I've not posted for ages. Everyone I ask for some sort of help is too close. Something has changed with my brother and sister up in edinburgh. It has surfaced in the last few months that my sister has been irresponsible and secured her home against credit loans that she can no longer administrate. She has a history of schizophrenia/bipolar depression. She has said she wants to kill herself. She has tried in the past. My brother has become Mr Angry - self opinionated and aggressive. I have tried to ignore this. He seems to relish in drama. He's also a grade A ignoramus. It is no longer going up to edinburgh to help look after my Alz. mum that is the problem. I've now got to run the gaunlet with my bros. hostile attitude, and my sisters' mental health issues. It's making me ill. I am lying in bed recovering from a flu-type vurus. My husband (bless his cotton sox) is away in the middle-east working. I have a daughter at home who suffers from severe epilepsy who has two small children. I didn't mind going up when hubby is here. It's scarey leaving her alone and going up to help. Just to remind you a bit - I am the one who goes up to edinburgh one week in four to relieve my family. I fell on sunday gone and banged my head,bruised my ribs and twisted my neck. Add that to this virus and you get the picture. When I phoned to say WHY i couldn't come, his response wasn't one of concern, but how was his ex-wife(who helps, and gets paid for it) was going to find the time to get her hair and nails done. I have cried for two days solid. I am 52 and have never felt like this in my wholelife. Not even when my lovely lovely in-laws died within 3wks of each other. The feelings of ingratitude really hurt to the core. I dont want to help anymore. I want my mum put in a home. (honestly, she really should be. All our support team - GP, Psychiatrist, nurses etc say so). Thanks for letting me unburden myself
Oh dear, you really are in the middle of a mess, aren't you? First, I'm sorry you aren't feeling well. That alone is the pits. Having a daughter with two small children that needs your help is also a burden-one that you gladly take, but still...
Here is a question. Who has the POAs on your mother? Is it your brother or sister or you? If you are the one with the Power of Attorney, then you have the right to put your mother in a home-at least that is how we operate here in the states. Perhaps you need to speak with your Mom's doctor. If he is adament that she needs to be in a NH, then I would get with your mother's attorney and push it. You are doing this for your mother's best interests, not for your brothers'. He needs to realize that your mother's health is more important that his wishes....Does your Mom has legal counsel?
I'm sure others here will weigh in with suggestions. Get better....
IBake is right.... who is the legally responsible person for your Mom? If it is you then you have the power, the right, and the responsibility to put her where she needs to be. If it is your brother... then let him deal with the situation until you can get your feet back on the ground. Nails are NOT important and no way should you feel guilty even if the X has to forego a nail appointment. It is time for you to put your foot down and mean it. Mom will be moved to a care facility or you will not be going back, leaving your daughter without help and over extending yourself. Hopefully that will force brother's hand if he is the legally responsible person. Beyond that you do need to talk to her doctor and impress upon him that you can no longer do what you have been doing and therefore it is necessary for Mom to move to a care facility. If your Mom has legal counsel by all means talk to them as well.
It will not be easy. People like the status quo and resist changes but if you make the status quo uncomfortable enough then change become necessary. Don't kill yourself to maintain their status quo. I am truly sorry you are not feeling well but it might be the right time for you to cover your hear, get your health back, and let the other deal with what is until they agree with you that it is time to change.
I hope you feel better soon and the ignoramous sees the light.... I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers...
Then make it as difficult for him as possible!!!!!!! He has the power and the responsibility. It is his charge to deal with this situation. You are just helping and right now you are not able to do it. Tell him that. Don't enable him to prolong this. Go back to bed, get well, take care of your daughter, and know that he is responsible for the decisions he makes and the consequences of those choices. Sleep in peace knowing that what you are doing is best for your Mom and for you. The last thing you want is to give your Mom what you have. You can not help your Mom if you are sick. It may also force your brother's hand and make him see that what he is doing is not acceptable. Stand up for yourself and stand firm for what you know in your heart..... most of all take care of yourself and your daughter first. Once again.... your brother has the power and responsibility so let him have it.
Deb is right. Don't be an enabler for your brother. He is willing to PAY HIS EX to watch his mother, but you are suppose to be at his beck and call? DON"T THINK SO! He wanted the POA, now make him earn it. He can be responsible for the work that goes with it. I had it for my parents. There are burdens associated with it, now he needs to assume them. Go to bed and get yourself well. If he starts to yell at you, hang up the phone. Tell him you'll talk to him when he can talk, not yell. End of discussion. Can't yell if you hang up...
Step back now and consider your priorities. You have to help yourself first, or you will be of no use to your Mom. You have to halp your daughter who has a serious handicap. She needs you, and she is more of a priority than your mother.
Your brother has to get help for his anger, your sister in law has to get help for her mental illness .. and in my opinion you have to stay away for a while and let them do what they have to do. No sense giving up 1/4 of your weekends to look after your Mom so someone can have her nails done! The nerve!
Tell them you will get back to visiting Mom when you are well again - and let that take as long as you need. Two months, six months. It probably doesn't make much difference to Mom.
If they can't manage her, let them arrange for her to go to a good nursing home.
You can't be everywhere at once, or do everything.
after reading all the advice, Ii knew you'd all ground me. You all agreed in your responses exactly how I've felt. There's a saying in our family "that if six Jews tell you you're sick lie down" Well the same logic can be applied invertedly on my part. Mroe than six opinions match my own feelings, so I am taking the advice and will try to be strong. My husband has been trying to make me realise what you wonderful ladies have expressed.
Love and strength to you all. XX
Last edited by mentalmum08; 12-04-2008 at 04:09 AM.
Thanks for your concern. All the advice and caring reflected in my recovering. I am at the end of this illness that I developed some 2wks ago. I succumbed to a secondary infection after the virus. I have managed to shake it without antibiotics. My immune system is not strong. My hubby is still in the middle-east. He has noticed that I am more positive in my outlook. My friend's mum died several weeks ago after enduring Alz. She came to me today (Sun) and asked how I was getting on. I told her it was hard because my mum treated me differently from my other two siblings. I dont expect them to understand, but there is nothing left to draw on. There is demons in me that are highly resentful of the situation. My friend at least admitted that she could draw on the fact that her mother loved her dearly when things got tough. No one has contacted me from edinburgh (glad for small mercies). Further proof that i dont really matter.
Oh mentalmum08, please know that you are not alone.
There are two of us; my Sister and I. I always jokingly referred to us as the Good Seed (her) and the bad seed (me). All my life, my mother treated us differently. Only now as an adult can I realize what happened with my mother and why she treated us so differently. I don't want to go into details just suffice to say that I now know some things I could put together to surmise what occurred.
Now in dementia my mother still treats us different. i realize that she wants my sister around because I guess she considers Sister vital in keeping her alive, I don't know. My sister has to introduce me to my own mother. Sister has to convince Mother to stay with me while she goes somewhere. It disheartening. She seems to know my kids though.
Please don't feel guilty. Just let the family know that you are there when they need to talk and leave it at that. We don't have to be super-human and feel that you have to be the end all of everything.
Glad to hear you are recuperating. I didn't recoup from a Mono attack in 1991 and now have CFS which saps my strength and energy so there's not much I could do but I try.
I am glad you are recovering MentalMum and hope that recover continues. You definitely need to take this time and take care of yourself. I am even happier that you have a more positive outlook as noted by your hubby. I hope you continue to improve in both.
Never think that you don't matter. You will always matter. You sister has psychological problem and your brother is just being strange. Your Mom had ALZ! Throw in the stress of the situation on everybody and you have a mess. People do crazy thing when under stress, and we all know how illogical your ALZ loved ones can be.
All you can do is the best you can..... and being at a distance what they allow you to do. It is not a reflection of you. It is a horrible disease that is difficult to deal with in the best of situations.
Before Alz.... we were a close family. In the last three years there are rift and rips in the fabric of the family. These are a direct result of the stress and frustration caused by this disease. We each have different views, different opinions, and different way of reacting to the situation. Sometimes we knock heads on what should be done and how it should be done. There are hard feelings created. Resentments grow. Old baggage is collection. Mom and Dad who are unable to understand what is going on, unintentionally add fuel to the fires. Now the sisters are not so close any more.
It is sad, but it is a reality that repeats itself over and over. As long as you are doing the best you can, that is all that can be ask of you. You can't change your Mom's condition or the way your brother and sister react. The only thing you control is how you react and how you deal with the situation. Take care of yourself first, do what you can for Mom, and make up your own mind what you can and cannot do. Then go forward with your life without guilt or regret.
My daughter sent me a great bumper sticker..... I am who I am, your approval is not required.