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I am not a good person...

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PiQue posted 7/3/2013 12:28 PM

I am not a good person. I am not doing this to look good, nor to get into heaven. At this point I'm not even sure there is a heaven. And I'm fairly certain I am currently living in hell. I'm taking care of family because it's what family does. It's what family is supposed to do. Obligation, responsibility, whatever. Caring for a semi-invalid is not my idea of fun. Except for going to work and the grocery store I have had four "breaks" over the past year. One for ~4 hours - my sister deigned to watch our mother while my children (who also share caretaking duties) and I went to a local stage production.
One for ~12 hours, another time my sister deigned to watch my mom while my kids and I drove 8 hour round trip to visit my father for a few hours. We were informed when we dropped mom off to be sure to pick her up by 8 pm as my sister 'has a life'...
Another ~6 hour break that I paid someone to come in and tend Mom while my DDs and I went to another stage production. This ended up being a fiasco.
The last, when I took my mom on an 8 hour road trip for a family reunion with her remaining brother and sister and their families. (Ever travel with a semi-invalid with the commode chair strapped to the top of the car? Having to tend to hygiene issues in multiple public restrooms? Deal with a wheelchair bound person in non-handicapped houses? Loads of fun...) My aunt tended my mom one day while we were 3 states away from home and sent my DD and I over to my cousin's to visit, swim and get a break for a few hours. (God Bless Aunt L!)

I cancelled my vacation AGAIN this year because I can't afford to go on vacation AND pay someone to caretake my mom. Update on that, my aunt and cousin have volunteered to drive out and stay for a few days so my daughters and I can get away. (Once more, God Bless Aunt L and Cousin D!) We will be going to see my dad and taking time to stop and visit sights along the way. Not the vacation that we had planned, but you take what you can get. Family helping family. What a novel-fucking idea that my dear sister and her fat ass POS husband don't subscribe to. (My aunt and cousin live 8 hours away, my sister lives 20 minutes away...)

After boo-hooing on FB that she 'couldn't afford to come to the family reunion' (where she had a free place to stay and could have brought her dogs), my sister then posts about going to her fat-ass-POS H's family reunion (where they had to pay for lodging and board their dogs to boot).

And, even though Sis and POSH 'can't afford' to be around her blood relatives, they are planning yet more vacations later in the summer and in the fall, after already having been to Disney World this past spring.

Oh, I forgot, they have a life...

To add insult to injury, since Sis is 'the favored child', years before her strokes, my mom made Sis Power of Attorney, Will Executor, etc. I have to live my life in accordance with Sis' whims.

In all fairness, my sister does make the twenty minute trek once or twice a month to spend 30 minutes or so with my mom, and so mom can visit with her youngest grandchild. And, so they can regale us with all the tales of their wonderful life, vacations, outings, etc.

I am not a good person. I hate that I am chained to my mom, yet again. I hate that my children are sacrificing their own lives to help me. I hate that my sister is such a flaming asswipe. I just hate my life in general.

In hindsight, infidelity was a breeze.

ETA: and I hate that I have to come back to SI to vent because I have nowhere else to go.

[This message edited by PiQue at 12:31 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]

DragnHeart posted 7/3/2013 12:58 PM

I am sorry you are feeling this way and wish with all my heart I could help.

My mother and I took care of my paternal grandmother until she passed. It was a lot of work but she wanted to be with us, not in a nursing home. Also, my mother and I are both healthcare providers specifically for the elderly.

Are there government funded respite services you can access?

DragnHeart posted 7/3/2013 13:02 PM

Oh and big hugs!!!

Also you are a good person. Trust me you are!!! Taking care of others is exhausting. It's not wrong to want a break.

Hugs again :)

tushnurse posted 7/3/2013 13:06 PM

drgn took the words from my mouth. Get some Respite Care. Also you need to tell your sister that Dear Mom will be coming to stay with her on X date, since she is the executor, and POA you have no legal liability.

Respite care is an absolute must for anyone being a full time caregiver. Your sister needs to step up. Do a search for Home Care Services in your area, and Elderlaw experts, and have them evaluate your situation. Believe it or not a lot of folks out there have life insurance plans that will pay for extra help.

DO NOT BEAT UP ON YOURSELF....You are a great person. Your sister is gonna get whacked by the Karma bus, you can't put that kind of thing on a sibling and expect to just reap the rewards.

((((and strength))))

Mama_of_3_Kids posted 7/3/2013 13:11 PM

Yes to what Drgn and tush need some help. Contact Respite Care and your sister; you can't do this on your own. This doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you human.


painpaingoaway posted 7/3/2013 13:50 PM

Oh Pi honey, you are NOT a bad person. You are a wonderful person!

Sweetie, IMO, YOU are doing what is right. Fuck your sister.

I did the same thing for both my parents. Dad with cancer, Mom with Alzhiemers. I loved them both so so much, and I killed myself caring for them, but, like you, I did what I believe family should do for each other. Dad died within a year. Mom lasted about 3 yrs after Dad died.

I have a brother in the same city that was wonderful, but he could only do so much, but he did help tremendously. BUT I have a brother and SIL in Alabama that were WORTHLESS !!!!!!!! And what really killed me about it all, was that they are 'born again' Christians, spouting the 'word', but 'unable' to help care for Mom because Mom said weird things in front of their then 12 yr old precious daughter.

Well yes, Alzheimer's patients sometimes say weird things, but I can tell you this much, after about the first year of Mom saying weird things, my poor ole Mom did not say one more word until she died.

IMO, you teach your children that Granny or Grandpa have an illness that causes them to have strange behaviors, but we still love them and care for them!!!!!

One day I'll post the scathing letter I sent them


In your case, I would have your sister pay for some in home care so that you can get some respite.

Stay strong sweetie, you are doing the right thing, but you MUST have some help.

Trust me, after your Mom passes, and you look back on this time, you will be sooooo glad you did this for her.

FaithFool posted 7/3/2013 15:37 PM

Twenty minutes away?

She should be doing weekly visits AT A MINIMUM.

My mom went into assisted living after ten wonderful years of sharing a house with us.

I was the only sibling in town after the hip fracture and the elder siblings made sure to let me know about my "moral and ethical" duty to her while they visited once in a blue moon and whined about the cost.

I gave up the 50/50 POA arrangement to the eldest when she started dictating from afar. I let her have it and that pissed her off no end.

Be thankful you don't have POA, you can walk and she is legally obligated to arrange care for your mom.

I treasure the times we spent during our weekend outings. Sure she pissed me off sometimes when she would say inappropriate things to the store clerks and stuff, but looking back I would not have traded those times for anything.

Your load of total personal care is so much heavier, and you have every right to demand respite.

Find your bitch boots and wear them. Your sister needs a big cup of WAKE THE FUCK UP...


JanaGreen posted 7/3/2013 15:43 PM

I'm so so sorry. YES you are a good person. And your sister sucks.

Sad in AZ posted 7/3/2013 16:01 PM

If you are not a good person, I am the devil incarnate. As much as I love my mom, I would not be able to do that. She would have to go into assisted living. You can still visit when they're in assisted living, you can share meals, you can bring comforts of home--there are really nice places.

Yes; family should take care of family, and that's what you would be doing; it's not like you'd be looking to the state for her care.

NaiveAgain posted 7/3/2013 17:38 PM

(((PiQue))) You are carrying a very heavy load. I am so sorry that you cannot get any help from your sibling...

authenticnow posted 7/4/2013 07:12 AM


Skye posted 7/4/2013 08:28 AM

I don't know if you're a good person or not, but this post certainly doesn't say you're not good.

If my mom needed as much care as yours apparently does, I'd put her in a facility. Does that make me a bad person?

And I've told my children to do the same for me. Why do parents want to be burdens to their children.

It sounds to me like you're doing way more than a saint would.

FaithFool posted 7/4/2013 10:50 AM

I know people struggle with this, but the way I see it is this: my mom didn't WANT any of us to do the basics for her and although having care staff take care of those needs is never fun or what we want, there is a certain dignity to not having your family take care of that for you.

It opened up more time for us to just get her out of the room and into the car for outings and shopping and lunches, without having the burden of taking care of the rest of it 24/7.

She was in a safe place and people were watching over her.

There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that you can't handle it. Your mom would understand and probably appreciate that if she had all her faculties.

[This message edited by FaithFool at 10:51 AM, July 4th (Thursday)]

letitout posted 7/4/2013 12:05 PM

I can't imagine doing all what you are doing. The anxiety and exhaustion seem to be taking it's toll on you. Do you feel you are slipping into depression as well?

You said you hate it that you had to come back to SI to vent. Glad you came back. Do you have anybody else to talk to?

My aging parents live across the country and I only get to see them one time a year for a week. And after that week I barely have enough energy to fly back home.

I agree with everyone here. You need help and nothing wrong with that.

Please post again and tell us how you are coping.

sullymeishadomi posted 7/4/2013 12:45 PM

I have a coworker in a similar situation. As was my Aunt but my Aunt never got time off til her mom passed.

You are an amazing and giving lerson. Your sister is incredibly selfish.

There is one thing to help a family member but its different when your life becomes nothing but caring for that family member. You are deserving of also having a life

Yes, I agree. Look into getting some help with your mother.

PiQue posted 7/4/2013 19:38 PM

Thank you, all of you, for the support. My sister made time in her busy schedule to come over to visit today. Actually, the visit was under the pretenses of visiting with my mom. It was more to bitch me out and drag up stuff she has been unhappy with me over for decades. Trivial shit such as I didn't like one of the cars she had circa 1994... I rode in the damn car once when our uncle died. I am a tall person with a bad back. I was squashed for a 4.5 hour drive over mountain roads in the back seat of a low slung car with a ride like a Red Flyer wagon. Every little bump in the road went straight up my spine. I said how uncomfortable I was and asked if I could ride in the front seat at least part of the way back. Both she and her spouse got pissed at me. The only other time I have ridden with her in any of her vehicles was last year when our mom was in the hospital.

What does it even matter if I didn't like her car? I didn't have to drive or ride in it beyond the one time.

I made the mistake of returning the favor and brought up old gripes of my own as well as recent ones involving our mom. She promptly went home and cried to her fat-ass-POS-H and he has been blowing up my phone all afternoon.

Stick a fork in me, I'm about done.

I have retained an Elder Care Attorney ($$$$$$). Because of our particular situation, I can't use any of my mom's moneys to pay for respite care. (Poor estate planning on my mom's part that can't be changed now because of her mental capacity. And ignorance on my part. Mom said she had everything taken care of and I believed her instead of investigating it myself.) It would have to come out of my pocket. The many, ahem, dedicated christian church members where my mom attended church verbalized so much promised assistance when she was still in hospital, apparently have more important things to do now. Three individuals have been out on five occasions over the past year for short cursory visits. My father, from whom my mom has been divorced since the 1980s, has been helping me make ends meet as necessary, and has also footed some of my moms bills.

My mom was in a very nice facility for rehab, and could have stayed there (to the tune of about $11,000 per month) had she not thrown violent fits, refused to eat, refused to participate in therapy, etc. In those particular regards, she has been much better since coming home. So many days I wish I had left her there. I would have lost the house I've been sinking money into for nine years, but I might have my sanity.

I've told my kids on a regular basis, if I ever get in that condition, I want to go on one last trip to the Grand Canyon. And take a banana peel...

girlsbird posted 7/4/2013 22:06 PM

Yes you are a good person. Your just tired and your sister is an ass

purplejacket4 posted 7/5/2013 14:11 PM

Not only are you good but kind, brave and resilient

I MADE both of my parents take out long term nursing home care insurance. I could not have done a tenth of what you're doing.

Hell, I'm resentful of fWS at the moment because she has a cast and is non weight bearing and I've had to do all the chores and help her with ADLs. She started complaining about her good foot and I told her if she hurt that one too I'm putting her in assisted living. Not kidding.

Skye posted 7/6/2013 10:53 AM

Glad you hired an elder law attorney. We did the same while my mom was mentally well and healthy to ensure we are never put in your position. It's worth the money. You may find, now, with the attorney's help, that you have more options than you think. I'm not sure your mom's estate planning will be respected if she needs to be placed in a home. And depending on the State you live in, you are not responsible for her care financially. There are a few States that say you are, but it is a law that is rarely enforced. Don't stress over all this; let the attorney.

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