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Now that Mom is in the hospital and doesn't have much time left guess who is parading around with her family pretending that she is heartbroken. I'm so mad I can't breathe. For ten years she treating my Mother badly -and now... thanks for letting me vent. I am too well brought up to make a scene at the hospital but I would love to tell her what I think about her.

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This thread is from 2010. The most recent comment is a year-and-a-half old.
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Altersheim, as long as your SIL isn't bothering your mother then just let it be - you can perfectly well despise SIL in private, after all. If she *is* upsetting your mother, that's different. You'll need to find a nicer and more charitable of doing what I did, which was to hiss to my partner at the time "get her out of that bedroom before I drag her out by her hair."

Helen, I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I know how heart-breaking and sickening it is to hear your demented mother pining for a favourite child. Now listen. Your mother made her relationship with her son over many years, many years ago. Granted she didn't pick out your SIL, I dare say; but she made your brother the man who did pick out your SIL. Don't fall into the trap of imagining that poor helpless brother is in the toils of evil witch SIL. It takes two to tango, and they are a married couple.

So sympathise with and comfort your mother; but as far as you can divert her from the subject of your brother and do not attempt to force events. Make it clear to SIL and brother at every appropriate opportunity that you know your mother would like to see him; but MS or no MS, he can come to her if he wishes to see her before she passes. You have enough to deal with as your mother moves towards the end of life. Cross your brother off your To Do list. It will be *such* a relief.
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Well sandwich32plus....I think you hit a cord here. (or rather unfortunately the discord). I'm so glad you posted that. I'm still wondering wondering why about people and families and then I have my own issues to deal with. My brother is the only one of us 3 that got married and has 3 successful boys all over 30 years of age. One is actually a millionaire. This 'one' with the money and his wife had a kid about a year and a half ago and STILL has not brought the child to meet her great grandmother (who is sweet and a dear). What is up with that? These boys live all over the country and the world actually and travel quite extensively yet WHY OH WHY OH WHY can they continually hurt her this way. My father just passed from Alzheimer's earlier this year and only one of them visited him on his deathbed. GET THIS. The other two did not so much as call her or send a card. My brother actually called them to have them talk to her after a month or so. I can only seriously sum this up as the ignorance of my brother (alot of what sandwich said too) and the insensitve uncaring way their mother (my sister in law) brought them up. I wonder if it's just they have money and we don't. I don't know but it's sad. Again thanks sandwich for the view.
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*know
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So sorry for all this sadness, my experiences are similar. Why do these things hurt when we know from whence the insults and slights come? Sometimes I ponder,
is life better, easier when one is a selfish unfeeling person? Not a single person in my own husband's family said a word when my bio-mom died, that was hard. I
do not say anything as I want my son to have all the family he can. I hope they are nicer to him. As an orphan, I no the world is hard on those without family, so I do much to prevent that from happening to him. Anything that will be a buffer between him and a harsher world, even the small kindness that may come from
these selfish paternal relatives.
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I have a theory.

Some people have the ability to handle aging, sickness, death, & dying in an age-appropriate way. Some people don't. They run away, regardless of who it is.
It triggers something deep inside they have to flee or avoid at all costs.
This tears families apart for years and decades and generations from all the hard feelings it causes between the caretakers and the "care-avoiders".

I think the avoiders put on all kinds of shows to cover up the fear, the feelings. Better to look callous than inept. Better to be too busy than deal with the sadness and despair and helplessness. Better to never say goodbye at the end than confront the overwhelming emotions. The guilt over that is better than the other.

It looks poor. I think they know it. They can't handle it and don't know it consciously or what to do. It's intimidating when conversation, nurturing, or understanding the sickness and death process don't come naturally.

Maybe try a new question that isn't about your own feelings: :Sis, why does it seem so hard for you to visit mom?" Or, "I was wondering if you're having a hard time with mom's illness."
Don't ask in an accusatory way, just curiously.

In my own family, nobody would visit my mom before I moved her. They knew it would be the last time they would probably see her in this life, and they didn't come. One aunt tried. The one aunt who was even sicker and in worse shape than mom! Bless her. But it didn't happen.

It would be great if everybody could come at this with the same level of maturity and capability, but we don't live in that world sadly.
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OMG Altersheim, please don't get me wrong, but I am happy that I am not alone with the SIL from..... another planet.... I am so sorry. I think yours and mine could be related. When she finally did come to hospice, I found her at my mums bedside with the Chaplain, her head was on his shoulder and she was balling, crying how she JUST couldn't stand seeing *Grandma* (my mum her mother in law) like this... I left them alone, but could hear her whaling 100feet away. Within hours of that she took off with her friends and went camping!!! Didn't even come back when mum died 3 days later. She didn't even come to the very informal service I had... In fact I called her to ask her why she didn't come, and didn't come with my mother's grand children.... Within hours of leaving a voice mail with that question, she showed up on the doorstep... 5 children, 2 hers, standing behind her... pushing her way in... She proceeded to ask me if my brother, her husband had talked to me, telling me I need to apologize to her...for leaving that message, and not inviting her and the kids to the service. She began to close the door, shutting out the 5 bewildered kids, at which point I calmly suggested she leave. She proceeded to tell me to stop making a scene infront of my mum's best friend who was standing stunned in the kitchen. She refused to leave, said that her friend who was outside wanted to TALK to me... Don't forget, I had just lost my mother, and had had a very emotional service for her not 2 hours before.... I was amazed at my continued calm.... I am not always that way.... Anyway, she wouldn't stop, and kept coming too close to me, I told her to leave, if she didn't I'd call the police... it took several more threats before I was able to guide her to the door and OUT. ... This woman is seriously unwell... When my brother died she did something I will not get into, but it was horrific for my parents and myself. When my dad was sick and dying she again made problems, and again with my mum... Everything has to always be about her... Lastly, mum died on a Tuesday morning, on the Sunday I had called, texted and all but pigeon mailed my brother begging him to come be with me I needed him, I needed comfort as I watched our mother die. At first I thought he'd come, he said he would... but when he hadn't shown up 3 hours later, I text messaged him again.. he said that his family needed him, that his children were grieving for their grandma... he hope my husband and son would be there for me... 1900 miles away! duh.... Anyway... when he finally showed up the next day... with the kids I had the chance to talk to the children and I asked what they did the day before....Well nothing really, daddy was home with us... mommy went to a baby shower.
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Thanks for these threads for keeping me halfway sane! My mother who is dying, live with my husband and kids and it has been very hard as she has needed someone to be with her at all times for the past year. I have a sister and a SIL who have been so helpful, but have 2 sisters that have floored me over and over in the past year with their behavior and how selfish they are. I am so angry at them for how they have treated my mother; I know they don't care the burden it has placed on me and my family, but that is secondary to my mothers loneliness and not understanding why this is happening, it's so heart wrenching.I have asked, begged, been nice, been mad, been non communicative, basically anything I can think of, none of which has helped. I feel so stuck bc I know the only thing that will make it better is when it's all over. One thing that makes me feel better is to realize there are all different kinds of people who treat each other with varying levels of compassion. Now that I know how they treat people, I can disengage peacefully, know that I did the best I could for my mother and they absolutely have lost all value to me. But I know they will contest her estate, question every expenditure and accuse me of stealing. At least they're predictable. Thank you again to everyone, this is my saving activity some days
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Oh my, can I relate to the postings on this thread. Mom passed last month at 90. I am having a hard enough time already with this as she lived with us for the past 9 years and I miss her greatly. Shortly before she died my sister and her adult children came to visit my mom - it had been 20 years of virtually no contact and never in person. Guess who didn't wait a month after her passing to ask for copies of the will. And now she is trying to get her medical records. Sigh. Everything is being referred to the estate attorney.
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I totally understand everyone's feelings here. I took my grandmother in to my home to keep her out of a nursing facility. We had to buy a bigger home and cannot sell the old one due to the economic times. We're almost bankrupt due to it. But, no one in the family seems to care. My uncle, Gran's only surviving child, only comes to see her once or twice a year; though he lives less than an hour away. He will take longer drives to go see his wife's family or to go hunting. He calls every night and thinks that he is doing is duty. I have to take care of all her business; though he refuses to let me have access to her account to even make sure she has enough money in the bank to pay her bills. He got everything of hers signed over into his name (I found that out after we moved her in with us when I was trying to take care of her affairs). I have three sisters who never call, write or come by. One sister hasn't even been to see her in over two years. Pathetic!
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Hello Altersheim,
Unfortunately I am in a situation that perhaps is even more horrific. My brother and sister-in-law live 1 block away from my mom. I am an hour away. For the last 10 years or more, sister-in-law refused to come to mom's for any family gatherings, especially after dad died. In fact, she was unwilling to do anything for my mom, even to pick up a quart of milk. She feels threatened by my brother's close relationship with mom, and has distanced her two sons, now 28 and 26 from family. I have been the main caregiver for mom, but when she had a mini stroke and diagnosis of moderate Alzheimers 3 years ago, mom has required 24 hour care. Of course, no one was there to help her but me, and I had to arrange interviewing, hiring, and all things related. To add to this, my brother gets diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 4 years ago and it has progressed quickly to the point that he is bed ridden for the last year. She has not allowed my mom to see him in her house, since no one is allowed in. I have begged, pleaded and my brother won't stand up to her because she is so distraught with him and he is totally dependent on her for everything. He lives in a bed in their living room. They can't get him out of the house because they don't have a ramp. Don't ask me why. Brother was hospitalized this spring with an infection, developed sepsis and almost died. While in rehab, I was able to arrange my mother's sister to bring my mom in a wheelchair to see her son, my brother, who she had not seen in 2 and a half years due to sister-in law's rules. I have not been allowed to see my brother in his home since June . Mind you that I am in the neighborhood 1-2x a week. In September my mom was hospitalized with pneumonia and her dementia worsened. She stopped eating and was unable to take her medications that would keep her safe from seizures and stroke. No one visited her except my sons, not her other grandsons. No one has visited her since. She has not seen my brother's sons in 2 years (they live around the block). MOM IS DYING now, I elected to have a feeding tube put in her, thinking how could I deny my mom food and water because she was disabled? I regret this decision because my mom was miserable afterwards. But, she is calmer now and I have continued to keep her home. I just came to accept that the quality of mom's life is poor and last week I asked the doctor to sign a DNR form, so that if 911 were called, mom would be spared from more invasive life preserving measures and be allowed to die. This has been a process for me, but in this process, I called my brother last week and said, "do you want to see mom before she dies?" and his answer was yes. Somehow however, I don't think he realizes that she can get sick at any time and that's it. I emailed my sister in law and brother and requested that I bring my mom over to see her son one last time, and they refused. Just to let you know, my mom cries and calls out for him every day for 3 years. My sister- in law fears that my brother will get worse with MS symptoms and my brother will get emotional. I told him to stop thinking about himself and allow his mom to see him. One cannot fathom the rage I have had toward this sick sister-in-law who has estranged herself, her sons, and now has isolated my disabled brother, not allowing him to see his mom; He will do what she wants because he has to, he has no choice. Oh, and yet their 28 year son, my nephew and my mother's grandson is getting married in January. Their comment was "Why can't we see her then at the wedding?" My mom may not be alive by then, and I don't know if I can get her to the wedding in her condition. I want to boycott this ceremony and not go to the wedding with my family, since they are not acting like family. My friend says that my sister in law is sick, has problems and one cannot expect normal behavior from a sick person. Does anyone have any ideas? I can just bring my mom over and sit on her doorstep until they open the door, but I don't want to put mom through that. I was thinking of talking to their priest, who I know, who knows my mom and the family. It is so wrong to deny my dying mom 5 minutes with her son.
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Alter - I'm sorry that your mom passed; she was lucky to have you and all the patience you had for all this time. When my dad passed and others tried to cause me problems, I started everyday by looking at all the things I had to do and then I added in at least one thing that would be just for me - something that would help me maintain my emotional health. It's not self-centered, it's self-preservation - and it's just fine!!!

Remember there's not a thing wrong with "going silent" on the SIL, communicate only with your brother and ignore her. Life is too short to put up with manipulative BS when there's no reason to do it any more. Give yourself permission to do things at YOUR pace and to heck with everyone else!!! The next year might have some tough moments - the first mothers day without Mom, the first Thanksgiving, etc - save your emotion for those times when you're grieving again.
good luck!
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It happens in the best and worst of families. You are not alone. I don't wish bad 'karma' on anyone, but sooner or later, the people that do nothing, have all answers, display false emotions, etc., have their day of recogning. Stay away from a hospital scene, Family been there done that, and it is remembeed for a long time. Unfotunately for your sister-in-law, if she has children, they see/will have genes similar to her, at least one. She will have to deal at some point with same situation of either no help, too busy, uncaring, you did same, so what is different now? It comes home. I have seen in more than once. I do not wish ill feelings on her, but the fact remains, that whatever you do, comes back to you, at some point. She knows you are totally disgusted. She is thriving on that. Don't make your last memories of your mom, spiteful of you sister-in-law. It is time now for you and your mom, after that, you will have good memories of spending cherished moments with her and not issuing with sister-in-law. Your time is not better spent with your mom. Also your sister-in-law has a denial problem, or closeness issues. Chances are they were inherited. You can do nothing about that. I know it is hard. My dad and his sister/brother had disagreements, and they to realized it was no good. May God Help You now.
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Altersheim, sorry about your mom. You're probably right about your sister-in-law, it's too bad she has taken up so much space in your mind though. Just tell her to 'bite me' and leave her alone. You go your way, and she can go hers. What you really need is probably a vacation.
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Thank you all so much for taking out the time to give me some support. Sadly, (I am close to hysteria) Mom passed away a couple of days ago. SIL sends me messages daily... I want to scream - not because I care about SIL in the slightest - I've long given up caring about her but was being polite for my Mom's sake - but because of all the pain that SIL has caused my sweet sweet Mother in the past (no Mom didn't want to see SIL any more after all the drama SIL has caused throughout the years). SIL is only being nice because she knows I am now the trustee of Mom's estate.... - or maybe I am being unkind - she could have become a completely different person in the last week but am not holding my breath. I will however be fair and get everything settled - then I will bid SIL adieu....

LynnPO - I am so sorry that you know how I feel - I just can't comprehend how people can behave so badly - then act like they were caring... etc. Maybe it's what they tell themselves so that they can look at themselves in the mirror... Sigh.
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I agree with you, naheaton. Altersheim, you have anticipatory grief and substantive things in your life to deal with right now. Your SIL's selfishness says everything about her, and not you. Don't waste your precious life energy at this end-of-life transition fork in the road by playing to your SIL's social mania. If, after your mother dies, you still feel like confronting SIL, you'll have plenty time then. Now, your Mom needs you, and you need to say your peaceful goodbyes to your Mom. Peace.
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I could be mad at my deseased uncle who refused to visit his sister only an hour and a half away because it would be too depressing to see her in a nursing home, but would ride 14 hours to see his daughter and grandchildren 5 states away as well as take boat rides with them long before he was diagnosed with liver cancer. I can say the same about my mother's sister who has not visited her in more than a year since that hip surgery, but she's traveled with her boys and their families to the beach this summer and to visit her brother before he died as well as for the funeral. My boys and I don't feel like we are even considered part of that side of my family although when my mother dies one day and I inherit several hundred of the almost 1,000 acres of total land among the four farms of my grandmother's estate, I will not just sell them my third and leave. I wish things were different, but they aren't. I wish that I could fix something, but I can't. I didn't make any of these poor decisions that her siblings made to create this mess. The same is true for you and the SIL. I think that I'd start damage control already by letting people know casually that SIL is near but far away. Bet to you and your entire situation.
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As mad as you are at the sister-in-law, it's not about you. If it gives your mother any comfort in seeing her daughter-in-law come around and spend time with her, then let it go. After she dies that's a different story.
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Alter - Ya know what - I say if you don't care about the relationship with S.I.L. after your Mom's gone - tell her just what you think. Really - you can do it without blowing up - you can do it just quietly when you're alone with her. If she makes a scene about it or tells others in the family- tell them she's making things up. Tell them that she must be feeling guilty so instead of waiting for a scene, she's trying to get sympathy for herself. Tell them she's pathetic to make up such drama when your mom is really the one who should hold the center of attention.

She's manipulating - manipulate right back. I'm sick to death of these people who do everything for appearances - my own brother and his family are masters at it. They do one measly thing for my Mom and they brag about it for YEARS. Their friends and people at church - my Mom's church - believed they did so much for her. They even told the congregation that Mom's demented so no one visited Mom for 6 months!!! All that changed when I visited and gave the pastor heck for failing to visit. Sometimes you just HAVE to say something - if you can't say it to her, talk with your brother and see if that makes you feel better.

I've been in your shoes - I kept quiet for 20 years so I could develop a relationship with my nieces and nephews and to keep my dad happy. Now the kids are grown and dads gone, it's time to set myself free - no more faking it. I don't want to see my brother so I don't and everyone understands that it's the healthy thing for ME.

Good luck to you - it's a tough situation.
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