I have brothers, 2 of them, very well off brothers. I'm not bitter that they are well off, I am bitter that for 8 years I cared for my mom while they hung out and did things together and hardly came to see her while I took the brunt of all her care and the side effects of her disease. I was always to blame for everything. There came a point the last 2 years of her life I was calling 911 for her anywhere from once every month to once every 2 weeks. My brothers had to conference call to do hospice leaving me to sign the paper work even when they had POA. I feel like they left me holding the bag on 100% of everything. But when things were bad I had both of them in my face telling me how I was failing her I can't count the fights in the ER that I would be crying and have a brother in my face yelling at me calling me names. I was never certified in caregiving but I did the best I could and I knew mom better then they ever tried too. I was the one fighting with doctors for more tests. While they sat at jobs I was in hospital rooms I was arguing with doctors on mom's behalf. I was on call 24/7. They came and saw her when it was convenient for them (they lived in the same state). I also want to add that 3 years prior I also took care of my oldest daughter who at the time had a genetic disorder and passed away at 2 1/2 not more then 3 years later our mom was diagnosed with COPD. We grew up close but now they are close and I'm an outsider. They treat me like I am trash and only say nice things to me when holiday's roll around. After our mom passed away they insisted I get a job and do something with my life. When I told them I needed time they pushed me away even further. I resent them for their treatment of our mom and they are starting to treat our dad the same way. He recently had surgery that was very serious and they sat at their jobs texting me for updates while I sat in the hospital with my daughter waiting and pacing to find out what was going on for 2 days straight. Then when he went into a facility for therapy only one showed up for one hour in the month he was there. The other was on vacation. Within 2 weeks of our moms passing one took his kids to Disneyland for a week and said I quote "I needed to give my kids normal" Not taking myself or my daughter into consideration in that statement that our normal was blown to smithereens when mom died because we cared for her day in and day out. Between the two of them they have been on 12 vacations since mom passed and usually together with their wives. One got married and again fought with me for not jumping to make the arrangements to go but this fight included talking about my lack of making money and getting a job. My brothers resent that I'm not a hard core money machine like they are and they belittle me all the time over it. Am I wrong to think in a way I'm better then them because I have love over money? I wish we were close like we were but at the same time I would never want to become like them. I feel like a bad person for how I feel but I also feel they pushed me to this point, the point of I resent them. I tried for a long time after mom passed to reach out to them and make a connection but eventually I got tired of talking to voicemails so I stopped calling and texting, the first month after she passed they were there for me and then it was dead silence. I have grieved alone I don't feel they even really felt her loss they moved on so quick with their lives that they established while she was here. I don't say anything to them about how I feel because I want to keep what peace I have in my life just that peace because my daughter adores her uncles when she sees them on family holidays. I tried to express my feelings once on another site about them and I was belittled by the members so I deleted my account now here I am trying to make sense again of how I feel. I don't care about their vacations but I love how when they have pictures they use the word "family" when our dad or myself are not there. I think that's what hurts the most is they use the word "family" so loosely like they know what that is after what they put our mom, myself and our dad through not being there for us emotionally but quick to rip us a new one. They also recently asked for her ashes saying they wanted to spread them where she wanted to be. Like they have the right to do so without my dad and I there they didn't ask us to be there they wanted to by themselves with their wives. I just don't know if it's possible to let this bitterness go I have tried. Sorry this was so long I just had so much to say.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
You need to get mad. These brothers have no idea what goes into caregiving. They have no idea that holding down a full-time job and caring for someone is overwhelming. They probably have that mindset that the daughter is to take care of parents. Is your Dad well? May be you should tell brothers that u took care of Mom so they need to care for Dad since you don't feel comfortable doing for a man and...(being sarcastic) You did such a bad job with Mom. Look into maybe getting a therapist. You can find some that work on scale. You need to stand up to these bullies.
Helpful Answer (12)

If it were me I'd not want any more to do with the brothers--I'd cut off their emails, texts and phone calls and let only the kindest people into my life from now on. They don't sound like very nice people, they took advantage of you and shirked their parents. What jerks.
Helpful Answer (9)

I am so sorry for the family issues you have to deal with. You cannot force people to feel what you feel--they are acting in their own best interests and leaving you out, which is rotten, but it's evidently the way it is. You cannot change anyone else.
Focus on your life. Are you now 24/7 caring for Dad? Do you want to? Or do you want to live alone with your daughter and have a "normal" life? Only you can answer these questions.

I'm really sorry your brothers seem to be thoughtless jerks. But, you recognize that they are and are not likely to change. Move on with your life and let go of the relationship with them, if possible. I know it seems cold, but I had to "divorce" one of my brothers many years ago, as he was so toxic.

Then vacations, etc., are just signs that yes, they love family, as long as it is their "own" family. I have no idea why they've cut you out. I have found, in my life, that my hubby is VERY distant from his mother and lets his sister handle ALL of the issues with her. I think it's awful, but I cannot MAKE him care about her.

What you are going through is very common, sadly, and I am sorry you have to suffer.

Try to make a life for yourself w/o them in it at all. See how some silence from your end feels for a few weeks. Not angry silence, just self-preserving silence. And good luck with this.
Helpful Answer (8)

It's so hard to "forgive and forget" when we feel like we've been wronged. Sometimes we just have to forget about it and not bother with the forgiveness, especially if the pain is recent. It helps not to ruminate about what happened because the pain keeps coming to the surface.
It's rough when our feelings aren't acknowledged, even more so when they're hurt and it seems intentional.

I think the hardest thing for me, in these types of situations, is continuing the relationship. It's normal to want to back away (survival). Do you speak up and defend yourself?

From the explanation you gave of your brothers, they seem very self centered. There is nothing you can do about that. But you can change the way YOU interact with them. Tell them how you feel when they talk down to you. Don't put up with them yelling at you. If you're face to face say, "Please don't talk to me that way." If they don't stop, walk out of the room. If you're on the phone, say the same thing. If they don't stop say, "I'm hanging up now." The ball is in your court. YOU can control how you react to them, which, in a way, controls them.
It's hard to change your way of responding and it may take several tries of rejecting their bad behavior to get your responses right.

Everyone deserves respect. If they won't give it, even after you change your response, I'd suggest that you limit contact with them. (That's what they seem to want anyway.) You know that you helped your mom and they know it too. You freed them up so they could live their lives while you toiled away. Their aggression to you is probably because they feel guilty for not having done their part. They know they didn't do enough, so, to make themselves feel better, they berate you. Just don't put up with it anymore. "Family" isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
Helpful Answer (8)

TMB, I remember when you first began posting here, and remember you as being a very caring, concerned and responsible person, as you still are.

As others are, I too am disturbed to learn how this journey has been so traumatic and challenging because of your brothers.

You've been given good advice about standing up to them and segueing them out of your lives. I just have a few observations to offer.

1. JoAnn used exactly the word I had thought of as I read through your post: Bullies. I can't help wondering if they bullied you as the 3 of you were growing up.

2. I would plan to back off on interaction by your daughter with her uncles, as to me the uncles are NOT good role models, family or not. I wouldn't want any child to grow up witnessing their abusive behavior and criticism of their mother, and become acclimated to that behavior to the point that she accepts it as normal.

You don't want your daughter to find herself in a position of men treating her as your brothers treat you. And some behavior is learned.

3. I do think that they've beem enabled at some time in their life, and the fact that they have absolutely no sense of propriety and criticize you in the hospital tells me that they lack a lot of good values...common sense, respect, and especially for a sibling, as well as just being plain irresponsible and obnoxious.

Are they in investment banking by any chance? Stockbrokers?

4. They aren't going to change. Begin eliminating them from your life, and after your father's gone, gradually segue away from any interaction at all. Why? Because they're not providing anything positive to you or your daughter.

I shudder to think that a daughter would grow up admiring such boorish and cruel behavior.

I can't really make any good suggestions on alternative male role models, but if your daughter is interested in sports, that might be an option if the coaches are males, and good stable ones.

5. Are you now caring for your father? I think I would take a stand now, although you don't want your father to be in the middle or be the brunt of their irresponsibility.

6. And stop texting them; tell them if they want an update they can call, that you're too busy to keep pacifying them while they refuse to accept any obligation at all for parental support. I know it takes courage and strength to talk to them like that, but perhaps you can text it to them, then don't respond and don't take their calls so you can prevent them from lashing out at you.

7. I would also tell them that it's impossible to provide decent care when they're so critical, control the financial issues, etc. (and list all the reasons). You might even tell them that it's time for them to step up to the plate and care for your father, although that probably would cause an eruption to rival Mt. St. Helen's.

8. You don't mention it but I have a suspicion that they're tight with the "purse strings" and that you aren't being compensated for your expenditures, nor are they forthcoming with advances that you needed to care for your mother, or would need for your father.

9. This can be your "line in the sand." You might even want to consult an attorney if you can afford it and have him/her draw up a contract that you can present to the brothers addressing remuneration if you do decide to care for you father, or if they refuse.

They aren't going to like being challenged, but it's time they learned their behavior has been inexcusable.

Still, as others have written, you have to stand up for yourself or this abuse will continue.

10. And as to your initial question, I don't think the bitterness in this situation will go away, unless you find through therapy (and I'm not saying that this will solve anything but it's worth consideration) that their personalities are deficient and they've always found a target for their bullying.
Helpful Answer (8)

My heart and soul aches with you and we are more than glad to be your online family. We cannot choose our birth parents or the families we are born into but we can chose how we protect ourselves from toxic people. I'm so sorry you're dealing with difficult personalities. It's sadly all too common especially when there is an aging parent. Focus on your healing and living on with your daughter. As for your brothers you may want to distance from them. Little to no contact is best. Look up videos on narcissm and how you can make healthy boundaries. Career or money driven people usually have some sort of personality disorder. You seem to be very empathetic which makes up for most of the caregivers in families. The most one with the highest emotional IQ are the ones trying to earn love and respect that won't be given freely by cluster b. They have nothing but selfish intentions. I am sorry you're so troubled by this but letting you know now you're not alone when dealing with difficult family members. Much love to you❤ hugss
Helpful Answer (7)

I am so sorry you are going through that Trying..but unfortunately I understand. Anyone who has to call 911 on a regular basis and go through the extreme stress of continually in the ER with your LO deserves a medal. Those situations for me have been harrowing to say the least. I know each of those emergencies takes a toll on you.. it did and still does for me.

No one in my family gets it.. no way would they even begin to know. You deserve (and all of us) deserve love and understanding for what we have been through. I'm so sorry life is unfair.

You need to move on though because they won't change and the anger and resentment is only hurting you.. they are busy enjoying their lives... I am living something very similar.

Helpful Answer (6)

Dear Trying,
It always amazes me how family members that we were always close with change into evil monsters.
That is the only way I can describe the selfishness, greed, meanness, betrayal, grasp for power and control and the abusive ugliness of family members when a parent or loved one needs constant care.
I'm going through that ugliness right now with my brother also.
My heart goes out to you and I understand your pain.
Helpful Answer (6)

If you are a Christian, I urge you to look up and listen to the sermon of 12/3/17. It is about preparing for Christmas with less-than-desirable family members; but it does reach further than just family Christmas issues.
I think it will help relieve your bitterness. It has been a powerful message to me.

Many others have offered good practical suggestions for you; but if it's a mind & emotion thing you want to relieve, this could be a great help, whether you want to maintain contact with your brothers or not.

Wishing you all a blessed and peaceful season!
Helpful Answer (5)

I'm also amazed by the lack of empathy by family members.. the ones who I thought would always care. My siblings have backed away emotionally from my parents and me so I'm sure they do not feel grief and sadness that I feel.. or concern over my welfare.

Do they change when really tough times come up? ... Or was their love/caring conditional and not what I always thought it was.... was all an illusion? I remember them as being caring... but pretty much across the board I notice relatives backing away and only offering shallow type support now.. if that.

I have that debate in my head quite a bit. This thread reminds me I am not the only one experiencing this phenomenon.

Much respect for you Trying and all the others going through this.
Helpful Answer (4)

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter