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Hi again, long time….

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This topic contains 66 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #283149

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jay:

    I am impressed by how clearly you see things and how clearly you communicate your insights. The way you see B- I doubt anyone in her life sees her as clearly as you do.

    When a person never takes responsibility for their actions and always blames others,  then there is no learning and what results is abuse of others.

    You wrote that you would be sad to not see your mother “being treated well”, and that you have a feeling that she wouldn’t miss you much at all-

    Reads to me that your story is one more story of the common theme of parent/ child relationship-unrequited love. The child loves the parent from an early age, and that love never dies- that love is the strongest when the child loves an unloving parent, keeps reaching out to the parent, trying to earn their love.

    It took me decades before I realized: oh, I loved her all along, but… she didn’t love me. It is an overwhelming realization, has been for a long time. I think I am at peace with it at the present time, have been absorbing this reality for a while.

    anita

    #283237

    JayJay
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I’m so sorry that you are walking along a similar path to me. (((hugs))) It’s one of the hardest paths to walk along, and progress through.

    You are right about the parent/child relationship here. And it’s the same with my sister. I love them both, and it is an unconditional love, something I was born with. You can’t just turn it on and off like a tap (faucet?) when you feel like it, can you? At the moment, the love I feel for both my mother and my sister is tinged with a sense of overwhelming pity, particularly for my mother.

    As my sister appears to be able to do exactly that, I think that she does have, towards me, ‘conditional love’. Or no love at all. My mother is too confused now to be able to be ‘conditional’ about love, but was exactly the same as my sister until her dementia got worse. Now she is just confused.

    Their conditional love has always depended on whether I am there to do their bidding, put them first, and agree with everything they say. My sister has always been this way. My mother is no longer this way. My mother would be though, if she hadn’t developed dementia.

    Because I have dared to question my sister over my mother’s finances and her control over them, I am not being spoken to at the moment. I have not seen my mother for over a week now. I knew this would happen. I have been deliberating over having this conversation for quite a while. Because I knew what the outcome was going to be.

    Late last week, I politely enquired as to what her and her husband were contributing to the bills now they had moved in officially with my mother (sister moved in unofficially 6 months ago). Sis hates being answerable to me, but it is my duty because of the LPA laws that I am aware of the financial situation. I explained this to her. (The authorities take a very hard line with anyone abusing a vulnerable adult’s finances and welfare here in the UK). She said she was well aware of the rules and that I should go and see a solicitor if I thought differently. She also said it was ‘none of my business’ what her income was, but as her income is coming from my mothers savings, I had to point out that, actually, it is my business, which enraged her still further. She knows she is taking advantage, of that I am sure. If I fail in my duty as per LPA rules, I am as guilty as she is, by association. And somewhere down the line there is going to be a reckoning.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  JayJay.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  JayJay.
    #283263

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jay:

    Document everything, the conversation with your sister, any and every interaction and communication with her and go the legal route, I see no reasonable hope for cooperation here.

    Regarding your first two sentences- thank you for the hugs, I will take the hugs and empathy but regarding my mother, I am no longer in contact with her, my choice, since 2013. I struggled emotionally about that choice for years but now I am okay with it and I will never again see her in my life. It used to be unthinkable, not seeing her while she is alive. But it is thinkable now.

    You wrote: “it is an unconditional love, something I was born with. You can’t just turn it on and off like a tap (faucet?) when you feel like it, can you?”- no, it is always there, even during the eternity of anger that I felt toward her, and no matter how hard I tried to not love her, I still did. Not long ago I smiled, without planning to, of course, I smiled as I thought of her, felt affection. And not  too long ago, I found myself crying and calling for her. And yet, none of that love motivates me to contact her.

    I know that my love for her was never about who she is, but about her role in my life, the mother, the one that feeds and shelters the baby and young child that I was. Like those ducklings that follow their mother in a row, or the fawn following her doe mother. The fawn doesn’t evaluate the mother doe to figure if it will be a good idea to follow her. The doe follows because she has to, it is imprinted in her genes to follow, the love/ attachment feeling is imprinted and motivates the following.

    anita

     

    <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; font-family: Arial,’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14.53px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>t is an unconditional love, something I was born with. You can’t just turn it on and off like a tap (faucet?) when you feel like it, can you? </span>

     

    <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; font-family: Arial,’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14.53px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>I’m so sorry that you are walking along a similar path to me. (((hugs))) It’s one of the hardest paths to walk along, and progress through.</span>

     

    #283279

    anita
    Participant

    * I wish I could delete what’s under my signature, Jay, too late to edit (I often copy from a member’s post, paste it into my reply and then type it, later to delete what I pasted).

    anita

    #283303

    JayJay
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Oh how I wish that I could just walk away… from them both but more particularly, from my sister.  That must have taken so much courage for you to make that decision! And even harder, I would imagine, that once you have made that decision, that you don’t go back on it. I have so much respect for you.

    I had already decided that once my mother had passed on, that I would go no contact with my sister. 55 years of this (I’m 61, she is younger than me by 2.5 years) is quite enough.. life is too short. Once my mother is no longer around, that will be the end of it.

    I have documented all of this. I have all the texts and notes of conversations. I am going to see a solicitor for legal advice next week.

    I am now thinking, why wait until mother passes,  this is never going to go away. And one of the things I am going to discuss with the solicitor is relinquishing my LPA’s on my mother. That would mean that my sister would be in full control of my mother’s financial affairs, and her health and welfare on her own. And on her own head will it all then fall, when it does. I really have had enough of this. Although she will be in full control of everything then, in a way she actually is anyway, as any suggestions or questions I may have are usually disregarded anyway, so what is the point?

    I had to text her this morning, after her ‘not speaking’ to me for the last two days as I needed to know if her husband still wanted to put his car on my drive, and when, as they were planning on going on holiday for two weeks and I didn’t know when. If I hadn’t have texted her, I wouldn’t have even known they were going on holiday today, as my sister has never given me the exact dates. She texted me to ask if I wanted to come up and see my mother before they went. I think this was some kind of a ‘test’.

    Well, yes, I did want to see my mother, but have been putting it off because of the atmosphere after the argument a few days ago. So I thought I would go and see her. If only to prove that I am not going to be intimidated by a bully. Or intimidated by the walking on eggshells, or the atmosphere.

    When I got there (they only live a short distance away) you would think the argument had never taken place. Sis smiled and joined in the conversation and I sat with my mother while she packed for the holiday. I am used to this happening. One day I am labelled as the devil incarnate (usually because I won’t be bullied by my sister), the next day, I can be just a piece of furniture, something just there to be used, another day I might be called upon to help out in some way with my mother’s care. I am aware that my sister actually doesn’t love me very much, if at all, and I have known that for a very long time. She was and still is very jealous of me. She could never put aside her natural child jealousy for a sibling when she grew up.

    You would never have known we had had words, and that we had just spent two days not even speaking. I think she has taken this as a sign that I have given in to her manipulation of the situation. I have done exactly that for years, just for the sake of peace.

    I sat with my mother for an hour… she was very anxious as she didn’t want to go away on holiday (it’s early spring here and very cold). However the holiday has had to be right now because the builders are knocking through into the main house and joining the extension to the former kitchen. The noise from this building work is too much for my mother and that also makes her very tearful and anxious. Even though I used to dislike my mother, I felt so sorry for her. She is so defenceless against my sister’s machinations. Her home is not her home any more, it’s my sisters.

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  JayJay.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  JayJay.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  JayJay.
    #283353

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jay:

    Thank you for your kind words, respecting me for what I did, for what many people frown on.

    If your mother’s interest was on your sister’s mind she wouldn’t have ordered the construction work on the house while your mother lives there, just as you mentioned before.

    If you don’t have a financial interest in the shrinking and yet to be shrunk inheritance by your mother, better remove yourself from the whole ordeal, that is what you suggested you might do,  if I understand correctly.

    So  often, Family is just another Foul word (what do you think about this line, reads poetic to me)- well, there is nothing you can do about who your sister is, that is, about about what she values (deceiving, taking unfair advantage of others, etc.) and what she doesn’t value (Honesty, trust, justice).

    The fact that you may have some similar facial features because of genetics, and the fact that you have been in each other’s lives for 55 years, these don’t matter really when there is such a disparity in what each one of you values.

    anita

    #283403

    JayJay
    Participant

    The fact that you may have some similar facial features because of genetics, and the fact that you have been in each other’s lives for 55 years, these don’t matter really when there is such a disparity in what each one of you values.

    You are so right. It is all about values, and morals. The only thing that worries me is that we both have children, and they will be upset, if I choose to go no contact, I am well aware that this will spread through the wider family and will make others unhappy. No-one can sit on a fence forever. Eventually they are going to take sides, either for or against me… and that is the only thing that makes me pause, stop, think. But I can’t go on like this for the rest of my life either. This makes me think that maybe I should wait until my mum passes.

    If I do this while my mother is still with us, then the ‘crime’ also includes abandoning my mother to her fate, and failing as a daughter to help and protect her. I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. It doesn’t matter what my decision is, it’s going to hurt someone. Which is why I procrastinate and let things slide. Always hoping that it will go away, but it’s never going to, is it?

    It takes so much courage to stand up to my sister. All my life I have been told, you should love your little sister, you should forgive her, she’s younger than you, she’s only a baby, you should be ashamed of not liking her… Forgive, forgive – how many times do you let yourself be used and abused and keep forgiving them, before you say enough is enough? How much more of a doormat do I want to be?

    I could tell you some tales about my sister’s treatment of me over the years (and my mother condoning that behaviour) that would truly shock anyone.

    What difference will it make if I have an interest in any future inheritance or not? When it comes down to it, my sister is going to make darned sure that there is no money left. I don’t care about that for myself, I am not motivated by money. But eventually, my mother is going to need specialist care, and is going to need to go into a care home. But there won’t be any money left for a good home. Good homes cost a lot of money here. The welfare state will pick up the bill most of the time for people who need a care home but have no money, but it’s the cheapest they can find. The poorest of care and the lowest standards.

    That above is the motivation I have for looking after my mother’s money I suppose. I don’t have the money to pay for her eventual care. My sister has declared herself bankrupt twice, and spends every penny she has. She has no idea how to save money for a rainy day.

    My sister thinks that she will be able to look after my mother until she passes, but if my mother lives for a lot longer, the dementia will progress past the point where she will be able to cope. It is unrealistic to think otherwise.  I think I mentioned earlier that I have a suspicion that once my sister has spent all of my mother’s money on the house and spent all of her savings she will no longer be of use and will be put into a care home anyway. A poor one.

    I’m not sure if I need a solicitor or a counsellor! LOL.

    So  often, Family is just another Foul word (what do you think about this line, reads poetic to me)

    I think this is a great line. Brilliantly put. I do truly respect you for what you have done and the decision you have made. You are an amazing person, Anita.

    I mentioned my ‘Dysfunctional Family’ to a solicitor last year… he said there was no such thing as a ‘Functional Family’, well not in his line of business! 🙂

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  JayJay.
    #283443

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jay:

    I don’t know if going no contact with your sister (and therefore, with your mother as well) is a good idea at this point, but what I am certain about is that starting right now, you are never to “be used and abused” by your sister, or anyone. “How much more of a doormat do I want to be?”-None! “enough is enough”- Now!

    If it upsets anyone that you assert yourself and are not a doormat (and you clearly explain this point to the family member), then be it. A person who wants you to be a doormat is not your friend.

    Looking at the bigger picture best I can, the right thing would be to follow the advice of a solicitor and do your best to protect your mother’s rights as a “vulnerable adult”, so that her money and property will be used for her care, so that she will get the best health care possible. Once you legally do all you can, you will know that indeed, you did all that was possible for you to do.

    When you communicate with your sister, why don’t you do with no pretense of Family, instead communicate with her in a business like manner, according to the advice of the solicitor, plan each interaction with her, plan what you will say, list the possibilities of what she will say or do in return, then plan how you will react, keeping it all business?

    anita

     

    #283445

    anita
    Participant

    * and thank you, Jay, for the compliment! I like it plus your joke. Except that I don’t know of any functional family, there must be a few, it is just that I never came across one.

    anita

    #283487

    JayJay
    Participant

    When you communicate with your sister, why don’t you do with no pretense of Family, instead communicate with her in a business like manner, according to the advice of the solicitor, plan each interaction with her, plan what you will say, list the possibilities of what she will say or do in return, then plan how you will react, keeping it all business?

    Good advice and I have tried, over and over to do this very thing. My sister doesn’t recognise anybody else’s rights, apart from her own. Unless you are agreeing with her. She decides everything.

    She decided to move in. She decided to put our mother through all the stress of having a new kitchen built. She had decided how the finances should be. She decided on every little detail of my father’s funeral. She asks for my opinion on some things..  but if I have a different opinion to hers, then my opinion is totally disregarded. So I am included in arrangements, but only if I agree with everything she says, otherwise I am disregarded. Either ignored, or made to feel guilty in some way for even opening my mouth and speaking.

    When I asked how they were arranging the money side of it now that there were three of them and the bills would triple in size, .. first she blustered and smoke screened, then she got angry and said it was none of my business, then she said she had asked mum how she wanted it and that our mother had started crying and become extremely anxious about it. One of the triggers for our mother’s dementia wobbles is talk of money, of bills, of debts. It fills her with great anxiety.

    Of course it was all my fault my mother was now anxious and crying…  Except I wasn’t there. I was communicating by text message. This happens every single time I call her motives into question. If I remove myself, then she will no longer be able to do this to my mother, or at least not because of something I’ve said.

    This is all so hard. Thank you for your kindness and patience … and your time in trying to help.

    Jay.

    #283489

    JayJay
    Participant

     and thank you, Jay, for the compliment! I like it plus your joke. Except that I don’t know of any functional family, there must be a few, it is just that I never came across one.

    anita

    Perhaps it’s because functional families don’t have problems, so you never get to hear about them!  🙂

    In much the same way as you hear about businesses who don’t treat their customers fairly far more often than those that do?

    #283493

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jay:

    By “keeping it all business” I meant, not saying anything to her unless it makes legal sense. You wrote: “When I asked how they were arranging the money side..”- no point in asking this unless there is a record of her answer to use as a legal document. So  if the solicitor advised you to ask her questions online so that you have a record of her answers, then it will make sense to ask her this question online and then give the solicitor the record of the question and answer.

    No communication unless it is part of the legal strategy guided by the solicitor, this is what I mean by keeping all communications with her business.

    Regarding “Perhaps it’s because functional families don’t have problems, so you never get to hear about them”- I never met a person without emotional health problems, not a single one. At one time or another people are emotionally well, but at other times, not so. Also, Often you can see and hear a person’s problems without the person articulating the problems, presenting them as problems, that is.

    anita

     

    #283497

    JayJay
    Participant

    Hi Anita, and thanks for the advice.

    We usually communicate by text message. I long ago learned to save those messages to my computer. So yes, I am already keeping records of her answers to my questions! 🙂

    #283499

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jay:

    Good. I think that if I was in your situation, I would do all I can legally to protect your mother’s interests as the “vulnerable adult” that she is, not as a repayment for her good mothering, but as an act of charity. And I will also do what I can, legally, to protect my share of the inheritance, or part of that share, so to pass it on to your adult children, if not to enjoy it yourself.

    I will try to accept reality as is and do all that  I can to do legally to make things more just. I suppose the Serenity Prayer comes handy here: “.. grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  anita.
    #283625

    JayJay
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I agree with all you say.

    I will discuss this with the solicitor next Tuesday and see what can be done.

    Even though I know my sister is acting illegally in a lot of ways, I still cannot bring myself to call her out on it. And although I think she knows in her own heart that she is not acting in anyone’s best interests except her own, she has little conscience about doing so.

    Thank you for your advice, it’s very valued. 🙂

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