by Ray
(Munster, indiana)

Our 90 year old mother is in the hospital right now and my two brothers visit her regularly. My anxiety is upon her release when she returns to assisted living.

They tend to ignore her there making a few brief visits every few weeks. It frustrates me that they camp out at her bedside while all her needs are met with a full staff at the hospital but when she is left more on her own they deny my mother's failings and conveniently leave me to oversee and confront the assisted living facility regarding our mother's needs and care.

She will decline over time and it is exhausting to have to try and sell them on the REAL circumstances as they emerge. My brothers tend to view me as an alarmist but the reality is that they are not involved enough to see what is actually going on.

It feels like assisted living is only a partial solution but she requires more than seems to be available to her. It leaves me to frequently visit the facility and put the heat on the staff to get questions answered and see that my mother is appropriately looked after. Instead of my brothers listening to my problems, seeking out possible alternatives, increasing their involvement with her direct care, they become agitated, accusatory, and condone their neglect by
believing they are dealing with a crazy person, me. How convenient for them.

No one would want to paint a gloomier picture than reality regarding the necessities around their mother's care. I feel abandoned, all alone, left to deal with a 200 pound beached whale and fight for her survival amidst holding down a job and maintaining my own adult life.

It feels like I have one arm tied behind my back and blindfolded and expected to keep things running smoothly for them so that nothing impacts their life. They plainly do not want to hear about it. They do not see it due to their lack of direct involvement with her care. If they stuck around long enough they would see for themselves but instead they snip an hour here and there of their time for a casual social visit and all looks well and leaves them to conveniently assume that she is pleasant and content without concern the other thousands oh hours that they are not there.

I am fighting for my mother who seems to be failing like the economy and my brothers are the politicians declaring that joblessness is decreasing and all is well because they look at one slim indicator to interpret the overall condition. And they conveniently stick to their grounds and project their contempt onto me for my behavior.

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by: Anonymous

I'm so sorry that you're alone in this. At least if your brothers would even acknowledge the reality of the situation, and give you credit for what you're doing, it would help.

Their denial stems from their guilt. As long as they can paint a rosy picture, and stay away long enough to not see the truth, they can live their lives without becoming involved.

If they ever accept the situation for what it is, they will have to do something, and the sad thing is, they really don't want to do anything to help you.

You sound more frustrated and angry with your brothers, than with the difficult situation of caring for your mom. At least your anger is directed to the right people. You're just screaming out for some kind of support and validation from them, and they just refuse to give it.

You may have to just accept that this is who your brothers are. It's going to be sad and hard to do that, because we like to think that we can count on family, especially at a time like this. And it's hard to let them go, because after your mom is gone, they will continue to be your family.

How will you be able to relate to them after they have caused this rift? What kind of relationship do you want to have with them after mom is gone?

Maybe these are questions you should ask yourself now. You are the only one living with the anxiety, anger and frustration. They are feeling none of this. Don't let them do this to you. Accept who they are, and accept who you are.

You are a caring, loving person. You don't have to be alone in this. Find others, outside the family, that you can vent to, and maybe find some support.

It's times like this that people's true colors come shining through. Yours are shining.

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