U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Grief and Mourning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 12-12-2016, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020

Advertisements

My heart is breaking. I was very close to my dad, and he was very planful. In fact, over the past five years or so, he planned things very well for those who would be alive after his passing. My mom has dementia so he was her caregiver. He was very active and sharp and we really loved each other's company. He passed away, too quickly and too young, at age 78 a few weeks ago. I was his medical POA, and he had left me his will, instructions, made sure my mom's stuff was all in order, and had even already added me to their accounts so that I could step right in and be sure that my mom and their estate was well taken care of. In addition to all this, of course, being his medical POA, and my mom being frail, I was also the one who stayed up at the hospital with him as much as possible (and checked in on my mom throughout the day and night as well) for a week, and then had to sign to remove him from life support, plan the funeral, host out of state family, etc etc.

Then came Thanksgiving a few weeks later, which has been at my house for years. I hosted it, even though I was pretty frazzled at that point. I am very sad about my dad, but a firm believer in "life is for the living," and he was such a joyous person, I know he would not want his family moping around over the holidays. I know this. So my mom and one brother and several family members were in the same mode I was in and we were being joyful - or at least positive - and trying to have a pleasant gathering, for everyone but especially for the eight little grandkids of mine involved.

Well. Let me back up a bit. I have a mentally ill brother. He is mentally ill and under the care of the state, but he is very verbally gifted and can really talk the talk (he just can't walk the walk). Long story short, he has been milking my parents for decades (less in more recent years as they finally - nearly too late but eventually) got tired of it and "wise" to his manipulations, and began to scale back - but they were still pretty easily manipulated - moreso than I was, I'll put it that way. He's got paranoid schizophrenia by the way. So he is, well, paranoid. But he can really put a spin on things. He has a pretty high IQ and knows how to "work" some people. Not me, but some people.

So - as soon as he realized that I was "in charge" - he freaked out. He didn't freak out to me, of course. No. To me he was sweet as peaches. But he began working on two of my adult kids, and to some extent my poor mom, who has a hard time as it is! He didn't get far with her, but he made some inroads with two of my adult kids (out of four). See, his cash cow is gone. He can't manipulate me to give him money. He was trying to manipulate my mom into "standing up to me," and insisting that she could live alone for a few months till he could "move in and take care of her." OMG!!!!!! Thankfully my mom didn't want that either so that idea died. He would have had her debit card and access to her money and living there free and expecting her to cook and clean for him in no time!

Anyway, he started going on and on about wanting to see the will. Well, the will left everything to my mom. Period. It all goes to her. Now - my dad did leave a note about some personal items he wanted to go to his kids and grandkids -and we did that. In fact, he got some very nice items. That's it. He doesn't get anything else. But he's going around talking to two of my kids telling them that I'm in charge of all the money, I'm leaving him out of things, I'm doing God knows what (I'm not doing anything unethical or stupid with any of my mom's affairs). He actually got two of my adult kids BELIEVING HIM. I didn't realize this at first.

So on Thanksgiving, my youngest daughter - the most emotionally volatile of my kids - blew up at me and absolutely ruined the entire day - not just for me, but for the entire family. It was horrible. She's been uncommunicative ever since.

Then my oldest son came from overseas for a visit. Within two days, he was spouting the same stuff - directly from my insane brother - at me too!!!!! I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. It got so bad that I wanted him to leave - and as luck would have it, I developed the perfect alibi - I got so sick with bronchitis that I had to go to the doctor, who pumped me full of meds and told me to go to bed and not do anything. So - my now awful acting adult son goes to (you guessed it) his sister's house.

So now neither of them will answer any messages I send them. I have one other son who has stayed out of the fray but won't answer my calls or return my messages. My oldest son leaves to go back to Guam tomorrow. He still has stuff at my house. I have not heard a word from him. Neither he nor my daughter will return my texts. And to top it off, my mom wanted to send my brother a gift card for Christmas but I had to go online to order it, so it looks like it's coming from me, so I sent him a text letting him know it was in the mail but it was from Mom - and he's not returning my messages either.

It's like a massive wall of silence from what amounts to half my family - and these are immediate family members.

To clarify - I have a daughter who is very supportive. So is my oldest brother, 100 percent. He knows "the players" and has a good head on his shoulders. And my husband is also 100 percent supportive. For that matter, so is my mom, as much as she can be, with some dementia, and with my other brother calling her every night and saying God only knows what. But he scares her and concerns her, unfortunately.

I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but this is breaking my heart. It's like I lost my dad - one of my dearest friends and companions in this life - and also in one fell swoop I lost a brother and at least two of my kids. And I can't believe they are being this cruel to me! It's HORRIBLE!!!!!!! It is so hurtful - and at a time like this!!!

I don't even know what to do. I know this - I will not beg for their attention. I guess I just have to figure out how to cut my emotional ties to them. It's incredibly painful.

Anyone have any suggestions? Sorry for the long post. It helps to type it out and think it through.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-12-2016, 09:27 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
1,184 posts, read 1,635,328 times
Reputation: 1231
I don't have any suggestions but wanted to tell you I am praying for you and your family. I don't comment often here but I read a lot and you are one of my absolute favorite people on this board. My heart aches for the sadness you have been experiencing. I'm so sorry that your children are adding to your grief when they should be lifting you up. I pray that they will soon see what they are doing and know lucky they are to have a mother like you.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2016, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobcat4 View Post
I don't have any suggestions but wanted to tell you I am praying for you and your family. I don't comment often here but I read a lot and you are one of my absolute favorite people on this board. My heart aches for the sadness you have been experiencing. I'm so sorry that your children are adding to your grief when they should be lifting you up. I pray that they will soon see what they are doing and know lucky they are to have a mother like you.
I can't tell you how much this means to me. Thank you very, very much.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2016, 11:41 PM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,248,587 times
Reputation: 4549
I am so sorry about this. My only suggestion (and I imagine you are already doing this) is to be absolutely honest, fair and transparent about your dealings as your mom's power of attorney/executor of your dad's will. (You didn't mention your legal title, and that is fine - insert whatever title works.) I was executor and POA for my mom's estate (it was small) and my approach was to document every distribution, let people know when particular requests were fulfilled, what the balance is (if that is appropriate), etc., so that they know what the status is. The more you put it into writing and make the information available, the more likely they will see that you are doing your duty correctly and not cheating anyone. This will protect you, also. Of course, you will have to use your judgement about sending out information with reference to anyone who is paranoid, but at least keep your own written account, copies of bank statements and other documents on file. If there is ever any challenge, you need to be able to account for your actions.

As far as the family dynamics, I have very little experience with things like this, so I can't suggest much. But, like Bobcat4, I can remember you in prayer. I am sorry for the loss of your father. I know you miss him a great deal, and I know that is especially hard when other family conflicts are loaded on top of your grief.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-13-2016, 02:22 AM
 
7,237 posts, read 12,646,436 times
Reputation: 8513
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but this is breaking my heart. It's like I lost my dad - one of my dearest friends and companions in this life - and also in one fell swoop I lost a brother and at least two of my kids. And I can't believe they are being this cruel to me! It's HORRIBLE!!!!!!! It is so hurtful - and at a time like this!!!

I don't even know what to do. I know this - I will not beg for their attention. I guess I just have to figure out how to cut my emotional ties to them. It's incredibly painful.

Anyone have any suggestions? Sorry for the long post. It helps to type it out and think it through.
Not overly dramatic at all on your part. I'm sure all of it is just very emotionally exhausting. You're in a vacuum right now and that's just the perfect time for others to be causing shenanigans and chaos. Your defenses are weakened for now, so definitely take a huge step back.

I know from your previous posts that you've had been dealing a lot of issues with your youngest daughter. She's angry and projecting it onto you. She's going to believe the "worst" of you and right now your brother is feeding into that monstrous problem. I'm not as familiar with your eldest son's story, but there's something not so nice to be said about being led on by someone you know is a certifiable nut-- I know, I know, not a nice thing to say... but your son is getting something out of causing this drama. I don't know what, but it all really is so stupid. Personally, if it's a small amount of things, I'd send one notification to your son that his stuff is going to be sent to his sister and those 2 can deal with it. I realize, given the whole cat debacle between your daughters, that it's likely to cause another flaking and deflecting problem. Of course, I'd say Oh well-- but that might not be the route you're willing to take.

KA, you've said many times over "Not my circus, not my monkeys." There isn't much to be done with them if they won't be honest and directly deal with whatever issues they have, both with themselves and with you. The only thing you can do is let them spin their wheels in the air and let their own dramas fall on them. Focus only on what you can do to help your mother, nourish the sane people that still stand by you and please take care of yourself.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-13-2016, 05:26 AM
 
Location: In a chartreuse microbus
3,844 posts, read 5,104,740 times
Reputation: 7965
Reps to Bobcat, Grasshopper and Inkpoe; Prayers to you KA! Mercy. I sincerely hope a brick of common sense hits the children right between the eyes. I don't know what more you can really do, Kathryn. Your strength astounds me.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-13-2016, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkpoe View Post
Not overly dramatic at all on your part. I'm sure all of it is just very emotionally exhausting. You're in a vacuum right now and that's just the perfect time for others to be causing shenanigans and chaos. Your defenses are weakened for now, so definitely take a huge step back.

I know from your previous posts that you've had been dealing a lot of issues with your youngest daughter. She's angry and projecting it onto you. She's going to believe the "worst" of you and right now your brother is feeding into that monstrous problem. I'm not as familiar with your eldest son's story, but there's something not so nice to be said about being led on by someone you know is a certifiable nut-- I know, I know, not a nice thing to say... but your son is getting something out of causing this drama. I don't know what, but it all really is so stupid. Personally, if it's a small amount of things, I'd send one notification to your son that his stuff is going to be sent to his sister and those 2 can deal with it. I realize, given the whole cat debacle between your daughters, that it's likely to cause another flaking and deflecting problem. Of course, I'd say Oh well-- but that might not be the route you're willing to take.

KA, you've said many times over "Not my circus, not my monkeys." There isn't much to be done with them if they won't be honest and directly deal with whatever issues they have, both with themselves and with you. The only thing you can do is let them spin their wheels in the air and let their own dramas fall on them. Focus only on what you can do to help your mother, nourish the sane people that still stand by you and please take care of yourself.

Wow, what words of wisdom. And yes, I'm weaker than usual right now, due to my grief as well as having been physically really sick for two weeks with bronchitis - it really took the stuffing out of me. And that's when these people - who shock me with their cruelty actually - went in for the kill. It really devastated me.

I was feeling bluer and sadder last night than I am this morning. Now I'm back to more mad than sad, and that feels better - LOL.

My husband had great advice. He said, "We need to focus on building our own happy memories." Simple but very eloquent truth. His one son (from a previous marriage) has broken his heart this year too, and he has lost BOTH parents and only has one brother (who thankfully we both love, along with his sweet wife - going to spend Christmas with these two normal and fun people!), so he does know how I feel, which is very helpful.

He also recommended - in a very kind and not snarky or judgmental way - that maybe we could go to some counseling together. I like that idea. We've suffered many personal losses over the past two years. We do not want our grief to negatively affect one thing that we both cherish - our own relationship. Grief can really change people, especially when it just keeps piling on and piling on.

For instance, the feeling of rejection is new to me. I am normally a very self confident and happy person. I normally do not take things personally most of the time - unless they ARE personal - which this is. So I'm sort of reeling in shock and feeling like a leper or something!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-13-2016, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirron View Post
Reps to Bobcat, Grasshopper and Inkpoe; Prayers to you KA! Mercy. I sincerely hope a brick of common sense hits the children right between the eyes. I don't know what more you can really do, Kathryn. Your strength astounds me.
LOL thank you. It astounds me too, actually. In fact, it may be a part of the problem. I was talking to my husband last night and I started crying and said, "You know what I need right now? I need tenderness. I need some babying. I need to be petted on. I am so tired of having to be so strong." And he shocked me by saying, "That's just it - you don't have to be so strong all the time. You can let down that wall from time to time. You don't HAVE to carry all of it all the time all by yourself." I said, "But I DO! SOMEONE has to do it!" and that's when he said, "Baby, maybe you need to get some counseling - because it doesn't always have to be you. That's something you need to learn."

That took some thinking to get my head around! Still not sure my head is around it so maybe he's right.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-13-2016, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
1,644 posts, read 1,135,142 times
Reputation: 6020
As someone who doesn't know your backstory other than this particular post it seems kind of like you're acting as a doormat for your family. While all this was going on did you offer up any resistance to their claims? Stand up for yourself and don't let your kids blow up at you like that without fighting back. Set the record straight and by all means cut off any and all ties to your brother. Doesn't matter than he's mentally ill, he's making your life miserable. Don't let him. If your adult children believe what he's telling them vs. what you are then that's a huge problem. So much for loyalty. Sorry if I'm being negative but no one should have to take that kind of crap.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-13-2016, 07:29 AM
 
5,164 posts, read 2,994,994 times
Reputation: 17654
Oh, hurt my heart! So sorry.


Families are delicately balanced mobiles and when a piece is moved the whole works has to re-adjust. Some of the pieces don't do that well. I don't know if it helps to think of it that way but it usually helps me to get some objectivity.


No matter how objectively one is able to think about it there is still that pesky issue of feelings. Feelings still count and yours are hurt and tired.


Hurray for you for the clear-headedness to ask for extra kindness. You always seem clear about who you are so you have that good fortune. You will have time in the future to evaluate whether you want to make some changes in how much you do.


It just may be a time of unrest for you right now and the more you can accept help and do your grieving the better. If you were next door I'd be there with a hug, a Midwest hotdish and a listening ear.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Grief and Mourning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top