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For the past 12 years we have done nothing by dote on my mother in law and be at her beck and call. She is diabetic and has never taken care of the disease causing her to have multiple health related issues. A month before we were married she had quadruple open heart surgery. However that still didn't keep her from sitting and eating a 1/2 bag of candy and saying that she'll eat it if she feels like it and worry about it later. Or taking care of her disease properly. Well now everybody is having to worry about it later because she is on dialysis 3x's weekly, has neuropathy in both legs, has wounds on her legs, can't walk without assistance from care giver, can't bathe herself or get to the bathroom by herself. In other words needs 24/7 care and doesn't feel as though she needs to pay much for it. Feels like it's owed to her by anybody who feels bad enough for her. She has always been envious of everybody else and has alienated her siblings and most of her children because it was never the perfect time for them to visit or she faked being sick. Well now she is very sick and the medical treatments are really only buying time. I have never been the kind of daughter in law to turn my back on her and have always supported my husband with his decisions and have spent countless hours in hospital rooms and nursing homes while she recovers from various episodes caused by the diabetes. I have also spent countless hours on the computer doing research for her care with the dialysis diet and so forth and then she tossed the papers on the floor telling me it was too difficult and she wasn't going to bother trying. She hasn't prepared for the future in anyway and so there is no will or trust or life insurance to help financially for her care and even though she needs skilled nursing, is digging her heels into ever going to a nursing home. She blames all of us for the condition that she is in and takes no responsibility for her own actions as to why she is in this situation. I beleive from childhood she has been on a pedestal and thinks she's a diva. Now she has told me that the reason I am so stressed out is because I'm jealous of the relationship that she and my husband have as he is the baby of the family and should be hers alone. She has also informed me that I am not family and shouldn't concern myself with her or his dad any longer and to grow up and get over it if I think that my husband should be with me. She would love to force a wedge between my husband and me so that we divorce and she has her baby back. She's been trying to do this since we were dating. Please provide some incite as to how I should deal with this as I have always been very family oriented and have treated her more like my mother then mother in law and she has always stated that she loved me. Now I'm hearing how she truly feels. I understand that she's most likly ticked at the world and herself but instead is taking it out on me and the rest of the family.

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JakeWright14- Thanks for understanding where I am coming from. Yes it is certainly difficult trying to help those that do not want the help but then still want for you to be at their beck and call. It only shows us that they just don't want to pay for anything as to why they refuse help. I can understand that nobody really wants to give up all independence but when they then expect for us to quit our jobs to care for them, that's a bit selfish as well. I do love them, I really do,& that's why it hurts me so much, but it's wearing on my last nerve with my MIL especially being so mean and ruthless and cussing at us. I hate to walk away and allow them to suffer under their own pretenses but maybe that's what actually needs to occur. It really rips at my heartstrings that we are in a helpless state with them but under no circumstance will we or are we willing to give up our jobs and dreams because of their poor choices. Thanks again for your understanding. God Bless you as well with caring for your own husband.
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You are right about the State taking over and your MIL will have no choice in the matter at that point. I was my MIL caregiver when she started with dementia. Her oldest son talked her into buying the house up the street from my family, then after my FIL passed away and she became sick, the caregiving fell on me. Her oldest son lived out west and never came out to visit after she became sick. Her daughter lived 45mins away and only came up every other Saturday. When she was there all she did was scream at her mother for not trying harder. She felt if her mother tried harder she wouldn't have memory problems. Before her mother got sick she came up all the time, afterwards, not so much. Ended up I asked daughter to help out more and she cursed me out for asking. After that I told my husband I was only going to do minimal caregiving and his family would have to find someone else to deal with everything. Oh, by the way we also have a disabled child who was young at that point, that I was caring for and dealing with all his support programs and I was working outside the home as well and my husband's siblings were well aware of all of this, but didn't seem to care. The visiting nurse was called in to evaluate my MIL and they had a home companion come to the house for several hours each day. She would report back to the nurse and myself. She deemed my MIL not able to be at home alone. Next step was the State was called in by the Visiting Nurse and the State sent a person to care for her all day long, while he evaluated her. This was done for two weeks. At the end of that time, he made his findings known to the State, which was she couldn't live by herself any longer. I had my husband call both his siblings and tell them what was going on and see if either was interested in having their mother live with one of them. Those two joked and said why would they want her the way she was now. (She was a very kind and loving lady who never swore or cursed and thanked me for everything I did for her, it was just too much for me alone to handle) I felt very bad about her going into the nursing home, but without anyone's help I just couldn't do it any longer. So, the State found a nursing home with an opening and she was placed there. The daughter wanted me to be the one to take her mother to the nursing home, but the State caseworker told me it was the daughter's responsiblity, not mine. So, that's what was done. She is gone more then 10 years now and it still bothers me how her kids acted during this time. I am now the caregiver for my husband who now has dementia. I have a wonderful support group of friends and my family along with respite programs for myself. His family is totally out of the picture since their mother passed away. They didn't like when I asked them for help with their mother's care, so I know they are non-caring and useless. God Bless you, for dealing with the MIL that you have! If she continues the way she is, the State will step in and that will be no ones fault but her own. Good luck.
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Thank you all for your comments and sharing your situations on this site. Again, I feel like I'm not alone. I also wonder why I have to be subjected to my moms ugliness. After she is ugly to me mostly, or to someone else, and completely focused on herself, I feel awful for days and days. It has a long lasting effect and my sweetheart and friends can not be subjected to hearing the stories... because they are so awful and hurtful. I am heading there now... and am also trying to find a way to build a wall to stop the hurt from being flung my way. I agree with those who say the husband/son is the one who has to stand in between the mother and daughterinlaw. He has to keep protecting his wife, because hopefully that relationship will go on for many, many, many, many years after the MIL is gone. All my best wishes to you....
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Not all DIL have such serious MIL problems. My Canadian friend's MIL had full care from govt health but did forget much. Thought DIL was former girlfriend of her son; and 'so glad' they were together! Then sent son and DIL on their way so she could get ready "to have tea with the queen". They all lived happily ever after.
It makes a big difference when caregiving and its stresses are not added in. Try to avoid that problem by making your own plans for long term care and spare your family.
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madge1- Thanks SO much for recommeding that site. I have been able to take a look at it and I has been such an eye opener as I can now better understand her reasoning. However it still doesn't make her behavior excusable. I've been able to plug in the names of the family members for whom she can put into those rolls and not it makes a lot of sense. I have tons more reading on the site but from what I have been able to read, I thank you for the suggestion. :-)
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MyWitsEnd - I like your way of thinking and your quote "My give a damn is busted." I only wish my MIL was actually capable getting up and doing things for herself but because of the neuropathy she is either bed or chair ridden and refuses to try unless she wants attention and then she can magically get up causing herself to fall more then not. Makes one wonder doesn't it? Otherwise I would love to use those tactics. I am SO glad that she doesn't live with me. I believe my own mother should have used that tactic on my grandfather who was living with them. He didn't say much but also expected my mother to wait on him hand and foot. I believe for my own sanity I am going to distance myself from her for a while and support my husband from behind the scenes for a bit. At least these blogs are helping me realize what the problem is and how to react to it. Thanks again! :-)
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Have faith- us DIL's can't do some things, but we can control what we personally are willing to do and how it affects our family. I am viewing my very Demanding MIL like I do a child. I am not a maid and this is not a hotel. You don't like carrots in your salad- pick them out. You want your laundry done a certain way- you know where the machine is. I am quickly seeing I will wear myself out. I do believe my give a damn is busted :).
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Breadbaker - Yes that much I have been made aware of as APS (Adult Protective Services) has been contacted via the hospital because my MIL has been in and out of the hospital more often then not. The EMT's are also made to keep records each time they are called out and when my FIL kept calling them because my MIL fell they were contacted and got involved. He's too old to be dealing with her alone. That was a couple years back as they now have a caretaker but they won't be staying much longer because of the way my MIL has treated them and they have decided to break all ties. So I'm expecting APS to get back involved full force. I know my MIL got highly ticked at all of us when APS got involved this last time thinking it was one of us that had contacted them. We explained to her that we wouldn't have done that because it would have only hindered our ability to assist her the way that she would like to be helped. We explained to her that IF APS gets too involved and things don't check out at the house like they should then we could lose all control of helping them and the State would take custody over them and they would be treated like a child and be placed in a state run facility where I know they don't want to be. She said that won't ever happen. We told her then she is going to have to corporate with the family so that we can assist her in the way that she would prefer. So we shall see. It deeply saddens me to see them like this but under the same token we can't be constantly abused like this either. I know it hurts my husband and I will stand by him through thick or thin as our vows state for better or worse. I suppose this is just part of the worse.
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MyWittsEnd - Oh my goodness yes, then you understand exactly what I'm going through especially if your MIL is living with you. I am SO grateful that mine isn't. I think I would have been in an insane asylum by now if she was. That's why anymore when we have to be around her I stay in the kitchen and help prepare the meals and clean up and so forth. That way I don't have to physically be around her except during the meal. But no longer will I spend countless hours in hospitals or nursing / rehab centers. I would never tell my husband not to visit or do what he feels that he needs to do unless it completely neglected me but I also do not have to be around her and subject myself to her abuse any longer. Thank you for allowing me to vent as I don't want to lose my close relationship with my friends, family and co-workers. As they only can listen to it for so long. Prime reason I searched for a blog that I could get some non biased opinions. I truly thank you for your suggestions and listening ear.
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Madge1 - Thanks for the suggestion about the site. I will certainly take a look. I'm all about educating myself as that is the prime reason I have gotten onto ageingcare.com and other sites of the sort so that I could better provide the tools for my husband and his siblings. As well as us not having to pull out our hair when that time does come to make decisions. As I am only the daughter in law I have no rights to make those decisions. I can only get the ball rolling. The rest is now in their court. Thanks again for the incite. Everybody's suggestions and comments are really helping me open my eyes to this situation and realize that it's not me with the issues even though my MIL feels that it is.
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Havefaith - Sounds like my father. What I found out: We, his children, are not legally responsible for him. He is an adult and can make adult choices. But, if he cannot live on his own, but insists on doing it, Protective Services for the county can be contacted anonymously. It could be reported that a senior citizen is unable to care for themselves in their home and the county would get involved and investigate. That happened here a few years ago when someone in this neighborhood was a hoarder and was reported. At least it gets other people involved in the situation and may help in some manner.
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Havefaith- I share your pain. My MIL is a total narcissist. It is a wonder my husband and I have survived so long without the never ending opinions and advice she constantly doles out. She is living with us, and I am quickly learning to put up boundaries. As a DIL I think it is also easier for us to approach such a person with more objectivity. I do not care in the least if I am pleasing her as I see that as an unattainable goal. This site is a good place to vent. I know there is only so much my friends and co-workers want to hear. Plus, unless you know her, it is probably hard to understand how difficult she can be.
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faithingod, I must respond. I just cut all ties with my 82 year old mother. She is very much as you have described your mother in law. I also just re-read daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com. Please google this site. It will open your eyes. It did mine.

I haven't talked to mom in two months. I had to do this to preserve myself. I am her scapegoat. She knows exactly what she is doing, just as your mother in law knows exactly what she is doing.

I am not advocating you cut all ties with your mother in law, just educated yourself as to what you are dealing with and how to set boundaries. I wish you well.
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JessieBelle- Thanks for understand and allowing me to vent. After a while you kind of exhaust the people around you and I completely understand. It exhuaust me and I'm living it. She actually has always acted like this but now that she has lost her independence she has become even more mean. However she does have Parkinson's and I'm sure some dementia going along with it. Ahh yes, we are fully aware of the UTI's as she has landed herself in the hospital many times because it them. And yes we have seen what other kinds of reactions can come along with them such as dehydration, drop in blood pressure, delirium, stroke like symptoms and so forth. It's certainly crazy what toxins can do to our bodies. I do truly feel sorry that she has this awful disease. What I don't and can't feel sorry for her is that she has never taken care of herself and treated the disease properly and has expected everybody to feel sorry for her. She does things to herself as an attention getter. If I had just met her yesterday I would think I was the one with the issues but I've known her for 25 years so I've seen it most of my life. To give you a short description of her envy: when her sister was born she hated her because it took the attention away from her and she was 9 years older. Throughout the years more of the onion has been peeled back and have I begun to see her true colors and what kind of a mother she really was while my husband and siblings were growing up. Apparently she had them take care of most of the cleaning and such because she couldn't bear to get out of bed before noon or after. I've asked my husband about childhood memories and he never seems to recall anything. Such as books being read to him or games they would play or other activities or outings they would do. I later asked him if his childhood was that terrible that he had to block it from his mind. He says no but I'm still wondering if it really was. However he has wonderful memories with his grandparents. The only thing I have ever seen the women do is get up from bed between noon or later, go to her recliner, watch TV till very late and then go back to bed. Now she did work a bit but not for many years and only on her terms. And she has the audacity to call others lazy and boring. HELLO!! Who's lazy and boring??? She has always had people from childhood up dote on her and bow to her every whim so now because there are people around her that will no longer do that she is yelling and screaming obscenities and so forth. If she were my child she would get a spanking or be sent to her room for her behavior. However she's an adult and we can't do that.
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NancyH- Thanks for your suggestions. I totally agree with you about leaving her alone from here on out. Oh I want to tell her off to her face but I'm afraid it would only bite in the rear end later. However the caretaker has snapped back as my MIL has been just as rude and mean to them as well. And well, if you aren't really getting paid then what do you have to lose either. She does get paid but when you factor it into a 24-7 time frame and are doing everything for them; laundry, doctors appointments, meals, meds, cleaning, ext. then it really comes out to peanuts. Plus it's nowhere near what an agency would charge them anyway since this person is doing it out of the kindness of their heart. They said that she would leave but they don't want to leave us in a learch or them. And if they didn't love them like parents then they would have left a long time ago. I just don't get people like this who can be so mean and vindictive. My own mother is vindictive at times but never have I had to deal with down right meanness. You nailed it on the head when you called her crabby, selfish, self-destructive and vindictive. I've also been told that she's narcissistic through someone on a blog. I just have to shake my head at how ridiculous her behavior really is. Doesn't she know that after she alienates all of us then what is she going to do? Because even my husband is getting fed up with her and has begun to keep his distance. I have never nor would I ever try to keep him from her but on the same token I don't need to subject myself to her abuse any longer. I value my family and friends with everything that I have but I refuse to be treated like that. I appreciate the non biased opinions on here as there is so much I can't really discuss with personal friends and need outside opinions before I completely lose my mind and go insane. She has been on the verge of a nervous break down and so I'm trying to reach out to these forums first before I do.
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havefaithingod, I feel for your situation. If your MIL is on dialysis and is having the problems you mentioned with neuropathy and circulation in her legs, then chances are that she is not going to be in the world much longer. There could be some very heart-wrenching things that happen with her health in the near future, and some difficult decisions for her to make. I have a feeling that it would probably be in your and your husband's best interest to just stand with him in whatever decisions he makes. If you're standing with him, your MIL will have a hard time putting a wedge between you.

I wonder if the change in your MIL may indicate some dementia. People with diabetes are at elevated risk for vascular dementia. There is also some research being done about the association between diabetes and Alzheimer's. Apparently people with diabetes are at high risk of developing dementia. If your MIL's behavior changed, it may have something to do with it.

People with diabetes also have a higher risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs can make elders act psychotic. If there is a very sudden change in behavior perhaps coupled with hallucinations and delusions, it would be good to check for a UTI.

If it is pure meanness that has been hidden for years, there is not much you can do except realize that you are better than that. In your shoes, I would just work with my husband to do what needed to be done. You can always let him know what she says without criticizing -- he may feel defensive if the two of you start throwing barbs at each other through him.

Feel free to vent and yell here. We know a lot of what you're going through. Your MIL and my mother sound like sisters, except mine isn't quite as mean. It is always safe to vent here.
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Jeannegibbs- Thanks for your incite into this matter. My husband has grown up considerably over the past 12 years because I refuse to baby him as his mother always did and still trys to do. So yes he is and has been able to stand up to his mother and tell her that she's being stuborn or soforth. Yes I am glad that he will stand up for his himself and his marriage as he has backed me up when their care taker only saw that we were keeping our distance and could only see his mom as a sweet older lady. Not seeing he entire picture. That's when he stood up and informed her about the things that his mother has done to me and to all of us over the years and now after being there for over a year has actually appoligized to us for her first impression of us. Stating that it wasn't really us wanting to stay away but his mom's behavior causing us to not want to be around her. I do understand that there is nothing legally we can do to force her into a nursing home but if she alienates her caretaker and is unable to locate someone who is willing to work for peanuts because she refuses to pay for anything and we are aware of the situation and don't do anything wouldn't it be considered Elder Abuse and then we would be held liable for her? She has us caught between a rock and a hard place.
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Your mother-in-law is a lazy self-centered person who is now having to pay the piper so to speak for her neglect in taking care of her body. As someone who also has a mother-in-law that I help take care of, AND is married to the baby son of the family, I hear ya. This is your HUSBAND'S problem. Only HE can be the one that corrects his mother's thinking and attitude towards you. He is the one that should be putting his WIFE and family ahead of her, you shouldn't be the one dealing with her alone. And if my mother-in-law were to do to me what yours has done to you, I would be in her face big time. I would figure that I had nothing to lose, so I would tell her what I think of her attitude. But that's just what I would do. Talk to your husband and tell him that you're not going to deal with her anymore. Tell him you love him, and value your marriage and that you hope he does too. Then leave this crabby, selfish, self-destructive, vindictive woman alone. Seriously.
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You have good insight into your MIL's motivations. I hope you take some comfort from them.

You are not going to be able to change MIL's behavior.

You and your husband can control your behavior. You can make your decisions and stick to them.

You cannot make her go to a nursing home, but you can decide to stop providing 24/7 care. You can set some boundaries about what you'll do and when you'll do it. You can make clear to her medical providers that you are not taking responsibility for the care she needs.

You can't stop her from being a diva but you can stop treating her like one.

The factor in all this that I worry about is your husband. Is he the mama's boy she has tried so hard to make him, or can he stand up for himself and his marriage? I guess that is the biggest question right now.

Good luck!
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