We just put my mother-in-law in a Memory Care facility because of Dementia. We really want nothing to do with her, and now we're struggling with guilt. Help.

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my most recent comment was directed to impress6
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Some, splaining needs to be done for people to respond to you. Why "don't you want anything to do with her"?
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"threatened to kill me once"

1. Your mother is a danger to others with such murderous threats! Call 911, report this threat and get her committed involuntarily to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

2. Your husband is in a lose/lose situation because she is your mom. Stop hiding behind his britches like my wife use to do.

3. What do you feel about the impact your mother has had on your husband and your marriage?

4. Ya, an't married to mama. She's a sick woman and must gotten into some sort of home.

5. Your feelings of guilt really need help from a therapist because it sounds like your mother trained you tor this time in her life with the guilt button she's pressing right now.

6. Consider yourself very blessed that your husband has stayed for 7 years. He probably has not felt married for seven years of hell.

7. Why did you bring such an abusive person into your house within such intimate range of your marriage.?

8. This is not the time to fall back into emotionally being your mom's little girl. Your mother does not realize this or does not want to face it, but I'm almost certain your husband probably does, Now is the time that your mother, you yourself, your husband, any children you may have at home and your marriage really need you to be and function as your mother's adult child and do the right adult thing.
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My husband and I are struggling. She hit me with a broom the other day and has threatened to kill me once. She hoards "stuff" in her bedroom, has beanie babies and stuffed animals and pictures of dogs all over her room...she cannot relate to people. She is abusive, narcissastic and just plain nasty to everyone. She needs to be evaluated and has already been told she has dementia...my husband is tore up about it and in a "lose/lose" situation. She has lived with him for 7 years in an unhealthy relationship. I feel guilt too trying to get her into a home of some sort. She might be a flee risk as well. What do we do?
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Lynn that was very well said.
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Your wife could be feeling guilt for many reasons and therapy might help her understand and deal with all of it. Personally, I was surprised at the sense of freedom and relief I felt once my father passed and there was less to do. I felt guilt at that sense of relief! Your wife might be grieving over the lack of a good relationship with her mom. Intellectually she might WANT nothing more to do with her mother but emotionally, from the heart, she still wants to be a good daughter. As her spouse, I hope you'll express your appreciation that she is a good daughter, that she has a good heart and support occasional visits to her mom. Tell her often that it's the right and responsible thing to make sure MIL lives in a safe place. Believe me when I say, she can NEVER hear this enough. It might be hard to understand why a child wants to help a parent that's been unkind, selfish or has a toxic personality. The important thing is that the child is a BETTER person; that s/he has a good heart and good soul.
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I agree with you Crowe. Yesterday I went to my moms house to leave money for the man who pulls weeds. I'd told her I was coming to do that. My oldest was on a day off and my youngest, who's going into the Marines shortly and I had a great day planned. I'd told my mom this too.

When I got there mom wanted me to take her outside in the back yard to work in the garden. I'd already told her that I had plans for the day but she kept ignoring me when I would tell her that I could not stay.

Finally I said mom I'm leaving because the boyz and I have plans. My mom said "OK well you go then and when you're finished spending time with them and can find some time for me, come on back".

I've seen the time I would have felt guilty about leaving but because of the last few days that I've spent quality gardening time with my mom I didn't.

When you know that you're doing the right thing, and doing all that you can you cannot feel guilt. It's hard but very possible.
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Wow, incarcerated...jailer...never thought of it this way :-(
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Support groups work for some people and for others private counseling is needed as well as sometimes a support group serves as a stop-gap step to indivual therapy. I was part of an online support group for years before I got individual therapy in dealing with both my wife's and my mother in law's personality disorders. I even tried to be my children's therapists for some time before I burned out and got them into therapy. I was able to educate my sister in law about her mother, but beyond being there for each other, she is in therapy also. Anyone as an adult child or child of a parent with a personality disorder really needs individual therapy.

We must really come to terms with we didn't cause their illness, we can't fix it, nor can we control it. You and your wife have chosen a healthy path for yourself and have done the humane thing by putting your mother in law where she is. Regaurdless of her choices about a healthy path of relating with others or not, you and your wife as well as your children must keep choosing a healthy path for yourself, each other, and your family.
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Perhaps visualize hitting the RESET button, like on your computer for this visiting problem.

When most think of visiting, they think of conversation, talking. When the parent is incarcerated in a nursing home (put yourself in her place), what do they have to talk about but "get me the hell out of here?" If you all had no clue she had dementia, then she must have a lot of oomph left in her (ie, she knows where she is, she knows who put her there, she can still verbally complain, she could have continued living with you if her behavior was better).

So, there she is. I would mentally step back from the situation and picture the visit more as a therapist would. An activities director. Load a rolling suitcase with a variety of things to DO: Portable DVD player (or laptop) and DVDs that can stand repeat showings (Andre Rieu, Mama Mia, Classical Baby are our favs) or just released movies, massage wand, photo books or books that can be read in a session. Order her a session with the NH's salon (hair, nails, pedicure) and keep her company during the session. Visit during exercise classes, meal times and help feed her, form alliances with others at the table. Can birds and squirrels be fed out on the patio? (bring peanuts, seed, bread to toss...and be willing to sweep up mess). Put bird feeder outside her window or sliding door, refill it when you visit. Do you have a dog? Some NH's allow pet visitors or they may have a pet therapy program. Come when the official pet therapist is there so you are not alone with her. Animals are a great distraction and you can both appreciate the pup.

Get her a few magazine subscriptions delivered to your house, her name on them, and deliver them to her when you visit. Get a bunch of greeting cards with funny photos, and spend an hour writing messages in them. Address them all at once, and every few days mail one off. My niece does that for her grandma. The evps are covered with cute stickers.

Share an ACTIVITY together and casual small talk might follow. Even if you all don't like her, you can still offer her something to enrich her life. Eventually, she might see you as less prison guard and more a source of enrichment. When something tickles her fancy, be big enough to allow her the enjoyment, and then elaborate that into your activity bag of tricks. And focus on things you and your wife already enjoy (perhaps classical music, or ballet DVDS), so you get something from it also.

Mom isn't in a nursing home yet, but this is the approach I've used with her for almost 8 years now. At first, being her caregiver and ripping myself from my wonderful community I'd worked 20 years at creating for myself...I blamed Mom and didn't even want to look at her. I kept blaming her for not generating her own life, for interfering with mine...for obliterating mine.

Oh, here's another approach. Willingly take on the mantle of Bad Cop and don't take it personally when she complains. BUT arrange for a Good Cop (or visualize changing roles). I do this with two nieces, the ones who send cutsie cards regularly, who do fun webcam visits.

Mom is grunting to get up.
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