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As I have posted before, FIL has lived with us for two (seems like 20) years now.


I am am so sick of having him here.... he is not mean... just here. He can’t drive or do much of anything for himself. My husband and I are NEVER alone... Mr. Picky does not like respite care....


So, we do not entertain like we used to, but now I don’t even want to get together with friends.... I,don’t even want to have to talk. It is Saturday, and life long friends have invited us to wonderful evening of food, music, in their newly created backyard paradise.... the issue..... I am sitting here wishing for a downpour because I just don’t want to go. I wish I had not responded yes on the rsvp. Why can’t I just pull out of this mood/depression? The mere site of him makes my blood boil. I wonder if I will ever be in a good mood while we are stuck with him here?


Any ideas???? Anyone know a good “rain”dance?

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I went to an excellent counselor that really helped me. It doesn’t matter to your brain if you are depressed because of a bad situation or depressed for no reason. You are still depressed.
I told the counselor, “Help me learn to live with this person in my life, and then I can make the right decision about whether I should continue living with this person. “

My friend got a part time job at CostCo handing out samples to get out and be around people and away from the situation. She loves it, and she was a corporate banker.
If your FIL cannot be left alone, then his son will have to figure something out.
I needed help with my emotions and anxiety and depression so I could be at peace. Then all that other fell into place because I was a stronger advocate for myself.
None of this is easy. But you are being discounted and your feelings are important too.
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Reply to PrairieLake
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sidelined Aug 21, 2018
Yes and yes - you are so right, and I do feel like my feelings are invalidated.  I am going to start getting out more, working from home has advantages, but being locked up in the house with him all day is not good.

Thank you so much for your advice!
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It sounds like you are getting burned out. Not that you don't like FIL, but the lack of privacy and time alone with your hubby is getting to you. It may be time for you and hubby to sit down with FIL and explore alternative arrangements for his care.

I totally understand where you're coming from. My mom lived with us too for awhile and the lack of privacy was one of the hardest things. I also turned down invites from friends because I just didn't have any energy, I was so exhausted. He may not like respite, adult day care, AL, any of those choices, but you and hubby have to take care of yourselves and your marriage too.
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Reply to FrazzledMama
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sidelined Aug 18, 2018
Hi there, wow thank you so much for your response and feedback, and sharing your prior situation. Yes you are right, burnt out, sick of him occupying the living room/ tv and every once of our time.
just so I don’t sound like a completely unsympathic person, there is a long back story, and I just plane do not respect him. I have done so much and worked myself to death getting him set up here and he not once told me thanks....
i am hoping and a praying for relief.

thank you again for taking the time to reach out!
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Dear Sidelined,

i wish that I had read your post last year! I felt the exact same way with my MIL who came to live with us, her only son, for a year. She was 95 and unable to live alone anymore.
I used to like her even though she was sassy and opinionated. She was quite intelligent and stylish in her youth. Having her in my home was a different matter. She was either needing attention or watching tv constantly with the volume up. She did not help herself with meals and drinks even though she could. She did not like our respite people or a beautiful assisted living respite home. She thought our home in Vermont was “in the middle of the g-d Woods.” When she became more confused and had bathroom accidents and wakefulness at night, we moved her to assisted living (she did not like that one bit).

Until then, we did set up her own tv space, had her wear headphones for viewing tv, spent time by ourselves in our living room, and went out on a regular basis. We took handles off the stove, and had a security camera in the house. she wore an alarm pendant when we went out. We did include her in a weekly movie, invited her to about 60% of our meals together, occasional rides and outings, family visitors, etc. Despite all of this, she was never happy, did not want to go to a senior center, only wanted to hang out with us all of the time. When I gave gentle cues for bathroom hygiene, she became very anxious. The stay at our home really impacted our relationship negatively.

During that time, I did go to a counselor. It helped me to have perspective and to take care of myself. It helped to put limits on the “invasiveness” of her presence. Luckily, my husband was on the same page. That it important!

I truly wish for you to have private time, peace of mind, and know when enough is enough. For now, respite!!!
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Reply to Snowboardwoman
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sidelined Aug 21, 2018
Hi Snowboardwoman!  Wow and WOW.  I sure hope you have received the love and support I have on this site.  THIS has been the single biggest help in my journey....

We have many things in common with the in-law disposition, etc.  Sounds like your MIL was much easier to deal with and take when living separately.  MY FIL was a very very active man, and is relatively young at just turning 74, but has been dealing with health issues for a number of years.  It is really cruel when someone who has taken such pride in their physical abilities to go down at a young age. 
However, it does not give them the license to sit around in their own filth, etc.  How I wish we had a separate tv room for him.  Although my husband struggles with not making him feel excluded, I would very much like to enjoy our family room, free from him.  He absolutely will not shower on a regular basis, wears the same clothes for days and days, and basically stinks.  My husband feels too awkward saying anything to him about it, so I guess he would rather hear me fuss about it, than address it.

I just don't know how much more I can take.  I have often heard, like with your MIL, that some do not want to go to AL/respite care because they are afraid they will be left (if only)....  Truly though, I am not a mean spirited person.... FIL has not done anything to gain my respect over the years with his skirt chasing, self-absorbed ways.  Now he is ours to deal with, and all the crap that came with him...

I am glad to hear that counseling helped you, and gave you real guidance on how to take care of yourself.  I need to do the same.  I have feared that I would be told to up my "tolerance" and understanding level, and know I would just explode!  I am trying to get out and exercise more, and have had to really stand my ground with my husband about not pouting and expecting me to be here like everything is normal.  No it isn't and I am not going to sit here and pretend our lives have not changed.  Also, I have taken pleasure in naming each and every one of my tennis balls in honor of my FIL so I can send them to the moon (and not back)! LOL a little humor goes a long way!

Thank you again for sharing with me, and I wish for much happiness!
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Yes, it sounds like depression. Just as we do not choose to be depressed, we can not switch it off at will.

I do not know your situation as far as why your fil lives with you and do not have time right now to look at your prior posts. But if his living with you is having an adverse impact on your own health and mental health is as important as physical health, then you may need to rethink his being there.

It does not matter if Mr. Picky does not like respite care, it is not for him, it is for you and your dh. He does not get a choice in the matter. Off he goes to give you an important break. A week off will not cure your depression, but it will allow you time off and either privacy in your own home or a chance to get away.
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Reply to Tothill
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sidelined Aug 18, 2018
Amen and thank you! My husband is waiting until the very last minute to pull the trigger on AL, it in the meantime we have fought more in the last 2 years than our entire 30 year marriage... pretty much says it all, he thinks his Dad hung the moon, needless to say, I don’t.

You our are so right about him not having a respite care choice.... I vetted a facility 4 times before taking him there for a few days while we visited family out of town, which was not even a vacation. The place was just wonderful. But he does not want ant to go back. I have asked hubby several times to tell him it is best for him because his balance is not good.... he just refuses to have “awkward” conversations with him.... not about showering on a regular basis or anything other than food and tv. It truly makes me feel like (although he says it is not true) that my feelings and dislikes are second place, actions do speak older than words....

i want to go out FIL in the car and driver over open the door and say GET OUT!

Thank you for listening/reading
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Side, I'm with you! My mom is out of rehab and I took her to my house for the second time knowing I shouldn't . She has been here 4 days now, and I can't stand the sight of her. I have in a back bedroom with a couch and a tv and wants nothing but to be out with us in the living room with the tv blaring. We made rules before she came, and she won't stick to them after day two without a fight. I am ready to take her back to her apartment and let her manage on her own. I am tired of the tv, hygiene, neediness, waiting on her, thermostat, bowel movement problems etc. and just the invasiveness of her being here! I have begged her to stay in the back but she doesn't understand why I don't want to be with her. My SO , argue all the time. We have been waiting for in home service for almost eight weeks and they keep prolonging everything. I thought she would be here a few days at most but now I get a letter from IHSS that the doctor didn't fill out the med cert completely ( which I hand delivered to them 3 weeks ago) 3 weeks to tell me this! So Side, I'm not offering any advice, because I don't have any. But I send you a big hug! But, the last 24 hours have been good as we finally found a 1 yr old pup we rescued,after losing our dog three months ago. This puppy is the cutest, snuggle buggle I've ever seen, so at least I have something to be happy for...
Sorry for my venting.....
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Reply to JulesNeedsHelp
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sidelined Aug 27, 2018
Hi Jules - thank you so very much for your heartfelt reply, and I am SO happy that you found your little fur baby!  What joy they can bring, and sometimes when you need it most!

Man, I really hate it for you that she is already driving you nuts after such a short period, and will not listen.  I don't want to assume, but it sounds like maybe things were not always just peachy before this, and I know situations like this DO NOT promote that! 

As for the delay in the response you received (3 weeks) what a crock!  I think it is nothing more than knowing she is with family and they are in no hurry....  we can't get any help at the house because he is not poor enough, and not rich enough to hire it all done....  sucks......  So modern day slavery here we are.  The smallest thing, like asking  me his Blessed B-12 pills the doctor just prescribed are coming in the mail (about the 10th question about when), makes me want to strangle him.  He has absolutely nothing else to occupy his time.  While childish, it makes me want to get the pills and just run around the yard throwing them everywhere - wow what would the neighbors think?  Probably nothing if they have ever been in this situation.... 

I will gladly accept your virtual hug, and send one back to you.  Very best wishes to you!

Enjoy your re-found joy!
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Side; I'm going to encourage you to visit your doctor for a check-up. Depression is a disease (I have it at times) and you need to get treatment, just as if you had diabetes or cancer.

You can see solutions MUCH more clearly when you're not depressed. Please; reach out for treatment!
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gdaughter Aug 21, 2018
What is right for one person isn't necessarily for another. If she is responding to the situation she is in counseling may help to be sure, but chemicals are not going to change the circumstances. If only a pill could change things that easy....
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Get yourself to the doc asap. That sounds like depression. You need help bc this situation isn't going away. Go more often to therapist. Call a friend who won't mind you venting.

Once your at the party, you might find yourself able to relax and have fun. I've done that. Didn't want to go out. Forced myself, on many occassions. Once there, got in a better mood and had fun.

If friends start asking how is fil, say fine, don't elaborate! Drop subject. Your putting him on a shelf for the moment, and enjoying yourself. Do not elaborate, it will depress you more. Depression is anger turned inward. This is your time. Fil doesnt get to intrude on your thoughts, whilst out with friends. Your compartmentalizing.

Next I'd have a big ol chat with the hubs.... It's prob getting on his nerves too. He probably thinks he can't say it.

Fil doesnt like respite care because it is strangers, different souroundings, strange bed, strange noises, told by strangers when to get up, eat, dress, next activity, etc. And he might not remember when your coming back. Even if told. Scary! We are all creatures of habit. Love our routines, and souroundings.

Unfortunately you gave fil a say in where he will go. Of course he'll say no. Hes got family to wait on him in familiar surroundings. It can't work like that. Not any more.

Compromise and get him, a carer to come to the house. Too bad if he doesn't like it. Too bad husb wont like it. Most people are pleasant to strangers. It's family they have no problem taking their moods out on.
If he balks and says he wants to go with you, casually say sorry not this time. I'd just say your going out. Do NOT elaborate where, or he'll demand to go. He does not need to know your whereabouts. Dont be defensive. Just no thanks, maybe next time. All light and nice. Even though you want to scream. Tell him short and sweet, this is me time. I've made arraingments. Do not ask him if he minds! Do not have a discussion, or argument. Do not elaborate. Do not include him in the planning stage. Your telling him about an hour before it happens. By the way, nonchalantly, so and so is coming over to keep you company. Dont say "to watch you", while I'm out. So there can be no change of plans. No demands to go. No demands you stay. If he gets mad, tell him you'll be back. End of discussion. Then go! Keep it light, so he can't argue. Tell him if he's good you might bring him something back lol.

If he doesn't like it, he can go to bed early, get comfy on the bed, and watch his programs with a snack. How about a special dvd from the 2 dollar red box? That will keep him busy lol.
I'd put on the military channel, my dad was in heaven. Occupied for hours. If that doesn't work, TMC oldie movies. He'll love it Lol.

I'd making it a standing weekly thing for your sanity. Don't let hubs talk you out of it! Go to a movie, dinner. Force yourself!. You will feel better once you get there. You will feel better once you take back your life.

Does Fil have a tv in his room, and a comfy chair? Get one. Send him up to watch his programs. That way you can maintain your routines and have some relaxing time alone, or with hubs in the evening. Or you go up to your room and watch your fav shows, and the 2 guys can watch guy shows downstairs. Get a DVD player if you have to. Go read, take a bath. Take a walk. Walk around your property.
You will have to carve out your life from him. Make yourself a priority.

Tell husb he is pitching in more. Fil can go to adult day care 1x a week. Or for a few hours couple times a week. It will get him out of your hair for a bit. You can also say it's for Fil sanity, bc he's just plopped on couch 24/7. He needs to be mentally stimulated. This is true.
Or husb can take him for a ride to the park, drugstore, or a leisurely drive. They can go to nearby park, sit and feed the birds. Go to dog park, watch the dogs. It's an hour. Let's you relax.
Good luck~
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Reply to Jasmina
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sidelined Aug 21, 2018
Hi Jasmina -Thank you so very much for your response and wonderful ideas/thoughts! 

I am going to seriously implement many of these, and need to regain some sort of control.  You are right, FIL should not be calling all the shots.  He rules from his throne a/k/a recliner.

I have asked him several times about going to senior activities, and I know his mobility is limited, but really, he could do something....

Again, I truly appreciate your time in replying, and wish you the best on whatever you may be dealing with!
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I just went through this, I would actually look at my mother and seethe with hatred. I put her in one week respite and she comes home tomorrow. 8/21/18. Still need more time, I say, but I do feel a whole lot better. I think the only answer is, is you have to put him in respite care, I say 2 weeks for you to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. My outlook is already turning around for the better and I don’t look at my mother now, and seethe with hatred.
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Reply to Heidindsrespit1
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sidelined Aug 27, 2018
Hi Heidi - thank you so much for your feedback, and so glad you have gotten some well deserved rest!  While I don't know, it sounds like maybe Mom is difficult and thus much of the "seething" hatred? 

That describes how I feel perfectly...  My biggest issue is that I have zero respect for FIL, and his prior skirt chasing, all about me, ways.  Now, here he sits (and I do feel bad for anyone struck with his health conditions, I really do), but his strain on our relationship seems just beyond him. 

I can't wait to get away from him, and sure hope that I will not develop a sour mood when it is time to come back. 

Best of luck on your journey!
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I forgot to mention that three things helped me out of a severe depression and break down 4 years ago. A change in situation (I left a job) and many hours of one on one counselling, plus Ativan as needed when I could not calm myself down.

Originally I took a 4 month leave from my job. After I went back I started to make plans for a big change and 8 months later left for good and went back to school.

I know my situation did not involve a elderly parent at that time, but I did learn that my well being comes first. For 30 years I put everyone else ahead of me and it took its toll.
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Reply to Tothill
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sidelined Aug 18, 2018
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You're a grown up. You don't have to burn what limited energy you have on a rain dance, you just say you're sorry but you are not up to it and hope you can get together another time.
You also need some down time. The good feeling is fleeting, but after my little adventure a couple weeks ago I have decided that as caregivers we all need SOMEthing to look forward to. For me it was having the blessings of a good friend to indulge my desire and spend three nights that went so quickly within 45 minutes of home where I am caring for my elder parents. I slept. I ate, I had room service and my OWN THERMOSTAT. A view of trees and sky.
I can imagine how hard this must be considering this isn't a blood relative.
I am no fan of support groups but have been helped immensely by the one monthly I attend for adult children. IF only to realize things could be so much worse.
Adopt a pup, distract yourself, do a good thing and feel the love. ANd remember, this will not last forever.
And especially don't forget you get to say NO. ALthough...it's possible once you get there you might feel better...
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sidelined Aug 21, 2018
Hi there gdaughter, thank you so much for your response!

You are right, and we did actually go, and stayed until 2 a.m.!  I think I packed in 2 years of fun into 1 night....  MUCH needed.  Old friends, good and drink - doesn't get much better!

I agree that we need to take care of ourselves too, and sometimes this is hard when you spouse wants you to be present every waking moment and pouts when you want to get out, alone.  I have had to have a serious discussion with him that I am not running away from him, but I am not a roommate to his father, and frankly if I don't do my own thing some, something is going to go seriously wrong and there will be no coming back from it.

I wish you and everyone on this site the best of luck with whatever they may be dealing with.  And thank you again!
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