Should I tell them our side aka the truth?(79 Posts)
This is very difficult to post but I really need to off load and get some advice...here goes!
My F is currently in hospital suffering with a stroke and dementia as a result. Sadly his long term partner has also passed away, very unexpectedly, this week. We've had limited contact over the years primarily of his doing but also because of the way she treated myself and my siblings and also my mother, verbally and in writing.
To cut a long story short we believe that my father led his late partner to believe that our mother had chucked him out without anything to his name. The reality is that he left my mother ( wasn't consistent in seeing us, his children) and lived with another woman for a further 8 years, whose daughter called him Dad, who threw him out with nothing(my mother actually put him up at this point but due to his bad behaviour-drinking/inappropriateness asked him to leave as I felt uncomfortable). He told my brother many years ago, when he first got together with partner, never to tell partner about OW!
He then took up with my grandmothers neighbour and they've been together until she passed away. We've always been incredibly close to his sister my Aunt as is my mother. He has actually distanced himself from his whole family.
Now the problem my sister, brother and I are having to deal with matters ( brother is sole executor) and their neighbours who have been 'their rocks' - their words are being very cool with us. F has obviously spun them a tale over the years but his inability to support my siblings or I has left us feeling very upset. We know all the facts they know his version.
My dilemma despite it being a difficult time do I enlighten them?
I'm prepared for people to say no but I'm now in my 50's and I feel that we are the ones who should feel aggrieved having had a shit childhoods!
Incidentally the neighbours were added to an amended will at the beginning of the year. In all honesty everything will now go on his care as is the right thing and we've never had any help from him so why start now!
Thank you for reading.
Absolutely. Though I wouldn't get wound up about some neighbours.
I wouldn't say anything to them unless they bring it up. If they say anything though I wouldn't hesitate to correct them. Why would you let them think he is a saint and your family are the bad guys, you really owe him nothing. I wouldn't even help sort out the finances for him. He made his bed.
I'm not clear why you need to interact with the neighbours - I'd just keep out of their way.
Do you have to have much to do with the neighbours? I can see that it would rankle having them think he is so great but what do you want to get out of telling them? I think I would probably keep fairly distant and if they do make any comments you could just say something like 'well he hasn't been the greatest father in the world' and leave it at that. I've actually been the neighbour in this case. We lived next to an old man who was quite frail. His children never visited and he complained about them often. Several times I had to look after him when he was ill and call the ambulance once or twice. When he went to hospital the daughter appeared and although she thanked me she seemed a bit cool herself. However, I was never taken in by his hard luck stories. I thought that if his children didn't visit they probably had good reason not to. My mum always said you reap what you sow. I'm sorry your dad wasn't a better dad, that makes it even harder when they get old I think, but it's your business and I don't think you need to explain to anyone else unless you really want to.
Actually her cousin was cool with my brother today when he spoke with her regarding arrangements but he said she warmed as the conversation went on ( he's so lovely to everyone though). They used to stay with her often.
The neighbours have said that they want to be involved. This came via the nursing staff on the ward and when I spoke with the wife on the phone she told me she'd done lots for them and have been very close over the years. Incidentally they appear to have the only keys to his house. I've told my brother that he needs to address this. The neighbours are being passive aggressive.
As my uncle said he's made his bed but my sister, brother and I are decent human beings and feel obliged to arrange his end of life care.
They have to hand over the keys and not keep copies. Maybe change the locks. As far as truth and lies go - do not cover up for him. He does not deserve it.
I think you could easily drop in 'it's been nice to
this to see more of Dad. I'd always assumed that when he left us'
I wouldn't cover up for him. I would say what I wanted to say to the neighbors then I'd completely remove them from the scenario because they are clearly trying to mark what they see as their territory.
It sounds to me like the neighbours know they are named as beneficiaries in the will and are now a bit miffed that all the estranged children are back on the scene. Perhaps they feel that you might insist your father re-writes his will or that you will contest it in some way.
Perhaps they feel aggrieved that you are (in their opinion) all sniffing around now in the belief that he will die soon and there will be money for you all, when you haven't been around in recent years to help care for him.
If they have seen themselves as closes friends and carers for a number of years then nothing you can tell them now is going to make much difference to how they feel about him or his deceased partner. They'll just shrug it off as 'well there are two sides to every story.'
I'd be honest, not make a point of going to tell them but correct any comments/ideas they hold.
I'm an ex HCP while I was training we had a 'sweet little old lady' on the ward whose family barely visited and really only did the bare minimum. A qualified girl, younger than me though criticised them, I too had a shitty childhood and I pointed out (and even then felt it shouldn't have needed saying) that we don't know what's gone down. Turned out she'd been awful to them, a violent drunk regular beatings no food etc. I was only early 20's then life experience has taught me that when people have family that don't bother with them, hardly any friends etc there's usually a pretty good reason and it ain't that the family etc are horrible! Mind you that knowledge should have warned me off ex and his family, 2 of his older siblings were NC and the 3rd low contact (even though they were the golden child!) My ex in laws had no friends outside the family. Right enough very difficult people.
I agree Baconyum.
Some people who are really unpleasant and dysfunctional within their immediate family can somehow present a totally different persona to the rest of the world and everyone else gets sucked in by it.
It's tricky though, because it's equally true some people are very good at portraying themselves as the eternal victim, accusing family members of being toxic or difficult when actually the opposite is quite likely true. We can never know for sure unless we have first hand experience of being around that relationship and seeing for ourselves.
Well that's why people shouldn't assume. I've been at the end of that. My father very physically ill I am NC but we live in the same small town. What the people that have judged me negatively don't know know is he's ill through his own fault (alcohol and not doing as he's told by drs) and is a nasty piece of work within the family (but all charm and bon vivant to everyone else).
You sound very angry with him, and not very understanding. Perhaps you are not the right people to care for him, or deal with his affairs.
The end of someone's life, who has also been recently bereaved is not the time for revenge. Have pity! You actually made me cry.
I don't think it's revenge to tell the truth. I think it's ok to correct any mistaken beliefs they may have but I'd only do it if they say something first.
What's harsh is trying to get revenge on a bereaved dying man, who is suffering greatly.
Forgiveness or forgetting is not required, but having a little pity and mercy might be considered decent.
Perhaps she can do this after he passes.
The last thing anyone needs laying on their death bed is an angry relative wanting to tell people what a bad person he was to them.
They might well have been his rock, but legally your bro is his next of kin. So yes, your brother needs to grab the reigns, not the neighbour.
I cannot see much point in making enemies of them, but yes, you do need the keys to his property.
Your brother might need to keep in his mind, that unless an adjustment to a will was made pre dementia diagnosis , depending on who made the adjustment ( Solicitor involved?) it may not be valid anyway.
Like you say, using his funds for his care may well be the best thing.
Bad you are getting the wrong end of the stick! I would only correct something that was said to my face. I do not want to cause anyone any upset in their grief but equally I will not be treated in a way that suggests we are in the wrong. My DGF disowned his own son and I think this speaks volumes.
Thank you everyone for your replies but it will be my lovely brother who will have most of the contact. .
The neighbours can 'want' to be involved all they like, doesn't mean they have to be or should be, being a neighbour does not entitle you too anything. Neither tbh does 'doing a lot for someone'.
I actually don't think you need to explain anything I think a yes well we're very grateful for your help but we're his family we shall be handling things from now. But I can see why you'd want too.
They have to return the keys, the property is not theirs.
Special how many times do you think the OPs father has made her and her siblings cry?! How many times do you think these. Neighbours have interfered and been rude to this mans biological family?! What is there to understand ops life was messed around by her fathers behaviour, she suffered as a child, yes I'm sure she's angry but she has a right to be angry for being judged for something that's not true! Your right it's a time for pity actually no sympathy, something these neighbours are not displaying!
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