Ostracized

I am actually trying to assist in my father's care, but my sister continues to interfere. I am submitting this in this forum hoping to get insight into the mind of a caregiver.


First, the background...I have twice had to disassociate from my family due to my mother's incessant and deliberate acts to make me seem untrustworthy, inadequate, and a trouble maker.

Her attacks usually followed any reluctance on my part to participate in something shady or telling my father the truth, when asked.

I am the highest educated child of three. I put myself through undergraduate and law school. My sister, the youngest child, has lived in my parent's home for almost all of her 41 years.

Several years ago, she told me, with a tone of glee, that she had pretty much taken over my parents' finances. Knowing that there wasn't much to manage, I let the matter slide.

She and/or my brother, from that point forward told me I was disturbing my father by contacting him, they would inform me when my father passed, I was to pass my message for my dad through my sister, all the way to having to get my sister's okay to visit my father.

I just got into a fight with my sister because she refused to show my dad a comforter, pillows, bedding set, walker, and compression sock aid.

She stated the first three were unsuitable because my father is picky about the stuff, the walker wheels were too loose but she will try using it later, and the compression sock aid was unsuitable.

Eventually, at my prompting, my father insisted on seeing the items and demanded to keep them. I haven't been able to reached my father by phone for 8 days since. I just asked the police to do a welfare check. They told me he was up and smiling and was with two adults, one mostly likely being my brother.

I have told my sister I will buy my father a Hoyer lift, because he falls often and no one can lift him. The last time he fell, the police had to come and carry him back to bed.

She refused the item stating she didn't want him to become too dependent. She also refused to set up a winter bedroom upstairs until she thinks about it "later".

Finally, she wouldn't agree to making sure my father's access to the upstairs bedroom required a correct turn so he could avoid falling down the stairs when exiting a stair lift.

This all led to a knock down, drag out argument where she accused me of being angry all the time, turning my husband against her (because he inquired about the things that we sent), and materialistic.

Why would she reject help when on my last visit three weeks ago (which she found offensive to my parents because advance notice was not given) I found spiders on the ceiling in many rooms, dusty base boards and windows, and a bath tub which was rusted out?

(She has purportedly changed out the tub, installed a 360 degree shower head and opened a wall to directly access that bathroom from her bedroom all for my father's benefit since then.)

I couldn't give a hoot about inheritance or any monetary benefit for myself, nor have I ever. What is the deal?

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Thanks Anonymous
by: Ostracized

Anonymous, thanks for your input. I think dysfunctional is a mild adjective for my family.

My brother just emailed me and my husband stating the doctors can't do anything else for my dad and his health trajectory has been down.

He asked that we act civilly towards other family members during this difficult time. We asked him to get things straight and not to address us in such a matter again. We did thank him for the update.

I've decided my mother and siblings are selfish, self centered, and ignorant. They are not worth my time. Any parent that allows the youngest to make decisions regarding his health and assets without consulting anyone else is foolish and codependent.

If I cannot install a shower for my father's convenience without my sister's approval, then there is undue influence on my sister's part.

I am putting the future in God's hands. I pray my dad doesn't suffer and for him to understand he has been manipulated against me repeatedly by people who care more about themselves than him.

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Dysfunctional Dynamic
by: Anonymous

I am 61 and have been my mother's caretaker for two and a half years. My mother is 86. I have found family dynamics very interesting during this time.

I have 8 siblings, we were all close growing up - the oldest is 64 and youngest sibling 54. I am the POA and have done everything correctly, including keeping my siblings updated constantly by text. If I have any important decisions to make I call the 2nd POA and invite any other siblings input.

My mother has had 6 major hospitalizations, but she is doing relatively well today. But, my mother also, has treated me as untrustworthy, inadequate, and a troublemaker.

I welcome my siblings "interference", but the only rule I have is that they cannot interfere in her medical decisions once they are made; therefore when I make a medical decision (after consulting all), they cannot tell my mother, "No, do it this way".

Being the way my mother treats me, she will listen to them instead of me and they are out of state. I do my best to go by doctors orders, but sometimes I use my own judgement. I have two sisters that have become jealous of my position. I have had to put a stop to it, and now they hardly speak to me, but my mother sees me as the bad guy. My mother sees the 3 younger siblings as the golden children. Now back to family dynamics.

I am seeing my family in a much different way than I did years back. The functional family I thought I grew up in -turns out - was extremely dysfunctional.

I do believe my mother favors and babies the younger siblings (take note of the ages) because they did not get the attention the older siblings received and the younger are giving her the (unhealthy) emotional support my mother never received from her husband - the younger siblings are playing right into her hands.

My mother sees me as strong-willed and confident; she sees the younger siblings as weak, like a bird with a broken wing; (of which this could not be further from the truth), but it is my mothers perception of truth - for without this truth where would her emotional support come from?

She is constantly giving them money, almost buying their support, but the one who can really use the money (like me) get nothing. And this is the thought that comes to mind when I read your situation. You are strong, independent, successful (it sounds) - your sister is dependent and needy.

In your sister's mind - you interfere with her sense of being the "Golden Child". Even though your sister holds the "important position of caretaker" (and not getting much done), you come along and get things done, offer good advice and it makes her feel inadequate, feelings (I believe) she has had for a long time, but never addressed.

So, she wants to kick you out of her world. Your mother is your sister's enabler - your mother feels you have brought hurt to your sister and you are the bad guy. When you come along you interfere with their dysfunctional family dynamic - you kind or shine a light on things unknowingly.

I know this, because when I came along as caretaker to my mother, this just naturally changed our family dynamic. My mother was playing my brothers like a song all for her own personal mental needs to be met - to the point of interfering in their relationships - my mothers manipulative self serving ways were exposed when I came on the scene.

My brothers who live local no longer play into her hands. My mother resents me for this, for I have "interfered" in her schemes. Believe it or not, this is all unspoken.

My mother has hurt me beyond words with her attitude toward me, I have voiced my hurt, but she does not understand, because as one that voices feelings, this makes one strong and independent and my mother cannot relate to a person like that.

Now, don't get me wrong, I know my mother is 86 and yes, she has needs, which we all (especially I) tend to, but there is also this other side of the coin.

So, I just have to accept this and carry on. It is dysfunctional family dynamics, which I do my best to not be a part of. I do have myself in a support group as a result. It sounds like your father is accepting of you and I would show up unannounced anyway.

I do not know what type of shady things you would not participate in or the truth telling, but sounds like they have some very dysfunctional dynamics going on over there.

I would definitely keep a paper trail for your own personal records - a journal of sorts, receipts of things you purchased, but were rejected.

The important thing here (for me) is that I have to choose my battles, and if my sibling allow themselves to be treated in this manner... fine - my job is to keep my mother safe and healthy. You are in a difficult situation, I understand, I am sorry to here this.

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