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What to do when you have no support

Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi, I am so sorry if this is not in good taste for this board, but I need help.

I am interested in hearing from those who are taking care of parents with no help from your siblings. My brother has done nothing to help my mom since her surgery. When I asked him for a little help, he told me "why would I have to do that when you are here?". His girlfriend told him to "stick your Mom on your sister"

I am burned out and tired, and I shouldn't feel this way. I go to my boyfriend's house whenever possible, but I also work and need down time. I don't mind helping either, but I simply cannot do everything. I also don't have a huge family-it is pretty much just me and my mom's friends helping out.

What should I do?

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

There isn't much you can do about your brother's lack of help. We can't change other's behaviors. We can only change how we react to them. You have given him the opportunity to step up, and he has declined to do so. Don't waste any more of your time or energy trying to get him to help out. Now look for help outside the family. You mentioned your Mom's friends. Often friends want to help. I know when I finally asked for help, I got it. Some even thanked me for asking and accepting. In other words, accept whatever help is offered and don't feel guilty about it. Check with the American Cancer Society, the social worker at the hospital where mom had her surgery, or your local social services. They might be able to hook you up with some services like visiting nurses or rides to dr. appointments. You'll never know what might be out there if you don't ask. Take care of yourself, too. Fay

Barbara B
Posts: 40
Joined: Sep 2012

I agree with Fay, there isn't a thing you can do about your brother and you need to try to not let it bother you. I know, easier said than done, but necessary. And what makes this so horrible is that your mom needs you so you are probably drowning in guilt.

I think you will be surprised to find that there are more people than you think out there that will be willing to help. I reached out to a visiting nurse service which was covered by our health insurance. They only came twice per week, for a couple of hours a day, but for that time I was free and I felt comfortable knowing my husband had someone competent watching over him.

You do have to reach out, otherwise no one will know how you are suffering. Forget about it being fair, none of this is fair. Do the best you can, and take care of yourself too!

Sending prayers your way. Barbara

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