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Please stop using the term "loved one". I have done much of my caregiving for family members who have been rude, angry and cruel for years. I have done this out of obligation.


I have been handed a club sandwich - 3 generations to care for, so there's been a revolving door of people to take care of and people with problems. After our daughter died, my wife, now ex-wife, abandoned me with our surviving kids. Before that, my brother went to prison 12,000 miles away, and I supported him as best I could, which included working with the US Embassy to get him out of a cell with 6 members of that country's organized crime syndicate.


My youngest sister became psychotic when she went off her medicine, and stopped working for 3 months to take care of her, and spent significant time thereafter when I finally was able to get her into treatment.


My brother rewarded me with an explosion as soon as I saw him when he returned to the USA, and he has been rude and angry (and unemployed) in the 10 years since.


My sister was furious throughout her treatment, and is still rude and entitled (she also has borderline personality or narcissistic personality disorder, depending on the diagnosis).


My father developed cancer while she was psychotic and my mother had developed Alzheimers, and I've had to manage my father's healthcare (he died, leaving records that took me almost 2 years to sort through), and my mother throughout this period. I have one sane sister, and she is also overwhelmed.


I really wish my brother and youngest sister didn't exist.


So please, in the future, be wary of plastering this page with the term "loved ones". Many people are caregiving out of obligation, are feeling punished, and seeing "loved ones" everywhere makes us feel worse.

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It seems to me that giving this amount of loving care to so many who either can not or will not be in any way loving or grateful in return has made you drained, unhappy, angry and hopeless. And your sister as well. I hope it is not that you always feel this way, but that feelings have come in today like a bad weather front and it's looking very stormy.
I am afraid I am missing the gene for "obligation". I have always fully recognized my limitations, and I stay within them. I will never get any nominations for Sainthood; no one will ever pray to me as a fallen Martyr.
It is my one life. I do what I can for people I consider "loved ones" (funny as that phrase is to me since the book and the movie). The doing of what little I am capable of doing has filled my heart.
I might wish I were a better person. I might, but in fact I usually don't.
Most of my advice on this forum has been along the lines of recognizing our own humanity, our own flaws, and most of all our own limitations: cautions not to take on more than can be accomplished and still allow ourselves a good life.
Sorry that it is so tough for you, and for your sister as well.
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Tiger55 Aug 30, 2019
Agree, (👏AlvaDeer).
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Yet despite not liking them or what they do or don't do, you are, by your caring, showing them love. Love does not mean you have to like them or approve of their life. Love is a verb more than it is an emotion.
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bigsun Sep 4, 2019
Obligations... Not necessarily involving 'love'
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The term "love one" is generic here on the forums when someone is answering a question but doesn't know who is the person being cared for.
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Words are so powerful, aren’t they? I have to admit that I’ve smirked a little when I read “loved one” because this caregiving process isn’t a love generator, is it? So much easier taking care of babies, who will coo and smile and brighten your day AND, more importantly, will progress, not regress. Frequently, I’ve been told that I am “So Blessed” to still have my 94 year old father. 🤦‍♀️ So many people don’t realize that their relationship with their father , doesn’t mirror mine - not everyone had Ward Cleaver as a father.
Your life sounds like an example of why I don’t like the phrase “ what goes around, comes around.” Sounds like you have done all the right things, even when dealing with your own personal tragedies, the loss of a child and desertion of a spouse. Your brother and sister have their own issues and you tried to help and support them to only get kicked in the teeth.
I hope it helps to know others recognize your pain and hope better days are ahead for you.
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CarlaCB Aug 31, 2019
Pagh8264, your observation "this caregiving process isn’t a love generator, is it?" hits the nail right on the head, at least for me. You can come into it with the best intentions, then get so exhausted, so overwhelmed with all the little problems and needs and demands, and the attitude of your "loved one" which can be can be so critical, demanding, ungrateful, unreasonable. No, it does not generate warm fuzzy feelings. It places enormous stress on relationships, and can ruin what had previously been an amicable, mutually supportive family relationship. It's a love destroyer, even if the love was there once. And in many cases, it wasn't there to start with.
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I'm so sorry for your burdens. It's difficult enough to handle eldercare, but supporting siblings who should paddle their own canoes, or at least show some gratitude for the help you offer, can be crushing.

You have far more to deal with than many people, and I hope you can find peace in the middle of this storm you didn't create.
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Agreed. I do what I do out of obligation. I formerly loved the two parents I am now responsible for, however, the parents who raised me and that I loved, disappeared a very long time ago.
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madzeena Sep 4, 2019
LO - loved once. A long time ago. Dementia destroys a lot of connections. I replaced them with sympathy and empathy so I could go on to be effective as a caregiver. Not overnight though. It's been a long bumpy road to get where I am today.
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Sometimes when we are rubbed raw everything can cause a flare of pain. For most of us when someone we love (or used to love) suffers from an illness that turns them into something unrecognizable we still have that kernel of remembered love to sustain us, those of you who are left holding the bag for people who never were kind or loving or were downright abusive owe them nothing but the absolute minimum we would give to any needy human being (if that). Many of the people who come to the forum with families such as yours will be advised to step away from caregiving, to set boundaries, even to go completely no contact with the toxic people in their lives.
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I totally agree with you and have had the same reaction. I used to say "I'm taking care of an unloved one." Equally annoying are those articles that start with the presumption "Of course we all want the very best for our family members..."

People make a lot of assumptions about caregiving, and about family relations in general. Assigning responsibility for care to family members is justified because you love them and you want to do it. And it you don't love them or don't want to do it, then there's something wrong with you since you should love them and want to do it.

It bites. No doubt about it.
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Sounds like you're in a very rough spot that is not at all enviable.

I would try to let the little frustrations, like the use of LO, flow right over you so that don't add stress to your life over one of those many things that you can not control.

Please take care of yourself, somehow. You need a break. You don't need to care about the crappy people in your life. Don't let them hurt you anymore.

I know, I know - easier said than done. But it's something to work towards!
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Thank you for sharing that, (I did not realize that 'LO' was hurtful to some people). I had a crappy relationship with my mother, but it was acceptable to me to describe her as LO. Maybe 'FM' (family member) would be better for you? Sorry for your hardships & admire the great work you do anyway.
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Beatty Sep 5, 2019
Yes I was just thinking FM too - you beat me to it!
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