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I need support and I know you all would love to vent, so let it out!!! I want my family to understand while they "live" I am exhausted from all my efforts and it is never ending. Even though my Mom is in a NH, my care is just temporarily on stand by duty, but nowhere near out of my focus on a daily basis. My stress is never minimal. I feel I get the cold shoulder when I care. Care for me has nothing to do with money or me. I believe they think, I have selfish intentions. How can they think otherwise because that's how they are. Instead of help, I get excuses about how their lives are in jeopardy. I suppose my life is only important when there is a problem and I am the solution. I am the only one that doesn't hide in a bubble of unimportant issues. Reality is not an issue for them it's an excuse to dump the trash on my door and say it's your problem. My life is important, but I am the only one on the "care page", they are on the "how do I get out of it page.... with the most gain and keeping my life and freedom!!!!" "Who care's about another humans life?"

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Glad I'm not the only one. I feel like a black sheep and a door mat every day. Nobody cares and nobody will until they're the ones who are sick and they're the ones who are dying.
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We really do learn the truth about our family members thru caregiving & estate settling. I'm the black sheep or sacrificial lamb - and that's ok, because I was doing "the right thing" for my special parents.
My siblings are self-centered & arrogant (they did Not get it from our parents). But, you're right, the "mirror theory" is one way with them, they can't/won't see that some of us caregive out of true LOVE & CARE. And, my sister's hypocrisy for touting attendance of seminars on Caring.
I'll get the last laugh when they find out they are NOT beneficiaries in my Will.
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My sister's hurtful words ring soundly in my ears everyday... They also think I am taking advantage of my parents. They think I have selfish ambitions as well. I live full time with my parents caring for them. It is painful, but I don't know that there is another solution. :( It breaks my heart that they can't just say "thanks! we appreciate all you have done for them." or SOMETHING! Anything. Funny, my brothers, thought they don't get involved in their care, they appreciate me. My sisters are the ones who resent me and hate me for this. What have I don't but love and care for them???
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I think its really sad when our own family are not supportive. They continue to hurt by their words and everyone says they don't mean that. Well, if they don't mean it they wouldn't have said it. No, they have to own up to their words because they do hurt and continue to hurt. They think the one helping is in it for some good reason. All they want is what they can get from the situation. Selfless love for a loved one is something that comes from inside and is blessed by God. It is very hard to do the best you can and still you get the criticism. I think that each of you caregivers are truly the ones making the difference and even if your own family members can't say it, I'll say it THANK YOU FOR CARING!
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I think,too, that there is some jealously and envy involved with those siblings who choose not to get involved. They are jealous of the strength the caregiver has shown to take on this daunting task. They lash out to show their shame for not caring the same way you do. It is a nasty trait but one everyone has to some extent. That is where bullying comes from. People like that feel so inadequate from some person/people in their lives that they feel better making you miserable.
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Sometimes I feel like a doormat, but mostly I feel like a sacrificial lamb. Not today, though. Today was a good day. I actually felt human.
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I've decided their arrogance and meanness is a form of jealousy. The last 2 years have a a heart breaking eye opener in learning the truth about my two sisters. My dear husband and I have always been there for them as they were going through divorces and other issues that seemed to always crop up..with never a question. We were there with emotional support, money, a room to stay in..whatevery they needed. As now, we were doing the right thing never expecting thanks but certainly never expecting what we have experienced the last 2 years.
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This caregiving is brutal at best and made so much harder having to deal with the rest of the family. I have learned to have very thick skin. When they start I tell them they can take over whenever they like, until then, talk to the hand. In my situation there is no money and I foot most of the bill and nobody else is chipping in. Whenever I call my mentor and cry "why do I always have to be the strong one" she tells me "to whom much has been given much is required". I keep my side of the street clean and hold my head up.
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Sometimes I feel I am the only one in my family who can actually "solve" what they feel are problems, They don't consider it as helping our parents, they consider it more as a problem. As a matter of fact, I AM the only one who does help them besides my husband, thank the lord for him! I guess in time those who choose not to help will be bitten by the karma bug. And I cannot wait to see how hard it bites!!
I feel for you, you are not alone by far. At least you care, and will sleep at night peacefully knowing you did right by your parents.
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Yes, I am in a similar situation to yours. I get treated like I am the Cinderella of the family. I am still hoping for a fairy godmother to show up. I think we just have to do what we think is right and try to ignore their behavior, they will never understand since they aren't doing the caregiving. I think sometimes the siblings feel pain when they see their mother's/father's health failing, and since anger is easier to express than pain they lash out at the nearest person, which is the caregiver. It doesn't make it any less heartbreaking, but it helps me to explain their behavior so I don't feel like it is something I have done to deserve it. I don't know why they can't offer a simple "thank you". It is what it is.
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