Long story short. Married my DH 43 years ago. Knew well before the marriage that his mother DID NOT APPROVE and DID NOT LIKE ME. (Told to me by 5-6 of her neighbors, family & friends, so I am likely to believe it).
I'm 20 years old and thought I could "make her love me".
What a dummy.
No matter what I did, said, planned, bought, or birthed was "good enough" for her. Out of DH's earshot, she would whisper the most heinous things in my ears. I would literally drop me jaw at some of the things she'd say.
Most 'visits' with her ended with me crying the whole way home and my DH mad at me for being 'rude' to his mother.
She is the type of person who remembers a slight from 70 years ago as if it happened yesterday. Every freaking detail. She'll tell you a story and it doesn't make sense-then you realize it happened in 1960. But she is as angry about it as if it happened yesterday.
She had a miserable life. Shotgun marriage (1948) which was scandalous, I guess. Hated my FIL and finally were divorced 30+ years ago. Still talked about every single bad thing he'd ever done--that's all she talks about and the poor man has been dead 16 years.
I gave up YEARS ago trying to find the perfect gift, whatever, for various occasions. As my kids married, I began to truly see how very sick she is, and how it was really HER job to include me in the family. Not the other way around.
Couple of years ago she had it out in front of me, and the whole family at a little party. I mean, the filter CAME DOWN. Told me she'd hated me since the day she met me, blah, blah..I could go on forever. I'm sitting there with tears streaming down my face, the whole room is silent and my niece (who is crying too) said "Love of G-D Grandma! Shut up!"
DH, who had not begun to wear hearing aids, heard none of this.
So--I talked to her later and told her I would gladly step out of her life completely, since I had made her so miserable. And I did.
DH was taking her a Mother's Day gift last night--and you'd thought someone had shot his dog he looked so miserable. Offered me $100 to go with him. Ha.
When he got home, he told me she has been having 'episodes" of faintness and falling. Ok, don't care. She had knocked her fall pendant and the alarm went off, but she can't hear, so she ignored it. Couldn't hear the paramedics breaking open her window, either. They checked her out, and talked to SIL, and said she really shouldn't be living alone. But she will not move from her home, no matter what.
Dh gently broached the idea of my stepping in a few days a week to 'help out'. I laughed so hard---and said, "She has plenty of money, She can hire out" But she doesn't want strangers. Tough beans.
He left town this am, pretty steamed at me for my flat out refusal to be involved in her care.
He does, now, after so many years, believe all the things I said she did/said to me. He thinks I should forgive and forget. I remind him I am IN THERAPY over some of this crap.
Just help me stay strong. The guilt DH has is HIS, not mine. I did ask how much 'care' he had given MY mom over the years and he had to admit he hasn't seen her in almost 2 years.
It's not tit for tat---it's just self preservation. I cannot and will not take care of her. I will get a job and work to PAY for care but I will NOT hands on care for her.
Just need some support from the forum----I have to stay strong. Dh is really going to ride me about this.