I’m currently being paid to care for my fiancé’s mother (cancer, leukemia, anxiety and other things). The problem is that she has been married to a very violent man whom she always appeases, enables and caters to. She is completely disabled, mid 50’s, cannot walk more than a few steps.

She was nearly beaten to death by that evil old man in the late 1980’s. He drinks at least a six pack a night, he yells and curses at both her and I, he continually sabotages my work trying to clean the hoarded home, he’s got at least a dozen guns, etc. Despite his wife being on Medicaid he owns two Mercedes cars, 3 LCD big screen televisions, every type of new gadget that he never uses, every power tool and more, and they go to at least six rock concerts a year. I don’t have insurance currently and haven’t since she begged me to take care of her (and she cries and panics whenever I would search for a second or a better job). My fiancé works and does have job security fortunately. It would not be that hard to get a second job or a better one (I actually had to get certified to work as a paid caregiver) but I don’t know of anyone else who would do what I do. Like, if I walk away, I am pretty sure he will go off the rails. She’s got issues of her own too (I’m almost 34 and my fiancé and I want children—but she says women are having kids in their 50’s these days so I can wait...she wants us to move back in with her when her husband dies, doesn’t do anything but watch television and complain about the husband abusing her yet letting him) and tbh I am beyond burned out. The money is not bad but I’m constantly sick to my stomach from the anxiety. I’m from an abusive background myself and I deserve better.

So the actual question is, what are my options for her care? She believes she’s owed care by her daughter in law because gender roles *gag* and insists her son can’t do anything like clean or cook or anything like that (which is baloney, he absolutely can). Most of the time I’m there every day and I have not seen my own loved ones in years. I know they’re gonna hate me but if they knew that I am 12% North African they’d hate me anyway (did I mention the racism?)

Before I stepped in they had a weekly care person who just did two hours of cleaning and stole thousands of dollars from her. I have done everything right, and yet he calls me a gold digger and worse. I don’t want that ugly old house and I don’t want the money he doesn’t have. I just want my fiancé to be able to heal and be happy because he’s nothing like his parents at all, he’s a wonderful soul but he’s just as much of a wreck because of this.

I really would love to be able to help her but I am starting to think she LIKES the abuse—she has abysmal self esteem and always says she likes pain. Despite the fact she’s on heavy pain medication (and yes she drinks but she’ll never quit). I’m really close to calling the agency and being honest because I cannot take this much longer. I’ve lost 15 pounds in less than a month because of the anxiety.

Find Care & Housing

You have options--you can leave.

What's in this for you? A man who won't step up for you (and I am understanding that this is "normal" for him...when in fact it most assuredly IS NOT).

Pack your stuff. Leave. Just. Leave.

I agree wiht you about calling APS. I have found them to be less than helpful and although they swear you identity is kept secret--well, it's not. Just from the questions the ask (if they bother to investigate) the parents will know it was you.

You owe these people nothing, less than nothing. You owe yourself a life.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Midkid58

Setting aside your question about caregiving, I wonder what you find attractive about a man who allows you to be subjected to that and who doesn't even try to step up to help his own mother. This is a deeply dysfunctional family dynamic and his behaviour now is a demonstration of how things will be when things get rough, as well as resigning your position as caregiver I'd be doing some soul searching about continuing with your plans to marry.
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Reply to cwillie
NoMore2019 Jan 2, 2019
Actually he DOES do a lot for her. She just prefers to have me do it. He did everything I do for most of his childhood and teenage years. I don’t live with them fortunately. He actually yelled at his dad yesterday and threw out a lot of hoarded stuff.

hes been going over and doing yard work and trying to do cleaning too. He gets a lot of vacation time (like, four weeks a year) and spends it doing stuff for them rather than what he wants. He gave up his hopes of a degree in engineering because of it. But at the same time I understand where you are coming from too. I am considering a complete career change—furniture making and reupholstering. I have connections with a local company that can train me on the job and I would like to go into something that is not caregiving or anything related to personal care. 😎
Quit and leave the toxic mess. Like yesterday. There’s no way you’re ever fixing the mess, no one can. It’s their mess and they like it just like it is
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Reply to Daughterof1930
faranlee Jan 8, 2019
I second this. I'd be thinking about moving out of state.
I agree that you deserve better than this. Your fiance may be a good guy, but he is deeply enmeshed with his dysfunctional family. Realistically, whether he realizes it or not, by default he is putting your needs last, secondary to helping his mother enable her abusive husband. Would you really want to bring kids into this situation?

From your other post, it sounds like you are looking for a job YOU like. That's good, and will help you to be able to get out from under this situation. It really is killing you and your health, and doesn't sound like it will get any better. I'd look into getting a separate apartment or something too, just completely separate yourself from the situation. That way whether or not you decide you still want to see fiance, you aren't in the middle of all of the caregiving mess for his mom. He is the one that needs to be figuring that out. I'd tell him you can't take care of his mom anymore. You seriously don't need that kind of abuse.
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Reply to FrazzledMama
NoMore2019 Jan 8, 2019
his mother hasn’t worked since 1988. She just stopped doing anything. She’s only 53 and on morphine and xanax and OxyContin. I was just diagnosed with precancerous uterine polyps in October and I have kept it a secret because I know damn well she doesn’t care and at best she’ll turn on the waterworks and wail how it’s all her fault. Well...IT IS HER FAULT because every damn time I have previously tried to get medical care or a better job I get b*tched at.

I’m contemplating relocating to Massachusetts with extended family and just starting over. Family that I love and have missed terribly and haven’t gotten to see in decades.
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Call the agency and get out of there as fast as you can. You are being taken
advantage of and being abused. If you don't leave you run the risk of becoming
disabled yourself. If your fiance doesn't see this you may need to reconsider if
continuing relationship is workable. Take it from someone who's been there and gotten very broken in the process. My husband was seriously enmeshed with
his toxic very anti social family and became abusive himself towards me later in
our marriage. I think siding with them and abusing me was a relief for him, because when he did so he was no longer their target. A pass the hot potato of abuse kind of thing. I've never seen abusive people get any better when their
preferred abuse target was in range. It's how they function.

Abusive people only reform when their targets get tired and leave, and even then
the rate of recovery is abysmally small, like 3%. Same as recovery from Schizophrenia. Again, occurs if and only if abuse targets leave and stay away.
You are enabling very sick toxic behavior and hurting yourself. Leaving them
to their own devices is actually a win win. You will be free, functional and happy
and they will be forced to clean up their act and act civilized to their hired
help. If they chose not to do this then that's not on you. By the way your MIL is
same age and even considerably younger than many on this board. Some who
are still working and care taking their families. Your MIL health problems could
stem from poor diet choices combined with sedentary life style and verbal abuse
Your putting up with this dysfunction is continuing to enable these poor choices. Again this keeps the status quo and just hurts you.

Finally I'd add that your abusive FIL gun collection is a real worry. One of the reasons abusive people are so draining is that you never know what they'll do next. I'd be out of there as fast as you can humanly make it. Good luck!!!!! ((((HUGS)))))
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to bettina

Above advice is good - this is a deeply dysfunctional mess that you cannot realistically hope to fix.  If you get out of it, work on your own life and health, is it possible your fiancé will be encouraged to help himself?  But above all, you must take care of yourself. You cannot fix other people - even highly trained professionals can only do so much, and only when the person to be "fixed" wants it.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to rovana

I hope you don't live with them. If you do, make a New Year's resolution to get out.

Call APS. Call an agency and arrange a caregiver for her. You can't help her but you can make a better choice for yourself. Her anxiety and panic about your decisions aren't your responsibility.

If you like being a caregiver, there are easier people to care for.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to anonymous594015

You will not be doing right by herself or for her if you continue to allow anyone in the family to think it’s actually working smoothly and well for either of you.

Sometimes (NOT always) people with significant, complex problems actually respond far better to “strangers” than to family. Just the fact that she believes you or your SO “owe” her care BECAUSE of family relationships should tip you off to how pathological her thinking really is.

I can’t think why her crying or begging or his cursing and insults should have any impact on you at all EXCEPT to indicate to you that the circumstances which you are tolerating are FAR beyond what should be expected of you.

I also have to seriously question your FI’s tolerance of his lifestyle. He’s also far overdue for a reality check on how he’s willing to waste his life in a situation with so little balance.

Then there’s also those guns......

I typically feel far differently considering stories about people diagnosed with dementia, some of whom can be abrasive and overtly hostile and verbally crude and unkind. Although I always feel that there must be a sense of balance in any and all human interactions, dementia often if not always comes with a break with decision making, self monitoring, and loss of emotional stability, and so causes a disruption in the ways human balances can be normally sought.

Your lifestyle, and those in this immediate family setting, are as they are because this mother and father have ALWAYS acted this way, and your FI, and presumably anyone else around her, has always tolerated what has been the constant for ost of his life.

Looking for a reasonable compromise in any of this just doesn’t seem goal directed to a good outcome. Cut the ties, and if your FI won’t do the same, ask yourself why your devotion isn’t worth more than what he receives in that household.
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Reply to AnnReid
NoMore2019 Jan 8, 2019
There’s no dementia here. She’s only 53. If I continue then I’m stuck here forever without any hope of escape.

I’m already applying for jobs.
Im shocked you make so little but are willing to put up with so much. I would be scared to report this also unless I was far away. I'd get a burner phone, all my stuff, and head out permanently. If MA is where your gram is, maybe you can live there. I would not tell bf until I was gone. He's had a lot of time to marry you of he really wanted to. He's tolerant of this behavior and he should be running from it. Go!
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Reply to surprise

You are certainly NOT an "evil traitor" - that is just words to make you feel bad so they can control you.  Nonsense! You actually owe nothing to these people.
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Reply to rovana

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