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I don't want to be free of caring for my 94-year-old mother. I love doing for her what she cannot do any longer. But when I hear that my older sister or brother talk about how wonderful their travel experiences or dining-out experiences are, I get resentful and jealous. Now I never want to talk to them or see them ever again. They both live out of state. Am I being a selfish brat? I feel like I am so evil. I know it is jealousy, but I feel it more and more when I learn they are having fun. My life is consumed with taking care of my mother, and neither of them have ever offered to help in any way. I cannot get over hating them more and more each day.

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Perhaps you do not "love" providing her care as much as you are telling yourself, or, you are may be approaching burnout. It is not healthy to be envious when you say you are doing something you chose and supposedly love. Maybe you just love the idea but not the everyday reality. Your siblings are not to blame, they are doing what they choose and love. I don't think you are evil or selfish or bratty -- I think you are conflicted (and again, maybe burning out). You need to come to peace with what you're doing or you need to change it. There's no 3rd option. Blessings to you.
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Forgotten2 Apr 19, 2021
I just learned of a third option through this thread: respite care. I plan to check into it and do something positive. Thank you for the straight-up talk and advice.
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From the other side of the fence - I know that my SIL and BIL feel some resentment towards my husband and myself because we don't live with FIL and provide his 24/7 care. We really had to talk about that. They had some unrealistic expectations. They moved in with him because they needed a roof over their heads. It was supposed to be temporary and at the time he didn't really need a caregiver. But he is a raging narcissist and took a great deal of advantage of them being there and in doing so stopped doing for himself and lost his mobility. As a result now he is as dependent on them physically as they are on him financially. So it's an ugly situation and I know that it is hard for them not to resent the fact that we aren't in it with them. But we aren't in it with them. We do what we can to help out. He is a two person transport any time he leaves the house, and we take time off of work to help. We live an hour away and we do our best to help as much as we can. But it is logistically impossible for us to do as much as they do because don't live there.

As Geaton suggests, maybe you aren't as happy as you think you are caring for your mom if you are resentful of their carefree life? We don't vacation and run off willy-nilly. We provide backup care for them to travel. But the amount of care is never going to be equal.

Have you actually ASKED your siblings for help? Often we assume people will offer, we assume they should just KNOW that we need help. But in this busy world we live in, people aren't just going to throw out offers of help, we have to ask for what we need. If you seem to have it under control and love doing it, they may assume you don't want or need help.

Don't sit on hate. Don't resent them for choices that you have made. If you don't like the way your life is going, you have to make changes. If they don't want to be involved, there are other options. But you don't have to be unhappy in your life and angry at them because they are happy in theirs. You have options and you have choices to make.
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Forgotten2 Apr 19, 2021
You are so right, I am blaming them for choices I have made. I just learned about something called respite care that I never heard of before. I could use it and I can be happy with having choices. Thank you for the sound advice.
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I used to feel like you do. They were free to live their life and expected the world from me.

It is difficult to understand when going through this.

We become confused and have all sorts of emotional upheaval going on in our heads.

The truth is they don’t have a clue as to how it feels to be a caregiver. Did any of us before we did it? I know that I didn’t.

Honestly, we can’t choose their lives for them and we must accept that.

This doesn’t mean that we have to agree on everything. No two people think alike on all matters.

I didn’t see any positive changes in my life until I started focusing on myself more than my siblings.

I hope things improve for you soon.

Take care.
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Forgotten2 Apr 19, 2021
Thank you, for the wisdom you've shared. I will start to focus more on myself and to stop the jealousy I've been feeling. I sincerely appreciate your advice.
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I think it's your LIFE you hate, not necessarily your siblings who have chosen not to involve themselves with caregiving.

Maybe it's time to rethink your role as an in-home caregiver to your 94 year old mother. It's not the 'only' option out there. What about Assisted Living? My 94 y/o mother has been in AL since 2014 b/c living with me (the only child) was never an option. I'm not interested in being a caregiver b/c I'm not cut out to do it; there are dozens of reasons why, and traveling is one of them. So I made it clear from the get-go that no elders would be moving in with me.

I don't feel 'guilty' for making that decision b/c my mother gets great care where she's at, something that would not happen in my home. She's wheelchair bound with dementia and her mobility problems alone are prohibitive to in home care; she's fallen 71x so far. Plus, she has socialization with other elders (she's in Memory Care now) and activities, etc. She has a life and I have a life, even though I manage her entire life from 4 miles away.

If you don't want to consider AL, consider sending her to AL for respite care every so often so you can travel or have a vacation of your own. Allow that resentment you have for your siblings to fade away a bit as you take back some of your OWN life which you have a right to do.

Wishing you the very best of luck figuring out how to be happy again; you deserve it!
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Forgotten2 Apr 19, 2021
Thank you! I had never heard of respite care for a short period before. I will look into it in my community. This could be great for both me and my mother.
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I was almost hesitant to reply to this post, but I decided to anyway because I really do get how you feel. I also have two siblings out of state a brother & a sister, and my mom is living near me, 200 feet away.

I felt like I was getting very little help and support from them and over the last year I started feeling so much resentment, I stopped speaking to them. It was really starting to turn into feelings of hate. I posted about my feelings of hate for them on this forum. Multiple times. My feelings were valid and so are yours.

Then several weeks ago I got word that my brother (who is in his early 50's) had stage 5 cancer and it was seriously looking like bucket list time. My sister called me sobbing how she she was so afraid of losing "us" and recalling how we all went through a terrible cancer journey with my dad when my dad was in his 50's. Something about that news and the prospect of my brother dying, my sister sobbing, and so many sibling memories came crashing down. The ones I had before our narc mother got dementia, and before the caregiving and resentment started. Suddenly it all just disappeared. We were clinging to each other now. It made me realize I never did "hate" them. I was just SO, so drained with my mother.

Now, my brother will be undergoing surgery and treatment, and thankfully his outcome is looking much better. We have vowed to start being there for each other more, and I now feel that I will be able to count on them.

It took a death scare to change my sibling situation. I obviously don't want any of your siblings to get health issues, I just want to give you some hope that there may still be a salvageable relationship there. Only you can decide, but it might be worth considering reaching out to them and letting them know that you could really use some support.
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Two quick thoughts come to mind:

1. Neither of your siblings have ever offered to help in any way. Have you asked? If you have, and they've refused, let it go. "A grudge will soon rot the pocket you carry it in."

2. If listening to them talk about how wonderful their travel and dining-out experiences are makes you resentful, you can always say, "Sounds like you had a marvelous time! But taking care of our mom makes it impossible for me to do those things any more, and as much as I'm happy for you, I'd prefer that you not mention them again."

I'm not making these suggestions flippantly or callously. It's just that sometimes we overlook the simplest solutions.

I've been in your position, though the circumstances were a bit different - I was my mother's sole caregiver, and my sister lives over 800 miles away. Sis has been in poor health for years (including a bout with breast cancer, chronic incontinence and pernicious anemia that almost killed her) and there was no way that she could assist me, except with the advice she would give me as a retired RN. But for a long time I resented her, mainly because she didn't experience what I did as a caregiver - Mama's irritability and irrational behavior, the daily drudgery of toileting assistance, the sleepless nights, the picky eating... the list goes on. And Sis tried to tell me that she did indeed understand because of her own infirmities, but wouldn't accept that taking care of yourself and taking care of someone else are two completely different things. She even maintained that she was just as frustrated as I was with not being able to go anywhere or do anything. (Guess again, Sis.)

I even held onto that resentment when Mama died, simply because Sis wasn't there. I was completely alone. My husband was out of town with his job, the pandemic was still rolling along, and I had not one shoulder to cry on, not one person to give me a hug. I think at that point, I hated everyone and everything, and continued to do so for the next three months. It was terribly self-destructive.

One day, I finally woke up and realized that if I didn't change my outlook, I would die a premature death as a bitter old woman. I made a conscious effort to see only the positive side of things. I asked God to forgive me for my hatred and resentment, and to show me the path toward a happy life - and He did. I'm now immersed in moving our household to another town, and starting a new chapter in life with my husband (who, though he never really complained, suffered just as much as I did through the difficult years of caregiving).

It's easy to let yourself get dragged down - sometimes literally - when you're the sole caregiver. As the journey continues, do everything you can to make it a positive one (I hope you've found the respite care; it'll help), and concentrate as much on your well-being as you do your mother's. If your siblings irritate you, limit your contact with them and restrict it to updates on your mother's condition, and by all means, avoid conversations that may reawaken hard feelings.

Sorry to have written a sermon here, but once I get started, I can't stop. Best wishes, and I hope you can find calmness and peace. I finally did.
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Reply to PeeWee57
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Your siblings have done nothing wrong. They are healthy human beings who don’t want to take on the responsibility of care giving. They are free to do whatever they please. Your siblings are not the problem.

If you don’t like the situation you are in then only you can change it. If you want to be free to come and go as you please and take a vacation then you will have to place your mom into a facility. You can’t have it both ways. It’s one or the other. You can’t be a caregiver to an aging parent snd be free to come and go as you please and travel. It’s one or the other. Not both. Just stating the facts and the truth. Siblings have nothing to do with YOUR situation.
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Forgotten2 Apr 19, 2021
Really. Well, then they should travel to unwrap the flower boxes, and fill the vases, and put together the gifts they send to her for me to put together, and to recycle the boxes they send so generously to her. You are no help at all. Others suggested short-term respite care, and I will look into that. Otherwise, no thank you for your comment.
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I’m getting a little annoyed by all of the finger-pointing in these responses. The primary message appears to be that it’s “her choice” to be resentful and overburdened and how SHE needs to change as opposed to her siblings. While reframing the situation psychologically would help, it does not dismiss her justified feelings of resentment. I’ve taken care of my mother both physically and financially for over 30 years. This has been a HUGE sacrifice for me financially, personally and professionally. I long ago came to peace with my circumstances and feel only love for my often difficult, less-than-perfect mother, but when she dies, I will never speak to my brother again. He is gainfully employed, lives in the same city as me, and only shows up for holidays. He calls my mom about four times a year, feigns occasional concern for her, but has never given me one penny of assistance (and certainly no physical assistance) in all of those 30 years. I’m friendly with him, but ONLY for my mother’s sake. When she dies, he will be dead to me as well. Harsh, I know - but the next chapter in my life, whenever it comes, will not include anyone who exploits me for their benefit.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 22, 2021
Caregiving is so hard. I
was you a while back. I did it all! My brother criticized. I said, “Fine, then take over!” I was burning out.

At some point in time if we can’t do it anymore, it’s okay to admit it and resume our lives.

The situation is more about yourself rather than siblings.

We can honor our feelings but then move forward.

Speak to a social worker to help you plan for placement. You can visit and be her advocate.

I took care of my mom for 15 years. My brother and sister in law did it for 14 months.

Mom required round the clock care. It became too much. She’s dying and now receiving round the clock care in a hospice house.

Wishing you all the best.
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My god, you are not evil - you are an angel, a saint. They are the evil, selfish ones and to me you have every reason and right to resent and hate them for the way they are and their refusal to help. I would disown them if they did not get involved to help. They are very cruel and just don't care. Can you have it out with them to try to establish some new ground rules for help? If not, I would just cut the ties - they are simply not worth it. Just because of who they are does not mean they must be in your life. You do what YOU feel is best for you and what you want to do and don't let anyone take advantage of you.
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marymary2 Apr 22, 2021
You are so right. I love that new phrase bandied about nowadays "family of origin." I've finally seen that it would be better to create my own "family" (that is, people who love and care about me) rather than to hold on pointlessly to my family of origin.
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Instead of just being angry at him for his lack of involvement, my sister and I told our brother what we needed. Some very specific clean-out tasks . Yeah, that didn't work either.
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Teri4077 Apr 22, 2021
Amen. Didn't work for me, either.
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