It has been awhile since I posted but I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.
I got my Mom at the nursing home on Christmas eve. She got in the car she told me that my older Sister picked her up for Christmas dinner and she had a great time. I asked who was there and she named a few people, and I asked her what my Sister got her and she said nothing. I told her it was Christmas eve and Christmas was not until the next day. I asked her if she was suppose to go to my Sister's the next day. She said I do not know I am so dumb and stupid. I said no you are not, that is why you have me, to keep things straight for you, because this is part of her disease.
I had her call my Sister's three numbers and no one answered, because it was my cell phone number and at this point not one of my three sisters are speaking to me, over things with my Mother, but that is ok. I think she asked me to be the power of attorney because she knew that I was the toughest daughter, and let me tell you I am not tough and I feel like I am dying a little more each day.
We had my family over and had a wonderful Christmas Eve. When I went back to the nursing home her nurse told me that Mom is slipping fast, that they have had a lot of incidents with her. She also told me how it is funny how the younger Alzheimer's patients go faster than the older ones. (news I did not want to hear on Christmas eve). Before I left I told Mom that if one of my other two sisters (the other sister went out of town) wanted to see her on Chrismas that was fine with me, (she thinks she needs to be with me on all holidays) because they are her Daughters and they want to spend time with her.
I called her on Christmas and asked her if anyone was coming today and she said yes that both of my Sisters had called and they were going to come to the nursing home and spend Christmas with her. I was so happy because these are the two sisters who never visit my Mom, or help with her care in any way. Why did I trust them?
I called my niece just to make sure that Mom had her information correct and she said that yes my sister had talked to Mom and she was going to the nursing home, and may even bring her back to her house for dinner.
My Husband and I had a great Christmas by ourselves for a change and it was nice. I had this gut feeling that something was not right all day long, but I could not put my finger on it.
Well later on in the evening I called the nursing home and asked my Mother if she had a wonderful day with her other Daughters and what did they get her and she said they never showed up. I wanted to cry, I was so angry with myself for believing either one of them. I have so much hate in my heart right now and I do not use the word "hate" but Mom may not even recognize us next Christmas and it is like "so what" to them. I have never met more selfish people in my life than these two. We were not raised like this.
I might add that both of these sisters are alcholics, one sister decided to get drunk instead of going to the nursing home. I am fuming, I need to work through this, so here I am. I know "no guilt" here, but this is not guilt it is painful, very painful to me to know that my Mother sat at a nursing home all by herself on Christmas. When she has done nothing but live for her family all her life, gave up her last dollar if one of us needed it. Cannot stop the pain, and anger inside of me.
Looking for the wisdom from anyone who has some. I know I have to let this go and/or work through it. How do you do that without litterly punching them and hurting them the way I know they hurt Mom on Christmas. (I do not believe in physical abuse, I am just hurting for my Mom)
Julie... first you need to realize that you are NOT responsible for the choices of others. You can't control what they do or do not do. You can only control what YOU do. Reread that until you get it. You gave mom a wonderful Christmas Eve. You spent your time with Mom. Then you took a day for yourself. Mom was well cared for. What your sisters did was for them to carry... not you. You need to accept the people you can not change and change the person you can... and have the wisdom to know that person is you.
You can NOT change your sisters. I don't care how much anger you harbor, how much you fret, or how much you want it differet... you can NOT change them. The only thing you can change is your attitude in dealing with them. Yes, they are missing opportunities every day ... but you are grabbing those opportunities. They are not doing what they should for Mom... but you are doing what Mom needs. So why are you the one with the stress, frustration, and guilt!?!? Are you beating up on yourself because you gave your sisters the opportunity to be with their Mom?
The other thing you need to remember is that Mom is not truly aware of what day it is and she will not remember correctly and then she will forget. you left her with a good feeling from your visit. You continue to do that. Let that be enough for you. You have done what you can and that has to be enough.
I know what you are feeling. I was frustrated for a long time because I have sisters that don't do what I think they should. I let it color so much of my life until the day I realized it was such a huge waste of energy to be angry with Sister that were doing what they wanted to do. Right or wrong (in our eyes) it is what they want to do. It is our expectation that get in our way. We expect them to do something different. When they don't we are furious. So are we furious at them for not doing what they were not going to do anyway... or at ourselves for expecting them to do something different? Remember... the only thing you control is your reaction to what they are going to do.
The first think I did to get past my frustration was to accept the fact that my sisters are who they are and are going to do what they are going to do. I realized that no matter how much I wished, hoped, dreamed, or wanted... they were only going to do what they wanted to do. No expectation on my part was going to make it any different!! So I gave up on the expectation. I hate it for them and for mom and dad. But it is not my cross to bear. I can only give my parents what is within my power to give them. I can give them of myself. That has to be enough!!! If the sisters miss out then that is for them to worry about... not me.
So if you take away anything, take away the fact that your sisters are responsible for what they do and you are responsible for what you do. you can't change them no matter how much you fret about it. So why waste any energy on these angry negative feelings towards them. You have enough to do without wasting energy! Accept what you can not change and change what you can... You can not change your sisters... but you can change how you deal with what they do.
So go enjoy your time with your Mom and leave your sisters to deal with their own choices!!!!
You are so right, thanks for the swift kick in the behind. I care about my Mother so much and that should be the only one I am concerned with. I thank you so much for putting it into words for me. I could not see through my anger, and/or pain. I knew this is where I needed to be. I knew that I did not like the way I was feeling and once again you have come through for me. God Bless you!
oops hit wrong button lol Deb you said it beautifully. I sure wish my wording would be as good. Julie the one thing you'll probably come to realize is in a few years your the one that is going to have all those wonderful, happy and even sad memories Their going to have a big fat NOTHING. So chin up your responsibility is only to your family and your mom the rest can deal this their own guilt. We went through the same thing with my MIL other kids and one even went as far as to die w/o talking to his mom (7 yrs) she didn't even know he was sick or dying. It's hard not to be bitter but you deserve to have inner peace.
they're the ones that have to look in the mirror.....will they like what they see?
you on the other hand can look in the mirror and with a clear concious, know that you did right by your mother.....maybe that's why she knew you'd be the best one to be in charge
and when you get far enough along you will realize that instead of feeling anger towards your sisters.... they have earned sympathy. You are the one that is benefiting from the experience. You are the one that is strengthening your character and building your self esteem. You are the one that will have the beautiful memories of your Mom. They will have nothing but their guilt, their anger, and their frustration along with all those lost moments that they can never get back... not only with their Mom but with you. Yes, they are to be pitied
As you said... Mom knew what she was doing when she gave you the legal papers. She already knew and accepted what is... and now it's your turn. As my mom told me so often... You can't make a silk purse out of a souse ear... so why do you beat yourself up trying?
My Husband and I had a great Christmas by ourselves for a change and it was nice
So, no guilt. Your Mom was safe. She wasn't sitting at a bus stop waiting for a bus, she was in a warm, loving, caring, safe, environment. While someone may have said Merry Christmas, she's not going to remember she was stood up.
So stop fretting. While you are angry with your sisters -- let it go.
Just remember and keep saying your words My Husband and I had a great Christmas by ourselves for a change and it was nice
I know I have said it before, but I will say it again. I am so blessed that I found this message board, with so many caring spirits. You are all angels on earth and for that I am glad you are in my life guiding me. Yes I will rejoice in the nice Christmas my Husband and I had. Sometimes when my head is whirling it seems the only people I hear, are people who have walked this journey before me or with me. God bless each and everyone of you.
I'd like to share some thoughts with you about my family, as I see so many similarities. I am also on the "other" side as my grandma passed away earlier this year...so we have completed our Alzheimers journey. But it left our family in ruins. I have different views on how to cope with siblings that dont care, that abandon, that are indifferent. Yes, I believe you do need to get to the point where you "accept" that they will not change, that is absolutely correct.
My grandma had 10 children, 2 of them passed away in the last few years right before she got ill. At the time of her illness and all the stress, my uncle was her sole caregiver, with a little help from my other uncle, and my mom who flew over to Ireland whenever she could and spent every day on the phone supporting him. But there were 3 daughters who did abandon my grandma, two in particular, who in the last year, did not visit her even once. She became so ill Julie....it was pitiful what she went through in the last months. But never did they pay a visit. The anger that errupted in our family came from exactly the idea that grandma's illness became a "burden"...they did not want to share. There is a difference between not being as much "involved" as others and not visiting "ever".
Julie, right till the end, they never even attended her funeral. One of them came to the house on the morning of the service to 'see' her for the last time, hadnt seen her in over a year. I dont know what its like 5 minutes from your mother, not see her in a year knowing every day could be her last....and then go see her lying in a casket. That is yes, hers to carry....whether it bothers her or not....is not anything I'm aware of, nor do I care about any longer.
But I do still harbor anger....I cannot help it...and it wont go away. Not for their actions...but for how it made my grandma feel. I can accept the stress that was put upon our family...because we decided we had to see it through, and be there for her......but I will never accept the hurt and abandonment that my grandma felt. Everyone on here will say, (and they're right), that when their loved one passes, whether or not they knew them on one day, and not the next, they "knew" who loved them, and who took care of them. So in that same notion, they also knew who was "not" there.....and I know my grandma, and I know how much of a whole they left in her heart, I will never forgive that. I dont think about it hardly, only when something comes up like this post, and I go down memory lane. My mom and uncle still do not speak to those sisters. Some sisters talk to others, but there are some bonds permanently broken. I also am angry at them for allowing one son because he was not married and already lived with grandma. He had no life of his own. Anyone who has been a caregiver knows what he went through, alone. And now, he is even more alone without her......and trying to find his way through his days. Yes, at the very end of the line, it was his decision to look after her and keep her at home, but it was a decision he should not have had to make with 3 sisters living 5 minutes away. Dementia is an extremely difficult illness to live with, but families can either make it easier or harder on themselves...it just depends whats in their hearts.
So there, now I'm off my soapbox....but for now Julie, it is true, accept that they will only do what they can so that you can get through this....the rest you can reconcile later whichever way your heart leads you. Whatever your feelings towards them, know that they are valid.....and we understand. But put yourself first before your anger towards them. MAKE SURE that you spend time with your OWN family so that they are a strong support on the "other side". Believe me, it is so important.
Julie. Let's face it. Dementia is an ugly disease, and most people just don't want to think about it. So they avoid dealing with it in any way. Times like this is when people's true nature really comes out. People are always more than willing to let someone else take the burden and wear themselves out, so they can keep on with their normal lives.
Be angry if you must. Then let it go. They are not worth the energy it takes to be angry at them. Then, give yourself permission to get on with your life and find happiness. Believe me, they probably feel no guilt or responsibility.
Bless your uncle for giving up his life for a while and I well know the aloneness he felt as a caregiver and feels now that she is gone. And yes, I had family and friends and a church of 10,000 people who, for the most part avoided and looked the other way. Couldn't even bother to make a phone call. And those people are no longer in my life by my choice. I don't need the "fair-weather" group. So my circle of friends and family is much smaller now, but at least I KNOW that they are there no matter what.
So true Ken....very well said....my circle of friends and family sound much like yours!!! Quality not quantity right?
Julie....hope you're hanging in there.....its okay to be angry....but dont let it consume you, I know its hard, because its just natural. Take care of your mom, but also yourself and your immediate family....that should be your focus, because believe me, the anger will do no good, now or even later.
Anger is nothing more than an expression of frustration, fear, and anxiety. All things that we don't need it our lives. It is born out of expectation. The problem with anger is that it doesn't affect anybody but us! So for us we need to deal with it and let it go. Forgiveness is not forgetting. We do learn from experiences and can change our world to eliminate the negative. Forgiveness is allowing ourselves to move forward without the negative feelings that keep dragging us back into the endless cycles of anger. We change our expectations so we can find that happy place we need. .. the sooner the better
May here remember my angst with my sister. I expected something very different from her. It was only after I accepted that fact that "she is who she is" and "that is what I will receive from her" was I able to move past my own frustration, expressed in anger, and deal with the situation. I did change my world to eliminate as much of the negativity as I could and learned to accept the rest. My sister is still who she is but I am different and life is better for it