Very Awkward Position

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Very Awkward Position
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 12:07pm
I need some objective advice on my situation.

My husbands grandparents (they raised my husband so they are more like parents) moved in with us at the first of the year. They came to stay during an ice storm and then health problems came up and they just never left. The Grandfather died in February so the Grandmother is still with us. She still has a home but it's in a very bad neighborhood & it wouldn't be safe for her to live there.

Here's the situation: In a conversation the Grandmother told me she & her daughter had discussed the fact that she may get incapacitated and that daughter had an apt for her in case that happened b/c she knew me & my husband work full-time, and she knew I had to put my mother in a nursing home...STOP!! WHOW!! I told her she didn't need to say anymore.

I knew what she was insinuating. That I, the wicked daughter who put her mother in a nursing home, would do the same to her!! I was so mad I couldn't see. I went through pure hell before making the decision to place my mother. She has alzheimers and has progreesed to the point of not being able to walk, talk or feed herself. She is like a baby now and it breaks my heart. This is a terrible disease, anyone who is or has gone through this (which they have not) understands. I lived that part of my life before I even knew these people so they have no idea the hell I lived through in making that decision.

I lost it! I just told her STOP we're not discussing my mother - END OF STORY.

Well about an hour later, after I thought I had calmed down I told her I was sorry but that the topic of my mother was not open for discussion. I went on to say that if her daughter had something to say about my mother and this situation that it needed to stay at her house that she (Grandmother) didn't need to repeat it to me. I then said that she was constantly bringing chaos (other issues)into our house from her (the daughters) house and that maybe she should just stay over there.

The daughter specifically built an apt for her mother - it has a kitchen, bathroom, living area, bedroom & closet. She doesn't want to live there b/c of all the chaos. Yet she goes over there everyday - stays all day long - then brings it into our house.

My husband hasn't had anything to do with his mother for years b/c she's a HUGE DRAMA QUEEN. He told me when I met him that if something wasn't going on, if things were too calm, she'd start something so we have just kept our distance. But now that Grandma lives here we are intertwined again and it is causing nothing but trouble!

Well she left that day (last Friday) but she was back the next morning telling me off. She started in a very nasty tone "I know this is YOUR HOUSE but I'm going to finish what I was saying and YOUR GOING TO LISTEN to me" She went on to say that what she was trying to say was that her daughter said that one day she and my husband may have to make the same decision about her like I did about my mother (putting her in nursing home) and that was all! Well I didn't say anything. Then she and my husband started talking about other stuff (other chaos situations in daughters house spilling into ours) then complete silence. For like 20 minutes no one said anything. So I just got up and went outside and started mowing the grass.

Next thing I know she left. GOOD RIDDANCE!! My husband said she packed up some clothes and was crying and said "she really hurt my feelings when she told me to leave" and he responded "don't you think you hurt hers"? I completely understand my husband is in a terrible place with all of this - it is breaking his heart too.

She went to her daughters and then called back a few hours later and said she would stay at her daughters once the apt was cleaned out. Daughter uses it as a junk room and it's a mess according to the Grandmother. And could she stay here for a week while they worked on getting it straight and that she wanted to take him/us out to dinner for Fathers Day. We went and it was so AWKARD no one said anything. The only thing she said to me was to ask if she could put her napkin down her shirt in a very smart alecky way - she was making a point and I know it! Like she has to ask my permission before she does ANYTHING!! I asked my husband later what that was all about and his only response was "I wish you two would stop". Me? I didn't do anything she's the one who made that smart remark!!

Now she's staying here and we're not speaking and I don't see her ever leaving. This is so strained and I don't see an end.

Thanks for letting me vent. What would you do if you were in my situation?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 12:22pm

It sounds as though putting your mother in a home is a very touchy subject for you and that is understandable. No one want to see a love one deteriorate like that, it must be a helpless feeling to know that you werent able to take care of her. Yet you made the responsible decision and let her go someplace where people CAN take care of her.

It does sound to me like you may have over reacted a bit to what Grandma was saying. Maybe at this point sit down and tell her you may have overreacted but that is a delicate subject and it hurt you deeply to have to put your mother in a home. Tell her that you never thought of doing that to her and since the decision would involve her daughter and your DH it would have been made as a family but it looks like daughter has it all worked out for the time being. Since she is getting up in years she is probably concerned about what will become of her, which is only natural. Find out what kind of other provisions she would like made should something happen to her. That will probably put her mind at ease and allow her to trust doesnt sound like she does right now.

I wish you luck and dont forget to include you DH and have him with you as you talk to her. That way he knows what was said and she cant pull a "but she said".

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 2:17pm
I agree with the last post. As you said they were not around when you had to make that decision about your Mom. They may not realize how difficult it was for you. There are some people who speak and make judgements of others with out ever thinking what it would really be like if they had to walk in their shoes.

Maybe you should explain to them both how difficult it was for you and that is why you became upset when it seemed as if they thought you were ready to "cart" another person to a nursing home (I am not at all saying this is what you did, I am interpreting this is what you think they thought about the situation).

No matter what, you definitely all need to sit down and attempt to clear the air and misunderstandings before you drive your husband off the deep end.

It's not your fault and you have only tried to defend yourself but the ways you have gone about it by refusing to discuss and just walking away doesn't look so good on you. I understand you just wanted to get out of the situation before you blew a fuse but it also comes off as standoffish and stubborn. Just not willing to listen to anyone else's side of the story doesn't help the situation. This is what may be making your husband a little edgy also. He doesn't want his family to bicker and when you mentioned to him about the napkin comment it was like you were joining into the stupidness with them and he just didn't want to hear it.

Try to clear the air with them. Talk to your husband about it and try to be a little less on the defensive side when speaking to them. They will not hear your words if you are they will only see your anger.

Good Luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 7:03pm
First of all, i would TELL her to GO live with her daughters. Not ask her why she doesn't, but TELL her to. Say, "you don't like me, my rules or my house? Then leave!" How dare she criticize you and be facetious all the time! She's ungrateful, or so it sounds. Truly ungrateful. And i think the longer she satys, the more distanced you will all be. you and your husband, her and her son, you and her. There's no point in dragging this out any longer. Say, I'm NOT sending you to a nursing home, but i AM asking you to leave. It maybe a tough situation at first, but it'll get better once they all ease into the fact of it. But also, perhaps the daughters don't want GRANDMA to live with them, for obvious reasons. Perhaps they are the ones filling her head with nonsense of staying, imposing on your life. Good Luck
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 9:37pm
Thanks, to update she IS going to live with her daughter WOOHOOO!! It is hard because my husband enjoyed her being here and so did my SD. I just feel like the Wicked Witch. But her daughter has an apartment built onto her house specifically for her mother and we have just a bedroom here for her. It just makes more sense all the way around.

Thanks for all the comments I appreciate them.