I'm third out of seven grown children. The three oldest live near my mother in Florida. I've always been the primary source of help for my mother, but my next oldest sister has also taken on a lot of responsibilities for Mom since I moved Mom and myself over to the area where the two sisters live. Second sis eventually took over my mother's finances and schedule, made her drs appointments, and would take her grocery shopping and to the library once a week as well as many of the doctors appointments. She was also a sympathetic and understanding ear for all my stress and difficulty with my mother.
Fast forward 3 years and things are changing. My sister somehow added the library trips to my schedule, and I've also ended up with most of the (numerous) doctors' appointments in the past few months. She's retired, but she's very involved in her HOA association government, as well as with her grown kids and grandkids. She always seems to have a conflict. Often my mother has a neighbor take her for groceries because my sister often has a conflict, no matter which day it is. Maybe she's just getting sick of sacrificing other activities for Mom. But I've been sick of it for a lot longer than she has and she knows that everything she shucks off is falling on me.
I do all the work around Mom's house, as well as one trip to Walmart and the library, and often for prescriptions and other errands. Mom needs help with everything house-related, from taking out the trash to running the dishwasher. I change her sheets once a week, take her car for service, all the things that "just come up." Nobody else is around when things "just come up" so it's always me.
The worst part is - well, there are two worst parts. One is that my mother is having health problems right now and needs help even with things she could do herself two months ago. On top of that, my other sister who lives nearby has been busy taking care of her husband who's battling cancer, so neither oldest sis nor brother in law has been available to give any help since about Easter. So the burden on me is heavier than ever.
The other worst part is that my second sis (the helper), to whom I'd grown very close, has basically dropped me as a friend. When I call she's busy and doesn't call back, or we talk only for a few minutes and she has to go. She doesn't call me except when she needs something (me to watch her cat while she's away, me to cover a dr appointment for Mom because she has to watch her grandkids that day). Last year she took me out to lunch for my birthday. This year she forgot my birthday, then left a gift card for me at my mother's house for me to find when she wasn't there.
I don't need a gift card. I need a sister. I need an ally. I don't know how to talk to her about this (or even if I should) because she tends to bristle and become defensive when she feels she's being criticized, and I don't want to go down that road. I'm feeling very alone and very sad right now.