I (a working daughter-in-law) became the caregiver of a man who had two non-working daughters

Caregiver in law Anger and Resentment.


My Alzheimer-suffering mother-in-law had already been dumped on me for the weekends while her two daughters looked after her during the week. I appreciate they needed a rest from her, but they each got it when the other took over and they could have taken turns looking after her over the weekends (my only time to get my household chores done). I didn't know who to feel more sorry for--myself or the poor bewildered old lady my Mother in Law had become.

Fortunately this fiasco lasted only until they found a rest home with the necessary "secure" facilities. So when my in-laws decided, some time after my Mother in Law's death, that my Father in Law could no longer look after himself alone, and they called a family conference (from which I was excluded).... I was decidedly uneasy. But, I reasoned, if they expected me to be involved they would surely have invited me to the conference. And surely nobody would be so stupid, so heartless, so positively cruel, as to dump an old man on a woman who had to work (so she and her husband could pay the mortgage) when my father in law had two daughters who didn't work, and one of them was filthy rich to boot? But when my husband came home the first thing he said was, "Dad's moving in with us." Please note, I wasn't *asked*; I was told.

Now, to add insult to injury, I have had the elder of my father in laws' two daughters dumped on me (she's 87 and I'm 64 and suffering from osteoporosis). Once again I wasn't asked. Well, I was, but my husband simply rode over my objections that I didn't think it was in his sister's interests (stuck in the country where she couldn't even make any friends of her own age) never mind his interests or mine.

I'm having trouble coping with my resentment and resulting anger. I wouldn't feel so resentful if I felt my Sister in Law had done her fair share of looking after her elderly parents.

As if to add to my troubles, my Sister in Law's food dislikes when she first came to us were enough to cut my small repertoire of recipes by at least half. When she decided she didn't like chicken it became worse. Chicken is high in popularity with most people caring for the elderly because it is so versatile and tender. We farm our own beef (on 5 acres) but I find that she won't eat it unless I've first shoved it through the mincer. Pork can be a good standby when catering for the elderly too, but she won't eat any meat from the pig. She also claims to be allergic to gluten and dairy but eats enough to affect her should this really be the case (but doesn't eat enough to help put some flesh on her skeleton-covered-in-skin frame). She claims they make her nose run, but I've never seen such an "unsnotty" 87-year-old. The only times she has suffered from a runny nose she proved to have caught a cold.

I cope with my anger and resentment (mostly aimed at my husband) by retiring from the room every time he annoys me and kicking and punching the air, pretending it's him, while I call him all the names under the sun that I can think of.

Comments for I (a working daughter-in-law) became the caregiver of a man who had two non-working daughters

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I'm moving on now
by: Anonymous

My SIL died 7 months ago (after living two years in a retirement home where she was very comfortable and well looked after).

She had a fall (because she wouldn't use a cane never mind a walker) and banged her head. This caused a minor brain bleed and she lasted 21 days, dying peacefully without even needing painkillers.

My SIL was what I call a "bible basher" and she had no children. Yet the only time she did any charitable work was a short stint working in an op shop. Go figure.


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don't judge other people!
by: Anonymous

Things are never as plain as black and white. People who are too nice for their own good are always being bullied and pushed around.

I still don't really know why my Father In Law preferred to live with us (it was his choice) rather than one of his daughters but I think it was most likely because he knew his daughters were control freaks.

The older one certainly was. I landed up looking after her for six years despite my protests that it was definitely no in our interests and almost certainly not in hers (stuck out in the country with people who couldn't afford to entertain her or take her places where she could make friends).

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speaking up
by: Anonymous

I'm a very kind person but not a pushover. You lady are a REAL pushover. People tell you "this is what I decide you'll be doing for the next __ years" and you just stand there and take it????!!!!!

What is wrong with you???? Do you have daughters? I hope not because they might model your weak self-esteem.

I am sorry for being too blunt.

Honey, just because someone tells you to do something, you don't have to do it.

Would your husband accept to be the primary caregiver of your father or mother???

Heck no!! He wouldn't. He also wouldn't be the least afraid to voice his decision.

Grow a personality and a pair, stand up for yourself and your life.

Tell them "hey, this is YOUR mother, YOU are her children, she raised YOU, not me...so come and take care of her or pay someone to do it full-time"

Are you afraid of these people??? Are they the mob and will come and put a bullet between your eyes if you speak up???

They can't force you to do anything you don't want. YOU accepted this by staying quiet. They are takers. They don't know boundaries, and will keep on taking as far as you LET THEM. At the same time, they'll have the balls to complain and b**** if they felt you didn't do such a good job.

They sound so nasty. That's their huge flaw but you are flawed too. You have been bad to yourself. You have a responsibility to take care of yourself, and are failing yourself. STOP now. It is never too late. It will also do these people some good to put them in their place.

They are not decent, logical people. They don't reason like you do. Not that you're very logical either. After all, you are violating your own needs and desires yourself, full of resentment. It doesn't make sense at all.

Do you even have a worth while marriage? A man worthy of a good hearted woman? He sounds like a taker also. How could he not put himself in your position, feel for you? How could your husband just decide something like that for YOU???! It goes beyond my comprehension! Who does that?!

My husband does that, and... no! my husband would never do something that low, inconsiderate, disrespectful to me... or to anyone. He is a good man.

Lady! Wake up! It's your life. Everybody around you is doing what they want and they're using you. Why the hell are you accepting it???

I strongly recommend counseling. You're alive, you can enjoy life. Don't surround yourself with unworthy people, don't let others control your life. You certainly don't control theirs!

No one has the right to impose their responsibilities on others! But it only happens if you allow it. So don't!

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In the Same Place
by: Anonymous

I am also in a similar situation. My mother-in-law came to live with us after my father-in-law passed. My sister-in-law has been to see her twice,does not do any care taking, and sometimes has the audacity to make snide comments about her mother's care.

She and her husband claim this is my responsibility as I took her into my home. They believe she should be in a nursing home, but she is still very healthy. Good luck to you, and take comfort in knowing you are spiritually in the right place. This too will pass.

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Thanks for your Kind Comments
by: Anonymous

Especially the person in a similar situation. I'm so sorry for your plight. I can't begin to imagine how I would cope in your situation. (I think I'd land up in hospital with a mental breakdown.) At least my sisters-in-law never complained about the way we were looking after their father--or if they did they did it behind our backs.

I hope your ordeal ends very soon for you. If it doesn't chances your family will have to cope not just with your mental breakdown but also with their parents.

By the way, I firmly believe family shouldn't even be allowed to look after someone with Alzheimer's. They need secure premises, or they will be out on the street, a danger to both themselves and other people.

It does surprise me how elderly people don't take into account what it will be like for them (and for their caregivers) when they are no longer at least partly able to look after themselves. The fact is, no matter how much you love the elderly person, you are sooner or later going to get to the stage of "hurry up and die and give me back my life".

It sounds callous, and many people won't admit it even to themselves, but I'm probably able to admit it openly partly because the elderly people have been in-laws. My Sister In Law is still with us (will be 90 in a month or so) and still continues not to eat enough, so of course she keeps on losing weight, but now she won't drink enough and we're sure that's the reason for her starting to get confused and forgetful.

In a retirement village there would be someone to take note of the fact that she eats no more than half her meal and I'm sure she would take a lot more notice of a stranger than she does of her brother.

I know I don't want any family looking after me when I can't do it for myself. Neither do I want to look after my husband should he need care before I do. He's an extremely bad patient. I learned that very early in my married life when a toothache (possibly an abscess; I can no longer remember) had him punching a hole in the landlord's wall!

Yet a few years ago when I got toothache from an abscess right on Christmas morning I managed to get through the day without my host and hostess even being aware I was in trouble. It was five days before I got treatment. The nearest emergency dentist was in another city and wanted hundreds of dollars just to pull out a wisdom tooth.

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In a Similiar Situation
by: Anonymous

I'm here too trying to find some ? commiseration? I know so much how feel and my heart goes out to you. Leaving yes...seems like the logical easy answer, but it is NOT so easy to leave when-

1. You are not 20 years old and able to easily start over have the finances to start over

2. invested this amount of time in your marriage - another extremely complicated factor. It is a very difficult situation. My parents died fairly quickly at a young ages of 76 and 79 and they were able to retire and never HAD to take care of their parents - NOW everybody says "oh I don't want to be a burden" but now my husband and I are in our 60's... moved to a state we hate to live in because we have the task of caring for his parents in their 90's frail with Alzheimer's and other conditions but still going strong because of the fact that they have us as full time watch nurses,cooks, feeders, maids, pool cleaners, house maintenance, gardeners, etc.

My husbands older sister (his only sibling) is filthy rich lives out of the country in her estates in London, Italy and Dubai, enjoying her life oblivious.... We are struggling, my husbands (he was a carpenter) full time job now is his parents. I work full time to support us (barely- I have been using credit cards to buy groceries.

Talking about this situation is taboo. In fact, my husband went overseas to do some work for my sister in law. It was my unspoken job to take over watch. During this time my father in law fell and broke his hip. I rushed him to emergency... Doctors took him into surgery and said he wasn't going to live more than 3 days I was in ICU with him juggling Mother in Law with severe Alzheimer's. I could not reach anyone overseas....tried calling all the numbers over and over when I could go back to their house from the ICU. Finally the only way I could reach anyone was through Facebook!! They are all on Facebook! (sister in law and Brother in law).

Then I was reamed up and down! My brother in law sent me an email and said quote "You didn't do anything - it's not like you spoon feed them and wipe their ...."(oh yeah??) when he hasn't even been here in 15 years! To them (sister and brother in law) we are not important and our time is not as important because we are not rich with our own empire he owns his own cargo airline in London and sister in law is a very successful jewelry designer.

Yet, they could afford to hire someone to help easily....it is a VERY TABOO subject and situation. In fact they consider "distasteful" to even talk about. In my own family we talked very openly about everything. I apologize for venting- but I know how angry and resentful and really trapped you feel - I can't start over at my age- if I were to just leave....I would be living as a bag lady.

The whole family would love it! would high powered lawyer up and love to push me out only because they resent how "real" I am. I have "learned" to just shut up and think this too shall pass...

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Elder Care Anger and Resentment - Why stay?
by: Anonymous

Elder Care Anger and Resentment -

Your husband is completely oblivious. You need to take a vacation without him. Let him care for his whiny sister. This is too much.

Frankly, bringing in Dad for you to care for was unbelievably presumptuous. If your husband doesn't even ask, by all means schedule yourself a nice trip without him. He chose to bring in the elderly relations, he should care for them.

The more fully hands on experience he has, the better. Even a long weekend at a cheap motel would be an escape. Pack like it's a resort hotel.

He needs to experience all the work and all the behaviors. I'm so sorry your life has been revoked by him. You should consider leaving period, he obviously doesn't respect your needs or opinions. Not even asking???? Why did he marry you, did he need household help? These aren't your family members, he's no prize. Get out while you have the strength.

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