Caring versus pretending to care.

Follow
Share

I just went through another crisis with my Dad who had to have emergency surgery for a nearly ruptured, infected gallbladder..my Dad with dementia..it was a hellish experience. My Dad eventually fought the infection after surgery and recovered but it was very serious and really could have died from this. I dealt with taking care of my Mom, and my Dad through this crisis completely alone ..aside from hired help.


Anyway besides the obvious stress.. I am really being bothered lately by those relatives who suddenly pretend to care while there is a crisis. They will text me constantly and want to be "posted" on my dad's condition, send syrupy texts professing they care.


My moms (younger and healthier sister)... is less then an hours drive from Mom but hasnt bothered to come and see her for at least a year..but she texts me to be sure and tell my Mom that she is thinking about them, worried about them, and that they care. Ugh... nothing can make me angrier!! If she cared she would be relieving my stress by sitting with my mom at the hospital.. not sending some stupid text l!!


My sister (who is currently unemployed and I offered to pay her to come), suddenly stops texting me or answering my texts about my Dad... until he is back at home and the crisis is over.. now she sends occasional texts.... how is mom and dad? I wanted to tell her Dad passed away a week ago!!!


This is really partially a vent and partially.. I just cannot get over the anger of this!!! It just seems to me if you do not care enough to actually take time out of your pathetic life.. YOU DO NOT CARE!!! Just own it FGS!! I hate this attempt at making yourself feel better.. at my expense.


Am I being crazy for letting this bother me? I really don't want to always be angry about this .. it is a pattern .. every crisis I deal with with my parents goes the exact same way. I am more upset with their luke warm attempts at caring.. then if they just ignored the situation all together.


Well.. i feel a little better getting that off my chest.. Anyone else deal with this ..suggestions on how to better deal for my own health and stress level?

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
8

Comments

Show:
Thank you all for the responses! Its so good to have someone get it.. I don't know what I would do without this forum.

Rainmon - Yes.. the "You need to..." I got that this last crisis. One of my Mom's sisters wanted to school me on home health care.. and that is the answer to ALL my problems. Uh.. yea.. I plan on getting home health care just as I have on all the other medical crisis that I have in the last 2 years. It has its place.. but is not much of a stress reliever for me... and having home health care does not relieve relatives from pitching in... nice try.. try again.

JessieBelle -- The only reason I don't just go off on them all is for my parents sake. It is shocking finding out this other side of people I have known all my life.. shocking and disappointing. Not only are they showing lack of care for them.. a complete lack of care for me.. not one of them. This last crisis left me so physically drained I had to take days off from work to try to recover.. I am still drained from it.

Thanks Countrymouse.. delete is my friend. Problem is if I don't answer it will result in more texts.. Some of your text replies I actually started.. very short and uninformative. Them...How are things going? Me.. I'm exhausted. Them..I mean how are things going with your dad? Me.. I'm exhausted.

I really don't see how I can have the same relationship with these people again.. maybe I am being too hard on them and this selfishness exists more then I know? I sure hope I wouldn't be like this if the shoe were on the other foot. I really can't imagine sitting by and enjoying my day knowing someone I cared about was in such a crisis.

Cwillie.. I cannot handle BS and politicians, sales people, upper level management.. I see right through BS and can pretty easily tell when someone isn't being genuine. Sometimes I wish I was more gullible.

Agree Pamz .. the delete button is our friend!

Sunnygirl,
Yes.. it is very sad to see good people so alone and abandoned in their old age. My parents were also good people.. not perfect.. but they were good parents. My relatives and siblings had a good relationship with them but I started noticing in the last couple of years it becoming easier for my siblings and other relatives to back away from them. I think it is because they need more then what they are giving to them. They appeared to care before but they were getting something for themselves from the relationship and didn't have to give so much. Its a whole different story when you have to unselfishly give without getting much back.
(1)
Report

I think I might tell her that I didn't know how to text. lol

I know a lot of my parent's friends who have adult children who do nothing for their parents. These are not mean, overbearing, bossy, whining parents who expect too much. They are kind, loving, generous seniors who gave their children so much growing up. Yet, their kids don't call, don't visit and sometimes can't manage a visit at Christmas.

I see these seniors desperate for a 5 minute call, sitting at home alone on Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc. It boggles the mind. My family chips in and does what we can to help them out and make them feel loved. I have a closer relationship with several of my mother's friends than they have with their own children and some live in the same town! Just no time to bother with their mom or dad. It's unreal really.

Of course, these parents do get the high school and college graduation invitations, baby shower invites, weddings, etc. Of course, they know they won't attend. They just want them to send a gift. lol
(4)
Report

Oh I so agree... and the family that decides to take on some care, with out asking for any advice from those who have been there.. then can't handle it! And cry "poor me".. and want you to fix thier mess while they hope to get all the goodies... I agree with the delete button!!
(1)
Report

It's like all those politicians that tell you that you are in their prayers when there is a tragedy but you doubt they ever prayed a day in their life, it becomes as meaningless as asking "how are you" when you meet, just another socially expected behaviour.
The thing is they probably DO care, fleetingly, when they remember you exist at all, and as much as they care about anybody.
(2)
Report

No you are not crazy that this bothers you. They are full of it, and you have every right to react to that.

Things to remember:

"Delete" is such a useful command on a cell phone, don't you think? Syrupy texts - gone! Meaningless twaddle - gone! And you don't have to do anything dramatic or confrontational like blocking their numbers or sending a sarcastic reply. Just hit Delete, and with a merry warble that particular irritation vanishes off your phone.

Feeling angry - especially if you waste as much time as I used to on imaginary conversations - is not good for YOU. That's the only reason you might want to address it and see if you can't convert that energy into something more useful.

But, oof, I feel for you. Just imagine...

Relative: How's Mom doing?
You: Why do you ask?

or

Relative: We're thinking of you all xxx
You: And what is it that you are thinking, precisely?

So, as you can see, the trouble with letting these unctuous communications irritate you is that if you were ever to act on it it would be unhelpful at best to all involved.

Just to pause a moment: is your relationship with these family members beyond all repair, do you think? Can you see it getting better in the long term?
(3)
Report

Families can be a real pain when we're caring for parents. Siblings are their children, so we have to keep things diplomatic for the parents' sake. But it can be shocking to find out how little they care. There are three types of relative when it comes to caregiving -- those who help, those who show up at the hospital, and those that show up at the funeral. I have two brothers that fit in the latter two types. I try to not let it bother me, but sometimes I do get angry. How can they keep going on like nothing is happening when their parents have dementia and are dying. In their minds, it isn't their problem. They'll just do the things that are socially expected -- visit in the hospital or go to the funeral.

One thing that does bother me is that the family of one of my brothers treats my mother with contempt. When the kids start acting that way, it lets me know that there has been talking at home about the situation. I can always tell what is being said by watching the way the children act.
(1)
Report

Ps - especially when they would hand out advice that started with "you need to...".
(2)
Report

I get it. The only thing worse than having to deal with my parents crisis' was having to re-tell the whole experience 100x to people who started to "care" by making a phone call or sending a text post-crisis. Really - sometimes it took a mega effort to keep myself civil!
(3)
Report

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