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Being sent to Coventry by your birth family..... - Carers UK Forum

Being sent to Coventry by your birth family.....

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Hi, new member here, looking for some wise words from anyone who has experienced this scenario. Sorry it's long, I'll try to be brief.
My father died in 2016, leaving my mother in a county 3 hours drive away from me, and my younger brother( YB ) , so a 6 hour round trip if we visited. My older brother ( OB ) lived an hour and 15 minutes drive away but is basically in denial about my parents having got older and needing some help in their everyday living.
Hubby and I asked Mum, once widowed, if she would countenance moving down south to be nearer to us, and YB, his partner and her grandkids. She said yes - we pooled resources, managed to buy her a ground floor flat in a retirement complex, and then get her moved, and then sold her bungalow.
I was working full time, as was my husband but most of the looking after fell to me; I have had 2 and a half years of full on finding a doctor, dentist, hairdresser, knitting club, taking her to hospital appointments, social events, shopping every week, shopping for clothes, outings not to mention her coming on holidays with hubby and myself ( we took her by train to Cologne, in her wheelchair, for a week
YB did very little - I asked for help, for a weekend off so someone else took her food shopping. That happened 3 times.
OB and his family visited about 3 times a year - it is a long drive for them but he gets free train travel, which he won't use as he drives trains for a living....they managed to blow up her microwave oven making popcorn, and bought her a replacement which she finds hard to use, as she cannot see or understand the dials.
I had to pick up all the pieces of this, and endure hours of criticism of both YB and OB and their families regarding their visiting to her, and the way they ran their lives....it was tough.
At the beginning of this year, I was lucky enough to be made redundant and took early retirement; I broached the subject of her paying me a token amount to cover my petrol costs, which she did agree with, as I was then salary-less ( is that even a word? )
During this period, YB has separated from his family and gone to live in Kent, nearer to where he works, so without even discussing any implications with me, left Mum with hubby and I as her nearest relatives.
My husband took early retirement too....I broached the subject of him sharing some of the load of looking after her, eg taking her for her haircutting and she went bonkers. Completely OTT. She doesn't want any men taking her anywhere, what about if she needs to use the toilet? I said he could take her to Sainsbury's but no, no men!! At all!! Including my brothers!!!
Earlier I had trawled through all the paperwork for Attendance Allowance, which we didn't receive, so I said she needed to contact Social Services for an assessment. For my own sanity, and to prevent me from saying things I felt but did not want to say, we last spoke in mid May this year; I have tried to telephone her but frosty is underplaying the reception - she is VERY angry with me walking out on her, after she had her meltdown about refusing my husband's help.
I emailed my brothers and explained that I was stepping back from the situation, for my health as well as allowing a cooling off period - I received a tirade of vitriol from OB, wittering on about he never wanted her moved and she could live near him ( he is completely ignorant of costs of care, and how Mum is financially ) and YB has been silent.
Hubby and I always promised Mum that we would stay where we lived, until she died, so that she had no more moves to make.
Unfortunately, as our help had been so vigorously rejected, hubby and I have moved away, relocated some 250 miles away and yes, I left without saying goodbye.
I have tried to communicate - sent a birthday present, which was received very badly, and I still send cards and things, nothing over the top, but I feel like I am poking the bear and I ought to stop.
I realise she could die ( she is 89 and frail ) without us having resolved the rift.....I know that I have my own life to live and my marriage to consider but I still feel guilty about all of this. I also am SO angry with my brothers for letting me take all the burden, as I see it, of trying to help her when she was widowed.
Thank you for allowing me to get all this down...it is a bit jumbled, and I also fear it is probably not at all unique, as I have read others' posts on here, and sympathise. There seem to be a lot of dysfunctional families out there, if only we talked about it.
My family are now not speaking to me at all.
My brothers and their children were useless too, even when I was desperate for help caring for a long term housebound mum, and a son with severe learning difficulties,and I was newly widowed, and newly disabled.
Now mum has died, it's so much easier, I don't even know any of their addresses any more, although I do know roughly where my niece lives, less than a mile from me!!
They never helped mum when she needed help most, but when they found out that she'd changed her will, in my favour, they were really upset!

Enjoy your new home, there is no point in wasting your life on people who don't appreciate you.
bowlingbun wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:15 am
My brothers and their children were useless too, even when I was desperate for help caring for a long term housebound mum, and a son with severe learning difficulties,and I was newly widowed, and newly disabled.
Now mum has died, it's so much easier, I don't even know any of their addresses any more, although I do know roughly where my niece lives, less than a mile from me!!
They never helped mum when she needed help most, but when they found out that she'd changed her will, in my favour, they were really upset!

Enjoy your new home, there is no point in wasting your life on people who don't appreciate you.
Gosh, and I thought I had it tough; that's why I like being able to share this sort of thing across the internet, as I can feel that it is just me that is enduring this pain and hurt and it really isn't. I think your final sentence to me is very pertinent and one that I shall take to heart - I guess I am conditioned to be a bit of a people pleaser, and worry about peoples' perceptions of me, when I know in my heart that I have done my best for my mother and it isn't appreciated. Thank you for your supportive words, much appreciated.
Happy to help.

My husband and I lived midway between our parents, all within a 6 mile radius.
Sadly, we realised that we lived too near them in later years, when all they wanted was help from us, not outside carers, forgetting about all the other demands on our time.

My husband died about 8 years before mum, so we never ever managed to realise our own dreams for retirement. So unfair.
Hello and welcome!

Enjoy your life and do not waste time on them. Why should you care, they don't seem to love you? Turn against them, and show them it hurts.
It's not worth the energy to turn against them, much easier to just write them off.
I think in the longer term you will see you are better on your own. It's unfortunate the time of year. Would you feel different it was another time of year. I realised having pleased everyone else in the family all my life. That when both my parents died I gave up pleasing the rest of the remaining family. They all did want they wanted so why don't I. I have been doing my own thing for nearly seven years. It's been OK! It's now be recognised I will do want I want and not be dictated too.

Have you got good friends and or work colleagues. I think you will find many family have just the same issues. Remember it's only an issue if you allow it to be. It takes far more courage to walk away than stay. So you will need to muster up some powerful strengh.