what do I do no? inlaws/stroke (sorry, long)(4 Posts)
I just (probably foolishly) rang my sister in law and inlaws to ask if they would have more contact with our family in the new year and offer more support. they both live 70mins drive away in opposite directions)
they have not contacted me since I had a huge row with MIL in may when she and fil came to take him away from home because they thought he had told them I was going to send him back to a secure mental health unit which he had voluntarily entered after a suicide attempt in february. I explained I couldn't/wouldn't do such a thing but he went with them anyway.
I apologised at the time for losing my temper (mil called me a habitual liar and accused me of not loving him etc etc), she sent me an email saying sorry for any misunderstandings (!) but none of them have phoned or come to see us since . ( well, pil took him out for lunch on his birthday and sil sent a cardigan).
background to this is that husband had devastating stroke 18months ago leaving him without use of right arm, difficulty walking, speaking and with executive function problems such as planning, memory, empathy etc. we have three children are now on benefits and I didn't work for a year but took a part time job in september, and had my own breakdown in June.
got fil on phone who was terse but polite, saying they had kept away because they hadn't felt welcome. I repeated that I had apologised for shouting but that we really needed family support.
sil, on the other hand, was initailly glad I had rung but then told me how she had been afraid to call afte the terrible things I said to her mother, and refused to believe what mil had said to me. initally after stroke husband didn't want to see her, but because I was the one who told her this she thinks I have been keeping them apart.she said that when husband was in th secure unit he had told them I didn't want him back and they were trying to rescue him.(he was mad, he said a lot of things, such as accusing me of an affair, thinking his teeth were falling out and he stank). she refuses to believe this.
then she told me that a mutual friend has had a breakdown this summer thanks, his therapist says, to how I treated him in may. In may husband told ths friend a couple of days after the suicide attempt that it had involved taking 500 paracetamol, not something he had told me or the hospital. as far as we knew he had gone on a walk and got lost and ended up out overnight, rescue search found him with hypothermia and broken arm. when I found this out I was angry with this friend, as paracetamol can cause delayed and long lasting liver damage. he apologised but we never heard from him again.
I lost it them and said well if they were going to blame me for friend's breakdown then I could as well blame her and mil for mine. she put down the phone. I rang back to apologise and got the bil who made polite noises.
I've not gone out of my way to contact them since may because I've been angry with their lack of understanding and have had more than enough on my plate. It seems impossible to get them to see me as anything other than a bitch. (I know, losing my temper doesn't help but it was the once, and in extremis. but if I even get agitated they tell meI'm scaring them.)
advise please! give up? keep trying! I want husband and kids to have a relationship with them, and I need help with husband and kids. quite desperately.
I think that the reason you are not getting replies is that this is very complex and people don't know what to say.
Your husband's stroke has been devastating for himself, you and the rest of his family.
Have his parents and sister been educated on how the stroke has affected him?
I think you need outside help. Could an organisation like the Stroke Association advise you.
Ideally you need family therapy-perhaps just a couple of sessions-but I don't know how you could access that.
Has any specialist nurse been involved? Have you told her about the effect on family relationships?
No-one is totally reasonable in these sort of circumstances.
Perhaps this would be better posted on one of the health boards.
drugetrudy, thankyou for your very sensible reply. Family therapy was suggested by the mental health team after the may incident but his parents weren't open to it. I will try and tho, and re post. thankyou.
Could someone from the mental health team visit them and have a chat if your husband would agree to it?
They could approach it initially as seeing how they are coping with all this as parents and try to work it round to getting them to think about family therapy.
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