When family disappoints a loved one during a crisis

Postby Catmom » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:32 pm

My mom & aunt are elderly. Just finished my 8th trp to the ER this year. A family member promised to come back to help this month. She didn't. I asked again. She refused even though my mom can barely walk. I called her from the ER and asked her why she didn't come out. I started to remind her about all the tims mom helped her,.I didn't get very far. She hung up on me. Now she is lying about our conversation to other family members. She even said she sent a gift to my aunt to explain why she can't come out. As of today, no gift. I'm disappointed and angry but not surprised. Any advice?
Catmom
New Member
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:16 pm
Likes Received: 0


#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:17 pm

It is not always easy to lower our expectations regarding how another human should behave or what we believe they owe. Yet this is your quickest and healthiest path to move forward.

Shift your expectations.

You have talked with this person multiple times. They have demonstrated no interest in providing a level of care or being involved to the extent you believe is fair. You believe they owe or have some obligation. You are trying to secure that obligation. The tools typical for doing, past the initial request, involve some sort of shaming or guilt, e.g. “remember what mom has done for you”. In return they make false promises. These are then used to once again guilt the other person, e.g. “you promised to send a gift”.

The above is very common. Maintaining expectations and using guilt/shame to gain compliance are very normal and effective. We are social creatures. We don’t like being made to feel bad.

But the above has unhealthy consequences. It creates resentment and sets up an unhealthy dynamic within the family.

The healthy path is to accept that this family member is not going to contribute in the way you believe is fair. This allows you to adjust your expectations. It allows you to properly define the relationship moving forward.

The real power in acceptance is it builds a long term healthy relationship with this family member.
Richard@DecisionSkills
MVP
MVP
 
Posts: 11020
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:25 am
Likes Received: 1151

#2

Postby Catmom » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:23 pm

My mother has flown on a plane at least six times to help this woman when her first husband divorced her my aunt gave her a large sum of cash not to mention all the phone bills utilities and everything else they paid this is not guilt this is obligation I'm paying back the bill she won't
Catmom
New Member
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:16 pm
Likes Received: 0

#3

Postby Catmom » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:24 pm

My mother can't walk
Catmom
New Member
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:16 pm
Likes Received: 0

#4

Postby Catmom » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:25 pm

I have no interest in building a healthy relationship with her my only mistake was letting her back into my life you don't know the half of it
Catmom
New Member
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:16 pm
Likes Received: 0

#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:41 pm

Catmom wrote:I have no interest in building a healthy relationship with her my only mistake was letting her back into my life you don't know the half of it


So why not cut your losses?

If not a healthy relationship, then what value do you see in continuing to pursue an unhealthy relationship? What value do you see in wasting more time, resources, and energy collecting a debt you believe they are obligated to pay?
Richard@DecisionSkills
MVP
MVP
 
Posts: 11020
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:25 am
Likes Received: 1151

#6

Postby Catmom » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:45 pm

I don't want a relationship with her. My mom and my aunt need the help. I'm looking outside family right now. The truth is my aunt is dying. This may be her last Christmas. I'm taking things day by day. I am in tears right now. I have fought hard to keep her alive. I have to let go. Mu family is dying.
Catmom
New Member
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:16 pm
Likes Received: 0

#7

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:58 pm

Catmom wrote: I have to let go.


Yes.
Richard@DecisionSkills
MVP
MVP
 
Posts: 11020
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:25 am
Likes Received: 1151

#8

Postby Catmom » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:11 pm

??????????? Wow.
Catmom
New Member
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:16 pm
Likes Received: 0

#9

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:24 pm

I don’t know what type of advice you expect.

You obviously are emotionally focused and angry with this other woman. So much so that you created an account and posted about the problem online. Of all the ways you could be spending your time and energy you have chosen this issue as a major issue to address. You have so many other ways you could be using your time but you are using your time to seek advice about this woman that you feel is obligated.

Let it go.

Spend your time and energy in more productive ways. You even realize you need to let it go. So I don’t see what is so “wow” about agreeing that you need to let it go.

Stop wasting time and energy in this negative space. Time is limited with your aunt and mom so use that time in ways you will not regret. Don’t waste more time investing in this useless pursuit of getting some woman to pay her debts.

Let it go. Go spend your time in other ways.
Richard@DecisionSkills
MVP
MVP
 
Posts: 11020
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:25 am
Likes Received: 1151

#10

Postby Catmom » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:28 pm

Well, I d like responses from other caregivers. Any resources uou can think if? Im in the United States, Central Massachusetts. I'm also looking for advice on death and dying. It would be helpful to hear from others on how others got through seeing a close family member approach the final phase of life. I can't motivate my 84 year old aunt to even shower...with me offering to help her in the tub.
Catmom
New Member
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:16 pm
Likes Received: 0

#11

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:39 pm

Those are different topics than what you do about a family that disappoints.

Try this resource. It is pretty active.

https://www.agingcare.com/caregiver-forum
Richard@DecisionSkills
MVP
MVP
 
Posts: 11020
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:25 am
Likes Received: 1151

#12

Postby Catmom » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:58 pm

Thank you. Its been an overwhelming week.
Catmom
New Member
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:16 pm
Likes Received: 0



  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to Relationships