Things were going so well for two months with my MIL, til today. WTH!
I haven't written in awhile because things were actually going quite well the last couple of months with my MIL (who lives alone across the street from us, 82 years old, narcissistic disorder). We've been getting along, she's been satisfied with her paid helpers, and we came up with a system where she calls my cell phone every morning when she wakes up. She expects me not to answer, but if I don't get the call, I call her on my first break at work to make sure she is okay. It was working great for me. Well today, she told me she would not be calling me anymore because we aren't available and refuse to help her (not new complaints, but she hasn't complained in awhile). Again, she says she will have her dear friends (people she pays) take care of her because "they will drop everything at a moment's notice and help me with whatever I need." I had emailed her just yesterday to let her know that the whole family has that awful virus going around and we didn't want her to get it so we would see her later in the week if we could. So today, the wheels fell off the wagon. She read me the riot act and all of those same terrible feelings came up inside of me. I chewed off all my fingernails. I picked at myself. I was upset the entire day and still am. I cannot understand why I let her get to me like this. My husband (her only child) told me once again to let it go and let her go. I did tell her today that was her decision and her choice to not make the daily morning phone calls. What is strange is she kept fixating on saying that I say she "screams." I don't know what she is talking about. She couldn't give me an answer either, but repeated it at least six times and said she would "lose her mind" if anyone said she screams again. I pointed out that she was shouting at me at that moment, but she said she was not. I feel so guilty and bad. She needs help. I think she has or is getting dementia. I have kept a written log over the last several months tracking this, but don't know how to have this discussion. I don't want to deal with her accusing me of betrayal (again). She is very paranoid and accusatory about all sorts of things. These people who are in her life are getting paid by her to help her and I don't know if they are taking advantage of her or not (my paranoia). In her eyes, they are angels and we are lower than dirt. I know many of you have had this same problem and I have read your stories and it helps me to know I am not alone, but here I am again beating myself up. I work with the elderly and disabled for a living now and feel it even more irresponsible of me at this point to turn my back on her but the abuse affects me so much that it isn't healthy. I've been making excuses for her the last couple of years telling myself that she can't help it. It doesn't seem to matter if I am nice as can be or if I stick up for myself and call her out on the carpet. I've called her doctor and he won't do a thing about any of it unless what I say is shared with her, which I think will be counterproductive because she will focus on me betraying her and not the problem of her failing mind. It feels hopeless. It feels good to vent. Thanks for listening.