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Thread: "I Am Not Responsible For My Family"

  1. #11
    I went thru a similar thing of sorts, except the inlaws lived up north. When they could no longer manage themselves my wife insisted they move to a apartment near us. Fortunately they had the funds. I was doing ok and my wife was not working so she could visit them. She'd make lunch shop dinner etc. When they needed more she found a licensed in home aid for the day eventually adding nights. Again they could afford this and I completely understand your situation is different. I mention all of this only to suggest the possability of looking into a go fund me or one of the many sites that will help raise some thing to help. I don't know if there is tax issues it not but I have a friend with a child with cancer and they have raised tens of thousands. Your story is heartbreaking. I have 3 kids and as they age i worry about their children. My wife never went back to work and I try to save but she is losing her eyesight. She wants to go now while she can see, and I can hardly blame her. But like yourself the assisted facilities provided by the state are terrible. At least in Florida. They come bye at your designated time for a bath and if you aren't up for it,, well you just have to wait till the next day. Bless you. Use the internet and ask lots of questions from different agencies. And take it day by day....

  2. #12
    Platinum Member tiredofvampires's Avatar
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    Thanks for weighing in, East4.

    I of course expected at least one person to express the views that you do, and that was part of the hopes of this thread. That I would get an idea of the split of opinions on this matter. (Even though I suspect this thread will not get enough hits/responses to collect a lot of data points.)

    There is a lot of stigma that comes with my situation, and the people who stigmatize it are the ones who respond exactly as you do. The shaming element is quite transparent. This could easily be seen by anyone with your orientation as an open-and-shut case of parasitism.

    I can see where you'd think what you do -- assessing it as envy, jealousy, and resentment would be the low-hanging fruit.

    I do know that you are quite wrong, about my feelings being driven by envy and resentment of her "successful" life. I specifically said in my OP that I have begrudged her none of her fortune, luck, and wealth, hoping to pre-empt the notions you've expressed along those lines. So either you take me at my word on that or you believe I'm lying to myself. "Looking inside for answers" is something that comes naturally to me, so I have no problem applying that and seeing this: that I am grateful for my sister's blessings, and happy for her that she managed to escape the circumstances that have befallen me. What would another downtrodden sister, and one whom I have emotionally supported all her life (yes, I have supported her in her pursuits!), and felt protective of as her big sister, have done to benefit me? NOTHING.

    The fact of the matter is that our relationship would have crumbled into alienation years ago, rotted from "envy and resentment", had that been inside me. That hasn't happened, because that's not how I feel. Her better socioeconomic status has been a facet in our lives for 30 years, and only now, I'm dealing with this breakdown.

    Furthermore, I don't perceive her life as a more worthy life, and I don't feel like a failure. It's taken a long time to beat back those voices, to find my own, to find value and integrity and ways I can be of service. I feel I'm living a life that has its own merits, and some of the things I have, she does not, ironically because I am not of means and so I've had to become creative. Certainly, I would not want to marry a man like her husband (for many reasons), even if he were rich.

    Bear in mind, too, that the majority of people I call friends and know well, are better off than I am financially and in many cases, are in extraordinarily high places. My life would fast become a sewer of inner poison if I had it in my heart to resent each one. I'm glad to say that is not a governing force within me -- even if and when I have a pang of wishfulness.

    It is one thing to grieve one's losses, looking around at what others have. It's another thing to feel that no one should have those good things if I don't, and to harbor ill will towards someone for having them. Those are 2 different mindsets, East4. And I do not harbor such ill will. I do not wish my sister had it as rough as I do, I do not wish her to have less than she has. I just wish all three of us children had had an equal opportunity to thrive in all ways, but we didn't.

    I'll tell you what I resent. What I resent is that she has all her life has depended on someone else to give her not only what she needs for bare survival, and in addition, all the things she thinks she NEEDS for the comforts and joys of life, yet she feels I have no right to hope for any such graces, given my circumstances. It feels hypocritical. And that certainly doesn't feel like friendship -- this is the clincher -- if the shoe were on the other foot, what would she want done for her, in the name of love and sisterhood? Love + passive means have bestowed upon her all that she clings to in her own life, but how dare I imagine anyone would count me that way? THAT is what feels wrong. And it's not like I haven't done other things for HER that she needed, non-materially, to reciprocate in this friendship!

    And this is not just about me. I am also asking what duty a grown child has to their ailing/aging parent, and in a marriage. Like I said, this is HER MOTHER, too. The mother who sang to her, read her stories, made her lunch every day for school, taught her what she is now teaching her own child.

    As far as "quid pro quo", I'm not sure what you're saying, except that it seems you feel I owe my mother money back for paying for medical care I couldn't afford. I'm not sure what your concept is of people who are on disability BECAUSE THEY CAN'T AFFORD what abled people CAN afford, but that isn't a situation where a quid pro quo applies. It's N/A.
    Last edited by tiredofvampires; 03-22-2019 at 05:50 PM.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    First and foremost, I am so sorry for you and your mother.

    I lost my father to Alzheimer's and I know first hand the financial and emotional toll it takes on the family.

    Though not ideal, your mom will be taken care of. Yes, I agree, state facilities are not anyone's first choice, but with the family acting as advocates the job gets done.

    I hear your pain and through all of this I hear your fear of wondering how you are going to get by. I don't have an answer for you but your mom did the best she could to see that you and your other sister will benefit from what is left in her estate.

    So the question here is - what does the youngest sister owe everyone in the mix? Mom's estate is secured, her care will be covered. This comes down to how this impacts you and the other sister and I hate to say it, but I don't believe that little sister and husband have a financial obligation to you. I hear you saying that your desire would be that they would help with Mom's care based on a curve so the money in the estate goes to providing for you and your sister, as your mother intended. Would it be nice? Yes. But they aren't obligated. I'm sorry. That is hard for me say.

    Besides, they may not share the same view as you in your mothers care and what facility she goes to. It doesn't make them wrong, but more so just a different perspective than yours. That is their right.

    I am currently dealing my mom's estate at this moment and my brother and I are co trustees. He's retired, his wife is wealthy and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I've had to push the notion out of my mind that I've been the caregiver of my parents during the difficult times, where he hasn't. There was decade or more he wasn't even involved with any of us. But none of that matters now. My parent's loved us both equally and more often than not, an estate, as well as the burden of care giving isn't divided by an equal curve. It's rarely ever fair and it's just the way it shakes out.

    As you just shared there are a lot of layers to these situations, emotional, financial and otherwise. In a perfect world we should plan accordingly so we don't burden our kids. Just know you are not alone in this. Honestly, it's pretty universal.

    I see both sides, but we will ultimately be disappointed when we have expectations of others, even when it's our own family members and especially where money is concerned.

    I am sensing this is mostly the fear and grief talking for you right now and I hope you have some peace and strength to hold your through with all that's ahead.
    Last edited by reinventmyself; 03-22-2019 at 07:59 PM.

  4. #14
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    TOV I have more to write I think but wanted to dash this off -apologies if abrupt. I'm so sorry you are going through this. My father died of Alzheimers and was finally diagnosed less than a year before his death and the financial/legal stuff was a mess which I helped un-mess. Yes, he went on state assistance after much difficulty -legally and financially.

    As far as your sister, if she raised her child and did not have 24/7 help then she did work as a full time mother despite not working outside the home. I understand you cannot relate as much to her lifestyle and choices and it's probably vice versa. Also please cut her slack since this money is her husband's not hers -it is "theirs" but for this purpose it is his and she probably is having some challenges or struggles approaching him for the kind of financial help your mother would need. I'm sorry that's so upsetting and I can imagine why you are frustrated. But please try to see it from her perspective. And who knows what she told her therapist and what was the reply.

    Alzheimers is so darn cruel, I know and I'm sorry. I would look into state run facilities since other kinds of care is just prohibitively expensive. And yes look into the "look back" as far as keeping her savings for her. I mean to do it in a legal way of course.

    I wish you all the best and hope to help here.
    Last edited by Batya33; 03-22-2019 at 07:56 PM.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Alzheimers is so darn cruel, I know and I'm sorry. I would look into state run facilities since other kinds of care is just prohibitively expensive. And yes look into the "look back" as far as keeping her savings for her. I mean to do it in a legal way of course.

    .
    My father who had Alzheimer's, actually died of a heart attack while in a long term care facility. His costs were based on his needs and the needs were growing exponentially. At the time of his death, my mother was writing monthly checks that were nearing $7000 a month. This was back in 2006. Add in the fact she had her own modest living expenses to deal with at the same time.

    He was otherwise in good health and I can't even dare to guess how long he would have lived had the heart attack not taken him.

    Don't be too proud to go to a state facility. I would have done it if I had to, but I would be sure to be there on a daily basis.

    I get it. It's a gut wrenching decision and devastating for all those affected.
    Last edited by reinventmyself; 03-22-2019 at 08:12 PM. Reason: Hu

  7. #16
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    To be honest, everything in me is repelled by what your sister is doing. It goes against everything I believe in.
    I understand the feeling you have of betrayal.

    I'm keeping this short for now, as I feel all these strong emotions reading your posts.

    Here's what it boils down to. No, you can't count on her to step up. When poop hits the fan, that's when you really see what someone is made of. I believe Capricorn had it right. She's too dependent a personality to risk any thing that could upset her standard of living. She's not faced being truly on her own, so she can't put someone's else's needs first. She literally does not have it in her. It's her limitation,band maybe she will manage to go through life never facing it. Some people do.

    Knowing that, doesn't stop the feelings. The pain. I need you. Sorry, no can do. That hurts. When you need someone you love, and they aren't there for you, it hurts no matter the reason or explanation. It's that intersection where your need meets their capabilities, or lack of.
    Knowing that though can help in the letting go. Because they are just being who they are. You can't get blood from a stone. And you can't get acts of courage from those who are so worried of getting supply outside themself.

  8. #17
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Sorry, I was referring to Dancing fool. The matching avatars confuse me sometimes!

  9. #18
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    Originally Posted by tiredofvampires
    Thank you, S. I'm sorry to hear you are dealing with this, too, but in a kind of "ripple effect" way. I wonder why your father-in-law does not want your husband's help? Would you wish to help him/them? How do you feel about them not wanting your help?

    Having enough money to take care of themselves easily without their daughter's help but preying on her is unconscienable. It seems that from the counselors, hotlines, and and helping professionals I've talked to, as well as caregiver support group leaders, there is usually an imbalance of who bears this burden with parents.

    And I think the question arises here..."enough money". What is "enough"? When does someone have "enough money" to pay for what they need? And what is "need"? These questions have arisen from this. It seems kind of arbitrary. My brother-in-law and sister say they don't have "enough" money to help. How much WOULD be "enough" in their mind, or is there any amount that would be "enough" in their minds, short of being multi-millionaires? And in your case, do your parents believe they DON'T have enough, even though you do think so? Are there any objective answers here we can point to, hard numbers? Sticky questions. I have based my assessments on what I see others doing (and I saw a lot, volunteering with hospice) and what I see as the cost of living, and the kind of life someone is able to afford, and what I see with them is a lot of luxuries that anyone should be able to enjoy if they have the money, but would not be considered "necessities" if one wanted to put that instead towards a sick close relative. Which is a choice and a set of priorities, not a survival issue.

    As I was researching this topic online (what family does in situations like this), so I could get a sense of what reasonably happens "out there", I saw article after article talking about how the Millennial generation is now hard-hit by such situations, and many are leaving work situations to geographically relocate to stay with an ailing parent, and often it falls to one person living closer, but that it's a common issue now that children give up work positions to do this for their parents, to take care of them and they get cuts in pay, retirement savings, and make huge sacrifices like that, especially if they are only children. I'm really very touched by these stories, because that's a LOT to give up and seems too much. As a parent, I wouldn't want my child to jeopardize their life savings to that extent, but it happens.
    I donít think itís that they donít want our help itís just that we donít live anywhere near them. We live three hours away . My sister-in-law is in the same condo complex . Basically ,my in-laws had kids to look after them in their old age although theyíve never said that thatís what they entirely expected. And Iím just the evil biatch that took one of their servants .

    Now my husband left home at 23 years old . My sister-in-law lived there for 36 years ,rent free ,money free with her parents making her food ,washing her clothes and even buying her sanitary pads ( TMI I know)if they were at the store . And she worked part time in high school and university and then full-time banking all her money till she was 36 years old never paying a dime to her parents for one thing . They never wanted one cent from her. Of course the trade-off was they wanted to servant when they were decrepit .

    My sister-in-law for her part is a spoiled rotten little snot and is very ticked off at now having to provide the same things to her parents that they provided her . So she phones to scream and yell at her brother .

    My in-laws donít want any person in their home that is not their child in their home ever ever ever ever never gonna
    happen ever . They have not had an outside the family visitor in 40 years . They plan to keep it that way . And they ainít gonna be told what to do in no home . Believe me we pleaded and begged and bullied and they are not going to change. They would rather die . They will have their daughter looked after them thank you . My husband has taken time off and even gotten compassionate leave to help them out and then they refuse has all offers of finding them situations in which they could be taken care of . They are stubborn to the point of stupid and abusing their daughter and she allows it and turns the abuse on her brother. He in turn allows it because he feels guilty heís not there .

    I have blocked my sister-in-law from calling me . In extreme circumstance we have seen who she is and I donít like it . And you have seen how your sister is too. You donít have to like it either.

  10. #19
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    Originally Posted by itsallgrand
    To be honest, everything in me is repelled by what your sister is doing. It goes against everything I believe in.
    I understand the feeling you have of betrayal.

    I'm keeping this short for now, as I feel all these strong emotions reading your posts.

    Here's what it boils down to. No, you can't count on her to step up. When poop hits the fan, that's when you really see what someone is made of. I believe Capricorn had it right. She's too dependent a personality to risk any thing that could upset her standard of living. She's not faced being truly on her own, so she can't put someone's else's needs first. She literally does not have it in her. It's her limitation,band maybe she will manage to go through life never facing it. Some people do.

    Knowing that, doesn't stop the feelings. The pain. I need you. Sorry, no can do. That hurts. When you need someone you love, and they aren't there for you, it hurts no matter the reason or explanation. It's that intersection where your need meets their capabilities, or lack of.
    Knowing that though can help in the letting go. Because they are just being who they are. You can't get blood from a stone. And you can't get acts of courage from those who are so worried of getting supply outside themself.
    I agree with this. I'm also not comfortable with "shoulds" when it comes to family helping at this time as far as what exactly the person "should" do - but yes I agree with rare exception a child should be there in some way to care for the parent. Again with exceptions - there are estranged families, abuse, a sheer inability to help i.e. where the child has a severe mental illness or physical disability, or is homeless but yes in general I get the expectation. My sister and I weren't close with my father (my sister especially) but I helped many many hours with the financial and legal aspects (meaning I didn't give $ -none was needed - but I helped find the right lawyers, accountants, resources for elder care since my mother is not on the internet and of course was busy visiting my father, etc) and my sister helped so so much by emotionally supporting my mother with her time and actions plus offering to visit my father and do "anything" she could. Could it be your sister resents how your mother spent her $ over the years or similar resentments?? Anyway not to detract -I agree with Itsallgrand and support you in the same way. Sorry.

  11. #20
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    It is up to your sister to want to help your mother or not, this kind of issue is actually quite common whereby the poor sibling has the bigger heart but no finances and the rich sibling (in her case, her husband) denies responsibility. There is no solution as this is simply a moral decision, the only thing you can try do is guilt your sister into caring.

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