Relative Cruelty

I wrote a thread, ‘time for change’, but in reality only some things have changed. What has changed hugely isy my take on caring and involving the family. They’ve all gone now but my three siblings have provided some amazing insight into their nursing skills and fridge like disdain for their mother.

I fell ill because I seriously thought I couldn’t call on my siblings to look after 91 year old mom. Now, 6 weeks after hospital with heart failure, I’m reflecting on family who stepped in but who all didn’t reall want to be here and their behaviour.

It must be something in the training of a nurse that turns them into a fridge. Everything from raised voices, slamming doors, bad language, begrudgin help and even telling me that it’ “my turn” to get up from my rest to see to mom’s needs.

Relatives not seen for four years, arrive, drink tea, sit in the front of the house avoiding talking to mom. When they do talk, they shout and verbally bully her. It beggars belief.

It all ended iin a verbal bust up, a relative walking out and heading home saying they’ll never come back again. Another has resumed their distance and the last one has gone home and the chatty suportive texts have stopped. The silence is deafening now.

One afternoon all three siblings talked about their busy lives and unhappy pasts and one told me how cruel mom had been to me when I was a child but didn’t give me any details, a kind of sick tease. Two of then hadn’t ben home for 4 years, so I’m guessing guilt was the subtext and driver behind he whole chat. I’m not sure what I was supposed to do with anything I was being told. It was depressing, pathetic and unhelpful. It was all about a kind of vengeance, all about blame, off loading onto someone weaker than themselves.

If there is a next time, I imagine it’ll be care homes and statutory living for us both now, it sounds like w’re finished in the siblings eyes. They all stressed how when the house was sold how I would at least have that, so it’s really down to money and meaterial things. The chat about power of attorney was revealing.

I’m not sure what I expected but what I saw and heard really amounted to cruelty in nany ways, almost amin to thos hidden camera exposs you see about carers in nursing homes. It turned worse later on with me being treated like a patient in my own home by my nursey siblings.

I don’t sense the creep of depression as my spirit is quite strong, but I can see how someone could be tipped over by an experience like this.

One big plus is contact with a local social worker able to be a sounding board as I look at us downsizing, selling the house and us being tucked away in sheltered housing away from the siblings, something that I feel is actually a very big plus.

Sometimes things happen for a reason.

Sorry to hear that you’ve had that experience. Sounds horrible. But as you say, sometimes things happen for a reason. Hope you get yourself and your mum sorted out. Stay strong.

Hello, Tea. I am trying to sum this up.

First, do I take it that your siblings are or were nurses? And you are taken aback by their non-caring attitude?

Secondly, has your mum left your house to you in her will, excluding the siblings? If so, it could be the cause of a grudge.

Thirdly, your siblings say your mum treated you badly when you were young. Can you see any cause, unjustified or not, for this comment. Do you think that, perhaps, they feel they were untreated badly themselves, and are projecting this onto you?

Have I got this right? It can help if you can determine the underlying cause of their behaviour.

It is sad that your siblings are like this, but I don’t see how you will change them. If one said that they will never visit again, then good riddance. This seems harsh and sad but it is realistic; you are better off without them.

It looks like your best bet would be to look for a future without them and make good use of the social services. And certainly do downsize. You have enough to cope with and there is no point in coping with the expense and upkeep of a house that is bigger than you need.

If you downsize then your mum will be expected to spend all the money left on her care, so think VERY carefully about this idea. That’s probably why SSD are so happy about it!

Hello again, Tea. I have looked at your other thread and I now have a clearer picture. Your heart problem has set you back and made caring less easy. Quite rightly you are looking for an easier life.

Downsizing is an option to consider but I am looking at the terms “sheltered” and “away from siblings”. Do you really feel the strong need to “escape” from your siblings? After all it seems that they rarely see you, and the last meeting ended with a wish never to return again. And would any particular type of alternative accommodation “shelter” you from your siblings if that would be your wish?

Bowlingbun has a good point. You need to consider many options - not just those suggested by Social Services. In fact I wonder if you need to involve Social Services at this stage; you post seems to have been triggered more by reaction to your siblings than by your heart condition.

Have you any family of your own other than your mother? If so, they are entitled to their own lives of course, but they could be a source of moral support.

Would your mother have sufficient funds, apart from the value of the house, to self-fund any care? You need to balance these various considerations against one another.

One other option you could consider is a retirement home. These tend to be a bit pricey, but you would get smaller but adequate accommodation with maintenance of property, gardens, etc. looked after for you, plus the social support of a small community whilst maintaining your independence. However, watch out for maintenance charges, ground rent and other extras.

Ultimately it is what is most important for the welfare of your mother and yourself that counts.

“Have you any family of your own other than your mother? If so, they are entitled to their own lives of course, but they could be a source of moral support.”

You are EQUALLY entitled to your own life, and it’s more important than ever with your health issues.
I never ever had any “moral support” from my family, didn’t get so much as a “get well card” when I was battling for my life in hospital.

Only you can decide what is best. A good counsellor would help you with the decision making process. Sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees, but if you have someone you can talk to, who isn’t personally involved, he or she will work with you in a supportive way, to identify what the main issues are, and whether you are being distracted by other issues that don’t really matter so much.

One of the reasons I didn’t get much help from anyone was that I was perceived as a “strong” woman, who could deal with anything life threw at me. One at a time, that is true, but I was trying to juggle with too many eggs and they were going splat all around me. I needed fewer eggs!

Counselling helped me set my priorities, very firmly, and changed my life.