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Yep, that's me. Apologize-r extraordinaire, Or maybe I just have a lot of excuses. I just read the article on care takers blow ups and apologizing. Wow, how did they know? My brothers adopted daughter whom is now 31 years old made a comment to me 6 months ago about how I took care of HER Grandmother, well, that did it for me. I let her have it full force and she gave it back. We were done and over and life would have went on but my brother, his wife had to butt in. They never asked me or my mom what happened they just listened to what my niece had to say. This is why my brothers don't help me. They are mad at me! You'd think they'd love their mother enough to help her out by helping me but no..... just how many ways do I have to say I am SORRY to people!!! The past 2 Christmas's I have been here. I always make a big Christmas but I am dreading it this year. It will be just me and mom. I can't stand the thought of being here either. I've tried so hard to make things right but I cannot win with these people here. I can see how easy it is to drive everyone away from you when you're stressed out and overwhelmed. :(((

I don't get why I am so afraid to pack this place up, sell it and leave!?1? Least I'd have my job of 13 plus years back that I loved so much if I took mom and left. I asked her doctor about it and she looked at me weirdly saying it would be hard for her to adjust but she would eventually.

My head hurts, my eyes hurt from lack of sleep and I think I am in a super pissy mood today and don't want to get up off the couch, maybe I will just take the damn day off!! We have pizza :) I always feel like I have to do things and entertain mom all the time. She never EVER naps.

Thank God for the dogs, least they don't get snippy with her :)

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Jeanette - thank you for starting this thread. I love to see your assertiveness in handling this situation. I am doing the same as you. All my duckies are getting in a row because when this situation changes (which it will) I am going to be covered.
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JeanetteB, soon after I decided to stop asking for help I felt much better. I just pretend I am an only child. My friends do more for me and mom than our own family. My husband asked me a while back if I was better off with them or without them. I thought on this for a while and realized all they have done is brought drama into our lives. I know now I'm better off without them.
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Seriously...your brothers came on TG, with overnight's notice, and had the audacity to ask you for something to eat? Are you kidding? And yummy or not ("l cooked the worst meal"), you actually made them something??

Nooooooo!!! They should have thought ahead, made plans with you, ordered one of those Marketplace spreads, a holiday meal with all the trimmings, and brought it over as a gesture of goodwill and acknowledgement that you need a break. Maybe in a few days, when you could approach them with some level of calmness and suggest they do something like that if they'd like to come over at Christmas time. They are clearly not going to think of it on your own. OMGosh!
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Good for you Jeanette. My sister pitched a fit when I suggested that I get paid so that we could spend down my mom's money so we can get her qualified for Medicaid. I wasn't even asking the maximum because I knew that would really send her over the deep end. She and I both share the DPOA and the attorney and Medicaid caseworker recommend that she sign the caregiver contract for my mom rather than I sign a contract with myself.
Medicaid does allow it in certain states as a legitimate pay down expense. Keep all your records and keep track of your expenses so that you can deduct those from your income.

I had been treated like a doormat for much of my life and decided that it was no longer going to be that way. I am happy to see that you are standing up for yourself.
And, I know what you mean when you see others going out and having a great time and enjoying themselves when you yourself have to stay inside catering to the needs of someone else. I love my mom too, but to have ones siblings expect it of you is another thing.
I guess that is what bothers me. I do these things out of kindness and love, BUT when people start expecting me to do it rather than asking me to do it, then I feel used.
Take care of yourself and check into respite care. It’s good to see you taking control of some of these issues.
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JeanetteB - I'm a pathological peacemaker. Just one little point.

For a guy, showing up at your house could be interpretted as a major diplomatic rapprochement. I know it wasn't convenient, but it says to me that they don't want to cut ties. It doesn't mean you have to accept it or cater to them in any way. It just seems better to keep family ties in existence when you can.

You go, girl. Take care of yourself.
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Jeanette you go girl...take care of yourself...!!!
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((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))) get yourself onto a situation to hire someone so you can get out on your own. You deserve that.
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One more bitch....

I see on facebook how my 2 brothers who live here go out almost every single day hunting, fishing or horse back riding...(they work seasonal) so yeah....I sit in this house for days at a time...some good, some bad...do you think they'd give up a day outdoors to spend inside with their mom and let me go have fun? Apparently not. I'm tired of asking them also. When they do spare me some pity and take me out fishing or floating the river, I have to hire and pay someone 100.00 bucks while my oldest brothers wife sits at home on her ass.

OK

done now :)
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Exactly!!

I've been reading this site for a very long time now. I SEE so many similarities it is downright scary!! I'm not a doormat. I am a good, kind caring person who occasionally gets tired and pissed off at other people when they come over here expecting me to cater to them. I cater ALL DAY LONG!

I don't expect any problems out of them concerning me getting paid. The oldest already said I should be paid for this. It certainly is not going to be the $200.00 bucks a month my dad said I could get when he was here. LOL Uhm dad, times have changed :))) It will be a fair amount, it will all be legal, taxes will be taken out and paid separate. I have did a lot of research on this and it seems it is legit and accepted as a fair expense as far as medicare, medicaid and va may look at it.

There is no way I am going to become a hermit in this house. NO WAY! I will get all my duckies in a row right now as it takes time for some of this to go through....I know one day mom won't be able to leave like she can now so I know it will get worse and I will need to hire someone so I can too have a life. If there's a will, there's a way.

All of my siblings are older brothers. They have the "she's the woman take care of me" mentality. I don't think so.

This is hard enough of every single one of us caretakers as it is....I just don't get it
nor do I really want to.
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JeanetteB. - kudos to you! As long as you are lying down you will be used as a doormat. Time to stand up for yourself The first year that I lived with my Mother my sibs would visit and expect to be fed and entertained! What??? When they come here is my time for respite for what I want or need to do , and that is not feeding and entertaining my sibs. I cannot even begin to tell you the power struggles that went on in my family and most of it was about me getting respite. So selfish of them. After about a year I became very resentful and angry so I really had to decide how to deal with this issue. It was not easy but they are slowly coming around. Now when they visit I leave to do my own thing and it is nobody's business except my own. I sacrifice on a daily basis and deserve and need time and so do you. Get everything in order, get strong because there are probably going to be challenges along the way.
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Good for you, JeanetteB. You are being proactive You are taking the bull by the horns and you are setting on a course that will look after your as well as your mums needs. You care about you and so you should. I totally agree with what you are planning. Keep posting and let us know how it works out. ((((((hugs))))
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Thanksgiving came and went. Thank God!!

My brothers still are pretty much non existent They did come over for Thanksgiving, not sure why....oh yea, free food. It was funny because I hadn't spoke to them in weeks....they decided to come over the night before Thanksgiving to see "what was going on". I didn't mention TG no did I offer to feed them. An hour or so into the visit one asked if I had anything to eat....normally before all the strife began I would fix them a nice meal, not anymore. I'm not their cook...nor their caretaker.

It would be nice if they would let me know they were stopping by, then perhaps I could schedule something for ME to go do vs entertain them?? I don't get them. I'm really resenting them lately.

Mom is at the point where she hates to leave the house. I don't care where we go or what we do, she hates leaving. I've also noticed that she gets particularly stressed when we go places where she used to go. It's hard for me to explain but at times I feel she's putting on a big show of non remembrance. Example; I reconnected with my Aunt a few weeks ago. This was my father's sister whom my mother knew as a young girl and spent many years with up until a feud started and they ALL had nothing to do with each other for the next 35 years or more. Well....even though my mom says she doesn't remember her or anything they ever did, for some reason she harbors some very serious attitude towards this person....like she's feels guilt over past stuff. Like I said, hard to explain but I swear last night she knew exactly how she treated people at times during her life. I'm finding her to be more narcissistic that ever now....

I've decided I am not going to let her run my life, nor will I let my non helping siblings intimidate me or make me feel guilty for whatever it is that I decide to do. I'm starting to see the "real" picture here. They don't come around because of anything I did. They don't come around because they still harbor resentment towards mom for the way they feel they were mistreated as children by my father. One brother even told me he hasn't forgiven or forgot that mom didn't take all four of us and leave my dad. Wow. So they find it OK to make me feel guilty that it was something I did that made them stop coming around. No. Once dad died they stopped. Once they got whatever it is they wanted from dad's estate, they stopped. I get it now.

Funny thing.... I cooked the worst TG meal I have ever made in my entire life. I just didn't care. I felt like it was something I had to do not wanted to do.

Tomorrow I seek the advice of an Elder Attorney. I need to know exactly what to do in regards to spending down, a Caregiver Contract and all. I didn't leave my entire life to come here and end up homeless with nothing. Not at all. I came because I cared and still do care. That doesn't mean my services are free. I take good care of her and never get respite from anyone (gonna hire someone soon) but I will not ask my siblings for another thing. They don't care so I shouldn't care what they think of what I do either!

Sigh
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If you don't think your family will come to holiday dinners (or even if they'll come but not be nice company), how about inviting a few friends of yours and your mom's? You could even invite nice people you meet at support groups--I bet there are many who'd love a big-deal holiday dinner but are too swamped, tired, or disabled to make it themselves. That way, you'll have a fun holiday with like-minded people and some people who might otherwise be home alone can have fun too.

I have friends whose family all live far away. For years, they've had an orphan's Thanksgiving dinner. They invite their friends who also don't have a big family to come. They make a turkey, a ham, and limited side dishes, and everyone else brings a side dish, salad, appetizer, or dessert. One year, an overworked friend brought Gladware reusable storage containers as her "dish to pass" so everyone had a dish for taking leftovers home! And now some of those "orphans" bring their families with them. I look forward to it every year.

And remember, just because you're related to people doesn't mean you have to throw parties for them. Invite people you like or people that help you out.

Happy holidays!
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I totally get where you are coming from because this has happened to me on occasion. Whenever the "butt-in-skies" weigh in now with their unwanted advice I just ignore it. The reason I ignore it is to save my own sanity. I have "got into it" on a couple of occasions with my sister-no more. She is not living my life and until she accepts some caregiving responsibilities I am not interested in her opinion. I have lived with my Mom for over 2 years and felt like I spent the first year apologizing also until I looked at the reality. They are not here and do not get it. They should be apologetic to me for not giving me more respite so I can be a good caregiver. Once I set firm boundaries I felt better - not that the caregiving has gotten easier but I do get a little more respect from family members. They are not allowed to give unwanted advice or be critical if they do not take on some responsibility. You may be surprised at how they respond when you stand up for yourself. I know how difficult this can be but it is necessary for your mental health.
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"Always seem to be apologizing to others." vs. "just how many ways do I have to say I'm sorry two people!!!) - that leaves me confused about whether you WANT to apologize or not, which should be based on whether you think you did something wrong. IF you are going to apologize, be sure you I know exactly WHAT you are apologizing for, and make sure others understand that as well.

Obviously the fact that you're very stressed from the responsibility of the caretaking and took it out on your niece by blowing up over something she said that pushed your buttons, well, that probably WAS wrong. But it sounds like YOU think the two of you worked it out.

Now, look Jeanette, I want you to keep a calm and logical head here as I say what I'm going to say because I'm not trying to incite you in any way. But you must realize two things about your niece and your brothers. First, what she said in the first place that set you off, she was most likely saying as a mouthpiece because she heard it from them already, talking about you behind your back. And second, if SHE felt the two of you had worked it out, as a 31 year old adult, she wouldn't have gone back home and told them ALL about it so they could be angry with you.

I could be totally off base of course because I don't know your family dynamics, but psychologically it would make sense to address this because I believe it's probable.

If I were in your shoes, I would start writing. Stream of consciousness is OK, get all your feelings out, all the venom out. Do it immediately because T/giving & Christmas approacheth. After you write down EVERYTHING ... NEXT, edit, edit, edit. Reorder, re structure, get what you want to say in the chronological order of how things happened as you see it, how it made you feel, why you reacted the way you did. Be sure to apologize for what you truly feel bad about and clearly specified what and why. Don't ask for an apology from anyone in return. Thus is a case of "be the bigger person" and let them do what they feel they should do.

AND, what they do should be very informative to you. You can keep all the notes you want of everything you wrote, but re write with delivery to every family member in mind, with no accusations and most importantly no admissions in writing of anything that could get you or anyone else in legal trouble. When you put things in writing, you want to make sure you haven't stated anything that can come back and bite you in the a**, understand?

When you have your letter pared down to something appropriately concise and meaningful, give it or send it, but do this very quickly so you may resolve things before the holidays.

They may have a sincere reaction, a phony reaction or a condescending reaction. I have to trust you enough to know which label to put on it. They may even have no reaction. Nonetheless, you will be silently putting the ball in their court. Their reaction will help you determine what you do next. If they are going to maintain their same position, you cannot continue to beat your head against the wall or to beat yourself up. Stay, hunker down, continue the status quo, sell, relocate, place mom in some level of a care home, get back to your life - that will then be YOUR decision.

Continuing to stick it out, unappreciated, with hostility and no assistance would be counterproductive to the health of both your mom and you, wouldn't it? Moving her might be stressful for a short while, but not as stressful as the continual consternation that you describe. And, Jeanette, IF you're going to move a person with dementia, the more cognizant they are, the better, so sooner is better than later.

No one can or should tell you what to do but the above is my suggestion to you. Good luck. Keep posting.
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