I feel so uncomfortable..
I am not sure where to go with my plight, so I am here.
You see, I am the primary caregiver for my MIL. My husband does what he can, but he is gone all day and when he is home, there is more to do on his list than caring for his mother. So, it falls to me for the most part.
And, as many of you may remember, I also take care of our now almost 18 month , a whirlwind of curiosity, and precious monkey.. our one and only grandchild,
The baby and my MIL get along famously. love each other with a connection that is beautiful. The only issues I have are that my MIL cannot be around the baby without someone being RIGHT there to protect the two of them. The baby loves her "Gi-Gi".. great grandma, and Alicia is a who could easily tip my MIL over or hurt her unintentionally. And, my MIL cannot remember not to pick the baby up or to have help around her. My MIL is very tipsy and has a significant loss of balance, and does not walk well. She staggers and wavers and trembles quite a bit. She thinks she is in her 20's or 30's around the baby.. makes for a really hard day to watch the two of them if the truth be told.
And, as some of you may remember, my MIL and I have a really awful history. She was very, very cruel and mean to me for decades. So bad that it is of note to mention that even her close friends of 4-5-6 decades have recanted to me how terrible it was to hear her speak of me and tell of her wickedness towards me. They use words like.. "she was a cold fish to you", or they will say, "she was so mean and very cruel to you". And, they are right.. and they only know what she told them. They don't know the depth of her awful behaviors.
My husband was a total whimp-out in dealing with his mother. He kept thinking that it would get better and instead, it got worse. There are some very, very compelling reasons that he, truthfully, HAD to whimp-out in regards to his mother. It is a long story and filled with all sorts of family intrigue, but trust me.. I DO understand why he did what he did, and I accept it.
Well, she got sick and she's been living with us for over three years. Isn't life a quirky thing? She wanted me dead or whatever, and now she is dependent on me for everything..
Well.. over those decades where she was so intensely unpleasant and demonically cruel towards me, she always chose Holidays to be at her worst. And, Christmas was an especially poignant time for her to act up and act out. It made me learn to literally HATE Christmas.. it was always so stressful and unpleasant. And, due to the same reasons that my husband had to whimp-out, we HAD to spend every f-ing Christmas with her.
This year, our kids will not be here for Christmas. It is the first Christmas that I am not hosting "something". We will be going to my son's (the father of our granddaughter) home for a few hours on Christmas Day, but that is it. Then, it is home again here to our house. (Our son is coming over later in the day to drop off the baby as he has to be at work early the next day).
And, that leaves just me, my husband, and my MIL.
I cannot tell you how much I DREAD it. I am sick to my stomach over it. I feel totally uncomfortable.
I do not want to cook a meal for the day at all. She complains and makes it miserable. I have not wanted to do any baking either.. I am depressed and just plain sick to death of her and all her antics due to personality quirks, her dementia, and her cultural yada-yadas, (She is Italian and immigrated from the old country at the end of WWII in 1950).
I don't love her. I will never love her the way some women have grown to love their MILs. I love her and care for her the same way I would probably love and care for a little lost and sick puppy. (I guess she is one lucky son of a gun that I am a compassionate type person.. or I'd probably kick her in the arse and tell her to get out of my face and wouldn't give two licks if she ended up out on the street or in a home alone at 84!)
But, I DO give a whole lot more than two licks. I genuinely care about her situation and I genuinely care about her quality of life. My husband is her only remaining child. She has one son who died tragically in 1976, and then my husband. That is all the family she has in the entire world.
My husband and I have five kids. Three are his biologically and two are mine biologically. His three want nothing to do with their grandma at all. And, when they found out that she didn't have two dimes to rub together, they really took a hike and didn't even fake a smile for her. Their biological mother is the original twisted sister of Satan and raised them to be totally dependent on her, and although they are all closing in on 40+ years old, they are all.. "Mommy's Boys" and are interested in what they can get, not what they can give. My kids think my MIL can be very scary and they know she is weird, but care about her and always remember to send her cards, gifts, and when they come to our home, always visit with her and treat her with respect. In fact, she is closer to my kids than her own biological grandchildren. Weird eh?? But, that is life.
Anyway.. to the freakin' point of this long posting..
I DO NOT WANT TO SPEND CHRISTMAS WITH HER!! I seriously don't think I can sit down to Christmas dinner with her this year. I feel so depressed and sick to death of her. My whole world functions around taking care of her.. she is like a huge attention sponge that sucks the very life out of everyone and everything around her.
Because she is old and has dementia, I am expected to be loving and kind. I am supposed to be respectful and find ways to make her comfortable and make her happy and make her.. whatever.
My neighbors and friends who know the situation all think that I should bypass making dinner and just make whatever I want to make and graze all day. (I can be happy with munchies and not cook a big meal, and so can my husband. We actually love munching on goodies together and did that quite a bit until granny-kins moved in). Well, she'll throw a cat screaming fit if I don't cook a big Christmas meal.. oh, it has to have all the Italian traditions too. And, I will be expected to make pork on New Year's and all the trimmings for that too.. And of course there are three kings in January.. then there are the name days..
She can't remember to put a bra on, but she can remember tiny minutia things like "this is the anniversary of when we entered the DP Camp".. and all sorts of life passages.. to where we can't even celebrate our own anniversary.. it didn't happen in her life so it has no value.
I just feel like sitting down and crying. Oh hell, I have been crying off and on over the last week or so. I am just dreading, dreading, dreading Christmas too intensely.
And, yes.. we've done counseling with the Alzheimer's Assoc Case Manager. We've had in-home assessments and done all the "right things" to get coping skills and make things as pleasant as they can be. We live in a very large home that allows for us not to be stacked on top of each other, we have all the bells and whistles in place. We have the finest doctors for her.. in fact, we go back to her dementia doctor the second week of January again.
The bottom line is that she is here to stay. And, all I want for Christmas is my own apartment somewhere to GET AWAY from her!!!! This doesn't feel like my own home anymore. I feel like an interloper with my own husband, and a slave to an old woman who is a royal pain in the patoot.
My husband looks at me like a hound dog with the flu when I tell him I want an apartment for Christmas. A six month lease to allow me to HAVE my own space and get away from Granny-World whenever I just need to listen to my own music, do my own things.. HAVE my own things around me, and most importantly.. to have a freakin' place to BE married to him without his friggin' mother stickin' her nasty nose into our business all the live-long day!
One of my MIL's best friends in the world told me the other day.. "This isn't right, she is making you a prisoner in your own home. We have to figure out something we can do here. She doesn't deserve a good daughter-in-law like you!"
Well.. I feel sooooo guilty.. because how good of a daughter-in-law am I, if all I want to do is escape the old woman??
Okay.. done with my bented vent.
The bottom line is that I will probably suck it up like I always do, and do what has to be done, and privately pray that the doctors are all wrong and there is no way she can live another 10 to 15 years like this. I will either die first or go completely insane.
We are just clueless on what to do.
And.. again, sticking granny-kins in a home isn't even a partial possibility for at least another 5 or more years. THERE ARE compelling and real reasons that cannot happen. Trust me on this.. and again, IF she could, she'd be gone and tucked in somewhere!! We've already exhausted all possible options with the case managers and other professionals like her doctors.
Please know that my MIL is taken care of in the most wonderful, healthy, joyful, and pleasant manner. Her life is incredibly better now than it has ever, ever been before.
It is me who has to give-up my life for her to have a life. And, I don't like her especially, and I do not love her at all.
What I have become an ace at lately is just complaining. And, that makes me feel very, very uncomfortable.
Maybe once the holidays are past, things will settle down inside my heart and the hurts will scar-up again for another year.. ho humm..