Enough Said

For the past five years, I have lived with my 95 year old mother in her home. Last night my brother, who lives two states away in Montana, sent me this text at 10pm:

"Sitting on top of mountain in Glacier Park watching the moon rise. We're at 10,000 feet. It doesn't get any better than this." And he sends a picture of the moon coming up behind the mountain.

I replied:"Cool. I'm laying in a hot bedroom because I can't open the window because the traffic is so noisy. I'm sure it's going to get much worse than this."This is his favorite phrase. "It doesn't get any better than this."

He sends it when he's in the hot tub on his deck, out riding quads in the wilderness, having a bar-b-que and drinking beer with his family, hunting with his son, enjoying a thunderstorm with his wife, snowmobiling with his grandchildren.

We might as well live on different planets. I don't even have to list what my life is like, because YOU already know.

What gets me, is that HE doesn't know!!!! How could anyone in their right mind say this to a sibling who has already given up five years of their life to their mother?

I am so done.

He will never understand what it's like to be in my shoes, even if his own children end up taking care of him to his dying breath.

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Hearing You Loud and Clear
by: CraftDee

I wish you well
I have lived very close by my folks for thirty years, when my kids were young it was convenient for us - they could pick the kids up from school if we were going to be home late (self-employed), we spent a lot of our social time together, we got on - well.

My sister lived close too (not as close by as me,but minutes, not hours away) she had a disastrous marriage, constant financial difficulties, no food in the house for her kids... my folks "fixed" all these problems for her consistently and without question, spent less time "socializing" with her and her kids, but still spent a lot of time with them, happy families.

When my sis divorced, Mum and Dad were the ones that supported her; helped her with the kids, took her to Doctor's appointments, were there at the drop of a hat for anything from a flat tyre to hospital admissions.

They helped her when her second marriage ended in tears, a marriage they had counseled against but accepted because it was their daughter and they loved her, it's what families do

Fast forward (well, normal speed forward) and the folks are now getting elderly... into their 80's and THEIR needs are starting to take precedence. At this exact point. Sis moves a LONG way away (4Hrs) with the new love of her life.

I take up the slack and for years do more and more of the "taking and waiting" that comes with the medical reality of having parents in their eighties. At the same time my kids are having kids, they need help too... I remember how helpful my folk's involvement in my younger life was.. I try to help my kids where possible.

I don't mind doing "more" for the oldies, well not too much. Except for the iPhone pics and phone calls coming from Sis in her new life - all about days spent in her pajamas, laying on the bed with the iPad and not having a care in the world.

It's WONDERFUL; I'm sure it is, I manage NOT to say how much I am starting to resent the lopsidedness of the relationship... I feel like I am "repaying" my sister's "debt" as well as my own, luckily I love AND like my folks, particularly my Mum.

Sis has always got on better with Dad. I tell her Dad's mind is failing, No says she, I saw him (for an hour, literally ONE hour) last time I was up (two months ago) and he was fine, Mum's the problem, she won't let him have a snooze in the day, blah blah. But Sis, on a bad day Dad is BAD, mmm says she, how bad can it be? HA, 'bout to find out

The understanding has been for as long as I can remember that if anything happened to Mum, Sis would "take" Dad, if anything happened to Dad, I would have Mum.

Mum died in an accident in July this year, (Dad who probably should no longer have been driving knocked her over in the driveway, it was an accident my Dad is distraught - it accelerates his dementia a lot).

My sister happened to be up in town when it happened, she "took" Dad, credit to her. She made a HUGE scene in the hospital when I said we need to look for a long-term permanent solution as Dad's health issues were worse than she thought.

How dare I say such a thing, I didn't trust her, she and Dad would just sit on the couch and chill... she would let Dad have his snooze, all good. And she would do it until he died.
Fast forward three months and the REALITY of living with someone with Dementia has kicked in.

I still go over EVERY day, ring several times a day to see how things are going, put out spot fires mainly. I'm in charge of paperwork, so I organise everything from Respite Care to paying the bills.

I have Dad both days every weekend (usually overnight) and one evening in the week... we still work full time, Sis doesn't work anymore.
I also have been in charge of finding Permanent Residential Care... because Sis is now begging me to do it... life on this side of the coin, it turns out, is NOT so fabulous.

Her admitting that Dad needs Permanent Care is the closest I'm going to get to an apology for her frankly outrageous behaviour in the hospital, it's also the closest I'm going to get to an admission that I have done a LOT of the heavy lifting for the last ten years... and to be honest it's enough for me.

I will do my best to get the best available care for Dad because he deserves it and to honour my Mum who did more of the lifting than ANY of us - without complaint to the day she died.

You can't "make" anyone "feel" anything, or in reality DO anything... if your brother is unaware of how you're feeling, coping (or not) it's because what you're doing is outside of his experience.

You might get him to do some of the work, but if he doesn't feel how YOU feel about the caring he's just not going to do it the way you do and you're probably going to find that hard anyway.

Like I said I wish you well, my Sis and I have worked out a system that works reasonably well for both of us, her partner is NOT being that supportive mine is (he thought the world of my Mum, big start on that) that could make a difference long term.

I hope that we get a permanent solution before our little system gets challenged too much (by, for instance, said sister's partner) if she can't hack it and takes off again to her PJ days and not-a-care-in-the-world life before Dad is settled, then I guess that I'll be doing it alone again.

But by then I WILL feel like the better person, stronger and more selfless... if that's all I get out of it so be it.

Ignorant Brother
by: Dena of Oklahoma

I've got one of these also!! I KNOW that they want to ACT like they don't know what's going on because to acknowledge the situation and then not do something to help would make them appear to be the assholes they are!!!!

PS that felt good getting that out there to someone who understands.....

I totally understand you
by: Anonymous

I have the same scenario as you. We use to rent a house with my other 2 siblings. 6 years later, I got married and bought a house.

My other brother move in with his girlfriend and my sister got married and rented our basement. Two years later, she and her husband bought a condo and moved out. 2 years later bought a big house.

In the meantime, I have my parents living with me. Another brother got married and move to the next street where we live. Another sister came from back home and live with me. Another sister got a divorce and live by herself.

It's been 25 years and my parents still lives with me and also my sister. My sister remains single but workaholic. My other brother visits once in a blue moon. We've seen him once in the last 3 years and he only lives 20 minutes away.

We all live close by, but even my brother the lives on the street only comes once in a blue moon. My sister who's divorce was trying to forget everything and move on with her life.

And my other sister, is also another workaholic.

Now, parents are already 86 years old and nobody really comes and help out to take them to Doctor's appointment or even take them out for dinner or something. Now my husband is asking me if my parents could live with another sibling since we now have 4 kids and needed space.

But how can I say that to them, I can't even open up the conversation. Nobody is even asking how they are. They don't even call or visit. Now I don't know what to do either.

My husband said if he's giving me up to end of the year to talk to my siblings, or else he'll just leave me and sell the house. I am just really happy that I was able to say what I want to say here on this conversation.

To:" Here Goes Nothing"
by: Anonymous

Your comment is aptly named. For you offer nothing but criticism. And you sound totally negative.

The many reasons I'm caring for my mother instead of my brother doing it, probably go back to birth, family dynamics, and every circumstance that brought us both to the places we are in today. Do you think I'm going to write my whole life story here?

You actually sound just like my brother. "Why don't you just fix it?"

I have some questions for you. Is your "problem" fixed? If so, why are you on this forum? If not, is "dumping" your parent somewhere how you solved it? What exactly is your "sensible advice"?

Definition of "dump":
"A site for depositing garbage. To dispose of unwanted material in a careless way. To get rid of something or someone quickly and without concern."

I wouldn't "dump" my mom anywhere to "get my life back" so that I could do the things my brother gets to do.

What I would like from my brother is an empathetic understanding and genuine concern for the quality of my life, an acknowledgement that I've been here five years and an interest that this is stretching into an unknown future.

I'd him to just once ask how am I coping? What are my struggles? Where would I rather be living? What do I feel I'm missing in my life? How is it taking care of mom on a daily basis? What are my frustrations?

Just having him share this on an emotional basis of caring and concern for me would go a long way in not feeling like I'm in it alone. But he doesn't want to hear any of it and he never asks a question about me.

But thank you for your blunt and heartless answer. Because you made me realize that what I really need to dump, is not Mom, but my expectations of my brother caring about what I'm going through.

It is the hurt and anger I feel toward my brother that I need to dump. Because carrying that hurt and anger just rubs the wound raw.

I'm now renewed in my commitment toward my mom. Accepting and letting go of expectations of my brother, helps me know better who I am and be the kind of person I want to be.

by: mike

Same bad exact situation here my whole family just drops in now and then. Cause there so busy of course. I understand you exactly. But remember your the angel. But some reason the angel gets punished.

Here goes nothing
by: Anonymous

So why are you living with your 95 year old mother in her home while your brother is living his own life to the fullest?

Are you the "chosen one?"

Is anyone forcing you to do this? Is your brother?

Can you dump your mom off at your brother's and then get your own life back, and do the things he gets to do?

I don't mean to be negative, but what is the use of posting here if you don't provide better details for others to hear so they perhaps can give you some sensible advice?

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