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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5509
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Im 62 - Widow for 13 years. I moved back to NC from Fl to get my Mother out of an As

Customer Question

I'm 62 - Widow for 13 years. I moved back to NC from Fl to get my Mother out of an Assisted Facility (age 93#. Been away from here for 40 years. Have 2 kids in Fl. Stayed in contact w/family and visited in the past. I called them weekly. Was closest to my oldest sister #have 3). She did not want me to get Mother. Why, I don't know. Mother has dementia, but easy to care for. I brought my work with me/insurance on line and phone. Total of 20 relatives here - some came for my birthday in Nov and Mom's B-day in Feb. Saw them at Xmas as well.
But they never come to see Mom or me. 2 Sisters come 2 x a week.
1 still works and comes 1 x a month. Been here 7 months -to this day not one of my sisters has asked me to go out for some "sister" time and one stay with Mo
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

It sounds like you want to see your sisters more often and be closer to them. Maybe you had an idea of what you thought moving back home would be like and no one in the family has done what you thought they would do. It is understandable that you would feel upset, especially when you are trying to connect with them and they are not trying to connect with you.

 

Could it be that they are too busy? Maybe the times they are coming over are the best time they have available to be there. Visiting takes a while, so they may just want to be there when they feel they can spend enough time and not just run in and out.

 

Do your sisters have other family obligations? They may feel pulled to be in many places and are stressed.

 

Maybe seeing your mom struggling with dementia makes them sad or upset. It could be difficult. And if your mom has any other illnesses that could affect how they feel as well.

 

Have you tried talking with your sisters about how you feel? It may be worth trying to get together and talking about it. If you choose to do so, be sure to present your feelings with "I" statements. Leave out blaming or any other accusing types of words. Just let them know you would enjoy seeing them more often outside of your home. Start by asking if they would be able to see you once a month for a movie or dinner. Keep it simple and fun. Be flexible. Hopefully, they will be willing to try.

 

You can also try attending special events with them. A concert, art show, things like that. Maybe if you all could share an interest or experience, it would make you feel closer.

 

Also, keep yourself busy. You do work and you have your mother so that is a lot. But don't forget to develop outside interests. Take a class, join a group, or take regular walks in the park. Whatever can get you out and meeting people. You need ways to alleviate some of the stress of your job and caring for your mom.

 

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The only thing I expected was an invitation to go out once or twice a month for "sister" time. I wanted them to "think" of that on their own. I would have.They said - come back and we will all be here together. They are not that busy w/outside interests. They do not travel, etc. Only one has a husband. I'm always here so I don't care what time they come. It upsets me that no one else in the family has been here or even called about Mom. This is unacceptable to me as a so called family. All it takes is 1 hour out of their precious time to visit Grandmother or me. Bruce doesn't come with Dee to see Mom - his excuse - he doesn't want to sit for 1 hour here. He could stay for 30 min. Mom knows he does not come here. Yet, he cares for Mom???Not...My oldest sister talks to Mom - saying -you have all 4 daughters here and extended family - we all love you and are here for you. What a farce. My oldest sister has 1 friend here and goes to exercise class 2 x a week, church and then only thinks about her grandchild (5 yrs old). (She has 3 other grandchildren). I did have a talk with my sister Dee and expressed very gingerly my disappointment.She apologized.I'm hurt because they didn't think of asking me. Mary told me one day, she wanted to go hear a band play at a local rest.- but - did not have anyone to go with. Asking me never crossed her mind. I nearly fell out of my chair - but did not say anything. I will talk to Mary, but will do so calmly. Seeing Mom doesn't upset them. Dee did commend me on how well Mom looks,eats,and seems content with me. Before I came, Mary said, "I'm not going to give up my life for "her". Yet, she reminded Mom if she forgot to give her the $300 Mom gave to us each month. I'm angry at Mary for turning her back on Mom. Mom is not hard to take care of - fix meals, bathing, laundry, - she takes no meds - fix her hair. Very simple and she sleeps a lot. Broke her hip 1 year ago - uses a walker. She lived with sister Polly for 22 years. Polly couldn't take her back- only has one bathroom and still works 3 days a week. My disappointment goes back further - can't change past - but was I wrong to expect them to think of inviting me for sister time? I will get involved and call some of my old high school friends that I called when I came to visit NC. I just expected "family" to come first since that's what they all talk about. You'll have lots of family here.........Jackie Wahle

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I understand your frustration. You want to be with them and have them feel you are important to them and their lives.

 

The most important thing you can do is talk with them and keep trying. They are not going to know what you need, so you will have to tell them. I understand that you want them to understand this themselves, but most people don't have that kind of insight. So you will have to help them.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5509
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you so much - My Fl friends feel the same as I do. I would have been right there for them - To me it would be natural, loving, and show caring. I just hate to ask for "love" from my sisters/famiy.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You're welcome!

 

I understand. It is hard to ask. And even if you do they may not understand what you need. But keep trying. Sometimes people get caught up and don't think of others like they should or their personalities are different and they don't show emotions the same as others. Communication is the most important factor in relationships. It'll help you connect and get what you need out of your sisters if not now, then eventually.

 

Kate

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