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I know that I shouldn't have looked but I did.


It started at dinner when my mother asked me if I had called my brother (whom I hate) and invited him to Christmas. It bothered me because she so obviously favors him and wants to do everything for him. The thing is, she never asked if I invited my youngest. No, it is all about the one brother.

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Since birth our natural instintc is to turn to our parents for our mental and physical needs. It hurts to the end and back to not get our needs met. Screws with the way we see the world. Screws with the way we see ourselves. When it dawns on us that we have no control over winning the love and grattitude we feel would make our world right, it hurts so bad. Forgive yourself for looking at her will. Im sure your emotions are all over the place. Resentment probably at the forefront. I know this because I could be you. I just would like you to look in the mirror and see the beautiful person you are. You dont HAVE to take care of your mom, but you do. Somehow out of all this stress, this miserable pain, your character is to take all of this on. Wow, that is huge. I know this is not about money. The money is a symbol of your pain. Keep being true to your character but I think it is so important that you share your feelings with her. Think about your words so they come out true to your heart. She may, get angry, she may pout. But opening up to her maybe the only justice you get.
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Stacey, you wrote :"I often wonder what goes through his mind, as he watches the wonderful family relationships that I have with my own family. I'm sure that it never dawns on him that HE was the one who caused all of the destruction!"

I often wonder what Mom thinks when she watches us and if she realizes how different my children's childhoods are from mine. I make sure to tell them that I love them every single day and most times, several times a day. I tell them that I think they are smart and beautiful and that I will absolutely die if I don't get at least one hug and smuggle from each of them - OK, the 14 year old boy is getting a little hard to pin down, but I try.

I think I have only heard my mother tell me that she loved me once and I think she even only said that by accident. No hugs and snuggles that I can remember and she spent most of my life making me feel ugly and unintelligent.

I often wonder if she notices and comprehends the difference..
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Oh, I like Surprise's answer, and the spelling of her MTHR's name, as she Is lacking in that one specific thing a Real Mother is to give, and that is Unconditional Love!

I am right where you are, stuckcaring for the one, the very perpetrator who fractured my husband's family in the first place, and so wish we could tuck him away, and visit occasionally. But like you, he would not socialize, and would sit in a chair and watch TV all day, just as he does in my own home. Still not sure why it would bother me so much, but I'm getting there, and researching all our options!

Someday soon, he's going away, and we Will get our life back! 13 years is too long, and we cannot go on like this much longer!

Good luck to you, I hope you find your way out soon!
In our case, my husband's FTHR's will has been an open book, changed multiple times since he's come to live with us, the ole control Narc thing, and now as it the only Carrot he has to try to hold over my husband's head. He has left the majority of his monies to my husband, public knowledge, and he seems to be under the impression that a couple hundred thousand dollars is oh so much, and Yes, it would have been a nice payoff, but it will never come to be, and that is All going to go towards his living expenses elsewhere. The Carrot, is no longer enough, now that he has revealed his true self, and I (his DIL) have slowly put together all pieces, as to why this family is so messed up in the first place. That money will be gone in no time!

While my husband's Mom was still alive, she managed to cover it up all those years before, but now, it has become quite clear, just who caused all of this mayhem in the first place!

Showtiming exists, and he was fairly good at it, for a while, and even now, continues to do so in front of his Dr. Now, I no longer allow it, and I call him on it! He has destroyed even the respect that I once had for him.

The hurt and pain that man has caused, makes me oh so glad that I was so Lucky to have come from such a loving family!!! And it is Luck, Luck of the draw, as we certainly don't choose where we come from!

I often wonder what goes through his mind, as he watches the wonderful family relationships that I have with my own family. I'm sure that it never dawns on him that HE was the one who caused all of the destruction!

With every dawning day, I am planning his exit from our home. How Sad is that?
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Surprise,

Despite the issues I have had with my mother from childhood through now, I have this feeling of obligation o try to keep her home as long as possible. Sometimes, I don't know why I keep doing this since she does not seem to appreciate it. But, I know she would be miserable in any type of facility. She hates "old people" so would not socialize at all. She hates any type of organized activities so she would not participate in any of the entertainment. She would just sit in her bed all day. I know this from the few 30 day stints she previously did in rehab.

And then there is me. I would feel obligated to visit often and I found that visiting her in rehab was more disruptive to our family routine than having her in the house is.

I am strongly considering having more caregivers come in. I currently have two wonderful women who come in during the week while I am at work. But, since we have no weekend coverage, we can no longer do things as a family since someone has to be home with her. We used to travel... a lot, on weekends and I feel that she is robbing my children of that.
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Mom2Mom, I like what you have to say there! I was making a feeble attempt at being sarcastic for the brothers to share the pleasure of tending your mother (I spell mine MTHR since she's missing something essential inside).

Since you recognize that anything you spend will come out of their inheritance, have you considered moving her to a home where her money will be used to take care of her until it runs out, and then she can go on Medicare? I am sure you recognize that she is not capable of being the sweet old lady you deserve in your life, and that you are under stress. Visiting her elsewhere would be an improvement, and she did save up all that money for her retirement years. It seems like a good investment in both your and her happiness to put it towards an assisted living or memory care unit.
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No, Surprise, they won't share in her upkeep. Between the three of them, they don't have two cents to rub together and they would never take their share of visits if she were in a home. The only pleasure I get is reminding myself that I will be spending their inheritance on her care and there will be nothing for them in the end.
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Mom2Mom, Good for you. I took on the job of taking care of my mthr who is pathologically narcissistic, but I kept her at arm's length so she can hurt me no more. I see her as an evil old woman who ran everyone who loved her out of her life, so she has no one left to love her, including me. I feel sorry for her, and it's the right thing to do, to keep her taken care of. However, I hire that out to a home and visit more often than I should. I hope you can move her out of your home so that your brothers will have the pleasure of sharing in her upkeep.
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Surprise,I figured out a while ago that Mom will never appreciate me or my efforts. Any attempts to impress her and earn a compliment only led to my disappointment. For example, she is Greek and one day after she moved in with me, I spent the days making a time consuming, authentic Greek dish. Her "critique" of the dish hurt me a lot. Fast forward to this past weekend. I made a batch of Baklava for a party and my husband asked me if I was going to give some to my mother. Nope, if she found it on the table herself, she was welcome to it but any comments that she was going to make would fall on deaf ears. I am no longer desperate for her approval for I know it will never come.

I am taking care of my mother, to the best of my ability because it is the right thing to do but I am no longer doing it for her gratitude or love.

Black Hole, you are right. Better to know going into this what the will says rather than being blindsided after she is gone. I will continue to provide adequate care but, knowing where I stand, I am not going to sacrifice my life and my family's life, bending over backwards to try to make her happy. She wants to be entertained, she can call one of her favorites for that.
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Having had a two faced, evil under the surface, and you-can-never-be-good-enough parent, I see the will as an extension of the long time relationship problems with mom. I see so many people sacrificing their lives in hopes to win mama's love, when mama does not have the capability of loving that child. So often there is some kind of dysfunction and the child refuses to acknowledge that fact and continues on the hamster wheel of service, hoping beyond hope that Mama will some day some how show the love back. Obviously that love ain't coming back after death in the form of the will.

I say face reality. The loving mama that has never been there is not going to magically appear in the will and show how much the daughter was appreciated. I think it's time to get a therapist that works with dysfunctional families and secrets and mourn that loving mama that never existed.
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M2M, it's better to know now. Might not feel that way, as you grind your teeth and re-play a lifetime's worth of mom's hurtful biases. But this is preferable to being slapped with that reality at the time of mom's passing. When emotions are running high, the phone is ringing off the hook, and Certain People will be a bundle of entitlement and insensitive behaviors.

Use your preview as an advantage. Rehearse being calm and detached during "the big reveal." Think of 1,000 ways not to take your sibs' bait.

There will be enough other surprises after mom passes. Hey, the will won't be one of them! That's a good thing.
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I'm sure you didn't mean that to sound like it sounds. Because if you "made" your mother do anything about her will that would be undue influence and the will would be invalid.
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"Doing all the work does not entitle you to more/better things however..........." It doesn't? Why not? I think it does! No one else is doing anything, and the oldest and youngest brothers have already taken (in youngest's case, stolen) from the parents financially. I would have talk with your mother, ask her why she thinks you are worthless, and go from there. I would make her change her will to cut those lazy brothers out.
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M2M, I'm sorry that you feel bad about what you found out. It feels unfair to me that information, which should only ever be useful, in these circumstances has proved hurtful. I can see why it's hurtful. There's a whole tangle of emotions - not only your mother's inequitable treatment of her children, but their respective merits too, and the sacrifices you continue to make... oh Lord, what a horrible pig's breakfast it all becomes.

I hope this will be a comforting thing to consider. I think, taking into account how I increasingly feel towards my adult children, that there is a further important point when trying to understand your mother's attitude. What she is trying to do for each of you is also a reflection of how much she worries about each of you. The brother who's taken care of, she's unconcerned. You, so together and capable and dependable, she's not worried about. It's the hopeless cases, the ones she possibly still feels guilty about - don't we feel responsible for our children's failings? - they're the ones she's anxious to "put right."

You could drily note that she doesn't seem to learn that money won't do it. But that's another issue.

The key thing is that this is not a measure of how much she loves you. It's more kind of a back-handed compliment, in its way. I know - gee. Thanks mother. But that would be my guess, anyway, for what it's worth.
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Oh man - - I get it...............Its not about the material things (yada yada yada) YOU are her rock her safe place.......It sucks for sure - - Doing all the work does not entitle you to more/better things however...........
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Mom2Mom, I think it is good that you looked at the will. My very wealthy FIL showed all the kids but the one he hoped to screw over his will, because he was so proud of the "trick" he was pulling on her by leaving her a specific amount of money instead of a share. She was really ingratiating at the end of his life, doing things for him, including driving 30 miles to his favorite fast food restaurant just for a last taste of whatever. Had she known she was almost eliminated, I am sure she would have thought twice before putting herself out.

I see no reason for you to put up with difficult behavior on your elder's part knowing you receive no benefit from your efforts. It's one thing to love your mother from a distance by visiting her in a home frequently. It's another to sacrifice your mental health and physical stamina by tending her 24/7. If there are multiple houses, it's time to put them on the market to pay for her senior housing. If that means one of the golden boys loses his house, that's sad, but that house is for her retirement years, not his.

Your mama put on her big girl depends to write that will, so you can put on your big girl panties and relieve yourself of the constant worry about Mama. You are strong, capable, but not a sucker. Move her.
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So, the two "winners" in the Will could not be bothered to call their mother on Christmas. While I was bathing her, feeding her, dressing her, and taking her to my In Laws family gathering, they were doing who knows what. Neither one has a job or a family so I don't know what had them so tied up.

This coming Sunday, we will celebrate Christmas for our side of the family. All brothers have been invited. All of us live in Maryland, although I am on the Eastern Shore and they are on the Western Shore.

The two favorites are living in the house that Mom has willed to one of them but they have no car since the one that Mom gave to favorite son has died.

Who wants to bet that a) they don't show due to transportation problems and b) the one uses this to try to guilt Mom into buying him another car.

Funny, he usually takes to facebook to beg for rides but nothing about this weekend. He has managed to find people to drive him to Boston twice to see friend and then to her memorial, to the Pennsic wars in PA and numerous times to his doctor 30 miles away because he won't change doctors to one near where he lives.
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It's on everyone's mind. My hubby grew up in such a narc family that he was the bad sheep until I came along. Then, woe. It was me!!! His mom dispised me. There is not enough room on this site to begin telling what all she did to me. She passed and his father lived 19 more, and guess who took care of him? The most awful thing he did to me was to paint a 2 inch by 2 inch block of wood gold, wrap it up very pretty and gave it to me one Christmas, telling me how much he had changed his mind about me, since I had cared for him since his wife died and the fake gold was the only reward I would ever get. I felt like throwing it at him and telling him that he needed to call his daughter to get him. I didn't do it and cared for him the rest of his life. Will's??? They are often a joke as his sister inherited the house and the two sons? Yep, you guessed it---nothing.
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Sibling rivalry is so complicated. I'm going to my Sis's tonight and all these old animosities come to the surface and it makes it hard for me to enjoy myself. Everyone rolling their eyes behind each other's backs and taking each other aside and whispering and blah, blah blah. I counter it by not talking which makes me look distant and unapproachable so I don't really know what to do. I guess the obvious thing would be to just be yourself but I don't really know who myself is when I'm around my clan cause I never can act like myself when I'm around them. Does this make any sense?

Sorry, there I go highjacking a thread again. I guess this topic is uppermost on my mind these days with family get-togethers etc.
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My mother definitely used to pit us against each other. She encouraged jealousy and dissention. It took me many years to realize that she was pitting us against each other. She would repeat hurtful comments that were not meant to be shared or just repeat partial out of context comments.

Once out relationships had deteriorated beyond repair, we refused to spend holidays together. She then cried "I feel like I am from a broken home". Well, ye shall reap what ye shall sow.

It was son bad that for decades, I refused to let her tell my brothers where I lived or share my phone number. When I took Mom in, I promised that I would not keep them from her. I made it clear that they can visit her whenever they want. She has her own apartment that can be closed off from the main house for privacy. Of course, one has only come once and the other one never but no one can say it was my fault.
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M2M, I don't mean to hijack your thread, but in response and in regards to siblings, it has become more and more clear to me, as I've come to learn more about Narcissism (not that your Mom is), that My inlaws used "triangulation" techniques to pigeonhole and isolate their children from one another since childhood, causing distention in their relationships to one another to this day, and now their relationships are So fractured, that they are beyond repair. Before I learned about Narcissism here on this fabulous website, I used to hate my husband's siblings, blaming them for all the trouble they had caused their parents, and to some degree, I still do, as they have displayed such evil actions towards their parents, their own children, and horrific behavior towards other innocent human beings, that Not all of those actions can be blamed on just coming from a Dysfunctional family. But now it is becoming more and more clear, that their parents and more specifically their Narcissistic Father, and the way in which their Mother was forced to deal with, over compensate and manage him, that they all turned out the way that they did, all extremely dysfunctional in their own way.

Now, I pity them, and the miserable lives they have made for themselves. I do still resent them for completely dumping their Father on their youngest brother (my husband), with no assistance, calls, visitation, or even acknowledging him in any way, as he Is declining and getting on in years, now 87. There were times in the distant past before their Mom died, that their relationship with their parents were so self serving and manipulative, treating them so poorly, using them and conning them out of large sums of money.

But I don't blame them for distancing themselves from their parents, if it was in fact an act of self preservation, or setting boundaries. Still it doesn't make sense to me, as their actions now seem to me as a form of revenge or something of that nature.

However, it is still very difficult to be the ones who have to take care of the very one who caused all of this dysfunction in the first place.

My husband has certainly had his share of relationship issues, and now is becoming so resentful, dealing with the "perpetrator", especially as he declines into age related frailty and Dementia, and becomes more reliant on him.

In a perfect world, we would simply move him from our home into an Assisted Living place, but his level of needs and care, fall right in the middle the inability to care for himself, and needing to be in a Nursing Home, and unfortunately, you can't just admit him into a Nursing home yourself, you need a Dr's order, and until he has an injury or illness that requires hospitalization, that won't happen, but when it does, we will refuse to bring him back into our home.

It's only a matter of time that he will injure himself, as he does fall frequently, despite using a Rolator walker, and one of these days, he will break a bone, become ill, or his Lymphoma Cancer will return, and he will then have to go into in patient Hospice, as my husband will be unable to manage his care any longer, and I personally will not participate in that level of such intimate care, that I did do, with my Mom, who had home based Hospice, dying from Cancer. It's such a catch 22, and I have come to resent that our life has been put on hold, caring for this man for 13+ years now, and obviously it is beginning to affect every aspect of our lives. Its only a matter of time before something or someone breaks, or something happens. I am praying that it isn't my marriage that becomes that something!
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Mom2Mom, I know if I saw a Will written like it was, I would be spitting nails. I think it was good that you read the Will, it is important since you are the only caregiver for your Mom. Now you can made decisions based on that Will.

I can't recall how old your Mom is, but it could also be a generation thing, too.... the sons always get help from the parents because they have families to raise, and the daughter is ignored because she has a husband to take care of her.

Yet majority of the time it is the daughter who is called in to do the heavy lifting of full-time caregiving.... because of her gender.
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Several of you made some very good points and many have hit the nail on the head. Thank you for not beating me up about peaking.

Yes, part of this stems from Mom trying to buy love. Some comes from her belief that she needs to take care of the weaker ones. My gripe with that is that I got up every day and worked my butt off to achieve what I have achieved. I worked my full time career and then moonlighted at night. I worked overtime. I went without. IU should knot be punished for my success and they should not be rewarded fro there laziness.

My mother does fit some of the points describing Narcissistic Behavior but not all of them. I think one big difference is that O think she actually has low self esteem. I think that is why she has always needed to be co dependent.

It must have been about 25 years ago when the middle brother and I actually saw a therapist together to cope with my mother's favoritism and co dependency. The therapist pointed out to us that my mother had only one identity... that of a mother/caregiver and when that looked like it was ending, she made people in her life helpless and dependent on her. I think that is part of why we have never gotten along. I didn't need her. I left when I was 17 to go to college and never came back, even for school breaks.

She enabled my brother's addiction, my father's alcoholism, my other brother's laziness. She needed them to need her.

But understanding her does not make me less bitter about how she treats all of us..
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I should add that the feast was not Thanksgiving. It was something she wanted to make to welcome him home.
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Mom2Mom, I don't know if what I've seen in my mother is similar to what is happening with your family. My mother has a strong need to impress my brothers and their families. She tries to act the part of the generous matriarch with them. When they are coming to visit she will get me to "slay the fatted calf" for them. I think it's mainly because she is a country woman from a time when men were revered as superior, and women were for serving and breeding. A great example is one time I drove 2 days to get to my parents' house for Thanksgiving. She said I needed to help her prepare a feast for my brother who was to arrive the next day (1 day drive). She couldn't see why this was wrong, because that was the way it was.
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stacey - you were available and agreed to do it - the others didn't. It sounds like fil needs to go into a facility where he gets some care. Other have accomplished and this and you can too.
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M2M - (((((((hugs)))))) I don't blame you for looking, but sometimes it may be better not to know. I agree that your mum is trying to buy their affection even if it is after her passing, It is futile and very sad for everyone. I don't think it reflects what she thinks of you. She knows you are there for her and somewhere, deep down, I think she appreciates it. But inheritances are used in the unhealthy games people play. I know my sis has had her eye in the whole inheritance for years and has played her cards with mother to get it. I was named POA and Executor, but don't know what is in the will (it is in her lawyers office) and don't want to know until she passes. No matter what is in it, I have agreed to do the job and I will. Let the chips fall where they may. Not saying I would not be hurt if I was in your situation, I would be, and may be. (((((((hugs))))))
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PheonixDaughter, OMG, I've only skimmed the first page of that website, and it was so completely enlightening and exactly describes my FIL, to a tee! Scary, but I will go back and read it to my husband, who will find it interesting but will also open up old wounds, he may not be ready or wanting to hear about!

The more I learn about Narcissism, the more i begin to despise him, and want him out of my home, but as he becomes more and more frail, the more difficult it becomes. Age and decline hasn't changed his behavior any, which makes it all the worse! I just don't know why we have to be the ones who have to put up with it though, what did we do to deserve this? That is the question!
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MomtoMom, don't fret about it, it is a natural curiosity, especially when you feel like you are the one who is doing all the work, feeling a bit put upon, and all the other "no accounts" are being spoken about as being "all important". You wanted to know where you stood (at the time she made out this most recent Will) in her pecking order of importance, but that doesn't necessarily mean that how she truly feels about you. You most likely are very important, but parents are old school, and no matter how bad one of their kids "screws up", they always forgive, and often feel that that particular kid needs More, as they may be "unable" to survive without that which they might be able to provide, at least that is how it has worked in my husband's screwed up family!

My husband's siblings have taken advantage of their parents for as long as I've been married to him, now 31 years. My SIL even went so far (now 16 years ago, as my MIL passes 13 years ago) as to take out 5 different Credit Cards in my MIL's name, and charging them up to over 68 thousand dollars, and still, my MIL put it all down to her Alcoholism and abuse, and would not press charges against her, and ended up even paying those charges off, with no punishment or even an "I'm sorry" recieved from her own Daughter! That is only part of the many thousands I witnessed the daughter receive from her parents over the years, and never did she ever spend not one day caring for her parents either! They continued to cover up her bad behavior for as long as their Mom was alive.

I heard and witnessed many stories of my BIL screwing his parents out of many thousands too, even to the point of him "gifting" his own Mom her first car when she first learned how to drive in her late 30's, a red 65' Mustang, and after investing a couple of thousand dollars into it, engine work, new tires, a paint job, my inlaws went to register the car in Washington, only to find out, that the car had been "driven" off the car lot in California (we live in Washington state), and was reported as Stolen, and they then had to pay for the car "in full", several more thousands, or their Son would have faced prosecution for Grand Theft, so they paid it off, and she drove that car for another 20 years!

That was back in 70's, before the real computer age took off. He probably wouldn't have "gotten away" with that in this day and age! He once sold his folks a stolen freezer for their garage, and they immediately went out and bought a locker package, 1/2 a cow, and a few days later, the sheriff was at the door, looking for the stolen goods, so back went the freezer to the owners, so they had to immediately go out and buy a new one! And that's only a smidgen of the horrible Conning, he did to his parents and so many other people.

Many times they co-signed for cars for these two, only to get stuck paying off the loans, and they still went on to "lend them money", over the years, never to be paid back.

Over the years, I've witnessed a lot of what I initially assumed was favoritism, but now, it has become more apparent that it was just their "misguided" way of covering up for their own lack of good parenting and guilt from not actually instilling proper values in their kids from the get go! There was never any fairness or consistency in my husband's family growing up. My husband was the youngest, and left the house at 17, to escape the madness, his own survival instincts kicking in. The shinnanigans his older siblings displayed as children, left his parents treating him with a lack of trust, that he didn't earn or deserve, hence his leaving home at his first opportunity, to go to live at his girlfriends home, where the parents there were instrumental in him learning responsibility and vital life skills, thank goodness for them! Not necessarily an acceptable option in most cases, but turned out to be a very good thing for my husband in this situation, especially back in the early 70's.

Interesting enough, their only & eldest daughter got pregnant in HS, and married (later divorced), eldest Son joined the Navy, but flunked out of Boot Camp, and the youngest (my husband) left at 17, and never took advantage of them, and we ended up the only ones being there in his parents lives all these years, and have had his Dad living with us since his wife passed away, and he's now nearly 87, with ZERO help from the siblings!

No, I don't think you need to beat yourself up over a little peek at her Will, long standing family dynamics and dysfunction are very difficult issues to overcome, especially when you are the one Solely doing all the caregiving, and fairness doesn't even begin to come into play!

You might find a way to casually bring up her Will in a conversation, and see how she replies. You may be able to ask her and show her, he actions are not only unfair to you, but also to your brother whom she assumes will be compensated at some point, by his inlaws!
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Google ACoNS the invisible scar - it will make you see you in a totally different light. You may be the adult child of a narcissistic parent and as such that is increasingly becoming recognised as child abuse. If you have been lucky enough not to have been there please accept that it is spot on for those of us unlucky enough to have been there.
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M2M, I feel extremely sad on your behalf. Don't kick yourself for looking at the will. You have every right to want to know where you stand. The others are probably right to suspect that she feels the need to win their love or be remembered by them. Either that or she feels they need the inheritance more than you do.

Now that you know what you're dealing with, you can decide what (if anything) you want to do about it. Knowledge is power. I might consider demanding a salary for all that butt-wiping, or insisting that paid help be brought in to do it, if something like that would make you feel less taken for granted. I wish you luck.
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