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I used to be a nice, kind, caring, compassionate person. The one thing people always said about me is that I was kind. Now I am angry, resentful, exhausted, trapped with no way out, and feel completely powerless in this situation with an old man who calls all the shots, an absent brother in law who runs my house through his father, and my husband who keeps promising the earth but when it comes down to it only ever does what makes his dad happy. The only way to save myself from becoming completley embittered and horrid is to get out and I am so angry that I have to give up my home, my life, my marriage because of this man and nobody, nobody gets it.
I can't do this caregiving thing. I take my hats off to those of you who do, and I have enormous respect for you, but I can't do this manipulation and meanness any longer. It is not right, its not natural, and I am heart broken that I am the bad, disgusting, awful person when these three men have just taken every good thing that I offered and twisted my life into this unrecognizable shape.
I used to be a nice person. Maybe one day I will find her again, but I am really becoming scared of who I will become if I stay here.
I know its burn out. You know its burn out. The people here? Just shut up and get on with it, and then life can be happy again. The only problem in life is YOU. Ah man. How did it get to be that such a compassionate act sincerely meant ended up this way and got me into this mess?

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LEAVE...... Have your useless a** brother
Jump in.... Seriously .......
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Iseult55... You need to put yourself first.. You said you tried to leave so I'm assuming you have a place to stay?

Do your sons live there too? I would call your adult protective services and tell them he lives alone and can't take care of himself..

Look on line for a caregiver support group in your area..

Hugs to you.. Keep searching on this site for support and comfort. Many of us here are burnt out also..
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So sorry for you its not nice when noone appreciates you especially especially your husband.

Heres what id do and i think another person here did this LEAVE tell your husband that unless he grows up and starts to appreciate and care for YOU that you wont be back!

Go to to a hotel,friend or whoever but just get away then see what happens your husband will wake up and you can save your marraige OR you will have your answer.

How would he have felt if this was HIS MIL? Also try therapy "in sickness and in health" and you will get ill from this stress!

No way would i put up with this behaviour like your living in some "mens club" and your opinion dosnt count would i heck!
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I meant to say if I have a heart attack Ill be free,one way or another,sorry for the confusing post,my brain has turned to porridge.
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Im so glad I read your post, Im in a similar situation here with my Father, I gave up my home, my job, my freedom,my social life, everything to care for my Mother, who had cancer & my father who is blind, deaf, epileptic & has had 2 strokes, I have one brother who has sat back for 4 yrs & watched me do it without lifting a finger to help. Im exhausted mentally & physically, I used to have friends & a social life, all gone now & all for nothing. My Mother died in 2011, she had been my fathers carer for 20yrs & married to him for 53yrs & refused to see him on her death bed, thats how bitter & angry carers can turn out to be & now I feel the same way about my Father and my brother, who have the attitude that its a daughters place to do it & because my sons are adults ( I reared them on my own) and I don't have a partner then my life & my family are not as important as theirs, Im trapped,I want to go and I tried to last week but my Father wouldn't contact my brother to come and help so my sons went and stayed with him & so I had to go back because I wont allow my children to be used like Im being used. Im angry, bitter & have a constant pain in my chest, If I have a heart attack Ill either die or be hospitalised, carers who are so wonderful,who say its an honour etc etc,thank you for posting ,I hope everything works out for you ,go if you can,you only have one life,my mother taught me that in the end.xxxx
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After caring for my Dad for 7 years, I became this person too. It is very hard to care for your parents let alone an in law. Think things through and move on in life with or without your husband. After 7 years of caring for my Dad I posted something on here because I had to vent and a cousin saw it and passed it along to the rest of the family until holy hell was being raised for venting. But NO ONE understood what I was going through. Now I am the outcast and mean daughter. I gave up everything for my Dad to care for him and now I find myself disabled, cannot get food stamps or medicaid and struggling to live everyday. I wish I could find someone to help me but real medical care is out of the question bc I don't know the little tricks of the govt. If I had stayed employed part time, I would not be where I am today. I didn't think of myself or the future. Now i care for my mom and she cares for me. Caregiving is a thankless position and with very little or no help. Amazingly others who could had helped more actually think they were helping A LOT.
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"psychological violence" - wow - I have never heard that term before, but that probably describes how a LOT of caregivers are treated and feel subjected to.
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Susan, you sound like a wonderful person who deserves to be loved not only for herself, but also for her noble values and generous heart.

The people most involved in your life -- at least as you've given us to understand -- do not seem to value you as you should be valued.

Do not let them, or anyone, undermine the way you value yourself. You ARE that kind and gentlewoman -- in the present tense, not in the past. You are still she. It's just that you've been subjected to psychological violence.

Be good to yourself, Susan. If you had a friend in this situation, you would tell him/her to step away; be that friend to yourself. Allow yourself to be restored.

Those of us familiar with psychological violence understand and support you.
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It's kind of like what happens when you take a vacation from a demanding job; after you come back, you find so much work that you need to catch up on that you find yourself wondering whether it was worth going away. However, in the end, is IS worth going away, even when you know there will be a price to pay later.
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A word of caution, lol. I do leave periodically , to take care of MY parents in another state. For about a week. When I come home things are dirty messy and in disarray and it takes me a week to clean up the mess. No one GETS it. My other half gets pretty upset when I say I am going as well, so I have a week of grumpy man, followed by a week of caretaking in another state, followed by a week of mess. Not very up lifting, though I do like the idea of tea and shopping!
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I like this idea.
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Thumbs up to horserider's solution! Perfect! Give hubby a dose of your REAL world!
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Oh my goodness Horserider... what a fabulous idea!!! Yes, yes, yes!!! let hubby deal with taking care of his dad by himself for a few weeks. I predict it won't take more than two weeks for him to have daddy out of the house and into a care facility, or moved in to his brother's home. Let the brothers deal with daddy for a while and they'll be begging you to return. Just be sure you don't come back until you're sure FIL is gone and that they understand he can't come back.
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One of my co-workers told me about how years ago he broke up with a crazy live-in girlfriend.
On a 3"x5" card he wrote;
"I'm not happy. You're not happy. It's over."

Holding this in the palm of his hand he walked up to her, delivered his lines, and then repeated those, and nothing else to the ensuing tirade of profanity and physical abuse. She threw the furniture all over the apt & out the window, attacked him, and called the cops (accusing him of abuse, of course -- he is a big guy, she was small -- she figured she had him nailed).
The cops walked in, looked at the apt, looked at him ("She needs to go, or I can go -- I don't care which"), looked at her (still screaming abuse) and hauled her away.
OK, so that's the really long way of saying "This isn't working for you". It doesn't matter if the 3 of them are all happy, because you are not. So...on the 3"x5" card.....

"I am not happy. Things WILL NOT continue as they are.
He can leave, or I will leave---and I don't care which."

For what it is worth, at assisted living or a care facility your FIL may behave much better.Trained professionals are sometimes better equipped to deal with his types behaviors, in part because they don't take it personally. He would not be the first cantankerous old man they had dealt with.

So, in the light-hearted fantasy realm -- Are there any long-distance relatives who might suddenly "need" care for the next few weeks? Just saying that if hubby has to deal with his Dad alone for awhile it might help him decide which of you he'd rather live with for the next 10 years...meanwhile you and your great-aunt's niece twice-removed (aka your best friend from high school who lives 3 states away) could have a lovely time shopping, gardening, drinking tea and watching old comedies while she "recuperates" from her "emergency surgery". I'm not generally a promoter of inventing stories, but it IS fun to think about... .
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Cara -I have wondered what happened to you. Glad you have found a solution that works for you. Well done!!!

Susan I have been wondering how you are doing in your very difficult situation. I agree that fil has to move out. Hope the paper work to get him the aid he needs so he can move out is coming together. Keep us updated!

(((((Hugs)))))
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I took on my 93 year old Mom six months ago, moving her into my home, quitting my job to devote all my time to her for the rest of her years. The four years prior, I had her in Assisted Living where she was miserable and complained all the time about everything. Either she was calling me or the home was calling me everyday for something. My Dad passed away 5 and a half years ago and she has not been happy since. She had begun falling, forgetting, not able to care for herself so moving in with me seemed like the solution. At first, all was wonderful......then slowly it got old, she began complaining about everything. NOTHING I did was good enough. I did her nails, hair, toes, helped her shower, dressing, cooked all her favorite foods, you name it. All I heard was how miserable she was because she could not smoke in my house and she wished I had left her in her own house. It was beyond awful. I stayed a nervous wreck all the time. Finally, last week, out of nowhere, she pushed me over the edge and I snapped in half. I ended up in my bathroom floor curled up sobbing and incoherent. My husband found me, picked me up and put me in the bed clothes and all. My Mother sat smoking in her room, which is not allowed, just for spite. I asked my husband to call my sister and I told her to come get her - I was DONE. Could not do it anymore. DON'T let yourself get to this point. It can happen in a split second with little warning. You have to take care of yourself first or you are no good to anyone else. Hang in!!
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Dear Susan 26, you are still that wonderful person. Your feelings echo mine. I cared for my husband with brain cancer/dementia for 8 years. I know I'm not the person I was and I miss her! I have been constantly reminded by my sons how much I've changed. I sheltered them from their father's illness and let them off the hook for any kind of care for him because I felt guilty that they had to have this hard situation in their lives growing up. Now, at their wise ages of 18 and 20, I'm just the mean mom who couldn't make their father happy enough to stay at home for the remainder of his days. After his 4th brain surgery and being on the highest dose of dementia medication they make he decided to stay in the same state his doctors are in and live with some estranged family members he hasn't been around in the 28 years we have been married. I had no choice but to file for divorce and now I'm REALLY on the kids bad side. The quiet house has been enjoyable. The selfish boys have broken my heart. The dementia and what it did to my husband broke that part of my heart a long time ago. The advice from distant family members or judgmental friends is so irritating. None of them have lived in a situation such as ours. My husband can change his personality for awhile when around other people, but it won't last forever. So, after all this time we now have to get divorced, I'll have to go bankrupt, and I'm not speaking to any of them. It has been a long, long, and hard journey that I don't know that I'll ever recover from. I'm glad your venting- you write better than I do and I'm thinking the same things you are. Good luck and get out and take a long long vacation if you can.
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Susan, I can't speak to what to do about your husband. I am blessed with a wonderful man who, even though is on disability himself for a bad heart, still made trip and trip to the store for me and scoured recipe sites trying to find something my mom would eat, since she had lost all appetite. Even so, her health was bad enough that she was in and out of the hospital, in a wheelchair, (why don't they put automatic door openers at doctor's offices?) and had dementia...in the end even needing a lift to get in and out of bed. Mom was always a caring, loving person, but the dementia, or dying of the brain, can cause some horrible behavior. She once spit at someone and more than once pushed her dinner plate off the table. Even with my husband's support and being able to hire some help, there was more than one occasion that I broke down and said what it seems every caregiver says at one time or another, " I just can't do this anymore!" Each time, I somehow managed to pull up some inner strength, and go on. I also had no offer of help from family members, most not even bothering to visit. Also something that is a common complaint on this site. But the one thing I can say, is that since my mom passed away last November 4th, I would give anything to have another day with her, I still cry for missing her every day, and I wouldn't give up the two years I took care of her. On her better days we would talk and so many old memories came back to her that I had never known. I am still dealing with the problems that are so typical for so many caregivers....my sister never visiting or helping, but now accusing me of stealing my mother's money. Still dealing with insurance companies and settling debt. Recently another family argument was the straw that broke the camel's back and I broke down so badly that they wanted to commit me. I guess all I have to offer is, that you are not alone, we all seem to have the same problems, it can be worth it if you can make it over the roller-coaster road that it is, and get yourself some help. Both before he dies, AND after. Remember,you don't have to be alone in this. Get some counseling before things get worse. And I will tell you what my mother used to tell me all the time, "Quit saying you're sorry." You are doing your best and you have NOTHING to apologize! Good luck to you! Love and Hugs!
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Oh I get it honey. I understand it all. I've been there. And on top of it all my husband was an alcoholic as well.
I too had started out well meaning etc. I actually gave up my home of 37 years and rented it out to my daughter, son-in-law and grand kids. (for practically nothing I might add) All of this was of course my husband's idea.
"Grandpa" started out all sweet and nice, glad to have the company and us on his leash. We moved into HIS home.
I began to feel out of place, alienated from family and friends, and a prisoner in somebody else's home.
"Grandpa" was totally oblivious to cleanliness in any form, never washed his hands even after the bathroom. He stunk to high heaven from the rear if you get my drift. He took a shower once a week. His bathroom habits were atrocious and I could go on and on. Oh and he never stopped talking, same thing over and over day after day till I could scream.
Finally one day after way too much of this crap it got real ugly. I started screaming at "Grandpa" he couldn't do anything right. I was at my wits end.
I finally went to a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist, ended up on anti-depressants, realized I was putting everyone ahead of myself. It was ruining my health, I kept gaining weight, and almost went bonkers!
I did leave. I had somewhere to go, so it was great. I have been at peace. My husband is totally confused as to why I haven't returned after 8 months. I guess he thought it was just a threat, that I was leaving. SURPRISE!!
I now have peace, I go back to visit "Grandpa" long enough to fill his medication containers and drop off food.
It's Heaven now. It was SO hard to do, just leave, but it was the best decision I've made for myself ever in my life.
Please don't torture yourself. You deserve a life too. This dude is not YOUR father. Hang in there take one step at a time and break free.
Maybe in time your husband will get the hint, you are not his father's slave, neither are you his.
HUGS,
Cara
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Susan26, I totally agree with terrim. Lay down the law to hubby, FIL and BIL NOW! You are not the one that will be leaving the home. Talk to an attorney now about what steps you can take to start the process of getting hubs and FIL out of your house. It may only take the first step and having it come from your attorney to wake hubs up. He needs to see that his dad can't stay in your home... and BIL needs to lend some help in dealing with their dad too.
I do not like the person I have become in the past few months since my mom has developed signs of dementia. I have had my mother living with me for the last 28 years (she's now 96 years old.) She has shown signs of dementia the past few months, has begun swearing and is recently combative. I got her to sign a POA about two months ago when she was still lucid. Her behavior during the night is upsetting as she gets up, takes a shower and washes her hair at 4:00 am. Or she will get up at 3:00 am and take the bottom sheet off her bed, remake her bed and come out dressed and begin fixing her breakfast. Or she may just get up at 2:00 am, get dressed and start fixing her breakfast... and may do it again at 5:00 am. I am divorced and both my siblings passed away several years ago, so I am her only caregiver.... and always have been as neither my brother or sister ever helped me care for mom. I have trouble sleeping so these night-time activities are making me walk around sleep-deprived during the day . She is unsteady on her feet and refuses to use a walker (says she only needs a cane,) so I'm afraid to leave her alone to even do grocery shopping, banking, etc.
She still handled her own checking account until recently. I found that she had written a check where she wrote the date, but then crossed out the year, wrote the figure for $140, then wrote over that number and made it $290 (but she signed her full name under the new figure,) then on the line where you spell out the amount, she wrote "Five Hundred and Ninety Dollars.
I finally told her she has to go into an assisted living because I can't deal with this any longer. I'm 71 and it is taking a toll on my health. She swears and screams at me and says, "Now that you have that POA and have taken all my money, you just want to kick me out!" I showed her her checkbook and that her money is still there, but she doesn't believe me.
My doctor loaned me a book last week called "The 36-Hour Day." It gives caregivers guidance when they have to make difficult decisions. Also explains why you shouldn't feel guilty when you need to make tough decisions. It's a guide to caring for persons with Dementia, Alzheimer's, and memory loss in later life.
I wish you only the best Susan in dealing with your problems. You need to do what is best for you... no one else in your house seems to care about YOU! My prayers are with you my dear!
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balex, my children have 'strict' orders to NEVER take me into their homes. I am making sure they don't have to do that - in writing and financially. I would never want them to have to give up their lives. Never!
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I understand the desire to pick up and run away. But there is no-one else to take care of my husband except me and I wouldn't ever want to put that responsibility on our two adult children, aged 32 and 26. I hope they don't have to become responsible for me at a later point in my life. I have already told them to please put me in a nursing home if I require full time care in the future because I don't ever want them to ever have to feel the way I am feeling these days.
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Susan, you are not alone. I feel I have totally 'lost' myself since I've had mom in my home since 2008. I've actually been taking care of her since 1982 but she's had her own home on my property. When my husband passed away in 2008, before I knew it she'd 'moved into' my guest room. Since then I have had NO life of my own. I watch with envy (and a little resentment) as my only sibling, my sister, drives off with her husband on care-free trips. Some people seem to be cut out to be care-givers but I am not one of them. I could deal with it IF I could manage to do a 'few' things I'd like to do. That doesn't happen.

Sometimes I feel like loading up my car in the middle of the night and running away. Then someone else would have to step in for a change. I spend my time listening to my Mom talk, talk, talk. I've heard the stories 1001 times.

Don't feel guilty. The biggest guilt I have is not spending more time with my husband (I still worked) before he passed. I miss him so much and realize what a saint he was to put up with my Mom and her bossy, dominating ways .... all those many years.
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I disagree, Blueridge. When you marry someone you marry their family as well. That's not to say that you are "obligated" to help your mother or father-in-law because you married their son, but you can't just say "sorry - not my problem" and walk away either. The entire family is affected when an elderly parent requires care - not just the child of that parent.
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I'm sorry but the natural order of things is that children take care of their elderly parents, not the child-in-law. No obligation. I don't expect my spouse to care for my father, and I've made it clear that I will help as I can with the MIL, but in no way will I be a primary caregiver. Not going to happen. I have my hands full with my dad.
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Eileen, you make a GREAT point. Our families are supremely challenging and also... we are fortunate to have them and the challenges that come. We have to keep remembering what a blessing these challenges are...

I live with a man who lost his mom when he was 9 years old. He reminded me every day how lucky I was to have a demanding mom when I was 59!

We have to keep perspective in all things....

Thank you for reminding us all of the gifts we have.

My brother always says, when faced with a fork in the road, always take the more challenging path. Let's all live our lives "fully"... and always take the more challenging path!
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I do understand your anger and frustration, and I know that a manipulative brother-in-law and spineless husband can make anyone question their own importance and existance in this world. I have no words of wisdom as I sit here typing this comment, except to say that despite these flawed men, at least you have their presence. I am alone, with no one to even turn to in anger. Does this ever end?
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Yes, sometimes your not given any other choice but to walk away. Your hands are tied. It becomes survival of the fittest. Your survival. Take a deep breath and do whats best for you. I was told by my relatives to not let it ruin my marriage. Good advice early on. I think my marriage is saved. I'm behind my husband and how he is feeling about our whole situation. I won't let my dad ruin my marriage! My husband is the most caring, hard working person you could ever meet. Has more patiance than me. And for him to throw up his arms you know the situation really has to be bad.
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I am blown away by the wisdom, compassion and love for one another in this forum! Susan, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!. I admire your clarity of thought in listing out the little pleasures you'd like to have back. I have a similar list! There is such a thing as getting stuck in in the mud of petty resentments - and I have wallowed in that pit from time to time. What I have come to realize, however, that wanting to have basic respect, gratitude, recognition and courtesy IS NOT PETTY. That is the lie of the abusive situation, the trick that pulls you into thinking that YOU are the problem.

I'm thinking that CPEGASO94 may be on to something with the passivity of the sons in dealing with their dad's crap. The holds are not always directly economic. In our case, my MIL still wields control over some family business/heritage (it's complicated) matters that make standing up to her more difficult than it ought to be. I should have seen the handwriting on the wall decades ago as I watched all of the family tolerate her tirades that hung just this side of verbal abuse and her chronic alcoholism. Granted, I'm not sure that even now I can think of an action plan that would have been better. What I know now about my husband's family (and what I suspect may be operating in Susan26's) is that we are dealing with some level of a narcissistic personality. The web of control such a personality weaves keeps everyone in range of it off balance and constantly self guessing. Narcissists do not change; they become more so. Know this, and shield yourself!

Stay in touch and do vent here when you need to do so. We ALL understand!
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Susan26.............1st, I don't believe for a moment that you're no longer the nice, kind, caring, compassionate person. Because of what these 3 men in your life have put you through, you may have lost your self worth or self esteem. All that can be restored though. It DOES sound like you've reached your limit and that's a good thing! Now you need to make some serious and final decisions for yourself, which only you can do. Most likely whatever you decide to do, is not going to be easy, emotionally, but it's GOT to be better than staying where you are. You've certainly received many many supportive "posts"! Start thinking of Susan!! Set your goal and DO it! A goal without a plan, is merely a wish! Good luck!
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