My mom says to me (and does) need help with daily life. But when she is around others, acts like everything is great. She was planning a trip back home a month ago, I was so excited to have a week off. My brother had a fit that I was not coming with her. She cancelled of course. He is coming here to visit for a week, but I believe he’s just going to pretend she is fine. I just need a break after 6 years 😕

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You just have to stand your ground and state you cannot continue in the present situation. Obviously your brother does not want to take over. I don't know the financials involved but I feel you just have to give the ultimatum that you are done with being the sole source of her needs. It doesn't mean you don't love her or care and you will continue to be in her life but not as the only source of help. If you have to say your doctor has told you that the stress is causing you to be sick and depleted then do so. If they all come to realize,despite their stubborn and selfish behavior that you are done with continuing with the present as it stands then a solution may be sought but regardless you need this change to happen. You will eventually become useless if you are sick. I know this is not at all easy but neither is continuing in the present situation. I am hoping you find the strength you need to make this happen. Your brother from afar is not in line to dictate what you and your mother need. It is good for him to visit but if he still behaves as though his opinions matter if they are not ones of moving forward for a change then those opinions are worthless. Whatever it takes you need to put you first. You have done a great deal for many years. Now her aging requires more than you can do.
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Reply to Riverdale

This situation is very common. I took care of my parents with no help from my brothers. It was expected of me. I was the ‘daughter.’ It’s crazy! One person can’t do it all without burning out. I did. After 15 years of mom living with me I burned out. Before that I took care of my daddy too. Also took care of my now deceased brother.

My mom did the pretending thing with others too. They save their ‘true colors’ for the primary caregivers. When I finally decided to set boundaries my mom turned on me instead of cooperating.

Mom went to my brothers and then they took her side when she said that I was being cruel to her. She equated boundaries with cruelty. It got ugly.

I was beyond devastated. I ended up telling my mom to leave and she is now living with my brother and sister in law. I have gone no contact in order to protect myself from a toxic relationship.

Do I miss my family? Yes. I don’t miss the agony though. Am I sad? Yes, but I am relieved too. I did what I had to do.

You will figure out what you need to do and I sincerely wish you well. I have lived your life. It’s the hardest job that I ever had. I feel your pain. I get it.

My relationship with mom had become so strained. I was under constant stress. I was miserable. Did I love mom? Of course, I did. Being primary caregiver to her changed the dynamics of our relationship, to the point of not being able to sustain the relationship.

I hope your situation doesn’t escalate as far as mine did. All I can say is get a handle on it now because letting it build up and fester inside like I did is so unhealthy. You can only bottle it up for so long before an explosion occurs. Don’t let that happen.

Fortunately, I found this forum through a social worker. I sought out therapy for myself. I have a great husband and two supportive daughters. I’m healing. I am sure that you would agree this experience has changed us forever. It leaves scars. We can live with scars. We can still heal. Please move forward in your life towards healing.

I would say not to rely on your brother. That is between your brother and your mom. You are not going to force him to step in if he doesn’t want to. Ultimately, it’s his choice. There are alternative living arrangements for the elderly besides living with their children.

Anyway, I hope I helped some. Sorry for going on too long. Vent anytime. We are her for you and many of us have walked in your shoes.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

I’m so sorry she cancelled!
My father also minimizes things to others, including doctors! Perhaps it’s vanity or ego- but I have started stepping in and providing a reality check. They can’t get proper help without truth and honesty.
You deserve a break! If there is any way to get her trip to him back on course, do it! Have a reality check discussion with your brother and mother and own your exhaustion to them. She needs to go and you need her to go. If for NO other reason than the fact that you need a break.
Stand your ground. 👍
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Reply to hollandgirl

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