sibling rivalry


Registered User
May 12, 2006
west sussex
Took mum to a funeral this morning, she went up for communion, and on the way back as she gets really confused I gestured to her the way back to me, she spotted my brother and went and sat with him.

Its such a small thing to have happened but it has really upset me, and can't stop thinking about it...

she has lived with me for a year, I shower her, wash her hair, cook all her meals, wash her clothes, take her out, listen to her constant chatterings, and confusions, but its still her precious son thats more important to her...

he said that she should go into a home and was agressive, he takes her for a few hours once a week (even though her money was used to build an extension at his house for her),,,

and her rantings of wanting to "go home" are mixed with "want to go to my son"

I don't regret having mum stay, and it works quite well as I can keep an eye on her, I have given up work to look after her, but I just wish she appreciated me a little more and her son a little less..

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Oh Candy, your post really rang some bells. We cared for my grandmother and all she could talk about was her wonderful son, who lived abroad and wrote her marvellous letters, but did nothing. We spent 6 hours in A&E with her, when she fell, and the whole time, she could only talk about him.
One of my closest friends made a train journey every week, a 200 mile round trip, to see her mother in a NH, and travelled back each time in tears, because all she heard were complaints.
What makes people hurt the ones who show them the most love and care? All I can say is I hope I never get like that. Sylvia


Registered User
May 24, 2006
Oh I had a basinful of it with knobs on
From my earliest childhood i could never do anything right

and when Dementia reared its ugly head matters simply got worse

Even the Vicar who is conducting the Funeral Service was telling us how his GrandMother left everything to her favourite son and then his Mother did exactly the same

Ones children might be very very different but they are EQUAL and i despise anyone who dares to treat them otherwise

I make no concessions for Dementia or any other illness on that score either


Registered User
Apr 30, 2006
Hi candy
We're in a similar situation!!! mum lives with us , I do everything brother does everything right ......

she has lived with me for a year, I shower her, wash her hair, cook all her meals, wash her clothes, take her out, listen to her constant chatterings, and confusions, but its still her precious son thats more important to her...
I could have written that myself......
mum moved in with us in brothers visited her once......Ok ...I really understand now( having had a bit of a bust up with him recently that he really can't cope with this illness) that he has trouble facing visiting her.....but he always was her favourite and even with the dementia he still is........just now and again I'd like a bit of appreciation from mum.....but thats a bit unrealistic.......
I have 3 children....and I have never had a favourite......I have always treated them the same.....not always easy but I have, and always will......


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hiya Candy

Gosh, how lucky am I. I can honestly say my dear old mum moans about me like crazy to my brother, and to me, moans like crazy about my brother, so we are equally p....d off with her sometimes, and feel taken for granted etc. etc.

No doubt though it may well be the 'grass is greener'. I think the main carer always gets it in the neck, puts up with all the nasty bits, and the 'visitor' gets all the nice bits, take heart if you swopped roles, then no doubt you would be the one with the halo.

Doesn't make it any easier I'm sure though.

Keep on gritting those teeth.



Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
Yes, I often wondered what it felt like to be the one who did less but was more highly thought-of.

On one of the occasions when my brother came over to give me a break she cooked dinner for him! This was at a time when most people thought she was hardly able to get out of bed to go to the loo.

All the time I was staying with her she once, just once, made me a cup of tea. But then it was my choice to stay with her.

And she always said she was fair, unlike her own mother ...



Registered User
May 12, 2006
west sussex
Old head on young shoulders

Everyone was out last night, so I kept mulling it over and over again, so that by the time my husband got back at 2230 and my daughter got in I was really tearful.

I know its just such an insignificant thing to have happened and when I was telling my 17 year old about how upset I was, he said rightfully said "gran doesn't know whats she's doing".

I know that, but maybe it makes it even worse, because as she doesn't have the ability to reason, the fact that she went and sat with her son instead of returning to her seat by me...

PS first post I put "lived" she still "lives" with us..


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Not having siblings, saintly or otherwise, this is difficult to relate to. However, I have often listened to my mother on the subject of parents who prefer one child over another. In her case, she was the unfavoured one, but she was the one who gave up work to take my grandmother in when she became frail, not the favoured son or the favoured daughter, both of whom had "live-in" businesses (market garden in one case, shop in another). My grandmother finally left in a huff when my mother got pregnant with me (not so frail I guess). From what I've heard from her, the most difficult thing is that when people don't have dementia, they at least, for the most part, pay lip service to the idea of treating children equally, even if their actions don't necessarily match. When dementia is added to the mix, all those pretences get stripped away, or so it appears, and that's what's so hurtful - the realization that, apparently, you are nothing special. Having said that, I don't think it is actually the whole truth. There you are, slowly losing your grip on reality, and one person (the primary carer) is constantly trying to get you to do this or that. I think it's inevitable that you, the dementia sufferer, are going to feel some level of resentment, particularly as you are in many way's being reduced to a child-like state, with all the powerlessness that that implies. In that situation, I don't think that it's unexpected that you would tend to look more favourably on those people who DON"T care for you, because they don't carry that emotional baggage. It would be logical (if that's a word one can use with this condition) but it doesn't make it any less hurtful.

Just a thought, from someone on the outside looking in.

(Who's somewhat relieved to be an "only")

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
candymostdandy@ said:
I know its just such an insignificant thing to have happened
Not insignificant at all .. it hurt you... and therefore it is significant.... and many here will share that pain ...... and sympathise and empathise with you ..... (I always find it seems the 'silly' or 'little' things that get to me... )

I have no siblings - and from what I've learnt here at times it's a blessing ...

I have no doubt given a choice between myself and mum's sister there's no competition ..... mum would 'chose' Saint Sister' (as I have described her here before ) any day before me in spite of said 'St Sis' doing s*d all and caring for no-one but her self ..... .... reasons and rationale - yup - could go there ...

You have a remarkable 17-year-old son ..... his perception of the situation and his concern for you - not just as his 'mum' but with some understanding of your mum too .... THAT is the most amazing credit to you ..... Fantastic!!!

Can you try to 'ignore' the sibling stuff that upsets you and rejoice in your pride as a mum that must inspire you????

Much love, Karen, x