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I care for my elderly parents, my mother has end stage MS, and I moved back home to provide the 24 hour care my mother needs and to help my elderly father. My older sister lives two houses down, and works maximum three days a week from her home. My younger sister was fired three months ago and is receiving unemployment. They have come to help with my parents zero times, and in fact enjoy very active social lives. They have never offered to give me any break, they have been consistently absent when I have asked for help during times my mother has had crises (her catheter leaking and soaking through the bed, etc.). I have two nieces and a nephew and because they avoid coming over, I am isolated from them. They are now engaging in family functions like going out to lunch as a family and not even inviting me to join them. When I found out about their latest day of fun today which included lunch nearby that I could have come, I expressed my hurt at being excluded. This is at least the second time this has happened, and both times so far their first approach is to lie to my father who sees I was upset about missing seeing the kids, and tell him I was invited but that I refused to join them. I had all the texts and confronted them with the facts that they had not invited me, they got angry and reprimanded me for being upset and "making a big deal out of it." They almost seem to derive pleasure from knowingly hurting me. It is as if they are sociopathic in their total lack of any empathy not only for the unpleasant and difficult task I have every day, but also for how I would feel knowing they are literally abandoning any and all responsibility and concern for my parents' well-being, but also hurting me by excluding me from their fun activities. I am devastated that they don't even try to make their lies believable, that they seem to enjoy rubbing my nose in the exclusion, and now treat me literally as if I am no longer their sibling but instead as their way to justify doing nothing by dumping all on me. I don't know what to do, i used to have a very close relationship with them, especially the kids, and even my sister in law treats me like I am a stranger who has no relevance. Any advice?

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I agree with DHD123. If I did not have Christ I be much worse today. My brothers invite me, but with Dad, to whatever. However, they both think I have it made with free room and board. Think I should be paying for many things our Mother, which had a great mind, just a very weak body did not want me to be responsible for. I have taken care of Dad, with Dementia for 2 1/2 years after over 3 with both. I am having to stop my brothers taking advantage of me even though I don't want Dad to go to a memory care facility. I know I'll feel guilty, but enough is enough. I have saved the family more than 60K a year for 6 years and they show no appreciation. Sad. I pray they come to understand and I can continue to take care of Dad. I guess we all have siblings that surprise us. My Mom's sister told me that she expected this from one of the two brothers, but not the POA. He doesn't even try to learn what a caregiver goes through. Dad's Dr has volunteered to talk to him, but I don't think he'll talk with her. He just wants me to pay for being Dad's caregiver because I live in his house. I pray you will find peace and comfort.
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Same here. I would cry but I am out of tears as well as self esteem. I have been labeled the scapegoat and nothing I assert by way of boundaries will change it.
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Hi, Bummerb, Your family has set up a dynamic whilst excluding you. Like David with Goliath you must turn this dynamic around by making you and the loved ones for whom you are caring the ones they seek out. Stop asking to be a part of their events. Instead, make yourself and your loved ones the event they seek. Start inviting people who please you and support your worthy endeavors over for tea or for a sit. Start creating a nucleus of love and support around you and give up your family for now. There are many angels in the world who are supportive of the valuable work you are doing. Not your family members for now. Easier said than done, but you will be surprised at how then they seek you out and try to gain your favor. And if it doesn't happen that they start to come around then you will have ditched some very unworthy and terrible people who dare to call themselves your family without acting as such.
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By the way, the reaction was what you would expect. When you stand up to the bully, they retreat with their tail between their legs. Said sib in the future always checked beforehand about presence at my events and did specified grunt work as requested, up to but not including changing diapers.
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What I did to rub my sib's nose in their idiocy is that I started staging events to which they were not invited. If they showed up by pure chance -- one of them did once -- the sib lives fifteen minutes away so really no excuse for lack of involvement -- I rubbed his nose in his own sh%t in front of the company saying very nicely, "You were not invited. You will have to leave and come back another time. Also, let me know in the future when you are planning to come over because there will be times I just don't want you to be here." I also said a few other things, very bluntly to the sib, like the fact that said sib creates more stress so when said sib shows up sib should do a b and c to prove said worthiness (like clean scum from pots while I enjoy the company). You get the gist.
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This also happened in my case, DHD, be very careful about how you and sis view your mom's care by another sis. Their relationship and whether it is good for them or whether your sis shoyld be doing this is not your business. My sissies claimed to care about mom and me so would make the same sort of judgements. Mom had one on one care provided by me. Sissies felt guilty for not helping, so they relieved their guilt by coming up with reasons, however warped they were, to justify their unwillingness to help. What they thought about mom's and my mental health, was none of their business. I got tired of their criticism and judging me and told them to find a place for mom after providing care to her for four years! Mom was moved a year ago, the decline has been terrifying to hear about. Sissies will not tell me what is going on. They thought mom would adjust after a few weeks. HA!

Be grateful for the personal level of one on one care that your mother receives.
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No person will ever be able to fill your void, only Christ can do that. You cannot control others, and changing others is extremely difficult, if not impossible (certainly frustrating)---thus, trying to change others is not wise (educate others, yes--trying to change others, no).

My sister took it upon herself to care for our mother. She drives the rest of us crazy--we don't care to be around her or have her around us. It has nothing to do with whether or not she cares for our mother. And yes, my brothers and I are actively involved in helping our mother the best we can. I kind of feel as though my mother would be happier without our sister's care, but they depend on each other for companionship, which I am not sure is healthy for either. My sister and you sound a lot alike. Both rambling and complaining about their siblings.

The sooner you start trusting that God is in control of all circumstances (and you are not God), the sooner you will find peace, and hopefully start living a life that is thankful of all circumstances as we are called to be, have joy, and find happiness seeking YOUR own life interests (not dependent upon other people for happiness).
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Very often one finds this in families and we try and hide it, what good will come of it, eventually one will walk away as much as one does not wish to not because we do not care but because they do not. I have tried several times to speak from an I perspective only to be mocked and told I am imagining things............. indeed sad and emotional bullying that has continued for years, at the time of me trying to speak to my mother about the two brothers abuse, her answer was "you people have never got along" I told my mother at the time, but I have done all in my power to, and also been very good to their children, Mom agreed but said "just leave it" she appeared in not only my eyes but my fathers sisters to be afraid of my youngest brother and was controlled by him as well, very sad indeed and to this day they all controlling, and as said the sister in laws have joined in as has the brother in law, they have no reason to treat myself or my sons this way, besides the second eldest brother not one of them has tried to ever help us in anyway, they know how much I have struggled as I raised the kids alone from ages 2 and 4 into the men they are today, the youngest one is a special needs child, as said not all the siblings are abusive or have been but they exclude us and the eldest brother, this is a person who took care of their mother for years while trying to raise my own two sons alone, their father played no part and has remained an abuser right throughout sad situation, I always say I would have been better off with the punk rocker, who smoked and drank and has since change in habits than this false saint
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I have to carry on my story here as I only have so many characters, I eventually left the marriage and raised two small sons on my own in a strange town but we were happy, during that time suddenly the siblings decided that my mother needed care and I was the ideal person to take care of her. So she was brought down to my home and I was made to take care not only of her but also my sons at the time, I was excluded from every event from then on as my mother was unable to move around most of the time, I was never informed about anything, they made little or no effort with my mother, until they heard she was just about at deaths door, then suddenly they all reappeared, took her and put her in a hospital in another town, and when I asked if one of them could please help me with a ticket to get to see her, they performed and even told me find your own accomodation, and way to get up here, which I did, right to the end of her life, they continued the abuse and then the sister in laws and brother in law joined in, thee only one who is not abusive in anyway is the eldest brother who is treated exactly like myself excluded from everything, he has now distanced himself from them all, but I continue to try and make effort. They then took control of my mothers banking details before she died, and suddenly when it came to the time of her will been read myself and the eldest brother were told there was nothing much left in the will, here is a couple of hundred for you each, next thing we noted thee others going on big trips, I know we were cheated out of the will as I know what was left and in the will, my mothers medical costs were covered by her medical aid, of course my father had passed on years before that leaving big policies, and my mother basically contributed very little in the time she lived with me. To this day I am excluded as are my sons, we are now struggling financially but we pray that in time things will get better, its tough and only as one gets older does one realise just how much emotional bullying which is abuse has gone on, even in spite of the way I was treated I still make effort with my brothers but the two that abused the most basically for no reason ignore myself and my sons as do the sister in laws, its indeed a sad situation however i say you can hide what you do in front of others but you can never hide what you do in the eyes of God. I have one sister and one would think she would make effort with me, she makes none, if I come through to the city she lives and ask for a ride to see them all, they always busy, as said the eldest brother and the fourth eldest are about the nicest, the second eldest is kind he gives me R500 a month which helps but his wife for no good reason distane herself from me, if I attend family functions and try and fit in they make a point of excluding myself and my sons who were well raised, the eldest is studying for his informatics degree, they controlling telling me what to do, as recently my mothers sister became ill, they told me straight no person to get you at the airport sorry and she is in pain, we will see to her, they also have her banking details................... but this is the aunt that I make effort with, I call her each and everyday to see how she is, but I am told do not contact her or make effort to come here we will see to her even though she is in a hospital at this time and would go back to a frail care, so what are they seeing to actually, indeed a sad situation, my sister at family functions makes a point of putting me down to get a reaction from thee others, I just look at her as do my sons sad indeed
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Isn't it hurtful that the people we think should be the ones to help us don't and we are so lucky if non-relatives help fill the void

Besides me my mom's only visitors are our housekeeper and my dear friends - not my siblings, not my niece and nephew (in their 40s no kids) and not my cousins
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I feel so sad reading your story. I can relate to this in a different way. I am the second youngest child of seven siblings. I have five brothers and one sister, I have a brother a year younger than myself and a sister four years older than myself above her are four boys. My parents are now both deceased. I never had an easy childhood, but also my parents did the best they could under the circumstances, my father never abused my mother at all in anyway but he was very controlling, Mom was totally submissive to my father, he even told her how to dress, rearrange the house and what furniture to buy, he was a great father but very strict, however as much as we struggled there was always food on the table, the house was clean and neat and so were we, I never ever heard my father use bad language ever, he had no bad habits except he was very controlling and over scruplous about everything making it at times really difficult for us especially in our teenage years as we were never allowed to go near a party. My father got ill in his late fifties and was confined to a wheel chair and later he had to be put into a frail care facility. Mom had survived advanced cancer when I was just five, a good woman but all to often taking the side constantly of my youngest brother who was her baby even though I was only a year younger. Once Dad landed in the frail care everything changed by that time I had started to work after matriculating, I so much wanted to learn to drive a car, and saved money to go to a driving school however I needed a car to practise on in between, I was told "you not using the car" its going to be sold to your youngest brother, by that time my sister who is older than myself had become involved with her now husband, it was a case of from my Mother, I did not learn to drive and I am just fine, we talking now in the late 90's my mother had me at the time when she was 41 years old, so possibly back in her day not many woman had the need to drive who knows, so the lessons went to waste, then my brother left school and we started working at the same place, so I asked if I could pay him a small amount and instead of getting up at five to catch a bus to where the work was I could ride with him, he refused. I started to feel more and more isolated, the older siblings had left the home and were married, the third eldest brother used to bring his kids around and I would be left to take care of them while him and his wife went out, if I corrected the kids in anyway telling them not to destroy my things in my room, no smacking, I got accussed that I was to harsh on them and later accussed that I was smacking them which I was not by both my brother and his then wife, the youngest brother became more and more controlling and one day came into the lounge and told me to get up off the chair as he wished to sit in it, I stood up to him and said I was sitting here, he then smashed me in my eye and gave me a black eye. When I said something my mother said you were unreasonable and cheeky, I had to take time off work and go to the Dr and make some excuse the start of abuse, then my third eldest brother came there and said yes she has always been cheeky and when I said its not the case take care of your own kids from now on, he started kicking me to the ground as did the youngest one, while my mother watched on, this has happened before my father became ill and he too watched this happen and actually encouraged it at the time as I had told my brother to b............. off, I all too soon realised I was abused and nothing was getting done, where I once had good health, I then started to go in and out of hospital with a range of problems all related to the abdominal area and woman parts, just where these brothers had been kicking me and shoving me around strangely enough, during the time I was seriously ill and came out of hospital my sister got married, on the day of her wedding I was still doubled over as I had had a massive tumor removed from my one ovary at age 19 and I was not moving fast enough for her liking, my third eldest brother came into the room and started abusing me once more and shoving me stating I was jealous, as she was getting married, I was after all only 19, I told him its not the case I am just not very well, I quiet humbly say not that it matters I am the better looking one of the two sisters and the kind one, always helping others, always reaching out to others and I am still that way. Be as it may I had many boyfriends who were interested in me but because they smoked cigarrettes or had the odd drink, I was told not to mix with them for some reason, next thing my now ex husband came along and because he was neither a smoker or drinker according to what they thought and the same religiion I was told this is the one, huge mistake, he turned out to be the worst abuser of them all and they knew this. When I married him all was fine two weeks afterwards he started to abuse me badly in everyway
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The fact that they never offered to help you with caregiving, speaks volumes about them, and not in a good way. You sound great, but unfortunately we cannot choose our siblings. Your siblings not having empathy for you, could indicate a personality disorder; perhaps narcissistic personality disorder. Lack of empathy is one of the hallmark signs of narcissism. I would suggest just having minimal contact with them, and try to emotionally "divorce" yourself from them. In addition, narcissists are notorious for having a sense of entitlement, and they sometimes try to steal some or all of the family inheritance. I'm not saying your siblings have personality disorders, such as narcissism, but it is a very real possibility.
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Bummer just lost my post to you.
However briefly what I said was that you are not paying anything to live and that you have wriggled yourself into a situation where you can influence the final disposition of our parent's assets probably not in the siblings favor.
This family stuff gets nasty and we hear the same story time and time again. So follow the advice you have been given. Got out to lunch with your own friends and if you happen to see them simply say "Hi enjoy your day my friend and I are just off to lunch at .............resteraunt and then to see that new movie. Have a nice afternoon guys see you soon, don't forget to come by and see Mom.
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Going through the same thing here. I haven't been invited to my nephews birthdays and I live 100 feet away. Heck, they've even told me the wrong times before so I'd show up after the party (which makes me look like I'm irresponsible). They don't help at all. Here's what I've learned. I live in a narcissistic family in the scapegoat/rescuer role. Some people grow out of their roles and some don't. Others become narcissistic themselves. It sounds like they're narcissistic, putting their pleasure before you or your mother. Thinking about it this way helped me a little because I could confidently say, "It's them, not me. I'm doing the right thing by caring for my aging mother while they party." It also helped me to see that the behavior, likely, wouldn't change. As a result, I can sort of working on "moving on" with my life and cut out constantly jumping through inhumane hoops for their love. I hope contentment finds you and you are blessed with many happy years.
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What? Since when is caregiving full time living in luxury? You siblings should kiss your feet and sing your praises. What would they do if you decided to move and leave it all for them to do "for a change". People can be so blind and see only their reality sometimes.
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Isn't it sad when family has to add undue stress to a situation that is already full of stress and emotions aka as Caregiving. Be proud for all you have done and for being there for them. Isn't it easier said then done not to let it hurt your feelings when it concerns ones siblings. Hang in there .
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First let me yet again express my forever gratitude to know you all are there and understand and care enough to help. Palm trees, my siblings weren't happy when I moved in, it is their feeling that I am living in the lap of luxury. And assandache, yep it is the very same sister. A real peach eh?
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Bummer, this is the same sister that accused you of giving laxatives to your Mom while you were sick with the flu? Because she didn't want to wash Mom's hair?

Time to move on.. They don't deserve your precious free time!! Call an old friend, find a support group... You need to get out with people who appreciate your friendship!!!
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Bummer just wondering. What did the sisters think when you moved in with your parents? Did they have a different plan for your parents? Are they jealous of you thinking you are the parents favorite?

I am sorry so many people here are making you feel so bad. I know from personal experience family can be very, very nasty. I was just curious about how you ended up with the care of your parents to start with.
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This situation does sound hurtful, but maybe these are two different issues, you with the siblings, and your siblings families not helping. You did not say how old the kids are, but having children can be a challenge in itself. Going out to eat may be just a break for the parents, not a family event. Having extra adults can actually bring added pressure. Forget it.
Parents, especially good ones, may have no time to themselves at certain development stages. Children can be extremely time consuming, particularly if they have special needs of their own. I raised a special needs child, and there were times my wife and I could not even care for ourselves properly because we had nothing left. We could not have handled both kids and parents at the time. I do not have siblings, but I am very grateful for help from anyone, no matter how small. To keep them engaged I need to be positive about what they do, not negative about what they don't do.
Maybe putting things with your siblings in a positive light might help. For example, instead of talking about how hard it is to change the sheets, let your siblings know your parents were asking about the kids and you talked about Johnny's success at the spelling bee last year or Mary working as a lifeguard. Hard to keep up the positive when you are rightfully resentful, but people naturally avoid negative situations. You probably cannot raise them to your level of humanity, but maybe you can help them improve.
And pstegman is so right. Give yourself a break!
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Bumm,
I, too, have two siblings nearby one takes mom to church most Sundays, the other a therapist has done absolutely nothing in 2.5 years. Some of us have what it takes to do this job, but most people don't. That is why waiting lists at facilities are so long. You should take pride in being able to do everything for your mom.

Often, and it is my case as well, siblings just do not know what to say or how to act with the sibling providing the care while they go on with their lives. Whether it is embarrassment of out and out guilt, they just cannot handle it. It causes them stress and they do not know what to do to help or most importantly, understand what a fun, carefree time away would do for our morale. You need to stop beating yourself up over this, and as others have said, detach. I have not been asked to do anything with them including holidays, I had to do the inviting. One six does not even respond to invitations and wields her influence towards my grown children in determining how they should plan their holidays. Two of my kiddos see and understand what is going on. I'm still waiting to see if the third will wake up.

Sure it hurts, but I have had to rise above it, sure its hard. But when it comes down to it I enjoy my own company much better than theirs. They are the ones that will lose out on the precious time our mother has left. One day they will be sorry that only they have made things this way.
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Everyone has given such excellent advice and I can't add much. One thing can happen to us as caregivers that I wanted to mention. It can take a bite out of our self esteem, so we can start feeling like we're not as good as our other siblings. I don't know why we can come to devalue ourselves, but it happens. We should feel very good about ourselves because we help others.

So if your siblings have lunch and don't invite you, just say "So what." You certainly wouldn't want to spend time with someone who didn't want to be with you. Jeanne's advice on focusing on yourself and what you are doing is excellent. Your siblings don't seem to want to be involved.
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Bummerb, I don't think you deal with them at all. Focus on your own life, your own decisions, and your own behavior. You have no control over your siblings.

I agree with pstegman that you need respite. EVERY caregiver needs to get away from the situation regularly. Obviously you can't count on family helping you out by taking over, so forget about them and spend your energy arranging something else.

You apparently decided to move and to devote yourself to your parents. Good for you! If seeing the actual situation and the experience of 24/7 responsibility has given you second thoughts, that is perfectly understandable. It happens more than you might think. If you want to continue with the full responsibility, that is great. If you want to change your mind and make some other arrangements for your parents, that is OK too. Focus on your own decisions. Give up thinking that your siblings are going to help you out. Maybe they "should" but that doesn't do you any good.
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Bum, I have been there done that. My advice to you is to ignore what they do and just enjoy your life the best you can. How are you finding out about these parties that they are having? Whoever is telling you this, just tell them that you don't want to hear about it again. My solution to my problem sister was to detach. I can't change her and so I ignore her.
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Oh my, you are burned out and you need help. Get away for at least a week, call the local chapter of MS and get some respite.
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