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I resent the CRAZY situation we are in! When will life get easier?

(208 Posts)
LifeHope11 Tue 21-Aug-12 20:49:19

I have posted before but just to summarise my situation again:

I have a severely disabled DS who has had recent major surgery.

My DH is under stress because of this, also because his DM suffers from dementia. I do tend to get the brunt of it when it all becomes too much for him. MIL is abroad now but will be coming back later in the year & he is organising a care home for her.....siblings live abroad so it will all be down to him.

I suffer from epilepsy which is under control at present....also have had depression which has responded to medication. I have had a hard time (was also made redundant recently) was near suicidal for a while and very near the brink.....I felt my sanity was under threat! But I have been better recently.

I have just started a new job, however in the few weeks I have been there my boss (who recruited me!) has left, and as of today my boss's boss has resigned. So I have nobody to report to direct & my position feels insecure all over again.

DH has also had problems at work......has been shouted at today by his boss because of some mistake he made. I don't think it is acceptable for him to be treated in this way especially as they know his circumstances. Now he feels insecure too and very distressed.

I have recently been offered a place on the course I applied for to get a professional qualification....but feel selfish for planning this when my family are going through so much. There is a limited window of opportunity to pursue this so postponing is not an option.

When does life ever get easier? I have got so used now to feeling snowed under with problems, I have to keep my sanity intact somehow! How do I cope with all of this?

LifeHope11 Wed 26-Sep-12 11:18:28

Thank you both. Yes I have to decide what is right for us and fight for it. I feel I am going against much of my upbringing though so it is hard!! But I was very near collapse earlier in the year, when I look back I am horrified by the state I was in. My health & almost my sanity were at risk. I absolutely can't go back there & also I won't stand by & watch my DH go that way.

I will get hold of a copy of the book....'selfish pig' eh? It sounds like my kind of book! Carers are constantly assumed to be endlessly self sacrificing, loving, willing to take on the burden of care...I suppose these assumptions let others - those who prefer to steer well clear - off the hook. '(LH) is such a kind caring person so she is bound to find it fulfilling to deal with all this stuff; so I can just b----r off and enjoy my life, and leave her to get on with it. I have done my duty in ensuring care plan (LH) is in place'.

For a supposedly 'caring' person some of the emotions I am holding are extremely ugly, and may be unfair.

DutchOma Wed 26-Sep-12 14:45:15

I look forward to you getting the book and hearing what you have to say about it. I'm sure it will stiffen you in your resolve not to be so 'nice'.
I lost my copy and have ordered another one.

LifeHope11 Wed 26-Sep-12 21:11:21

I will have a read of it ASAP...and will work on being less nice. I am tired of being encroached upon...I need to work out what my boundaries are and stick to them.

First day of the course this evening....so encouraging! After months of turmoil I feel I am going places again.

DutchOma Thu 27-Sep-12 11:14:43

I also think that you need to make your husband and all his family aware that there are limits to your powers of endurance and that, for their OWN good, they need to stick to those limits.

LifeHope11 Thu 27-Sep-12 19:27:18

Book has been ordered today. I will be reading little but textbooks soon so will need to get this read in now!! I also need to know what my limits are so I can communicate these to others. Some of DH family are great & really go the extra mile themselves.....it is just that circumstances threaten to place so many responsibilities on DH & my shoulders, and they are not sturdy enough to take them on top of anything else.

LifeHope11 Sat 29-Sep-12 12:21:15

Bliss! I slept SOOO late this morning I am embarrassed to say how late! I just don't feel like doing much today....also it is going to get busy when my coursework starts.

Went out last night with DH & he admitted how much he is dreading his DM coming back. I told him that he has to ensure SS take on her care & that I am not going to stand by & let things go back to the way they were before. I feel that our peace of mind & tranquil family life is under threat & I can't let this happen.

LifeHope11 Sun 30-Sep-12 01:55:23

I am sitting up late and contemplating what a horrible person I am.

Basically, I don't want to spend yet another Christmas with MIL and feel bad for feeling this way. I hoped that she would spend this Xmas with SIL but it hasn't worked out that way...she is coming back so therefore will spend Xmas with us. The same as every single year since I married DH.

That is all very well but what about my own family? My DM has played second fiddle to this during this time...I can't spend Xmas with my own DM because MIL can't be left alone.

Every year my family invite us, every year I want to be with them, and every year we have to turn them down (at least till Boxing Day) because of course MIL can't possibly be left to spend Christmas alone. My family invited MIL as well just so we could all be together, but MIL refuses.....wants to spend Xmas just with us. So of course we have to meet MIL needs and my feelings can just go to hell. Also, DS would have much more fun spending Xmas with his cousins.

My own DM (the least demanding of people, she knows how much I have on my plate) says she misses me at Xmas. She has never said it out loud (she is the most selfless person and has always put me first). Why should my DM always have to play second fiddle? I miss her at Xmas too. I am half inclined to say to DH that he can spend Xmas with his DM if he wishes, I am going to DM, DB and his family as DS will have much more fun there too.

Do you think I am a bad person at heart? What do you think I should do?

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 30-Sep-12 07:37:00

No I don't think you are a bad person.

DS loves christmas with his cousins but this year we are doing a duty one with other relatives and I have put my foot down about the amount of time we spend with DH's brother, who is a nice person but has personal hygiene issues and is somewhat wearing to be with for more than a couple of days.

As you have never spent Christmas day with your DM then it seems perfectly fair that you should all go there, particularly as there is an invite extended to your DMIL as well. However from previous posts it is your DH that is the problem - do you think you can convince him that you should all go? I wouldn't give him an ultimatum but I would give him a heart felt plea - the paragraphs above state the case fairly convincingly.

If he doesn't agree you know what, sod'em maybe it is time that you showed that you can distance yourself from all of this and enjoy a nice Christmas day at your DMs.

TheSilverPussycat Sun 30-Sep-12 10:02:06

Having your own wishes does not make you a bad person, lifehope.

I second the idea of going to your DM's, with or without MIL.

LifeHope11 Sun 30-Sep-12 10:05:45

Thank you originalandbest, I am tempted to just spend my Christmas with my family with or without DH. We would be with DB and my DNs....lots of fun for DS. Sometimes I would also like to spend Xmas on our own, just the 3 of us.....but we always have to invite MIL along as otherwise she would be on her own.
She has family overseas who would welcome her but she never wanted to make the journey; now of course she no longer can as she is ill. So we will remain her only family at hand, and only social outlet, for ever & my wishes will continue to play second fiddle.

LifeHope11 Sun 30-Sep-12 10:46:37

Thanks Silver also.... it is just that I fear I am being horribly selfish and cruel for wanting to shut MIL out like this. The argument has always been 'we have to have MIL because if we don't she'll be on her own for Xmas, we can't allow that'. But year on year I feel cheated of the Xmas I want.

My childhood Xmas memories are mostly of my DPs and Dsiblings celebrating together just us....occasionally, every 3rd or 4th year, GM would be with us but other years she would be with other family members....so that is what I want for us. I feel that my DM has lost out by being independent minded and not clingy.

I see a future opening up which I don't want, but how can I make 'I don't want MIL for Xmas every year' not sound cruel?

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 30-Sep-12 10:47:04

Your wishes don't have to play second fiddle Lifehope11, it's just that your DH is stuck in the position of pleasing his mother or yourself and reckons (either consciously or subconsciously) that it's easier to please his mother.

Forget about yourself even, your poor DS has been through a lot and if Christmas day with his cousins gives him pleasure then surely he must come first.

This time I would state unemotionally to your DH

" We have spent the last xx years with your DM. I would like to spend Christmas Day at my mothers and it would be more fun for DS to play with his cousins. I have decided that this year we will be spending Christmas Day there.

I would love us all to be together on Christmas Day and as you know DMIL is also very welcome at DM's house. It is your decision to make though and I will respect your choice as long as you respect mine"

There we go, then switch off to any emotional blackmail. Sure your DMil doesn't prefer not to go to your DMs but that is her choice, this is the option that would ensure that you all get to do what you want except that DMil needs to compromise a little on her ideal. If DH can't see that then it's his loss.

DutchOma Sun 30-Sep-12 11:28:43

What a wonderful thing to hear you had a long lie-in and an evening out with your dh.

By Christmas, that is still nearly three months away, permanent arrangement for your MIL should be made so that she is no longer alone, but in a home of her own. A home where she can be taken care of, so that neither you not your husband has to do it. Professional care which is better for her.
There is still this idea (in your head, I think as much as in your dh's) that it is 'cruel' to 'put' her in a home, that it is 'family' that should do the caring. Not, that it is the kindest thing for all concerned to arrange kind and professional care for her, so that you and your dh can maintain your mental health and be in a position to look after ds. It is not right that care for a mother should come before care for a child.
You need to start engaging SS now, before she is back, so that they can take over the minute she sets foot in this country again.
If not in reality then at least in your husband's mind: he needs to realise that this is what should happen: neither he nor you can take on the care for your DMIL: it is a job for the professionals.
What did your husband say when you presented him with your view that your home life was under threat?
Why does he 'dread' his mother coming back without doing something about it?
Why do you feel you are a 'horrible' person when you want to give your own mother a bit of your attention?
Your husband needs to see that where there is a clash of interests between you and his mother you should come first.

LifeHope11 Sun 30-Sep-12 12:01:48

Thank you all for your responses. I fully expected to be flamed here for my attitude to MIL.

We are indeed engaging with SS now and a meeting is scheduled for when MIL comes back. I am just hoping they don't pressure us to take up this responsibility, have told DH that we have to keep saying no.

My DM is adamant that DC do not owe their DP anything but what is freely given....I have been brought up that way. I almost wish DM would make more demands of our own so that she isn't losing out. I know that I am always going to regret not having more precious family time with DM.

DutchOma Sun 30-Sep-12 13:00:47

They WILL pressure you to take on her care. Of course they will. You must expect it, discuss it with your dh and find ways to turn the pressure back onto them.
The book will help. I didn't get my copy yet, and yours was ordered a little later. It gives you ways and means to deal with SS and a person who is unwilling to acknowledge they need care.

LifeHope11 Sun 30-Sep-12 20:11:10

DH is going to take DS with him to meeting just to underline how much we have on our plates.

It doesn't help that MIL is unrealistic about situation, as far as she is concerned she is fine, DH and DS can move in with her and she can care for DS while DH is at work and I am left on my own. This is NEVER going to happen. A level of compliance is being required/expected of me which I am no longer capable of.

I am awaiting arrival of book, hopefully I will have received & read it prior to SS visit. I will also encourage DH to read it.

DutchOma Sun 30-Sep-12 20:28:29

It is a totally unrealistic goal on her part and of course it is not going to happen. You cannot leave a severely disabled boy with a batty grandmother, even SS would not think that was a good idea. they may well suggest that your husband takes on some care while they find her somewhere or while you find somewhere for her, but even that you should strenuously resist.
I asked earlier whether you had actually found a home for her already, because I don't think SS will do that for you. What is her financial situation like? Has she got a house to sell?
Of course, don't answer that if you don't want to, it's just that I don't think you will get a lot of help from SS. The other thing they may well suggest is that they provide care four times a day and your husband does the rest.
This too has to be resisted, she cannot go on living on her own.

LifeHope11 Tue 02-Oct-12 20:36:26

MIL has own property so we accept it will probably have to be sold to fund her care. Yes I agree we should resist any attempt to have us take on her care even temporarily....I know we just can't do this.

MIL can't look after DS even for a short time. I was cross a few months ago when I met DH in town & he said DS had been left with her 'just for half an hour', I went hurrying back. The whole point of having an adult with DC is so they can prevent, or deal with, an emergency....in our case MIL will probably cause the emergency (leaving the gas hob on etc) & would then be useless in handling it. When she is back I will have to remind DH that there must be NO repeat of this.

I do worry that there will be a lot of talk and agreement about what we should do and then when it comes to the crunch, things will be decided behind my back.

DutchOma Wed 03-Oct-12 10:14:12

The most encouraging thing you wrote is that your dh is 'dreading' her return as well, but things seem to be so vague, that would worry me too.

Things like :"the property will probably have to be sold..". There is no doubt about it, she will have to go into care and she will have to fund it if she has property. Have SS done a financial assessment? Have you explored care homes?
"She will come back in a few weeks' time.."
Do you know a date? Where is she going to go? Who is she going to be with?
All these questions need to be asked AND answered now and dMIL can not be given her head in doing what she wants to do.

In the meantime I would make it perfectly clear that you and your ds are going to be with your dmother on Christmas Day, whatever else happens.

LifeHope11 Wed 03-Oct-12 22:59:26

Hallo DutchOma, she is coming back in about 3 weeks time and SIL will be with her (it is SIL's 3rd trip over this year....I can't fault her, I know whe is going the extra mile & she has family of her own....unfortunately she and DH are all alone in this).

There is SS meeting in which they are meant to decide the way forward so I am hoping they do.SIL will go back & then DH will be on his own.

DH has had potentially serious condition diagnosed today. I can't elaborate much, suffice it to say that his heart is affected and stress potentially aggravates it.So I have to be careful how I speak to him. I know he is dreading MIL coming back as it means a whole lot of stress is heading our way.

izzyizin Thu 04-Oct-12 06:16:25

The problem as I see it is that, from your previous posts, it does not appear that your mil has been diagnosed with any condition that suggests she is not mentally competent to handle her own affairs.

If this is the case, she has every legal right to maintain that she can manage her own affairs without assistance from SS or any other agency and to refuse any help that is offered to her, and her nearest and dearest have no legal right to override her wishes.

With regard to where you spend the coming festive season, in accomodating your mil's unreasonable insistence on not sharing the celebrations with your family members for the past xx years, it woud seem you've made something of a rod for your own back.

I woud suggest that, if you haven't been able to overcome the above issues, and as her seemingly closest relative in the UK, your dh should inform his dm that if she does not wish to accompany him to spend Christmas with his dw's relatives, she'll be welcome to dine with you on an evening shortly after your return.

In the 15 months or so since you first posted on this board my concern for your wellbeing has been overtaken, so to speak, by my concern for your dh's health and I hope that you will be able to discuss the above with him in a cool, calm, dispassionate, and factual, manner which will not add to the stress he is undoubtedly already feeling at his dm's imminent return and his previous hiding to nothing experience of attempting to be all things to her, to his chronically disabled ds, and to his dw.

DutchOma Thu 04-Oct-12 11:15:25

Oh LH, that is all you need. What a horrible situation. Does your SIL know?

LifeHope11 Thu 04-Oct-12 13:27:37

Hallo izzy, MIL has been diagnosed with a progressive condition however deciding how far it is advanced is a subjective process. Her family are convinced that she cannot care for herself any more as she relies heavily on those around her; it doesn't help that she is convinced everything is OK. Hopefully SS will advise what the next steps should be.

Re DH condition: I don't think SIL is aware yet. I am very conscious as to the pressure DH is under and when discussing issues I try to keep calm and make clear to him that I am not trying to pressure him or blame him in any way.... it is difficult though as all this affects me too

cestlavielife Thu 04-Oct-12 13:52:16

if DH is ill then you need ot tell SIL and make it clear to SS that MIL cannot be cared for by you and DH.
so now you have DS and DH with serious conditions. you simply cannot take on anyone else.

if MIL says she is fine then SS wont offer help.
unlss D really insists. i suggest you propose another relative returns to uk with MIL to be with her for a month or so until care can be sorted.
or SIL and family fund a full time live in housekeeper/carer for MIL.

DutchOma Thu 04-Oct-12 14:12:14

Is there any possibility to request the visa authorities that there is an impossible situation and that she needs to stay where she is?

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