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I have been the only one in the family making all the sacrifices and my family treats me like an outsider. I don't understand this. Can anyone help me understand what may be going on. I have tried and tried to reach out to them. They leave me out in the cold with any email, text or request that I send and they are limited at best. I'm hurt and confused. Any insight?

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What's so sad is there is no one left for my cousin. It's just me and my parents and they are in their 70's. My younger brothers were never close to her, so I doubt they would attend a service. Most places don't allow you to get off work to attend funeral of distant relative.

So, it's just me and my parents.. I've already decided to have an immediate burial and then the three of us go to the church cemetery and say a pray. I will run an obituary, but I don't know what anyone would say to me, after not acknowledging her existence over the last year.
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My mother and I disowned my brother and his wife over 30 years ago. It was the best decision we could have made. It made her passing so much easier. Just my girls and their families and my husband's families will be attending her Celebration of Life in a few weeks.
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I think the people are right who say that those who are not interested in helping are the biggest critics. In their minds you are doing something they would never do and because of that they suspect you must be doing it to get something, projecting themselves into the situation, I suspect. They are the kind of people who wouldn't help anyone else unless there was something in it for them, so they think you must be too.

Then there are the family members who only visit occasionally, so don't really see the worst of the dementia sufferer's behaviour and stubbornly want to believe that the person is still the person they remember (until it is very obvious to everybody they're not). This can go on for years with relatives spreading it around that the person is perfectly well and that you are just making up their problems. Very unhelpful -- it's hard enough to communicate the real situation to old friends and the community without false information going around.

As someone said, family or friends are always dropping in with a few minutes or no notice (we live in the country) even though I have asked them to phone ahead, and we may be in the bathroom trying to clean up or in another similar situation. I have to try keep the house visitor-ready and have to host anyone who wants to visit at any time. People can be inconsiderate to the nth degree.

If you are being criticized and abused by anyone you can speak up for yourself, but if that doesn't work then just see them as little as possible and try to protect yourself legally from future trouble. You have enough on your plate not to fight battles that you can't win.
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Missed-Fun-Shun-All
Sure, I kin relate!!
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Providing care for a senior or ill person is often a lonely job. When my second cousin was hit with early dementia, it was like all other family disappeared. I was the Durable POA and HC POA, so stepped up to take care of her and her affairs. Granted, sometimes there are only elderly family members left or they may live miles away, but there are telephones and email. They just don't communicate at all.

Often when a person has dementia, it makes it unlikely that family and former friends will stay in contact, offer to help or even acknowledge the person anymore. I'm not sure why. I suspect they fear that I will ask them to do something like send a check or help with some matter. They don't want to see how their loved one has deteriorated. That's another factor. I think that in their mind, they have written it off as her passing away. They don't even send her cards or call and ask about her condition. I don't concern myself with it any longer and she doesn't remember them anyway, so, it works out okay.
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I understand how you feel. I think some of our difficult family members may have an undiagnosed personality disorder, such as narcissism. Some people with personality disorders can appear "normal" in many situations, but can be almost impossible to get along with if you are a sibling, spouse, etc. If you sense that something is "off" with them emotionally, then it probably is. I like the idea too of "cutting contact" altogether.
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Ellizabeth no one does it lightly, but after years of trying to have a decent relationship and years of what is basically verbal and emotional abuse reaching back to childhood, I finally did it after she accused me of having a vested interest in my mothers demise. I have no expectations of help from her, and only expectations of trouble. I have found that the more contact the more trouble. My "sisters" are not by blood but people who behave like friends. I wish I had done it sooner.
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Thank you for your help "friends" out there. I must say it is easy to question one's own mental health even though I stay physically, spiritually and mentally fit with the guidance of a wonderful counselor who knows what I am up against. It there any wonder why we will never have Peace in our world if we can't get along in our own families? I like the idea of "cutting contact" altogether emjo23. That way I don't have to deal with any neglect or verbal abuse. Thanks again to everyone for this support!!!
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Elizabeth, visit the dysfunctional thread that emjo provided the link for. There are many many stories like this. Some become quite extreme. I think the siblings that are not involved is by design. It serves their denial about how sick the parent has become. In my case it took about 3.5 years for my twisted sisters to begin to understand. Then when they begin to realize what the truth is, the caregiver child, me, still remains alienated and is not trusted. I got through four years of caregiving where the easy part was caring for my mom and her hubby, now 88 and 87, mom with severe dementia, he is in the very early stages of the cognitive decline. It was the sibling nonsense that made everything more difficult than it needed to be. Just a bit of help, I used to think would have been nice, but actually the further they stayed away the better.

And one very important note, I could not have done four years of tge caregiving without my supportive friends on the dysfunctional thread! I had a place to moan and groan and most importantly vent about the twisteds vindictive behavior. So, come on over there, introduce yourself, read, contribute when you are ready, and know you are not alone.
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Elizabeth, I think that is common too. Often in families, their is one adult child in the family that seems to understand the plight of their elderly parents better than the other children and feels more of an obligation to take care of them than the other kids. In my family, it's my sister. She just doesn't understand what is happening with her own mother very well or else she just can't emotionally cope with her mother getting old and sick and how to deal with that. It used to bother me but now I just accept that this is the way she is. She has been somewhat estranged from the rest of us for 14 years. My brother does help and visit with our mother but he isn't as intricately involved in certain responsibilities as I am. I'm glad he helps as much as he does. It's good that your brothers are at least visiting with her. Try to think of it that way--that it's more important for her for them to come see her than for them to approve of you.
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I am dealing with an estrangement from my sister. I would do almost anything for it NOT to be this way. But it is and it hurts. I don't know why she hates me. Truly dreading the upcoming funeral whenever it will be. Could be two weeks from now, could be two years from now.
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We have a thread with over 12000 posts from those with dysfunctional families. https://www.agingcare.com/discussions/The-Caregiver-Dysfunctional-Families-149068.htm?cpage=0&cm=497999#497999

Welcome aboard. Many here have that issue. My sister attacks me and what I am doing but does not lift a finger to help. Finally I cut contact with her. It is not you, it is them. ((((((hugs)))))i
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Thank you for such wonderful insight. My brothers are visiting my mother this weekend. They are so cold to me and uninvolved. It really does hurt. I need to be strong somehow and not let it bother me, but it does. Your post makes so much sense to me. I really did appreciate it.
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Elizabeth, if it's any comfort, you are not alone in this. Quite a few caregivers find that they're not only not supported and appreciated by their family members, they're actively shunned, blamed, or resented. I have that problem with some of my siblings, and others here have experienced it too. It's like the uninvolved family members have to make you the bad guy in order to justify their choice to not help or remain uninvolved. There may be more to it than that - I can't see inside their heads. But I think overall, it's a defense against them feeling guilty or inadequate for what they're not doing. Sorry I can't really be much help.
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