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I have Metastatic cancer, now in remission for now and a host of serious health challenges. I am the youngest of 4. The two oldest siblings have not visited our mother in years and years since they no longer need her to babysit their children. One never, ever calls. One helps on occasion but only when I ask, never offers. I have asked for help and it falls on deaf ears. I love my mom and know that she may have to go to a nursing home. But since I am the only child that shows her love, I don't also want to be the one to reject her. I have been the one that she can always count on. I honestly want to shame my siblings by telling everyone that is important to them how horribly narcissistic and cruel they are. But that is not my style. I do not in any way regret caring for my mother. It is an honor. But the rage at my siblings is actually destructive to my health. I chose to do this and they did not ask me to. But what kind of people are they to not care in the least? My doctors shake their heads at their level of selfishness. Some have suggested that my siblings at least offer money as I am no longer working. I am the poorest of all my siblings. Sigh. Never even an offer of that. And what is the worst is that my siblings have never once thanked my husband who has sacrificed his privacy, his special time with his ill wife to care for our mother.We care for her 24/7 with only one night off once per year in the summer when my husband is on vacation. One one night. I chose to love my mom and have a committed to that. But my relationship with my siblings will never be repaired. I am so heartbroken at their level of selfishness and narcissism. I feel utterly abandoned.

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If mom has very little, make sure she pays her final burial expenses with that, now, so that you aren't stuck with the expenses. Also your mom can just re-type her will and change the names or percentages as to her current wishes, find 2 witnesses and all sign in front of a notary-- there is no need to spend hundreds on an attorney (unless there's more issues that need legal opinion). Whatever she does, she cannot cross off names and write new things in the margins of her old will-- that invalidates everything! Oh yes, make 2 or 3 printouts of the new will and have the witnesses and notary sign them all. Put one in safe deposit box, one in a fireproof box, and have another copy (maybe) with a trusted family or friend in a fireproof lockbox.
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Maybe the sis got wind of the will being amended??
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My mom has so little money and thus lives with us. She does have a will and we just looked at it yesterday and it has all of her children on it. Even my mom said that she has to change it right away. The good news is that my best sibling has stepped up a bit more as of late. I am not sure why it has taken this long and why she has chosen to help. My mom is now not going to live with her sister as the sister's step daughter is taking her to another state to live in her home. Sigh. So now, no chance of my mom living with her sister and now will have a broken heart again for not being near her only surviving sibling.
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Have an intense talk with your sibs. If they don't step it up, tell mom to change the will!
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Good!
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Yes, I thought of that tonight. I usually do focus on all that is good. But even Jesus needed a break. I am only human as is my husband. He is a beautiful human being. He knows what it is like to be abandoned by your family so gives his heart to this poor woman, also abandoned by her children. How blessed I am with such a giving soul. We just need a break. Sigh. But yes, I will focus on the good. Thanks for the reminder.
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Focus on you and your mom. You dont have siblings- you have genetics. If you need help- go to your local agency to see if you qualify for respite care. Focus on the good, the bad is robbing you.
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Not even an unhealthy, cheep Arby's single and a small drink or just go sit in the park, by a city lake or at the mall? If not that is very sad!
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Yes, she can be alone for us to do that. Sadly, we don't make enough money to afford such a luxury...
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I meant to say ya'll go out for a meal if she is able to be ok at home for a hour or so?

I will pray with you.

Love and cyber hugs.
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No my mom is not independent enough to go out for a meal unless someone takes her. And yes you are correct about marriage and yes you are correct about drinking the poison. Since you seem to believe, I ask for your prayers.
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It is very nice to have even more information.

Sounds to me like mom is independent enough to go out for a meal and movie either at night or on the weekend.

That's wonderful that your husband is a very spiritual man, but like you say he is human, and as a human who is married to another human in that situation is very humanly draining no matter how spiritual one is for even what appears to be the non non spiritual side or marriage is in itself spiritual.

BTW, even Jesus lost his patience at times and he's the son of God. 20 years of perspective is a lot of perspective. This might be hard to hear and likely not what he would say directly, but he would likely like to have his wife back and feel more like a couple. He's likely got some fear about your cancer and would like to be as close to you as he can. Emotional, spiritual, and intellectual intimacy is not something that can be stored in the freezer and then put in the microwave to restore. It's either built up or torn down over time. The journey back up is about like dating all over again and that is what it takes. I hope one day that you and your husband can date once again.

I would for sure let go of the poison over the relatives that you have been drinking almost to the point of becoming a poisonolic. I think you have far more heavier matters for you heart to deal with like your health, your marriage and your mom.

Stop drinking the poison, love the one your with and get mom the best help she can get without through others under the bus.
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My mom and her sister would do fine in an assisted living situation. When I say taking care of my mom 24/7 means that I never get a night off, weekend off. She is independent in a lot of ways, does her own laundry, makes beds, manages her own medication,.... Her vision is failing so I cut her food and make the meals but otherwise, she can make herself a sandwich,... Her doctor tells me that she is doing extremely well for her age, in comparison to others her age(many people say that). She likes to care for people and thinks of herself as caring for her younger sister. Is that reality? No. But she thinks she is and it is kind of sweet to watch. I am consulting with my aunt's step daughter to find a plan for them both. If we can keep them together then assisted living could be the answer if money will allow. And yes, I do need to examine my level of helpfulness and why I decided to be the one to take care of my mom. My husband is a spiritual man and believes in caring for the poor and the widows as the bible says. But he is human and has tolerated a lot and is not without complaint but does try to have perspective. He built us a sanctuary in the attic which feels far away and special just so that we can be together. He is gifted and creative and an exquisite designer and builder so we have our special place together... Yet, are never alone in the house so that can be a burden. My mom used to leave a lot to babysit her grandchildren but they are grown now and she has no where to go and no longer drives. That has placed a huge burden on us. Things are moving hopefully in the right direction. It is nice to talk to you all. I feel blessed by your guidance, candor and support.
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"She is too poor for assisted living."

Well, that answers that question.
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Tanks,

I read back over your post and saw where I missed something. Her sister, your aunt is considering assisted living and having your mom move in with her. My questions still remains of how can someone who needs 24/7 care "take care of someone who evidently only needs assisted living care?

This raises another question.

Which level of care does your mother need?

Does she qualify for the care and what they expect residents to be able to do at an assisted living?

Or does her level of care need a nursing home level of care?

It sounds to me with ya'll having done 24/7 and you've written that she might at some point need a nursing home. So, it sounds like the two of you having been running a nursing home in your home. I sure hope you declared her as a dependent on your tax returns.

So, obviously if you have been running your own nursing home at home for your mom and that is the level of care her doctor says she needs an assisted living would not be the place for her.

I wish you the best in dealing with all of this mess.

Love, prayers and hugs.

Let us know how it all works out.
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Tanks for letting us know what is going on.

One comment that jumped right out at me as I read your post was, " but I may take her up on that offer so that my mom can "take care of" her little sister and that we can have a starting point for the next phase."

Your mom who has needed 24/7 care and may need to go to a nursing home which would rule out assisted living does not sound like she's in any condition to take care of her little sister. Now that is unrealistic, not to mention bringing another person needing care into your already overloaded household.


I still agree with others that counseling would help you a lot in unpacking some of your own baggage from the past and the present

Your husband sounds ;like an extremely nurturing man and patient man. Sorry, but a person who never complains once in their entire life sounds to me like an introvert who is swallowing their feelings and pressing on. I hope that is not what is happening with him.

Your casual way of saying that you've lost by bringing your mother into your house for you have not had the time to be a couple, sounds like a lot of buried emotions there also. Have ya'll declined as a couple to where your just room mates that live in the same bedroom? That's tragic and painful!

To put it plainly, you are not your mother's parent and honoring your spouse really comes before honoring your parent if you look back at your wedding vows.

This is so sad for it sounds like each of you have become so focused on her that you've not taken good care of yourselves individually or as a couple.
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Thank you everyone for your insight. This is a wonderful forum to gain support. I failed to say that my husband is a beautiful sacrificial man who believes in caring for his elders. He never complains. He is a nurturing soul. I feel that we have lost by taking in my mom however given the fact that we do not get a break. The good news is that my aunt is considering having my mom live with her and we can get support for the two of them. That just happened as my uncle just died. I might not be realistic but I may take her up on that offer so that my mom can "take care of" her little sister and that we can have a starting point for the next phase.. My aunt may consider assisted living and has discussed doing so if my mom does it with her. That is my prayer. That way, I won't "reject" my mom and she can be a "helper" which she loves to do. Since they are the only siblings left, it will be nice for them to be together. What will remain is my heartbreak over my siblings who virtually abandoned me and also their own mother. I have to have forgiveness in my heart but it did make it utterly clear to me how they actually feel about me. I would never abandon any family member, especially an ill one nor would I abandon my parent. And yes, I agree with the post that they have personality disorders. Sad but true. Once my mom leaves, the trick will be for me to either have a relationship with these people or not. I appreciate the comments that I have to give up the anger to save myself.This is so very true. You all have wonderful insight and are very caring. I think this site is wonderful. Thank you all so much. Sending good health, peace and joy to you all...
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You need to put yourself first, and also your husband. Have a heart-to-heart discussion with mom and encourage her to arrange for several paid caregivers OTHER than you.....you have done enough. It is high time that others do much more, and if siblings refuse to step up to the plate, then get others involved. You can "manage" the caregivers, and that is quite a job right there. But please consider that your own time may be very short. You need to spend some quality time with yourself, and your husband!
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Your diagnosis that the siblings do not care about you and your mom seems correct. And most likely, given the bad example of their dad, it's not you, its them. The other thing you might want to take under consideration is to get legal help to MAKE them care - some states have filial responsibility laws for just this kind of situation, and even if there is really nothing you can do to at least get financial support out of them, you can protect your own and your mom's interests going forward. You don't mention if you have POAs already lined up or who is executor or anything, or if you are going to need Medicaid or a Miller trust due to any income of mom's. It is OK to use Mom's funds for a legal consultation or maybe just find a decent estate planning group who might help you do the necessary things for less.

Look - you are doing the right thing - you need to be proud and happy about what you are doing, not always sad and angry about what the others are not.
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ChooseLove you sound like you desperately need some counseling to understand how your childhood has affected your adult choices. You were the "rescuer" in your family and you've continue that role today. But that role of always putting others first has had dire consequences on your own health and happiness. It's time to put YOURSELF back into your "care" equation and care for yourself with the same level of zeal that you show for your mom.

You can still love and advocate for your mom if she's in a nursing home. And you can take time to care for and love YOURSELF and nurture your relationship with your husband. You do not have to save your mom. There is help available. It isn't coming from your siblings, but it is out there in the form of Medicaid. By placing your mom in a nursing home, you are not "rejecting" her. You are loving her and caring for her, while at the same time caring for YOURSELF, so that you will be around for years and years. At the current rate you're going, your rage will end your life before your mom's and where will she be then? You need to be around for the long haul. And that means getting some help.You deserve it.

Don't waste another moment in rage at your brothers. I've been there, done that and finally realized that my brother didn't even know (or care) that I was angry with him for not caring more about our mom. I've been her sole caregiver for 13 years and my dad for 9 of those years too. By brother has been virtually absent during that time. But my anger was hurting me and not bothering him in the least. Once I was able to let that go, I was a much, much happier person. I'm doing the right thing and he can live with himself and his choices. It's not my problem.

So hugs to you and please, please start caring for yourself (and your husband) as much as you care for your mother. Mom comes third in this priority list - behind you and your husband. Hugs to you.
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ChooseLove, I was touched by your post. Your mother certainly is lucky to have you, but I would take steps to get her situated in a place where she can be cared for if your health no longer allows you to continue. Caring for a senior on a daily basis a huge job. Any mother would understand that, assuming she does not have dementia.

It sounds like continued energy and effort towards your siblings is a waste. I might seek counseling to learn to let the anger and pain go. Allowing this pain to continue can't be good for you and it's not hurting them at all. They are going about their day and they are not likely to change. I'd try to let it go and take measures to ensure it does. Sometimes venting is a relief. I get that.

What has happened in your family is extremely common. I read about it here and I see it in my daily life. One adult child does it all and the other siblings seem to be oblivious to the needs. It seems to be universal.

I will suggest that your siblings may harbor resentment against your mom that you don't understand. Yes, your mom did the best she could years ago, but I can understand harboring resentment towards my mom if she allowed me to be raised in the home of a using alcoholic. That involves a lot of fear, insecurity and instability in the life of a child. It can create long standing issues and maybe they have never really dealt with it. Growing up in an alcoholic home can cause dysfunction. I'm just speculating, but I might try to get into their mindset.

I'm frustrated, because in my state of NC, Assisted Living is available to those seniors who have low income and need daily assistance. Lack of funds does not prevent care. Have you looked into what may be available to your mother? Is she considered disabled due to her eye condition? Perhaps, there are services she may qualify before she needs a nursing home.

I do wish you continued improvement with your health. I think this site offers much support and encouragement. Please let us know how things are going with you and your mom.
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Thanks for sharing more details. That is terrible that the two older children have followed in your dad's footsteps of treating her badly and then you as well. That sure sounds like more than just alcohol and more like serious personality disorders.

From your statement, "took it upon myself at age 4 to watch over her" it sounds like you took on the emotional role of seeing yourself somewhat as your parent's parent because that is what she needed and no one else was watching over her.

Your mom's doctor knows all of this plus your own health problems and thinks it's just fine that you're killing yourself plus your marriage has been impacted negatively and all the while doing 24/7 care of your mom? Where is there any compassion for the family of the patient in such a doctor? Sorry, but I don't see any.

Do your friends have the same level of health issues that you have with a parent as bad off as yours is plus experiencing a negative impact on their family? It may not be a comparison of apples to apples.

One thing that is available for your mom is medicaid and their are nursing homes that will take people and help you with the medicaid application. At 90 with no other health problems than the ones you mentioned, she could live a year or two.

My dad is 90 whose only health problem is Alzheimer's.

I'm sorry to hear that your health problems have contributed to hurting your marriage. That is very unfortunate and unfair. I have heard of some marriages where the two people are basically only roommates and that's it.

One of my concerns for you is I don't hear much concern of you for you. I assume you know this but that word "Metastatic" means the cancer has spread to other organs in your body and being in remission basically means it has stopped spreading which is great. It could revive at any time and the amount of stress that you are under does not help which you already know. If it revives and continues to metastasize, you want last too long and then what will happen to your mom's care?

Your siblings do not sound like they are ever going to change who they have evidently always been. Might as well come to peace with that fact and try to let go of drinking the bitterness and rage.

Ya'll have done an amazing job of taking care of your mom since she was 70 for the last 20 years. If it's always been this intense, I don't see how you made it this long.

Try to take care of you. Do something nice for yourself today.

Keep in touch.

Love, prayers and hugs!
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Thank you for your post. Yes, you are correct. Sometimes it is good to hear it from someone else. My mom 90 and is actually independent in a lot of ways. She has macular degeneration so needs help cutting her food, reading certain things,... We do provide meals as she can no longer cook. She has spinal stenosis so this makes walking more painful but she does walk. She may have the surgery so after that she may end up in rehab,...and then this could lead to other living arrangements. She has lived with us for 20 years. She is poor. I am a classic child of an alcoholic (my dad) who watched my mom be mistreated so took it upon myself at age 4 to watch over her. Her two oldest children followed in my dad's footsteps by treating my mom with utter disrespect. She was a good mom. She was not perfect. She did the best she could with what little she had. My relationship with my mom was not always perfect but it is very dear now. It takes work from both parties. My other siblings were never interested in putting in the work. As for my relationship with my siblings, well the two older ones, the ones that do nothing at all also have treated me with utter disrespect. They never respond when I ask for help. Not a phone call nor email.Their decision to act this way just further cements the idea that they don't care about me either. Yes, my rage only hurts me. And yes my marriage has been effected by this but also by my health challenges. My mom's doctor knows about this situation. I am trying to at least get her into some sort of senior program during the day. She is too poor for assisted living. She has nothing. I have a lot of friends in social services and in medicine who are a wonderful emotional support system. Some have taken in their parents as well. It all is coming to an end soon. I don't see her living more than a year or two.
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I'm sorry that you have cancer and other serious health challenges. It's good that you cancer is in remission, but hearing it has metastasized does not sound good to me. Your health situation is very serious!

My SIL had stage 4 uterine cancer back in the early 2000's. She was given the regular treatment plus and experimental. It is amazing that she has lived this long. She has some health challenges from the treatment, but her health is declining despite what her therapist has told her that she will not do concerning her narcissistic mom who is in assisted living and has so much money in 14 different banks up to the FIDC limit that she could hire people to do thing and never miss the money.

It would be helpful to know more about your mom. How old is she? What are her health problems? It sounds like you live with her or she lives with ya'll? What kind of mom was she? Is there any difference in the relationship your siblings have had with her compared to yours?

It's very nice for your husband to do so much for your mom, but you are not that healthy yourself. Both of you are not getting enough of a break and I can't imagine how married life is since you can't even go out on a date with doing 24/7 care for your mom.

Why isn't she somewhere where three shifts of people can be involved in her 24/7 care? This really does not sound sustainable for the two of you on your own to keep doing 24/7 care.

Choosing to love your mom is one thing, but that does not mean destroying yourself or feeling that you have to do it all directly by yourself. Moving her to where she could have others watch over her 24/7 in three shits does not mean you are rejecting her.

You write that you know she may need to go to a nursing home one day. It sounds to me like that day is past being here.

Your rage at your siblings is understandable, but the only person it is hurting is you. I would suggest seeing a therapist about this.

BTW, what has your relationship with your siblings been like down through the years?

I hope you have durable and medical POA for your mom already. With your siblings doing nothing, has her doctor said anything about ya'll doing all of the caring 24/7 or does the doctor even know that? If not, I think the doctor should know that. Does he also know about your serious health challenges and that your husband is giving up his special time with his wife to care for his wife's mom? You're ill even with the cancer in remission and the word you wrote before cancer concerns me. You need your husband and need to take care of you, plus find somewhere that your mother can be cared for 24/7 by people in three shifts.

33% of those taking care of someone die before the one they are caring for. You already have cancer and other serious health problems. I would say that alone increases your % level. Take care.
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