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BSW

MIL update

7 posts in this topic

I haven't posted an update about my MIL situation in a while, and this board was so helpful when I was in the thick of things with my IL's that I thought I would give you all an update.  As some may recall, my MIL was dx with a terminal illness over 3 years ago, and given 6 months to live.  Today, she is still alive thanks to modern medicine as the chemo drugs she continues to take keep her cancer tumors from progressing and shutting her organs down.   Her quality of life is not good, however.  She has poor cognition, and needs help with eating, bathing and walking.  This help consists of my FIL who is her full time caretaker which is a difficult 24/7 job as her sleep cycles and needs are that of a newborn baby.    My IL's live up a long flight of stairs, so my MIL is a shut in as she cannot get down those stairs without 3 strong people carrying her, and it is a risk to anyone involved.  So, my FIL relies on help from BIL, DH, aunt IL and cousin IL to  "babysit" my MIL while he goes out and runs errands.  This has been a bone of contention with DH as my IL's could have moved downstairs into a unit that they own (they live in a foreplex that they own), but they refused and the rest of the family supported my IL's decision to stay put, so this has severely limited their freedom and their quality of life as the are stuck in their home rather than out and about living their lives. (My MIL via a wheelchair).   It's akin to owning a home on a mainland and owning a home 20 feet away on an island with no boat to get to the mainland and electing to live on the island and rely on others to get food to you, etc. to your home on the island then getting mad at others when this is not done the way you want it.

My MIL's prolonged terminal illness has caused a lot of stress in this family.  I think a prolonged illness like this can test relationships in even the most emotionally healthy of families.  There has been a lot of harsh judgment and finger pointing about whom is doing what for my MIL.  I would say  DH has gotten the brunt of it since his family role has always been to be the golden son rescue boy.  I think as long as my MIL is alive, this will go on and it could cause permanent damage to some of these relationships.  Right now, DH only sees FIL when he goes up to help out as he has strained relationships with everyone else in the family and is not on speaking terms with them. 

I made a decision when my MIL was diagnosed to not get involved in her care.  When she was diagnosed, I was completely burnt out with my IL's and had grown to really dislike my MIL.  Then when she revealed all her resentment towards DH and me last year and that she interfered with our marriage with purpose and intent, that really confirmed my decision to not involve myself.  I am able to look back and see that the roles I played to my IL's were one of a hostess/servant/woman for MIL to compete with/GK child provider/target for a dysfunctional, angry family, and it ended there.  So, I've been able to hang up these hats (except for the target hat - that one will go on, but I have a steel armor with this family. Ha!) and move on to the role of supporting DH while he deals with his DM's illness and all the stress involved with it.  I can do this very effectively as I can objectively listed to DH and have very good perspective, and it is a role I do not mind playing!

Edited by BSW
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Long illness can be stressful especially when relationships are already iffy.

(((((Hugs))))) to you and yours.

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I'm so sorry @BSW and I do totally understand. DH was not a fan of "outside" help during his protracted illness, and while I understand his wish to stay private, I needed the help. Our kids all were busy with jobs, deployment & their own families, but the did check in almost daily. He agreed to a housekeeper, which took off a huge burden and did everything he could to take care of his own personal needs. The contrast in personalities between my DH & your MIL are stupefying as are the contrast between me & your FIL... I know you see healthier options as does your DH, but I can't think of anything more frustrating than dealing with people who refuse to help themselves.

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4 hours ago, Mame925 said:

...but I can't think of anything more frustrating than dealing with people who refuse to help themselves.

Me either.

Sometimes, IMO, you (general) get to a point where you just have to say, in effect, "I've done/I'm doing all I can w/ a willing heart, and I can't/won't be doing anymore." And it seems to me you've done that.

I'm sorry DH only gets to see FIL when he goes to help out and that his relationship w/ his sibs is strained. But hopefully, his limited interactions w/ them lowers any pressure. And I'm glad that you've been able to step back into a supportive role. :)

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1 hour ago, RoseRed135 said:

Me either.

Sometimes, IMO, you (general) get to a point where you just have to say, in effect, "I've done/I'm doing all I can w/ a willing heart, and I can't/won't be doing anymore." And it seems to me you've done that.

 

Back when I was involved with my IL's, I don't think I was doing much of the hosting and interactions with them with an open heart, rather it was done out of a sense of duty.  I rank  high in that department in general and it can be a good thing at times and a bad thing which it was in my IL relationships.  So, I have worked on shedding that sense of duty, and focusing instead on mirroring back what I receive in my relationship with others.  In these IL relationships, I was not receiving much, so there was not much to mirror back.

 

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BSW, I'm just hoping it gets better for everyone. I'm just sorry al of it is happening.

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BSW, I'm sorry your family is going through all this.  (((HUGS)))

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