Dorker Posted June 2017

I'm so disheartened and angry.

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I've posted before about in-law care-giving. Aged mother in law, lives in same town.


We are at the tail end of a visit from sister in law from several states away. Sister in law has been here for 3 weeks caring for her mother. A much welcome respite.


It had been discussed, prior to her arrival here on the scene, she would be talking it over with her mother, to try and get her mom to come up to her home, for a stay of maybe a few months.


This, in my opinion, is absolutely essential, as I am expecting twin grand-children, due in about 1 month (if they don't come sooner, as is the case a lot of times with multiples pregnancies). The expectant mother also lives locally here, and has a 4 year old daughter. I will be on that front, helping .. as much as is needed. And not on the front with mother in law and care-giving, and have made that as obvious and apparent as I know how to make it. It would be great if mother in law would agree to go to her daughter's home (several states away) for a period of a few months .. and allow me the latitude to put my energies where I want them to be, on my daughter who will have had a c-section .. and my grand-daughter (4 years old) and new twin babies.


Nothing doing. Mother in law has dug in her heels, and will not hear of it, going to stay with her daughter for any period of time.


What are her reasons?


In mother in law's defense ... her daughter ... I don't even know how to describe it. I will say that when her daughter comes here to visit, she all but breathes for her mother and if she could find a way to do that, she'd do that too. She is the most nervous nelly, never sit down - ever ... worry wart, do everything, all the time .. person that I've ever encountered.


A great example, as I was taking her to the airport yesterday for her departure, . I reached into the fridge to grab myself a bottled water and shut the fridge and turned to walk away, as I've done for all of my 50 plus years living on this earth .. and she said to me, "Oh make sure that fridge shut". WTH???? Like I don't know how to shut a fridge? That's just a small, very small slice of what she is ... how she is.


She is so very hyper-vigilant, seeing to every minute details down to it's finest most minuscule point, fine tooth comb, questioning every point along the way, "should we do thus and so, but maybe if we do thus and so, then such and such will happen, maybe we should do it thus and so .. but then so and so might happen, maybe we shouldn't do thus and so, but do "x" "y" and "z" instead, but if we don't do it that way then ..........", on and on and on and on it goes. And usually in hyper warp speed, as to every single friggin thing.


If her mother moans .. "what's wrong mother?, why did you moan, are you alright?".


Mother: "Yes, I'm fine, I was just sighing out loud".


Sister: "Why did you sigh? Are you hurting, are you sure you're alright, why are you sighing what's the matter?"


Mother: "For God's sake __________________, I was just sighing, .. calm down, I'm fine".


Sister: "Are you sure, .. because if something is wrong you need to tell me".


Mother: "Everything is fine, I'm fine".


Sister: "Are you sure, we did a lot yesterday, did we do too much, maybe we shouldn't of gone to two doctors in one day .. was that too much for you, are you too tired now, maybe we need to move those other doctor appointments so we won't have two in one day, is that too much for you, for one day .. is that why you were sighing .. what's wrong, are you sure you're alright".


Hopefully that kinda gives a little bit of a snapshot of what goes on when sister is in the ring directing things.


So in mother in law's defense.. I do get it, why she wouldn't be chomping at the bit to go to her daughter's home.


BUT ....


The only experience she has with her daughter, in the last years as mother in law has aged and been unable to go anywhere much, has been the daughter coming here, periodically, for periods of about 3 weeks at a stretch. When her daughter comes here, she moves heaven and earth for her mother and then some, and doesn't sit down, doesn't stop .. the WHOLE ENTIRE TIME.


Is there a possibility maybe (as I said to mother in law, when she expressed that isn't happening - talking to me - her going to her daughters .. ever) .. could it be possible that maybe if you would go to where she lives .. she'd be more busy managing her own life in that setting than your's and she would get out of your backside .. and not be as hyper-drive-vigilant as you experience in her, when she's here, could that be possible.


The daughter is retired, lives several states away. Does come here, generally, every few months .. and stays for a period of about 3 weeks at a stretch. I wish I could make a list of everything the daughter did when here this last time, but it would take up the whole character allotment:

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Dorker 14 hours ago
I think Stacyb touched the nail on the head on it all.

But first .. no .. YD is not always "happy" to oblige the situation. I think she does so out of obligation .. at times. She is certainly not always gleefully marching off to the next need. She sometimes balks. I have told her every way I know how, .. that she is free to say no, anytime she'd like, not her problem. She did do so the other day, and good for her.

And yes, I do very much see the gift card as bait to string along YD .. not as the "gift" it may have been intended to be. And no, I never once was given a gift card, not would I have wanted one.

But Stacyb, hit the nail on the head. It's the anxiety of it all, that other posts here talk about. The always living on the edge of the next "need".

No, it isn't mine to see about, .. not at all. But .. it is mine to deal with if I .. per se .. make plans for us to do something (which we rarely do, we are truly homebodies) .. all knowing .. the other shoe could drop there, and DH maybe have to run in that direction and depending on the severity of the situation (say a hospitalization) then poochy has to be picked up and attended to here .. in my home, by me.

It's that living on the edge constantly of what next. That's it. It's not that I spend every day laboring over there, in care of MIL .. not anymore. It's the anxiety of "what if". Living that every day ..

I was reflecting back on last year this time .. or a almost about this time .. when DD and babies came here from the hospital when they were born, and MIL's a/c went out .. and that whole train wreck.

DH had offered MIL and poochy come here, as respite from a home with no a/c.

I opened an aorta over that.

I had a mom here recooping from c-section, their unruly family dog, .. their newborn twins .. and their .. at that time 3 yo. I need a feeble old lady here with her aged needy poochy like a hole in my damn head.

I remember some here, had said .. go online, find her a suitable hotel .. and book a room for her.

Thinking on that specific point. I explained at that time, .. this is yet one more reason why she doesn't have any biz living alone. The above situation .. she is no more equipped to be in a hotel room on her own .. with no assistance, than the man on the moon. She wouldn't, at all, be able to get out to take poochy out, nor get out and about to get something to eat. THAT COMPROMISED.

But yet .. she is allowed the latitude to continue living alone.

That little story was about this time last year. She has certainly not had any miraculous recovery since that time, and running marathons now.

But at home she stays. And SIL stays in IL to dog sit.


Bitter, yes! You bet I am. Very.

I realize, that is ruminating .. on something that long since occurred and is over with and won't happen again, no matter what. DD is not going to show up here to stay with newborn babies .. and so even if MIL's a/c went out again today .. it wouldn't be the same nightmare in that I don't have DD staying here recooping and so forth.

But .. just .. even thinking about the whole thing .. just .. this is a person they deem okay to live alone.

I'm telling ya here folks .. if I were to go get her a hotel room . .right this minute for whatever reason .. and one that is pet friendly and ADA compliant .. she STILL would be at a loss to manage. That's the God's honest truth! She would in no way be able to get out and walk her dog, and then bend over and pick up his excrement .. nor would she be able to get .. even across the way there to a Burger King in the same parking lot, to be able to eat.

It's that bad, and I'm not exaggerating.

But by GOD there are some dogs that are being looked after with a vigilance like none other.
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Dorker 14 hours ago
Pamzimmrrt. The young man lost both legs .. and is still in the trauma unit .. and both of the top of his arms were blown out .. by the explosion, but thankfully are salvageable and won't have to be removed. He does still have, somehow, some movement in his fingers, though not the range of motion one would want .. nor the strength in his hands. PT will be in order for that, as well as other issues. But first lots of skin grafts.

The young man has the best attitude, as does his family. I don't know how. How do you face life at 17 years old with skin grafts .. months and months or that, .. and PT .. and prosthetics .. for legs .. and have such a positive attitude? How? But somehow he does .. he is convinced he will "Walk" out of the hospital. His family, the same. And yes, my brother and his wife are friends of this family have been since before this kid was even born.

My brother and his wife are still heartbroken .. and just trying to keep their heads up .. as this is weathered. They're doing the best they can daily to just go about their lives.

They finally, this past weekend, went to visit some friends that live in a beautiful setting on the water and have an infinity pool .. and they spent the afternoon there, escaping all the worry .. if only for a little bit. It was just a change of scenery for them. Their sentiment one of, "how can we go and enjoy anything, there is a kid laying in the trauma unit .. and we have no right to "enjoy" anything". But they did go, for an afternoon and I think it helped their psyche a bit.

They do go and visit the young man a couple of times a week . and he's always so glad to see them. The young man is convinced my brother saved his life! He probably did.

But such a life altering tragedy, all of it.
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pamzimmrrt 16 hours ago
HOw is the situation with your brother and that young man? This keeps popping into my mind. It's a huge thing, they must be frantic, and they are friends with the young mans family?
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staceyb 20 hours ago
No mention of MIL going SIL's? How rude! She is seriously burying her head in the sand, isn't she? Oh would if you could, make up some elaborate story that you need to be off caring for Your Own Mom, following up on some problems for her for a month or so, taking care of a string of trivial things that Your Mom has been putting off, like cardio, pulmonary, dermatology and throw in a knee replacement or something! No I know, this won't work, as it Still doesn't take away the every day stressors of worrying about her!

Grrr, she needs to Wake Up, and pull herself together and come Pick Up her Mother for a few months, just to give you a break from all of THIS, as even when you aren't actually there caring for MIL, you are non-stop thinking about and worrying about her! Its just not healthy for you!

It must be so hard, and so frustrating for you, to .Never be able to turn your mind off, while she's allowed to "rest up", and take care of her own needs, when you cannot even make simple plans, without worrying whether or not MIL is going to have a Fall, or if she's going into Heart Failure, from not taking her Water Pills! You Need a Break from it all, a Real 2-3 months break, away from all this Thinking!

It's Time, time for You to come Clean with SIL that you Are Seriously Burnt Out, not so much from the actual Doing (let's face it, your constant worrying, stepping and fetching has been going on for Years), but from the Constant Worrying and Concern for her, as there is Never an hour that goes by, that you aren't thinking about her and her Welfare! It's just Not Fair!

And the "gift card", let's face it, was a kind gesture, but how many gift cards have You Received in the past Year? It must have felt like a slap in the face, or yes, a feeling like SIL is just reeling your daughter in for more errands for her Grandmother, where Dd probably is Happy to do these types of things for her of her own accord, but just doesn't want to get roped in, as she has seen You have been in the past! It's all about those boundries, and SIL has None where it comes to asking, Anyone! Uggg!

I'd come right out and ask her, "just When Are You planning to come and take your Mom back to your home, as I need a flipping break here, from the Constant Worry about Your Mom!

Uggg, I can't take it!

Hugs to you Dorker, I saw my own Mom go through this with the care of my Grandmother in our home. My Nana came to live with us from Wales UK, when I was a kid, about 15, with NO relief or ever a potential for relief, Ever! It was exhausting for her! It was just what our family did, well it was even what We did, with my FIL living here with Us those 13 years. Whatever you do, do not give up that yellow room!
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Countrymouse 23 hours ago
Hugs Dorker.

You're feeling jaundiced about everything, no?

SIL could have meant the gift card to say "thank you," of course.

And you could tell SIL how you're tired and wrung out, too, and why.

But most of all, the dog-sitting thing. You feel furious that this is an obstacle to moving MIL to IL. But it isn't, you know. The obstacle to MIL's moving is MIL. And just as the dog-sitting is SIL's pretend reason, it's equally your acceptable focus of resentment. When the real root of your resentment is a) the excessive amount of your time and effort already expended on someone else's mother (note, I do mean *excessive*. I don't mean the reasonable, friendly support you were perfectly happy to give her over the years), because who likes to be mistaken for a doormat?; and b) that you are still burdened with feeling responsible for MIL, even though you cannot take responsibility or, indeed, make any positive changes.

You are sore about it. I'm not surprised, and I don't blame you. You've only just removed yourself from under all this and it's still difficult for you to look on it with detachment.

I just wonder if a little plain speaking might make you feel better. There is such a thing as a critical friend, and being honest with SIL doesn't have to mean ripping her head off.
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Dorker Jul 21, 2018
Okay so yesterday YD gets a gift card of $50 to a store from SIL.

Unfortunately I've become so jaded that I don't see it as the possible "nice gesture" it was intended to be, in compensation for her help with MIL. I see it, . .as bait to string along, yet another person who can step n fetch ... in chief, .. for SIL .. to send directives to.

YD is an adult and has been told repeatedly she can say no. If she chooses to take the bait .. (the way I see it) .. that's certainly her choice, for certain. But nonetheless, it does make my blood boil .. that SIL would choose to sit up in IL and dog-sit rather than retrieve her mom as has been talked about ad nauseum.

And, ...

I hadn't heard anything from SIL, her so buried in the visit by the royal family .. other than the debacle on the dental thing ..

The royals now gone ....

She texted me last night. Just conversational stuff .. about how tired she is, misses her g'kids but that they are both (she and her DH) pretty exhausted. That set to get her colonoscopy this week upcoming .. and will be glad to be past that .. inquiring on the situation with my brother and the injured kid and how that scene is going .. and then saying she'd be sitting for her daughter's dogs while her daughter trains for a new job.

I answered it, .. should've just ignored it. But I answered, the truth .. (bought me some time) .. that I'm working on some online continuing education and can't talk right now.

But haven't bothered to answer her any further since I put away the online course I'm doing .. and won't be answering her. Just ignoring it.

I'm still so fed up and angry with her .. with she and DH both .. that neither will "engage" and do what they should. She .. choosing to dog sit .. DH choosing to ignore it all .. side line sitting.

But mostly with her .. she's known all along what it is that should be occuring.

I have no desire to even be conversational with her, on the anything. From the price of peanuts to the color of tulips............. don't care to even speak to her.

So .. ignoring.

Just fed up, even still.

Yes, I know green chairs and all. But I have to figure out how to be that same green chair.
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Dorker Jul 19, 2018
Mission creep indeed Surprise. Probably because I feel guilty, even still, about this needy frail old woman who has no other outlet or means (chooses not to utilize other means) to get out to anything she needs. So on the Thursday I do go .. mission creep ..

Interesting she mentioned as the MRI was offered, .. "not now", and then later said, "it's just so hard to get to where I need to go". I never offered, "Well I come on Thursdays". If she doesn't know that on her own .. without prompt .. so be it. If she doesn't deem it important enough, this painful rib/back issue that she'll see to getting it looked after however she can get there, whenever, so be it.

And also interestingly enough. I purposely did not arrive today my usual 1 1/2 or so hours ahead of time to keep her on target. Appt was at 10:15 (it's way on the other side of town from where she lives, a good 30 mins away, if traffic is zipping along, if not, longer than 30 mins). Told her I'd be there at 9:30 .. and I arrived right about 9:30.

Know what time we walked out the door, ... ??? .. for what would take us 30 mins to get there, ..

10:05 AM.

Yes we were late. She's lucky they didn't refuse to see her. We arrived there at about 10:40.

Why wasn't she ready at the 9:30 hour? Because she hadn't yet eaten .. so she had to do that. She hadn't let her dog out, I did that for her .. she hadn't yet gone to the bathroom one last time .. she hadn't yet told me the latest about thus and so .. which she has to stop everything to do, . not one that can walk/talk at the same time anymore.

I think I'll start lying to her. If her appt is for 10 AM .. I'll tell her it's a 9 AM appt.

Maybe .. just maybe then we'll be on time....or closer to it.

But yes, mission creep. I got there at 9:30 .. got home about 3:30 from it all.

Used to, I'd go there 1 1/2 hours or so early to keep her on task .. so that would've had me there at 8:00 AM. Nope.
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surprise Jul 19, 2018
Dorker, I could have sworn you agreed to Thursday mornings around the house. Not the whole day on the town. Ie, mission creep still.
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Dorker Jul 19, 2018
Thankfully, a quick glance of MIL's calendar for the next couple of Thursdays to see if I'm slated to go to derm doc .. nope, not there. Not yet. So no confronting on that issue. Let sleeping dogs lay as they say.

Today's visit, all-in-all, uneventful, sans the stepnfetch involved. But hey, that's what I agreed to .. 1 day, Thursdays.

Doc visit for knee injections, and yes I did have them listen to her chest, as well as poke around a bit .. as to what's this mysterious back/rib pain .. and explained it's been a result of the fall she took in December. The recommendation, they will write an order for an MRI if she'd like, could be perhaps some soft tissue/ligament issue, not sure. MIL declined, "for now" as she put it. Fine, didn't push it.

Then off to lunch out, which she seemed to enjoy thoroughly. Two lunches out i one week, .. a feat for her.

Then, to the grocery to pick up a few things, then to the vet to pick up poochy vegetarian snacks.

Then back to her house, to put away the few things from the grocery and put batteries into her BP machine .. and go outside and sweep off the deck, and dead-head some flowers and empty them of rainwater .. and wash out her outside trash can.

Done and gone.

No mention at all of any skin lesion and what must we do. Nor did I mention it. As well as her having declined an MRI for the back/rib issue. So be it.
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Countrymouse Jul 19, 2018
SIL deciding anything would be a welcome relief, surely. It's the here we go round the mulberry bush aspect of her deliberations that would have driven me to drink by now.

I mean, blimey. Does anyone produce a calendar with step-by-step instructions on how not to double-book yourself? It'd make a great Christmas gift for her.*

Meanwhile it might cheer you up to remember House M.D.'s take on dermatology: "if it's wet keep it dry, if it's dry keep it wet, if it shouldn't be there cut it off. I could never master all that..."

*Actually, I know of one. It's called a DodoPad and they make excellent family organisers.
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