Angry with Siblings

by Allison
(Northeast)

My husband and I have taken care of my mother for several years. She has had one health crisis after another. For the last three years we have had to work full-time to keep her "independent" and alive. She has has two strokes and is presently dealing with cancer and chemotherapy radiation followed by more chemotherapy.


I love my mother, but I am also dealing with several health issues that keep me from working - yet I AM working all the time caring for her. I am lucky to have support from a wonderful husband - he is also starting to get exhausted.

I have two siblings. Both live far away. One that recently started to send a very small amount of money - after we had to practically beg for it. My mother is financially broke and her medications have put her in the red. We not only do 100 percent of the tasks - groceries, doctor appointments, installing durable medical equipment, house cleaning, ER visits (averaging 3 a month), bill paying and navigating the challenges of healthcare - but also pay for a great deal of her expenses.

My obnoxious, self centered, self righteous sister - who claims to have found God in her ultra religious community - won't do a thing. She has never once called me to see how we or my mother is doing. She prefers to get updated through my brother - because he won't ask her to help. She lives in an 8000 square foot home with lakefront property and a huge boat. She and her equally obnoxious husband flit in once a year to see my mother on their annual holiday trip to see his family.

This year they bragged about their recent inheritance from his fathers death and proceeded to show my mother pictures of their many exotic vacations - all the while sitting in her tiny, apartment in a not so great neighborhood as she anxiously waits for them to leave so that we can install her toilet seat lift to allow her to keep bathroom independence.

The only thing that my sister has done is to offer that she'll pray for my mother and have her church do the same.

From what I know about my sister she probably started a church collection and then heading straight for to the mall with the money.

My brother recently asked her to contribute financially and he told me that she said "point blank no". Yet, he still feels the need to suck up to her. I don't get it.

We love my mother - but have dedicated many years of non stop care and money that we don't have to keep her alive and happy. We are feeling overwhelmed and resentful to have a complete lack of support. I am not resentful of her - just them.

After reading the other stories - it is unfortunate that many of us are going through similar experiences.

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Wake Up
by: Anonymous

You sound extremely codependent and unable to have healthy boundaries. We can help each other as loved ones within the realm of our abilities, but ultimately your mother is responsible for her own care needs and setting up a support system for herself.

It is not fair of her to expect one person to do everything for her. Why would you spend money you don't have? How is that helpful? I know people who prepared for their old age AHEAD of time so that they don't make others responsible for their care.

Your anger is YOURS to deal with from your own lack of ability to separate emotionally from your mother. Don't project it onto your sister who is living with integrity and healthy boundaries.

Also, cancer is an emotional condition. Your mother seems like someone who has not learned to take responsibility for herself. Release yourself from taking on the journey of another human being's soul. Even (and especially) your mother's.

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A Duty Dodged
by: Anonymous

I too have ungrateful siblings. But the following quote summed it up: 'A Duty dodged is like a debt unpaid, the debt is merely deferred, and at some point, the account must be settled'.

It may not be settled with you, but at some point, she'll have to 'settle' with her maker. Hope this helps.

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Me too
by: Anonymous

I too have siblings with wealthy lifestyles who have left all of the caregiving responsibilities to me for our 97 year old mother. It has been very stressful because she has been a widow for 25 years and required so much help, including for 4 broken bones from 4 falls.

I'm seeing, however, that my children as they become adults are very compassionate and show emotional intelligence in general and theirs do not. So, what goes around can come around but it can take years to show up! God bless you for what you do!

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