Talk me off the ledge...or not. [rant]


I'm so mad I'm shaking. Many of you have supported me in my battles with Sisters 1 and 2 and Niece. Now, I'm sure I'm being gaslighted, and I'm right at the point of saying I'm going home and "You all take care of Mom."

Background: Mom has deepening dementia and diabetes Type II and a host of other issues. Yesterday she was enrolled in hospice and a year ago I left my home (which I still own) in another state to be Mom's live-in caregiver. I'm her POA for everything including medical care. At first, sisters were great. Then after a betrayal from another sister [long story] ended up in a screaming match with foaming-at-the-mouth-livid Sisters accusing me of having Mom declared incompetent and trying to steal her house, among other things. Absolutely making up garbage. Since then they barely talk to me, act like I'm not in the room, make decisions that they don't tell me about but I'm supposed to just "know".

Niece gets paid to care for Mom once a week for eight hours. Niece used to be Mom's live-in caregiver for nine months until essentially she was fired (mental and physical issues). She does a poor job and I have to watch her while I here before I get to leave for a few hours.

Yesterday before I ran to the store I did most of Mom's morning routine and told Niece what bit was left (give Mom her insulin) after breakfast. In the past months I've reminded her three times it's 25 units. While I was at the store I got a text "what number of units?" I texted the answer back.

Today, I was talking to Sister 1 (the worst) and mentioned Heather's text. She lit into me that Niece is only to sit with Mom, not give her any medicine. Niece is for respite care only and to just sit there.

I was so stunned I could barely talk. I'm so mad I'm shaking.

Some weeks ago I started a thread "Anyone consider giving up live-in caregiving". Well, I'm there. If an outsider listened to us they'd think I'm 100% incompetent because EVERYTHING I say I'm interrupted with "No, ..." "You should..." "You have to..." Last week S1's even criticized how I spend what very little free time I get.

When is enough enough? I'm holding out to talk to Sister 2 who is also a "ready, fire, aim" type, but she seems to be supporting me more and has been kinder. Plus next week the hospice counselors will arrive to assess Mom including a social worker. I plan on asking him or her about a sanity check. Because frankly I DO NOT deserve this.

On a light note: thank you to whomever mentioned hot air popped corn, because yesterday I bought a popper and I've been slamming popcorn right now rather than devouring the box of Ding Dongs.

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SMH because I know how you feel. I have a lot of sisters and brothers and my feeling now is that if you are not there in the midnight hour, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY. It's amazing to me how they can sit on the sidelines and act as if they're entitled to make decisions when they don't visit often and wonder why I don't call them at every move. It's because I'm taking care of OUR mother 24/7. My suggestion to you is don't complain to them because they're already talking about you behind your back and they don't deserve to be privy or else they would be there to help and relieve you.

UPDATE: Last week I had a talk with Sister 1 that I needed more time off. My mental and physical health was starting to suffer. I asked for essentially "weekends" off (2-3 days a week). S1 sneered at me and sneered at Niece who had demanded weekends off when she was Mom's live-in caregiver. "Yes," I said. I had to tell S1 four times "It's harder than you think." She kept sneering. Somehow we ended up in a screaming match, but thankfully a phone call distracted us. S1 calmed down and apologized. We talked about selling Mom's house and Mom moving in with S1, that there'd be plenty of money to hire help so it's easy for her.

Move forward to today when Sister 2 came to pick up Mom for the weekend--I suspect S1 talked with S2 about my needing time off and maybe selling Mom's house. I screwed up the courage and pulled her aside and told her ... I stammered ... and S2 gently said, "You want to go home." "Yes." She must have known I wanted to go and we lightly discussed Mom going to her house. She already understood that Mom's pensions are barely adequate for keeping her at home anyway, but with the house sold there'd be money for help.

Nothing settled as it's early in this process and I need to give S1 and S2 time to think it over. Mom's better off with S1 as she stays at home ranching while S2 works horrific hours at all days and nights. Anyway, it's a start. I'm amazed how light I feel...and how little guilt I feel!

If you have hospice send volunteers know that they can only sit and talk or play games with mom, no hands on care, no injections for sure, I used to do respite volunteer sitting and it was great, I had my guy that we played cribbage and he couldn't remember and I didn't know how to play so we made it up, he would cheat and get the biggest laughs out of that, I would call him on it, his wife was always surprised that he didn't miss her at all and are you already home question. She warned me he would be agitated with her gone. It was so sad for me when he passed, I loved him and looked forward to our weekly visits.

I pray you can find someone that will engage mom and help her laugh, even if it means being cheated. I still smile thinking about it. I just wish my dad were as willing to find laughter.

Moose, you're in the middle of it, and that sucks. I know it probably feels like they're coming at you from all angles. Don't let them get the best of you. They have NO IDEA how difficult what you're doing is. This is definitely NOT a job for one person. (I mentioned those same words to my siblings last spring, and 7 easy months later, one of them spends one day/week with my LO. Don't get me wrong, I REALLY appreciate it, and I tell my sib that, but good grief... 7 months?!)

I've taken the route of killing them with kindness. I'm still struggling with this, but it HAS helped in my situation. Because I am dealing with pomposity and entitlement they will laugh or feign pity for me if I get upset. I have to remain the cool cucumber (especially in front of them). This has helped. I don't know if blowing up with your sibs will improve things for you. My hunch is no, but every situation is different.

As for sister, from an outsiders perspective this is what I think is happening (ps I'm not condoning it): sis is a mom, and as such she is vulnerable to feeling inadequate about her parenting. She raised someone who by your description, doesn't sound like she is doing that well in life so far. This might have nothing to do with your sister, but mom's tend to take these things personally. I think she's protecting her daughter. Like, 'what were YOU thinking?? My daughter was only doing what was expected of her.' She's shifting the blame.

'out of the fog' is a pretty good resource for dealing with narcissists.

I hope something here will be helpful and provide some relief. This is a tough road, but you're up for the challenge. They on the other hand, are not.


I wish I had something constructive to add, but I'm so angry these days I'd probably just rip those two a new one.


If you can't walk away, you're probably going to have to find a way to stand up to them. I don't know what it is you should do or say. But if you blast it loudly enough it might shock them into submission a tiny little bit.

Big hugs, sweetie.

MountainMoose, I came across this article that might give you some more answers.

I agree with those writers above that it may be time to resign from being your Mom's caregiver, but I can sense you don't want to leave your Mom now that she is on Hospice. If Mom has extra funds, hire a caregiver to come in at least each morning, or all day twice a week, or whatever Mom can afford. You need a time-out as you well know.

Not everyone is cut out to be a hands-on caregiver, I know I wasn't, thus probably your niece is the same. It could be scary to give Grandmother her insulin, and that is maybe why the niece keeps forgetting the dosage. All in all, it's not fair to her, or to you.

Or time to move Mom to Assisted Living, again if it is within Mom's budget, where Mom is watched over by a village of people, plus Hospice. You could sell Mom's house and use the equity. You can still be the health POA from where your house is located.

(((((moose))))) You need to protect yourself from narcissists and draw some very firm boundaries. My sis is somewhat sociopathic and narcissistic. I have cut her off to a large extent. I will not listen to or engage in conversations where she belittles/criticizes me. I hang up or stop emailing - for long periods of time. I kick her out of the loop. My niece is a little more civil,so I send updates to her, but if she starts I will cut her off too. . I have not friended sis on facebook despite several attempts from her, as I know she will look for reasons to get at me. The relatives many wonder why. Well, too bad. Not their problem.

Frankly, in the face of the criticism you have had, you might consider resigning as health POA . Is there a back up on the documents? Or is your mum competent to appoint a different POA? As regards a facility, -sometimes we have to let go of those promises made before anyone had an idea of what was coming down. The main point is that your mother gets cared for properly. With the infighting between you and your sisters, the stress on you and the increasing job as your mother declines, a facility might be the best answer. I emphasize it is not about an old promise, but about the level of care your mum needs.

Sendhelp and Kimber166: You are awesome. Thank you for your posts. The shaking was because I was SO mad. When it comes to Sisters, whenever they call or come over I feel on high alert, just waiting for the shoe to drop. But Sister 1's comments make NO sense and geared to making me small. I'm much better now. In fact, I've done some reading on narcissism and boy, howdy, do Sister 1 fit the bill! So I've been doing some reading on how to deal with them and fight back (although every source basically states you can't "fight" narcissists).

The shaking concerns me. Did this just start, or has it been on and off for awhile?

This surprised me when it happened to me. My solution was to not answer any phone calls for awhile. I started to feel better, but still feel burnt out. This after the flu in December.

How are you feeling now?

You are burned out - get your mom into a place where there is 7x24 caregiving and you can visit, advocate for her and love her. You are going to have major health issues with the stress you are under. OR have Sisters take her and YOU visit. Unbelievable how you are treated.

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