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I am the youngest of 4 children. I have been caring for my 80+ year old parents for 2 years now. I make sure they get help from CNAs morning and night. The CNA makes sure they get a hot meal in the morning and usually they get a sandwich for lunch and I cook a hot meal for them at night. I do all the bills, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, and anything else in between. I also have 3 small children. I feel very tired and sad all of the time, because I feel like I get no encouragement from my siblings (much less a shoulder to lean on). They lead their lives and have their freedom and I am here. I don't mind helping my parents, but sometimes it would be nice to hear a THANKS from my siblings or lend an ear just to talk. I just feel so uncomfortable around my siblings because I have some harbored anger about all of this. They don't even email me EVER to see how things are going. Life goes on I guess.

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I imagine that my sister is saying I don't do enough to help her with Mom. I am doing the best I can. I am disabled. I am in constant pain. My husband has dementia. When I was helping her take care of Mom, everything I did was, wrong in her eyes. I love my mother and want the best for her, naturally. I tried and tried to the do the best, but it was never enough. Then when I wanted to have Thanksgiving with mom and sister, I was excluded and had to find other arrangements. Sister would have half the town over but not invite me. Then the day after Thanksgiving, she would call me and order me to do some chores and errands. Ditto Christmas, Easter and Independence Day and all other holidays. Half the town and not me then the next day order me to do some work. Some holidays I sat at home alone. Just a little bit of hospitality would go a long ways. So there you have it, the other side of the coin, why this sib is disgruntedly.
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suzmarie, you have every right to feel the way you do n it is hard to forgive n even more harder to just forget. I understand what your saying about your mom too for I call my mnl my 'shadow." She goes where ever I go. Like that, My Buddy doll they came out with years ago. As for your sister, I wouldn't know if it would do any good if u told her off or if u just be wasting your breath on her. Unless, it would make u feel better than I say, "Go for it!" Yet, it sounds like you r handle it pretty good n come back here to vent n let us know how u r doing.

Hope22, so sorry you r in the blues n I can see why. Join the crew here for we r all in some sort of similar yet different situation. Your feelings r normal n I cannot blame u for feeling the way your are n some! Have u tried to let the other family members know that u need help. They r not going to just call n asked. I don't know why, but it doesn't happen. If you r like a lot like us, then they don't care to help anyway even after you tell them u need help n a freaking break n that u have a life too just like them! Does your mom have Alzheimer's n if so have u tried to see if the Alzheimer's association in your local area can help you? I hope u r able to get some rest n keep us posted on how YOU r doing. Hey, next time u get to get out of the house while they r helping for a whole 45mints n make it into an all day out shopping or just gets some old break n go to a park n feed the ducks n breath the fresh air. At least with my husband I can get out some n actually see 'real-people." I know what u mean except you have it all to yourself due to selfish sibs. You know u can only do so much for u r only human. Hugs to you...
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Hope22 I know where you are coming from. I feel so bad when I lose my temper but the stress of 24/7 without any break in sight is unbearable I like you am mad at God and wonder what I have done. Seems to me that I am being punished for being a good person. I am not close to my one brother and my mother worships him this makes it so hard as I have to do all the work . Hang in there just know that others feel the same it is good to read all this at least we know we are not alone my parents are getting weaker and I am getting tried and loss my temper so my reward won't be that great. I will be the only one with guilt but then I am the only one who is carring the load. My parents are set in their ways and won't budge my home is about 1/4 mile away and I only get to go home about 45 minutes a day at this point due to my mother being afraid. Then some of the family sometimes has to come and sit with her while I am gone. I have tried to talk them into moving into my yard where I can be home and take care of them also I would fix them something nice . But they won't budge I pray just not to my temper more than any prayer but sometimes I don't know if he even listens to my prayers. Good luck and I am sorry for the money problems on top of everything. Take care . Hope the Holiday season brings you some kind of joy. Internet and TV sometimes are our only connection to the outside work but I sure am thankful for that.
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Wow, oh how I can identify, identify with most everything here......I cannot help but resent my only sibling. I do love him, but I have never felt or been, as alone in my life. Mama's mobility issue has gotten to a point where, I suppose in ways a blessing, she doesn't try to get up and roam anymore these days, so as long as I have taken her to the bathroom and gotten her settled, I am able to at least make a quick "there and back" run to the grocery store for about 30 minutes, otherwise I would never be able to leave the house. The resentment builds more and more each day as I watch everyone live their happy little lives and all are financially well off, while I continue to have liens filed against me right and left, so once I am even able to sell my former home, I will have little left. Strangely, I have been unable to find an attorney of any kind who will help me. I was thinking yesterday of how many times I been told "tell me what's going on with your situation and we'll see what we can do" and then I have to sit there and recant all the details and afterwards am told in some form or fashion, there's really nothing I can do. I feel catatonic. I know I lost my chance to have children a long time ago (53 now) and never married...I was ALWAYS the one who had to handle everything. I am angry, and if I'm being honest, I am angry at God. I am always being told about all the jewels in my crown, the home in heaven, blessings, etc. and to be honest, don't need the jewels but if the home in heaven comes with a pair of fluffy houseshoes and some flannel pjs I'd take that right about now. I am worn out mentally and physically. Yesterday I called one my friends and he was not available at the moment. I didn't leave a message, didn't know what to say. When he called back all I did was go into a cussing tyrade, not at him, but the situation. And finally just told him I can't talk about it anymore, what is the point, I give up. And all of this to say I know I am where I need and WANT to be...I love my Mother with all my heart, and I do cherish this time together and I WANT her to continue to live a LONG and happy life....but I cannot help feeling this anger building and building and when I do blow up it is going to be really really ugly. And here come the holidays and we always have had them here at Mother's house. I want nothing to do with any of these people. They have not been to help me in any way with Mother and do not even come to visit her. They provide no fnancial support, even knowing I am losing everything, they do not offer to help. I feel like I must have committed some horrific crime a long time ago and went into a deep amnesia about it so I don't remember it and I am now getting payback. All of my friends are gone, as it is not enjoyable to come and sit here.. I go from feeling peaceful to feeling as if were it not for Mother and my cats, I would just end it all. I have no answers, now a week ago I could have written a lot of flowery diatribe about how great life is, but I'm in one of my lows this week and have already said too much and as much as I used to love writing, I fear everything I have written here is jibberish....I think I am losing my mind... :(
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@ gabby503 its though i know. I hate my sister. People have all these quotes about forgiving and letting go of anger and resentment but its there no matter what I might try to do to extinguish it. Like all things in life, its gotten better and more tolorable over time (sister disowned me and mom 5 years ago). I have been angry with acquaintances, strangers that behave badly in public and even friends, but I get over those..in other words, try as we may, we can't make anger or resentment "just go away." I believe it is hard for the anger to ease when it is related to a significant relationship such as one with a sibling/loved one. I have just learned to compensate.
I had no life either when i was caring for mom and working full time but I was on the road to that. The problem Ihad was sleep deprivation.
I got caught up on sleep when I got laid off. My mom is attached to my right hip. I have a nice calm non eventful life and mom is part of that because she goes with me whereever I go. My private time...when she is asleep.
The saving grace, being laid off from work.
In short, i still harbour anger toward my sister; there a times when I [still] want to write, call, email or yell at her. That's when I just stop, breath, get some coffee or some other small activity to divert my mind. that's all i can do. Good luck to you
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I am the youngest of four, also. I care for my mother.....alone. I've never been one to dream about getting married or having children, but I was never totally against the idea. As I begin my 40s, I'm being forced to realize that at least the children probably won't happen. My siblings have children.....have been married, divorced, dating. I have no social life & feel I have too much baggage to be any good to anyone right now. My mother & I are always together....but I feel like the loneliest person in the world. I know for a fact that I do harbor resentment towards my siblings....and I don't want to waste my energy being angry with them......but still I am. I love my mother incredibly, but I miss my life. You are not alone.
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I don't know about being "rewarded." I was raised Catholic but I have had adult doubts...I am trying to believe. Until then, you have a tough job. I often use Dr. Phil's quote to help me which is: The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. I think you are seeing what you siblings will be doing and have done, which appears to be nothing. My sister [also] hasn't spoken to me or mom in 5 years..this broke my heart and at the onset of mom coming to live with me, a heart break for mom. I don't dwell on it as much as before (which was never intentional) as 5 years have passed but even recently, have experienced horrible dreams. In a nutshell, I lost my sister, my nephews because of sisters unwillingness to talk. And, losing mother to Alzheimer's. Hang in their daddysgirl1. we will get through this. I am sure you ARE tired and my thoughts are with you.
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glornorth, so sorry to hear that your brother is n denial n won't help out. We hear it a lot n I am dealing with similar situation with my dad that lives in another state where my 3 brothers live n other relatives. While I am here in GA taking care of my husband mom whom has mild Alzheimer's n just turned 81 n she is a red-head if u know what I mean. Sorry all red-heads but they do have a fuse. Of course I do with the Irish too. Not sure if this is good advice but I would check anyway about getting someone to come n for your mom for she is going to need someone 24/7. Does she have any insurance that would help pay for in-home care? Have tried your local Agency on Aging or Alzheimer's association for suggestions n resources for it u let your own health go down then whom is going to take care of you? I don't think the man above meant for your health to decline while u take care of your mom that refuses help. I do hope others on here can give u some more suggestions n hang in their n breath. Keep us posted on how YOU r doing too.
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Hello all, I can emphasize with all of you here who feel defeated. I am living with my mother in her home and caring for her 24/7. She is 87, has Dementia and COPD and can not walk very well. What makes me really resentful is that my brother and his wife who now have an empty nest and are extremely well off financially are in denial about my mother's situation. They have not been to visit her for 5 years now and they only live about 100 miles away which is approximately a 4-5 hour drive. I have tried telling them the brutal facts about needing some kind of support here, but my brother says, "I don't want to hear it!". So, I am 61 and also have some back and neck problems but no time to tend to myself. We can't afford a CNA and my mother refuses to have anyone (stranger) come into her home. I feel like I have no life. I tried to work part time thinking she sleeps late mornings and I would be back before she wakes up, but even with this, I am double tired from working, cleaning house, cooking meals, waiting on mom, driving her to doc appts, and monitoring her meds. It is very hard at time and depression and anxiety have overwhelm me. I occasionally get up at 6:00am to take a drive to Starbucks and just sit there in a stupor while I drink a coffee. At least it is a small break. Christian people tell me that God will reward me for caring for my mother and that I will always be provided for when she passes away. I try very hard to pray and focus on this as much as possible. God bless you all dear caregivers and may God give you peace.
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Thanks to Only1of3. I totally agree with you! We are there, believe me. I think a number of my siblings are so caught up in drama, drama, drama that all they do is run around like chickens with heads cut off, emoting about this or that. I am a person who likes to find a solution, or let it go. The payoff for them is all the 'feeling' that they are good people. I know I am a good person and that I will do the right thing. Have to leave it at that.
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frustrated2: Someone very dear to me put it like this " Your mother is running the show, you know." And in a moment of simple clarity, I finally understood, "Yes, she is, the person least able or willing to take care of herself (physically, mentally, emotionally, financially) is running the show." And then I thought, "And whose decision was that?" God help me, mine. And I don't like my decision and am in new decision-making process. I humbly suggest that you and your husband take loving care of yourselves and let both sides of the family do what they are going to do without any guilt on your part whatsoever. I wish I had. None of them will ever be happy, but YOU can be.
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I wish that before wholesale decisions are made about where one's parents are to live and what the plan will be to take care of them will be, there could be a meeting of the minds about who will do what.
My husband and I both have siblings who live in town near our parents. My parents are much younger than my husband's mother (93) and they still live in their home - which is almost 5000 sq ft and on acreage, which my dad insists look like a park.
My MIL is in a nursing home in a tiny little town in a fairly economically depressed area with a small population. Here are both scenarios:
MIL - she has both a teacher's pension, her husband's pension (he died five years ago), long term care insurance and about $150,000 cash. Not bad. However, my brother in law and his wife (my husband's relatives) are controlling with her money and do not want us in any way to 'help'. We suspect that he is skimming from her accounts and also billing her for stuff that he tells her he has paid for. He is explosive and won't speak to her if she so much as objects to anything she wants him to do or not do, so he has her by the short hairs. To the rest of the family, he and his wife whine about how they do everything and we have no idea what is required because we aren't taking care of her day to day. We live in Florida and would gladly take over her care and for sure would have a lot better options than the stinky, awful place she's in. She will say one minute how bad the care is and the next, well, she is from there and likes it and knows people there (really she doesn't because they are all dead anyway). My brother in law has also told my husband that he has not planned for his retirement and we are fairly sure he is in it for the money, which is in a three way joint account which he has the checks, passwords, etc. for and lives near them (did I mention his wife is on the board for the credit union where her CD's are held?). We are fine financially and would never cheat him out of anything, but he doesn't want us involved in her money or want here down here, away from him. With all the back stabbing, we get comments even from my husband's kids and from other people, saying that well, after all, he IS the one 'bearing the brunt'.
In my parents scenario, three siblings and their families live in the same area. No body wants to tell my parents 'no' - to yard maintenance, to doing really anything they don't want to do. My dad is in his 80's and has had several back surgeries and still won't listen about not lifting too much, climbing on the roof, etc. My mother repeatedly tells everybody that she will get married again if my dad dies because she doesn't want to 'live out in the woods all alone'! I think it is insanity and they certainly have the money to pay for professionals to do the stuff they think is reasonable to ask my siblings and their spouses to do. Cut firewood, rake massive amounts of leaves, stuff like that. I think they are all crazy to bend over backwards and then get in to all the drama that goes on about how "we have our OWN yards and stuff to take care of"! When I say that they need boundaries and perhaps it's time for my parents to 'pare down' they all say that I - you guessed it! - 'don't understand because you aren't here'.
My husband and I are 58 and 61. When we moved to Fla. seven years ago we bought a home with a small yard and of course, no basement, so that it would be a good set up to stay in long term. He has had two knee replacements and DVT's and I have a very bad back and am on permanent disability. We may not be really old yet, but we have conditions that shout to us that we need to make reasonable decisions. I NEVER want to be so in denial that my kids are butting their heads against the wall with us like this. If we need to make a change we will make it and if we need to get rid of stuff we will do it. So many people have these issues because no one is flexible and people think they can't say no to unreasonable demands from parents. Make a plan, talk to each other and have empathy for each other. Really its the family dynamics that cause these issues the most. If you are feeling resentful and are willing to make changes then things can get better. Or you can ask yourself what the pay off really is for you to be the 'martyr'.
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God bless you, hoping.
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Thank-You everyone for the kind works it would be great to have outsiders come in but my mother is very fearful and if I had someone to come in and help I would have to be there with them so why spend the money I still wouldn't get to go home . They are not rich but could pay someone to give me a break. The very close family are the only ones that can help at this point my husband and daughter have said they will start staying a hour or so at a time to give me a break I have so much work to do at home. My mother refusses to go to the dr and if I forced the issue I think she would have an heart attact or stroke. My brother was coming in 1 or 2 times a year for a week or so to give me a break I would just go home and sleep but the last 2 times my mom gets confussed and thinks he will get into things so i have to stay ther also last time i had to sleep in the reclainer in the living room for about 10 days so him coming in for a week or two does not give me a break. Plus we aren't close which makes it harder. It really is put them both in the nurseing home or take care of them. At about 8,000.00 a month out of their pocket for the home it wouldn't take long for them to loss everything they have worked for I just at this point can't do that to them if they would be happy and get really good care it would be different. I am trying to hold on to the family land for my child and grandchildren so after it is over i will have to buy my brother out. I have told the family here they have to start giving me a break. Wishing everyone a good week-end.
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Hoping, I understand. Good advice from Careful to look into what services may be available. And, from me, elderly parents do not have the moral or legal right to destroy their children's lives. You can see that they are cared for without allowing them to destroy you. Praying for you for God's guidance.
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You can never expect anyone to be grateful for anything you do, I know that sounds harsh but it is true. Now on the flip side what a great way to remain close to your parents, there are services like my company who can help with groceries and such to help lighten the load. Also seek out a support group, your local hospital or area on aging should be able to help.
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I should have said even though he's too stupid to know it! :)
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Hoping, so sorry about all your troubles. I know it is difficult not to feel taken advantage of since you are doing most of the work. My brother has said alot of terrible things to me also and there is forgiveness there but it isn't something I will ever forget. I have three siblings and one of them has done pretty good in the helping department and the other two have done little since my parents came to our home to live. You have no reason to feel guilty and you are doing an amazing job with your parents. A job that few other people would be willing to do. Your parents are so fortunate to have you. I understand why they want the money split right down the middle because I would want it that way for my kids. Some kids just aren't cut out for caretaking and would be terrible at it. Knowing you are doing the right thing will allow you to feel less guilt when they pass. I think your brother is the one who will have the lionshare of the guilt for not being supportive to his sibling. If you can find a caretaking group in your area or a local social worker with a home health agency they can open up alot of doors for you. Hang in there and just know that you are a blessing to your parents and to your brother even though he doesn't know it.
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I also have resentment for other family members my husband is really the only one that helps me any. My brother lives a few states away and my parents think if he could he would do everything and not say a word. This is so far from the truth and telling them that just makes it worse. Somehow I am the bad one for I do lose my temper because I am tied down 24/7 with no relief. My brother talks about them and me as if we were white trash they just don't know it. He has been mean to me for years throught different actions and I have forgave but have also turned him loose. I have helped them for years as I lived close. My mother is afraid for me to even go home some during the day. My dad is really bedfast now due to a broken hip almost 5 years ago and he never got going again he will not exterise to get stronger. I have given up everything in my life to do this I am at the point I don't know what to do. Either put both in the nurseing home and they loss everything they have worked for or take care of them. They are sort of back woods and they would not fair well. They do not relize what I do and what I have saved them. prison would not be much worse as I am held hostage when I try to leave my mom gets really upset my husband had rather it be like this unstead of them living with us which they wouldn't do.My daughter doesn't help she does have a 10 month baby but hasn't always had him but yet after all this is over land and things will go to her after I am gone. I am to the point that I may leave from the grave yard and no one ever hear from me again. there is no reason for my brother and I to contact each other for there has been too much hurt trought the years forgiving is OK but sometimes it will never be OK. My parents think it is the right thing to do for one to do all the work and everything split down the middle. I saved my dad so much money by doing all this work and if there is something around the place that I could use he doesn't want to let me have it which makes it so hard to go to the store and buy something when one is laying ther not being used. I feel like family are just a bunch of people to take advange of you. I will be the only one to feel guilty after this is over because I have lost my temper but then I am the only one who does anything. It shouldn't be this way my parents were very hard working people and I am keeping them in their home as long as I can but when I let go they will be so mad at me. They are so set in their ways . I have a small garden and starting raiseing chickens for eggs to keep from sitting down and eating. I quit my job about a year before he broke his hip to help them. Good luck out there everyone.
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Only1 when i'm not sure about whether I am thinking right about something or not I always remember something that may sound silly to you, but it is Mr. Miagi from Karate Kid. In the movie he talks about how we must always have balance in everything in life. This seems to help me stay centered as does my Christian faith. I heard a man say once that 180 degrees from sick is still sick, so that's where the balance has to come in.
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I get where you're coming from Only1. I think people who feel and act like this are afraid that no one will love them or that if they are themselves they will be deemed unlovable. I'm kinda in that same realm sometimes...mostly with family. I can tell a stranger no, but it's much tougher to tell my extended family because I want them to love me and think highly of me. I can't seem to turn off my mind when it comes to a family member who is angry at me or who really just doesn't like me. I keep thinking that I can make them like me by doing something differently. Unfortunately, every time I make a kind gesture toward them they either ignore me or just say something mean. I let it get to me too much. I should recognize that there are some people in this world who get up in the morning and make plans to spread their misery around throughout the day. I just always feel like there's something wrong with me so I am always questioning my value as a person.
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Sorry, I should have written this on the vent page. So many of you ARE doing what you are doing because you love your parents and they love you. I am envious of that and strongly encourage you to do whatever is good for them AND for you. God bless you.
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I suppose the forgiveness thing all ties into the caregiver guilt. I was always expected to fix everything and, being human, of course I couldn't. God never really played into Mama's take on her own life, but she sure could use God/Jesus/Bible to guilt us into doing whatever she wanted US to do for HER. And if what she got wasn't really what she wanted after all, it was NEVER her fault, always ours. She brought three bright, outgoing, lovely children into the world and turned us into three self-destructive people pleasers, all for her own immediate gratifications. She taught us early on that if we couldn't do something out of love for someone, not to do it at all, and to smile, always smile. How could something that seemed so nice be such a curse? Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice.Pretend, pretend, pretend. Ahhh, the power of the narcisist!
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all my prayers for forgiveness were for nought since i never really knew if i was praying for the strength to forgive them or for them to forgive me or for god to forgive me and/or them. we need to pray that they will forgive us. we already have the ability to forgive them. and god has already forgiven us. it is an uncontrollable element to get them to forgive us. and that is where all the frustration lies. how to get them to forgive us, for whatever we might have done.
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Somehow fogiveness for self is needed; how to do that I don't know. Dr. Phils recent show advertised a book about forgiveness. Forget the book forgive for good. if you are catholic you can go to confession and tell the priest all the things you want to be forgiven for. In the meantime keep writing. May peace hover over you soon.
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I think you're right about their being one child who can and will take the lionshare of the responsibility. I have had my older siblings criticize my caretaking quite frequently and they think they are right about their criticism, but they are not. Their idea of caring for our parents was putting them in a nursing home together and letting them finish our their lives there. That wasn't my parents idea though so my mother brought my dad to my home after my brother who was the healthcare surrogate at the time refused to support them coming to our home. The two older kids haven't lifted a finger to help out since.
Only1 I don't blame you a bit for being upset or suzmarie either. It's terrible when people who are supposed to love us treat us so callously. I think the whole independent living thing is great if your mom wants that. She may be someone who would enjoy the socialization part of it. You didn't do anything wrong either of you!
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suzmarie: Vent away about your sister. Seems often that only one child is born to each family to care for the elderly. The rest get to excuse themselves from the process until will reading time. Not an issue in my family. Mama lives off SS and me. I couldn't sell the sum of her belongings at a yard sale for $200.00. And my limited funds are now gone. Scared for my future? Oh, yeah. But, like I said, it appears things may change when Mama moves to independent living and pays her own bills, ALL of them. It will be the first time in 30plus years that she will not have money to gamble on or a way to get there. Of all hurtful things that she set in motion in her life, not being able to gamble is breaking her heart. Boo Hoo! But I am coming to realize that as angry as I am at her about a lot of things, the anger I feel towards myself for letting her play me all those years is the one that is doing me in. I have to get a grip on that. I can probably forgive her, but forgiving myself is a lot harder.
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My baby sister (6 years younger) did the bare minimums for my mom; she and her husband took advantage of my mom and her money alot, letting mom pay for lunches. When dad was alive they let mom and dad pay for dinners. My sister thought I had it easy and when I would express some minor incident she would say "welcome to our world' like they had it so tuff. Ugh. Mom and dad did so much for them and mom continued after dad died. even when sister knew something was wrong with mom's mind which she writes about extensively after the fact, but she never got mom to a doctor and mom was not uncooperative! Shame on her. Mom had acid reflux Went to four doctors for diagnosis. When I would ask mom what did the doctor say mom would say the doctor didn't find anything.
From 500 miles away i was putting 2 and 2 together and called the doctors. They all broke hippa laws thank goodness. Each one had told my mother that mom needed surgery but mom was already with AD so she wasn't comprehending this stuff. In short mom's stomach was in her chest. Sister thought mom was just a hypocondriac and the problem was due to coffee and donuts! OMG. My sister has abandoned my mother with AD entirely; hasn't talked to mom in 5 years. I as the eldest always took care of everything. I was a flight attendant so I flew to So CA all the time; had a partial life cuz I did do everything for my parents. Sister thinks her cooking dinner for mom and dad or having them over for the holidays was her big responsibility that was such a burden to her. More later.
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I hear you daddy'sgirl. I'm where you are at right now. I just keep trying to look ahead to when my task will be done and how much better I will feel that I tried to do the right thing in spite of my siblings taking a crap on me whenever they get the chance. Three children? Shame on those siblings. I'm not sure they'll ever understand though. It just seems to be the nature of the beast. I'm sure for them it is just one more competition that you have won! That's how mine treat me, yet I don't hear any of them offering to take my mother in. Your children are learning a powerful lesson from you as they watch what you are doing. It is a wonderful lesson too. You should be proud.
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I'm the baby of the family so your theory is a sound one. I read somewhere that younger children tend to stay close to their parents even as they age. I don't think I got more attention though...not real attention anyway. I would say I got alot less. No lessons, no parties, and no guidance. Older siblings get alot of privileges and attention when they are young and there are fewer mouths to feed so the parents are able to give it. The baby comes along and seems to be stealing their parents attention away and so they grow up resenting the baby and seeing them as a competitor. The next oldest up from me is almost 5 years older, then 7 years, and then 9 years older. They have all made derrogatory comments about my never having to struggle in life while they have toiled themselves to the bone. I hear where they are coming from, but they shouldn't think they had it worse off than the baby because it just isn't true. All children have to struggle no matter where in the scheme of things they have landed.
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