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to find my SIL's behaviour a bit creepy?

(45 Posts)
theancientmarinator Sun 04-Sep-11 14:47:15

Forgive me, but this is going to be a bit of a long story. My elderly mother lives in the next town to us ? about 45 mins drive away ? and my 4 siblings are spread around the country. One brother and his wife live ten minutes away from my Mum and have been most involved in Mum?s care ? by which I mean that while I popped up to see her once or twice a week they would pop by two or three times and were her go to people in an emergency. Last year I began to feel uncomfortable about this situation ? it began to look as though my SIL was deliberately edging me out of my relationship with my Mum. I thought I was probably being cynical and paranoid and tried to ignore this feeling

In May my mum had a brain haemorrhage, called my SIL and B and was admitted to hospital at 3pm. They stayed by her bed for 3 hours, went home for a couple of hours to eat and returned to the hospital. It?s worth pointing out that at this point drs were unsure if Mum would last till the morning. My SIL phoned me to tell me my mum was in hospital at 11pm ? 8 hours after she was admitted and way too late for me to come in to the hospital. I assumed they had been working their way through my other siblings and had taken a while to get to me ? in fact they had not contacted them at all. They phoned one bro the next day and the other two the day after that.

My Mum did survive but with big cognitive and affective problems. My second oldest bro and his wife offered to have her come to live with them, either permanently or until she felt well enough to return to her flat. My SIL fought this tooth and nail, actually lying to the hospital to make sure Mum would not be released into his care, and subsequently lying about him and branding him 'a dangerous troublemaker' to myself and both my other brothers. They both live hundreds of miles away and were not in a position, I suppose, to realise that this simply was not true. Long story short (ish) my Mum did eventually go to live with my Bro and when it was clear he and his wife could not provide the round the clock care she now needs he very sensitively managed her into a really lovely care-home nearby where she has settled well and finally seems happy. She is a few miles from this brother but about 3hr drive from my wicked SIL and myself. Throughout this period this SIL and Bro have been a total nightmare, lying to my more distant Bro?s about me and the bro who actually took mum in, trying to insist on my being excluded from hospital checkups, demanding that I hand over the spare keys to my Mum?s flat to them, and actually saying on several occasions behind my back that this was all none of my business and that I should stop interfering. The decisions about Mum?s care have been made by family discussion (through email because of the distances involved) and she and my bro agreed to having my bro take mum in, and subsequently finding her a permanent residential care home ? in fact when they visited her after a couple of weeks in the home they raved to my aunt about how perfect it was for my Mum. In spite of this I discovered yesterday when I bumped into an old friend who goes to my Mum and SIL?s church that she has been very publicly and dramatically dissolving in tears and telling everyone how she has been completely left out of the decision making process, how she has been like a daughter to my Mum and feels devastated by her departure, how completely against Mum being in this home she is, etc and how hurtful my bro and I have been to her ? and several other things my friend refused to repeat because they would be too upsetting. My DH and I are not churchgoers but a lot of the people in this church are old friends of ours, and DH?s entire stepfamily are members too so I actually feel very hurt that they have been given this version of events behind my back.

In spite of everything I have not said a word to my SIL and Bro about their behaviour, or to anyone in their church or even to my two bros who live far away. But having an old friend accost me in the street yesterday and ask me why we have been so mean to my ?poor? SIL was a final straw for me ? I didn?t tell said friend the whole story but by God I was tempted! We have our annual family (5 siblings, 5 SILs, 12 kids from 1-23 one elderly aunt) weekend away in 3 weeks and now I just can?t face spending three days under the same roof as this woman. So AIBU to be thinking of pulling out of this holiday? or for that matter to be keeping quiet about my side of the story to everyone while she gleefully lies about me to all and sundry? Help me out here sensible MNers because I think I have lost all sense of perspective.

theancientmarinator Sun 04-Sep-11 14:48:07

Not sure why all my full stops have converted to question marks - sorry!

FabbyChic Sun 04-Sep-11 14:52:40

Sorry but you are a grown woman if someone was slatting me and putting me down to all and sundry I'd fucking go mental and have it out with the person conerned.

Don't be an idiot stand up to your SIL and have it out with her, and tell the rest of your family too what she has been saying.

She is a manipulative bitch.

Nagoo Sun 04-Sep-11 14:53:29

I'm sorry, what has she done that is creepy?

Your DB and SIL were primary carers for your mum, if they went in more often than you or your brothers.

Now your DM has moved far away from them to be near your other brother.

Your SIL presumably misses her.

Angel786 Sun 04-Sep-11 14:56:01

I did think you may have been paranoid, initially (as the concept is quite bizarre) but she sounds like an absolute nightmare!

Have you considered trying to speak to your brother about this to understand what is happening and why? They really should have called you when your mum was admitted initially.

Does your SiL have her own mum? Usually inlaws are trying to get rid of family duties and responsibilities rather than hog them all!

diddl Sun 04-Sep-11 14:59:30

I´m not quite sure about this.

SIL & Ops brother have been there for her for some years, but now she been moved to a care home that´s more convenient for a different sibling?

And re the hospital-the brother could have phoned his own siblings about their mother, couldn´t he?

LovelyCuppa Sun 04-Sep-11 15:02:25

Stop gossiping. All you have posted is nasty, judgemental gossip. Yes people behave in strange ways sometimes when it comes to elderly relatives and can get quite possessive but it sounds like your SIL and BIL have shouldered much of the burden of her care until she went to live three hours away.

I think you need to be more sympathetic. I suspect she loves and misses your mum. That doesn't make your relationship with you mum any less important. There is always enough love to go round.

Tenacity Sun 04-Sep-11 15:02:42

Don't avoid the family gathering. Perhaps you need to speak to your SIL (before the gathering), and ask her calmly what the problem is?

Let her know you have heard different versions of what happened from different sources, and that you are very concerned as it has been defamatory in nature.

Only after speaking to her can you gauge what's been going on, but you need to talk to her first.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sun 04-Sep-11 15:04:26

I didnt tell said friend the whole story but by God I was tempted

You had a golden opportunity to give put your friend straight but resisted temptation? Are you hoping to become a saint?

The annual weekend break away will provide you with the ideal opportunity (in the presence of witnesses) to confront ask your sil why she's found it necessary to distort the truth and sully your name.

In the meantime, don't hold back - make sure that anyone who may have heard your sil's version of events also hears yours.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Sun 04-Sep-11 15:06:39

Your brother and SIL visited more often than anyone else.

They didn't call the other siblings on a night when she had an emergency and may not have lasted through. It's not clear what the circumstances of that were; were they keeping vigil?

They resisted your other brother taking her in to his house. Your other brother subsequently did, anyway, and found he couldn't take care of her. So he put her in a home near him. What did your brother and SIL want to happen? If they'd got their way, would she have stayed with them? And would they have managed to care for her?

Your SIL has subsequently expressed her upset, to her own friends at church, at being excluded despite all the effort that she put in visiting your Mum thrice weekly.

At this point, I'm on your brother/SIL's side frankly.

FabbyChic Sun 04-Sep-11 15:07:36

This is not about who visited the most this is about the SIL bad mouthing the rest of the family, its totally wrong. Decent people don't do that. Only scum do.

Angel786 Sun 04-Sep-11 15:08:36

YABU to pull out of the holiday though. You should still go. Speak to your siblings in advance and then perhaps sit down with your bro and SiL and talk about what is bothering you?

SugarPasteLadybird Sun 04-Sep-11 15:10:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LovelyCuppa Sun 04-Sep-11 15:10:23

Oh I didn't realise you were there fabby! I thought this was all based on hearsay. Silly me. Yes OP your SIL is obviously scum hmm

theancientmarinator Sun 04-Sep-11 15:11:40

My bro doesn't really 'do' communication - he leaves that to my SIL. I do understand about her missing my Mum but it wasn't like she was the only person in the world looking after her - I was pretty involved too. She is my mum, I miss her a lot and have found watching her suffer since she had the haemorrhage painful too... but I accept that this home is a good place for her. She is a lifelong member of a quite obscure religious group and they run this home - wouldn't be where I'd want to live myself but it absolutely is Mum's cup of tea. There isn't a comparable home anywhere near where SIL and I live so it's not that she was put in a home near my other bro just for his convenience. I wouldn't mind her mouthing off about it so much if it wasn't that she actually agreed willingly to it in the first place and is now completely changing her story when it's too late to do anything about it.
I think what really bugs me is that this is my mum, like any daughter I am upset about what has happened to her health, sad about her deterioration, and missing her... but my SIL behaves like I am an interfering outsider and it's all about her. I don't understand why she's doing this - which is why it seems a bit creepy to me I suppose. It really is as though she is trying to 'steal' my mum from the rest of the family. BTW although my other three bros live elsewhere they are all close to my mum and have been quite involved in her care so it is absolutely not as though my SIL was heroically stepping in and rescuing Mum from her neglectfully absent offspring.

diddl Sun 04-Sep-11 15:13:34

Why aren´t you more cross with the other brother who has organised it for his convenience, leaving you three hrs away?

plupervert Sun 04-Sep-11 15:13:51

A family meet-up will give you all an opportunity to speak to one another, without Chinese whispers, nor suggestion, nor possibility to hide, so under no circumstances should you miss it. If the SIL really is playing people off against one another, it will come out under the open conditions of the weekend.

ihatecbeebies Sun 04-Sep-11 15:15:20

Why is it your Sil you are so worked up over but not your brother? If they were her primary care givers and devoted so much of their time to caring for her I can understand why they would be so upset about the whole situation. If you've not actually spoken to them then you don't know the full story, I think you should sit down with them both and properly clear the air.

stripeywoollenhat Sun 04-Sep-11 15:16:54

sorry, but your brother (and only by extension his wife) lost me when he didn't call you immediately when there was a likelihood your mother might die. that is just fucking appalling behaviour. i'm amazed you are still speaking to him at all.

also, i think your sil is being a bit of a weirdo, if your mother is happy where she is now. and demanding the spare key to her house sounds pretty dubious (if you are a normal person who isn't going to go in and abscond with all of the antiques or whatever, at any rate).

TheRealTillyMinto Sun 04-Sep-11 15:17:44

sounds to me like SIL is trying to make it all about her. mutual acquiantances are commenting about your SIL, not your DM. i dont think you should pull out of the holiday or mention anything to her. keep your friends close and your enemies closer.... make it all about your family/your mum etc. IMO, try as hard as you can to focus on everything else & not her. she is not worth it.

dont help her take centre stage.

Nagoo Sun 04-Sep-11 15:18:18

Your SIL has spoken about her feelings of loss at the church. To her friends. If your mum and SIL are involved with the church then I can see how that puts you in the role of outsider, when you are speaking to these people.

If you were speaking to your friends then you would talk about your feelings and the situation from your POV and I don't see what is wrong with that.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 04-Sep-11 15:25:47

I feel as if I have read a different OP to many of the rest of you.

Your SIL sounds deranged frankly. I don't really have any suggestions but wish you good luck in dealing with her.

fedupofnamechanging Sun 04-Sep-11 15:30:50

Well, I'm a cynic and this sounds to me like your sil wants to swoop in if something happens to your mother. That is why she wants the spare key and that is why she and your brother didn't call you or your siblings when your mum was seriously ill and might not have made it.

I do get very angry though, with posters who refuse to stand up for themselves. If someone says things about you which are untrue, then put the record straight. You should have had it out with them when they didn't phone you from the hospital. Damned if I'd let people tell lies about me to mutual friends either.

You need to tell her straight that this is your mum, not hers and you will be kept informed of anything pertaining to her care and if anyone is the outsider it's your sil.

Wonder if your mum has rewritten her will recently.

TheRealTillyMinto Sun 04-Sep-11 15:33:13

i was really suspicious about the will side of things. if your SIL is such a supportive person, why is she only interested in your DM, not the rest of the family?

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 04-Sep-11 15:40:15

"In spite of everything I have not said a word to my SIL and Bro about their behaviour"

Now, why not? That's a serious question, because there are many possible answers.

And don't you dare not go to the annual family weekend! It sounds like the perfect time to thrash this all out and for everyone to be brought up to speed on your mother's care.

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