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to think that being a disabled widow is not an excuse for manipulating people?

(6 Posts)
EvilDILisgoingtohell Sat 21-Oct-17 20:07:11

Name changed because this is so identifiable and I tend to overstate on here.

FIL passed away last year, and all of us were devastated. He was a truly lovely man who had spent the majority of his adult life caring for MIL after she was left physically disabled and brain damaged in an accident. He held on in the end until plans were made for her, and although was often very frustrated with her, obviously loved her very much.

Since they live in DP's home country, and there we would be unable to give her the full time care she needs, she now lives in a care home. We visit as often as we can, but tbh I can't deal with her behaviour any longer and dread visiting. I never thought I'd feel like this, and I feel so guilty for it. The first inkling that she is a difficult woman came from FIL on his deathbed, who made DH promise that he would look after her, but that he would put himself first, as (in his words, badly translated) 'she will do and say anything to get what she wants to not be alone.' At the time i thought this was pretty harsh, but I'm starting to see why he warned DH.

DP's brother fell out with his parents a few years ago, but came back into the family just before FIL passed away. He's desperate to make up for the argument, but MIL abuses this, having him running around after her while still moaning about him all the time behind his back, about how she'll never forgive him and he's not her "real" son. She's tries to play DH and DBIL off on o e another but thankfully they see through it. She's also been caught out in a lie several times now, but the one that sticks out is when she (falsely) accused the nursing staff of stealing money to try to manipulate her sons into letting her move home. It's just not possible to do that (We explored everything but we just can't afford it) and she's constantly guilt-tripping them. We chose the best we could afford and they do loads of fun trips and social things, but she refuses to join on any. It's almost like she enjoys being able to claim about how miserable and bored she is there.

I feel sorry for her as I know she's lost her husband and home, but I don't think this is an excuse for how nasty she can be at times. Although she's brain damaged, it affects her communication rather than any 'moral compass'.

She's a funny nice woman but I'm just so upset at seeing her manipulate her sons and them not seeing it. And on the occassions they do, they dont say anything to her and just dismiss it because she made them feel they feel so guilty about her being in a home.

I realise this paints me in an awful light, but I just need to vent. She's a nice woman but I've got to be honest and say that my patience and sympathy is wearing thin. There's so many more examples of her manipulating others but this post is long enough. AIBU and a totally evil DIL? Should I just ignore it when she does this stuff?

ambm70 Sat 21-Oct-17 20:25:43

I fully understand how you feel as going through this with my own mother. She assigns jobs to us all that the others cant do instead, holds any potential inheritance over us to the point ive said keep your money and exclude me. She can be quite vile then plays the sympathy card - well i wont be around bother to you all for long. Unfortunately she is my mother and i love her, but i dont like her very much.

BoucleJacket Sat 21-Oct-17 20:38:24

Brain damage can cause personality changes.

She possibly can't help the way she has become.

CoalTit Sat 21-Oct-17 21:06:27

My sympathies, OP. As the DIL you are in a very difficult position.
In my experience, it's not only brain damage that turns people in your MIL's position self-centred and manipulative; it's also the fact of being helpless and dependent on others for so long. It does strange things to people.
It's a good idea to vent anonymously, although I fear AIBU may be the wrong place --- people can get very nasty and sanctimonious when the topic is the behaviour of someone vulnerable.

CheshireChat Sat 21-Oct-17 21:32:28

AIBU is MN's most vicious boards so please don't let people upset you (it obviously has some great posters as well).

I'd keep contact light and breezy as much as possible, whenever she complains she's bored suggest one of the available activities and make no mention you'll move (not financially possible anyway) or visit more often (even if you plan to).

Also, just because someone is no longer able to care for themselves that doesn't make them a nice person so I'd not get too involved.

My gran had serious health issues in the end, it really didn't change the fact she was a complete bitch and narcissist her entire life.

SurroundedByIdiots Sat 21-Oct-17 21:39:53

You say that she's a nice woman, but she doesn't actually sound like a nice woman, from what you've said. I hope that your DH and his brother can stay close and not let her be successful in her efforts to drive a wedge between them. Having a disability doesn't mean that you aren't/haven't always been a nasty fucker.

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