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My MIL used to tell visitors (especially her surviving son) that I am a horrible person who "throws her on the ground and beats her up." This was laughable and we all felt sorry for her.
However, now her stories are more "believable" and it scares me. For example: she tells my BIL that I am always mad at her and that I leave her in a dark room all day long. She also tells him that I say he is worthless and lazy. All of this is untrue. Period. But these new stories are no longer absurd and I worry that visitors will think there is some truth there.
So, I am afraid to go out because I don't know what she will say to person watching her while I am gone.
That's why I feel trapped.
Anyone else experience this worry? How do you handle it?

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2fedup, good heavens you're not the Holiday Inn. If an older relative is independent but not carrying his or her weight when it comes to a roof over their head, utilities or groceries but has the means maybe it's time to do what anyone would do if a grown child came back to the roost and wanted to live for free.

Time to cut back on the expenses like you would do even if Mom wasn't living there. Reduce the cost of groceries, eggs and other items she binges on only once a month, if the eggs and binge items are all used up in a week, sorry, tell Mom she needs to pace herself next month.

Heat and electric, got to cut back, reduce the temp... have everyone turn off lights and electronics when not in use, tell them to remind Mom to do the same. Tell Mom she gets one towel a week and all the towels will be washed at the same time to save on electricity, water, and detergent.... hide the extra towels so she can't find them, as she won't go without a towel and wash cloth and will have to use what she has. If she has a lot of her own towels, unplug the washer if you don't think she would be able to replug, or flip the circuit breaker if the washer/dryer are the only thing on one breaker.

It's your household, your rules. If she doesn't like the rules, she will need to find her own place so *she* can have her own rules. I know it is easier said then done.
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I am experiencing the same thing with my boyfriends grandma (plus his mother, grandmas daughter). Her daughter called her son a few states away and told him that I lock her in the closet, which sparked him calling here and asking about it. Grandma has called her daughter saying I lock her in her room, she has called my boyfriend saying I beat our kid with things other than my hand (and I will admit, I am a parent that will give a swat on his diaper covered butt with my HAND) when he is acting up.

I have made it a point to call her DIL, (the only one who sees her mental capacity is starting to diminish) and explained everything going on with her. Fortunately she knows that we take the best care of her that we can, and anything else said would be absurd, BUT she also asks me when she is told things that don't seem right, (which is fine) and I get them cleared up. Try to make it a point to let people know what is going on with her "thought process". If they TRUELY know her and you, they will know what is made up and not take it to heart. Also let them know if they hear things from her that it is OKAY to bring it to your attention so you can clear the matter up.


Desiree
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Oh and I too feel totally TRAPPED!!! I want out and I have no idea how to make it happen. I've thought about trying Medicaid or whatever to get her into a home, but she says they'll take all but $100 of her money and they aren't taking her money. Well, when you're a spendthrift, irresponsible and don't have 2 nickels to rub together those are the breaks... I showed her an apartment about 8 years ago - it wasn't fancy but it was nice, immaculate, in a great area... Honestly, it was great even if it was a bit small. She said "I won't live here!! This is a cave! I won't live in a place like this!!" Instead she steals my home and family... I just want my home and I want her gone. I don't know if she moved out if we could find a way to enjoy being around her again or not... I do know we could be a lot more tolerant in small doses...
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RUK - I hear you!!! My problem is actually my own mother. My husband is a saint for dealing with her. She has never slept around - actually, she doesn't like men. She just expects to force us to take care of her. She has stolen our family and out home. The thing is, what do we do with her? There is no one else. She really can't afford her own place and has squandered everything with her spendthrift prina donna ways. The agreement when we bought this home in order to house her and not have her live in the Hood was that she would pay several hundred a month in rent. Mind you she binges and eats us out of house and home, she does tiny loads of laundry every time you're turning around, uses towels and wash cloths only once and then won't let other things be washed with them, she leaves her TV etc on 24/7, takes multiple baths etc a day... In other words isn't paying the bills so doesn't care our electric bill is $350/mo or water is $150. She too expects meals to just materialize. She's like a flipping cat - smells food and comes running. None of us can frankly stand her - not even our child. She's worn us all out. It's pretty sad when a child thinks you're crazy and can't stand you. Our child tells us even their friends think she's crazy when they visit. Wow... She was diagnosed eons ago with a psychosis, but I'm not sure it was accurate. At the very least she is incredibly narcissistic. If all that wasn't bad enough she always stiffs us in Nov and Dec and throughout the year when she doesn't feel like paying. I swear she thinks she's 16 and she most definitely has entitlement issues. This year she only paid 5 months and hasn't paid a dime since early September. She isn't even contributing for food. This is a little thing, but we have to drive 25-30 mins to get our eggs. They are $4/doz and the hens aren't producing as much right now. So, these eggs are gold. I have asked her to buy her own eggs since she goes through them like crazy (literally the only thing she'll cook for herself). In 4 days she's gone through a dozen (maybe more). I am so angry. Worse yet she was shopping like there was no tomorrow at Christmas - buying friends $30 cheap jewelry gifts - just a lot of junk. Shopping like mad on our dime basically. I spoke with her about it and she flippantly said "Yes I know. I's been bothering me." REALLY?!?!?! Well, when something bothers normal people they rectify the situation. There was no apology and there has been no move to pay etc. Christmas was a disaster. I lost it - after opening the 5th piece of junk that wasn't at all me or something I could use or even like. One of the "gifts" was something I expressly said I didn't want and that I could never use due to allergies, but she wanted to support her church so foisted it on me anyway. I lost it, because all I saw was what I could've bought had I used the money she was supposed to pay. Now, I NEVER do that. I rarely ever buy anything for myself. I pay bills. I even told her "Gee, I could take my family on a vacation if we just didn't pay our bills for 3+ months." Again, no response. She doesn't want to get it - she simply wants no responsibility. She wants to live WAY above her means. Anyway, I am done. I have no "mother" feelings and I frankly despise her and, of course, feel guilty about that. Then I'm angry because I feel this way. I shouldn't be in this position. We don't have adult children, we haven't lived our lives. We deserve this season and she's stolen it. I am also done, because I have taken care of her my entire life and I am sick of it. I just don't know how to get rid of her. Yes, that is what I want - I want her out of my house and frankly out of my life. Sad isn't it? My friends all have these amazing parents, they shop with their moms etc - they enjoy them. I want that desperately, but not with her. That just isn't there and frankly I think she's so destroyed our relationship that it couldn't ever be healthy. Actually, I don't think she's capable of it. I don't see her ever changing. I mean she's been in our home for 5 LONG years. During that time she's taught my child bad habits, ruined my child's sleep because she's up all night binging and banging (she is SO loud)... If I had a dime for every time I've explained the situation and asked her to please stop I could afford to put her in a home. I've asked her to be considerate, explained she is not living alone and that her behavior effects us - she simply doesn't care. My husband says she lives in her own world and reality - he is right. Oh and the talking to herself (again LOUDLY) - it never stops - totally creeps my husband out... See, he was raised by normal people - not perfect, but normal. My MIL would NEVER do this to any of her children. I love my MIL - I am VERY capable of love... I just have none left for one of the people I should love most....
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MariaLake, I do apologise - AandA's reminder is timely, I should have kept to your question!

What I meant to say before I got sidetracked: your MIL's story-telling must make you feel terribly uncomfortable because of the way they leave open that tiny little wormhole for "grain of truth" or "no smoke without fire" ideas. How upsetting. The webcam idea sounds pretty foolproof; but in addition be open with her visitors about the things she's saying, and then trust them to have to sense they were born with and not give credence to her tales.

The irony is that, if you do stand guard the whole time, it could even look like you're trying to keep her incommunicado! This whole situation is grossly unfair and disconcerting - hope you find a solution you're comfortable with very soon.
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Marialake, I just read your profile and not only are you dealing with your mother-in-law, but you are also caring for your wheelchair bound father-in-law. Curious why the family had picked you to be the caregiver since your husband [their son] had passed on years ago.

It's time for your in-law's surviving son to step up to the plate and help out. Men can make just as good caregivers as women if they had to do it. And it's time for you to move on with your own life, have time to hug those grandbabies, and with your own mother aging some day she might need your help.
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To answer original question, do I feel trapped? Yes I do!!
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RUK, I just want to chip in a massive "thank you." You've been so honest, so open, I'd like you to realise how incredibly helpful it is to all the rest of us who are wrestling with feeling bad about not being good - good as in goody-goody, I mean. We'd all like to be perfect, forgiving, loving, tolerant, patient - all those virtuous things. It's so important to know that NOBODY can live up to that all the time.

Ref your recovering daughter: there but for the grace of God go I and mine. I wish her strength and health in the future.

Ref your pillar of strength daughter: treasure her.

Ref yourself: you are an inspiringly good person. You have the same human feelings as the rest of us; but the difference is that instead of going nuts by denying them, or at the other extreme instead of failing by indulging them, you're feeling them and doing the right things anyway. God bless you.
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RUkiddinme oh my heart goes out to you! I've also had to deal with elderly/terminal narcissistic in laws and heroin addict brother in law living with us... It's all a learning process with little rewards...

First things first. Sit down with your husband and figure out how to get MIL out of your house! She probably can apply for medicaid and you have your own family to deal with. Hugs!
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That doesn't mean you can't feel like pushing someone down the stairs LMAO!!!

Oh... I thank the Lord that even when my flesh is weak, He is strong.

thank you for the laugh!
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Oh Honey..................you have so much on your plate and that just stinks. But know what? You can do this. You really can. Your husband and children look up to you and are counting on your strength. So vent away on this site!! It's sooooooo good for you. It has helped me tremendously to pour out my feelings on line. You are definitely not alone.
I am also a Christian and you are right...............we try to do the right thing and for the right reasons but that doesn't mean you can't feel like screaming or pushing someone down the stairs! (Sorry, you know what I mean).
My best advice for you is to vent, vent, vent. Also, lower your expectations on a daily basis. I said a prayer for you and your husband and your children. I think it is fair to say that it's best to look at your MIL in a clinical way. That helps me most with my MIL. I pretend I am a nurse and she is my wacked out patient. It helps.
you are NOT ALONE.
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This is my first post so it is going to be quite long.
I am the 24/7 caregiver to my 69 yo MIL. Unlike some who speak of taking on such a task willingly from some other blogs I've looked at , and all their apparent warmth over it, this was put upon us through a) her entire life history of never taking personal responsibility and always having an excuse for her pathetic choices; b) equally stupid bro-in-law.
IMO, the woman was a self-centered and neglectful mother to her three sons who spent her life putting her sons to the side while she bed-hopped from one bad relationship to the next her entire life. My husband of almost 30 years, her oldest, had written her off years ago and their relationship was superficial at best because she was always in her own little la la land. He’d come home from school and find he was locked out of the house because she had a man in there. In some of her relationships the men were physically abusive to the boys. And she’d even tell her other two sons my husband is her favorite to their faces which hasn’t helped their interpersonal relationships any either. Of course, he is her favorite because as he says, he’s been doing her job all his life. She didn’t even care for her own mother (who spent her whole life making up for the daughter’s stupidity) and in the end hubbie and I took out a loan to improve our home to care for his grandmother who lived with us until she finally needed a nursing home. For a year and a half I gave her three squares, all her meds, showered her, changed her diapers, wiped up shit, picked her up off the floor when she’d fall, walked with her, cleaned her laundry etc, we took her to all the needed doctors appointments. The woman could do nothing for herself. Before her TIA and after first moving in with us, she changed her will and wrote her daughter out of it—not that her will actually had much anyway. The boys still divided what was left 4 ways and included their mother in what tiny funds were left. And even watching the parasitic rummaging through the deceased old woman’s things after she was dead was vomit inducing.
About a year and a half after that, she called us (we lived in a different state) and was lamenting her life situation. We told her if she was interested in getting a new start, we’d help her because she was an only child and frankly all her family is dead now. She came out to live with us at the age of 62 knowing it was temporary and never made an effort to get a new start but always had an excuse for why she couldn’t—though that didn’t stop her from man-shopping there either and she ended up hooking up with some guy (yes still bed hoping at 62), while living completely off of us and doing whatever the hell she wanted. We tried a senior’s home option but she said she wasn’t old yet and didn’t want to be there. And let me add, I am also the mother of 4 kids and today I also have 3 grandkids. Well, a year into that I said enough is enough. I had given her a year to get on her feet which was simple to do and she didn’t. So we kicked her out. The man she was stoopin’ helped her move but that relationship was going nowhere. She ended up finally returning to her original state. She was on her own, but then Bro-in-law (BIL) and wife hit a financial rough patch. They asked her to move in to help them out. Well, she did (though I do not know what the hell they were thinking) and then after 3 years of that, wherein she continued to be the pain in the ass she is, they finally called us and said, we think there’s something wrong with mom. On your trip out can you stop by? Well, we stopped by all right... to find they had short sold their home, already moved to another home and had left her there alone and told us, there is a 30 day escrow and she has to be out and we are not taking her with us. So much for choices. Fine, so we turn our world upside down again, move her ass back to our home to have her say stupid things to me such as ‘where is dinner’, ‘why don’t you visit me’ (she had her own 1300 sqft space in the basement we renovated for hubbie’s grandmother with a mini kitchen and all). Come visit you?!?! Walk your ass up the damn stairs if you want to see someone. Geez!
In the mean time we come to find out our 3 child, our daughter, was a heroin addict and been one for 5 years after she had gone off to college. This was gut wrenching on many levels because a) hubbie is a retired deputy who had been shot in the line of duty and had to retire b) we’re Christian and it brings a whole other sense of shame and fears. And we have been battling that front as well. I literally spent 37 days straight of getting no more than 2 hours sleep while trying to detox our daughter. Yet MIL had the audacity to still ask where is dinner and knowing I was tired, suggested the detoxing addict cook dinner.
To make a long story short on that detail, for the life of our daughter, we sold our home and all we had and moved back to the state MIL was in with hubbie’s 2 brothers thinking they may be some help... Well, they are but in the most infinitesimal way and never cease to make us feel to even ask them to take her 2 days a month is a burden to them.
As it stands, in my home is hubbie, me, MIL now diagnosed with Moderate Alzheimers, 18 month recovering heroin addict with her own rollercoaster, my youngest and her husband with our 3 y/o grandson... they were living with us before too... and now my oldest son who thankfully just graduated college with his BS in Microbiology.

I’m exhausted, I’m angry, depressed often, feel my life has been stolen from me by people who did not even remotely make an effort. I feel neglected, unappreciated, and nearly non-human some days like I’m not even here.
My youngest daughter is a help and a godsend but I still can’t help the oft resentment I have with MIL. This woman did whatever the hell she wanted her entire life with no one in mind but herself and now I go through the guilt trips at age 47 of thinking I’m horrible for wishing I had my own life. This rebellious B*tch has always been self severing and rebellious idiot and now I’m suppose to feel sorry for her because she’s old? You had an entire fricken life to pull your head out of your arse and never did, but I end up feeling like the ass for calling a spade a spade. The whole thing puts me on my own emotional rollercoaster of ‘I’m a bad person/I’m not a bad person’ –Sh**T you people suck!
And I can’t even begin to approach the subject of my own psycho mother.
I have never posted on any site before but at the advice of a friend, I felt I probably should before I lose my friggen mind.
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Thank you pstiegman..........great advice. I'll get that camera.
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I would get a nanny cam. Usually these are used to protect the patient, but in your case you would be using it to protect the caregiver. Brickhousesecurity has a DVR256 Weather Clock Hidden Camera.The device is automatically set to circular recording, so it will overwrite the oldest file it has stored, ensuring that you'll never run out of memory.
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Thanks NancyH. I keep wondering if this is a phase that she is going through and that she'll eventually quit. Her stories creep me out and I'm sure visitors (my BIL mostly) wonder if there is any truth "in there." It's believable because she actually takes my words and changes the meanings. Is it for attention or to create a fight or to make me look bad because I'm not her real daughter? (My husband died 3 years ago and I am the DIL. My husband's brother does not volunteer to care for his mother at all............but I wonder if she tries to make me look bad in an attempt to make him look good)??
If that's the case, then she knows exactly what she is doing :(
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Maybe you ought to lead with what your mother-in-law is saying about you when you meet people. Tell the person this "you're going to hear what a terrible person I am. How I throw her to the ground and stomp on her. How I lock her up in the dungeon and torture her by putting her on the rack all day.". Make it sound ridiculous and bring to light what she will say to them, so that when she does say how awful you are, no one will take it seriously. That's what I'd do. I put it out there and make sure she knows there's nothing she can say about you that's going to be a secret so she might as well shut her mouth.
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