Follow
Share

We are seniors who live in a remote rural community and my wife developed breast cancer. Since there are no cancer centers near our home, my wife's daughter (my step-daughter) who lives in a major city that has a cancer center encouraged us to move in with her and her family. This we did and my wife was shortly admitted to a cancer hospital and underwent infection control and radiation treatment. She was released from the hospital and is recovering at her daughter's home. She is doing very well now under the care of myself and visiting nurses.

After an initial period of (insincere) warmth and concern for her mother, our daughter and her new significant other started a terror campaign against us. Since, we are currently economically dependent on them for accommodation while I provide care for my wife and job search in this new city, they feel that they can lord over us. Contrary to the original offer, we were moved to a very tiny room in the house instead of the larger room we were promised. Instead of free accommodation, it was demanded that we provide rent as well as housekeeping and transportation services for their family. This we gladly provide but in return we have received disrespect (talking to us as if we are two year olds), insults, verbal abuse, false accusations, slander, bullying and shunning. Strangely, they would eat our groceries instead of their own. Also, they attempted to break up our relationship but this backfired (motivation: control of my wife and her estate). We raised the issue of showing respect for their parents and elders and they scoffed at us.

Every day we experience some kind of abuse and would love to return home but we are stuck here because of the nursing care. My wife is a strong woman and I admire her ability to deal with this situation but I believe that it was the strained relationship she has with her (mentally ill) daughter that brought this cancer on. She certainly doesn't need this emotional abuse when recovering from cancer. Any suggestions on how to deal with this situation?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Debralee, Although it was a very negative experience, it was positive in that we discovered their true feelings and agendas before it was too late. Now we know that we would never place ourselves in their care and we certainly have reconsidered inheritance issues. Hopefully, our story may help others with questionable family relationships.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hope you do not consider this daughter/stepdaughter as a recipient to a future inheritence. Her treatment of you does not earn her a legacy of any kind.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

All good, done and dusted and you are the better and wiser for it. Sometimes we have to think our choices through before jumping on them.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Update: We arrived home and settled in nicely. It is so peaceful here and my wife is feeling much more at ease. The nursing services and medications have been transferred here. Also, my wife will be registering with a local doctor and a regional cancer center. As for myself, I've obtained a part-time job and surprisingly there is lots of firewood still available in the area. All seems to be going well.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Blannie, thank you for the advice. My wife has an aversion to computers so I can't see her using this excellent website. She gives her concerns to the Creator and that helps her through.

Chicago1954, hopefully it doesn't come to that. Yes, I find them very scary and I wish I had never known them. I did attempt to initiate a criminal record check on the boyfriend but it wasn't possible.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I would get an order of protection against this daughter and her husband. They sound scary.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Richard I'm very glad to see you're going back home. If you could get your wife on this site, she'd get lots of support. It sounds like this is very hard for her. Can you get her into some counseling when you get back home? Maybe pastoral counseling if you can't afford it from a psychologist. It sounds like you're adjusting fine, it's your wife who needs some extra support during this difficult time. Hugs to you both and please let us know how you're progressing.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Good Richard, it is painful, life can bring you to your knees, but if you have searched yourselves and made peace with it, then you must let go. It does not mean you don't care it does not mean you don't love her, it just means that you love yourselves too and respect your own needs first, priority is you and your wife. Maybe when your daughter has had some time to think and life has brought her to her knees a few times, maybe you can pick up the pieces, but for now, it sounds like you must take care of yourselves and that really means stop mulling over her slights, actions, behaviors, how could she, why did she, LET it GO.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Madeaa, yes that is true. My wife has apologized to our daughter many times over the years for not being an perfect mother. But, then again, who is? She forgives herself but our daughter can't let go of her delusions and does not have the capacity to forgive. We forgive them and wish them well but we no longer want them in our life. Today is our last day here, we return home tomorrow. Now, we can begin the true healing process.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Richard, it is time to move on and out and back to your rural home. Sometimes we can not make sense of why people, including ourselves, act the way we do. All we can do is search ourselves and take responsibility for any and all behaviour that may have caused any issues and then forgive yourself and let go. You expect your daughter to act one way, but the reality is that we can not expect anyone to do anything. Somewhere along the line things got mixed up. I would leave the door open for forgiveness but that does not mean that you forget or have to have her in your life, it means you forgive yourself and her. Stop trying to make sense of this and focus your energy and attention on getting well, both of you need to heal. Let go, live and let live and resentment is like a cancer it will kill you also.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My wife went through a very abusive and venomous attack from her daughter last Tuesday where she accused her of "abandoning her her whole life". This was very untrue and negates anything Shari ever did for her. It was very hurtful to my wife and precipitated the decision to move out. Later, she received more of the same from our granddaughter who is full of hate and slander just like her mother. My wife has been staying in her room ever since and she raised the question, "What kind of daughter does this to her mother when she is in her most vulnerable position dealing with a life-threatening disease?"

Now here is irony: our daughter recently received an award for outstanding nursing care that she is giving as a nursing student at the local hospital. If they only knew the other side of her! Once she gets her designation, I pity any patients that might experience her Dr. Jekyll/Mrs. Hyde character.

We have decided together that once we leave that will be the end of our relationship with that family. If I could have foreseen these events, I never would have put my wife in harms way.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Caregiveryes, we love our wilderness retreat but we decided last spring to finish the renovations and get the home ready for sale. We were just about one weeks work away from having it ready to present to realtors when we had to take my wife to the cancer center. Now that she is recovering we can finish the renovations and hopefully sell and move to the community where my wife's best friend lives. They have better medical care there and she will have positive emotional and physical support from her friend and her friend's family as well.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I really would go back home. Most County Health Departments offer excellent services to those in need, i.e. nursing staff to check on your wife etc. Also, since it sounds like you are looking for a new job, maybe it is time for you and your wife to sell your home and move to a city of your choice that has excellent medical care. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Emio, thank you for your experience and insight. We went through something similar many years ago when we took in our destitute brother-in-law. He eventually took over our lives and we lived in fear of him until we gathered the courage to toss him out. If you are perceived as gentle decent people, the bullies will always attempt to dominate you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Good Richard
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am so glad for you. I had a similar, though perhaps not as bad, situation taking my daughter and her family in when they were on the out and out. It was my daughter who started taking over more and more of the house as if it were her own, and no gratitude for what I was doing for them, just more difficulties and a greater attitude of entitlement from her. e.g.she started making decisions about changing the decor as if it were her house, Finally it came to a head and they moved out telling my other children that the problem was that I could not get along with them. In a sense it was true. I could and would not accept that behaviour from anyone in my house, my child or not. My personal files got rearranged, my rose bushes got cut down, my godson who was staying with me was forced to leave, and more. I know, at one point she wanted to purchase my house from me cheap. Certainly gain was one major motivation.
With your wife recovering from cancer, she must have a relatively stress free environment. I do think it affects recovery. Wishing you both all the best, and now that you know "how the land lays", protect yourselves accordingly. All the best.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Good news: we are going to be returning home and leaving this abusive environment. My wife finally has had enough and is now willing to accept services elsewhere.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

You should contact Adult Protective Services and ask for help. Many times siblings call in to report siblings which is hard for them to investigate. But if you and wife are being abused you should report it, they would help find whatever you need.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

At this risk of appearing weird, we both have this strange feeling that they are using some form of technology to listen to our private conversations. It has stunned us when they repeat our private conversations back to us the next day. Also, they give us that arrogant smirk look that they know something we don't know. At the beginning, our daughter's tech-savvy boyfriend gave us an android cell phone to use which we initially thought was a kind gesture. However, I hear that these phones can be used to record conversations as well as track one's physical location. Interestingly, strange apps would open up at random. Also, they may have placed bugs in our car and room since some of our "recorded" conversations occurred when the cell phone was absent. If this is the case, we are appalled and disgusted that they would go to these extremes and we wonder what their motivation could possibly be for such behavior.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you everyone for all your comments. The best solution would be to move out if it wasn't for our tight finances (reduced income and existing debt load). I wanted to return home as Madeaa suggested but my wife doesn't have faith in the nursing care in our remote community and she trusts the care she is getting here. As a result, we missed the window to obtain firewood to heat our home this winter. We've looked into Cancer Center and Community resources but the rentals were beyond our budget. I do like the idea of volunteer billeting though, something to look into. We are coping by avoiding this couple as much as possible.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

By all means, discuss this with the cancer program's social worker. You need to escape that disheartening situation.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

You say your wife is being treated at a cancer center in a major city. Does the Cancer Center have resources - a social worker perhaps - who could assist you in finding an affordable place to stay where you won't be subjected to this abuse? The hospital may even have members of the community who volunteer their homes to help people in your situation. Definitely ask your wife's doctor.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Go back to your home if she is released from treatment and follow-up in your area. Get out and don't look back and use this most enlightening information to your advantage for future planning and needs. You really never know anyone, family included, friends until you are under one roof. Hope your wife gets better and I guess you will just have to man up like your avatar and think what would Chuck do.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I agree with Margarets - move out and find a place for just the two of you. Do you have any other children that can help you to do that? It sounds like you have some finances to handle this. You can find transportation services either through mass transit or by contacting the nearest senior center or Area Agency on Aging. If you need help to do that, tell us what city you're in and we can help get you contact numbers. Good luck and keep us posted. You don't need to put up with that kind of treatment.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Since you are paying rent for a tiny room, and buying your own groceries anyway, and dping housekeeping, it doesn't sound like there is any advantage to staying in your step-daughter's house. And there are A LOT of disadvantages. Verbal abuse isn't going to help your wife recover. So, could you rent a small apartment in this city? It might be a bit more expensive overall but a lot less grief.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Most cities have cancer support groups. I strongly suggest that you contact one and also that you let your wife's doctor know what the situation is. My heart goes out to you...good luck.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.