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When I was younger, I gave my all to love and help my parents and siblings. Caregiving has ripped our 'family' apart, which I feel, was fueled by my mother's special/biased treatment of her sons... (I'm the only daughter). My mother says, "They have a life". "They're busy" .... I now doubt (after so many years have passed with almost nil communication) that we will ever have contact again after all this is said and done.

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I've read through some of your past posts. You have had your mother living with you for 17 years now, correct? And she has caused you untold stress and health problems (insulin resistance, among others, and you are worried about diabetes, correct?).

Have you made any changes to extricate yourself from this situation? Do you have any plans to extricate yourself from this situation?

What is your mother's financial situation? Does she pay you for living in your home? Are you her POA/HCPOA?

I've been here long enough to realize that most caregivers don't make the necessary changes to make their situations better. Why won't you consider doing that?
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BurntCaregiver Jun 22, 2021
CTTN55,

Sometimes it's more complicated than the caregiver making 'the necessary changes to make their situations better'.
Many of us caregivers here and everywhere have put in year after year in the miserable servitude and drudgery of caregiving for an elderly parent or relative. Year after year doing it for free and with no other type of compensation.
Then we can decide to put the "loved one" in a care facility or get hired help.
Then everything the elder worked for in life and all the years we put in for free in service to them will be devoured in practically no time by some greedy nursing home. Home care can clean a person out as well.
Let's put aside the financial reasons for family caregivers and skip to the emotional ones. The guilt trips, judgement, and chastisement a caregiver who's been at it for years gets from their family and society if they show the slightest displeasure about their situation or if they ask for help. There's that too. So for so many of us this is our reality.
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When I was younger, my mom told me that any advanced degree would be funded towards my brother if there were any funding issues during economic downturn. My brother and I received AS degrees, but her words stuck with me.
I made my own way to a MS. When it was time that parents needed help, I did not go the way of in home care. It became facility care. There was no sibling discord.
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It's easy to say that Heart accepted her role. John Niven said, 'If you put a frog in boiling water, it'll jump straight out. If you put it in cold water and gradually bring it to the boil, it'll sit right there until it dies." I thing becoming a caregiver is like that. It starts out by running an errand or two if your parent is too tired, but, as they age, the tasks just multiply. Before you know it, you're juggling their doctor appointments, doing their shopping, giving medications, and cooking their meals in addition to maintaining your own employment and possibly taking care of your own children.

My parents ended up settling by me and we never discussed my becoming their caregiver. It was expected by them and my siblings since I lived close to them. So, twenty some years of dealing with my mother's Alzheimer's and father's helplessness has been exhausting. We ended up having to place her and I was the only one to visit her. She became increasingly hostile and confused and my weekly hour long visits eventually changed to visiting her once a month for ten minutes.

Five years after her passing, my father now has dementia and caring for him has become a nightmare due to his nastiness and never ending demands. His paranoid behavior led to an anonymous caller accusing me of elder abuse which led to a visit from the friendly sheriff one evening after I had gone to bed. Fed up, I called my siblings in hysterics and said I was done and one of them needed to step up.

For the first time, we siblings have been working together as a team. I finally got the help and support I needed because they finally realized it was an impossible job for one person. My husband is a great source of help, love and strength and I have started seeing a therapist.

Only you know the answer to your question. You don't need permission to make the hard decisions, it seems that you've been doing that all along. The above answers are good and have some wonderful advice. I'm struggling to internalize many of the things that have been posted. Your aunt is in a safe place, now would be the time to spend some time taking care of yourself. I wish you my best.
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BurntCaregiver Jun 22, 2021
LilyBear,

I'm happy to hear that your siblings have finally stepped up and are helping with your father's care needs. Good for you seeing a therapist too because they really help. A good therapist is worth their weight in gold as far as I'm concerned.
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Heart2Heart,

Let me say you are certainly not alone. Moms will see their sons as the golden ones who can do no wrong, while the daughter is treated with less regard than a bag of garbage that gets thrown into a dumpster.
Yet mom will expect that daughter she never valued and treated with zero respect to be a loving, patient, empathetic caregiver when her time of need arrives. She will also expect that daughter to be happy to do it even when she treats her abusively.

Sound familiar?

I bet it does. It's very familiar to me. My siblings were completely off the hook all of their lives. The sun shone out of my brother's every orifice and he was a spoiled, narcissistic brat until the day he died. My sister is off the hook because she "has a life" and is "busy". I'll be willing to bet that you were also your mother's emotional dumping ground all of your life. The lightening rod who she took her anger and frustration out on too.
Your siblings will very likely keep their communication level with you at zero to maintain the current status quo. They don't want to risk getting caught on the caregiver hook, so they won't even go near the water. There's nothing you can do to change that. You can't change how your mother regards her sons either.
What you can change is how much you give and tolerate. You decide how much you will allow.
Your mother does not decide this. Your brothers don't either. You do.
She lives in your house and you take care of her. For this alone your mother owes you not only the utmost respect, but also a bigger share of whatever inheritance she will leave behind.
If you're not going to get these things, then put her in a care facility. Or tell your brothers to work it out where she'll be living and who will be taking care of her because it will not be you.
My parents were divorced when I was a kid. My father has since passed a few years ago. Neither of them had much regard for me. My father didn't need help until the last year of his life, but my mother has for years now. They both knew that I was the only one who would do for them. They also knew that I'm not doing it for free. My siblings are fine with this because they can avoid getting caught on the caregiver hook.
My mother has learned to curb her snide, verbal abuse and passive-aggressive behavior because she's dependent on me.
When she starts up a bit, I completely ignore her. There hasn't been any "fussiness" or "stubbornness" around here for a while.
If you're planning on continuing to keep your mother with you, then it's time for you to decide what your role in her caregiving will be. She doesn't get a say. It's your decision.
When you start living like this, you will see an improvement in the way mom treats you.
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You didn't "end up" a caregiver, you chose to be one. If you allow someone to walk all over you, they will. You can't be forced to caregive, nor can they. Far too many women get guilt tripped by elderly relatives into your exact situation. The whole "the daughter is responsible for us in our senior years" mentality in today's elders needs to be stamped out, hard. But that can only happen if those daughters stand up for themselves.
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lkdrymom Jun 21, 2021
This is true. You accepted this role. When she said your brothers had lives did you even bother to point out that you did too? Your brothers are not the problem here, you are. Stand up for yourself and only do what you are truly willing to do.
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What makes it so hard is yes. Your mother is exactly right. Your brothers have a life. What she doesn’t acknowledge is that YOU have a life as well. Perhaps your life is not recognized as independent of her life.
Generationally we keep women in bondage by not breaking loose of the expectation that the daughter will be the caregiver.
The very idea that she expresses that to you would leave me livid.
Are you compromised in some way to her that you feel you must accept this abuse? Are you dependent upon her?
Do you live in her home?
Even if the answer is yes you do not have to continue to be abused. I realize that when you have been conditioned, perhaps since birth, it is difficult to understand that you do not have to continue to be a servant to your patent.
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BurntCaregiver Jun 24, 2021
97yroldmom,

I find that elderly parents that have one of their adult kids as their caregiver want more than a servant. A servant gets paid. They get one day a week off. They have lives and interests outside of their jobs and the people they serve.
In reality the elderly parent doesn't want a servant. They want a slave.
They not only want their adult child caregiver to meet all of their needs A to Z, but also want full control over every part of their life as well. They expect to be the center of their caregiver's universe. They're the sun and their adult child's life is supposed to revolve around them like a planet. They also expect it to be free. That's not a servant. That's a slave.
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I told my brothers that I would never physically care for our Dad. Get him a meal, do laundry, clean his house but never do any toileting, bathing....if they didn't want to do it then a facility for him. Which I think he would have loved. Could tell his stories to a new group of people.

My parents never said they expected any of us to care for them. But I think in the back of their minds, it would be me. And yes because I was the oldest girl. Dad actually felt he was going to die early from heart problems but he lived 5 months shy of his 80th bithday. It ended up being Mom who needed care for Dementia. I cared for her in my home for 20 months. Then used the money she had to place her in an AL and later LTC on Medicaid. I was not a Caregiver. I feel she enjoyed life better in the AL. Had more freedom than my house.

Brothers, one lived 8 hrs away the other was going thru a divorce. Even though I am sure they loved Mom they just never went out of their way for her. So no surprise they didn't reach out when she had Dementia. One brother said he just couldn't see her that way. I can understand that, but I saw her that way almost everyday. I am not mad at my brothers. I did what needed to be done. I don't have to do it again unless its for my DH. There's only 3 of us out of 4 alive. When we r together its like old times. I refuse to ruin that.

People don't turn mean and cruel overnight. They were like that before you just didn't see it or allowed yourself to see it. So when Mom is gone, you have done your "duty". You don't owe anyone anything.
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There were no daughters, so I was chosen. It's horrible, and I can't understand it to this day. My brothers had no excuse except their selfishness.  As for those who say I chose to be caring, go back to your birth canals.
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BurntCaregiver Jun 22, 2021
mitch101,

Brother, I sure as hell didn't "choose" it. A person doesn't realize what they're getting themselves into until they get so deep in the caregiving situation they can't find their way out.
Among siblings in a family it's almost always the one the parents cared for the least or treated the worst that ends up being the caregiver for them when they're elderly and needy. Or it's the one who didn't live up to the parents expectations. So they'll try harder then their siblings. They will tolerate more because they're looking for the love, attention and approval from the parents that they've always wanted, but will never get.
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What do you mean, they turned that way?
Maybe they were, and always will be?

It is okay to protect your heart and mind from here on in by not contacting them.

Sorry for the loss of your family's lack of love and concern. Waiting around for it to change will just hurt more. Change your expectations and it may start to hurt less.

You have made it thus far!
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BurntCaregiver: "They both knew that I was the only one who would do for them. They also knew that I'm not doing it for free. My siblings are fine with this because they can avoid getting caught on the caregiver hook."

When I broached the subject of being compensated, my mother hissed at me that, "You don't pay family!" I kept track of my time and made sure to send my brothers emails to let them know what I did, how my mother was, and how many hours it took.

When she finally sank into dementia far enough for one of my POA brothers to take over her finances, he agreed to pay me $20/hour. And it was his idea to pay me for the past, also. None of the other brothers disagreed. They all knew that I was pretty close to removing myself from the situation entirely, and that the next thing to happen would be that one of the POA brothers would be moving my mother to a facility in their state.

Getting paid made me consider doing things for my mother as just a job, and I was able to remove a lot of the emotional hurt for me from the situation. I'd been told by her that my time was worth nothing. While I didn't live with her, the trips out took HOURS. She called the shots, wouldn't let me do grocery shopping for her, etc.
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BurntCaregiver Jun 23, 2021
CTTN55,

I'm glad you finally received some compensation for your caregiving and that your brothers are showing you some respect.
That's a good plan your brother has to move mother to a care facility in his state. You will not have to be part of the caregiving in any way. You're off the "caregiver hook" now and I'm happy for you.
It's good that you didn't have to live with her along with being her caregiver. When a person also has to live in such a caregiving situation it destroys them. Especially if they had years of prior abuse and neglect from the one needing care.
Like myself. I hit the iceberg years ago and have been in the water for a very long time. Only recently have I been able to start swimming towards a lifeboat.
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