
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Irish boy is right, my mom died this year. The missing siblings come back again after the parents die when they smell green, and it's awful, way worse... not because of the money, but because you have to face the fact that these money hungry vultures, that turned their backs on their parents when they needed them the most, are your siblings!
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Good for you, Feeling Lost.
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Im so pleased that you didn't have to make a choice but the situation got to a stage that the best thing to be done was ............. dune and dusted as they say.. Hoping that you can now get on with your own life and family, and any sharp arrows, get them pointed to your brother!!!
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Sister thought dad would live to 100. I was retired and able to be there for parents. Brother not sure what was happening, but I paid for his flights to come every 3 weeks to see dad. Expensive, but worth it for my peace of mind... Sister was guilty, but still had to work to have a retirement. We do what we can. We are glad dad was home with us when he died! Others in different situations, I understand. We do what we can.
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brandywine, please.....LOL. I call a spade a spade, they don't bother because they don't care. Let's not blame a 3rd grade teacher for a middle aged do nothing sibling.

What nonsense, they may have different experiences, that doesn't explain not caring or not helping, they don't do it because they don't want to.

But they manage to show up when the parent passes, somehow they have time for that.
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Mt dad died one Month ago. Mom died three years ago. My sister kept bugging me to " get a life". This is my life, I said. Dad was not too long for this world, so we knew that. Sister would not understands! Only when I texted them exactly one month ago today that dad stopped swallowing did they understand! I also paid for several overnights for my brother to fly in from upstate NY to see dads progression...only then did they understand? Sister thought he would live to 100! We knew... Memory eternal, Dad. Tears...
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In our family it seems mostly genetic. There's so much in common between my dad and brother it's uncanny. I think that's why Dad makes excuses for him and doesn't want to live with him any more than he wants to have Dad move in. I see myself as mostly akin to my maternal grandmother, who was a maverick.

As for game over, it seems my harsh reaction to his way-out-of-line comments actually got his attention, as he's suddenly all about apologizing and smoothing things out so he can stay here. I'll consider a reprieve, but continue looking at facilities for the future.
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One answer to your question is that they have different experiences outside the home. Bad teachers, bad experiences that the other sibs did not experience. It changes a person, these bad experiences. I know for a fact because I have been there, done that.
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I have an older brother and sister. Being the youngest I spent the most time with my parents. I lived near them and they were there the minute my kids were born. I did many things including work with both parents. Was a fair student but my parents were much involved with me in school. So much so their entire social circle revolved around those from my school (parents). My sister left home as fast as she could and got married. No problems except her husband has a so so relationship with the family. He is courteous but a bit standoffish. My brother gave them a run for their money, drugs, different lifestyle. aloof... Anyhow. I moved out of state and the parents moved closer to the other siblings. My sister took care of medical needs but that was about it. My brother.... nothing. Worked for dad but wouldn't do much for my parents except allow them to help pay his bills. My parents would visit me monthly. The deal was they would move in with me if there was a problem because the other 2 would not help. Fast forward.... mom dies and I have to take care of dad. No financial assistance from them unless you call buying a birthday or Christmas gift financial assistance. Oh they did buy him a phone and pay that so I guess they are involved. The move and cleaning out of the house was they came and took what they needed.... I am left with storage of the items (slowly getting rid of) and sheltering and everything else needed to care for dad. I have not spoken with my brother in 8 months. He does not call. We cannot visit him etc.. (never have been able to). My brother is very narcissistic. My sister in into her own family and gives lip service here. I guess she thinks I am the favorite. It is just because I was interested in my parents, always did things for them and vice-verses. Dad would not be able to stand a day living with my sister and BIL. She does care i believe but wont lend a hand unless asked. I don't know, all 3 of us are completely different being raised in the same house under the same rules....
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Countrymouse, please don't be so naïve. The sister doesn't care. These are just excuses given to not help. Besides the damage is done, there are no "do overs" in this situation. They don't want to bothered, end of story.

Emerald, it is amazing that two siblings raised in the same house and treated pretty much the same can turn out so differently. I believe it is how they're wired internally. When you're dealing with a self absorbed sibling who only thinks about themselves this is what happens.

I know, as do many others on here.
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We've tried - my daughter reached out to her and told her about that conversation. She didn't really have much to do with my dad before all this started. She lives about 45 mins away from him (I was living in Denver and making monthly trips back to eyeball his environment before I just had to move back) and yet she would post pics of herself at a tavern 2 mins from his house - yet never bothered. I'll never understand it and it's painful being rejected that way by your sibling. We never had problems that I'm aware of up until that time. We didn't see each other constantly but I always made the effort not to go too long. It wasn't until this started and looked back that it was always me that made that effort. Just stunning that two kids raised by the same parents came out with such different values.
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But Emerald, don't you think it would change everything? It would be like her walking through some kind of mirror. I think you should cut and paste what you've just written and email it to her. I would.
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Here's the kicker in my situation. After 2 years of taking care of my dad I finally confronted my sister that didn't even make a phone call. It got ugly but her first immediate response was "he never liked me, cause I"m not thin and perfect like you". She was the troubled one when we were teens, drinking/smoking/got pregnant junior year of high school. By comparison that would make me perfect because I made good grades, participated in activities, etc. But how this played out -- another year later after I confronted her, still doing the caregiving alone - my dad started relating to me as a girlfriend (I'll be in counseling forever), and one day at lunch he started telling me about his "girls". You can't get more unfiltered truth than hearing this man talk about his daughters as if I wasn't one of them. He said "I loved both of them but I always kinda leaned toward that little one because things just didn't seem to come as easy to her as the older one". First as I was in my 3rd year of taking care of him, I was like well ' okay, that's cool laughing about it because it's fine really - it changed nothing for me to hear that. On some level it makes me sad to know that she'll never know that. We haven't spoken in several years. He's been at a NH home 2 years now and she's never asked where he is or knows. I likely won't bother telling her when he dies. The last time she saw her father, I forced it on her. I took him up to her office (she and hubby work together, no other employees) and she threatened to call the police. I did so in hopes that she could see how far gone he was and that it might touch her on some level. It didn't. It's been 2 years now and I'm still trying to figure out how to restart my life. My husband had died a couple years before my dad started declining. This situation blew up what was left of my family as there was just the 2 of us. I have no need to hear from that person who had no compassion for him. And whether her problem was with him - she left me alone to take care of it. I don't need that kind of person in my life.
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Partsmom, I was interested to read your post with its different perspective, and seeing how proud you are of your four very individual children made me smile - it's lovely. Just one thing made me think :\ - rather than see how it plays out, do your children the biggest possible favour by getting them together and telling them what you would like, should you need support in the future. You may never need that kind of help, God willing; but if you do, knowing "from the horse's mouth" what your wishes are will save your children so many headaches and heartaches.
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Well, that problem solved itself. Dad will be living elsewhere as soon as arrangements can be made. He said some things that are waaaaaay over the line and doesn't accept that he was wrong or ought to apologize. Game Over.
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Feeling Lost... I give you a 1000 hugs and you are not Lost, you've just begun to find your way....
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Thanks, ilovemom2. Dad doesn't want to stay with brother any more than brother wants to accommodate him. I'm in the process of investigating options. There's other major issues we have to address as well, subjects for a different post.
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FeelingLost, my sisters jumped ship when the going got tough too. No help or support from them for my mother during the tough times! Well... my mom died recently and they are magically back and very vile. I am not in charge of the estate, my brother is. Both their attorney husbands are like sharks lurking around for blood. Threatening lawsuits and the process hasn't even begun yet. Never mind I closed up my business to take care of my mom and worked all year repairing her five bedroom home after my other brother (junk/paperwork hoarder) died suddenly and I cared for him too. My point... Have your brother sign a contract that you will be reimbursed for time and effort, ship dad off to brother's for 1/2 a year or its senior center time! The going rate with "Home Instead" is $17.50 an hour for 24 hour care. Good luck to you, your brother is showing his true character and it will only get worse as time goes by!
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BobbyT, you hit one of my hot buttons. When Mom died suddenly, Dad insisted on moving in with me. One of Dad's reasons for not wanting to move to a senior community is to "have something left to leave to you and your brother". Which makes me all the angrier since I know that brother will get 50% of what's left even though he puts zero effort in.
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