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that the ones who always have something to say about the way you do things or the housekeeping (or lack of it) in your home..are the ones who never ever have lifted a finger to help you out at all? I mean, what do they expect?

My house is very much in disarray...as is our entire life while my husband has been going through this terrible illness (Lou Gehrig's disease) I am so busy, I no longer keep a perfect home..oh well! But, and I'm not kidding, I literally overheard my MIL gossiping about me to someone else (she forgot to hang up the phone, poor dear..and I heard everything) what she said was so very hurtful and amounts to nothing more than her desire to gossip. She has helped us not at all. Not a moment's time has she spared. Neither have any of the other family members. Oh yea, they can talk the big talk alright. But I've seen no action, even when I've asked point blank!

Anyway, MIL says that I've "trashed the house" that it's filthy (which it is not) that I don't take care of my husband very well and that I keep him from the rest of the family! They all know where to find him for sure. He cannot contact them on the phone, etc. because he no longer speaks. All that she said takes a lot of nerve, I daresay, when no one has come around to help relieve me of any of the duties I have which are many. Anyone else have this same thing going on?

BTW, I don't have any of MY family in the area, just my husband's. And they really are only interested in meddling and gossiping rather than actually doing anything constructive at all! Am I expected to call them out of the blue when hubby's drawing his last breath? I really hope they've come around by then. They should be in our lives enough to know what's going on any given day but they can't be bothered even though they live within a few miles and have always been "in touch" all along until he got so sick.

Sorry to sound so angry but I am. Hope someone here understands and maybe could relate? Thank You.
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Hello Gofigure:

I believe that many of us here can relate to what you are going through for sure... In my case, I caught my own sister on the phone when she was visiting for a week talking to all her friends about how I don't do anything blah, blah, blah. Then she ran home and left me with the bad rep. However, it was quite an eye-opener to see her TWO faces...

Don't worry about the housekeeping - anyone who judges another by whether or not they can eat off of their floor is pathetic (for lack of a more descriptive word). It shows how shallow a person that they really are. My kitchen floor really needs replacing - it is nearly 50 years old (lol)! Besides there are worse things to be criticized for (I am thinking). I also believe that when people gossip or judge that it truly reflects worse on them than anyone else...

The thing is that it is easier to point to others and criticize than to ever look within oneself and see where ones own faults may lie. Try not to let it bother you too much. I know that is easier said than done from my own experience but, as they say, consider the source...

Mind you, Gofigure, it has been over three years since my sister showed her true colors. It is hard to express sometimes how deeply that does hurt and, because of my family's lack of appreciation for what I do for our father is what drove me to this forum in the first place! So I guess that good things do come out of bad experiences after all. And actually it doesn't hurt so much anymore. I was just glad that my eyes were opened. Now when I think of sister-dearest, I stop and ask a higher power to help me forgive her. It is all I can do and it is the best thing for me to do.

So, do not be sorry to sound so angry. You have every right to feel that way. Your MIL was thoughtless and very non-supportive in her comments. Please forgive me for babbling on as I have... Just know this - you are a blessing to your husband and an angel for caring for him as you do.

Love and Hugs from Glenda


[This message has been edited by glenderella (edited 05-26-2006).]
Gofigure,

I agree with everything Glenda wrote. You have every right to be angry with the lack of empathy shown to you and your husband by his family.

I know I wouldn't be so strong about keeping my mouth shut. I've become quite vocal about the insensitivity of others since becoming caregiver for my parents. As for others' advise about how I do things or if they think I should do it differently, I usually respond with, "If you think you can do it better, then do it!" That usually shuts them up. Yeah, I know. Not very diplomatic of me but sometimes being nasty right back to someone is my best revenge. I'm not advocating this sort of behavior to you, though.

You're doing a great job and it doesn't matter that the house isn't clean or the dishes done ... what matters most is that you are there for your husband at a very difficult time in his and your life. You are an angel and I bet if he could tell you that, he would.

Hang in there. We're always here for you.

Jane
You have your hands full and are most likely spending every waking moment taking care of your husband.

That is where your priorities have to be at this time. There is a season for everything in life.

You do not have to apologize to ANYONE. You are doing what is right and has to be done.

I am shocked at how insensitive people can be. Cannot they actually SEE what you have to deal with? They see your house, how can they be blind to the tragedy of your dear husband's problems.

I take care of my husband also. He has devastating medical problems. He is not as terribly ill as your husband, but he does go through long periods of time when he is totally incapacitated, and I have to do everything for him. He is also hospitalized frequently.

During those times, I could care less about how the house looks. I do what I can, and the rest just has to wait for better times. I am far too busy trying to keep him alive, and frankly I am exhausted.

Do whatever you have to do when you have to do it. The rest can wait.
I TOTALLY AGREE with what everyone else said to you.

That is disgraceful that your husbands Mother will NOT assist even a little with the care of her son. In my opinion she should be there to help you out and care for him. Of course not 24/7 - but a day or 2 a week.

I have learned from being a full time care-giver for 4 years that there are just some things that need to slide. I am SURE your house is NOT dirty - that you take care of what needs to be done (maybe not as quickly as you used to) - but there is so much ADDED responsibility - and you no longer have your husband who is able to assist with these kind of things - you are only HUMAN - and you can only do so much.

At times the disarray of my house will drive me CRAZY - but most the time I figure it is what it is. The bedsheets are clean for my Mother - she always has her meals and clean dishes to eat them off of - she always has clean clothes to change into. So what if my house is 1 BIG PILE OF CLUTTER - and after 4 years of NOT keeping up with the "clutter" aspect of the housework - it is amazing the CLUTTER that I have.

But caring full time for a person - or two people - working - cooking - dishes - changing - feeding - laundry - bathrooms - floors to mop and vacuum -paying the bills -managing care - etc HELLOOOOOOOOO - Has your MIL every tried to handle ALL that at one time -

Let me tell you PRIOR to being a f/t care-giver - I was a Vice President for one of the largest sub-prime mortgage company's in the country. I was BUSY BUSY BUSY and work was VERY VERY stressful - but let me tell you - it was a WALK IN THE PARK - compared to care-giving. Its an ENTIRE different ballgame. Care-giving for someone who is ill - CANNOT be compared to raising a child or working a high profile job. It is just physically and mentally exhausting - with NO PAYCHECK - long hours (24/7) - no vacation time and no benefits. There is no time to socialize with co-workers or other "parents" you meet while taking care of your children. You are cut off from the outside world - pretty much and life revolves around what goes on at the house and what goes on at the Doctor's.

You care for the person because you love them - and want what is BEST for them. But in my opinion it is the HARDEST job that exists - period the end.

Hugs to you - and to heck with them all - as someone said - if you don't like the way I do it - then do it for me!!!!!!

Janet
Hi, and good morning, and I sit here absolutely 'clueless' as to why I clicked on this forum this morning. My MO is going to 'care for the elderly.' Guess, I really had the guidance of a higher power today.

I so, so can relate to what everyone is saying here!!!!!!!!!!! Susan Spotless, I am NOT!!!! And I have to so agree, even when you know why things don't get done.... the clutter, the mess, the chores left undone...can so become a 'mental issue' within.

I spent most of my yesterday, just flat out depressed. And even tho' I had no pressing caregiving issues to address, it was far more than I could do, to actually tackle the clutter that exists. I sat and looked at it all, and could not even select a 'starting point.' Gad, how silly is that????

Within, I can say to myself, and fully understand, just 'how' all of this crazy mess came into existance. But how do you explain that to someone else? They simply have NOT walked a mile in your moccasins. And am willing to bet, that in 99% of the cases they don't want to 'walk this mile.' Surely not alone, as many of us do, nor even join you as company. That is, as in, help out.

I keep telling myself that 'One hundred years from now, who will even know, let alone care, what I had to leave undone.' I have to remain true to myself, and tackle the caregiving issues first. I have to put 'love and caring' first. And somehow 'brush the rest under the carpet, along with the crumbs of a sandwich eaten on the run.' ;-)

It is so doggone hard to just 'let go,' do what is most important, and ignore those things that matter not at all in the bigger picture. I reflect on this past week, what did I accomplish------surely nothing in the way of 'doing' in this house. Nope, in the extra time that I had, I made 6 visits out with my therapy dog. The reward: Brutus and I touched the lives of many, offering a bright spot in their lives. That is what made me feel good. We shared with others. And in turn, gave me the fortitude to proceed with my ongoing caregiving issues for my mom.

So what if another batch of 'dust bunnies hatched' while we were gone spreading good cheer, or doing for a loved one? Guess I am trying to say, that as a caregiver, we have to acknowledge what is important, and let the rest go.

It's 'the letting go' that can be so difficult to accomplish. Guess that is sort of saying, 'take care of the caregiver.'

Take care of you---------do what, in your heart, you know is important. In rereading, not sure that I really addressed the issue here, but just sort of 'my feelings' about what goes on in my caregiving life. And how I deal.

My love and blessings to one and all,
Nanc ;-)

[This message has been edited by NStevens (edited 05-28-2006).]
What is it with siblings, in-laws, family??? Why on earth is it so difficult for them to get it? Gofigure, I admire you and I hope that you will let their words slide right off your back. You have your priorities right where they should be. As far as what your in-laws think, well, there is a four letter word that I'd love to use here, along with "'em". For the life of me, I just don't get what is so difficult for others to get.

I have to admit, this posting really got me going, but it's not what got me started. My two sisters have really gotten the best of me this past week.

As most of you know, I took care of my mom for a year in my home. She has Alzheimer's. During that year, I got very little support from my sisters. There were times that all I wanted was just to be able to talk to them, just to vent, let off steam and neither of them really wanted to listen. I just couldn't get through to them and I knew that yet I continued to try because after all, they are my sisters, who else would listen and understand...this is their mom too!!

So now, for the past 8 months, mom has been living with one of my sisters (R). R is reaching the point where she needs to do something. Her husband is not handling the situation very well, but she is adamant that mom will continue to live there for now. Their relationship is suffering. I have spent hours on the phone with her, trying to help her to understand what he is feeling and just trying to support her, even though she really wasn't there for me. I told myself it didn't matter. You know, you have to be able to sleep at night and I wouldn't feel right if I turned my back on her, knowing what she is going through. In any case, she called me yesterday, wanting to vent and during the talk, she told me that she feels very bad, because while I was caring for mom, she really felt that she was pulling her load, by picking up mom two Sundays a month and one Sat nite for dinner. She said she had no idea how little support she was giving me, until now. It took everything I had not to explode; maybe I should have, but she's so fragile now I didn't want to cause her more stress. I wanted to say to her "R, weren't you listening? All those times when I called you and I was crying, telling you how alone I felt, how hard this is, how I didn't know how I was going to go on, didn't you hear anything?"

Am I being insensitive now? I mean, does it really take walking in our shoes to really understand? What ever happened to compassion and empathy? I mean, to me, it is so simple but maybe I am not being fair, having walked the walk. Is it hindsight or empathy? And why for 8 months have I been able to support her and now that she "sees the light" I feel angry and resentful? Maybe it's time for me to go back into therapy lol...

I'm asking for your input please...
Mimi
i would like to share my experience with expectations of others,i have felt how each one of you have expressed,have responde how you have and all that,found myself one day wanting to commit myself,wanting to die,feeling lonely,sad,shame,anger,fear,pity,resentful,all at the same time,lost my mind in order to hear what GOD needed to tell me,once GOD got my attention,got me still,i was able to hear the still small voice that was within me,telling me to let go of other people's stuff,stay focus on what it is that GOD would like me to do in this journey with my MOTHER,not what or how i think it should be,who i think that's been carring me,I THANK GOD for the support of total strangers as well as friends,i accept the help from where it comes from,not where i expect it to come from,a friend said to me,VALERIE,you can not expect people to give out of their element,it took a minute to get her message,but what she was saying that people give,do according to their own level,there are very few who will go the extra mile,i hope i have explained that to your understanding,for example,lets say i need someone to come and take my MOTHER TO AN APPOINTMENT,well i must think who i know that has demonstrated that when i needed a ride,who showed up in the past,so i know that i can get a ride,do you see what i mean,well let me go on,in this journey with being a care giver,i have seen my own issues with my MOTHER,my resentments,how i thought i had dealt with them,but what happens,more surface,and then she has her own unresolved issues,so we are always clashing,so for me the solution has been to address,acknowledge,forgive me,talk about them,pray,write,read,listen to tapes and music that encourages and up lifts my SPIRIT,i HAVE TO SAFE AND CARE FOR ME FIRST,FOR IT WILL BE KNOW I COULD SHOW UP FOR MY MOTHER,IF I AM UNABLE TO SHOW UP FOR MYSELF,HOW CAN I GIVE SOME ONE ELSE,,THAT WHICH I HAVE NOT GIVEN MYSELF,IF I DO I AM GIVING OUT OF GUILT NOT LOVE.THIS SITE HAS BEEN A BLESSING IN MY LIFE,I HAVE RECEIVED SO MUCH LOVE AND HELP FROM OTHERS PEOPLE'S EXPERIENCES,I DRAW FROM THE HOPE,AND KNOWING I AM NOT ALONE,SO TO ALL THE CARE GIVERS I SAY I LOVE YOU,I APPRECIATE YOU AND I RELEASE YOU ALL TO GOD TO RECEIVE ALL THAT IS GOOD AND ALL THAT HE HAS FOR US ALL,BE BLESSED AND PERSERVE,I GIVE YOU HONOR AND PRAISE,
Mimi:

So your sister FINALLY gets it????? In the care-giving role - I do NOT believe that people who are NOT full time care-givers - get it - period the end.

For example my Mother's Family Doctor and the secretary - when I call from being exhausted up for a few days in a row (well I do get 2-3 hours of sleep) - they just tell me I am doing a good job - and that my Mother would not do well anywhere but home. There are NO suggestions - on how to help or what to do - just that this is what I am supposed to be doing.

I asked her Doctor on NUMEROUS occasions can they send someone out - to help bath her once a week - NOPE - still NOTHING - she is "working on it" - I've asked for services that I haven't already explored - NOPE - there really isn't any avenue that I haven't tried. But still she tell me that my Mother would NOT survive in an Assisted Living Facility.

But your sister - is FAMILY - this is just an outsider - and I KNOW how angry the Doctors responses make me. Being an ONLY child for the LIFE of my I CANNOT figure out WHY people who actually do have family don't step up to the plate and assist. Why is the responsibility typically put on one person - with occasional help if that???? That I cannot understand.

Mimi - I understand your frustration - cause your sister does have YOU - to help her out. Granted she has the "daily" routine - but you are still always supporting her on the phone and on the weekends by going over there or taking your Mother out. Plus your Mother has an aide (which I know is a sore spot for your Mother & your sister's husband ) - but it is something.

Your anger is probably because when you were drowning - that nobody reached out a hand to help you - until your almost placed your Mother in a facility. Then your sister stepped in. Just out of curosity where is your other sister at? Maybe its her turn (well in 4 months) to take your Mom. LOL!!!!

I think I am just babbling - I really don't have any answers to be honest.

The funny thing is - that if a friend of mine was in the same situation that I am in - the answers what to do would be SOOOOOOOOOOOO CLEAR - cause there is NO emotion or knowledge attached. Outsiders just don't get it - but they do think they do and they are more than willing to give advice and wonder WHY you aren't doing this or that.

You are being a GREAT sister and support system - just hang in there - the anger will pass - hopefully placed by relief that she FINALLY GETS IT!!!!

Hugs and Happy Memorial Day Mimi -

Janet
Hi Janet,
You asked about my other sister. "J" is a registerd nurse. Keeping that in mind...nurse...medical knowledge, compassion, empathy, kindness. good heart...last year, when I realized I needed to make a change in mom's living arrangements, I went to my sister's first and asked if they could take mom. Her answer was no, I don't have an extra bed. I found that pretty amusing, sine she has 3 bedrooms up; one they sleep in and the other two are offices, one for her and one for her husband. They do NOT work from home, strictly pleasure. And that was that. Now recently I have learned that she is still working her full time position (administration at a healthcare insurance group) and just recently took a job at a local nursing home, working as an RN, on the weekends---are you ready for this?? on the dementia floor. Needless to say, I have very little use for J.
hey . . sorry to not read all the posts I have lol 8! minutes left on the library computer and want to say amen! to what I see ! if I exit abrubtly the computer kicked me off xoooooooooooooxxx

I have the same 'problem' why do I not keep up the house or flip the mattress or why are you so tired . .

when my husband works nonstop out of the house and I don't have a 'real job' .. .but I do . .. . selling or tyring to sell hand made scarves . ..

since I'm at home so many justs ok got the wrap it up signal . .

so . .. . AMEN! and if you can't sweep or whatever ... so what . . . that's how I feel anyway . . . . want an ice cream?

What flavour?

I'll try to take care of myself if you do!

seba
Hi gofigure...

Ohh how I agree with some of the previous posters..it's very easy to criticize u-n-t-i-l said criticiser is walking in your shoes..you can tell people what it is/was like to be a 24/7 caregiver but they just will not understand if they themselves haven't been there..the worry and stress alone is enough to deplete us of most of our energy and sometimes for weeks on ends only very top priority things get done..all else gets put to the side..
I never had quite the problem you are having but I do remember while caregiving for my mother a home health aide that my dad had..calling me and giving me a rather stern lecture that his suite was a mess..I tiredly informed her that I couldn't get over there to clean for him as I was a 24/7 caregiver and had only one nursing respite per week for 3 hours..she was kind enough to tell me I should then be using my 3 hours to get over there and do housecleaning shopping etcetc for my father..lol..guess some people figure we are machines..
Anyways I do hope you get over your hurt..save your energy for your husband..
take care
PrairieGal
I am so glad to have read through your posts. It's a relief just reading other's sharing. I'm feeling so frustrated and tired tonight. I can identify with my house being in such a mess that I don't even know where to start and it is totally so exhausting.
It seems my mother continues to have one medical issue after another. I'm so tired. So often I feel I am doing a less than adequate job caregiving. But I'm tired and overwhelmed and my house is a mess.
My brother really doesn't seem to understand. When I try to reach out to him for support he tells me "What do you expect --- she's nearly 80 years old." Or claims to have many responsibilities of his own, too, raising his family.
I don't have answers for you. But it is a relief knowing I am not alone. And from that I can draw the strength to go on. I tell myself "One day at a time." I am inspired that if others can do this --- then so can I. And I can do this a little at a time. And when I have the energy or the opportunity little things around the house get done.
God bless you and your efforts and give you the daily strength you need to lovingly accomplish your priorities for now. Know in your heart what is right and don't listen to all that extra chatter. (I guess I'm talking to myself ,too.)

Take Loving Care of you!
Over and over again, family members turn away or revive childhood rivalries at times when they're help and support are most needed. What a sad reflection on our society.

As for me, I have benefitted tremendously from reading about others' common experiences here. It has freed me from a great deal of the self-doubt I had when it came to dealing with my siblings. My new "attitude" is that, until they clean up one of Mom's accidents, they kiss me where it came from!

Hang in everyone.

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