Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I resent the CRAZY situation we are in! When will life get easier?(208 Posts)
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?
I think you should go ahead with the training because it will keep you well and strong.
To be blunt, you will cope as there is no alternative. However you must look after yourself too. Definitely do your course, it could be just the thing you need to remind you that you have coped with a lot and yet you are still moving forwards.
All the very best, your family are lucky to have you.
You shouldn't feel bad about going on the training - it is short term hard work to hopefully get you to a better place. Is there any way you can use your boss's resignation to tailor your job a little more to how you'd like it? Volunteer to take on X, Y, Z whilst delegating A, B, C and put forward any suggestions you have to make things easier for yourself and things to run more efficiently? I remember your previous thread and you have been dealt a shit hand, I hope things improve for you soon.
you sound like youve had a horrid time!
last september, after a horrible few years i started an access course and as a result im off to uni in september.
i felt like i was being selfish but at the same time, it was a relief to be selfish for once, to do something for me. the whole family benifitted because i was happy and doing something with myself. i was hard but well worth it.
try it! you really wont know till you try. talk about it with your family but my guess is they'll support you.
Thank you all for your messages. Yes I think I will go on the course....I think I will always regret it if I don't, once it is too late.
cheesesarnie - congratulations & have a great time at uni! I wish you every success.
NatashaBee - you are right that I could turn this into an opportunity! I am kind of holding my breath to see what happens next at work as everything is in flux now.
However hard and stressful things are now it is also kind of exhilarating. lopsided - you are right that I can learn how much I can cope with. I feel that I am being stretched, the process of being stretched hurts however.
what is the course?
Hi cheesesarnie, I don't want to out myself too much but it is a topup postgrad qualification which would build on the one already held, leading to an MA.
Qualifications are wonderful because (unlike so many other things) once achieved they can never be taken away.
oooh exciting! try it!
and goodluck with it!
I am going ahead with the course, you are all so right & thank you so much for your advice and your kind words.
I have always lacked confidence & have wanted to have a significant place in the world but have never quite known how to achieve it. It is as though there is a little nugget of fear that eclipses my head and heart, and it is hard to see beyond it.
I also worry because I am rather 'mature' ie advanced in years. Don't get me wrong; I am quite happy being the age I am, I think I am generally OK as I am; it is my date of birth I hate...
I am a rather intriguing combination of arrogance and terror!
Yes and you are right NatashaBee that I can use it as an opportunity to tailor my job and take on new responsibilities....thank you so much for that, i really appreciate it.
I am brimming with ideas and feel that there is a lot I can bring to the place; I can see how things could work so much better & I could bring a lot to the place. But how to present that without being seen as an arrogant arriviste? I am a newcomer after all & the organisation somehow managed to be successful before I came.
These are the reasons why I hold back when I want to go for it; I am worried that everything I have to offer will be rejected when I offer it.
All I can say really is keep strong and good luck. Life is bloody shit sometimes but it will get easier.
My DS - disabled, with severe learning difficulties, confined to a wheelchair - is far and away the happiest person I know. He can't enjoy very much at all - far less than what most of us enjoy - but he REALLY enjoys what he does enjoy. He just seems to love his life & I genuinely admire him. An 11 yo boy & I am in awe of him. I hadn't even had my tonsils out at his age; he has come through agonising major surgery not only smiling but grinning broadly.
I want to do him proud and pay for a good life for him as he richly deserves it. Anything exceptional about me is purely down to him. If you can help me be successful please do so. I want to stop caring about what people think of me as I believe it holds me back. Please tell me how to rid myself of false fear (ie fear of what other people think of me). Once and for all, such a fear has to die, I have to find a way to kill it. My life is an arduous journey and, emotionally, I have to travel light.
Thanks Mylittlepuds, I am trying to be strong ie locate the strength that is in me. Life truly does stink...I feel as if bucketload after bucketload of ordure is being poured over me. It is really hard to keep faith in myself as a worthwhile person throughout this.
Please respond if you can. Nothing I write is arbitrary, it is all carefully thought through, I am trying to articulate how I feel.
All you can do is to keep going. So you will get through this horrendous patch at some point although I understand when you're 'in it' it seems like you won't. You should most definitely do the course.
I think studying gave me confidence and a belief in myself.
it benefited the whole family!
as for being a mature student, I'm 34 and was one of the youngest on my access course .
as for what others think of you- i think that as you believe in yourself more, what others thinks gradually becomes less and less important!
your ds sounds lovely, which i am fairly certain has an enormous amount to do with his mother! stop putting yourself down!
Thank you cheesesarnie, I appreciate that so much.
I am a lot more 'mature' than you are (I mean purely in terms of my age....much much older than 34!!) but it is true that achievement through study brings confidence, something to be proud of for evermore.
Sorry but i am so stressed out this evening and feeling sad.
I have had a stressful 'headless chicken' day at work trying to get things organised....have come home to a depressed and strung out DH. He has been bathing DS (no mean feat, he has to be lifted in/out of the bath, washed & rinsed etc). DS has been at his most uncooperative & downright rude this evening, has splashed water everywhere, the bathroom is like a swimming pool.
DH had a run in with his DM (still overseas) angrily demanding to know why he hasn't called her, though he called her yesterday. She is coming back later than planned so he will have to reschedule all the Social Svcs appointments made....no definite return date though so he can't plan anything. He says he is dreading her coming back - not because he doesn't care, he does very much - but he can't face all the sorting out he will have to do on top of caring for DS and holding down a job he hates.
To be honest I am dreading her coming back too. Does that sound terrible?
Anyway when I arrived home this evening, DH popped round to MIL's flat to sort out her post, water her f---ing plants etc, leaving me to dry & dress DS. As soon as I had done so, DS (who is incontinent) soaked himself & his pyjamas so I had to do it all again. At least he wasn't in bed this time so I didn't have to clean & turn the mattress as happens frequently.
It is at times like these that I NEARLY think there is no point of it all....but of course there is & I know I should feel proud that I am coping with it. If life can be just bearable, with several things/people in it as sources of happiness, that will be enough for me.
Do you get any respite for ds? Regular respite (one night a week) has been a lifesaver for us tbh.
Hi saintly, we have respite but not as much, around 1 day a month with occasional overnight. It does help, but during school hols there has not been anything except what we fund ourselves......this has really been used to pay for his care while we work.
Respite is really hard to get at the moment (I am clinging onto ds1's care package which was set up before the credit crunch) but if you are finding things difficult it is definitely worth going back to SS. They are meant to provide support for parents who want to work as well (although this always seems news to them - and they don't support us), the law is on your side if you have the energy to take them on.
Yes indeed saintly....we need to push back & insist we need support. It does feel like just one more thing to do though. And I am really scared that when MIL returns we will be expected by SS to just cope. She can't live on her own & needs more support now.
DS woke up at the crack of dawn again & was playing up, so usual routine....clean him, dress him, make his breakfast, get myself ready for work despite interruptions then hand him over to carer (we pay for care during school holidays) and go to work. Just like what many of you do for your small DC....except that I have done this since he is small, do it now and will continue to do this FOR EVER. And now SS will want us to look after MIL too.
I don't know why I am posting here, am just trying to get my thoughts straight & maybe some advice on how to handle my life. I don't have a lot of fight left in me to take on many more battles. Maybe I am being foolish to think I can handle further education too? I do so want to do it though...but can't neglect DS. Certain people in my circle will accuse me of this, but they are not the people who are queuing up to offer help.
Your ds sounds gorgeous.
You were asking how to not care what others think of you. I don't think there's a simple answer but I did once watch something on tv where someone was paralysed by what he thought others were thinking about him, and the psychologist involved got him to do the most embarrassing thing he could think of. So I think he had to walk down a busy street in a stupid costume and sing or something. It completely liberated him because he realised it didn't actually matter what anyone else thought.
For what it's worth, I think that just about everyone is going through life thinking of themselves/their immediate loved ones 90% of the time. No one really cares that much about other people in terms of judging them. The most embarrassing moments of ones's life are in reality completely forgotten by other people most of the time. It is truly irrelevant what anyone else thinks of you because most people don't stick around for the duration of your life too. As long as you aren't hurting anyone, do what you want, it is your life and you only have one.
I hope you enjoy your course.
Thanks Phacelia for your lovely post. Plenty of good advice.....I am trying hard to break free of caring what people think of me, it is just like one more burden and it has become so ingrained.
I have enrolled on the course formally and have just had an acceptance message back....so no going back now probably!
I feel guilty because I wrote that we dreaded MIL coming back....I don't mean it like that. It is not that we don't want her back...quite the contrary, she is part of the family we all love her incl DS but I just don't see how we can care for DS, hold down our jobs and give her the attention & care she needs. We need this taken off our shoulders I think, so we can just enjoy her company. I am scared we will just be left to get on with it. So I foresee another battle with SS and I don't have the stomach for it.
That is what it was like earlier in the year when DS was recovering in hospital, we were taking it in turns to care for DS whilst trying to hold onto our jobs......there was one issue/drama after another with MIL, knocking on our door, neighbours reporting problems etc. Not her fault at all.....this is not about blame....but I just can't help resenting it. DS nearly died actually, when he had his surgery, and in between we were dealing with this.
I want to improve as many of the component parts of my life just enough for it to be bearable. I feel disloyal even writing like this.....don't expect anyone to have a solution for me, I am just venting. I am tired of feeling cowed and sad, I just want to know I am not inferior, on a lower plane than most other people. I know I am bitter and resentful and take my resentment out on the wrong people, that makes me a lesser person.
I am feeling so angry today & can't help it. DH had to take DS to hospital for a post-op checkup....2 hour journey plus a 3 hour wait to be seen. At the same time has been trying to sort out MIL flight home, apparently only he can arrange this (?). So there he was having to go outside during the hospital wait, on his mobile to the airline, with DS in meltdown shouting, swearing, lashing out. I only found out about this this evening when back from work,am so angry & upset on DS behalf.
Needless to say there are several issues & worries re DS condition which came out of the checkup. Why did DH have to piss about with flights when he had all this on his plate?
DH called MIL & had a mouthful from her demanding to know what was going on, what he was doing about her flight etc, he had to hang up in the end as was too upset. He has now gone round to her flat again to sort out her post etc, just what he needs (not) after the stressful day he has had. No relaxation/down time for him.
I don't know what to do with the anger, there is nobody close to me I can talk to without feeling disloyal. I feel disloyal even now.
More stress today. DS back at school, he is collected in a minibus by the local authority & transported to his special school in another disrict, but the bus they provided (a smaller one than previous, from a different provider - cost cutting of course) can't accommodate all the children & wheelchairs.
Panic as the driver, children's escort & me were all phoning round the transport office etc working out what the hell to do. Of course all this palaver made me late for work. I feel that I am collapsing under the strain, as if my veins are full of adrenalin not blood. I feel sad again & very alone.
I don't think I can cope with everything it is all madness. My registration material came through from Uni & haven't even looked at it, haven't had a chance. When MIL is back she will probably be turning up on our doorstep in the midst of these problems, with problems of her own for us to solve. It will just be a step to far, may even be the end of our family. I worry that the stress of it will put an end to DH.
Sorry I don't have any experience of your issues so no useful advice for you. I would say though that as your MIL is an adult and your DH has siblings (albeit abroad), she and they need to shoulder some of this from you and your DH.
Flights can just as easily be arranged from overseas as from here.
How bad is your MIL's dementia? Is she still able to play an active role is choosing care home and arranging appointments? If so then force her to. You also need to be clear with SS about what you can and can't take on in terms of her care. If your other in-laws aren't happy with that then they need to step up too.
The uni course sounds like it is a lot for you, but it is important that you maintain some time and goals in your life for you, otherwise it will all unravel.
Best of luck
LifeHope - why is your mother abroad, is she visiting her other children? Is she coming back to her house or straight into a care home?
Thanks wimblehorse and GreyhoundBess. MIL is staying with her DD (my SIL) overseas, she will need to go into a care home as she really can't take care of herself any more. But this won't be automatic as she will have to be assessed & needs to be home for this to take place. She is really not well enough to play an active role in her care plan. Other ILs do what they can but being abroad there are limits to what they can do....so much of it falls to DH. I do so want to do these studies as it is something to do just for me, but it will be challenging to fit around everything else and it is only going to get worse.
LifeHope - if I were in your position with a severely disabled (and obviously much loved) son, I'd be tempted to say to your SIL that she's got to stop MIL phoning your DH as he's under unbearable stress. I'd also suggest that SIL didn't put MIL on a plane home unless she was able to accompany her and sort out care for her because you have enough to contend with.
You wrote "I just want to know I am not inferior, on a lower plane than most other people". Of course you are not inferior, far from it. You are a wife and a mother of a wonderful boy who, despite his disabilities, has a love of life which he has clearly got from you. I am saying that because, despite all the hardship, you are working and wanting to study so you clearly have an interest in life and a desire to improve things for your family. You're not a quitter and you will all get through this.
The three of you sound lovely actually. Not on a lower plane at all.
Can I suggest that you ask MNHQ to move this out of AIBU and into Relationships where you are likely to gain some support. Most people come onto AIBU for a bunfight after all
Hallo GreyhoundBess and thanks for your lovely post. You might be right about moving this thread so I may take up this suggestion shortly....this started out as an AIBU but you never know what turn a thread may take. I don't know how to categorise it really as my situation is complicated...but maybe belongs in Relationships sooner than anywhere else. It is the fact that my situation is so complicated and unusual that makes me feel isolated however.
I don't believe in fruitless fighting with people, life is challenging enough.
My little DS is wonderfully happy which considering all he has been through is miraculous. I am in awe of him and so it is hard to be miserable for long. I do make an effort to be happy for his sake.
I think SIL is actually grieving for the DM she has known. There are reasons (tourist visa restrictions) why MIL can't stay there any longer and SIL will accompany her back and stay for a while, so I do believe she is doing all she can.
It is true that I want to keep going and fiercely strive to be as happy as DS is. I put happiness on every day the way I put on my make up; but there is make up that paints on a false face and superior make up that enhances what is already there.
My situation is probably unique, but if anyone out there has come through an extremely painful/traumatic/prolonged situation and came out the other end, please let me know how you did it.
DH called MIL today....she is complaining because he is not coming to collect her & bring her home (she is an 11 hour flight away). She got quite dramatic about the consequences to her health, how neglected she is feeling etc.
Also he spoke to SIL....she is really suffering from the strain & apparently the whole family are getting short tempered & snappy due to strain of MIL situation. Hearing this had a horribly familiar ring....and I know all the strain is going to be offloaded onto us shortly.
I know it is nobody's fault but just can't help feeling resentful & angry....sorry I am venting again.
Hello lifehope I used to be pink not silver.
It is OK to feel resentful and angry, that is perfectly natural, but of course it is depleting your mental energy. You sounded quite upbeat at the beginning of this thread, and I think the course would be good in affirming your worth.
At least SIL should be more understanding in the future, having experienced what you did before MIL went there.
I so want to make things better for you, but what can I say? Can you offer up your anger and resentment to the universe? I used to be horribly self conscious, but am a bit better now, still drop myself in it sometimes (partly Aspergers) but am kind of resigned to that. I can also seem quite self assured, but it's an effort and I need downtime afterwards. Which is what you don't get...
Thanks for your post. I do want to be upbeat and feel confident, and feel in my bones that I am a worthwhile person. The worst thing about challenging circumstances is the anger and resentment they cause....which is often directed at the wrong people (resenting the person rather than the circumstance) which in turn, makes me feel like a bad person and makes me feel guilty.
I am getting enrolled on the course....just a couple of weeks before it starts! so it is all going ahead. No going back now.
DH has been in touch with MIL and she is coming back next month. Apparently she is in denial about the level of care she will need/receive from us.....her idea is that DH should share her flat and she looks after DS while DH is at work. No mention of me or what I am supposed to do...also there is NO WAY in my opinion that she is fit to look after DS even for 5 mins. Her flat is up a steep staircase with no lift & DS is in a wheelchair.
I feel resentful about all this kind of talk, it sets my teeth on edge. Then of course I feel guilty for reacting this way.
I suffer from epilepsy & have had 3 x 'episodes' today while at work....these are extremely upsetting & make me feel vulnerable and disorientated afterwards. I reported them at work but would rather just carry on.....did not feel ill enough to go home though feel v stressed. I feel guilty for notifying work, there may be repurcussions & this is a new job.
Called DH to let him know, he got angry and said it was 'just too much to cope with your seizures on top of everything else I have on my plate'; I just hung up on him but felt guilty for upsetting him. Not really DH fault, he is just doing what I am doing ie blaming people for having problems & issues that we do not have the capacity/resources to handle.
I think part of the problem at least is the fact that your MIL seems unaware of the trouble she is causing. I'm sure that in her right mind she would be horrified, but as it is...
So is it at all possible to arrange between the sibling(s) abroad and your husband what is going to happen: this is the date she is coming home. She is going to her own flat on that date. Your husband is going to stay with her. SS are coming for the assessment on the day after. She is going to a care home as soon as can be arranged. Speak to your and her GP about the stress you are under.
Any complaint from MIL is not taken seriously because she has no idea of her own situation. Unfortunately that is what dementia does.
I knew a gentleman once who lived with his daughter, but had no idea that this was a permanent fixture, that he had a bed and pyamas uostairs and that he was in no way able to 'cook his own porridge every morning' as he claimed. We used to reassure him that everything was in perfect order and he did forget what he (or we) had said.
Dementia is a horrible thing.
Thanks Dutchoma, I know it is not MIL fault that she is this way. She is ill and her world has got very small....she does not have any awareness of the situation either she or we are in. Yes, dementia is just horrible; I wouldn't wish this condition on my worst enemy. But I end up resenting her despite knowing it is not her fault....I am not proud of feeling this way but I just don't know how we are going to cope.
The fact is that I need DH at home and I am worried about his health too. If he has to look after MIL as well as DS I think it will break him. I don't think I can spare him to stay with MIL even for a short time....I am worried if he does this it will set a precedent and SS will assume it is a long term solution.
Please understand that there are physical challenges (among the others) in caring for DS. EG this morning he was fighting with me because I was trying to get him to eat his breakfast. So if he chooses not to cooperate it is very difficult to deal with him & will only get worse as he gets older.
It is exactly because there are so many demands on your energy and that of your husband that I suggested that MIL needs to be out of the equation. There is such an awful risk of either of you breaking down and then everybody, including MIL is up the creek without a paddle.
SS will try and duck out of their responsibility, they will look at your MIL and take her word for it if they can. ("Oh, I can look after ds, no problem, I don't know why everybody treats me as if I am an idiot")
So you must make sure that they realise there is no other option except for them to act or it will be you and/or your husband (and of course your ds as well) they will have to look after as well as your MIL.
The real difficulty is that you don't want to have to go 'behind your MIL's back' and to me, as a rank outsider, that seems to be the only way possible.
Have you found a home for her yet? Or is this one of those ghastly vicious circles where you have to wait before she is back before you can do anything and you have to do something before she is back?
There is a wonderful book called "The selfish pig's guide to caring". Our son got it when my dh became more and more dependent.
I hope you have a good day.
so long as you cope SS will do nothing you have to lay it on the line - well DH does about MIL. the fact he prepared to bring her over means he has to take charge. at teh very least he ahs to line up a carer for MIL as soon as she arrives and fund that until ss care kicks in ? you ahve to make it clear to DH - he has to fund more care for DS or fund care for MIL, or arrange with SS she goes stright into a home.... you simply cannot take on MIL as well as DS without extensive help. it is as simple as that.
you should continue studying/careeer, you need that too.
also lay it on about ds and request more respite - i retained my package this year which is adequate (30 overnights respite plus eight hours direct payments per week) for son tho my circs mean am single parent .
however, if things continue as they are you will be lone parent because dh will buckle under the strain he is showing signs already - i suspect you hold it all together....
Oh LifeHope - I have just read this thread and I feel for you. You have SO much on your plate!
Is there anyway you can get some help with DS's care? I have no idea what might be available but if your DH is negotiating the minefield of care to get things sorted for his DM, then he must have an idea at least of where to start.
Something I wanted to share with you, about hearing positive and negative messages.
I once went on a day course where they showed us exactly what happens when you hear negative messages and positive messages. One of our group, a big burly, but very gentle, man, was asked to stand up. Our instructor, a fairly small elf like character (seriously, he even had sticky outy hair which made him look like an elf!) asked him to hold his arms out straight. He then hung off his arm, this guy was so strong that he only had a little bit of a wobble in his arm, he was able to hold the instructor up, swinging off his arm.
We then all had to criticise his shoes. We all chanted 'We hate your shoes, they're ugly shoes, we hate your shoes' over and over. He then repeated the hanging off the arm trick but this time this guy's arm just came straight down and the instructor landed on the floor. The criticism weakened him physically, and he was unable to hold this instructor up.
We then all had to praise his shoes. We all chanted 'we love your shoes, they're great shoes, we love your shoes' over and over. He then repeated the hanging off the arm trick, and I kid you not, there wasn't the least bit of wobble in the arm. He was like a tree truck, so strong. The praise had given him so much extra physical strength.
And this is what even patently false negativity and praise can do for your physical well being.
What you NEED is to hear positivity, negativity will crush you. You have to say and hear positive things, in order to be stronger. Perhaps you and your DH could take the time to say 3 positive things about each other every morning, as part of the exercise in gaining strength. It will be hard to do, surrounded by so much negativity, but really, it's the only way you will be strong enough to get through all this.
Thank you all. Yes I want to be positive and establish a cycle of positive and upbeat communication. I also need to feel confident. I feel that life is so challenging I can't afford to have any emotional baggage at all...negativity has to go. Getting into and remaining within that upbeat curve is challenging however.
I agree that SS have to take on MIL care as it is not possible for us to take this on together with DS....we can oversee but not deliver it. She is unrealistic about what she can do I agree...she can't care for herself let alone disabled DC.
I am so afraid though that DH will fall into looking after her...because she is his DM & he cares for her. I mentioned in a previous post how upset I was when DH did her washing for her...because she 'couldn't figure out her own washing machine'. I don't know why this upset me quite so much; as DH said there wasn't much effort involved; but it was just the principle, that we were doing her washing at a time disabled incontinent DS (generating tons of washing of our own). I can just see it happening that DH will start doing these chores & SS will see us 'coping' and leave us to it.
I should have said 'at a time disabled incontinent DS was recovering from major surgery' we were getting through one set of soiled sheets a day at one point with DS howling in agony every time we had to roll him over to replace the sheets. WHY were we doing MIL washing? Am I wrong to feel so angry and bitter?
At this time (DS still recovering, in pain and bedridden) also, MIL decided she needed a new curtain pole so DH took her to the DIY store to choose one.
I don't know how we got through those days to be honest, the memory makes me angry and upset. I just can't go back there & need to stop it happening, I am so scared of going right back there.
I know it may seem as if DH has a skewed sense of priorities but he really doesn't....he adores DS but is trying to do the best thing by everybody.
There's nothing to be gained from feeling angry and bitter at your home having been festooned with mil's wet washing as well as ds's essential laundry last winter and, by indulging these feelings almost a year on, all you are doing is adding to your overall resentment at the hand fate has dealt you, LifeHope.
As you previously said you have no space for a tumble drier, your mil's washing, and your ds's for that matter, could have been done at her apartment and dried in her spare room. Or you could have employed a laundry service to relieve you of the chore of washing and drying bedlinen on a continual loop.
It's fair to say that you've been given a wealth of advice and practical suggestions to bring about positive change since you first posted here over a year ago and my fear for you is that, unless you take steps to act on at least some of it, you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy which will drive yourself and your dh further down the path of ill-health and possibly worse.
Unless you're prepared to throw money at a small army of helpers, something has to give, honey, otherwise something or someone is going to snap.
Hallo izzyizin and thanks for your post. I would like to be clear that I HAVE indeed acted on much of the excellent advice I have received here. I think I have come a very long way since last year; I have changed jobs and my current one though stressful is a lot more satisfying, I have received medical treatment for the depression I have suffered from and feel better within myself as a result; I am furthering my education.
These are just some examples of the many ways I have tried to better my situation since last year, much of it suggested, prompted or at least encouraged by the advice I have received here. I like to think that i am indeed moving forward; so if I have given the impression that I am not heeding or acting on the advice/support I have received I am very sorry for it because it is not so.
But I can't help the way I feel, and I freely admit I am not there yet. I am not angry and bitter still about the situation I was in last year, just scared stiff of being back there again and fearful of the future. Sometimes I just need to offload. I think that fate has indeed dealt me a tough hand and so I need to toughen up and deal with it effectively; but feelings don't just go away however much I want them to, especially when my circumstances depend so much on other people.
see my exp used to do nice things for other people at times when i could have done with help with disabled ds.
so, going to buy a curtain pole was doing something and was far easier than dealing with his bedridden, in -pain son. so he could almost justify doing it - his mother needed him - while at same time using it as excuse to escape facing the difficult times. maybe mil issues which are simple washing machine /curtain pole also allows him to escape from reality of ds. - while with a good excuse. i dont know.
is there enough money to buy in more care ? overlapping with your work hours so the carer doesnt leave when you walk in the door ? is tehre possibility of overnight respite for your ds?
i think iof you take mil into your home you will be hard pushed to get ss to fund a home in short term - so you have to tell dh she cannot come to yours.
and maybe face up to fact that unless dh sorts out something else you resign yourself to him being full time carer for her while you are to ds.
Hallo cestlavielife, it may be true that DH went shopping with MIL to escape the upset of the situation with DS. But I don't think that he is in any way trying to shirk his responsibilities to DS, he is a devoted parent every bit as much as me. I can't fault him as a father to DS. I am just worried he will take on too much and not be able to deliver on anything, and undermine his own health.
I am adamant that MIL can't come to us as we have no room for her, have already told DH that. DH doesn't know but the day he moves MIL in is the day I move out, it will be the end of us. We just have to pass that responsibility back to SS. It is just a step too far for me.
Re funding for care - we don't have a whole lot of that. A lot was spent for DS care during the school holidays. And - here is where the guilt creeps in again - my further education is very expensive. I am paying for it out of my own savings from the money I earned.....so if I don't do it though, there are the extra funds.
then dh must realise that if he takes on mil (when there are other siblings who presumably do not have disabled ds?) that it is too much and not fair on ds or you, and even on mil and him and he simply cannot stretch so many ways.
why cant mil go in care home abroad with sil ?
Unfortunately due to immigration issues in the country SIL is in, MIL can't live there permanently. She has been there as long as poss but has to come back now. SIL is a good person and I believe will do whatever she can but unfortunately circumstances dictate it will come back to DH now.
I have told DS that the responsibility needs to be handed back to SS. He just can't take it on, it will break him & then us.
Lifehope, I am glad to see that you have come to the conclusion that a carehome is best for your mil. I am also glad to see you are a bit more upbeat, and with more plan to your life.
I hope you find strength to complete your studies, and will not feel upset if your life situation means that you cant. So be it. Dont let your studies ever be a chore.
I think you and dh must agree to just let mil live alone and handle things on her when she gets back, so that SS see the situation as it really is.
Hallo Quintessential, I am as sure as I can be that I am going to do the studies and get some extra letters after my name. I don't care if it is selfish or not.
I want MIL to have a valued and honoured place within the family....visited, invited over for dinner, taken on outings etc....but I know we can't take on her full time care. It will finish us. I am waiting to see what happens next....if things are done over my head & without my consent, it may be the end of us. I desparately don't want that to happen. I hope I don't have to take that stand.
I don't care if it is selfish or not
I can attest that you have indeed come along since the last time you posted - you've come a long way. Blardy well done, my dear, blardy well done!
You know what I'm going to say next, don't you? boring, boring, yy - but have you managed to secure some counselling? the deep feelings you are expressing are precisely the sort of thing that gets addressed in therapy. It's existential stuff, up to a point; also mashed up heart and head stuff etc. someone trained and top notch will meet you where you're at. It is also a safe place. I had a first free session with a counsellor recently - she is the bizz! A bright woman, which both you and I need. I expect I'll hate her at various points, but that's par for the course in counselling, if you want to do that. A place to be exactly who you are, warts/insecurities/demons and all (and gorgeousness too of course )
dear woman - I think of you often.
You probably don't have a darn minute - but philosophy has been hitting the spot for me recently...
Thank you thank you springy... I need to locate that person who can help me through this time and believe me I have tried. I don't have time to waste, every investment of my time and effort has to deliver a benefit.
Thank you for giving me credit that I have come a long way....I believe that I have. Although I may moan and groan here, I believe that I am broadly on the right track. I have to care for myself so that I can care for DS.
I feel I have a lot to give and I want to find my place in the world. I want to be helped to find it. But I feel that I am a difficult person to help. Finding the person best placed to help me is a challenge.
I am sitting here doing all the wrong things....I should be asleep and I should be sober and not smoking cigars (DS is with a carer so not passively smoking), I am a reasonably intelligent person doing stupid things as even some reasonably intelligent people do at times.
I think I am fairly insightful and so have insight into my situation but need to somehow 'marry' it to my challenging life so that the insight is with me when I need it.
Look at all the 'i's ....when I say I am selfish I mean it.
I dont think it is selfish at all! You go girl!
But I have had similar situation as you, and I am not pretty much out on the other side, with my demented mum in a nursing home and trying to pick up the pieces of our lives and get back on track.
I had enrolled for further education, due to start this week. It is every second Saturday, 3 hour round trip, 6 hours at the study center. Every module is 3 months like this, with assignments and exams.
I am realizing I am not ready, I know i am going to waste £2.5k fees, struggle and not be able to complete it. I am too exhausted mentally. I hate the thought of giving it up before I have even started. I will do it next year instead, and focus on getting myself mentally "fit" and able. I am just too busy. But that is ME! And enough about me.
The point I was trying to make (based on my own experience and sympathy for you extreme burden) was that if you DO have to give it up or postpone, dont be too hard on yourself!
I too think you have come a long way, lifehope. So pleased you are doing the course. At the moment all the stuff with MIL is to come, it might be oddly easier when she is here and you can take action. You are so right about not giving SS any ideas you can cope, my DM had to fight them off twice, once when she was helping a neighbour with dementia, and again when her Nice Man was going down hill.
YOu get what you pay for with counselling. Unless you're lucky, but it's not worth the risk. it's an investment and you have to put money aside to do it.
You are obsessed with 'yourself' because 'yourself' isn't working. It is classic depression and do please stop beating yourself up re the smoking/drinking etc. YOu won't get anywhere with stuff like that - you have to be on your side on some level. Maybe you put yourself down because you are on a public forum and you get in with the digs before anyone else does? all the more reason to find that safe counselling nest so you can be as outrageous, as 'illogical', as you need to be.
Counselling also gives you some coping skills eg practical techniques you can use to 'float' above the stress, prioritising what is and what isn't important at any given moment. These are good skills to learn and are part of my life now, I don't even think about them, they are automatic.
I remember you had a crap GP but wonder if you can press for support higher up the chain? (or change your GP!) A psychologist would be something you could push for. I'm not aware of the exact nature of the support 'higher up' but you are certainly a candidate. Don't expect your GP to offer - push for what you want. Time to put aside your decency and get red in tooth and claw. Do it for your son if you can't do it for yourself.
It also may seem bizarre, but it's possible to be addicted to stress. something about peptides (?). I wonder if a mood disorder has become established and, if so, I would push for a MH assessment through your GP, just to see where things lie. I'm also linking you this site which may be interesting to you in that it deals specifically with ingrained and unbearable pain (and stress). She comes specifically from the pov of healing from narcissistic abuse - but pain is pain, imo. She guides you through some exercises that are quite new-agey but hey, I'm not complaining: the written stuff is just as powerful.
Stress, or stressing, can become a way of life, forging neural pathways. Unlearning stressful living (especially thinking ) takes a bit of application to reboot. bog standard CBT addresses this - do get on a course if you can LifeHope (the NHS are mad about CBT because it's cheap, quick and effective, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting on a course) but you may need to do some more work as your stress is longstanding. Been there, t-shirt (I remember a herby person - a naturopath, I think - prescribing me a remedy for long term stress at one point - lots of different herbs, not just one.)
If you focus on the patterns that have become established and start addressing those, I think you'll be on a better footing eg your thinking (this is such a biggie!), breathing; your body, how we tense up expecting the worst; practising mindfulness (living in the moment) and general behaviours ie avoiding or embracing things that impact on your general wellbeing. It's not rocket science, very practical and straightforward eg exercise, so simple yet extraordinarily effective. I walk when I can and my bike when
I'm not late I can. I don't do the gym business or anything that is too much hard work - I want to enjoy exercising and I don't enjoy the gym or running, though many do and swear by it, especially running. I'm a walker, myself, but I do keep an eye on squeezing in exercise as and when - even walking up stairs instead of using the lift.
I mentioned 'floating' above - I was taught this effective technique and it is a great one to have in your armoury: lost your purse? float over it. Missed the bus? float over it. don't engage your emotions. It's not denial, just effectively reducing stressful ways of thinking and responding.
You name it, I've done it (precisely because I was living in unbearable emotional pain and stress). People like me have to do this stuff, have to learn these techniques. I'm always amazed at how the body can change long-held patterns, how quickly it can adjust - I'm not exactly a spring chicken these days, either! It's a real lightbulb moment if you are mindful of what you are doing to yourself and how you can reduce negative life patterns. Booze isn't 'bad' in itself, but I personally can't afford to drink much because it has a drastic effect on my mood. One thing you may come across in your travels, particularly if you are able to secure treatment on the NHS is eg a food/intake diary which charts your subsequent mood, enabling you can make choices.
Long post, apologies.
You say: "I am waiting to see what happens next....if things are done over my head & without my consent, it may be the end of us." That sounds to me as if you are not really talking together much LifeHope.
Is it at all possible for you to be pro-active and find out 'what happens next'?
Surely that is better than carrying these dire threats of 'moving out' around with you.
Thank you all...I want to be positive, and indeed so much in my life is good. I am working hard for a better future, can't enumerate all the ways I am acting on your advice but can assure you it is not falling on deaf ears,so many changes (I think for the better) have happened as a direct result.
I am enrolled on the course & all paid for. My own DM wanted to know what it cost so she could 'help me out' though there was no need....all saved for over the last few years. My DH belatedly asked me if it would be too much for me.....he knows what I have been like over the past months! I won't know if it is too much until I try to do it will I? I may regret it for ever if I don't go for it.
Here I am again..up far too late and fretting about the future. I wish I had more control over the things that come my way but to cut a long story short I don't. I feel thoroughly resentful about some of the things we are expected to deal with. I am tired of being expected to be nice, self sacrificing and supportive.
Niceness is so ingrained in me that there is no dislodging it. I was in town today with 2 colleagues, went to a cashpoint outside a store & I found £20 in the machine that the last person had evidently left. I handed it in to the store....but the 2 colleagues argued vociferously against it 'why don't you just keep it?'. I think they were quite indignant in the end as if they could have used the money if I didn't want it. In the end I felt like a mug for not keeping the money, they were so insistent...I have been brought up to believe that you don't keep things you know are not yours. But sometimes I feel I am just fading away and am fearful that everything I hold dear has no real substance. Then I feel angry and resentful at feeling this way...I feel that no good intention of mine comes to anything.
LifeHope, thank goodness you are back, I've been so worried about you, honestly.
What a load of rubbish from your friends over the £20. Of course you hand it back in. For goodness sake, if I wanted to be dishonest and steal it would have to be for more than £20.
So glad you have enrolled on the course.
Yes, it will be much too hard for you if your husband does not step up to the mark and help you.
How is the situation with MIL now?
Hallo DutchOma and thank you. I did believe I was right to hand back the cash- it may have been a significant amount to its owner - but sometimes I find I am just doubting myself.
I did intend to revisit, have been madly busy. We have a respite sleepover night planned for DS, I am hanging on Saturday morning when we can sleep as long as.we want, I am dreaming about and living for it already. Of course we may get a call re MIL which will scupper it (DS carers won't call us unless there is a real emergency, they know how much we need this rest - but DH will feel obliged to answer the phone in case it is about his DM).
To be honest I am DREADING her coming back. As SIlverPussyCat has pointed out above, the reality of having her back may not be as bad as expected as we will have control. But if it is as bad as it was before then it will be very bad...I know I can't go back there so can see a confrontation happening.
It seems to be such a matter of communication. Is there really no way you can persuade your dh not to answer the phone one morning when ds is in respite? Can you sleep where you can't hear the phone even if he does?
Does he even realise quite how bad you feel about it? Are there plans afoot for an in-depth talk on Friday evening/Saturday when ds is in respite?
I can try....it is not that he doesn't listen to me, he does. Sometimes when in a conversation with someone else he will quote, almost verbatim, something I have pointed out to him previously....so he does take in what I say.
The trouble is when he is put under pressure & put on the spot. He is trying to do the right thing by everybody and when someone demands his attention/help then and there, I will see him being pulled into agreeing to things I think are unreasonable. Eg I get very cross when MIL frets about the state of her flat so, after a hard day at work and caring for DS, DH ends up going over there & spending a couple of hours cleaning it. I think this is something SS should provide now, DH can't run two households, we can barely run our own.
Likewise I don't want to give the impression DH is unsupportive, he is very much supporting me though concerned about the burden it (the study) will place on me & the potential effect on my well being. If he wasn't such a caring person he would just please himself & there wouldn't be this problem. But he is an 'all bark & no bite' kind of person, he lets off steam verbally when he is stressed & I get much of the brunt of that.
I will have a chat to him Friday evening & try to communicate better, that's a good idea. (Saturday morning I am going to SLEEP....hooray!!)
No she is not back yet....will be back in a few weeks time. This is what it is like even before she is back!
I have the familiar horrible feeling of being pushed around & want to push back very hard and regardless of consequences...and I want DH to push too. I feel like a horrible selfish person for feeling this way - my 'nice person' credentials are a lot more fragile than I once thought!
This is where the 'selfish pig's guide to caring here comes into its own.
Because self preservation is not selfish I'm talking to myself here as well, having just packed my dh off to a day centre much against his will it is a total necessity in the interest of everybody. What would happen if you collapsed? Who would benefit? Not you, obvioiusly, but neither would your mother-in-law, your husband or, most importantly of all, your ds.
So you just have to get rid of the 'nice girl' image and fight for what is right for all of you. In that case you can also get rid of the resentment, because you know that you are doing everything that is right for all concerned.
It isn't selfishness, it's self preservation. And it's in everyone's interests for you to look after yourself and your mental health.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oh LH, that is all you need. What a horrible situation. Does your SIL know?
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
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.
Is there any possibility to request the visa authorities that there is an impossible situation and that she needs to stay where she is?
Hi DutchOma; that it's a possibility, I have put it to DH but it is for him & ILs to push through, also I think SIL is struggling now and her family will be relieved when this moves on.
I have been really snappy today with both DH and DS which makes me sad and I feel really guilty. There has been a lot of bad news lately involving children; DS has bee watching TV and saying inappropriate things, chuckling & making jokes about dying. He doesn't really understand how bad the things he is saying really are; but he knows they are bad and he is just being naughty for the sale of it. I don't want home to think it is just OK to talk like that; so I took away the toy he was playing with as punishment. DH said to me 'Don't rant at him like that', I got angry because I saw that as undermining me. It ended with me storming upstairs away from both of them and slamming the door behind me, and DH laughing to DS about 'DM sulking'.
Eventually I came downstairs and DH relented enough to tell DS to apologise to me which he did. It makes me feel terrible when I get angry with and punish DS, he has been through and suffered enough. I still feel bad about it now.
This evening I undressed him and found a sore near his op scar. I am scared now; he has both hips rebuilt and one of them turned septic; hence the reason for the surgery last year. This sore is on his other hip; I am so scared that it is happening again. I feel terrible now for being angry again. I think he is a truly wonderful boy and so want him to behave in a way worthy of his wonderfulness. But that is my issue and I shouldn't make it his. He is just a little boy who has been through hell and deals every day of his life with problems that most of us can't conceive of. I ask so much of him.
lifehope don't feel guilty at perfectly reasonable parenting on your part. And in a way you should be reassured that you have to do it, he is being like any naughty little boy... isn't that what you want? and you are responding as any parent of any naughty little boy might do.
So sorry to hear about the sore, though. But this is a separate thing.
Oh LH, I so understand. I was snappy with my dh a few days ago and still feel bad about it. And I have only one issue to deal with, you have several.
It's no good saying "don't feel guilty", you just do, even if everybody else says that you were being perfectly reasonable in snapping.
Have you got the book yet? I've been re-reading it and after two years there is more relevance in it now than when I first read it as my dh is getting worse.
I hope things work out for your son with his hips and that you get the support from your dh you need. It all seems so much worse than it could be if he had a true understanding of how you feel and worked with you, rather than pile on extra burdens.
Thanks both, that has helped me gain a little perspective. I gave DS a little cuddle & a talk again, told him I love him dearly & that I don't mean to get cross with him but that he is an important boy and so the things he does are important etc.
We are monitoring the blister so hopefully will be nothing more sinister than friction from his nappy....may be nothing more than that but we have got used to fearing the worst.
Can I share something else that has been troubling me? I am feeling resentful of the fact that DH is going to be collecting MIL and SIL from the airport when they come back. It would be so easy for them to just get in a taxi and MIL home is just 15 mins from the airport...yet it seems to be a given that DH will be collecting them.
I have done a number of solitary trips involving long term flights....I have never expected DH to collect me and he has never offered. I know he is too busy & it would put more strain on him so I have never expected it, I am perfectly capable of jumping in a taxi & the public transport connections are also excellent. But when it comes to his own family, of course the red carpet gets rolled out.
I sound very resentful and bitter here don't I? But I am seriously concerned about DH well being. I see this as a precedent for him slipping back into his role as taxi service, concierge service, cleaning assistant and social organiser. I just wish that for once he would put himself first and say to them ' I'm afraid you have to sort yourselves out when you arrive, I am just too busy/tired'. Tell me if you think I am being unfair or harsh, perspective on this is hard to come by.
That should read 'long haul flights', I have got myself home and nursed the jet lag myself.
I actually think SIL would be very understanding if DH were to do the above, as I have stated before she is a good person & has always been supportive. As for MIL, as long as she is cared for it shouldn't matter by whom. But there is no dissuading DH from what he considers his responsibility to his family, I have tried but he is not receptive. So one or the other of us is being unreasonably stubborn about this.
Here's an idea. Could you ring SIL when DH not there, explain your concerns, and get her to ring DH and insist that, no they don't need him to meet them, and for her to arrange when they will meet up? Bit underhand, though.
How long will she be staying - will she be able to help deal with SS and all that stuff, after all she has the most recent experience of MIL's condition?
Yes, I have been wondering why all the contact with your family abroad and MIL has to go via your husband.
Obviously you must start as you mean to carry on, that includes MIL and SIL managing their arrival at the flat together and without your husband.
So yes SPC suggestion may be 'underhand' but it's about time that you took matters into your own hands.
I've been looking back a bit over your earlier threads and have been struck by how little has changed in the past fifteen months or so.
Also how it appears that the lynch pin in all this is the attitude of your husband, who likes to play the hero and the martyr at the same time.
Resentment is of course a very destructive emotion and much as you are in no way unreasonable in your requests/demands on your husband, it is up to you somehow to make it clear to him that it is HIS attitude that is making this situation so unbearable.
There is enough grief in the situation, what with DS and MIL but you must pull together to deal with the situation.
A call to SIL to have a gossip seems to be the very first step.
Well we were in touch with SIL today.....now isn't the time in my judgement to broach the subject of her coping with MIL on her own on landing. God she sounds so depressed, ground down and stressed. At the end of her tether really, all her own DFamily are suffering with her at the stress of coping with mil.
And we know all that stress is heading our way soon. DH makes no bones now about how much he is dreading her return.
We have to try to pull together to deal with this. I will have to have a heart to heart with SIL to explain my concerns, but will have to choose the right occasion and it can't just be a case of me saying 'sorry SIL you will have to cope on your own when you and MIL land'.
I suggested to DH that perhaps it is not appropriate for him to do this....he flew off the handle completely at the 'outrageousness' of what I was saying. I said that I was just concerned about him. His response: 'then why are you putting more pressure on me, giving me more grief? Don't you think I am stressed enough already without you making it worse?'
There is no reasoning him, there is no point pursuing this. I can't do any more than I am doing. I can see us potentially breaking up over this (potentially; we are not there yet but things could yet turn that sour) because we are not a team, not partners. I am tired of being just another problem for him.
We can't take on MIL care and if DH insists on taking it on it will kill him, break us up, or both.
I am sensing that some of you are getting hacked off with me because I am not making progress....that makes me feel more pressured as I am trying as hard as I can. I know though what needs to be done and believe me I am trying as hard as I can to make things happen.
I don't know how I can do more than I am doing.
Aw lifehope I for one am not hacked off with you - if I were you I would probably be curled in a corner in the foetal position by now. Please don't add pressure to yourself by worrying about strangers on the net. I think it's good that you felt able to mention it, though.
When are they arriving?
Hi Silver - they are back in a couple of weeks, meeting with SS is a few days after. Mil may be resistant to the idea of care home, she seems to have the impression that DH will do it all. If that happens it could be the end of DH and me although I worry about the consequences for DS.
I suspect that in my shoes you would not be in a foetal position but would keep a brave and straight spine; as there is nothing to do but be brave and somehow cope, at least for as long as possible. Many if not most people try to face down their troubles and handle them as best they can. But I think that one way or another the shit is going to hit the fan for me & my family shortly; trouble is coming and either we will weather it or it is going to break us. Much as I love DH I am getting increasingly angry & resentful of his view of me as just another of his catalogue of problems.
DH has gone to bed early (he has a v early start) & I am down here alone fretting - for the million & first time. All emotional connections between us are worn away by the stress we are under, they are threadbare now. I love DH dearly & always will, but emotionally I am completely on my own now.
I am really sorry, if anyone thinks I am not acting on the advice I have received here because I have. I am sorry if anyone feels that my response is disappointing.
Don't feel guilty. Guilt is a useless emotion - it only makes you feel bad. Get angry and scream in the car if it helps. I don't envy your situation one bit and I would be really angry life had thrown all this at me. But life is not fair, unfortunately.
I wish you well
Hallo kiwigirl42, you are right that guilt is useless and a waste of energy furthermore. I did not make our circumstances as sh-t as they are now and am trying - not as hard as I can but as hard as I know how to do (not quite the same thing) to alleviate them.
I am tired of feeling bad and scream whenever I have the opportunity. In some of these posts I try to articulate a scream....I post on here, try not very articulately to convey my anger and distress, then sign off & get on with my life as best I can. It is a very lonely life; you have to be in my position to understand how people back away....our experiences are so off the wall that many people are threatened by it. So I feel very very isolated.
I know that life is very unfair; I only have to look at severely disabled DS to know that. Yet my severely disabled DS - whom life saw fit not to smile upon - is the happiest person I know.
Isolation from normal social contact can be soul destroying. I think a lot of good self esteem comes from having friends and knowing that thay eant to spend time with you and that they like you.
I have experienced being isolated due to 5 yrs of being bed bound the majority of the time due to chronic illness. Its shit!
It's not being hacked off with you LH, just sharing your frustration at the position you are in.
And wanting to help, however inadequately.
I know, it is very frustrating that we are caught in this situation and there is no way out. I don't blame you for that and i must reiterate how much i appreciate your contributions here. But there is just no mending this.
I am back home again, and gloom is the order of the day. DH is unhappy because he is so concerned about the future. SIL has written again to tell us how worried she is about us now we are dealing with the situation....she knows better than anyone what it will mean for us. She is staying for a couple of weeks then we will be on our own.
I spent a few months as an au pair in Switzerland. Was totally not cut out for it and was desperately unhappy. The wife of the consul (who of course was aware of all Dutch girls working in Geneva) had us all to tea and she said to me:"For every problem there is a solution." Now I do believe that is true, I also think that sometimes the 'solution' is not particularly easy to achieve and may bring their own problems.
One of the things I read in the Selfish Pig book this morning is that the 'piglet' is not always going to be very pleased with the 'solution' that others have devised. And he says (p 188): "Tough. They'll just have to lump it. You are in trouble her (he is talking about burn out, which you are almost in the middle of) and for the good of both of you the pressure has to be eased."
(He is the carer for his wife, your situation is more complex still).
In this case you MIL is the 'piglet' and she is not going to be happy having to go into a home. But unless you are all clear that this is the only solution for all of you (and it is a 'solution' fraught with difficulty} the kettle is going to blow.
I find your dh's attitude very hard to understand, especially when he wants to involve you and blames you for not 'supporting' him.
What an excellent post, Oma. My MIL moved to be near us in her late 70's, she was frailer than we realised although her mind was sharp as ever. This too brought its own problems, which continued until her death. My own parents are early eighties (DM) and early nineties (DF) still going strong and each living on their own (DM left when she was 55, they still get on though). But we all know that at some point things will deteriorate...I shall then be asking you for help. There are lots of different ways of getting old, and they all bring their own problems for the poor old in-between generation, who have often DC to care for. I suppose all I am saying is that I hope you draw strength from this thread, despite my post about on-line strangers, we care - about each other...
I do draw strength from this thread and also wisdom. I feel cared for here in a way that can be hard to come by in the so called 'real world'.
I know that we can't care for mil as well as DS so it is not going to happen. We do worry that she will point blank refuse to go into a home and we will have to deal with that if it happens but there is some comfort in knowing what the bottom line is. I know that the pressure has to be reduced somehow because I can literally feel how it is making me ill.
'Selfish Pig' arrived today so I will be settling myself down to a good read.
Thank you SilverPussyCat and LH.
Yes, the Selfish Pig book is wonderful and all I know is out of there.
In a way I am in a different position, because it is my dh I am caring for, but I don't think it would be fair to ask more of the children than they are giving at the moment. Not that 'the powers that be' don't keep asking what help we have from our children.
The best thing our ds did for us was get that book , you might like a copy as well SPC, it says it is a must for all involved with caring and I totally agree.
I have been reading the book today....yes DutchOma I can see why you have praised it. It seems more appropriate to dip into it rather than reading it cover to cover like a novel.
I have read a section dealing with the isolation carers feel. That did strike a nerve, I feel very isolated and there is nobody that I can talk to at hand who really understands what it is like. I also feel disloyal in unloading to people & articulating the sometimes very ugly feelings of resentment I feel. I feel disloyal even posting here....although it is anonymous, anyone I know who read this would by now probably figure out who I am (though they won't know for sure & I suppose I could just deny it).
MIL just can't be cared for by us but I can see how things will happen...I am so stressed out by what will happen next. I can see how DH could get drawn into taking on the lion's share of her care. He will tell herself it is just to sort things out in the early days until SS have her care set up, but I am fully expecting them to push for him to do it instead. To me he will be setting a very dangerous precedent.
I am very upset today that DS has told me he is going to the airport with his DF to collect mil.....will miss school to do this. So it looks as though the red carpet is already unfurled in preparation & I won't be able to stop this airport pickup without causing a major row. No wonder DH reacted so angrily when I raised the subject. Again, we are back to establishing the precedent of DH as on call carer/helper/enaber in all things.
Is there no carer support available to you - just someone on the end of a phone who understands can be invaluable. I know this cos friend has had belp from our local one, as her DM seems to have Alzeimer's and can't be properly assessed because she drinks. (although haven't heard from her recently so cuts may have had an effect) Also, I know there is one in Darlington, so definitely some still exist.
Why has the fact that your dh intends to go to the airport to pick up his mother and his sister who will be disembarking from a long haul flight become such a big deal for you?
From what you've said the airport is only a 15 minute drive away and, while it might not be the best plan in the world to cause your severely disabled ds to miss a day's school in order to accompany him, it's surely fitting for your dh to peform the small courtesy of greeting his relataives on their return to the Uk.
If it were your dm and your dsis, wouldln't you want to meet them at the airport, help with their luggage, and drive them home?
Have you given any thought to stocking mil's fridge/pantry so that she and sil can enjoy tea/coffee/biscuits when they get to her home and have the werewithal to make lunch/evening meal if you do not want them to dine with you?
I understood that the airport was 15 mins from MIL's house. It might be a long way from Life's house.
I would go and meet them if possible and open the house up for them as Izzy suggests. It would be thoughtful and it sounds like SIL deserves some kindness.
However after that DH must be careful not to leave you in the lurch at home. You need to talk with him about what is a reasonable commitment hours wise each week to his DM given the responsibilities you both have at home.
Hopefully once SS have seen her it will only be a matter of weeks until she moves into a suitable home. So you will not have to cope with the situation for too long.
Be very firm about the home, do not waver and do not let DH waver. Your health and sanity depend on your burden not being increased.
Good grief, Izzy, that's all she needs. You piling yet another bit of guilt on her.
I agree LH that it is a bad precedent for your ds to go to the airport if it means missing a day of school.
And how come your husband did discuss that with his son rather than with you?
I think you are quite understandabl feeling sidelined. Is there any chance to get some extra support for ds, so that his dad does not have to do it?
You are right in thinking that the book is for dipping into, rather than reading from cover to cover.
Hi izzy, no if it were my own DM & Dsis travelling together I would not meet them at the airport. If it were DM travelling alone then probably yes.
My family are used to travelling all over the place & they sort themselves out, that is the expectation I have - though we are mutually supportive in other ways, we accept we are all busy and can't help each other out with these kinds of things unless an emergency/exception. There is airport passenger assistance available if requested.
It is a big deal to me not because it is such a huge issue in itself but because of the precedent it sets, as I explained above. If it was just a one off it wouldn't bother me, I am not that petty. But the main reason for my concern is DH. I am seriously worried about his health - his blood pressure is dangerously high, what is travelling to the airport with DS, collecting them, loading/unloading/carrying luggage, driving them back, rushing home to collect DS wheelchair & equipment, rushing DS off to school then rushing off to work - going to do to it? All unnecessarily in my view.
And no I have not thought about stocking the flat with food for their meal - because they will of course be dining with us and I am very pleased to have them. They are family and I want them to be treated as such so will be invited for dinner with us as all family would be. I do not wish to isolate mil in any way but I just don't want DH taking on caring responsibilities because I worry about the consequences to him.
lifehope, good post. You seem to have got your priorities sorted. I think quite a few men don't run through a plan in their head, to check timing, and avoid unwanted consequences.
And you sound quite firm. Time to dig those heels in, we will all be behind you giving as much support as we can.
I've got a
sinking feeling this is going to be a long response.
Firstly for the benefit of miltonia, from your previous threads I seem to recall that your mil's home is relatively close to that of your own as she has made her way to your address unaided and has arrived unexpectedly or unannounced at inconvenient moments, as it were.
As for your mil being placed in a care home, unless she is diagnosed/certified as being mentally incompetent to manage her own affairs she cannot be compelled to give up her own home in order to reside in a secure care facility merely for the convenience of her nearest and dearest.
From my own experience of caring for a lo with dementia, removing them from their usual surroundings may cause them confusion which can exascerbate their symptoms and I suspect that your sil has had a particularly trying time over the past months.
Given that your dh by virtue of being geographically closest to his dm has, by default or design, assumed the burden of his dm's care, you may take the view your sil has not in any way addressed the balance, so to speak, but you have not cared for your mil under your own roof 24/7 and it is my belief that your sil is to be commended for stepping into the breach and providing you/your dh with an extended period of respite from your mil's demands on your time.
Again from my own experience, restoring your mil to her own home may bring about a 'renaissance' of sorts in which case she may, to the casual observer, appear to be perfectly capable of managing alone without need of SS or other support.
If this should prove to be the case your dh, as his dm's closest relative in the UK, will need to press for a home care package which may simply take the form of a morning visit to ensure she is up/dressed/breakfasted and an evening visit to undertake the reverse with perhaps a lunchtime visit from meals on wheels if such service is available in her area.
Many facilities for the EMI have been axed but it may be your local council/municipal or regional local authority continues to fund day centres which your mil can attend and she'll be picked up from/returned to her home along with others from her locality who attend these units but, again in the absence of any formal diagnosis as to her mental state, she cannot be compelled to do anything she doesn't want to do.
Regardless of how your family conduct their affairs, IMO it is little more than courtesy for your dh to meet and greet his dm and dsis on their return to the UK in order to facilitate their onward journey to dm's home but, that said, I see no need or reason for your ds to be in attendance on a school day.
However, from what you have said, it would seem that your dh has already raised your ds's expectations of an early morning trip to the airport and, under the circumstances, I would suggest that, rather than dig your heels in, you take the line of 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' and accompany your dh to meet his dm/dsis with a view to returning your ds to your home in order that he doesn't miss his transport to school.
partial conclusion, I doubt that the trip to the airport per se is the issue as I suspect that it has far more to do with what you believe any such trip will represent; namely that your dh will, as you see it, be once more at his dm's beck and call to the detriment of your own needs and those of your ds.
I hope the above will go some way to alleviate Oma's concerns as, in this and in my previous responses to your threads over the past 15 months, it has never been my attention to add to any guilt you may feel at being less than accepting of life circumstances that are far from unique.
As member of the 'middle' generation, you have what many would see as a duty of care to those in your family who are older and younger and it's my belief that if you do not find some way of being able to discharge these albeit onerous duties with good grace and humour you will inevitably add to those resentments that are constant throughout your threads.
For 'my belief' that if you do not etc etc please substitute my concern because throughout the last 15 months my concern has been that, although you've changed jobs, enrolled on a course of further studies, enjoyed some respite from the demands of your mil, and have generally pulled yourself out of the trough of despair which led you to play russian roulette with your health by not taking your prescribed meds to control your epilepsy, nothing much has changed for you.
To use 'my belief' in the proper context, this is because you have not altered your perception that the hand that fate has dealt you is intrinsically unfair and unjust. In this I'm inclined to agree with you but, ultimately, our lives are what we make them and only you can make the intolerable in your life tolerable.
You've done exceedingly well in extracting every last drop of SS provision for your severely disabled ds; he attends school and is collected from/returned to your home daily and you have overnight respite one day in 7 plus one week? during school holidays.
Unlike many other dps of severly disabled children, both your dh and yourself are able to pursue full time careers and, given that your dh is on board and in house so to speak, it cannot be said that you are 'caring in isolation' in the same manner as that of a single parent.
I trust you will believe that I am not in any way diminishing the challenges you have aready faced, or those that lie ahead of you, in hoping that you can find it in yourself to forgive your dh for those comments he made shortly after you gave birth to your ds and see him for what he is; a man driven by his upbringing to do the best he can for his ds, for his dm, and for his dw who may feel she's third or less on his list of priorities but who most probably occupies first place in his heart.
It's time to cut yourself some slack, Life, and cut your dh some too. What you've got on your plate is no more than many others have to contend with without benefit of first world social provision and while I'm not proposing that you become little Pollyanna overnight, a tad more looking at the good in your life may help you overcome what appears to be your tendency to look for the doom and gloom.
I appreciate that this thread may be your essential vent for those inevitable negative feelings that are engendered by having a severely disabled ds who, with the best will in the world, cannot emulate the majority of his peers and by your fears for his future after you've vacated this planet, but it seems to me that just a small shift in your outlook will bring about positive benefits for you and yours.
OK izzy I understand where you are coming from. I do appreciate your posts, want to consider this carefully so will respond later.
Well after a lot of reflection, I think I am OK with DH collecting SIL from the airport. I take your point izzy that it would be an act of kindness and consideration to her given the tough time she has had over the past months and the long journey...also is within the realm of normal gestures of support to family members. As I have pointed out I do not think it is an unreasonable thing to do in itself, but I am scared as to the precedent it sets for the future and the implications for all of us especially DH.
I actually do think very highly of SIL and am very much aware, as you point out, that the past months have been tough for her and she deserves our support. I know that DH will be there for his family and that is a positive thing. But I know what it has been like for SIL and what it has been like for us in the past (and yes we have had her at home before) and I am really scared for the future. I am scared that it will be intolerable and I am scared that DH will break down. I am also afraid that attention will be taken away from DS who rightly deserves it. Also I may well have 'first place' in DH heart but the fact is I am not sure. And even if I do, I don't think I can tolerate indefinitely being seemingly bottom of his priority list.
Whether I indeed have 'a duty of care to those in your family who are older and younger' is a matter of opinion and many disagree about the extent to which we are responsible for caring for elderly relatives when we have vulnerable children. I am accustomed to the view that our DC are our priority and the older generation provide for themselves; or if they can't then care is arranged for them by the 'middle' generation, which however does not compromise their own well being or that of our DC. Because everyone deserves to have a life.
'Our lives are what we make them and only you can make the intolerable in your life tolerable'. I think that is largely true but only largely - however much we strive to make the most of life and maximise our contribution to it (and we should), some things/situations may always be intolerable and remain so however much we strive to improve them; circumstances eventually reach a point where they are amenable to no further change.
You write of me that I have '.....changed jobs, enrolled on a course of further studies, enjoyed some respite from the demands of your mil, and have generally pulled yourself out of the trough of despair which led you to play russian roulette with your health by not taking your prescribed meds to control your epilepsy' and then conclude that 'nothing much has changed for you'; whereas I would argue that these in fact indicate profound changes to my attitude & outlook and I don't think they should be dismissed or minimised - not saying that was your intention but I have struggled very hard to improve things, I think with a good deal of success.
I am conscious of the fact that I have moaned and groaned a lot on these posts so I must have come across as very negative in my outlook generally. This must give a very skewed opinion of what I am as a person, I think I am at my very worst in some of these posts. But I have done a lot of whining so maybe that makes me by nature a whiner.
I have used this site as an opportunity to offload negativity in a safe (relatively safe) place - you may be right that a more profound shift in my outlook is needed, believe me I do want to get there. Maybe the negativity does feed on itself and offloading stimulates more of the same. But I do want my feelings to matter - however ugly they sometimes are. It feels threatening to me that some feelings are so awful, so negative, that they should be denied and squash. Suppose that my feelings just ARE, and that it is not right that they should be buried.
I know that there are a lot of people worse off than we are, I am not alone - but although my situation may not be unique it certainly feels it. Regardless, I have to deal with the burdens I have such as they are, and comparisons with those of others are superfluous. I think I have a fairly good grasp of the many fairly good things in my life but I am also very aware of what our position has cost us and what we have lost. EG yes we are very lucky to be able to work - but we don't have anything like the kinds of careers we could have, and are capable of having, if the past few years hadn't happened.
I don't quite know how to accomplish that shift in my outlook, which I would love to successfully make. I haven't been successful in locating a counsellor who can help so yes I freely admit that in this respect I am still floundering.
I certainly do not feel that our children have a duty of care towards us, although I am very grateful for any help (at times very considerable help) that they have given.
The difficult thing with dementia is of course that the ideas in their head are not always leading to them being safe.
There is no answer to that.
Your husband in the end has to make up his mind where his priorities lie and you will have to accept his choice.
I don't think it is fair of him to off load his 'dread' of his mother being back on you though, he is an adult who must find out what he wants to do for himself and take the consequences of his actions i.e. you not being able to cope and getting ill.
I was brought up DuchOma to believe i have no duty of care to the older generation but that that is not the same thing as not caring; instead what is given is given freely. My DM is independent as was my GM until it became impossible to live on her own; she lived to nearly 100 & I don't remember her asking for one single thing, making one single demand. And I don't think she was neglected or not placed at the very centre of the family; but she was there because we all wanted her there.
My DH can't help the way he feels & there is nobody else to talk to but me.
I think it must seem that I am talking 'at' this post rather than talking to the readers; I am sorry about that. I feel that I am dragging down everyone who reads this because there is no resolution to our situation. I know it appears that I am going around in circles, that must be frustrating to read about. But what would you do if you were me? Assuming we were taking all appropriate actions re arranging MIL care, sharing the burden with other family members, doing what is necessary to prioritise above my family, my and DH health, my work/career and above all my DS, what would be your next step if you were me?
There are a few sources of the terrible pain that won't be appeased and I don't know how to live with it. I have tried to get help on this but I think there are no answers to it so I will have to find a way to remove myself from it, call it the 'suffering' ghetto, go away and leave it to smoulder and get on with living life elsewhere.
Here are the things:
I was sexually assaulted during my school days, was quite nasty. Afterwards I self harmed several times at school. This involve razor blades on arms (I still have the scars) and culminated in a drugs overdose. I am so lucky not to be dead or brain damaged, was in hospital for a week.
I put all that behind me, went on to study/work though still felt on a step or two lower than everyone else. Met DH, thought unhappiness was over, he was (is) the love of my life.
Then DS arrived....after a textbook pregnancy, there he was premature with
severe disabilities. So I feel uniquely cursed, as though everything I touch turns bad. DS is just wonderful but that is despite me.
Shortly after we got DS home, DH got angry with me & thought I wasn't handling things efficiently enough. Cue the words 'You're useless' and 'I'll give this marriage a few months and if you don't get yourself together I'll be off'. I was upset because I had nearly died giving birth to DS (at one point was in genuine fear of dying: I don't recommend it; it changes you for ever and not in a good way)
Now I forgive DH entirely, understand he was under immense pressure too, he has apologised since. But I still think those words have done terrible damage to us as a couple. It is just a shame that they were said when I was at my most vulnerable. They have affected our relationship to this day.
I am again writing at the post rather than to the reader. Where to go from here though? I am genuinely mystified as to what more I can do but I may be missing the elephant in the room.
What action was taken against the person(s) who sexually assaulted you during your school days and did you receive counselling after the event or to address your self-harming?
Were you able to reach any realisation that it was not your fault and you did not in any way deserve to be assaulted because you were less worthy than others, nor did it occur because you had been cursed by fate or by some harsh and angry god that you had failed to appease/please?
Can you remember a time when you didn't feel 'less than' others? Did meeting/marrying your dh make you feel more 'equal'; more 'whole' and more blessed/less cursed?
As I understand it, you had your ds late in life. Did you give up a successful career to care him in his infancy? How old was he when you returned to work?
What is your ds' diagnosis/prognosis? Is he learning impaired? Does he need a wheelchair at all times or can he walk unaided or aided on occasion? Is it envisaged that he will be able to live independently in, say, a group home with resident staff when he has completed his education?
If there has been an elephant in the rooms of your various threads it is the negative thoughts and feelings you had, and may still have, on giving birth to a child with disabilities and you need to know that it's not unusual for parents in these circumstances to feel as if they have failed and to wonder why they have been singled out, as it were, to face this particular challenge, albeit there is no one size fits all answer to that particular question.
Your dh's words were cruel and thoughtless and, although he subsequently apologised and you've forgiven him, they may still ring in your ears and continue to have an adverse affect on your psyche to this day - and beyond.
This may manifest in a not dissimilar way to the story of Job when he clamed 'the thing he feared had 'come upon him' - the more time we spend 'fearing', the more we run the risk of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of nothing working out as it should and everything turning to dust in our hands, as it were.
It's entirely appropriate for your dh to express his fears to you just as it is for you to express yours to him but, due to those words he said so many years ago, you may fear that if you do so he will judge you unfairly. That is not a comfortable place to be, nor does it engender frank and easy conversation on matters that are closest to your heart. If you feel inhibited from sharing your innermost concerns with him, it may be that you would benefit from joint counselling if you are unable to confide in him without the help of a third party.
At the present time you have two immutables; the care you are required to give to meet your ds's needs and the care your mil will need until such time as she is willing, or her mental/physical health dictates, to make changes to the lifestyle she previously enjoyed.
If your mil has a degenerative disease of mind or body, asking how long she may require care from her family in the form of your dh, may be the equivalent of asking 'how long is a piece of string?' but you may find it more bearable if you accept that your dh's loyalty to his dm is such that he's likely to 'run around after her' and that she will most probably arrive on your doorstep at unexpected and inconvenient times for the foreseeable future and try to go with the flow.
If you allow any feeling of being 'less than' to determine your response to your dh's absences from your home due to his dm's demands, it's likely that your dh will accuse you of 'giving him more grief' and of being uncaring of him/his dm and this will inevitably widen any gulf between you.
As you only have a short time before mil's return, I would suggest that you attempt to get your dh on the same page by telling him that until appropriate measures are put in place for her, you will give him your wholehearted support with the proviso that you won't hesitate to call time if it appears that either his or your own health is suffering from this additional responsibility.
IMO no feelings should be 'denied or squashed' but if they cannot be resolved, and if counselling is not an option due to shortage of time, they are best written down and not dwelt on until leisure allows them to be studied at length.
I haven't written half of what I intended but as this has been another very long response, I'll end here and recommence later today/tonight/tomorrow. In the meantime I hope you'll enjoy what's left of the weekend with your dh and ds while you can at least rest assured that you won't be sharing it with one particular visitor.
I haven't read the whole thread but wanted to point out to izzyizn that actually all children who attend Special School tend to get picked up from/dropped off from home, this is for a variety of reasons which I can't be bothered to rehearse here, and to cite this as an example of the OP squeezing every last drop out of the system seems pretty unreasonable to me.
The respite package is also standard (good, but not unusually so) for a severely disabled child.
LH you are not 'dragging' ME 'down' with any of your outpourings.
I have sat for a while just thinking about your question:"What would YOU do in MY situation?" and it is an impossible question to answer of course.
I don't think Izzy's answer would satisfy me: "Go with the flow, let him get on with it, you have a duty to do so." There is of course a benefit in 'forgetting what is past and straining towards what is ahead' as St Paul says, but I think you are not in a place to do so.
I think what really lies at the bottom of this is an issue of forgiveness. You say you have 'freely forgiven' your husband for what he said to you at the birth of your son and that he is the love of your life and you are only worried about him and his health.
And all that may be the truth, but I don't think it is the whole truth.
You see, in all this your husband has not changed his attitude towards you, time and again he undermines you both in your care for your son and in his attitude to the care for his mother.
It seems to me that you have not 'forgiven' him for this attitude at all and that it would be totally unreasonable to expect this 'forgiveness' from you.
But that puts more burden on you and this comes about in the form of this total resentment that is at the heart of your life.
So I think the first thing to realise is that you have NOT forgiven your husband and that the resentment you feel is totally reasonable. You will need to communicate this to him: you will not put up with derogatory remarks, arrangements that inconvenience you without him consulting you and with you being more assertive and independent.
And find some time for yourself, go for a walk, get out and don't put up with the guilt feelings. Also find someone in real life to talk to.
And if it helps: keep talking to us. We may be totally off the mark, I don't mind you telling me so.
You have come a long way in opening up and maybe some, if not all of the things any of us say may just help you a tiny bit.
I do hope so.
I'm new to this thread and like DutchOma would suggest that no more feelings of guilt are landed on you. However, there is no mention ( unless I have missed it ) or where abroad the siblings are and where the SIL lives. Would I be correct in thinking that as the siblings will be aware that you look after your son, then they think you can also look after your MIL as someone who knows " how to look after someone who is ill ?" Have there been any conversations between your DH and siblings about caring for your MIL or has it been seen by the siblings as them getting out of having any responsiblity for her ? I'm sure that you have thought of these things but have you thought about a big family conference about the current situtation? I hope things finally get resolved .
Thank you all. Just to respond to some of your queries/points:
The incident was not reported as I did not report it or discuss it with anyone....although I did receive therapy for the self harm, the therapists were at a bit of a loss be case I didn't address this very central issue.
It is true that I do frequently feel I am cursed by fate....that feeling subsided when I met DH and became happy; I didn't know how to be before that. I feel that although I had/was given a happy childhood I was never happy.
That 'cursed' feeling is tenacious & I don't know how to dislodge it.
Re MIL return.....I am trying to be tolerant of the fact that she will make some demands on DH at least when she is here but I am truly worried about whether we can cope, and I am worried about DH health both physical and mental. I have done some of what you suggested izzy - have advised DH that I will accept the fact he will be preoccupied with setting up her care in the short term, but if I feel either his or our (DS &my) well being is seriously compromised I will be putting my foot down.
This is not merely about our convenience or about my feelings of being neglected; I really feel our family is at risk. Apparently SIL is distraught because of a major row between her DH and mil; he is a very easy-going person, always thought of him as laid back almost to a fault and whenever I spoke to him previously he has always been very supportive of mil. For it to come to this things must have got bad. BIL is in a similar position to mine; except his is coming to an end and regardless he is at the end of his tether.
Other family members are all a long haul flight away Clare - approx 12 hours. MIL has no right of abode in any of these countries. You may have a point that some of them prefer to leave it to DH and assume he is 'used to' that kind of thing - though I must say that SIL has done all she can in my view, has bent over backwards to the detriment of her own DFamily and with no appreciation from mil.
Re forgiveness....it is a process. On the one hand I forgive DH because I understand completely how he felt when he lashed out at me...he was suffering and terrified too. It's a cliche but 'to understand everything is to forgive everything'.
On the other hand, any current 'lashing out'(verbally) by DH takes me right back there and so I react disproportionately. There is a 'go and sin no more' aspect to forgiveness; the person who forgives wants the 'sinner' to turn their back on the transgression forever, failure to do so implies that he/she does not understand the seriousness of the issue.
You are right Dutch that I need to address this with him; though will have to be at an appropriate time and this may not be it.
justabout; you are right in your assessment that this is a good but not spectacular package of respite care. We did have to fight for much of it and have had to build our lives around it. It is a delicate balancing act to manage everything and I can't help being threatened by the idea that we may have to take on more. Once mil is back hopefully a workable care solution will be found; I am holding my breath hoping for this.
I know it is not her fault, but your mil sounds a right bully. This may be the dementia talking, but even so it seems that everybody is bending over backwards to accommodate her to the detriment of their own feelings.
Was she like that before the dementia got hold?
How long were you married and happy before your son was born? Have you any siblings?
In the current situation there is nothing much you can do apart from playing your own part in looking after yourself and ds as best you can. Your husband will have to do what he must, but I think it is unacceptable that he 'lashes out verbally' or manipulates you into situations which you find totally unacceptable. This especially where it concerns your ds. I find it very strange that he takes him out of school to meet his mother and that he wants to take him to a meeting with social services about his mother.
Did that blister on his hip come to anything?
Mil seems to have been turned by the illness into a caricature of the person she was...as though her positive qualities have been suppressed, and her negative ones magnified. Basically her world has got very small, and she doesn't see or understand the impact this situation is having on the rest of us.
We were together a decade before DS arrived. I have a DB & Dsis, they are supportive but very busy so unable to help much with the practicalities....nor would I expect it.
DS blister is not getting worse though are keeping an eye on it & are in touch with his consultant who did the op. so fingers crossed on that one.
DS is now not going to collect his GM....so that is positive. DH is taking him to the meeting so he can show SS what he is up against....though of course I am worried it may be distressing for him if eg mil does not agree with her DC over the plans for her care. Last I heard she was still convinced she could stay put with DH caring for her.
Yes, it is positive that he is not now going to take ds to the airport and he is not missing school.
I still think it is daft taking him to the meeting with SS, upsetting for ds, giving the wrong impression to SS (ie if he takes ds when he comes to a meeting about his mother he can clearly look after his mother with his ds in tow) giving the wrong impression to MIL (well he can bring ds here, so he can leave him here for me to look after); surely ds belongs in school and out of the way.
I'm glad you have the support of a brother and sister, were they unhappy in their childhood? Were you a piggy in the middle?
I feel so sorry for the little girl that was you. I wasn't a happy child myself, but by moving to a different country and living here, I escaped my unhappy childhood and of course my children are not disabled and do no longer need my day to day care. Look after that little one that was you and look after yourself now. You do matter, you are a worthwhile person and for what it's worth, you do not come across as uncaring or unloving, just at the end of your tether.
There is a little rhyme in Dutch which says (in translation) that people often suffer the most in fearing a suffering that never arrives. And should the suffering come then God will help them carry it.
I take your point Dutch about the SS meeting...will try to dissuade DH from taking DS along though if it becomes apparent that mil disagrees with DC about plans for her future I will have to put my foot down. I don't want DS to witness arguments between them & the distress that may ensue.
Re my DB and DSis childhoods....it is weird but I never discussed it with them. I have no idea whether they are happy or not. Our childhood was exemplary in many ways ( we are & remain a stable, mutually supportive and very loving family) however there is no guarantee that happiness will follow just because the foundation is in place. Happiness is elusive and subtle; it is 'the perfume a well lived life gives off'.
I was a little knot of misery and despair, planted right there within that genuinely happy families. I am sure there are many others like I was, sufferers where you least expect to find them'.
It is helpful to write here, make sense of my thought and receive constructive feedback; I sincerely thank everyone who has posted here. I am only sorry I am having to be so burdensome and come across as so negative; I hate being a taker rather than a giver.
Yes I have to look after me; sometimes it is as simple as buying myself little treats (clothes, spa days) and not feeling guilty about spending time doing what I want. Guilt follows me around like a little ghost, but I am learning that much of the time it doesn't need to be there.
Also your dh might 'give in' more to his mother while SS are there, just to avoid ds witnessing an argument. Pacify, pacify.
'A little knot of misery and despair within a happy family', well that is a perfect example of how guilt arises. All your fault for feeling that way? 'It's not you, it's me'. Yeah right (not).
But that is where your 'little ghost of guilt' stems from. Yes, happiness is elusive and it is not something that can be forced out of life. Nor am I sure that it follows from 'a life well lived'. I'm not even sure that happiness is to be strived after.
I'm glad the talking on here helps. If ever I say anything that 'falls wrong' with you, forgive me, I am really 'just trying to help'.
Meanwhile you must feel as if 'granny's footsteps' are coming ever closer.
Well Mil is back....have seen her she is obviously not very well at all. SIL confessed to me (when the had the privacy to do so) how hard it had been.
We went out for an early meal together then DH & I walked back, we were talking about the situation & then I broached the subject that maybe DS should not go.
DH was absolutely livid, screamed at me about the pressure I was putting him under, the stress is all my fault etc. then left me in the road in the dark. I got home to DH studiously ignoring me so have gone upstairs and left him.
If he thinks I am going to soak up blame just because he is under pressure he is wrong. If he carries on treating me like this he will end up with no marriage or family at all.
I should say...'that DS should not go to the assessment meeting for DS' as discussed above.
I am afraid I am just disgusted by DH attitude towards me. He han't bothered to come and see me. I am just here to go out to work. Pay for things, care for DS and be blamed for everything at the end. Just an emotional punchbag.
Yes, you are right, he is using you as an emotional punchbag. Stress does not have to make you take it out on what should be your nearest and dearest, that is just rubbish.
I would agree that you now need to put your foot down and arrange for ds to go to school as usual. Keep things as calm as possible for his sake and if things carry on as they are, yes, your husband will be living with his mother.
I am very sorry to hear that things have taken such a turn for the worse, but nothing excuses being 'livid' and shouting to someone who is just trying to make the best of a bad situation.
Thinking of you.
Unless something improves really dramatically and fast, I am out of this marriage.
I am lying upstairs weeping, I do not want to be married to someone who doesn't give a shit about me, my point of view or my feelings. I am also tired of sticking up for him, talking him up, bigging him up to people and never letting on what an utter arsehole he can be to me at times.
What's happened to bring you to this point? Has there been an argument over mil or ds?
It is the fact that we are not a team, that DH has his own ideas of how things should be handled and I am not to argue or contradict but just bow to his vastly superior judgement. I am sure that the stress re mil has triggered it but if this is going to be the pattern for the future - DH stressed over DS and taking it out on me - I don't think I want any part of it.
I long suspected that I was not a priority for DH and he has demonstrated it with a vengeance this evening. If it was not for DS and the fact that this is his home & I will never be the one to leave him, I would walk out and never come back until I get an abject apology.
DH has fallen asleep on the sofa downstairs, he is oblivious. If he dares to call me tomorrow I will slam the phone down on him.
So he won't be oblivious (pissed) for very long.
Lifehope you are being emotionally abused, imho, and I speak as one who knows. Read the links or some of our posts on the EA thread - I am out and free quite recently but post there quite often, see if you agree. Of course I could be wide of the mark but somehow...
What upsets me is that he has spent the evening being the supportive brother/son and even put on a good show of being the considerate H. But in reality, when it comes to me any old shit treatment will do.
Who was he trying to impress with the 'good show' and what happened to end it?
That is one of the hallmarks of an abuser, lifehope, and it gives you spaghetti head, where you start to doubt yourself.
Here is the link come and join us
It was after we left and the two of us were walking home. No audience to impress any more. He has always looked up to his DSis so always at pains to please/impress her.....no problem with this at all & I think highly of her too. But the treatment he ha displayed to me is painful by comparison.
Is this the dsis that mil has been staying with? Had you been to mil's apartment for the evening?
I didn't realise mil was returning to the UK so soon - I thought you had another week's grace at least.
When did she return? Has the meeting with SS taken place?
She returned yesterday. SS meeting is to take place next week
DH idea is that SIL takes DS to the meeting with her.....DH will not be there, he will be at work. I suggested that this might not be a good idea because the meeting might be emotional/fraught and this might upset DS. Cue DH getting angry with me: 'why should it be fraught? Why are you making difficulties? I'm sick of you', storming off & leaving me in the road.
Thanks for the link Silver, I am reading up on it. The question is what I do about it given that I want DS to have a secure home.
It goes from the sublime to the ridiculous, doesn't it? In proposing to
parade take your ds to the meeting with SS, your dh has failed to consider the impact it may have on your son if his disabilities are used to demonstrate that caring for mil may be detrimental to him.
Together with his equally half-baked plan to take ds to the aiport with him to meet dsis/mil, your dh doesn't seem to have
much of a grasp on reality given much thought to what is in your ds's best interests.
Is it intended that mil will be present at the meeting with SS? Will dsis be in attendance? When are SS going to be assessing mil in her own home?
Hi izzy, mil & sil will both be at SS meeting. I believe the assessment in her home will take place shortly though don't know exactly when.
I am inclined to treat DH now with as much contempt as he has displayed for me. He may get rid of me as a result. I think he would be stupid to do so....but there is no law against being a moron.
I think he is quite capable of trying to cut me out of his & DS life (regardless of the damage to DS) just for the sake of being 'right'.
What is the state of play with mil? Does she accept that she needs a care package or sheltered accomodation/care home? Is she aware of what the meeting is about?
And your dh isn't proposing to be there himself even though what's decided may impact on your/his/ds's quality of life?
I don't know how much she is aware of, how she will be at the meeting is an unknown quantity. I agree DH should be there.
I can't see the need for mil/dsis or your dh, for that matter, to meet with SS presumably in their offices? when what's required is for SS to visit mil at home and assess her needs.
If mil isn't fully appraised of the purpose of the meeting, the potential for her to kick off should be obvious to your dh and expecting his dsis to cope with mil and ds is ludicrous.
Is this another scheme that requires ds to miss or be late for school?
Not good....though some of it may be due to her long journey
Would like to second izzy (although have to admit to getting confused as to exactly what the situation was, I think it's clearer now.)
I am that your DH won't be at the SS meeting - I just took it for granted that he would be. Has he pressed to be?
It's becoming apparent that your dh
can't run a tap has limited organisational skills coupled with equally limited sensitivity to the needs of others.
As for cutting you out of his/ds's life to prove he's right a) he doesn't have a snowball in hell's chance of achieving that aim and b) it seems to me it would be more appropriate for you take action to cut him out of your home.
When dsis returns to her home there'll be a vacant bedroom at mil's and I see no reason why your not very 'd' h shouldn't move in with his mother and spend evenings/weekends with ds in your home.
I seem to recall that LifeHope's dh was instrumental in setting up the meeting with SS, Pussycat, and the fact that he's now delegated responsibility for attending to his dsis and is expecting her to wheel ds in while trailing mil in her wake beggars belief.
Has he always been a complete twat, LifeHope, or is it a role he's grown into since his dm's decline?
He always had this problem side izzy, but stress (of which he has plenty)brings out the worse. Also it seems that my tolerance of this side of him has shrunk.
DH went off to work early and tried to act with me as if nothing was amiss. I was just wide awake enough to cold shoulder him, cue lots more anger about my 'attitude' and 'all I do is work my guts out for this family and this is what I get' and 'one day I will just walk away'.
So this is his take on it:
He is a wonderful DH and DF who due to stress occasionally acts out of turn, who wouldn't? I am a monster of intolerance for not understanding this and sucking it up.
He works hard (as if i don't?) and is devoted to the family (i'm not?) and should just take the rough with the smooth. I am a monster of ingratitude for getting hung up on a few cross words spoken in stress. He really doesn't understand why I am so upset, what is the fuss (me crying myself to sleep) all about?
The issue of SS meeting has not been addressed. DH will do what he is going to do, my views are an inconvenience and therefore mean nothing. Ditto my feelings. His idea of support is for me to fall in with his wishes and never question anything.
I'm glad SPC has linked you to the emotional abuse thread. Sorry you have to be there, but heyho.
Totally put your foot down about anybody taking ds anywhere. Where was he last night?
All you can do now is to take care of yourself and your ds, leave your NSDH to work out his own salvation.
OK an update, DH called me today to apologise and to agree that DS will not attend the meeting as I don't want it. So I am very relieved. I know he is distraught about the state of his DM, she has deteriorated significantly which is upsetting for him - I just don't want to be the outlet and scapegoat for the additional stress.
I know that he is under immense pressure, will leave it up to him if he wants to attend the meeting himself....he just feels he wants to leave it to other people to handle and take some of that pressure away from him.
Are you happy with that apology? My reservation is that your dh has agreed that ds will not attend the meeting as you 'don't want it when he should be saying he's realised it's not in ds's best interests to attend as the meeting has absolutely nothing to do with ds and may cause him upset.
To my mind, devolving sole responsibility for the meeting that your dh arranged with SS to his dsis is not fitting nor, given the importance of future SS input into mil's care, is it appropriate for him not to attend.
In addition, I would query why your dh feels it necessary for mil to attend when her best interests will be more properly served by SS visiting her in her own home.
If your mil has dementia or similar memory impairment, it's possible that she will become further confused by finding herself in another environment that she's unfamiliar with and may become distressed by what should be said by her dd - of course, it could be that her dd will be inhibited by her dm's presence and minimise the problems inherent in her ds/you meeting her needs.
FWIW I'm not at all surprised that mil appears to have deteriorated during her long sojourn with dsis but it may be that, after she's adusted to UK time, a few days back in familiar surroundings will serve to bring about some improvement.
Well, I'm glad that he has seen some sense re ds attending the meeting with SS and his grandma.
Let's hope that he sees fit to attend the meeting himself and takes responsibility for what happens to his mother.
By the way, you are still making excuses for him. No amount of stress justifies being unpleasant to your wife, especially not when she is trying to be as helpful as possible.
Hopefully you will now feel able to stand back and let things happen around you.
Well done for getting this far and thank you for the update.
Hallo, thanks for your messages.
Just to clarify that the above was a brief update on where we are now, I am aware that none of the issues have gone away.
DH has apologised for upsetting me and I have accepted that apology. However, that doesn't mean that I am fine with the situation now, and explaining why he behaved the way he did (he was under pressure, upset about his DM etc) doesn't mean I want to make excuses for him. It is not acceptable for him to take his stress & upset out on me or to treat me as part of the problem.....he knows that and I have told him.
Things have to improve dramatically if we are to survive. I have to think about the implications of what I do in its effect on DS. But a marriage where we don't pull together, work as a team and (emotionally as well as practically) support each other) is no marriage in my eyes. I have told him that already & will reiterate it in the future.
I think he does realise and has taken on board my view re DS attending the meeting.....and on reflection thinks it best that he does not go. But he doesn't have to agree with me on everything (though arguably should agree on this) just respect my opinion and decide on a course of action on more significant things which we can both agree with.
I have told DH my view that he should go to the meeting because being the family member in closest proximity he is likely to be most affected by any outcome. Ultimately I can't force him...will keep working on him, he may yet go.
Well, you sound very determined now and more in charge of the situation. Of course you can't force your husband to do anything, just try to make him see that all of you are important, but that your (and his) first responsibility lies towards your ds.
Have a nice weekend
Thanks DutchOma, you too.
I have never doubted that DH knows DS is first priority, he just needs to be reminded sometimes what that actually entails. Btw another update: DH is going to the meeting know, accepts he has to be there. So hopefully we are on the right track now.
Should read 'DH is going to the meeting now'...sorry
That's good. Hopefully you can all have a bit of a breather until Wednesday.
Izzy is right in that they will need to do an assessment of MIL in her own home and then hopefully they will be able to persuade MIL that she will be better cared for in a care setting.
How long is SIL staying? Is she having a bit of a breather or does MIL keep her on her toes?
IMO it will be much kinder to mil if she's not taken to the forthcoming meeting and I would suggest she stays home in the company of her dd.
This will enable your dh to speak freely about mil and her condition and to explain that, due to your ds's severe disabilities, he/you are unable to undertake the burden of care for her in a manner appropriate to her needs.
In short, IMO it would be in the best interests of all concerned for your dh to attend the meeting he has convened with SS either alone or with you and to take with him a written account by his dsis of the demands of undertaking mil's day to day care.
I would also suggest that your dh make himself available when SS assess mil in her own home and hope that any such assessment will be effected before his dsis leaves the UK.
It would be kinder for DH and SIL too, not to have to tell it how it is in front of their own mother, that sounds a terrible thing to have to do.
Big meeting is taking place shortly....I put it to DH it may not be appropriate for her to be there, but both he and SIL are adamant she should attend. So in the end there is nothing much more I can do about that.
There has just been another meeting re finances, another huge row with MIL who accused them of 'taking her money'....but everything sorted in the end.
DH stressed & at the end of his tether, but no repeat so far of his taking it out on me. I am still hoping for the best though. DH confessed how unhappy he is at the moment due to stress of making all these arrangements, I hope it is only temporary.
I can't help feeling resentful and it is due to fear. We have been through so much with DS and dearly loved as he is it is a huge challenge to care for him. I can't help feeling resentful that we have this extra burden to deal with, and I actually feel hostile and angry.
A lot of this I think is due to fear; if this turns truly nasty or proves too much for DH to handle, that could be the end of us, our little family could tear itself fo pieces. I hasten to add that that is the last thing I want to happen; but I feel so angry about the whole situation and try as I might I can't do anything to stop the feelings of resentment at being in this position. I find my life really oppressive at the moment.
I am not proud of feeling this way. I have guilt and the sense of being at root a horrible person, to add to my other woes.
The only thing I can truly hope for is that Social Services will be able to at least give your husband some perspective on the whole situation.
It is so awfully common for people with dementia to accuse their loved ones of 'taking their money' 'treating them as if they are mad' and many other accusations.
There is just nothing your husband can do about that, it is the illness talking and SS will have seen it all before.
Hopefully they will be able to communicate that insight and translate it into the appropriate care for your mother-in-law.
The only thing you can do is to just keep going for your ds and for yourself.
I'm glad you say that your husband has not taken his stress out on you again.
Don't anticipate what might happen, it may not do and then you have had all that misery for nothing. Try to turn away from these feelings of fear and guilt, your thoughts are the only thing that are entirely your own and you CAN help what you think. Just keep saying to yourself: it may never happen. And when it does, you will be able to deal with it.
Well it is happening....the outcome of the meeting is that mil is going into a home. DH and SIL both very upset but it is the only possibility. They are effectively losing mil, you are right DutchOma that this is very common, they are having to grieve for their DM as they have lost/are losing the DM they knew. I went through this with my DP so know what it feels like.
It is true that I have to just keep going and hope that the things I most fear never happen. There is very little joy in life and it has been this way for a long long time now.
I am sorry but I am really suffering now, i feel I am almost back where I was at the beginning of the year when I was depressed bordering on suicidal.
I feel that I would be far better off dead if it wasn't for DS. I am on this earth to care for him so won't do anything to jeopardise that.
I feel that DH and I are no longer partners, we just get on and deal separately with our respective problems. We sit in a room together and rarely talk though sometimes we row. I suggested we go away for a luxury weekend together, DH instantly poo poohed the idea.....anyway we would have to take DS with us as would take ages before we could get respite for a whole weekend. And now DH feels we can't leave his DM. But we need a treat now.
I am going away for the weekend, it is for a memorial service for my DF who passed away a couple of years ago. I offered to take DS with me to give DH a break but he said no need. Anyway it is 150 miles on the train, the prospect of a journey like that with DS wheelchair is daunting. Part of me feels glad to be getting away from the miserable atmosphere at home....the other part feels guilty about going. But I don't feel I can cancel. I then feel resentful that circumstances are making me feel guilty. I very rarely get to visit my own DFamily.
I have tried and tried, believe me I have followed advice. But I don't know what more I can do to make life more pleasant. I really feel for SIL, it has been hard for her & she has done the best she can. But she will be getting away soon, back to her good life, & we will be left here.
I am making allowances for DH as he is upset about his DM. But I think that if things don't improve soon our marriage may be coming to an end. It is sad because I will always love DH & I worry about the implications for DS but I don't want to live like this & I don't know what I can do to mend it.
I can't believe I am writing these things now. My much loved little family.
I think this time away is what you need, you need some respite to re-charge your batteries. Maybe your DH needs time to realise just how much you are already doing with your DS.
There is nothing wrong with your MIL going into a home, if it is a good one she will receive the kind of care she needs and could have a far better quality of life than over burdening her own family (who are not coping).
But your SIL and DH will be grieving, as among other things it will make the situation more real.
Have you been to see your GP? I suggest you need to go again.
When my mother was dying, which was a dreadfully stressful time (several of those worst life events for stress were happening), I went to the Ideal Home Exhibition; one stand I went to had a "stress test" gadget. I tried it, although I didn't feel particularly stressed, and it read "very high stress". It could have been quackery, but it made me realise when things are really tough, even the "non stress" days can be highly stressful. Its just you've got used to those.
Do try to enjoy the train journey, give yourself some "Me time", if only a magazine/book and a hot drink, and give yourself some time off from worrying about those at home. You need to recharge.
I hope this helps a little.
LifeHope - what is it that has made you so down?
You are doing your course. Your MIL is going into a home, so while your DH will no doubt visit and provide input the physical burden of care doesn't fall onto you both.
I think you need some counselling - because to take no joy in the material improvements in your life over the last few months is bizarre.
Your DH is an emotionally abusive arsehole. No his life isn't perfectly straightforward, but with both of you working and your DS at school full-time with transport then there really is no justification for him to treat you as he does - you have exactly the same burden as him, exactly the same.
Shining out through your thread, is a kind of determination on your part to be miserable. And that is what you need to consider, and think about how you change it.
Yes, I too wonder what has brought this continuing black mood on.
For your mil this is by far the best option, she will get the expert care she needs.
For your sil this is by far the best option, she can go home without having to continually worry whether her mother is alright.
For your dh this is by far the best option, he can get on with his life, without worrying continually about his mother.
So...why is it not the best option for you? Why do you think you cannot get back to 'normal' with both you and your dh taking care of your ds as best you can?
Yes, a luxury weekend away with just the two of you would be nice, but, as you say, it would take ages to arrange respite for ds. So make some plans for later.
And in the meantime, enjoy your weekend without guilt. You need it to gain some perspective.
And make plans to spend Christmas with your dm, you and your son only if necessary. Don't be guilted into having mil on Christmas Day because 'otherwise she would be on her own. She wouldn't be, she will be in her new home and taking her out every five minutes would upset and confuse her.
She will be upset and confused without any doubt, but in the end a caring home is the very best place for her.
Please cut your husband some slack.
It has been over a year, and I still feel distraught about having to uproot my mum from her home against her wishes, and take her to a care home.
It is emotionally tough to do this. It is his mum. He is grieving for the person who he has lost, while she is still there. She will be like a tantrumming child, who claims the authority of a grown up. It is hard. Very hard. Your husband also has a disabled child. And he has you, with your issues and negative outlook, to deal with. I dont envy him.
I think you have very little empathy for your husband, and your mils family, for what they are going through. It seems to me that the concern for your husband and his stress does not extend beyond the effect it has on you.
You say you are not a partnership, that you and your dh lead emotionally separate lives. I would venture a guess, he feels the same?
Hey Quint, that sounds very harsh. I'm sorry about your mum, it must be one of the hardest things to do and my children may have to do it. If I get batty
I expect that I will become batty. Mums dementia is a cluster type, levy body. 5 out of 7 of her siblings are on a sliding scale between Parkinson and Dementia. And her mum had it. All I can do is to drink coffee, and red wine in moderation. Try to be healthy, and I must also exercise, as being physically fit can delay onset by 5 years.
But hey, today is good, I have bought my first mince pie!!
Enjoy. My dh used to make the mince pies in our family and now he is too porrly to do it, but not poorly enough not to mind any more.
Well, the Waitrose bakery one was DELICIOUS!
Poor your hubby. And you.
<emails a platter of mince pie across>
Quint - if you read the thread, you will see that the OP's DH has been being vile to her long before the issue of MILs dementia arose.
I have read this and other threads for the last year. I did however not pick up on the dh being vile from before this all started. Sorry
Quint I'm sorry that was harsh - I read a lot of your threads about your parents and my heart has always gone out to you x
I think I am going to stop posting here as I am obviously coming across very badly. To read that I give the impression of lacking in empathy toward DH family is hard, I know too well how they feel because I went through the same with my DF. I feel for anyone going through similar.
I must be at my very worst on this thread, but just because I don't write on here about my empathy or all the things I have said/done to demonstrate empathy, doesn't mean that they don't exist.
Likewise that I am 'always miserable'; there is a lot of joy in my life but I am not dealing with that. I am trying to sort my head out here so am dealing specifically with the dark and dismal. I don't know why I have been so unhappy the last few days, am trying to make sense of it. I don't want to inflict it on those close to me & have them worry about me on top of everything else.
Why would you stop posting here, if it helps? Two of us thought Quint was harsh in what she said, three of us are trying to make sense of what you are feeling.
I am genuinely bemused by it, because I would shout Hallelujah at the news that dmil is going into a home and you do not.
I really think the train journey is going to be an excellent thing and your husband taking on the care of your ds is also good.
I think you are already on anti depressants, maybe it is time for a review, but I would wait until after you have been away for a few days.
I was dismayed to find that, the best solution having been reached, imho, you were not relieved, and possibly renewed. However, I thought I would feel great when my Ex moved out, and it was not the case.
Being in long term doubt and uncertainty, as you have been, is an enormous strain on your nervous system. Having got into that state, it may take some time for you to rebalance, as it did for me in different circumstances. I'm also reminded of the PhD blues (although didn't submit mine), which sees the sufferer go down in mood having submitted their thesis. And of my friend, who went into a state of collapse for a couple of weeks, following her daughter's recovery from whooping cough.
You are still second guessing how things will be. Time to go forth on your journey and 'take the adventure that Aslan sends.'
You seem to think that your posts here bring people down. That you are somehow imposing on us. We don't have to read if we don't want, and we can care about you without taking on board your feelings as our own...
Amen to that SPC. I hadn't thought of it like that
Have any of you been under this much pressure? Then even though this might be the best solution the OP is left with dealing with her husband's guilt. If she danced around shouting "yippee" she would be being a bit heartless; in fact she probably has to be very careful what she does say or her DH will just project all his guilt onto her.
People are not rational. If you have been surviving on adrenaline then you naturally feel depressed and flat when it starts to drain. She also is about to leave her husband and son for a weekend (and feels guilty leaving them), to go to a spa? Nope to go to her father's memorial.
Of course she feels down. Nevermind the other pressures she is under.
"Have any of you been under this much pressure? "
I have. The pressure lasted more than 3 years, and is only now easing off. I have had very similar issues to lifehope, but no disabled child but a whole host of other serious mindnumbing taxing problems. For the last year I have tried to offer support. But as I dont think I am, I think its is better I leave this thread and hide it. This is Lifehopes thread, and she can take from it what she wants, what ever helps her get by, and not least get to sleep.
Can I throw in the simple word - communication - if people actually said at the time what they meant, it might not cause all this wailing and gnashing of teeth
Join the discussion
Please login first.