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Family Betrayal: My Sister Is No More


Mighty Mom is a keen observer of life. She shares her personal experiences and opinions in helpful and often amusing ways.


My sister,

My sibling,

What have you done?

Betrayed me,

Dismayed me,

Who have you become?

Our father

Our mother

Grow older, regress

My heart aches

I care take

Yet feel no duress

They raised us

They praised us

Yet we’re night and day

You bully,

So bossy,

Must have the last say


You’re oldest

One ‘tween us

I’m your “baby brother”

Does that make

You expert

On what’s "best" for Mother?

My honor

To Dad was,

To always be there

You diss Mom

Dismiss Mom

Do you even care?

So angry,

So artful,

You slither and slide

Your scheming

Day dreaming

I watch you connive

It’s all for your own sake

This fantasy care take

Do you think nobody sees?

Your sugary words

Masking actions like swords

I've prayed, and dear God quite agrees


So needy

So greedy

I’m onto you, honey

Your pretense

An offense

It’s all for their money

As Mom becomes older

Your plot becomes bolder

Why must you treat her this way?

“Just sign here”

“Just trust me”

How much have you stolen today?

Life split you

Then spit you

All hardened by sin

Heart’s hateful


No sunlight shines in

You deceiving,

Mom believing,

I told her you lied

We’ll fight you

God smite you

‘Cause right’s on our side

My sibling,

A stranger,

My sister no more

Just wait ‘til

Your own daughter

Evens the score

© July, 2009 Mighty Mom



I penned this poem in longhand on a yellow legal pad over the weekend. Hubby and I finally declared a much-needed weekend for ourselves. We loaded the kayak (it's a tandem) and headed to Inverness on Tomales Bay for some fresh air to clear our heads. Ah, heaven is a waterscape!

Precipitating this impromptu vacation was Hubby's discovery that the Family Trust is soon to be 100% controlled by Evil Sister. The Family Trust lawyer told Hubby he now works exclusively for her, no one else in the family.

We had a bit of trouble explaining this concept to Hubby's mom. We desperately needed to just get away to clear our heads and figure out a game plan to fight this latest injustice.

No surprise, Evil Sis struck while we were gone, bringing in a "doctor" to declare my mother-in-law incompetent - the final task on her "grab the Trust" to-do list.

Stay tuned for further developments as the dynamic duo of  MM and Hubby fight to bust the trust and rewrite it in the name of truth, justice, and sanity!! MM

Lies, Lies, Lies


Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on January 02, 2019:

That’s, right. You reap what you sow.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on January 02, 2019:

Yes, we couldn't have great literature if it didn't touch us so often on our closest relationships: the family. Unfortunately, sometimes we grow up to resemble our parents at the expense of others in the family.

Good work, Mighty Mom.

Happy New Year.



Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on September 05, 2018:

The worst betrayal is always a family member. Sad.

stshhsts on August 24, 2018:

Hi Mighty Mom and all the readers out there. I just want to share and ask for opinions. I am currently experiencing abuse (physical and emotional) from my mother. It's not a new thing, it's been like this since high school but it seems to be getting worse lately.

Here's the backstory of the event that happened a few days ago.

So I was eating breakfast that morning with my kid (I got pregnant at 17 because I was sexually assaulted by an ex-boyfriend) and my kid is known to be a slow eater. My brother, who is always annoying me and always have a hot head yelled at my son saying that he's a stupid kid and that he's useless. So as a mom I defended my kid and told him to back off and stop yelling. My mom started yelling as well telling me that I am also useless to her and that I should start moving my ass to clean the house, and I did. I started washing dishes. One of my cousins came in our house and we were talking about food and how easily it spoils lately, my mom suddenly appeared in the kitchen and started to accuse me that I was saying things behind her back and that I am cussing at her. She then slapped my face with her slippers and started causing racket around the house. After a few more screaming and abusive words, she came up to me and started hitting my arms with a metal clothes hanger.

This kind of scene has been going on for so long. This happens to me almost everyday. When I was in high school I thought it was just because she wants me to be a good person that's why she's always mad at me and is always disciplining me. But now that I am 25 years old I don't think this is still something that she can do. I am still currently staying at my parents house because I am doing my masters of law and my dad didn't allow me to have my own place.

Yesterday, I discovered that she and my brother had been talking behind my back. They have been saying so many blasphemous words about me to my dad. Gladly my dad doesn't believe them and told them to leave me be.

I wanted to leave immediately but my dad keeps stopping me and telling me to just endure it and stay for his sake, because he loves his grandkid.

Can someone please help me? Give me advice on how to deal with my mom and brother. Please.

oldersister on March 08, 2016:

Hi Mighty Mom, its been a while since we have chatted. I have been feeling a little blue lately and been thinking about my mom . And of course all the rotten things my sister and her daughter did. My niece just got married and I saw a picture on her wedding day with my moms ring, the ring that they didn't know where it was . Then I came across a picture with my mom wearing the ring. Oh my God, nothing like bringing back all the hurt and sad memories. So its been eating at me and now I am all upset again. Then my aunt calls to tell me my neice had a baby. Like I care, ( Well a little, but whats the point when we havent seen each other or talked in years, and then when i see the picture with the ring, it gets me so angry and upset) So I just needed to tell someone and I knew I could turn to you. That you would understand and get it. I just want to move on and forget it but it is so hard when things keep popping up. Ok rant over

WaitingForKarma on July 04, 2015:

Unfortunately a sister and I recently learned that a brother with many problems and sociopathic tendencies carefully planned the hijacking of our parent's money many years ago, when they were still physically healthy but with mental capacities already diminished. He enlisted another sister to help him carry out his plan. This sister has always had a sibling rivalry problem towards us. We were raised in a devoutly religious atmosphere. Maybe that made us entirely too trusting. We finally realized things were amiss because of comments she was making after the recent death of our second parent (the first parents having passed away a few years ago). Fortunately for us, we smelled a rat and got a very competent lawyer to demand an accounting from our sister who was executor of the trust. Much of the money is gone, having been siphoned off by the brother over the years. A private investigator suggested "sotto voice" that we march to our parent's house and quietly search for as much financial and other information as we could before the sister wised up to us and had the locks changed, and that is exactly what we did. That is how we know much of the money is gone. Hundreds of thousands in bank and investment accounts. We learned our devious brother had a "bomb" inserted in our parent's trust. If we challenged our sister or the trust in any way, stripe or form, the "bomb" goes off and we are automatically disinherited. That's right. I'm not kidding. However, because we hired a lawyer and demanded an accounting, which is within our legal rights to do so, we prevented her from outright wholesale theft. By forcing her hand, we also forced her to admit that the trust lists us as beneficiaries, and we forced her to list the assets that had not yet been liquidated. So they didn't get away with their full plan. The principle of the matter is extremely unfortunate. But -- my sister was single for much of her life, and suffers from a debilitating chronic illness that also causes clinical depression. The depression has caused her to lose jobs and to be jobless for long periods of time. She could really have used her full share of the estate for her retirement years. What the brother and the sister in question did is not only unkind and unethical, it may really hurt the ill sister in the not too distant future.

Lawyers have been pushing trusts for a long time. It's the bread and butter for a lot of lawyers. But with trusts causing so many problems for beneficiaries, at what point does the law step in to put a stop to the abuses??? Can the law state that executors and trusters MUST provide a financial accounting EVERY year from the time the trust is formed. Beneficiaries must be given a copy of all trust and POA documents from the moment the trust is formed. Every time a trust is altered, or is dissolved, beneficiaries MUST be notified of proposed changes.

There's got to be a system of checks and balances implemented. Society, and societal mores, are breaking down in every conceivable way. We cannot count on people doing the right thing at all. Those of us who have been the unwitting victims of trust abuse are the only folks who realize what is going on, aside from the abusers and the lawyers who are making it easy for the abuse to take place. Maybe it's up to us to raise awareness of this problem. What do you fellow victims think?

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 08, 2015:

Funny you should come to the conclusion your sister is a sociopath. Yes, she sounds like one. We "diagnosed" my sister-in-law as narcissistic. They're pretty similar in their pathologies.

We also had to cut all ties with her. And because of all the lies she told the rest of the family, we had to cut ties with the rest of the family, too. This has been devastating to my husband, and thus to me.

If you want to participate in the "big girl" discussion of this topic go to my hub "How to Steal Your Family Inheritance." It is amazing/disgusting how prevalent this scenario is.

I will look forward to reading more from you as we go along.'

You have allies here on HP. WE GET IT! (wish we didn't).


SisterNumber2 on January 08, 2015:

Thanks for your reply MightyMom...no I didn't even know what a sociopath was until after my father's death about 6 yrs ago. I was telling a co-worker about some things my sister had done while we were there attending my dad's funeral, and he said "sounds like she might be a sociopath". I later googled the term, and found that she had most of the telltale personality traits, some of which are ability to put on fake personas, mirroring, convincing lying, gaslighting, crying on cue, scapegoating, blame-shifting, pity ploying, projecting, conning, feigning emotions, parasitic and opportunistic lifestyle, etc. It led me to a quest to learn all I can about this personality disorder, which I find out is neither curable nor treatable. I bought every book I could find on the subject of personality disorders and still buy new ones as they come out. You could say I have a PhD in Psychopathy!! My husband jokingly calls them my "crazy books" but they have helped me immensely. Once I knew what I was dealing with it became very clear that I had no choice but to cut ties with her. My in-depth reading on the subject really brought clarification to a lot of things that had happened throughout my life. In the family dynamic I was the scapegoat and still am to this day. My mother I believe is a Narcissist and she and Socio Sister make quite a formidable team. But I have removed myself from their toxic triad and am no longer available for their abuse. I'm sure they're still at it behind my back, but what I don't know doesn't bother me. I still talk to my mom a few times a month, but am very careful about what I disclose to her, keeping it superficial. I take what she tells me with a grain of salt...not ever expecting the truth, because she twists things to her advantage, also denies things she has said later. It hurts a lot to know I can no longer confide in her, if I ever could, but I have faced that reality. Will write more in the days to come...have to sign off for now, but thanks again for your response and sharing your own story of family discord.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 08, 2015:

Thank you so much for sharing your story, which is pretty much a mirror image of my story. The scary thing about this trend is how many siblings are emerging as sociopaths. Did you know your sister was a sociopath growing up? It's almost always hindsight is 20/20 and by that point the main damage is done.

At least you have a great attitude about it all. It's for the best that you live far away and don't have to see your sister or your siblings, as the inability to convince them of the duplicity is harder than the duplicity itself. I have often felt like the little boy who cried "But the emperor's got no clothes!" Surely others see the same thing (?). But apparently they don't. Well, they will be in for a not very pleasant surprise when there's nothing to be divided when Mom dies.

You know, I hope, that you are the other beneficiaries are entitled to demand an accounting of where your Mom's money stands. The downside to that is how to enforce it -- you don't want to take the case to court. But if all siblings could put pressure on her to show you the money she might just do it.

Good luck and keep the faith.

From one disillusioned sister to another.


SisterNumber2 on January 08, 2015:

Hi Mighty Mom...have been reading your very relevant hub and it all sounds so (sadly) familiar to me. Wanted to share what I have been going through with my 85 yr old mother. My sister, 2 yrs younger than me, started noticeably cozying up to our parents about 5 years before our father died. She emailed me saying she was going to start going to church with them every Sunday because she wanted to spend more time with them and recoup her "spirituality". This is after 30 years of living a totally amoral life and spending very little time with them up to that point. That was red flag #1. I live in another State but the rest of my family (mom, dad (now deceased), sister and two brothers) all live in the same city. My next red flag as to what my sister was up to happened through my daughter. She told her (my daughter) privately that my parents were willing everything to the grandchildren and nothing to me and her (my sister) and two brothers. (She was executor of their will (unbeknownst to us) at the time so she knew full well who they were willing their money to). She went on to say the reasons each of us siblings would be excluded. She told her to not tell anyone that she had told her this, or she would just deny it. So naturally my daughter told me and I, a few months later, told my parents. My dad's response was that my daughter was probably just making up "a story", which I said I really doubted was the case. Behind the scenes my parents questioned my sister about it and she denied having said that, and they concluded that my daughter was making that story up as an indirect way of asking if she was included in their will. She was heartbroken to find out later, after her grandpa died, that he was convinced by my lying sister that she (my daughter) was after his money. It crushed her to learn that he died thinking she was bidding for a share of inheritance. My daughter and I both stopped speaking to my sister and have cut ties with her. We found out (after my dad's death) that my sister was named as executor of their will and also successor trustee of the Trust my dad had formed, naming us four siblings as equal beneficiaries. Since that time she has worked to put a wedge between us and all the family members, but especially between me and my mom. She has total control over my mom's finances and medical issues. She and my mom went to a lawyer and secretly dissolved the Trust (told us months later) and only my sister is privy to any financial information. My mom is either a total idiot or she is complicit in all the financial shenanigans going on. Her estate is worth about $1M. My sister has gotten her to give her $30k for a downpayment on a house, and had her kitchen remodeled (secretly). I suspect that my mom has given her another $150k that was part of a government insurance settlement, but have no proof. I am pretty sure my sister has herself named as POD on all my mom's bank accounts and sole beneficiary on the Annuities she talked her into getting. These POD and beneficiary designations would override anything spelled out in the will. So all that would be left in the estate would be her car and a few pieces of furniture, and that would be divided by four. The rest of us are pretty much powerless to do anything - one brother is mentally deficient and the other has been SO hard to convince that our sister is anything but a caring, loving sibling. So I sit back and watch it all unfold. The up side is that my husband and I are well off financially and don't need the money anyway. But the hardest part is the smear campaign my sister is engaging in. She has worked to make the whole family distrust me. Her latest stunt was when I visited for my mom's birthday several months ago and stayed a few nights at my mom's assisted living apartment. I believe my sister snuck into the apt while my mom and I were out, but have no proof. She had called my mom one morning saying she had lost her watch while visiting the night before. So my mom and I checked with lost-and-found and nothing had been turned in. My brother called me several months later telling me that my sister had just found her watch while going through my mom's financial document bag right in front of the family. Turns out she told everyone she suspected I PUT IT IN THERE!! I considered it a huge red flag that she had previously been sneaking into my mom's financial papers when her watch fell off, and told my mom so. My guess is there was something in that bag she was hiding from all of us. Probably a beneficiary page on a document she had replaced with one listing her solely. She was afraid I would see it if my mom and I went into the document bag while I was there. But my mom wears very thick mom-goggles when it comes to my sister and refuses to even entertain the thought that she is anything but 100% trustworthy. But one thing I wanted to share with all of you that are going through similar misery, is that Karma has indeed come around to slap my sister squarely in the face much earlier than I ever expected. A few months ago she was stricken by a debilitating painful condition that has her face disfigured and so dizzy and nauseous she can hardly stand up - it is life altering and the damage may well be permanent. I have never wished bad things to happen to anyone, but in her case I can't say it bothers me to hear she is suffering. She has caused me and my daughter so much sadness and stress over the past several years that it does my heart good to know at least she is suffering too. Through this whole ordeal, which is not over yet, I have concluded that she is a sociopath - she convincingly lies with such ease, twists the truth, gaslights, etc. I have done extensive reading over the past 5 years and she is pretty much a textbook case. So at least I now know what I have been dealing with all my life, and a lot of things now make sense. But the hardest part is that the rest of my family (aside from my husband and kids) are totally oblivious to her game. They don't see underneath the mask she wears. So I feel I have no choice but to just let it all happen. I can't really do much to change anything from such a distance. And without any of them to team up with me, I am really powerless to change anything at all. I just let it all unfold and will probably not even get involved in fighting her for what was supposed to be my share of inheritance. She lost all of us (me, my husband and kids) and now even if she gets all the money she's after, I doubt she will be able to enjoy it since she is suffering physically. I figure she will get addicted to painkillers and spend the rest of her life doing pretty much nothing. Karma has indeed finally come around and paid her a long overdue visit. My hope was that there really is a hell, and a special place in hell for people like her, but real pain and suffering for her right here on earth is even better. So everyone hang in there if you are in a similar situation - sometimes there is justice in this world and you don't even have to do anything to avenge yourself. It just happens.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on December 21, 2014:

Hey Waterlily,

Merry Christmas and lots of PEACE to you and a giant 'thank you' for consistently being here for us. MM

A Secret from Somewhere on December 21, 2014:

Happy Holidays!

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on December 20, 2014:

Happy holidays back atcha! MM

oldersister on December 20, 2014:

Happy Holidays my Hub friends. Hoping you have a peaceful holiday.

Marziyeh on December 20, 2014:

This inmiofatron is off the hizool!

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on March 10, 2014:

So sorry to hear of your family story.

Yep. Waterlily knows. Horrible people do things like this. And horrible people turn out to be in our own families.

Your younger sister's motives seem pretty clear -- hasten Mom's demise and get control of the family assets by trickery. It's unfortunate the other siblings (like YOU) were not aware of the change of executrix/trustee. Since your sister was obviously POA medical, a "safer" arrangement would have been to have another of the siblings in charge of the finances.

It's absolutely amazing to me that your sister could "call" your mom's death so perfectly (?) How could she know your mom would be dead so she could go on vacation the next week?

Too late probably, but I would want to have an autopsy toxicology report. I'm guessing your Mom was given a lethal dose of her hospice drugs to move nature along...

But it's all water under the bridge now.

I agree with Waterlily. The best thing for your own sanity/healing is to cut off all communication with this sister. You don't want to know what she's doing because it will only reopen the wounds and made you furious.

Keep your memories of your mom happy, not clouded.

Easier said than done, I know.

Our out-in-the-open battle with my SIL started in 2009 (the battle for control of the parents really started in 2007, but we didn't know what she had planned). My MIL died in April 2012. My husband and I were sitting at dinner the other night rehashing. We have gotten better about not talking about it except rarely. The subject came up as we both admitted how difficult we were finding it to forgive...

I hope you do better.


A Secret from Somewhere on March 08, 2014:

Obviously, horrible people do. Block her on facebook and your life. See what happens. Hopefully, nothing, but you'd be surprised...

As for the 7 year old? Was that another child of hers? Foster care?

Suzanne Sheffield from Mid-Atlantic on March 08, 2014:

This Hub really struck a cord with me and (of course) it was a coincidence that I came across it. My mother died a month ago. In my case, my younger sister took charge of our mother after another sister was burned out taking care of her. Except for diabetes, our mother was in perfect health. Within 2 weeks she had to have a foot removed due to neglect. Then a pacemaker, went blind, etc. Within 2 months she had our mother agree to change her Last Will and Testament and Trust to make her executrix and Trustee. The week before our mother died, she was put on hospice by this sister without notifying any of us, and the night before our mother died this sister was on FB telling people she had purchased tickets for a vacation the next week. Who does that? The month she put our mother on long-term care she got custody of a 7-year old. This sister has a 3-bedroom house - our mother used one, my nephew used the other, and my sister the third...so she needed the bedroom our mother was in.

rob on February 26, 2014:

yea, my sister and her gready husband have my parents convinced she is the best route... their stocks , accounts , home ect. has been put in her name and I nor my other sister even have a copy of their most recent will or anything relaiting to our share of an inherintance ... only the GREEDY ONES... INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH , I even over heard a conversation more recent where my father was asking her permission to spend their money (needed signature on check) and she (#1g

Sabrina Brackett on February 02, 2014:

It is sad awful......a sister better left out

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on April 12, 2013:

Hi chicky,

So happy to get to share your anniversaries with you. The first year is very, very big. We're coming up on 1 year for my MIL as well. It does get easier with time. Which is not to say it gets easy. Just easier.

Keep sharing whenever you feel the need. I'm always here for ya, my friend. MM

chicky on April 10, 2013:

This past Saturday was my Mom's birthday, the first one without her. Today, it has been one year that I lost her to heaven. Rest, sweet Mother. I love and miss you every day. Thanks, MM, for letting me in here. I am not on HP much either. Onward, indeed!

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on March 24, 2013:

Hey there, chicky. I'm not getting onto HP on a regular basis these days.

I hope you got through St. Patrick's Day ok. It's the hardest day of the year for me. My dad's parents came over from the Emerald Isle.

I bet your mom hoisted a pint in heaven for you on 3/17.

A belated Slainche to you, my dear friend. Onward we go with our post traumatic lives! MM

chicky on March 17, 2013:

Happy St. Patrick's Day! My Mom was 100% Irish. Last year I was with her at an Irish Pub for lunch. This year I am sending her wishes in heaven.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 31, 2013:

Thank you watrelily13. All of that is behind us now. It's sad to have a family completely blown apart. But we are better off with our freedom!

A Secret from Somewhere on January 30, 2013:

I hope things have gotten better for you, MM.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 01, 2013:

Hi chicky.

Happy 2013 to you and to all of us. Today is the beginning of a new year. We get to turn the page. No matter what, we will never go back to how it was. Forward is the only way through.

One foot in front of the other. That's the only way to do it.

Oh yes. And with arms around each other for comfort and support.

We are all in this together!

May this be a brighter year for anyone who has lost their parents.


chicky on December 31, 2012:

Happy New Year to all!

May 2013 bring us all more happiness and definitely more peace within our lives.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on December 24, 2012:

Hi Chicky and OlderSister.

I think meltdowns come with the holidary territory. We all have them!

It is our first solo Christmas, too. Some good memories. Some sadness.

What seems to work best is to stay in the NOW and concentrate on just being right here. Here is ok.

I'm certainly not one to offer advice on dealing with "witch" sisters.

In fact, I commented to Hubby yesterday that 1 year ago today (yesterday) he was filing a police report on his erstwhile brother in law. LOL. This year feels so much calmer, because it's just us.

Is it possible to minimize your time with sister?

Why do you feel you have to be the "best sister" to her? Is that her expectation, or one you are putting on yourself?

Expectations are brutal. That IS a subject I know something about!!

You WILL get through this holiday. And next year will be just a little easier.

I do hope that there is still time to make happy plans for New Years that do NOT include your sister. Spend with friends. Go somewhere solo and just pamper yourself. Create a new tradition...

Here's to getting through 2012. We did it (almost -- assume we will make it through 1 more week).

Sending sisterly love to my adopted sisters here on HP.

Merry Christmas!


oldersister on December 24, 2012:

Chicky, it is very tough the first of everything. I will keep you in my prayers this holiday season.

chicky on December 23, 2012:

Hello, again. Thought I was handling this holiday season pretty well, until I had a major meltdown today. Really sad and selfish, but missing my Mom. This first xmas without her has been depressing. I know I will get through it, always have to. New Year's will be rough too. Also, am trying to be the "best sister" to my witch sister. But I have to just say, that is REALLY hard. lol

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on November 21, 2012:

Thank you, Debby. You always have such positive and calming words. Happy Thanksgivign to you as well. MM

Debby Bruck on November 21, 2012:

Wishing this group of Hubpages friends a blessed, peaceful and calm Thanksgiving. ((HUGS)) Debby

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on November 21, 2012:

Right back atchya, Chicky. I know this is going to be a tough year for us. But, we can be thankful knowing our loved ones are at peace. And maybe feel some peace ourselves knowing we are strong, capable, loyal and honorable adult children. MM

chicky on November 21, 2012:

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

chicky on October 10, 2012:

Today is the 6 month mark since my mom died. Still feels like yesterday, and I keep thinking I could have saved her (that is my heart talking, but my mind knows better).

Witch sister is already asking me where I have stored some of my mom's things, and the last time she was in my house, she went LOOKING. grrrrr

I am heading for a vacation in two weeks from today. (first time off all year, except for mom's funeral). Cannot wait to just be away!

On the bright side, my best friend is finally becoming a grandmother (sometime in Jan 2013). So I am focusing on her happiness, and shopping for baby stuff has been fun.

Hang in there, everyone! We are not alone in this, and I am thankful to have all of you. Not that I would wish this crap on anyone, but it helps to have people who "get it". :)

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on September 26, 2012:

Hi chicky,

Glad you made it through ok. Good days, bad days, right? I know.

The holidays are emotional, no doubt. Some pretty vivid -- and not pleasant -- memories there for us.

Our solution has been to completely cut all ties with the CWB and any and all in the family who provide a conduit to her (whether intentional or not). It's a bold, radical move. But, it is necessary in our lives to keep our own equilibrium and sanity.

May not be possible for you, but at least knowing things are going to be bumpy for the next couple of months can help you (somewhat) prepare. And don't forget, we are ALWAYS here for ya. Hugs, MM

chicky on September 26, 2012:

MM, as always, thanks for your kind words and advice. I made it through the day ok, and it being a workday helped even more.

I feel with the holidays coming up, things with witch sis will get more intense and stressful, but that's life!

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on September 11, 2012:

You really have been through the wringer, chicky. I cannot imagine losing both a brother and a sister to cancer, it sounds like within months of each other. Wow.

Now is not the time to start psychoanalyzing your witch sister or my CWB SIL, but... how interesting that both of them lost siblings prematurely. Who knows what those losses do to their already twisted brains? Turned on the entitlement switch, maybe?

Not sure if it helps or not to know the rest of the nation is mourning today, too. Your pain is your own private pain and death anniversaries are hard. No way around it.

Totally agree that we can handle lots of deaths and get through aok. Until the one that smacks us upside the head that this is really real. Something IS missing!

But, we do have each other and there are many, many of us out there.

Please promise me that you will not allow your witch sister to intrude on this day. The less contact you have with her (aim for ZERO) the better. Why let her add to your loss, right?

Hugs to you on this anniversary. MM

chicky on September 11, 2012:

oldersister -oh how cool that your daughter received a "sign" that your mom was watching!

Today is a rough day - and I realize it is for the nation also - but 8 years ago today I lost a brother to cancer (and back on April 17 was the 8 years I lost a sister to cancer).

I know my Mom is happy being reunited with my Dad and her children (she was devastated). I've dealt with a lot of deaths in my life, but never knew losing my Mom would be so hard. Something just seems missing.

I try not to focus on the bad, but then witch sister does or says something. UGH!

Thanks to MM and everyone here, it really does help to know we are not in this alone, nor are we the crazy ones!

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on September 03, 2012:

Always a treat to see you, Debby Bruck! Thanks. Peace and hugs back, MM

Debby Bruck on September 03, 2012:

Hello MM ~ Just passing through and see time has passed, situation continues to develop. Wishing you much peace. Hugs, Debby

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on September 03, 2012:

That's a perfect illustration, OS, of living your life now. Being their for your daughter's sweet 16 fully. AND allowing yourself to feel the presence of your mom. Good point. They send us signs!

Thanks for the vote of confidence. It does help to know we're not crazy, stupid, bad daughers or alone. There are many others out there struggling with similar issues that put them way off balance.

The sad thing is the often irreparable damage the stuggle causes between siblings. There has got to be a better way on this!

Best to my dear HP friends. Happy Labor Day. MM

oldersister on September 03, 2012:

Also I just want to add that Mighty Moms hub was the first hub I found when I was grieving and dealing with sis. Her hub and many other hubs made me realize that I was not alone, that these things happen in families, there was nothing wrong with me and I was doing my best for mom dispite how sis felt. Thanks Mighty Mom for being there when I needed someone the most.

oldersister on September 03, 2012:

Hey guys what I sometimes end up doing it going to the cemetery just to talk.

Sometimes the urge is so strong that I just head on over there and then I feel so much better. I don't think that feeling will ever go away. You will always remember your mom especially on special occasions. This year my daughter had her sweet 16 and we were decorating the hall and putting confetti on the table that said sweet 16. Well in the sweet 16 confetti we found one piece of confetti that said grandma. My daughter got so excited and of course i got all choked up. I think they are always with us and sometimes they will even give us signs. It does get less painful but they are always on your mind and in your hearts. It has been 16 years since my Dad passed and 2 since my mom.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on September 02, 2012:

Hey chicky! Thanks for checking in. Good and bad moments -- sounds like life, doesn't it?

It takes awhile before that urge to call stops. The memories are so ingrained. You never know when something might trigger. I still find myself bursting into tears randomly for my dad, primarily. It will be 4 years in November.

I think the key is to consciously make your life YOUR life now. So that you stay in the present and don't slip into longing for the past. It's easier said than done, though. Takes effort.

Big smiles for witch sister not getting anywhere with ATT. It's a small victory, but we'll take what we can get, right?!!

Take care and keep me posted as you go forward.

I'm finding 4 months out after MIL's death feels a lot more stable than 2 months. Settling in. You will, too.

And remember -- no one can ever, ever take away from you the great job you did as a dutiful and caring daughter.

Hugs, MM

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on September 02, 2012:

Hey chicky! Thanks for checking in. Good and bad moments -- sounds like life, doesn't it?

It takes awhile before that urge to call stops. The memories are so ingrained. You never know when something might trigger. I still find myself bursting into tears randomly for my dad, primarily. It will be 4 years in November.

I think the key is to consciously make your life YOUR life now. So that you stay in the present and don't slip into longing for the past. It's easier said than done, though. Takes effort.

Big smiles for witch sister not getting anywhere with ATT. It's a small victory, but we'll take what we can get, right?!!

Take care and keep me posted as you go forward.

I'm finding 4 months out after MIL's death feels a lot more stable than 2 months. Settling in. You will, too.

And remember -- no one can ever, ever take away from you the great job you did as a dutiful and caring daughter.

Hugs, MM

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on September 02, 2012:

Hey chicky! Thanks for checking in. Good and bad moments -- sounds like life, doesn't it?

It takes awhile before that urge to call stops. The memories are so ingrained. You never know when something might trigger. I still find myself bursting into tears randomly for my dad, primarily. It will be 4 years in November.

I think the key is to consciously make your life YOUR life now. So that you stay in the present and don't slip into longing for the past. It's easier said than done, though. Takes effort.

Big smiles for witch sister not getting anywhere with ATT. It's a small victory, but we'll take what we can get, right?!!

Take care and keep me posted as you go forward.

I'm finding 4 months out after MIL's death feels a lot more stable than 2 months. Settling in. You will, too.

And remember -- no one can ever, ever take away from you the great job you did as a dutiful and caring daughter.

Hugs, MM

chicky on September 02, 2012:

MM - I have my good and bad moments. Sometimes I think I am "ok", then I break down. On the plus side, witch sister has had no luck with AT&T. lol.

oldersister- I tried opening an estate account, but the banks want a domicillary letter, which can only be done if you file probate, My mom had so little, in my state the law is that we (I) did not have to file probate. So, it was a vicious circle of red tape. I do appreciate that advice though, so thanks!

I keep thinking I have to call my Mom. Something comes up, or sime family news, or stuff ... when does that stop?

oldersister on August 14, 2012:

Chicky, did you open an estate account. You should have one. For the estate of with you as the executor . Then all you have to do is send a copy of the letters of testamentary to the phone company and they will send the check to the estate of and you will be able to deposit it in the estate account. Make sure you get an account that does not give you interest or you will have to claim it as income and do tax returns every year. Estate accounts are not required to keep a certain amount in so you will not be charged any fees. When all is said and done you can then disburse money according to the will from that account leaving money in a reserve in case you need it for the estate . You will also have to do a tax return for mom personal taxes so make sure you have money for that from her estate

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on August 14, 2012:

If she IS able to get a check in her name and cash it and keep it please let me know as this is FRAUD and ATT needs to know about it. If they have one policy for "regular" customers and another one -- exact opposite -- for employees -- that's F'd up.

So do be encouraging to your sister and tell her how great it is that she has those internal connections at ATT and sure would be great if she's able to get the refund.

Also make sure she gives YOU back all the paperwork including copy of any check they write out to her.

I'm sure you'll do a convincing job, chicky.

Yes, this is the most fun I've had (vicariously) since the CWB wrote her narcissistic declaration to the court in which she managed to take a lawsuit in which she was not even named and make "all about MEEEEEE."

The sad thing -- and I can see it in both of us -- is we have become so warped by our experiences that we actually revel in insanity.

Quick reality check: How is MY friend CHICKY doing with grieving Mom???

Hugs to you. MM

chicky on August 14, 2012:

I told my witch sister about this AT&T issue and she said "bring me all the paperwork and I will handle it.". Right. Just because she works there? This ought to be good. Then I told her if she gets a check in her name, she can cash it and keep it - I won't count it as part of mom's "estate". She just smiled at me (you know that kind of smile - behind it is something sinister). This ought to be real fun for me to watch. Can't wair for her to tell me that there is nothing she can do either! :)

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on August 03, 2012:

I'm laughing and crying with you, chicky. Same thing happened to us, chickly. Refund from ATT due SOLELY to MY efforts. We did have an interim ATT bill, though. In between the $0 bill (which I assumed was complete closeout) and our refund check of $18.69, they sent a bill for $.27. Are they kidding? It wasn't worth the time or stamp to send to the executor. So I just paid my MIL's $.27 along with my own ATT bill.

Then we got a STATEMENT showing a credit of $18.69. I actually called ATT and asked them if they could simply apply the refund to our ATT account. You know the answer to that! Hell, NO!

Then the check arrived. Same as you. It came in MIL's name. ATT told me what they told you. Correct. They will only issue final payment in the name of the deceased.

Now, if you are holding open an account in your mother's name (for this exact kind of thing -- to catch the straggler bills and refunds), you can deposit the money into that account. But no, you can't cash it as your own.

In our case, the account in MIL's name has been liquidated already. Our executor saw fit to already cash out the "estate" (the term hardly applies to the paltry amount that was left after all the lawyers got paid!!) last month. I believe he left a few cents in it. That's all.

So I was faced with a choice . I could

a) Put a stamp on the refund check and mail it up to the executor to have him duly split it 50/50 with the CWB, or

b) Rip the check up. It's null and void after I believe 3 months anyway.

I can only imagine this happens a LOT with ATT. I bet they count on a large percentage of survivors of their customers doing exactly what I did. Or what you did.

So, dear friend, unless you are able to deposit your check into an account in your mom's name... guess who gets to pocket the refund?

Gotta love ATT!!

chicky on August 03, 2012:

So... the red (or is it black now) tape continues. AT&T sent my witch sister a "refund" check (for the bill I paid). AT&T made the check out to my mom, with my sister's address on it. Witch sister was "kind" enough to give the check to me. All $8.27 of it. I go to my bank, and guess what. They will not let me cash it, or deposit it in my account. I've been banking there for years, have more than enough to "cover" the check if it "bounces". So, guess AT&T will get to keep this gob of money. Oh, and before anyone asks, AT&T will NOT issue the check in anyone's name but my deceased mother's name.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on July 31, 2012:

Hi gmwilliams! I knew you were an expert on family dynamics. Didn't realize you were from the Big Apple! My formative years city!

Well, the good news is we stopped the sister (she's my sister-in-law) in her tracks. But the situation did not resolve there. It got uglier and even more horrible. We did take legal action against the fiduciary who took it upon herself to "spend down" my MIL's estate so she could put her in a home -- with SIL's cooperation and blessing, of course.

I don't know how or why some people can turn their back on their own parent But my SIL sure did. Entitlement is an epidemic, I fear. Anyway, between what got paid to the lawyers to get her off the trust, what the fiduciary frittered away, what my MIL's lifestyle (lol) of wanting to die in her own home (24-hour live-in caregiver) cost, plus the SECOND ROUND of lawyer fees to remove the fiduciary, there were single digits $ left at the end. It hurt to have to split the "spoils" with SIL, but at least she didn't get any more than that!

Thanks for your comment. Mucho appreciated.


Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on July 31, 2012:

To Mighty Mom, This is totally insidious. How could some children be so thoughtless towards their elderly parent who cared for them during their formative years. Your sister's main concern should have been the care of mother.

I am glad that you have elucidated this poignant issue. The last statement of the poem has such a karmic punch! What goes around, definitely comes around. I have seen this many times in my life! I hope that all is well regarding the issue with your mother. I hope you have commenced legal action and have instituted a restraining order against your sister!

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on July 25, 2012:

Hi gogirl2012. Thank you for your comment. I'm always happy when people who've lived through this particular betrayal find my hubs. But so sad, too, to see how terribly common it is. I'm sorry for the loss of your mum and your family. I sure do know how that feels and it's the worst, most devastating loss anyone could imagine. It's just unnatural.

We are currently grieving the loss of our entire family as well. We cannot let even aunt or uncle back in our lives because they are pawns of the sister and she uses them to get back to us. They all just need to stay dead and buried (psychically if not literally). Good luck to you in getting over what your brothers did. If you feel like hubbing about your experience, I'd love to have more links to others here!

Best, MM

gogirl2012 on July 25, 2012:

Hi there, all you can do is let go and let god - i have been through something similar and as a result when mum passed, i grieved for the rest of the family (my brothers) because as far as i am concerned they also died when mum passed over. It is unspeakable what they did to me.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on July 21, 2012:

Hey chicky,

Always great to see you, friend. Sorry you are going through this BS. It's really insane, isn't it? I'm thinking based on what you have encountered and I have encountered and oldersister's experience maybe a NEW hub is shaping up here. Dealing with the logistics when a loved one dies.

The stupid and the even stupider. And it's so true. It all seems much more annoying than it is (and it really is!) because we just want to put it all behind us and grieve our dead parent.

Anyway, sounds like things with witch sister haven't gotten any better. Not too surprised, really. Sorry.

My best for your continued SANITY! MM

chicky on July 21, 2012:

MM - I loved reading your experiences, as they are so close to the ones I had. AT&T (which witch sister works for), sent me TWO bills, both the same amount, for the same time, then they sent me one for the next month, when my Mom was already gone over a month. My sis claimed she called them the next day after Mom passed to cancel. She also said she cleared it out. Then I get another bill. groan. Long story short, I just paid the stupid bill. My sis was furious. Then with TimeWarner cable, that was a nightmare, and I was to get a refund check, for $8.27. It took more than that in gas, phone calls, and my time. Then the bank would not let me deposit it - in the JOINT account I had with my Mom. More to that story, but I will not make this post a novel.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on July 06, 2012:

Hello friends! Always a treat to see chicky and oldersister have visited here.

Those who have not lived through the special privilege of settling up a deceased parent's affairs simply don't know what they're missing, do they?

Chicky, good for you for standing firm. There is no urgency or hurry and your greedy sister will just have to wait till YOU are good and ready to settle up. If you feel like it you could do a partial payout but make sure you hold enough back to cover her taxes and any unexpected bills (see below).

OS, you offer good, sound advice. You have to contact all the creditors anyway to close out the accounts. Might as well try to negotiate whatever you can. They're no doubt happy to get ANYTHING.

As for my MIL's estate, there will be a followup hub about the denouement. Possible a few more hubs. And I am writing a book about our experience, too.

Meanwhile, you will both get a kick out of these two closeout stories.

1. Had turned off MIL's phone. Got what I thought was a final bill and had it paid off. Got another bill from ATT for -- are you ready? $.27. Twenty-seven CENTS. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I thought of the expense of putting the bill in the mail to the executor. Cost me more to mail it than the bill was for. Then to turn around and write a check and mail that. Ridiculous. I just paid it along with my own ATT bill.

And we wonder why our phone bills are so outrageous.

2. After actually receiving a $0 final bill from DirecTV, the other day a bill comes for $4.99. It was for a pay-per-view movie dated -- get this 10/10.

That's right, almost 2 years ago. Why this movie was not billed when they downloaded it I did not know. I called DirecTV to inform them that even if I had access to Della's money (which at this point we do not -- the executor liquidated the account), I was NOT going to pay this stupid bill that should have been part of her 11/10 monthly invoice!

Turns out they found the PPV on the sim card when I returned the box to them. I raised holy hell about how distressing it was to receive this bill 2 months after Della's passing. One agent actually hung up on me. The next one got it zeroed out and off the books.

So yeah. I think I still have some anger issues around Della and her estate. LOL.

Good luck and please keep in touch. I hope you are getting stronger and saner every day!

oldersister on July 06, 2012:

Chicky you can call the creditors especially the credit card company and ask them to reduce the bill explaining your mother passed and you can only pay x amount of dollars. We did that with my mom and they reduced her credit card bill by 4,000. dollars. We had to send them 5ooo right away but they accepted that. I did receive a tax form for her taxes as 4,000 income but it was still worth it. Something to look into. My lawyer told me about it. Just make sure you get a letter from the company stating their acceptance of the amount and that the debt is satisfied.

chicky on July 06, 2012:

MM - how are you doing? Things are slowly coming to a boil in my world. I informed my sister that I will not be settling Mom's things for 18 months. Have to allow time for bills, etc. My sister was/is irate, and even said "why are you paying those bills? You are not responsible." They just go unpaid." Ha! I told her that creditors would come after me, as the executor, and that Mom would want all her bills paid - that is they way she lived. So even if the law was not in place, I would pay Mom's bills because that is what Mom would do. Mom had very little money, and if I have to, I will pay Mom's bills out of my own pocket, to honor Mom. My sister on the other hand, would never help out.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on May 15, 2012:

hey chicky,

Thanks for the kind words. We do care. And someday, some way, we will all heal.

Meanwhile, I just discovered another piece of the betrayal. Quite by accident. I wasn't looking for more evidence of the plot. And yet, there it is.

Made all the more poignant now that the fight is over and it's only about waiting for the final bills to come in and divide up the paltry thousands of dollars (less than $10K total) left in MIL's estate.

If there was ever any doubt about SIL's intent -- EVER, it's been exposed now.

I found out that back in May 2009, right after FIL's death, she made herself the sole beneficiary on her father's county pension after her mother. I'm not sure under what circumstances she would/could collect money. Her mom has been receiving county pension since her husband died. But the point is, she put herself ONLY, not herself and her brother as 50/50 (which of course is what both parents would want). And she likely coerced her mother to sign the form. Or else she forged it.

Along with getting the house put in HER NAME, it's pretty clear (to those of us who are paranoid, at least), that SIL was planning to cut little brother out of his share of the inheritance.

She will deny this till her dying breath -- oh no, I would never do that.

But her actions speak much louder than her protestations.

Anyway, it's a moot point now, as little bro (and me, his paranoid wife:-) stopped her plot.

It sucks bigtime to see how much of FIL and MIL's money has been taken by SIL before we stopped her legally. And how much has been handed to greedy lawyers who don't care a whit about us or our family -- just as much money as they can bilk from us.

But it feels good to know we DID stop her and them.

And it's some small consolation to know that SIL isn't taking everything. She's taking 50% of the very, very small amount left over. I hope she feels her efforts paid off. We know ours did.

It still makes me feel sick to my stomach, tho...

And even worse to think how stupid and horrible my hubby would feel to see the house proceeds NOT split with him but deftly stolen by his psycho sister.


chicky on May 15, 2012:

Hi drownedinsorrow - feel free to post your story or just vent here. MM is amazing - her site here has been wonderfully theraputic. WE care.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on May 12, 2012:

Hello drownedinsorrow. It may sound trite but you are not alone. There are many, many of us who have been betrayed by immediate family members. It's the worst but at least we have somewhere to come and process the pain, anger, hurt, devestation -- all of the above.

Glad you found us.

Take heart.


drownedinsorrow on May 12, 2012:

So glad I found this hub

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on May 04, 2012:

You tell 'er chicky!

Hope you are doing well and regaining some equilibrium after your loss.

chicky on May 04, 2012:

Sandy - you are doing the right thing! No money can buy the memories you are making and the quality of time you are spending with your mom. Let the others talk all they want - no matter what you do, they will still talk. That is just the kind of people they are. I find that no matter how hard you try, you cannot please everyone, and if someone wants to, they will spread any lies that make them look better than you. Hang in there, we do understand.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on May 02, 2012:

Hi Sandy,

I'm glad you feel comfortable sharing so much of your situation with us here. Because your experience is really important and people can learn from it!

As you describe your actions and your motivations it is clear that you have NOTHING to apologize for. You are doing not only what you think is right, but what your mom wants you to be doing. That no one else in the family seems willing to step to the plate and help with.

That is really sad. And it's really obvious (to me, but of course I am very sensitive to these things) that your siblings are feeling GUILT for not doing their part and taking it out on you.

One thing I learned through our experience, however, is that as much as we want and expect our parents to be 100% fair and even in what they give to each child, they may not be. My parents were. My dad kept detailed records of every dime he gifted or loaned each child so that it all squared up completely. He was like that.

My in-laws, however, just gave. Gave generously and openly to whoever they felt like helping. Much of their generosity was not direct cash, but time helping one sibling and her husband start a business. They gave my husband money over the years, some of which he paid back, but I doubt all of it. They didn't keep score.

But you can bet my SIL did. She had her eye on every penny that her brother got and demanded as much -- and more -- for herself. She was obsessed with her parents' money. So sad.

What I'm saying is, what your parents gave for a grandchild's tuition or to help a son or daughter out in a pinch -- that money is gone. It was theirs to give. And it may not be fair that one got extra. And obviously some in your family feel like you are "getting" something now that they're not.

Yes, you are. You are getting the experience of a lifetime. You do not complain that you have "given up" your life to do this. Instead, you are doing it because it's the right thing to do and enriches your parent's life. I imagine none of the other kids are taking their parent on trips anywhere, am I right?

I wish I could tell you the secret to turning the other cheek and not letting lies and rumors, etc. bother you. They are awful and hurtful. I have watched my SIL spread such lies about her brother. He is sickened by her betrayal.

But at the end of the day, he is the one who can hold his head up high. He is the one who in his heart knows he did the right thing and who has been here for both his parents. She can continue to spit falsehoods out and probably wil. It won't change the facts of what really went down here.

So take heart, Sandy. As one who has lived through losing an entire family -- only the father and mother to actual death -- I can tell you you will survive the slings and arrows. They cannot hurt you if you are pure of heart.

I wish you peace and keep doing what you're doing!


Sandy on May 02, 2012:

Hi MM, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, but yes, it sounds like your MIL went the best way anybody could go. I knew a couple in their 90s, the husband passed away last year, in his own home, with all of his family around him. It was still a loss, but, he led a very good life, the couple was married for 70 years and, you couldn't ask for anything better as for how he passed.

I think, when my parent finally passes away, it is only going to magnify the raging emotions that are going on right now.

I appreciate the time that you have taken to respond to my messages here on your blog.

You are correct, I plan on doing the research to work out how much I would make, should my parent be paying me to do what I do. I have been here now for 8 years, so, I'm sure that would be a healthy pay check. I don't plan to leave - my parent wants me to stay until she dies - so, what's wrong with me getting some kind of benefits?

But, not only that, my sibling has received several hundred thousands of dollars for her children's tuition and other things over the years. In fact, at one point, my sibling was getting money every month from our parent, like, some monthly allowance.

Yet, I'm being accused for staying here just for the money?? What makes this even worse, is, other distance family members and friends sympathize with my sibling!!!

As for trips, yes, that really sucks about the trips for Europe. Just so you know, I, too take trips - trips to places that are on my parent's bucket list to go to - and I take her, and plan to take her on more!!! Do I enjoy them? Sure I do!! I like going to places, but I also get joy out of taking my parent who gets pleasure out of it. I would not just go on a trip for myself - I always take the parent with me, and only go IF SHE WANTS TO. I would never ever want to go on a trip, if my parent didn't want to go or, if she was physically unable to. It's a lot of work - it's like traveling for 2 people and yeah, I never do the things I would do, if I were traveling on my own.

I think, unfortunately, what I am running into is sibling jealousy. I don't even think they are after the money necessarily, but, are using that to attack me and harm my repute with the local area.

I can understand feeling "rejected" or "second best" in all of this, but, I cannot tolerate the spiteful, hateful rumors and insituations that are going around and then sent to me as indirect messages (when I try to nail my siblings or other people on it, they go in denial about ever insinuating anything).

I've gotten to the point where I just go on living my life as best as I can, make sure I'm legally sound, and take the best care that I can for my parent.

What is really unfortunate in all of this is, the parent's feelings in this do not seem to be taken into consideration - it's like, my siblings and their families no longer come to see her or call her (one of the siblings changed his phone number and didn't even tell her), thinking that she's just lost her mind after a stroke and that I'm just taking advantage of her...

It's just sick, but, I don't think there is anything I can do about their decisions or thoughts in all of this..

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on May 01, 2012:

Hi oldersister and chicky. How awesome is it to have you to completely understand what I am thinking and feeling at this moment? We have our own special club surrounding parental death and sibling greed and betrayal.

You will both really appreciate this -- a partial vindication for any of us is a victory for all "good" daughters and sons (and daughters-in-law:-).

In the immediate aftermath of my mother-in-law's passing yesterday, which really was a beautiful and blessed transition, all things considered, my own sister was putting the full court press on me to "do the right thing" and pick up the phone and call my sister-in-law.

I get that she (my sister) is all about family and honor and all that is good in families. She is the one who has been a stellar executor of my dad's estate.

But it's clear she simply does not understand the level of infamilia perpetrated by my SIL.

I finally got her to back down by saying I have to honor my husband's wishes on this. He would have my head on a platter if I defied him on this. He feels (and I do agree) that someone who has betrayed and defiled theirmother, their father and him so completely has no right to share in this moment.

It's been frustrating and annoying that our Uncle Stan (Della's sister's husband) who has taken over as POA financial now, has been cc'ing my SIL on financial information. After all, she sided with the evil fiduciary against her mother and brother -- but that's all done with now.

How appropriate -- how brilliant in its simplicity -- then, that Uncle Stan informed his niece (who is conveniently out of the country AGAIN -- that's two for two parent deaths she has missed by being out of the country) of her mom' passing via a passing condolence comment in his latest financial update.

It's a small, but really significant thing...

chicky on May 01, 2012:

MM -

I am so very sorry for you loss. And yes, it sounds like your MIL went as peacefully as anyone could hope for. What a blessing! My thoughts and prayers to you, your husband, and family.

oldersister on May 01, 2012:

Mighty Mom, I am so sorry for your loss of your MIL. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. You are a wonderful daughter in law. If you need anything I am here.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on April 30, 2012:

Dear chicky, oldersister, Debby Bruck and Sandy and all those who have commented here over its lifespan.

Well, I, too, am closing out my saga. Chicky, our paths are almost completely parallel.

My MIL passed this afternoon.

If a death can be perfect, hers was.

She was surrounded by the people who love and care for her -- her son, me, her caregiver Joann and Joann's mom.

And Joann's sister and aunt were also there as her breathing changed and then she drew her last breath.

I was able to get the chaplain over earlier today to administer last rites.

The hospice nurse arrived about 5 mins before the end. How convenient is that!??

This part is just amazing to me: The Tongan women who loved Della so washed her body, changed her into her favorite clothes, combed her hair and even put on makeup and her slippers.

Our ordeal is over.

I am sad, but relieved that Della got to go out her way in her own home in her own bed.

Right now fighting over the small amount that is left with SIL is the last thing on my mind.

But I absolutely appreciate your insights, oldersister.

Chicky, I do hope that in the light of day you are rethinking the let your sister have everything.

Hugs to all my friends and thanks for your support. MM

oldersister on April 30, 2012:

Chicky don't give her everything. I did not want to argue and when we went through the house she took it all, She was going through the house like a scavenger hunt grabbing what ever she could. I let it go. My husband kept telling me let her have it, why fight. Well when it came time to sort out the jewlery she had taken all of my moms jewlery and replaced it with costume jewlery, Jewlery that was hers , One of the rings was my sisters from her confirmation and one of the braclets I gave my sister for being my made of honor. Hold your ground. Split it evenly. You will regret it later. I am so sorry I didn't speak up because now it is too late, and I have nothing sentimental from my mom for myself or my kids.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on April 30, 2012:

Hi Sandy,

It's a long, sordid story. I'm finishing up my book on it -- if I hadn't lived it, I would not believe it could ever happen.

How could my SIL say she was a caregiver? It's amazing how people believe surface appearances and convincing liars. That's how. She moved her parents out of their home to a rental home in a chi chi neighborhood ostensibly to "watch over them." Reality: she lived rent free in a cottage in the back of their house while isolating them and applying "undue influence" to get them to sign a family trust document making her executive of the estate. Livig rent free also funded her 6 week trip to Europe, during which time her parents were EVICTED from the house.

She let her own apartment go as soon as her dad died and moved herself in with her mother, again, ostensibly to help Mom out in adjusting to widowhood. Once again, rent free.

The arrangement was for 3 months until - once again -- she set off for a 2 month European vacation.

Are you seeing the pattern here?

You, as a legitimate caregiver, may wonder who is caring for the parents during SIL's extended vacations?

Same person who has always been on the real frontline of caring for M&D, day in and day out, whether SIL is in the country or not: their SON, my husband.

For reference read my hub "How to Steal Your Family Inheritance" and "Where to Put Granny and Who Gets to Decide" -- those will give you a flavor of the HELL we have been through.

But as uncomfortable as it may be in your family (and I do not doubt emotions are HIGH), you are way ahead of the game in that the person doing the caregiving is actually doing the caregiving.

And you know what? The #1 lesson I have learned through our ordeal is, that is a privilege that not every sibling is capable of assuming.

A thought just occurred to me: If your siblings are having trouble wrapping their inheritance-grubbing heads around the value of what you are providing, or if you are not sure what it would cost to replace you should you decide this familial/financial arrangement is not worth the aggravation (not that you are likely to do that), check out what in-home care would cost.

Get a variety of pamphlets from agencies (those are going to be more $$$). As a general ballpark, plan on $150+ per day. Do the math and that's $55K a year.

So if you are accepting anything less than that from your parent in exchange for your services, your siblings are actually getting a bargain and should be grateful!!


Sandy on April 30, 2012:

Hi MM, thanks for your response.

How could she say she was a caregiver, but then not actually be caregiving? Was there someone else doing it while she was out and about doing her own thing?

Sorry if I'm so late on the chain with this story...

Unfortunately, I don't think out situation is something we can just sit down and discuss. It has gone beyond that.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on April 29, 2012:

THank you, Debby. YOu are always so kind. MM

Debby Bruck on April 29, 2012:

Dear MM ~ Sending a special prayer your way for the endurance and perseverance you have demonstrated as a strong advocate and friend. Blessings, Debby

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on April 29, 2012:

Hi Sandy,

May I say you are NOTHING like the older sister in our situation. You are actually providing the hands-on care for your parent. That's a huge difference.

It is a thorny situation -- and it struck a chord with you as it strikes chords in lots of others because with aging parents so many of us are dealing with this exact situation. We were just talking to friends yesterday. The husband in that couple is one of the "do-nothings" watching his sister do the lion's share of work with aging mom. Yet what is fair when it comes to splitting the inheritance?

I think the key is to have all the family sit down and discuss what's being done and why. Don't operate on illusions. The situation looks different for you than it does for your siblings. You can justify your financial reward by saying you are trading care for financial security now. And that's totally appropriate. But your siblings may see it otherwise. It may be jealousy or it may be GUILT that they cannot provide the same service to mom or dad that you are providing...

Anyway, the big difference between you and the sister in my poem is you really are providing the care. My SIL wore the title but never did any actual caregiving. She wanted control of the estate so she could use it to buy clothes and travel. She is not a caregiver and never was -- although pretending to be to the outside world. Very dishonest.

Her plan was not to caregive MIL but to live with her until she found a better situation (which she did- she found a sugar daddy to marry her).

Her plan always was to dump her mom in a care home.

In the very short period she was in charge of the family trust she showed herself to be a horrible money manager except when it came to paying her own bills with MIL's money. We didn't realize until then what bad financial shape she was in (desperate, really).

So my perspective is, you are doing the deal and actually providing care. She was not.

I do suggest you sit down and try to clear things up with your jealous siblings, tho. It will only get worse and you don't want your family to end up like ours!


Sandy on April 29, 2012:

Hi MM, I haven't read through ALL the comments here, but, this story hits a "chord with me". You see, what you accuse your older sister of being, is what I am accused of being, but am NOT.

It can work both ways - the siblings that do nothing, only to blame you for "taking advantage" of the older parent that you take care of full time, only because, by taking care of that parent, that parent is also financially supporting me. And, I'm here because the parent WANTS me here - of course, the siblings justify this with the idea that the parent just has dementia and is not of sound mind, but, I consider all of these spiteful reasons a product of jealousy that my parent loves me very much.

Yes, I do get some financial "gain" out of it all, when our parent passes away, but, I'm not here to take advantage of the situation - I came at a cross road in my life at the same time my parent did, and, we have, and are, helping each other right now - its a wonderful thing, yet, jealous siblings and family members are accusing me of being here for a greedy reason - they have hurt both of us - and does that mean I'm going to attempt to take "everything"? NO.

Please tell me, is your older sister trying to just take everything and leave nothing to you?

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on April 22, 2012:

Hi Chicky. RIP your Mom. This has been a tough road for you and I'm sure this last week has been emotionally draining.

I understand how you feel about your sister. Feels oh so familiar when all we want is HER out of our lives. Just please go away and leave us alone. I hear ya.

And letting her take everything sounds like a plan -- right now. Is it giving in or is it the really smart way to get her off your back? Will you regret it if you don't take what's rightfully yours?

If it still feels like the right decision in a couple of weeks, then it is. But right now, you should just put up a giant BOUNDARY and tell sissy to take a chill pill while you grieve.

You've earned that, girlfriend. She can just wait till YOU are good and ready for a change.

Hang in there. It's going to be rough for awhile, but ultimately, you will find freedom here. I feel that.

Your friend and kindred assaulted sister, MM

chicky on April 21, 2012:

I buried my mother this week, and now the tug-of-war begins. I literally just want to hold up my hands, tell my sister to take everything and just leave me alone for as long as I live. ugh!

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on April 12, 2012:


I am so very sorry for the loss of your mom. I hope she didn't suffer!

Please contact me via HP (here) or offline if you need a shoulder. It's a lot to process, I know.

Agree with oldersister (another ally in 'our' cause) that keeping your mom's papers safe is the smartest thing you can do right now. It has been my experience that after the initial shock wears off we get quite calm and deliberate in our actions to get through what must be done. You have known for some time you would have to content with sister and brother-in-law.

I can just picture them stepping over your mother's body in their frenzy to find that key. Sounds exactly like my sister-in-law.

You've come too far to let your guard down now.

We are here for you and wish you resolution and vindication.



oldersister on April 12, 2012:

Chicky, I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. I know you are grieving and it is very hard to think strait but get all the important papers out of moms house. Including any old wills. When mom re did her will be turned over the old will and gave it to the new attorney who destroyed it in front of us. See if you are allowed to change the locks on the apartment so that your sister can not go stealing anything, including personal items that you may want to split between family members, I feel so bad for you, I was there two years ago and went through the same things as my sister, If you need to talk or vent I am here

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on April 12, 2012:

Thanks, Debby. Hugs appreciated.

Debby Bruck on April 12, 2012:

Dear Mighty Mom ~ Just read the sad news of your loss. May she rest in peace. Perhaps you mom can pull some strings in heaven and end the earthly war, so you can also find a quiet place. Sending plenty of hugs. Love, Debby

chicky on April 12, 2012:

My Mom passed away suddenly on Tuesday. The night she died, while she was still laying on the floor in her apt, my sister and her husband kept searching everywhere for the key to mom's locked file cabinet! If I hadn't been so full of grief and dealing with EMTs, firemen, and police, I probably would have been screaming at them.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on March 21, 2012:

Hi Chicky, Boy it sounds like your sister is playing games again. Sounds so familiar.

I'm no expert (although I sure feel like one after all we've been through), but it sounds like your sister is thinking about challenging your POA status and possibly your mom's mental capacity to be making new wills.

I sincerely hope the attorney your mom used to redo her will this time around is SOLID.

I'd say don't trust your sister. But of course, that's a given.

Keep me posted on what goes down.

Sorry to be so paranoid, but I certainly have the right to be!

Good luck, friend. MM

chicky on March 21, 2012:

well, not that this is important, but it's weird. My sister call me to tell me she "got something in the mail from the lawyer who did mom's will." I asked her what was it, and isn't that unethical? My sister is not the executor or power of atty or health care (that's all me). It was an old Power of Atty, from when our older sister was still alive, and it was she who was on it. I told my sister to shred it, and it as not right she got that. The atty is a friend of my sister's and her husband. My sister then asked me "did mom redo her will and did she use the same atty?". I said she did about a year after our sister passed on (she died in April 2004). What she does not know? mom redid it all again last year with a different lawyer. Just don't trust this friend of theirs.

chicky on February 23, 2012:

Reposting - with correct spelling. I hate typos.

MM, thanks - again! I have said no to just handing over more money. I also refused to help coerce Mom into anything. My sister says that they are seeking some help, and based on that outcome, will determine how much or how little I will be involved. My sister did not say what kind of help, but as long as it's not having their hands out at my door or my mom's door, then I am all for it.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on February 01, 2012:

chicky, my sister in family insanity. I must admit when I read your first line I thought your sister was out buying a bunch fo BOGO shoes. Or maybe had an Imelda Marcos collection and was putting them up on eBay. LOL.

So you say now you are "supposed" to "help." Who says you are supposed to help? That doesn't at all sound like YOU talking. And who is directing you to get your mom involved in helping?

If I read between the lines correctly, you are being pressured (blackmailed?) to give money to your failing sister. And she is pulling you in to present a stronger front to your mom so mom can also donate to the (losing) cause. Is that right?

NO. It is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Wake up.

This is 2012. There are millions and millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and lost their homes and figured it out and gotten back on their feet.

THey have done the footwork and looked at all the available programs out there to get rightsized with their spending. Some are able to hold onto their homes by working out a loan modification.

What I hear (or think I hear) your sister saying is she wants you and your mom in her sinking ship with her.

You know as well as I do that any amount of money you lend her, whether $20 or $20,000, is just postponing the inevitable. Why? Because they have shown themselves unable to manage money. They aren't changing themselves, they're just moving into a new supply of money. Yours.

Now I'm the one sounding harsh. But not guilty.

What I could see -- but it's up to you to determine if this will even work with your sister -- is a family meeting where she and her hubby come clean to all concerned. Lay their cards on the table. Instead of jumping in to "fix it" by opening your wallets (which is all they want, I'm sure), your help is providing them with a list of resources. If they are incapable of doing the footwork (and I'm guessing they are totally in shock and overwhelmed) this is the gift you can bring to the table. The best donation you can make to their cause is facts and financial guidance. Surely you know other people who have turned their finances around in this economy. As how they did it. DId they use a government program? A financial planning professional?

Read everything you can about loan modification programs. There are loan brokers out there who are now offering these as part of their business.

In other words, the answers are out there.

This is NOT your responsibility. If you feel generous and want to pay for an hour of credit counseling (with a reputable firm/person) that's awesome. But handing over money or allowing your mom to hand over money is just opening the money pit. They need to relearn having money. They need to do the work and not take a handout.

Am I clear here?

Just say NO to family terrorists!

chicky on February 01, 2012:

Shoes, shoes, shoes ... are dropping. How many feet can one person have? My sister and her husband are so under water it is overwhelming. So, now that I have the "whole" story, I am supposed to "help", and also then "help" them with getting "help" from Mom. I can't do this. I feel guilty even typing that, but this is just not right. Thanks, MM, for giving all of us a place to "vent" and share all our alike stories. Too bad they are not positive ones, but at least we have each other, which is more than we can say for our "family".

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 23, 2012:

I don't understand your comment at all concept originator. Don't know who shirlee is or what your private FB work is. But thanks anyway for taking the time to stop by and share.

concept originator on January 23, 2012:

I don't use yellow college-ruled notebook pads when I long hand, you might want to change that to white.

Thanks shirlee for sharing my private FB work so widely, I appreciate your support and obvious respect for my writing.

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 20, 2012:

Thanks, Nightflower. It's pretty sick when there are only two living siblings, as is the case with my Hubby and his sister. That's 50% rotten.

Oldersister: I am so sorry. As right (and righteous) as you are in standing firm on your side, I know it still hurts to be estranged from your flesh and blood. I cannot even imagine how painful this is for the blood siblings. So grateful that my family didn't disintegrate over my dad's money.

But from all the comments I get on my family betrayal hubs, I can see this is an all-too-common problem.

Thanks for sharing your experience. MM

oldersister on January 20, 2012:

Have been there and done that. My sister was ready to do a short sale on her house and move in with mom with her two adult children, husband and 5 year old. Mom ended up sick with cancer and passed away before she could move in. Then she started working on me. I had thought about allowing her to move in moms house ( which we both inherited) and legally have her pay me my half as if I was the bank. After talking to the lawyer it was more hassle than I wanted to have. I would have to make sure she paid taxes, the homeowners insurance would have to be in both our names in case something should happen, and last but not least if she didn't pay me I would have to foreclose on her and hire an attorney to do so while trying to pay taxes as well, After thinking about it I decided we would just sell the house and she could do what she wanted with her share. This she did not like. She went in the house took all of moms personal items, jewelry etc. People like that feel that they are entitled to things and they expect everyone to help them out every time they make bad choices, When I could not help her she wanted nothing to do with me or my family. She stole moms jewelry and thought it was ok because she deserved it more than me. She honestly believes it. After seeing what she did I was happy that I did not cave in and let her move in the house. I would have lost everything.

It has been a year and half since mom passed and my sister and I do not talk. She does not come to extended family functions and I do not invite her to mine. I have to keep my distance from this leach or she will suck not only the life out of me she will steal , lie and manipulate to bleed my accounts dry.

It is very sad. You love them and would like to help them, but when you do it still is never enough. They want everything to be handed to them, blame everyone else for what has happened to them, and they will never learn from their mistakes. You can keep helping them and they will keep falling and doing the same things over and over again, Sometimes you just need to step back and let them figure it out for themselves.

NightFlower on January 20, 2012:

If you come from a family with siblings numbering more than a few...everybody has at least one. We've got one but I don't think she's quite this bad yet. GOOD write!

Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 20, 2012:

oh chicky, my friend in family crisis. I always wonder when I am going to run into you again. Unfortunately, I always know when I see you you are going to have an update (or I am) and that is NEVER good.

Since she has a lawyer involved, any solution to their debt problems can and should be written into a legal document. We are talking about 4 adults here, not just a couple. They need to make a cost reduction plan.

They are not the first American family to have this happen. Many have gone before them and lived to tell about it. How about declaring bankruptcy???

But if either you or mom DO help out, make sure your contributions are noted IN WRITING in a contract written by the lawyer. Not loosey goosey that they will turn around and claim you never said they had to pay it back.

Honestly, from the situation you describe, it sounds like your sister doesn't want to help herself. She wants to be bailed out of her bad habits.

I'd probably say, "Well, do what your lawyer told you. He's the expert."

Throwing even a few thousand dollars at them with no PLAN on the other side of how that is going to be applied to reducing their debt vs. just continue them in their bad habits.

I hope they also ALL get financial counseling. It's a great wake-up call.

Good luck and stay strong and if you want to keep your mom strong, insist that the family (including mom) meet with the LAWYER together so HE can be the one explaining the options, not your overwhelmed sister.

P.S. I am sorry for her situation but as I said, many have gotten through it and they will too, with some changed attitudes and hard work. Not bailouts.

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