Siblings

Hi Everyone,
It's been a while since I have posted here, although I have been coming here and reading your posts. I'm hoping to get some input from you.

A quick overview...mom lived with me for about a year..she has Alzheimer's. At the time, I got very little help from either of my two sisters. At the time, I did what you are NOT suppose to do...full time job, also caring for mom, just burned out and mom ended up going to my sister to live. She's now been there 2-1/2 years.

My BIL has not spoken to me most of that time and nothing has ever really been said, but I had a feeling as to why. My other sister picks up my mom for a full weekend every month. When I was asked to do this, I said no, I simply cannot. I am still dealing with some health issues from when mom was living with me. I pick up my mom two Sundays a month, for the entire day.

Mom is well into Alzheimer's. She does not know she has grandchldren, or great grandchildren, or where she lives, or what year it is and many times has no idea who I am, yet I continue to spend those Sundays with her, mainly to give my sister and BIL a break for the day.

I find out today from my sister that my BIL is "very resentful, hurt and upset" because he feels I am not pulling my share, because I won't take my mom overnight or for a weekend.

If I talk to my friends or my DH about this, I feel as if they are saying things I want to hear. This is really upsetting me.

I am my mom's POA...she is not wealthy, but does have a monthly income that affords her in home caregiving. She has an aide come in six days a week, from 8 until 4:30. My mom gets up at 11 am, long after my sister has gone to work. My sister gets home at 4:30, feeds mom dinner, and mom is in bed by 6:30.

I have repeatedly told my sister that if they need to hire someone for an evening to go ahead and do it, mom can afford it.

For the life of me, I don't know what they want...am I being unfair? Am I not seeing things clearly?

What brought all this up is a little boy's b'day party. My sister's grandson is turning 1. I received an email from my nephew asking me to come to the party. I cannot go, knowing my BIL will be there which is going to cause all kinds of tension and I won't do that to everyone else. Just makes me very sad to think I can't be a part of their lives...anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts...
thanks so much,
Miriam

[This message has been edited by MIMI427 (edited 04-10-2008).]
Original Post
Dear Mimi:

I am sorry to hear that you are going through this! I think your commitment to visit your mother every other Sunday has been admirable... You have been a wonderful daughter and should be proud of all you have done.

(Oh, - your sister too) She has done well in caring for your mother. So often we forget to let others know the positive things they have done... Perhaps, she feels unappreciated and that is why she shared what she did with you.


Mimi, do go the birthday party and hold your head up! You will have fun! Do not worry about BIL! But, perhaps, talk to your sister. Give her some compliments if you can � after all, they do go a long way...

It seems that as we get older we do gain some experience and hopefully even a bit of wisdom. It helps to step back from these situations and look at everything from a different point of view.

Mimi, your BIL is off base. He just sees your sister, his wife, in pain every day. You understand! You can work through this (with the help of a little hot chocolate maybe)�

Love and Hugs, Glenda



[This message has been edited by glenderella (edited 04-12-2008).]
Hi, Mimi.

I'm with Glenda on this. I think you should at least put in an appearance and bring a gift, plus treats or whatever you would normally do. Let your sister, BIL, and nephew know that you love your family and want to celebrate these occasions with them.

My DH's sister is not speaking to him. It's been 15 years. We've missed many family gatherings to avoid tension and upsetting folks. Now that my MIL has passed, I wish we had gone and I had stood up to her to let her know how silly (and hateful) she is being.

So, go and hug everyone there. Kiss your nephew's baby. If the tension it too much, you can still make excuses and leave.

Of course, whatever you decide, we still care about you and support you.

Love,
Barb
{{{Mimi}}} i think you should go, bring a present and go with an open heart...

see how things work out... if there is still friction, I think that all the spouses and mom's children should have a family meeting to sort all the mixed feelings and energy out... maybe a minister or social worker or mediator could be present so that it goes controlled with each having an opportunity to lay it on the table and clear the air once and for all so that you can all re connect... life is too short...

hoping this makes sense

gail
Thanks for your input, all of you, very much appreciated.

Gail, I understand what you are saying about a family meeting. I was in therapy and know that is so important to do when there are family issues, but I really think it is simply not going to work. It is not as if I didn't convey my feelings to my sister. I laid everything out.

Since I wrote this email, well the first posting, I have learned that by BILs issue with me is that I stopped picking up my mom for Saturday night dinners. I was doing that for about the first 1-1/2 years, but "dinner" turned into picking her up at 2- and dropping her off at 8p, per my BILs request. Gail, I don't have to tell you, when you are burnt out, still struggling with health issues from caregiving, also working full time and then some, I now work six days a week and a few hours on Sunday, there's just not enough time in the day. When I told my sister I could no longer pick up my mom on Saturday nights/afternoons for dinner, I explained all this to her...my health, my work, and for once in my life, I was trying to set boundaries, really trying to put myself first, which is a very, very difficult thing for me to do, like many others here.

The sad truth is they (my sister and BIL) don't give a **** about my health, they just want time to themselves. Do I undestand that? You bet I do. I have told my sister repeatedly to hire more help. I have also told her that if she can no longer do this, I am prepared to move forward with getting my mom into nursing care. No one is holding a gun to my sister's head, forcing her to care for my mom. There are other options. I spent time looking at nursing homes, I am sure some of you remember, and it was by myself, because my sisters were too busy then. I did find a place, a really nice place, just ten minutes from my home and I promised both my sisters, in writing, that I would visit my mom every day to make sure the staff was aware that family is involved. I still have mom on an "inactive" list.

In any case, I guess I could go on and on. The point being, unless I agree to spend more time with my mom, taking her out of my sister's home, they will not be happy. I have also offered to go there and spend a few hours there, with my mom, so my sister and BIL could get out. They are not happy with that, they want to be home and have her out of the house. It's not as if I haven't tried to cooperate.

Bottom line, I am doing the very best that I can do and in their eyes, it simply isn't enough. No family meeting is going to solve this one, I'm sorry to say.

No, I won't be going to the party. It's not that I would start anything. I just don't want to make anyone else there uncomfortable, because I know my BIL would be very upset and tense and that tension would be felt by everyone else and I won't put others through that. I will send a gift and see if I can get together with my nephew and his wife at another time.

Thanks again,
Miriam
Hi Miriam... have been getting ready to leave for the southwest for a few weeks to visit with friends in Sedona...I lived there in the late eighties and early nineties so it will be wonderful to get out into nature and hike a lot through the canyons... being in the land for me is truly healing... I return to nyc for a couple of days and am off to an artist colony in Maine on the ocean for a few weeks to participate in a wonderful workshop program. I will be traveling a few times throughout the summer to different workshops and so I am extremely excited.

My work keeps evolving by leaps and bounds as I learn new techniques; firing, glazes, etc... it's just been wonderful... thank you for asking... take care

gail

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