New to the intro.

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A friend pointed me to the site today, I've been reading it voraciously and decided to post an intro.

I'm 47 (48 next week), married for 16 1/2 years (together for 18) and raising three children - college, high school and middle school. Currently I am the "go-to" girl for my 91-year-old mother-in-law, who is in assisted living. She has two living children, her son - my husband, and her daughter (SIL), as well as multiple grandchildren.

This is NOT my mother (NOTmyCIRCUS!), her children are the co-trustees, but because I don't work full-time, I was relegated to care for MIL since she was in a car accident (her fault) in March of 2013, and after she stroked out while in convalescent care in April 2013. I have been responsible for all her myriad doctor appointments and follow-up since March 2013; I was the primary assistant in the sale and cleaning out of her home; I am responsible for paying all her bills, in addition to catering to her every weekly whim.

This is an extremely toxic and dysfunctional family (just was reading the caregiving and dysfunction thread!); my FIL, whom has passed, was an alcoholic; my MIL is a co-dependent narcissist and my SIL, she's a story unto her own, which leaves my husband, himself unfortunately, a functioning alcoholic (he would deny that) and also a narcissistic co-dependent (deny that too).

My husband has very very minimal coping skills (hence the alcohol), and has had issues in the past with Xanax, to the point that I had to do an intervention in 2008. He claims that he's only using it "like when I have to give a presentation, or have an interview", but the fact that he still even gets it filled pisses me off and I KNOW he's been using more, his personality has changed drastically again.

I provide financial and medical updates to all family members regularly; but having a discussion with my husband about HIS mother is next to impossible as he has no interest in discussing her and doesn't want to hear what the doctors have to say (because that would make it too real that she is declining...but that IS the natural tendency of life). Therefore, we don't have many conversations unless they revolve around him, his work, his music, etc.

My sister in law is useless, she stole thousands while she was living with MIL several years ago, when she was supposed to be caring for her. My interaction with her is only through email and text. When I see her in person, which is rare, I am civil, but my guard is constantly up.

MIL is an ungrateful and manipulative...(I know why FIL drank!) My interactions with her are several times a week, ALWAYS for me to bring her something. I know she is wanting attention from my husband, and he's not giving it to her how she wants it. BTW, I am NOT a doormat...I am very strong, just at this point not giving much of a shit about anything. Lost my own mother in '04, and my brother in 2012, I know tragedy...

She has multiple health issues: decreasing memory, hearing loss, cataracts, open wounds on her legs (from trying to get up and walk unassisted) that require weekly wrapping and treatment, wheelchair-bound due to a stroke, no/minimal circulation in lower extremities (which is why the wounds don't heal), and pain med dependence....and then there is the emotional issues....believing she will leave assisted living and move "home" (house has been sold); belief she can handle her finances (she can't and we give her allowance and minimal checks and monitor spending); belief she will become mobile (it's been 2 1/2 years, PT is not allowed because of the open wounds on her legs)...the list goes on and on. She complains about the people in the facility, feels superior to them, like talking to some of them is so beneath her. She has no compassion, and NO FILTER WHATSOEVER. Going to doctor appointments with her is embarrassing because she talks loud and say super inappropriate things. Doctor appointments consist of her constantly requesting pain medication (she's already on a boatload).

And how does this make me feel? Anger, resentment, anger, more resentment, MORE anger...

I am in process of finding a therapist to help me cope with where I'm at in life currently, because there are days that I don't want to be here. On top of that, my own father (86) is beginning to decline and call on me for more assistance..and to top it off, I myself have health issues for which I was hospitalized in May.

I'm overwhelmed and honestly toggle between filing for divorce and just moving away, or trying to stick it out with my husband (whom by the way will NEVER attend any therapy, because he doesn't have any problems...and as he's said before, "if we can't work things out, then we are just not as vitalized as I thought") WTF? I can't be vitalized with someone who refuses to take any responsibility for their addictions or their own parent and family?

Anyway, sorry for the verbal vomit..happy to be here and hoping to learn.
p.s. I have her dog too...sigh


Welcome! That's one hell of a story! But you sure ain't alone as you have already seen. This site is a great resource for any and all questions and also to blow off some steam.

I've often wondered how so many women put up with getting the inlaws foisted on them while hubby and the rest have a cocktail or go shopping. Men wouldn't put up with it for a minute. MIL, FIL, and any other IL would go straight to the care facility, or at least most would.
PS....It's helpful for people to respond to questions and disscusions with you if you fill in a short profile of your situation on the PROFILE page. Just condense what you wrote here. You're all set.
Circus, I hope someone would give very helpful advise for you.... You are still young, you should enjoying your life with your husband and children!!! Can I say/ask you to tell your hubby " I quit my CG to your MOM" Please think about your happiness, it is nothing selfish about it.
Just say NO. You're the only one who can stop it but it won't until you draw the line and put your foot down.

"but because I don't work full-time, I was relegated to care for MIL" Who "relegated" you and why don't you unrelegate yourself? Are you getting paid for caring for MIL or is all this gratis?

Tell husband and anyone else who needs to know that you rescinding the relegation and resuming your own life. Or give them a bill for your services.

Give them a list of what you've been doing and advise them to hire someone or find a placement for MIL. Find a job for yourself, even if it's not a career job, but just get out of the house so they're forced to take action.

Your husband is obviously not giving you any support, and has issues himself. I wouldn't suggest you consider splitting up, but it may come to that if he expects you to be the doormat you're not.

But the first step is to make the decision that YOU won't do any more. Enough is enough. Time to move on, with or without the family.
And I think Windy is right that women get saddled with these unwanted caregiving responsibilities more than men do.
Circus, forget the family therapist. Find yourself a therapist who can help you understand why and how you got into this mess, and help you get strong enough to leave.
Wow, just Wow... she is in a NH? let them pick up some of the slack if I read this correctly. If they can!
Hey guys, thanks for the feedback it's a shitty spot. Pam, what is an NH? MIL is in an assisted living and will remain there.

Banal out....therapist is for me husband would never go...that's part of his denial.

Garden, I will respond to you when I get to a real computer! There is a lot to address...

STP, part of my resentment is directly at my husband...and telling him I'm not opens up just more drama that I'm not prepared to deal with right now. I'm stuck and hoping that the ability to participate with others in the same position AND get me some counseling will help things. There is coming a time I feel, that I will cut my losses and move on. My kids are 13 1/2 and 16 so right now I just need to try and cope...
It seems to always be the way, that the one competent and functional individual within the family gets saddled with care of the difficult elders, with no support from the remaining family members. In this case it's even more outrageous because you're an in-law, not a blood relative. I'm so sorry you've been put in this position.

Without knowing more about your situation and the people involved, it's hard to advise you. Are there any tasks or contacts with MIL that you could realistically transfer to someone else? Sometimes just limiting your contacts with the elder can reduce stress and buy time. Can you "just say no" to some of MIL's requests? Can someone else take her to doctor's appointments?

You always have the option of simply exiting the situation and letting the chips fall where they may. Just remembering that may help you let go of some stress.
Circus, your children have a right to grow up in an environment in which the parents are as happy, functional, loving and supportive as they can be. Children should not be exposed to an environment in which their mother is tolerating the situation until they graduate or reach some other milestone. What kind of attitudes do you think they're learning from seeing how you're treated? If you have daughters, do you want them to grow up to be treated as you're being treated?

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