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Tell me how you would feel....

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by mad madam mim78, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. punkin

    punkin <font color=purple>Went through pain just to look

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    This. Your mother doesn't want "guests" in her house. They only create more work for her and she is already overloaded. If your brother actually helped instead of "visiting" I wonder if her reaction would be different.

    I know this isn't exactly the same but after I had my older DD, my mother cooked, cleaned, took care of everything so I could focus on the baby. My GMIL came for an hour to coo over the baby and comment how dirty my house was getting. :rolleyes1 I feel for your mother.
     
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  3. mad madam mim78

    mad madam mim78 DIS Veteran

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    I guess maybe another question is how much help and effort should you give parents who gave no real effort to raising their kids. I know she's probably tired and feels lonely and trapped, but I have so many times growing up felt the same. My mother and father were very self absorbed people and I was often made to feel children should be seen and not heard. There's a history of alcoholism with my father. When he was sober he was more of a "buddy" than a father. My mother drank too but always played the victim. But hey....every now and then they took us to theme parks or a movie. I'm sure I need therapy. I just really feel no moral obligation to either of my parents. Especially my father. My mom tried harder but always was the martyr and let us all know all the time. There's a lot of back story here but i guess I'm kind of in a position where I'm saying "you made your bed, now lay in it". Heartless as it sounds.
     
  4. Agri

    Agri DIS Veteran

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    My mom has terminal brain cancer and has been bedridden for months. If someone called up and asked to visit her who hasn't been helping, I'd tell them no or ignore them.

    It's incredibly difficult to watch someone you love fall apart bit by bit. It's incredibly hard to have to do more and more for someone you used to look to for support and aid.

    As a person goes downhill and you have to do more and more without help, you resent people who just want to drop by. The truth is that it is incredibly selfish to just expect to come by and "visit". There is fallout from ANY change in routine not to mention having to prepare and deal with visitors.

    I'm going to take a wild stab here and assume that neither you nor your brother are fully aware of all that it takes to care for him nor are you aware of his routines. If someone were to come by and say careless things to my mom like "I'm sure you'll be up and about soon" or "I'm sure you'll feel better soon" it could ruin her day. She'd be distressed and crying and inconsolable and I'd have to give her medication to calm her down. More importantly, SHE would be distressed, I would be distressed and all of this could have been avoided had I just said no visitors.

    I'm also going to guess that he rarely asks how SHE is doing along with balking at any request to actually help.

    I can understand your mother's reasoning that you have kids - YOU are also a caregiver with your own responsibilities. While it's demanding in a different way, when you're a caregiver it's easier to understand and relate to others with similar responsibilities.

    Your brother needs to be calling up asking to take care of him for the weekend so she can have a break. What are either of you going to do with your dad if your mom gets too sick to take care of him?

    Your mother is probably very resentful (and rightfully so, tbh) that the one child who keeps wanting to visit who doesn't have other human beings relying on him isn't helping out at all. Your brother needs to either help out or make peace with the fact that by choosing to let your mother take care of everything he is also choosing to not see his dad.
     
  5. cabanafrau

    cabanafrau DIS Veteran

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    You and your siblings all need to decide for yourselves if you're willing to truly pitch in and help in order to insure that the next visit with dad isn't while he's in his casket, or stick to your convictions that they are reaping what they sowed and you are under no obligation to feel otherwise. Once the real end has come and taken away all opportunities to make a choice, not many people wish they had spent less time and had done less. There isn't any going back from that and can be a heavy burden to carry the rest of your life. It may well be that the truly selfish choice is to lend a hand and spend some time while you can.
     
  6. mad madam mim78

    mad madam mim78 DIS Veteran

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    I feel my mom is this way a lot. I think she wants help but doesn't want him around to help. It's weird. I really think she thrives on playing the woe is me card. Wants people to say "oh poor her". She hints at stuff but never asks so you never know what she's thinking. If she's expecting people to just volunteer it's not gonna happen. It happens with my DH all the time. You basically have to say "hey put up that light fixture this weekend". If I hint at it like "man it would be great if that light fixture was up" it would never get done.
     
  7. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

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    While all of this is true, bottom line if your brother wants to spend time with his father, he knows he needs to come by and pick his dad up.

    All the back story in the world does not change that.

    As far as yourself, sounds like you are comfortable with your decisions regarding your parents. No need to explain it to us really.
     
  8. java

    java <font color=darkorchid>I am embracing the Turkey B

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    But she needs help. If people are waiting for an invitation to help, that's not going to happen either. She was clear in her you take him request. She needs a break.

    I just read your other post about how the relationship has been strained for sometime. I'm sorry. That makes a difficult time even worse. It's hard to sympathize with someone that wasn't there for you.

    While my parents weren't the greatest, I got to an age where I realized they were doing the best they could. It wasn't what I needed but it was their best.
     
  9. mad madam mim78

    mad madam mim78 DIS Veteran

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    Yeah the whole thing stinks really bad. It's really hard when my mom paints this very Rosie picture of how she raised us and me being the non-confrontational person I am just have to bite my tongue till it bleeds and nod in agreement. She knows how I feel about my dad but she has no idea how I feel about her. As I've gotten older these feelings get worse and worse. Especially as I'm raising my children and am constantly thinking how I would NEVER put my kids through some of the things I went through. Controlling resentment is so damn hard.
     
  10. RitaE

    RitaE DIS Veteran

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    I've been in your place, and I am in your place. I could write volumes of backstory.

    The short answer is, you just need to answer that question for yourself and your siblings need to answer that question for themselves. You might do what you only feel obligated to do, you might do much more because you think it is some moral obligation despite the past, or you might decide that you just need to bury the past and act out of mercy.

    You might come to completely different decisions than your siblings, and that is okay. I have no judgement in that sort of situation.

    The ONLY thing I have a problem with is situations like with my Sister who will give no assistance at all to elderly parental care. No financial assistance, no physical assistance, nothing. But she then gets angry when major decisions and events like health care, and hospitalizations and living arrangements are made without her input and without consulting her or even notifying her.

    I'll just say, if you decide you don't want to be involved, then you aren't going to be involved. In my book, you don't get to cherry pick things like "Oh, I'll come and visit this Sunday!" and act like a martyr when you are told no because your presence isn't convenient or wanted by those who are pulling the heavy load.
     
  11. dadddio

    dadddio DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for this post. Please know that you are not the only one who struggles with this issue.
     
  12. Planogirl

    Planogirl I feel the nerd in me stirring

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    How aware is the father? He might actually enjoy "just a visit". There is that to consider too.
     
  13. Disney  Doll

    Disney Doll DIS Security Matron

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    Well, I think you need to decide what works best for you, what will be what you can tolerate from your relationship and what will make you feel the least guilty after Mom & Dad are gone.

    Try as we may, the past always has an impact on the present. In your case, you seem to not feel like your parents put huge effort into raising you, so you don't feel the need to put huge effort into helping them. I'm not going to fault you for that...you grew up with them so only you know the extent to which they were "good" or "bad" parents. If you feel comfortable with what you're doing and if you feel comfortable that when Dad (and Mom for that matter) dies that you will have no guilt, no regrets etc., then I'd say you're fine. Because in one sense you are right...if they were neglectful etc. as parents, then they did reap what they sowed...or are reaping what they sowed.

    As far as your brother....if he's interested in seeing your dad more then he needs to say to Mom "When is a good time for me to come?" and "While I am there why don't you plan to go out and do something that you need to do? I'll be with dad so he'll be OK." because truth be told, Mom is probably overwhelmed with caregiving and based on what you said about the past, has a martyr complex so you have a double whammy there. But brother needs to pin her down. He needs to be direct and say "What can I do to help you?" and if she says "Take him to your hoouse for a while" then he needs to take him to his house for a while and see how it goes. If it goes well, he can do it again. If it doesn't go well, then he and she need to discuss why it didn't go well and what alternatives there are for him to help, such as "I will come over every Monday and Thursday after work to spend time with dad so you can get a break".

    If she pooh-poohs this, then he is well within his right to say " I understand that you feel like you have been left with the burden of caring for him. I am here now offering help and every offer I make is met with resistance from you, and a million excuses of why it won't work. I am willing to help but you seem unwilling to let me help while at the same time complaining that I don't help".

    Often people in these situations don't know what they want. My elderly mother gets like this. Her most recent "kick" is arthritis. She has it in her hands. I understand it's difficult sometimes to open jars, write etc.

    Here's how the conversations go:
    I suggested taking Tylenol or some other pain reliever. "No I don't like taking pills".

    I suggested using a heating pad when they are very stiff assuming the warmth would help relieve some of he stiffness. "What am I supposed to do carry the heating pad around with me all day?"

    I suggested a Ben Gay type muscle rub or pain relief rub. "It smells".

    I was at a health fair and they were giving away spongy "squeeze balls". I picked up a couple thinking that perhaps the squeezing would help strengthen the hands and unstiffen them a bit. "Just what I need more junk in my house"

    I suggested going to a rheumatologist. "I don't need to go to another doctor. I already go to too many".


    So now when she complains to me about her hands I say "Mom I have made all the suggestions I have. You choose not to do any of them. There is nothing more I can do to help you. I'm sorry but you are correct when you say you will have to suffer from your arthritis because you are unwilling to try anything that might help".

    Sometimes that's all you can say. Your mother may be exactly he same. The whole thing stinks but she doesn't want to do anything to change it either. But have your brother offer to spend more time there and see what happens.
     
  14. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

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    I think that there is a part of you that wants your Mom to suffer. I am not saying that you are right or wrong, but I am pointing out that no matter what suggestions people are giving you there is a reason why it won't work.

    The bottom line is that only you can decide how to handle your own visits. Only your brother can decide how to handle his. What jumped out at me was that your brother would leave your dad alone when he wanted to leave. No wonder your Mom does not trust him to care for Dad so she can leave. I would not either.

    If you want to help then you just do it. If you want to visit you go. If you don't want to visit then just don't.

    Your brother is not tying hard enough, IMO. He says he wants to visit but your Mom says his timing is inconvenient. He needs to decide how badly he wants to visit and how much inconvenience he is willing to deal with. You should stay out of this, it is not your business.


    She is not going to ask. If you want to help then you just pitch in. If you don't want to help, stop trying to make it her fault. If you don't want to take a hint, that is fine. Personally, I would not ask my kids to help me. If they could not see that I was overwhelmed undder the circumstances, it would be clear they had blinders on.

    You and your brother are looking for justification to stay away. You don't need it.
     
  15. mad madam mim78

    mad madam mim78 DIS Veteran

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    My mom leaves my dad all the time. He's probably home by himself around 60-70 hours a week. My mom goes out sometimes on weekends to the casino. She isn't completely stay at home caregiver.
     
  16. lovemygoofy

    lovemygoofy DIS Veteran

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    Oh I could write the entire encyclopedia set about screwed up families and obligation as I live that Titanic story everyday. Either decide you want to be a part of the family and help or don't. It's kinda that simple. You can carry on and complain about how your mom does it but the bottom line is she is doing it. There is no being between mom and brother because just make a decision and maybe if you make one so will the siblings. There is no right or wrong decision but harboring all the resentment isn't doing anyone any good.

    She probably does complain and hint and whatever else but do you know why? It is damn hard to do the job she is doing? If she left the house when your brother was there but your brother didn't stay the entire time, she is going to worry about your dad. If your brother comes to visit and is a lump on the couch for the 15 minutes that he is there what good is that?

    Your mom needs an outlet where she is a priority. No doubt all the people coming to visit your dad are asking all about your dad and worrying about him and your mom is the "good person" standing by his side. The majority of conversations will revolve around your dad and about his medical issues or his happiness. It's a very lonely life when you are a caregiver.
     
  17. dadddio

    dadddio DIS Veteran

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    In my opinion, your brother should stop asking permission to visit with his father.
     
  18. mad madam mim78

    mad madam mim78 DIS Veteran

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    I just want to say thank you to everyone. Believe it or not its helping. :)
     
  19. brockash

    brockash DIS Veteran

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    It sounds like your mom has a lot of issues and needs to get over herself. I think it's really cruel to not let the kids see their basically dying father. She needs to remember that she CHOSE to marry someone 20 years older than herself, and it may sound rough, but she needs to deal with the consequences of that, if that's how she see's it. Sure it'd be great if all the adult kids were able to and willing to really help out etc., but it is what it is, and if your mom wasn't in the picture, I'm guessing someone else would end up doing the caregiving, but it seems pretty logical that it would be the able wife of the husband that would be doing the majority of the caregiving in this type of situation.

    Is there a way that your mom and dad could possibly pay for a part-time caregiver to help her out a little? Or maybe someone to help with the cooking/cleaning, so maybe she gets a little bit of a break? I think that would be ideal, but regardless, I think your mom is being really cruel to your dad and your siblings.
     
  20. 2disneyboys

    2disneyboys DIS Veteran

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    OP, Its hard as adults to have just the right relationship with our parents and it just gets harder when there are other family members (like step parents 1/2 siblings, etc etc) Ultimately, each of you need to decide what type of relationship you going to have with your parent based on your individual history and then make that relationship happen. If current wife is making things hard on any of the kids, then the kids needs to have a one on one with current wife. As kids, unless you have mistreated your parent or been disrespectful to the current spouse, you have a right to time with your parent. However, this does not mean that the "terms" of the visit are 100% up to you. you need to work out some sort of compromise w/ the spouse who is the primary caregiver that is realistic.

    It sounds like it would be detrimental to your father for him to be taken to brothers house. In this case, brother needs to clearly communicate this to step mom and find out what he has to do to spend time with his father.

    I can tell you this. If I truly wanted to spend time with my father, NO ONE would stop me. I would find out what the terms of visitation are, and I would make it happen. However, keep in mind, everyone involved should have the same primary concern - what's best for dad.

    A good friend told me once when I was explaining an uncomfortable position I was in with someone, "Well, 2disneyboys, if you knew for a fact that 6 months from today this person would be dead, what would you change about the next 6 months." That is such a simple statement, but it had impact for me. I realized I was so caught up in the history between me & this person that I was wasting our "current" and future. The reality is you don't know if someone has even 6 months left, much less more. Only you can decide how you want to spend what time is left.
     
  21. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

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    Don't make your BROTHER'S issues with your mother and father YOUR issues.

    If he starts complaining, tell him to go and pick up dad.

    He is "dumping" on you to make HIMSELF feel better about not visiting his father.

    All the shenanagins and back story do not apply to this issue of visitation. I hope you can "see" that. Your brother knows he can go and get his dad. He CHOOSES not to.

    I will quote The Matrix instead of LOTR's....."Choice, the problem is choice".
     

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