The Caregiver & Dysfunctional Families: How are you doing?

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glad - thx -getting there. I am hoping that the next communication with the NH will report an improvement. So far the nice weather is holding. I don't do politics well either. Re the back splash -maybe a certain colour of light bulbs would tone down the blue. I guess a delay in closing is inevitable.

gershun, thx, doing better- I hoped for years that things would work with my sis and mother, but finally kept getting hurt so decided I would accept how people were and act accordingly -keep my distance. I can't say there is much I miss about my family except for my dad who has been gone 40 years. Volunteering sounds like a good idea. I have always enjoyed it,

cm - my sis keeps up the front too - the appearance of being interested in a relationship when, in fact, she isn't. But she is interested in having me around to play her games. I have opted out. You have such a interesting (challenging) social life! That was a lot of annoyances. You did right by cashing the cheque.

cmag - glad the service went well. Have a safe trip tomorrow. Obviously the visits with you were very important to your dad. Itshould be good for you to see your cousins at the Memorial mass. Sorry you are feeling lonely. You may for a while.

fraz - I hope mother's pain is under better control. Yes it is stressful. We are the ones who are overseeing their care and strive to do a good job. Sometimes I feel quite helpless. I know you are going through worse. BTDT. It was an awful time and my sis was in there supporting mother's inappropriate ideas. Re holidays we have had to develop our own traditions too and they change as the kids grow up and have their own families. Our whole home life when I was a child was drama, fighting, tension. tension. tension - walking on eggshells. Horrible. Sounds like they are getting a plan for your mum. I hope the financial mess gets sorted soon. An NH specializing in people with mental illness sounds good for me. It really worked well for mother.,

sharyn - that was very sensible of you and sounds like your sis to try to fix things. I learned to leave mother when she started on a rant. There was no benefit to staying and lots of grief.

Bedtime here - take care all. Be good to you.
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Gershun, after I got married, I would leave my family get together when I felt the tension rising. I could always tell by remarks my mom wou,d start saying. I avoided being there when all he!! Broke lose. For some reason my sister always stayed. She said she thought she could fix the situations.
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Ah, so much to ponder here. First off, Magnum, I'm sorry you are sad. It's going to take time. Hang in there.

When we had Mom's little service at the park, I think I was still in a daze to be honest. My one sister said, "I didn't see you crying" Well no, partially cause I had arranged the service and was hoping it would go off without a hitch, or my B I L acting like an ass as he is wont to do. He generally brings a case of beer with him where ever he goes so I was thankful that didn't happen. In fact I requested that my narc sis serve only beer and nothing stronger so that no one would resort to their baser nature at the lunch at her place afterward. Plus, I think I'd cried so much by then that my tear ducts weren't working properly. I don't usually cry in public. I've always been the type to go off by myself somewhere and bawl.

Countrymouse, going out and making friends with strangers is the last thing on my list right now to be honest. As much as I feel I need to get out, I'm not the type to join or go up to a stranger and chat. I have been applying for part-time positions etc. and am also going to possibly look into volunteer work of some kind. Then, hopefully, I could make some new friends that way.

I think one of the reasons I always feel defeated after family occasions isn't just because of narc sis but also cause I'm always hoping this time will be different. You'd think I'd of learned by now.
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Countrymouse,

My dad paid that bond and got it back once a month for 14 years plus other times when he visited me.
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Banked it! Ha!

Still blushing.

CMag the "make sure you bring him back" bond sounds like a lawyer's suggestion to me. Unless one is a lawyer, or a keen watcher of Tarantino films, I don't think the idea of a bond would pop into one's head would it?
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The the bond money was to make sure that my dad brought me back to my mom when he visited me. In my opinion and in her brother's opinion, she was just making it more difficult for Dad to be able to visit me.
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Agree with Fraz. Deposit the check CM, if you must do so, give them the difference.
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CM, about the check, I say, take it to the bank, cash it, stick the money in your purse, then forget about all of it :)
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Golden - sounds like your mom is getting stabilized. Hope the pain meds help her and continue to improve her appetite. I'm glad you've been able to feel more at rest with everything, I know it is stressful.

CMag- What was the bond for? It would have been lot back in the 60s, especially. The gift to your Godchild sounds special, I bet it will be treasured. Thinking of and praying for you over the next few days.

Gershun- I know what you mean about longing for the family closeness that will never be. I have gone NC with some family on mom's side; others, it's hey, how are you, every now and then. Holidays we either spend just us and the kids or with my husband's family. Although, since they live out of state, we can't always make it. I hated the holidays growing up and for a long time as an adult because there was always stress, fighting, drama, etc.

Since I went NC and started creating traditions that were important to me and our little family here, that are just ours, not other people's that we for years felt compelled to follow, I actually now look forward to the holidays as they are much more peaceful, at least most of the time, unless we have mom drama going on.

It does feel lonely sometimes, but I'm not good at faking it either. I'd rather spend time with a few that are dear to me than with a bunch of people I don't like.

CM- Reading your story about your ex-MIL and her mom made me sad. It is true that even someone who is narcissistic can get hurt sometimes, and that it's really hard to watch. I see it with my mom and her mom, and it's a thing in my family with the women trying to please mothers who can't/don't know how/didn't love them like they needed or couldn't be the mom they needed. *Raising hand here too* Your MIL was, in that moment, like the little girl trying desperately to please her mother. I'm trying to be to my daughters the mom I needed but didn't have. It's the only way I know to break the cycle.

Speaking of mom, she was discharged yesterday back to her facility. They had mentioned possibly waiting until next week, but I guess the doctor felt that she was stable enough to be released already.

Her therapist there called me during the discharge planning process and said that she feels mom needs NH care, as she's not sure how long mom will be stable where she is with a lower level of care. She feels like sooner or later we will probably experience a repeat episode. I'm inclined to agree. I explained about my legal hurdles getting finances straightened out, all the trouble with my sister taking her savings and leaving her almost broke, etc. She advised that as soon as I can get it all straightened out, I should probably look into moving mom to a NH that specializes in people with mental illness. She gave me the name and number of a place not too far from here. Called and inquired about pricing, etc. I will keep that info handy for the near future. In the meantime, I hope she can thrive where she is for now, at least to buy us some time.

She did seem calmer when I went up there yesterday. Still had some paranoia but not nearly the agitation and nervousness as before. She did actually go down to dinner and sit at the table with some other ladies and socialize, which is good. Time will tell. Still cautiously optimistic, but without getting my hopes up too much.
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I have a small headache. Small but annoying. The annoyances are numbered.

A month ago #1, against my better judgement if I'm honest #2, I was coaxed into accepting an invitation to my SIL's home in London #3 for dinner and an overnight stay #4.

I expected there to be a certain amount of rolling up sleeves, washing dishes and waiting at table - always is, SIL is a loving but useless hostess - and made sure to get there early enough to help.

I didn't quite expect that she would have thought that one leg of lamb would feed fourteen people. Buttoning my lip, I put my coat back on and walked to the store that she claimed was just round the corner (round the corner and half a mile up a busy road in the rush hour #5, but I'm sure the exercise - should have seen me scuttle across that bus lane, life in my hands - did me good).

Walking back, in high heels #6, as much lamb as they'd had heavier and £18 lighter #7, I worked myself into a fine grump reflecting that I had let myself be wheedled into an evening that was proving expensive, uncomfortable and hard work and had no one else to blame. Humph, I thought. Drive 125 miles and buy your own dinner. Thanks a lot! And this was before my evil ex husband swapped the seating plan around when no one was looking and left me stuck with his mother all night.

SIL was very grateful for the lamb. She said I must give her the bill #8. She said she must look for her purse #9. I didn't care about the bloody bill #10.

I had just got over all this and genuinely forgotten it, when last week SIL calls my landline #11, then my cellphone #12, then my landline #13 in quick succession. I stop running from room to room and go outside for a cigarette and who can blame me. Now calm, I ring her back. Ah! There I am! She would like my address so that she can send me a cheque for the lamb. I say I will email it to her. No, she wants my postal address. Yes, I will email it to you. No, not your email address. No - I mean, I will type my postal address onto an email which I shall then send to you.

I did not say: if you think I believe that you can take down an address over the phone without making a prolonged hash of it then you have forgotten how long our acquaintance is.

Phewf. We move on. She tells me that she has booked her hotel room ready for my daughter's new wedding date. The new date is certainly news to me #14. Thanks for passing that on. She has bought her outfit for stepdaughter's wedding in February. It is a dress and jacket with a matching passionflower print, and matching shoes and handbag. [She is going to look like a happy triffid.] Have I bought my outfit? I have not. Mother of the bride! I am aware. Although I am unable to shake the feeling that the bride must think of me more as the bad fairy - when was she planning to let me know about the change of date and venue..?

I love my SIL very much. She is a good, loving and *clever* human being. She also at times makes me want to stick my head into a food disposal unit.

Today I have received a nice letter and a cheque for £30. Both are from my BIL.

Do I cash it and not worry that it's nearly twice as much as they owe me?
Not cash it, and feel aggrieved all over again?
Send it back and ask for another?
Frame it?
Hang onto it until I next see them and ask them to amend it?

I think I will try to forget it. All of it.
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