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My mother wants me to take her by airplane to visit my estranged brother and family (internationally). The have 'blacklisted' me from 'their' family ( excluded me from births, etc). My mother makes me feel worthless because I (as she puts it) "am not married". She can not travel by herself and I told her they are the ones that should come to,visit her (she's going on 89). When they talk with her by phone she makes off lie she's a spry person doing everything on her own (they don't know,how,hard it is for me to care for her... her balance is,way off and she refuses to use a walker). It,would be a nightmare for me (all around) to take her anywhere, especially to a place I'd be unwelcomed. She wants to see her son, grandchildren before,she dies... They've traveled to Hawaii but haven't come to see her.... I am barely hanging on to my life right now, but she disregards my life as anything of value. Talking to her is like talking to a wall.m why should I feel 'guilty' when my life and health is passing quickly before my eyes?!

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Heart, I know just what you're talking about. My mother won't ask a thing of my brothers, but she'll ask the world of me and get upset if I don't come through. I think they start to see us as part of them, like an arm or a leg that they need to function. It is what we become. Caring and empathy for us can be totally lost. It is hard to explain to people, but it feels so frustratingly bad.
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Heart, what you do is call your brother and tell him that your mother wishes to visit him: would he kindly make the arrangements. Picture yourself as the director of a facility, doing the right thing by your "resident" but of course with there being no question of your making the trip yourself.

This wouldn't be ironic: such a project is quite feasible. He would need to contact an escort agency, such as Universal Aunts, sort out transport from your mother's home to his, and of course provide accommodation and support for her during her stay. He can pay for these services, or your mother can, as they wish; or he can come and get her. What's stopping him?

About how your mother makes you feel… that's another issue. But a break from it wouldn't hurt! :)
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Your mother sounds like a narcissistic type, who sees you as an extension of herself. The damage to you has been done, from the day of your birth to the present. If your mother and brother want to visit, you have HIM make arrangements to either bring her to them, or come to visit her. You do realize, I hope, that it is not up to YOU! You do enough, probably far more than you signed up for. Taking your mother on a plane on such a trip will be a nightmare. I went through a similar situation just before my mother went down the toilet a couple years ago ( a short time while still fairly lucid but incontinent and falling down) and I was begged, yes, begged to put her on a plane and bring her to a wedding! And of course I would be doing all the dirty work before, during, and after, and the Grand Old Matriarch would be proudly trotted out for everyone to go, 'awww, dear old thing!'. I flat out refused to even discuss it, it would have been a nightmare. Mom also refused to budge, she didn't want to leave her house....Not even a straight flight, two layovers - so much can go wrong with arrangements while flying across the country!
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Just yesterday I was meeting with the don at my mothers facility to do a review of her care plan. Towards the end he mentioned that my brother doesn't visit like he use to. Really?!!! For years my brother questioned and criticized my care and decisions regarding our mother. Although local he visited about twice a month. Brother is very well off financially and seems his vacations, world wide travel and time at his vacation home filled all his free time. Then brother retired this past summer and had more time. This worked out well for me as right after that mom fell and in a few short months went from hospital to rehab to AL to a nursing home. Brother helped with all this - and mostly he really was helpful. Still we had the occasional "disagreement" - that's code for him not liking what I was telling him and him completely loosing it with me. One fight concerning moms dementia ended with him saying "I'll believe it when I see it in writting". I had been planning on taking mom to a geriatric psychiatrist anyhow, so I gave him a copy of the report and that was the end of that. Since then brother has been visiting less and less - probably once a week or every two weeks. He says there is no quality to his visits! Anyhow - my point - until the brother deals with your mother on his own, one on one, he probably won't accept anything you tell him. Put the ball in his court. Tell brother to talk to mom himself and if he still thinks a visit is a good idea, tell him he needs to make ALL the arrangments. On your part, get in writting from your mothers Doctor what he feels would be needed for your mother to make the trip - fax/email it to your brother. If he STILL wants to go through with it, let him - and you enjoy a respite. There is always the possibility mom would be unable to make the trip home and then your mothers care would be your brothers responsibilty - and you can get your life back.
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Of course you should not consider taking this trip with your mother. Absolutely not. Any such trip should be worked out by the parties involved. Not your monkeys, even if you are running the circus.

Are you supposed to cater to mother's every whim? Yes. At least that is what she has programmed you to do, and it seems like she has done a pretty good job. It is never too late, though, to disconnect some of those guilt buttons she so carefully installed.

Seems to me there might be a lot of other things you should start saying "no" to, in addition to this outrageous expectation of you being her travel escort.
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Heart, I have a feeling you are going to do what I would do -- just say no, I can't possibly do that and get on with life. If Brother wants to come visit, he can.

I remember when my mother decided she wanted to go to the beach in north Florida. We all know what the sand is like there. I just told her, "You don't even want to go in the front yard, but you want to try to walk of that sand." Of course, she tried to convince me that she could do it, or could use a wheelchair -- me pushing in deep sand???!!! Right. She got mad that I wouldn't do it, but better her be mad than me go through that.
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1RareFind My mother was the monster my father created. From day 1 he put her on a pedestal, jumped through hoops and bent over backwards to give her anything and everything she wanted ... though once she got whatever it was it wasn't good enough, big enough or fancy enough. She was an A1 narcissist, mean, manipulative and downright nasty if she didn't get her own way instantly. My late father and I trod on eggshells and feared her. His heart finally gave out after 50 years of her.

After four year of living h3ll of caring for her with parkinsons, strokes and dementia, at 86, she went into a lovely nursing home. First she shared a room with a lovely quiet lady but was always screaming at the poor woman, who eventually had a stroke and died. To this day I swear the stress killed the poor woman and I got my mother a private room before she could kill someone else.

For the last 3 years of her life she hid in her room, refusing to have anything to do with anyone as they were beneath her and plotting who she could find to take her to their house and wait on her hand and foot 24/7 for free of course ... it would be such a privilege for that person. She came from a horribly dysfunctional family which, on looking back, I see now. When you grow up with these things you don't see it as you don't know any better. There is no other family and, as she'd run off anyone who crossed her path over the years, she had no friends.

It has been six months since she passed and I've spent the winter at home in country peace and quiet, just me and my beloved animals, reflecting and recovering from a lifetime of mental and emotional abuse. I've come to the conclusion that she was mentally ill her whole life. She had everything, big houses, new cars, exotic vacations, the best of everything but it was never enough. She died at 89, miserable and alone. What a terrible waste of a life..
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Sometimes when I read the answers written to the other cgs, it stings. It's almost like we're blaming the victim. We see that a lot in abuse cases. To the child -- If you weren't so bad, then they wouldn't hit you. If you hadn't gone out at night, then that man wouldn't have raped you. If you weren't so nice, then your parent couldn't take advantage of you. We're very comfortable assigning blame and responsibility to the person who is being hurt.

Anyone in the position of being used and abused caregiving for a difficult parent knows it is not so easy. The parent is not always so bad. They are bad just enough to keep things stirred up. We can advise to get siblings to help, move the person to a facility, or get help to come in. Yeah, good luck with that. Or we can leave, knowing the repercussions will be serious for everyone involved.

It is sad that no one wants to help, but they don't. I told both my brothers of the problems faced here. Crickets. They go out dancing and on vacations while their old parents sit at home dying. They really don't care enough to be bothered. Maybe we should say to the cg "Thank goodness you do care," instead of hinting they are faulty for caring. People who have cared for a difficult parent probably know what I'm talking about. You have to take care of yourself while you keep your parent from falling, even if the hardships are of their own making.
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Heart2Heart, I have the same problem with my Mother who will be 92 years old in August. I won't have time or space here to give you the list of everything that is expected of me by my Mother and Family. You see, I am her only Daughter, I am 64 years old, and I have just one sibling, my brother who is 62 years old. I live 30 miles away, it takes us one hour to get to my Mother's house, if there is no traffic. My brother lives 1/2 mile away, 5 minutes from her house. My Mother is blind in one eye and losing sight in her "good" eye, going deaf, she gets dizzy and falls over, her neck is really bad from osteoporosis, and she has stomach problems. She lives alone in her 3 family house which she owns, and refuses any "outside help" to come in and help her. She refuses to use a cane, or a walker, refused to get hearing aids, did not follow through with the PT for her neck, and refuses to get a Medical Alert system which her Doctor wanted her to get, and will not use any of the reading aids that she got. She does not eat anything all day, just coffee, candy, and sometimes toast. She is only 80 pounds. She will not go to the Senior Center, or anywhere else for socializing, so she is isolated most days. My middle daughter is going to be 40 years old, and my husband and I and our other Daughters are planning a nice party for her at my house. But, my Mother insists on having it at her house. She wants to do all the food shopping and all of the cooking, and it's food that we really don't want to have for the party. My point is, it is impossible for me to say "NO" to my Mother, without feeling terrible guilt. She wants me to do things her way all the time. My brother never feels guilty at all, if he is busy - he just tells her that he can't help her, period. My worst nightmare is that my Mother loves to go shopping at the Mall and buy lots of stuff that she does not have to buy, needless to say that when we take her, it takes us hours and hours just to walk from one store to the next. Since she will not use a walker, or a wheelchair, we have to hold my Mother's arm, and we have to walk like snails. And, my Mother takes a magnifying glass with her because she has to look at the price tags herself, instead of us. I can't tell you how exhausting it is. I have a heart problem and get tired easily, plus other health problems, but my Mother and brother don't care, and never even ask me how I am feeling. This situation has been killing me. However, my husband and I have stopped going to her house every week, it is just too much for us, and the Family really told me off. But my husband has had many health problems too, and the driving is too much for him. Example, he almost died from a liver and blood infection, and my brother never called me to ask how he was doing. So, the point is, I am going to say NO more often, and I know that I will just have to deal with my Mother's anger.
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When I'm feeling down, Heart, I remind myself it is only because of some stress I'm facing that day. I know I will feel better on the other side of the stress. It sounds like your mother is a bit of a bully. It is so hard when your no's are not respected. I do think you need to stick with your no on this trip.

We hear a lot about how caregiving can be rough on marriages. We don't hear as much about how hard it is on single people. When you're single, no one has your back. I know it would be mighty nice to have that support person. What would be even nicer is if your mother had a friend who would take her to see your brother. That would give you a break.

Really, though, I think your brother should come visit. I mean, it is his mother, too. A lot of children don't care, though. They will show up for the funeral and that's the only time. Sad.
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