Do you ever feel like people don't care?

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A few weeks ago I received a birthday card from a lady I've known for at least 30 years. She was the wife of the first boss I ever had and we've kept in touch and visited frequently over the years. We live in the same town. Her message inside the card said, "Been missing you, Love XXXX". I mailed a card back to her the very next day. In it I mentioned that we'd just moved my Dad into a nursing home because his Alzheimer's (LBD) had begun to worsen and there was no way that he could be cared for at home anymore. I mentioned that I'd been going around in circles for the past several months due to my Dad's illness and helping my Mom out with him, etc. Every time I had talked with my friend over the past several years she had asked how my parents were doing and I'd mentioned Dad's Alzheimer's. It seemed to go in one ear and out the other, as she would continue on to another topic that she was more interested in. Anyway, I let her know that I'd be over for a visit as soon as things settled down a little bit. A few days after I sent the card, I received a generic letter from one of her daughter's along with a picture, stating that it was my friend's birthday the next week and that she loved to receive cards in the mail. So, I sent another card the next day, wishing her a happy B-day, etc. I'm not really a sentimental person, and I really don't usually care about what other people think, etc. But...was it too much to think that my friend might take a few minutes to pick up the telephone, give me a call, and ask how I'm doing, how my Mom is doing, how my Dad is doing, etc? It's strange really. I've known this person for so many years and she appears not to really care. On the other hand, a number of people who I've known for less than a year, and much less intimately than this woman, have sent cards and commiserated with me in person. Am I just being petty in this instance and feeling hurt for no reason? Whenever she has had problems, illnesses, at Christmas, etc. I've visited her, sent cards, given small presents. Has anyone else out there run into this kind of thing?

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People can sympathize with you but they don't really understand because they are not living it! This holds true in so many circumstances!! I try to listen to my friends worries and fears about what they are going through but I really can't understand if I'm not the one going through it.

At this point in my care giving stage I have few friends and family I can rely on.. To tell you the truth it's to exhausting to explain dementia to people who don't understand and really don't care!
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Holy Cow - Very wise.

In fighting my depression, I have had to learn to allow myself to make mistakes and do the wrong thing without raking myself over the coals. I do good when I can, and seldom actually try to do wrong or hurt someone else. I'm human. I screw up. Plenty.

I figure everyone else is human too. If they get to be too human for my taste, I might drop them, but they aren't monsters. They are just ordinary weak people like me.
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People are normally more interested in their own problems than they are anyone else's. Honestly I have never met anyone who was more interested in what I had going on than what they had going on.

About a year ago I got a letter from a friend in Wisconsin who was ticked off at her kids because they were not offering her a place to stay when she came out to attend her grandsons wedding in June. She complained that her son's in laws were millionaires so they were catered to, she complained that one daughter's father was a millionaire so he was catered to, her second daughter's in laws were millionaires so they were catered to but here she was, barely scraping by and not one of her kids had a room to spare. She adds, geez can't someone at least offer me their sofa?

In my return letter I told her I understood her frustration and did not understand why they treated her the way they did, it was a shame and they knew they should be arranging for at least a hotel room for her. I went on to say that I was sorry that I had no rooms available in our home and that with my mother's worsening dementia it would be impossible for me to have her stay with us.

Now she had not specifically asked me to allow her to stay with us, I just made that comment. I however got back a scathing letter from her ripping me up one side and down the other for not giving her a place to stay in my home, so she could attend her grandson's wedding. I had told her how my mother's illness had progressed and how hard it was to take care of her, she however could only focus on the fact that I was being rude and inconsiderate for not giving her a room to stay in.

People who have never found themselves in the position of caring for a sick parent or a parent with dementia or Alzheimer's has absolutely NO IDEA what you are going through (even doctors) nor do they really care all that much if it is not affecting them. Honestly though, turn the tables and think about it, how much did you really care about what was happening to others around you, prior to your parents becoming ill???? How many people did you call or check up on and run over and see if you could help them in any way?

People basically care about what affects them, we would like to have better friends who showed they cared about us and our situation but how can we ask them to do something that we do not even do ourselves.

We are all guilty.
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I find the people who care the most are others who have been caregivers. So in that sense, this friend of yours is a bit different. I think all of the advice you've gotten so far is good. Some people care, a lot don't. If you can handle having a friend who is superficial about showing any interest in your life, then get together. And of course, Captn has his usual succinct take on the whole thing. :)

I did a lot with a group of five other women I met through a MeetUp group for a couple of years. But the longer I knew them, the more it bugged me that we really had very little in common. And while I asked about their lives and families (and remembered what they told me), they rarely asked about my mom or my business. I spent all of the time listening to them talk about their kids, grandkids, and late husbands (I don't have any of those). So I've slowly moved away from getting together with them. I want my friendships to be reciprocal. I listen to them and care about them and I expect the same in return. My circle is smaller, but the ones who remain care about me and how my life is going. And that's important to me.
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I have found that most people are good hearted but they have so many problems of their own they can't process that others have needs and problems. They want to care but when you tell them your problems they can't solve them right away so they back off. If a problem is complex, forget it.
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Thanks Captain! That actually brightened my day!
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Perhaps hearing about your parents problems is something depressing to her, and reminds her too much of what she went through taking care of her husband. When she asks about your parents, she is hoping to hear good news, something to cheer her up. Try to find something cheerful to talk about, it will ease the pain for both of you.
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Captain's right about many people, but not all people. I have some friends who "can do it all," but most of my friends have a specific role in my life. One friend forces me to go for long walks and fills my head with intellectual pretentious claptrap, both of which I appreciate. She would gladly walk miles for me, but would never do anything that required her to sit still.

If you enjoy your friend's company in other ways, try to accept that she can't/won't express concern and sympathy for this. If it bugs you too much, either discuss it with her or kick her ass to the curb. Do what's best for you.
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asking how your parents are doing is just a formality. trust me people dont care. they dont even listen to your response.
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Thanks for your reply Appaloosa. I don't think my friend is overwhelmed by what's going on with me! She cared for her own husband years ago when he had a terminal illness. She spends a good deal of time helping others, but she also wants people to know that she IS helping others. She just tends to be somewhat self-centered at times. And, like you, I don't project myself as being needy and wanting attention. Most of the people I know, many of whom I worked with for years, etc., don't even realize what shape Dad is in because I don't broadcast it. If someone asks, I let them know how he's doing and what's going on. I've been told I'm a good listener, so when I go out with friends I usually hear all of their woes without mentioning mine too much. I guess it has just struck me as a little uncaring that someone who knows so much about me, and who has known me for so long, and who in the past has told me that I'm like another daughter to her, wouldn't be more interested in something that was actually affecting MY life! But that's just the way it goes. I thank God daily for friends and family and the support group that we have for Dad and for our family. And for the people, like you, on this forum.
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