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I'm whining again. I recently had a birthday party for my dad. Most of the family showed up. Only one person besides me brought a gift, no one else even brought a card. I do not understand them at all. It's a birthday party!! Fast forward a few weeks. Although I've had party after party, offered my home to them in times of crisis, babysat, etc. I just found out that one of them is having another family birthday party, but my kids and I are not invited. I have truly just about had it. My dad asked me tonight if I was going, and I told him I wasn't invited. He was completely stunned. Until now, I've not been forthcoming with him at all about the numerous slights and multiple times they've ignored my attempts to communicate, as I wanted him to focus on his health, and not on family drama. But it all just came tumbling out tonight. I told him how they've ignored me, and said unkind comments, and that my kids and I have come to consider him, not them, our family. We've never even been invited to most of their homes, despite having invited them for parties that require a lot of work, time, money, and love. I'm realizing that I've all but been dumped by my family, and they're going to completely dump me when my dad is gone. They've shown a mild, sudden interest in helping out the last few weeks. I've been trying not to assume that they were afraid of being cut off financially, but I don't know what else to think. There are so many details that I'm pretty sure this won't make a lot of sense. I've posted about similar events before, but I just can't seem to get used to this. I feel shaky and like someone just slugged me in the stomach.

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Day #26: Today I’m going to exercise my right to decide how people affect me. This is a habit.
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Day #24/25: since manageing caregiving on top of multiple losses over the last few years, on my days off I’ve been having a really hard time making sense of a schedule. When I don’t have to be somewhere I sometimes have difficulty even getting out of bed. Not much of a respite. Yesterday was one of those days. I was a complete blob until I absolutely had to get up & out to handle something. I think exercise will help this problem but man is it hard to do on a regular basis when you’re feeling so crappy. I’ve decided to plan a summer event that truly no one else would care if I were fit & trim for, but I care. This will hopefully give me a target or a reason to get up & moving.
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Yes, neither kind person even if a stranger can bring on the tears and make us feel that at least someone notices! Not all people will treat caregivers as badly as family does.
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"She took the time to ask & listen." That so many caregivers are rejected or mistreated by families, it's amazing how one person who listens to us can make us feel so much better.
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suzeeQ - you're doing great. I'm cheering for you.
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Ive learned so much from reading all of your stories. Who new there were so many people going thru the same thing with their siblings. Thanks to all especially sueQ. God bless
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Day #22/23: it’s amazing to me what the support of 1 person can do for the morale. I recently had a conversation with a lifelong family friend who asked, listened, and seemed to agree with my observations, but frankly that’s irrelevant. Even if she had disagreed, she took the time to ask & listen. My whole world feels different.
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That's great Suzee! Don't be hard on yourself if you have some hard times and set backs ahead.

For me, it is 2 steps forward and one step back. I just now had a cringe moment with my sister that I want to beat myself up for but am trying to not be hard on myself.. i'm human.. and so are you.

So my cringe moment.. My boundaries are no calls whatsoever from them during my work hours for any reason.. all calls go to voicemail and I return them later unless its an emergency. (which they rarely call so not hard to enforce.. but when they do they like to call during my work hours)

I was on the phone for a work issue and I see my sister calling on my cell.. Deep down I hope beyond hope that she cares and is calling because its the right thing to do. Against my set boundaries I call her back.. and she says... I can't talk now.. can I call you back later? .. that's her MO.. she will not call back and we both know it. OMG!! When will I learn? lol ... its a setback... I will get up, dust myself off.. and next time..... do not break my own boundaries!!!!!

This is tough.. on one hand I let them show me just how much they don't care.. but deep down I keep wishing they do care.... Things just aren't going to change and I need to accept that and stop letting them into my life .

Sorry .. didn't mean to be a downer on your thread... its an ongoing struggle for me.,, the important thing is to keep the focus and don't allow them to keep you down!
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Day #20/21: I think I might’ve turned a corner. I’m suddenly more concerned with what I think, than what my sibs, & especially their spouses think. Still working on having the confidence to verbalize that, particularly when they’re in my face implying incompetence.
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My high school age kids had a significant award posted on FB and something like 60 adult friends of theirs (not mine) posted congratulations. None of the relatives. I told them, family is who you chose, not the accident of genetics. Don't let the turkeys get you down just because you were hatched in the same nest!
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Dear suezeeQ
I took care of my father,,for years actually,but the 2years before he died he lived with me and my husband. He originally moved in with my sister but after 2 months she called me crying saying she couldnt do it anymore. I was more than glad to take my father in. My mother walked out on us when i wad 12 and my brother and sister were 6 (twins) my dad got custody of us and pretty much spent his life devoted to taking the best care he could of us. Anyway,never did my brother or sister offer any help. My dad had emphysema and heart failure. He went to 4different dr.s every few months. I took him to all his appts. And anywhere else he wanted to go. Eventually i quit my job because besides taking care of dad i was also raising my granddaughter. My sister complained that she couldnt help because she was busy with her daughter. Not once thinking that i was also busy raising a granddaughter. Dad noticed that i was the only one there for him. He asked me not to long before he died if i wanted him to change his will and leave me everything. I told him no (i would have spent the rest of my life in court
Now that dad s gone my brother and sister have nothing to do with me,partly because i emailed them both a letter telling them that i couldnt understand how they could treat my father the way they did after all he did for us.
Hang in there i know just how you feel. I am so gkad that i was able to b there fir my dad. I dont regret one second of caring for him even though it was hard at times. There were plenty of friends and relatives who witnessed what i wrnt thru and they wete there for me im sure someone will b there for you
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Thanks katiekay. The links you attached are great. Very uplifting. I’m sorry you’re facing the same thing. It is a constant battle especially when we’re dealing with multiple losses & grief as we have in our family. I’d hoped it’d be a reason to pull closer together, alas that has not happened. I heard someone say recently that the goal is to be yourself with your family, but be detached enough that their comments/reactions don’t affect you. Too often people either cut off their family or swing the other way & become completely enmeshed with them.im trying to avoid both of those things. 
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I get you Suzee!! I probably could have written most of your post. I'm continually working on getting past the pain, disappointment, hurt from my "family". Don't let it destroy you though..

Listen to this when you have a few moments..

youtube.com/watch?v=vjpUqPXdo8E


youtube.com/watch?v=nQ7XCalQfx0





((hugs))
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Day #19: my niece mentioned the other day that I *WAS* a fun aunt while she was growing up. Past tense. I guess that’s true I WAS fun when before I witnessed my grandmother lose her faculties on a regular basis because I and my mother were pretty much the only people who visited her; I WAS fun before I watched my mom die a slow and painful death while people who never missed a holiday or birthday party she organized were nowhere to be found, I WAS fun before I spent 2 weeks sleeping in the hospital with my dad while a few people occasionally showed up, then didn’t respond to my text requests for help for 1 entire year. Yes, I WAS fun until I realized the great disparity in how much we cared for one another. This might sound like martyrdom to the nth degree but it’s all the truth.

Today, I’ll not resist. You think I’m no longer fun? Yeah, I guess you’re right. Sorry to disappoint you. Next! You think I’m a B”@&h? Yeah, i guess from afar it might look that way. Sorry you’re disappointed. Those who are willing to look a little deeper will realize what’s really happening, and give me a huge hug.
Surrender, don’t resist, live.
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Dear suzeeQ,

Thank you for your updates. I can relate. For me, I think being the oldest of 4 children and being a Cancer sign, and my own people pleasing personality has contributed to me being neglected by my family. They figure, she is so good at it, just let her do it. Not realizing how much anger and resentment that person might have.

Thank you for your tips and I do hope to do better.
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Good luck mountain moose with the (potential) changes going on in your life. I don’t understand how this position (of being negated, etc) falls on some in the family and not others. Birth order? Gender? My sibs are downright rude sometimes. And when I use the same language back on them that they’ve used on me, they look at me as if I’ve slapped them in the face. I feel like it’s a no win situation.

Day #18: caring for a LO is like getting divorced. Focus on children & you can’t go wrong. Focus on the LO & you can’t go wrong. People will negate, talk, ignore, etc. but it doesn’t really matter. Such people won’t be the appropriate choice to look to for support. Don’t ignore them but don’t give the 5% of the people in my life 95% of my attention.
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I feel you, suzeeQ! I so get what you say about being talked about behind my back and anything to negate me or what I say or what I do. At the least it's on the table for me to go home and we're getting together Monday to discuss it.
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Day #17: My life is better when I don't think of my family of origin. In spite of outward appearances, I don't think they're very enlightened people. This is tricky, as I see the success they enjoy out in the world, yet they seem to get some sort of perverse pleasure in negating most of what I say. For example: my LO wanted 1 family member at a recent appointment. Sibs with their sudden interest in LO decided we should have 4 people there. I discussed this w/my LO and again, the decision was 1 person only, please. I relayed this to sibs. Boy, were they ticked. Sib #1 said 'Well, *I* don't think it's too many.' Sib #1 spouse 'Well, I want to be there to support...' then proceeded to name everyone who expressed interest in going except for *me*. Yikes. It's like 'sit down, shut up, do whatever we want & *like it*, or suffer the consequences.' The consequences being 'we are going to exclude you from many events, talk about you to everyone in the family, start clubs that talk about you...' Looking back, this nonsense has been occurring for most of my life. It has hurt me deeply over many many years. Yet, I keep going back for more. Now, the difference is that I am not really so invested with my heart any longer (sadly), but am more congenial and professional with them. It's more like my actions are a reflection of me, and have NOTHING to do with our relationship.

Goal: I'm not going to belabor this today. Taking a break. Snapping my hair tie on my wrist each time a negative thought about them comes up. I'm also branching out, seeking other relationships.
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Day #16: in the spirit of giving it all I've got for 1 month, (killing them with kindness, stupid & cheerful) I offered to help out a family member with a pretty serious (not life threatening) and pressing issue. The shoe has been on the other foot multiple times in the past, and I've received no such offer of help when I was the one who needed it. In fact, my situation was laughed at. It was tough to reach out yet again without bitterness. It is always my first inclination to help. But I had to really examine why I wanted to help this person. Was it so she'd help me in the future? Was it to make myself look good? I made a deliberate effort to go into it with no expectations of reciprocity. Purest intentions. My offer to help was declined but I was thanked. I don't know if the seeds I'm sowing will ever bloom but as long as there's no attachment to an expectation there's some satisfaction in knowing I tried. This is tough as my efforts in other areas remain unacknowledged & here I am at 3 am waking up thinking about why my family doesn't notice me. I guess theres a sense in which it's none of my darn business. I'll have at least done my part to make a positive impact. I have to admit though, I do wonder whether any of them would miss me if something happened to me.
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Day #15: as tempting as it is to wish for a remote control in order to control my LO's health, sibs & their spouses actions/lack thereof....that is not possible. Today I'm focusing on my actions & sending love to those who hear me. Love & light to other less attentive family as well, but minimal energy directed toward them. I am part of this equation that makes up the current scenario in the life of my family. I'm taken for granted by some. So why on earth do I focus on them? That's craziness. The others who recognize what's happening is who I'll choose to acknowledge & think about today.
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Thank you spirit dancer. I regularly feel like The Invisible Woman. I'll check out your book recommendation. Hugs to you.
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They are most likely narcissistic. I had to move on due to this.. and at the request of my immediate family. The book “Will I Ever Be Good Enough” by Dr. Karyl McBride is really enlightening and has made me open my eyes to what is what and what I lived through most all of my life. Good luck and take care of yourself. (((hugs)))
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Day #14: chin up. No fear. COMMUNICATE. People are not mind readers.
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I have a saying I use in situations where judgment and criticism come out of no where or from people I don't really know.

I did not do anything to make them feel the way they do, so there is nothing I can do to change the way they feel.

It has helped me with some hard family dynamics. I also think that if I have to be something other then what I am, I'll choose the people that want me just as I am. There is a worship song by that name, Just as I am without one plea, The Lamb of God died for me.
He knew everything about me and yet he still went to Calvary for me. I'm okay, even if no one but Him sees it.

Keep loving dad and kids and you and knowing you can do it.
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Day #13: assume others are doing their best. Assume others are not deliberately trying to upset me. Im not going to lie, I struggle with both of these things. but even if it's what seems to me like a pitiful attempt, or no attempt, if I assume people are doing their personal best, it'll be less stress on my shoulders.
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Mountain moose, if it helps anyone, I'm happy! Journaling is good, but it's also nice to have a little bit of feedback. So thanks to everyone for that.

I'm happy that Im in the position to help my LO, but I cannot go down with this ship.
I have too much left to do.
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suzeeQ: Your posts are so uplifting! Thank you! I'm happy for you! {hug}
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Day #12: Be kind to yourself. I inadvertently took a mini vacation last night. We're college hunting. To make a long story short, the hotel that I booked was under investigation when we arrived. The police highly recommended we go elsewhere, and gave us the name of a hotel I normally wouldn't go to as it's pretty expensive and all I normally want in a hotel is clean and safe. Anyway, it was clean, safe, luxurious, lovely view, etc... My prospective college student was doing things on campus, so it was just me. Just being in an environment without the trappings of everyday life (bills, dishes to pick up, etc.) was uplifting. Room service and valet parking didn't hurt either. After a short evening of relaxing a bit in this environment where I was the one being cared for, the stress started to melt away, and I woke up in a different mindset. I even just spontaneously felt like doing 8 min abs, and had no desire to put sugar in my coffee. (This also is an incentive to continue my decluttering project in my own house. After acquiring all of the things that my parents couldn't bear to part with, I'm left with a whole lot of stuff. That's another story for another thread.) 

Thought: the situation I'm in is temporary. the trajectory of life is not static. things will change. doing small things that will help me through this is okay.

Another thought: Let them (unappreciative family members) think what they want about me, the more important thing is how I feel about me. They're wrong, so why am I falling for this over and over again? I've been complicit to some extent in the narrative they're writing about me. STOP!

This thinking is easier to follow through on after a de-stressed night. WOW!! What a difference this made in my overall wellbeing.

Have a lovely day.

8 min abs
youtube.com/watch?v=sWjTnBmCHTY
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Yes, I love that. Thanks. Great idea!
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Suzee- How about read a famous inspiring quote each morning? There are websites that have tens of thousands of quotes to read and choose from. Here's one from Churchill.
Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It's the courage to continue that counts.

Suzee, you're very courageous.

Here is the link to that quote.
brainyquote.com/authors/winston_churchill
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