How do you handle mean ungrateful siblings while caring for your mom? - AgingCare.com

How do you handle mean ungrateful siblings while caring for your mom?

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My mother's two oldest daughters are telling lies to other family members, even going to the extreme, writing letters and showing them to family saying I wrote them. I have taken care of my Mother for almost 6 years she has dementia. They continue to send bullying text message and just mean horrible things saying they will split up my own family. I have tried to ignore but that didn't work and have contacted the authority, they still continue especially one.Even during my Father's funeral. I have set up visitation outside my home in a safe place and they complain about that. The meanest one has never helped and the other one has helped once ever 6 months and maybe a few weekends. They are much older and have no one but themselves to care for but mom never wanted to stay with them and they wouldn't have done it anyway. The meanest one was mean to Mom before when she stayed with her a couple of weeks while some work was getting done on her house, Mom wasn't sick then. I just don't understand where this hate is coming from and how anyone could treat someone this way that has been really good with their Mother. Thanks for listening RRc.

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Soverytired, thanks for this. Yes it makes us realise to what lengths they will go. I think in extreme cases like this (though there seems from this site to be more than I imagined!) there is long-standing, underlying 'family' problems. But that too, in our 'family' case, doesn't get talked about either. The sibling 40 yrs in the USA has decided that there is an unspecified, not to be talked about reason that she and her sister behave this way with me and their mother andhad the arrogance (if that's even the word) to dictate that I take care of our mother or else she should go into a carehome (this woman has seen her mother a handful of times, perhaps six very short visits back to Scotland in last 40 years) and got the backing of her sister who lives here in Scotland to take the same tack - they then DENIED that they had said that. The lies to which they have resorted was, until I came upon this site, incredulous to me. At the end of the day I think the written word is inescapable which is why I decided to finally let them know that their behaviours are not acceptable in writing and that despite appearances, I will not be scapegoated. They did not like this of course and the one in USA then decided she had a 'breakdown' through my letter and had suddenly also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder - it is plain the lengths to which they will go to escape any responsibility is more common than I imagined. This 'breakdown' happened to allow her to carry on her daily job at a college and otherwise live an undisturbed life. Our brother, in the same state as her (he left Scotland too, 25 yrs ago) is estranged from her too which does not help matters and his attitude of 'time for a carehome' and 'i'm never coming back', or 'there's nothing i can do over here' whilst 'honest'! hardly helps at all.
Cautious, thanks for your reply - and yes it looks like male care givers are on the rise. My problem is made worse by the fact that I am single and male, although I have support of one or two friends and because I was much younger than the siblings, was in my parents' company (my father passed in 2004, Alzheimers) for a long, long time after they had long gone. But also, my parents were very insular and had no friends or social life of their own and so it has fallen to me to provide that for her too - although of late I have forced the situation by involving my mum with people her own age at local churches etc as one person cannot fulfil a caregiving role AND be a social provider too! I have forgegone aspects of my own life in recent years as she had no one else at all, not one friend, which I DO regret. I don't regret the caregiving but do regret that I allowed my mother to effectively dictate to me that she wanted no other help (of friends with networks of family members her own age) than mine and to expect that I just go along with that. She herself has not helped the situation I'm afraid. Slowly I am making arrangements to get my own apartment back and work life and social life, by using social services (being Scotland it is a different healthcare set up to the USA, we have the National Health service or NHS) to lay on more help.
No one should have to endure such extreme situations and I have had to learn to state my case the last few years and put myself first.
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Very sorry about your situation.I went through the same experience for over 7 years caring for my mom and dad.My mom recently passed away and yes the siblings showed up for the funeral with absolutely no sign of guilt for what they had not done (absolutely zero,really) over the years.Both my parents are gone now and I'm still a outcast because I'm sure in the back of their minds they know what they did to their parents and me so every time they think about it they put the bad behavior out of their mind asap.This is life in the USA today.This months issue of 'Time Magazine' has a front page article termed "How To Die" that explains the mindset of many Americans in regards to their elders.Search engine it and you will see that not all Americans agree with this warped concept.You are doing the right thing and as I said in my previous post try to put them out of your mind and take good care of your mum.I am a male too and a lot of times that makes it twice as hard because in western society the man usually does not take on this role in life.Times have changed and many do nowdays.There are many good loving offspring out there going it alone these days and I praise each and every one of them.It is the hardest thing you will ever do in life.
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You are not alone, gavanno. Many of us have had similar experiences - especially after you get to the point where you say, hey, family, I need some help here. Homer Simpson (from the TV show The Simpsons) said it best. "Sometimes the only way to feel good about yourself is by making someone else look bad. And I'm tired of making other people feel good about themselves." After all your hard work, you've been scapegoated by your family. This is why I think the standard advice to call a family meeting and to ask your siblings for the specific help you need is dead wrong in all but the healthiest families. If they wanted to help, they would have helped. If they wanted to be accountable for anything, they would have stepped up and done it - like you did. Instead they chose to virtually ignore it and let it all fall on you. When you called them on that, they had to make you look bad in order to feel good about themselves. Until they can own what they did to you (and what they didn't do for their parents), your relationships with them can likely not be restored. But don't let yourself fall into victim mode, don't give them that much control over how you feel about yourself. You don't need their thanks, their appreciation or their approval (and you're not likely to get it) in order to know that you have done what is right and that you have made the right choices. I know you are in a very hurtful situation and I wish you all the best.
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Although I live in Scotland, I have three much older siblings, two of whom have lived in the USA for 25 and 40 years respectively. One, the oldest, is still here in Scotland but none of them help as my mother in her mid 80s (I am mid 40s and male) has got older. I thought my situation was extreme and that people don't behave this way but I see from this site that there are other horror stories on the go, with long held jealousy and guilt etc at their roots.
The two female siblings have been particularly nasty and the one in USA has even written to social services to fabricate absolute lies about me - her lies were so outrageous that it was easy to prove her as acting maliciously. She wrote these letters from her home in the USA (TN) where she thought the distance of miles and difference in legal jirisdiction would not touch her. The other female sibling, the eldest who lives near us but never visits or helps at all, has also made up lies to suit her actions - namely that I have prevented her from visiting her mother and unfortunately, she and her equally malicious husband convinced members of my late father's family of this too.
The third sibling, a brother in the USA, has not behaved in such ways but lives in a world where he sees easy answers such as simply putting our mum in a carehome. He tells me I have no one to blame but myself for being sole carer as I have the power to change that - he preaches at his local church and calls himself a Christian etc and has also convinced himself that things fall as they do for a reason so he has no need to help or feel guilty if he chooses not to. He has even said that my friends should not have it put upon them to help me with mum! whilst he does nothing.
Anyway, I thought I would reply to this thread as some of my experiences with siblings echo what I read here. What made it worse is that the one in USA has been there since I was an infant, when she left this country and the other, years older too, I have had little to do with. No thanks for being there with their mother - nothing. Just abuse and lies taken to official levels - and all because I finally told them that there are FOUR of us and that we needed to DISCUSS our mother's future care as she gets older. I have no answer as to dealing with people like this except to have cut them out of my mind altogether.
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Just be sure you have the legal documents you are going to need - Power of Attorney, living trust (preferable) or at least up to date will, power of attorney for health care. These types are usually after money. They figure you will get what Mom has as you are the one taking care of her. Document everything. Likely, they will be first in line for "their" share if something happens to Mom. At best they are trying to make others think that they are trying to take care of Mom, but you just won't let them help.(LOL). Forget about them. Your Mom is your only priority. They will face a judgement later. (Wouldn't want to be in their shoes then).
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The best advise I received in a very similar situation came from a friend of mine's wife who took care of her mother and her MIL at the same time (with little help for her husband or her children).She said "forget about them because they will never never change,start acting like you were born a only child and do it for the love.Their pay back will come at a later date for sure".After I started to think like that the goal became much more defined.It became one less thing to worry about.
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Don't treat them like family. What would you do if this were happening by someone else? You would take all the precautions necessary to make it stop. All legal help is available to you without costing alot of money. I know you want your mom to continue to see them but it may not be feasible. I have a brother that is so mean to me and sends me nasty text and says nasty things to me and about me. I finally decided that i don't deserve that so I don't talk to him. We both have access to our mother and I don't know what will happen when further decisions are going to have to be made. Because he won't talk but I would rather him not talk at all then to be mean to me. So treat them as though you would to protect you and your mother and your family.
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I am in the same boat as you are. I have found that no contact with any of them is the best route to go. It was causing me a great deal of pain personally and interferring in my family life and almost cost me my marriage. Dont' let them control you. They are just narcissistic and the best you can do is block all interactions with them. Just focus on all the good you are doing for your mom as she is the main person in all of this who needs your help. Your siblings are jealous because of your relationship with your mother. My mom chose to live with me instead of my sister so I'm sure it made my sister angry that mom did not chose her since they were always close. Now my mom and I are very close and that jealousy rages inside of them and they can't take control like they always tried to do. It kills them to know that they are not wanted. Siblings talk a good game to others about how we are no good and how we lie, cheat and steal and how they would be more than willing to take the parent in. This is because they know that our parent would never, ever go with them so they keep spewing their lies to anyone that will listen. There is only one judge in this world and you answer to him and not those horrible people trying to tear us apart. Hang in there and put them out of your life. If you can't let it go then the only other alternative is to file a lawsuit for defamation of character and slander and libel. If you have any emails or proof of what they have told people about you, you should win the case. But it costs a great deal of money to get attorneys involved. It took me 2 years but I have now decided to move on with my life and not get upset any longer. I take care of my mom and will continue to do that and to me my sister is no more. God bless you and I hope you find the strenght to ignore those trying to tear you down. :)
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I have the same thing going on over here. I put a block on my phone so i do not receive any of their text messages. I stopped trying to figure them out cause it only made me feel sick. Now I just focus on me and my mom and what I can do each day to take care of us and not them. They are jealous and sick and "hurting people hurt people". You might even have to give them up showing up at your home too. Their behavior in unacceptable and you don't have to tolerate it at all.
You are doing nothing wrong......
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This behavior is basically bulllying and not acceptable behavior. Keep them away from you and your poor mother as much as possible. As Lilygirl said, protect yourself and your mom and the privacy of your own home. It appears they want to get something started and you need to keep your distance.

If they continue to bother you; get a restraining order from the court. No fooling around with people like this. Take care
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