Many of you have read my past posts, elderly mother living with control freak brother, me trying to be a "good daughter' and provide what I could as far as extra care for mother for 14 years now. Brother and I recently "go into it" over his lack of care of mother--letting her apartment just get filthy and some concerns I had about her personal care that she simply cannot address alone anymore---and he lost it on me. Screaming and yelling that I am the problem and mother has a great life and he is in control and she's fine--and for me to stay the he** away and not talk to her or "upset her" further. He's done this before, and after a few months, he calms down and lets me back in. This time, no, it's not going to happen. I am not allowed inside his home, I have to pick mother up at the front door. Changed his garage code, so I can't "sneak" in. Won't answer the door if it's me. I give up. I was allowed to see mother on Sunday as it was her birthday. She sat and talked on the phone the whole entire time, so I begged off and left, told her I'd take her to lunch in a couple of weeks. I left. Mom's place reeks. It's filthy, but my standards, ropes of cobwebs falling off the ceiling fixtures, sticky floors, birdseed and feathers everywhere. Open garbage with wet depends in the bathroom--she has 3 aerosol "air fresheners" blasting away every 15 minutes--the air is toxic. The dogs come in her place and pee on the carpet regularly--she just puts a paper towel on it. I can't bear the state of her living conditions. I am also not allowed to do a single thing to help. She's content enough. She complains about brother, and has asked to move in with me. That's a hard pass. I have told her I'd help facilitate a move to ALF, but she balks. She really doesn't WANT to move, she wants sympathy. I find that I no longer have any sense of sympathy for her. Unusual for me, as a fixer, I FIX stuff. She doesn't seem to want things to change. I'm sick of being on the outs with brother (our relationship will NEVER be ok). In essence, I give up. Towel thrown in. Vacuum? Put away. Dead plants can continue to be dead. Urine soaked furniture can become more urine soaked. I feel dead inside from this knowledge. She wore me out. She won. Her manipulation between kids is all over. Nobody else was involved in her care, so she's going to have to accept that she helped facilitate this all. She LET brother run her life, and as much as she says she hates it, I cannot/will not help her further. She's just turned 88. She could easily live 10 more years. I feel sad, but have no more desire to be a part of something that's just been a nightmare for so long. I'm sure I am not alone in this. I guess, the feeling of being a terrible daughter (drilled into me since age 0)....and hopefully that will pass. My depression/anxiety is at an all time high--I just have to walk away.

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Wow Midkid, how incredibly sad. Narcissistic parents are so good at that
crazy making dynamic of favoritism and endless drama. I've never met a good
parent in their right mind that behaves anything like that. I'm so sorry you have
to be dealing with that.

You're right in walking away from it. I've dealt with a similar situation twice and both
times had to walk away. Once those wagons get circled there's not anything you can
do when the LO is complicit. I'd consider calling APS, but I wouldn't go back there.
Why? She's not even grateful for your attempts to help. And it's just an abusive
crazy town you know what show. :( . Very sorry, just know you've been a dedicated
amazing daughter and done everything you've could.

Now it's time to go out there in that big beautiful world and enjoy the people who
can see and enjoy you too!! (((hugs))))

((((((Hugs))))), Mid! Wrap that toe.

Talked to my son while he was in town over the past few days. He didn't ask about going to see mother and I didn't mention it. LAst night he said "How is Nono?" I said, "I don't really know, I am no longer a part of her CG team and I have been asked to step off." I didn't want to talk about it, but son is a lawyer and unanswered ?? make him crazy. I did give him a very truncated version of what has been going on and he blew up and said my brother has no right to keep my mother a virtual prisoner (I know) and that I have rights to see her (I know) and that my brother is a grade -a-jerk (I know) and after he'd exploded with anger, he said, "Just go and do what you want. If he sues you I'll be there for you." I looked at him, thanked him for the support, pointed out he lives 800 miles away and this isn't his battle. Said I was fine with the dynamic and would live with it.

He was furious, but only b/c I was so "meh" about the whole thing. I'm done and not interested in pursuing a losing cause.

He did say "well, we won't do that to you, mom" which is nice, I guess. Time will tell, I guess.

The initial "ouch" is gone and it will scar over and life will go on.

I DID enjoy the family. They are a Type-A family and utterly exhausting, but we had fun. We rarely see them, so it's a mixed blessing when they come. SO much activity and then we crash, DH is really sick, and I broke my toe, just annoying, but we're both feeling the age creep!!

Please, enjoy your family. Try not to worry about Mom or brother. She is where she wants to be. Brother and her seem to be happy.

Big big biggest hugs, Midkid. Sometimes we do our best and get the stonewall in return. That’s when we know it’s time to dip out.

After a certain point, it’s the “what,” not the “who.” Shared DNA does not give our relative(s) a free pass to sh*t on those who do right by them.

Pick up the pieces and move on. Midkid, you are a fantastic, perceptive, caring and understanding mother. A testament to your ability to guide YOU.

Keep on keepin’ on. Focus on the joys that you created....and the joys that come your way.

Self preservation is also important. Good for you for side stepping the line of fire, finally. Wish you well.

Again--as I sit here and read these lovely and loving comments, with tears in my eyes, I think of the years and years of efforts made on my behalf to build and maintain a relationship with mother when in fact, she never cared.

Calling her to go to lunch once a month is something that is totally on me. She doesn't know how to use her phone and she never calls me anyway. Ever. It will happen only IF I facilitate it. And It's not going to, at least for a while, if ever again.

Many years ago, as a sort of "experiment" I decided not to call or go see her, put all the effort of communication on her end, so to speak. We were together on Christmas. When did she call me? The week before Thanksgiving, to see if we were hosting dinner. Over 11 months. Not a word. Not a birthday card, not a call. I think that was when the light went on.

I think I will take the summer off. We have kids here right now, visiting and I told them they could go see her if it fit into their plans. It didn't and they won't. I have another family coming in 3 weeks and the same rule will apply. If my daughter wants to have her grandmother in her life, she'll make the effort. I won't go.

Funny thing, one of the big deciding reasons she moved in with brother was that I am less than 5 minutes away. I did A LOT of CG for daddy, until he passed. We were very close.

Since then, all communication between us has been on my end, calling her. She does report to brother all that is said and done. No secrets, not that there should be, but I do not trust her with anything I say.

I'm so tempted to call APS, but this has happened before and nothing happened except brother's rage was phenomenal and while it was NIEGHBOR who called, I was still blamed.

Brother and mother have together created this sick and twisted dynamic. They can live it. The other 3 living sibs are MIA, I can be too.

Thank you, thank you for kind words and thoughts.

Midkid, you had a great idea about offering to help Mom find an Assisted Living facility but Mom turned you down. You did what you could. Just sit back and rest for awhile. Maybe Mom will call you later in the year and ask you to help her find a really nice Assisted Living apartment.

In the mean time if you feel the need to help, help those who really want to be helped. Find some place where you can volunteer doing things that you like to do and people who appreciate your help. I volunteer one morning a week at a local regional hospital, I am at the front information desk, been doing this for about 20 years. I can direct visitors to where they need to go, or if they are elderly, I walk with them, and they are so thankful that I helped them find their way :)) You go home feeling really good about yourself.

((((((mid)))))) There is failure here, but it is not you. Personally, I would call APS.

Oh Midkid, you are not a failure. Stop believing what that self serving egg donor thinks about you. SHE IS WRONG!!

Find a way to share your lovely self with others that will appreciate you and all you do and are.

She can't win, unless you curl up and hide. She is the real loser here. She will never be able to fill the hole you have in your heart where a loving caring mom should be, so go out and fill it with love for others.

HUGS and Love 2 u!

So many of us never had Ozzie & Harriet, or The Waltons, or ...

... So, we blame ourselves. (I was dubbed The Responsible One because my father left when he found out I was on the way, early and unplanned.) We then make ourselves responsible (prompted by familial guilt-tripping) for Saving The Family.

At the end of the day ... turns out, they do NOT want to be saved. Our True Burden, then, is that we must move on. Live our own lives. I am so, so sorry. At age 61, I STILL struggle with this ... but ... for YOU? It's time to move on.

Midkid, So sorry. I think though you can step away knowing you have done all you can. If Mom is of sound mind then nothing you can do. Let brother continue being her caregiver. Live your life. Find new interests.

Midkid, you have done so much for your mother. She doesn't care about you, so stay away.

And be proud of yourself that you are the wonderful mother to your own children that your mother never was to you.

Midkid, I just wanted to say I'm so sorry for the way things are such a mess in your world. I know it must be awfully troubling.

So many are right here, .. you have done what you can .. and at this point, you need to guard your own heart and walk away.

Mid, let me sum up a bit of what I know about you.
Your mother allowed your brother, now deceased to abuse you and CG brother.
She has always been indifferent to you and your needs.
She plays/complains about one adult child against the others.
She refuses to change her living circumstances.
She is mentally competent in the eyes of the law.
You are not POA or guardian.

It must hurt like Hell to have a mother like this. You have so much love in you, so much nurturing and caring to give. You'd like to give it to her, because God knows, she needs some love. She sounds like a terribly damaged person.

She can't accept or find your love. It's her damage, not yours, that makes this so.

Find another outlet-- visit elders in a Nursing Home or read to kids in a school. Send that love and caring out into the universe and it will come back to you. Knocking on your mother's door is an enterprise that will not succeed.

Knock elsewhere.

Midkid, I agree with Windy; you said your mother had never cared that much for you - and you have done as much as you possibly can for her - she won't change, you know.
My hubby has spent years trying to please his dad, but it never happens, and I would never allow him to come live with us, because it would wreck hubby. Not, me; I'd probably deck him! Anyway, why don't you take a break, don't go see her for awhile, find something else to do, and to concentrate on - get a new life!

Lunch once a month? Bad idea. You’ll just keep getting sucked back in. Make the break. Maybe someday you can have lunch but for now, get away and stay there for awhile. A long while.

Thanks to all of you.

There is no one in the family, after me, who "cares" enough to step in and step up and yes, brother has mother in his grips. Weird relationship for sure.

I DID talk to her, a few months back when brother told me I could no longer come into his home. I have developed allergies to her birds and he refuses to clean the cage. Even taking antihistamines before going and eyedrops before and after didn't make the allergy better. Mother thought I was lying, she lives with those birds and they don't bother her! (Um, constant URI, constant cough??)

Brother cannot stand for anyone to call him out on anything. He has an ego the size of the moon. Mostly, we let it slide, after all, he has done the lion's share of CG for years, but even when offered help, either professional PT or moving mother to better living conditions, he will not allow it. He's not POA and mother hasn't got dementia. So we're stuck.

I am fine with walking away. It hasn't seemed to bother the other 3 sibs, why should I let it bother me?

Saw my therapist today and as always, she is so calming. It will be OK. Honestly? Mother has never cared that much for me, so it's no great loss to her.

Writing her a letter would be like shooting myself in the foot. Brother reads ALL of mother's mail and listens in on phone calls. Usually places himself front and center when someone is visiting...all signs of guilty soul.

Oh well. I can walk away. I can just do lunch once a month.

Sort of does feel like an epic fail, in some ways.

Midkid, we've all been following your journey for some time now. You've done what you can. There comes a time when you simply can't do more.

Please come back and update us when you can - and hang in there.

Midkid, yes, walk away. It won’t be easy but do it. I’ve been reading your posts for a long time. You’re good people. Take care of yourself. Let the circus roll on without you.

Awwwww, Mid; just read this after I got home from work.

This sucks.

I was going to suggest APS, but I know that's not in the cards for you. Brother could probably lose his EMT license over mom's living conditions; I wonder if he's ever thought about that.......

You've done what you've been allowed to do for your mom. You are not being ALLOWED to do anything else.


Ahhh Midkid, You are Not a terrible Daughter! You are a Sweetheart with a Heart of Gold! I have been following your story her on the AC for years, and I know how you have agonized, trying to facilitate a relationship with your Mom, your other family members, esp your one brother (she lives with), as well as trying so hard to help out, and to coordinate her care together, to be there for her as a family, and to get her better care through the years. You now know that you cannot make others care, try as you have done!

In as much as you've tried, sometimes walking away is the only answer, or else drive yourself crazy, losing sleep, suffering depression over the situation, you've done Enough.

Unfortunately, the guilt will be the hardest part to get over, but you have no need to feel guilty, for all You've tried Everything over the years. Your brother who Mom lives with is way too difficult to deal with, making any relationship with your Mom all the more strained, and your other family members have checked out long ago, probably for self serving reasons, and now you too need to put yourself first, and let things go, at least for awhile.

Dysfunctional families are So Draining! I was lucky, in my relationships with my parents and 5 siblings, but my husbands family takes the cake in Crazytown! Not once during the 9 weeks that we had my FIL here (he also lived with us for 13 years in our home), dying of cancer and on Hospice, did either of his 2 siblings call during this stressful, emotional time, with offers of support, NO! Did either come at the last minute, to say their goodbyes to their Dad, or even send him a card or little gift, to show him that they even cared about him, or even a phone call to him, that was not initiated by myself or my husband, NO! Did either of them send us a card, a flower, after their Dad died in our home, NO! It's despicable!

Both of them are worthless pieces of Poop, and now that he's gone (died last October), neither have attempted to be in touch, since they've received their inheritance checks.

Actually, his sister did call couple of weeks ago, stating that she herself on HOSPICE, she lives in Big Bear California, and apparently has just had a surgery for an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (ironically, hubby's brother "supposedly" had the exact same surgery last fall, Nothing that these 2 say, can ever be believed, as they are both habitual lifelong liars!), and she also has a fractured back.

She requested that my husband go to her in Cali (from Seattle where we live), to help her with her "final arrangements", help her to arrange selling her home, and to give him some "family heirlooms and jewelry that was their Mothers and their Grandmothers, that she wishes to stay in the family (note her sudden interest in family legacy and all, Lol!), the last of which was IMO, the "bait" to get him there to do her dirty work, as all Narcissistic use, FOG tactics at its finest. However her tricks worked, as she has no one else in the world, and little brother (hubby) has a kind heart, and has Always been the the responsible one of the family, and she knows her would never turn his back on her.

Truth be told, she is a Narcissist, an out of control Alcoholic, and has bipolar disorder, the triple threat of mental disease. she is a pathological liar, and this isn't the first time she has played the "I'm dying" card. I can recall multiple times over the years where she has stated she has Cancer, and is dying, so who know what he will find when he gets there, he leave in the morning, so tune in tomorrow!

So there, there's a little of My husbands Dysfunction family saga, not that you asked, Lol, but hopefully you will see, that you are not alone, heck You've been around here long enough to know that, Lol, but I know it doesn't make it any easier, when you are broken hearted, and at the end of your rope, but maybe just a humorous little distraction for you (you gotta laugh or else you cry). I know, I'm sick and twisted, Lol!

I hope you are feeling better about your decision to withdraw from the stress of it all, if not forever, at least for awhile, as you do need to to step back and concentrate on you, disengage, have a little summer fun, and guard your heart for now.

Believe me, Your Mom knows how much you Love her, you've shown her that throughout the years, in all you've done, and how hard you have fought to give her good care, against all odds. 

GA has some good suggestions, about Mom's health,  home conditions and personal care, if you think that might lessen your worries. A letter to your Mom might be nice too, and you can Always send her cards and notes, to show her that you do still Love and Care! 

I hope you have a better day today, and in the coming days, Love, Stacey

Mid kid, all of us have been on this journey with you. I am so sorry. I can feel your frustration, grief and sadness coming through your words. Not all in !ife is sweetness and light and you’ve certainly found that out. I know how helpless you feel. I wish I had a magic wand for you. Please take care of YOU now. Come back or PM and let us know how you are. Sending many hugs!

Just sorry mid.

I think this might be a lost cause too . I sympathize with you ..However. I think there is one last thing you can do . It will probably ruin your relationship with your brother . However if you think your Mother is in real danger. You need to find a source in your state to report elder abuse. She shouldnt have to live like that.

If I correctly remember your first post, it was when your mother was intent on getting some type of surgery that was questionably necessary. And if I also recall correctly, there was one sibling to whom she listened, while shutting the others out. I thought it was a sister, but perhaps it was your brother.

At any rate, I think you've been battling a lost cause, but like many of us, feel uncomfortable giving up because the individual/sibling in charge is not taking proper care of your mother. It's definitely a challenging dilemma.

At this point, is there anything else you can do? Anything you can change? Any way you can tolerate the situation? If the answers are all no, I think you recognize that this is a hopeless cause, which will continue to cause you stress and anxiety.

Granted, there's the unsettling feeling that you're giving up, but I think it's more of a knowledgeable assessment and rationale that your efforts are going for naught.

One of the things caregivers with siblings face is the recognition that one or more of those siblings is not providing proper care, but the parent won't accept the help that is needed. This creates such a dilemma - how can you help ensure proper care when you're prevented from doing that very thing?

I don't know; I think it's one of the many unsolved or unsolvable aspects of caregiving.

But at this point, you're frustrated, worn out, burning out, and recognize that you can't make changes. So it's time to step back and let things play out as they will.

If you want to cover yourself b/c you have both actual and constructive knowledge of improper care, I would think about what you can do. You could call APS, anonymously, after backing out and literally disappearing, so that you're not the person immediately blamed.

You could ask an attorney how to protect yourself even though you're prohibited from participating or changing anything.

I suppose guardianship and/or conservatorship would be one effective method of intervention, but likely that would result in an outside party taking control. Would that be any better than the current situation? And would it consume your mother's remaining resources? Would it turn her and your brother against you forever?

If I recall there were 4 or 5 siblings. Other than the brother, what's their position on the situation?

If I were in your shoes, I might write a letter to Mom explaining your dilemma, and give it to her privately (obviously keeping a copy for yourself). Separately, I would notify brother that because of the lack of cleanliness, etc., you can no longer visit, cannot help in the house b/c of health issues, and would be available only if your mother needed hospitalization or went into a facility.

That puts him on notice. You want to make sure that you've protected yourself in the event he ever makes accusations of nonparticipation. (Photos of the situations you describe in the house would probably be a good idea as well.)

I wish there were a better answer to these quandries.

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