How to keep your sanity with all this complaining and arguing? - AgingCare.com

How to keep your sanity with all this complaining and arguing?

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My MIL is living with myself, my husband, and our son (who is 23 & high functioning autistic). She has end stage copd & digestive issues. Constantly obsesses about every little ache & pain..it's almost funny to see the dramatic way she sits at dinner & holds her stomach looking out of the corner of her eye to see if we are noticing (by the way, she has had endoscopies, colonoscopies, etc..there's nothing wrong). If it's not her health, it's her other kids who don't visit or call enough. Or something that they did years ago that she will bring up & harp on for as long as she can get you to listen. She'll sleep all day if we're both at work (he works 5 days a week, I work 6)...then stay up at night. I can't seem to have 5 minutes to myself. If I get up, here she comes. I was up til 1am Christmas eve cooking for the next day's dinner (after working all day at the post office) & She was standing on the other side of the bar just yammering on about all of the above..I could have done a jig when she finally went to bed...then she got back up about 20 min. later to "keep me company"...When family comes over she has what I call the "Miraculous Recovery" til they leave & then it's right back to poor me, everything hurts, everybody look at me ! She constantly starts arguments with my husband..they can no longer have a civil conversation. She was still smoking when she moved in & was having difficulty breathing & needed her rescue inhaler every time she smoked....til her oxygen level dropped to 69 & we called 911...the Dr. at the hospital told us to go home & get rid of all of the cigarettes which we did. She still rails at us about that. I know I'm rambling but I just need to vent. She constantly accuses us of wanting to put her in a home...says she wants to drive (which scares the crap out of me..she's so weak & forgetful)..we've tried to get her into some daytime activities but she won't have anything to do with it. She turns every conversation back to herself or something to do with her husband who has been gone 5 years now. I'm just beside myself with all this stress. I don't even want to come home some days because I know what it's gonna be. I'm afraid that all this stress is gonna take me or my husband out before we have any time to enjoy by ourselves! I feel so selfish saying that but that's how I feel...Thank you all so much for this discussion board. It helps to just get it out sometimes.

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Thanks so much for all your advice..she actually wants to live on her own, but needs support such as someone to be sure she eats, takes her meds, etc. She wants to go home but that's not possible as her home is 2 hours from any of the kids and in the middle of nowhere to boot (neighbors are few & far between & she's not really close to any of them). Since she doesn't drive, she could not provide for herself and we're afraid she would just sit there & die. We're trying to find somewhere close to us that she could live with some home health care & us checking on her. Just knowing I could come home & have some me time would be such a relief. And by "me" time I don't mean doing something for myself necessarily, but just doing housework undisturbed would be a joy. Thanks again..I know you all have "been there, done that" so your advice means so much more than people who have never taken care of someone.
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Here's a thread that has been going on for 10 months about the same topic. Reading through it might give you some ideas (and at least you will know you're not alone). https://www.agingcare.com/questions/tell-mother-in-law-to-move-out-166048.htm?cpage=0&post=1&cm=431223&z=1#431223
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To put it simply, your MIL needs to live somewhere else. She IS taking you and your husband down and I'm sure the stress and arguing isn't helping your son either. Your first priorities are to your immediate family (husband/son). And vice versa. Your MIL has lived her life and has no right to be such a drain on yours. Find her some place to live where she'll be around a whole group of people that she can interact with. My mom lives in independent living where there are 260 apartments. It would take your MIL a long time to turn off 260 people!

You can still be supportive and yet have the peace and quiet of your own home. When you don't want to come home to your own home, it's time for a MAJOR change. You'll find a ton of threads on here about similar situations. Take some time to read through them and get the support you need to talk to your husband. He's got to be on board too...but I bet down deep, he'd be thrilled to have his mom living somewhere else. It doesn't mean you don't love her, you just love your own nuclear family as your first priority.
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She needs to be seen by a geriatric psychiatrist asap. And I don't mean, oh mom, wouldn't you like to see a geriatric psychiatrist?". I mean you call up tomorrow am and get the next available appointment. You either record on your cell phone or write down verbatim her speech for 30 minutes. You write down a brief, factual description of her behavior and make sure the receptionist gives it to the doctor before you go in for the visit. She has depression at the very least and the good news is that it is treatable.

She would be better off in Assisted living. She'd be enthralled by the activities, the other people to compare aches and pains with. The next time she says that you want her in a home, look her straight in the eye and say, "why yes, I think you'd be much happier there, don't you? You're so miserable here, after all. I'll arrange some tours." Then, do it.

So, plan is 1. Geri psych appointment. 2. AL tours.

Let us know how that goes!
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She appears to be very social and interactive. Get her to a nice ALF with about 100 residents where there are a LOT of activities, for a one month trial. It's like going on a cruise; bus trips, entertainment, 3 meals and nice accommodations. You deserve a month off.
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