Family feuds - lonely care giving role

Hello all,

Has anybody else had problems with family members that do not agree with your method of support? I feel so lonely.

I researched as much as I could and joined this forum. I felt much closer to my sister after following the LEAP method. Understanding anasognosia was a lightbulb moment for me.

And yet my parents have recently fallen out with me and say I am undermining them. I’d understand if I was taking a backseat and criticising them from afar but I am not. Of my four OTHER siblings I am the only one in the thick of it with my parents, being their morale boosters and showing i will be there for my sister into old age.

I know they arent sleeping very well and they are cranky but they are a couple and they have each other. Does anybody else have issues with family members/other care givers that are resistant/critical of your research/of you using the leap method? At this point i feel like a punching bag for every family member that cannot process their emotions :frowning:


Hi. I’m sorry to hear you feel like a punching bag and that your parents are being critical of your assistance with your sister. I can imagine that is demoralizing, hurtful and lonely.

Family teamwork…it’s a rare achievement in the world of caregiving for the mentally ill, isn’t it? Everyone blames everyone, unless and until they really dial down to how hard the task is and how, in truth, anyone who shows up to help should be lauded and appreciated.

Do they think the LEAP strategy is too generous? How are you “undermining?”

As a sibling myself, I do not doubt for a second your worth as a sibling who has stayed present. I know how hard it is to witness and assist a mentally ill brother or sister. That you now have to deal with pushback or coldness from your parents must just be the cherry on top. I hope they are just releasing their own frustration and that deep down inside they know you’re committed to her and you’re helping. I hope they are grateful you’re on the scene.

My mom appreciates me, but my other healthy siblings don’t help (yet, I keep saying to myself.) But if they did, I would envision we’d have conflicts over how to support my ill brother. I guess I would try to tell them that I’m not good at everything, I have my pros and cons, and one thing I’ve been very good at is getting him to relate to me with trust and tell me where he’s at so I can orchestrate some of his needs.

Is it possible your parents are putting too much pressure on you to be the impossible–a perfect caregiver who solves everything?

Maybe with the research you are doing it makes them feel, that you are criticizing them. ( I think the research is a good thing). I don’t know how long they have been taking care of her but maybe they have there own routine down and don’t want anyone rocking the boat or trying anything different or new. It could just be scary or frustrating for them.
It would be nice if you all could see a family therapist maybe, I’m sure all of you have issues dealing with your sister. And as a parent I can tell you, you feel useless most of the time, you blame yourself and it is frustrating when someone says have you tried this or this. It is helpful and appreciated but it can also be like a slap in the face. Maybe use some of the leap techniques you’ve learned with you parents also??
I’ve found they work in a lot of situations when your bringing people into the conversation more and asking there opinions and showing them that their opinions and thoughts and experience also matter.

First of all, thank you @chimain and @kaz so much for your compassion and thoughts.

About the LEAP method, they find it patronising when I have brought it up. Instead they try to reason/debate with my sister when she is sharing her delusions which results in a lot of tension and back and forth.

And @kaz yeah about the length of time - in 2018, I first noticed she was exhibiting unusual behaviour and after her pulling a knife on me, I was adamant that we needed to get her sectioned. My parents felt too ashamed to report it and told me that sectioning her would ruin her life. They told me to back off.

What has followed has been 6 years of me trying to call professionals and seek assistance, only to be told I am not her guardian and cannot do much. Eventually I persuaded my parents to seek professional guidance instead of basically handling it on their own. Finally they agreed.

Last year, before a family christening, she was in full blown psychosis. She had not been diagnosed or sectioned by then, but her behaviour was terrifying and I basically urged that we call someone immediately. My parents refused, as they did not want her being sectioned on the day of a family event, and brought her along to the christening. So we now know that because my parents overrode my decision, they took a schizophrenic IN psychosis to a christening.

A few weeks later, she nearly died. She was saved because I urged my family to bring her to A&E, where they sectioned her for 6 months and diagnosed her with schizophrenia.

What I am saying here is that whilst I understand a lot of parents or caregivers provide all the main care for their ill loved one, I really feel like I have made crucial decisions that have/could have led to the best care. I know we cannot expect caregiving to be perfect, or to be hard on ourselves, but I struggle to let go when I know I have played such a central role. Especially in the crisis stage.

I really want to back away, but considering she also has type 1 diabetes, I really am so scared that she will die. :frowning:

Ah! now I understand more what your up against. I don’t think you can just step away from your sister. And you are right someday you may be her caregiver.

I remember now, your previous posts about your sister and her diabetes. Given that and her diagnosis, you are right to strive for professional guidance and to try to use all the knowledge you’ve gained to give her the best care. Sad you are offering what you know and being basically challenged on that.

It’s as if, in trying to help her, you end up with a conflict with your parents. And you just want to help, right? Not make things worse. Good lord. I’d feel like walking away, too. No one would blame you.

This forum is always a comfort to me, because while we don’t have necessarily answers for each other, we can provide company and a small bit of solace.

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