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Looking For An Alternate Perspective

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by papoosh, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. papoosh

    papoosh Bronze IL'ite

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    Apologies in advance for typos, as I'm typing this on my phone.

    Quick summary.. Married for 7 years, known my husband for 15, by and large happy marriage. One son (4 y.o) and live with my FIL who has Alzheimer's. A quick note on my FIL's condition, while he had been diagnosed, his memory is for a large part intact (especially in recognising people etc), mostly large behavioral changes (stealing food from fridge/son's tiffin box when no one is watching, manipulating maids by threatening them with dire consequences in my husband's name, walking naked in the house, telling relatives we don't feed him, have taken all his money plus as much bitching about me as possible etc)

    Now, I was suddenly hospitalised while I went for a general check up to the doctor and had an emergency. Thankfully, my parents were at home and were able to take care of my son. We had decided, since the hospitalisation was only for a day or two, to not tell my son since he is already severely traumatized by doctor's and hospitals due to previous experiences.

    While in the hospital, I get to know that my FIL had told my son that "mummy went to hospital in ambulance and will never come back. From now you will have to stay with us only. Don't tell anyone I told you otherwise they will scold me and take me away from you". 8 was so heartbroken when my son clung to me and told me this hesitantly making me promise not to scold his grandfather and not too take him away. I was furious and have refused to engage with him anymore. I am also highly hesitant about allowing my son to interact with him as well.

    This is not the first instance, there have been other times where he has asked my son to ignore what I have told him and to listen to him instead (husband and I overheard as he did not know we could hear him).

    My problem is, earlier, my husband would also be on my side. This time, I feel all alone as he feels or isn't a big deal and I am getting worked up over nothing. In fact, he gets angry with me for even being upset about it.

    Am I being irrational? Or does it not affect my husband coz it isn't about him that it was said?

    Since I will have to live under the same roof with my FIL for a long long time, any advice will be appreciated.

    Thanks....
     
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  2. Priya16

    Priya16 IL Hall of Fame

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    I am writing this with my experience...

    Imagine you in your husband shoes and your father is acting the way your FIL is acting.

    I am 100% sure you won't get the same support from your husband the way you are giving support now..

    But your husband will be going through a lot of pain because of his father's condition and no one can help with that.

    So I would say, you need to let go things related to his father for the sanity of your marriage and for your husband then you will have bigger gains in the future like you may win your husband love 100%.

    I know you should able to explain your son and tell him not to take grandpa words into account ...
     
    Naari likes this.
  3. DDream

    DDream Finest Post Winner

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    OP, I can understand what is going on in your mind.

    But pl dont allow these thoughts to grow in your mind. Your FIL is helpless. Having Alzheimer's is a horrible condition to be in.. I have see a movie with a theme based on it and what you have mentioned matches well with the main character. I also personally know a family where their grandma had the same issue. They were treating her like a kid. They had a full time nurse to take care of her as she had some health issues too.

    You are doing a good job adjusting to the new situation and taking care your family and PILs. Consider your FIL as a child. If a child do these things what you will do. I am sure that you wont take it seriously. Do the same thing here.

    Also educate your son about grandpa's condition (not in front of him). Talk to him in private that grandpa needs lot of attention as he is not well. It is his responsibility to take care of grand pa and listen to his own parents.( this way you will also teach your son it is his responsibility to take care elderly ones).

    Even if you have any complaints, it is better not to mention it to your dh until it is too serious as he may feel bad. He is also helpless, because of his fathers condition. You all need lot of patience to deal with FIL. But no other way.

    Be supportive. and am sure your dh will love you and respect you more for this great help.
     
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  4. Sandycandy

    Sandycandy IL Hall of Fame

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    Alzheimer's runs in my fathers family, so I know how painful it can be for the family members. It's common for patients to talk negative things , so I would not take it personally. Let the son know that grandpa is not well and he should not believe anything he says. Hire a nurse24/7 if possible, makes things a lot better for the patient in terms of having company. Other things to keep their mind active is to play cards or other games, writing ( my grandpa forgot how to write and we tried to make him learn alphabets again, mostly to keep him busy), drawing , watching good TV , nothing negative and listening to bhajans and ghazals. If things get really out of hand , talk to the doctor about getting medications that will calm him down . He might be a bit groggy but atleast he is not out of control, running naked etc. This is a situation no one has control over, not even your husband. So don't let it affect your marriage.
    For your sanity, get help in the form of maid or nurse and try to lead your life as normally as it can get. It is stressful for your husband too, so go out as a family once a week.
    Alzheimer's can change people and totally alter their personalities, so try to sympathize with your FIL. If sympathizing is not possible , try to be neutral and practical about the whole situation . Don't fester hatred towards a aging , old and unwell human being , better for your peace of mind . Take care !
     
    Naari likes this.
  5. Shreema86

    Shreema86 Platinum IL'ite

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    No fun being in your shoes . I really don't know what to suggest . not ur fils fault entirely . But u r also human . You are allowed to snap back and get irritated , no need to bottle it inside . Don't want brickbats to be thrown at me, my opinion , I think the us system where elderly people living in caregiving centres with family visiting on weekends is not a bad solution in case of Alzheimer's etc.. where its extremely difficult for families to take care.
     
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  6. yellowmango

    yellowmango IL Hall of Fame

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    Taking care of elderly with serious medical issues is really tough .
    Hugs to you .

    You need to protect your son's feeling by letting him know that grandfather is not well and not to take him seriously.

    Also tell your son to let you and his dad know if anything is bothering him .

    Op you need to involve your husband more in taking care of his dad. It has to be a team effort other wise it will build resentment.

    Try to be logical and not emotional about it . Try not to take it personally if you know it is because of his medical condition.Also try to forget the the events once things settle down as they will build up into mountains in the head.

    Do keep the option of outside help for care giving open for the future if things go out of hand . This way you will feel less suffocated and helpless.
     
    Sandycandy likes this.
  7. ashneys

    ashneys Platinum IL'ite

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    About your dh:
    Parents always takes care of the kids when sick, why should it be any different for kids when their parents are sick? Understand that you are passing the same value to your son and showing him how to treat you when you grow old.

    So What are you expecting from his dh? To yell at his dad to not say such things? Or side with you n do what? N how's any of that gonna help considering his health issue? He has started understanding that it's his illness that's causing all his behaviour.

    It's absolutely difficult for u, handling an elderly esp with sickness can be challenging, it's understandable. Almost every family goes through this, including ours. So can relate. But if it's possible to just consider him as your dad, your acceptance level will be more too. All this sickness makes them like children too.

    Next your son:
    Explain in as much detail as your 4 yr old can understand about his grandfathers health condition. This generation kids are smarter than we think and your son will definitely understand or start to understand.

    Tell him clearly that whatever grandpa says, he's to tell his mom n dad and not to believe it due to his health issue. But also not to argue with his grandpa and just nod to whatever he says as "we" should always take care of grandpa. Come up with your own version to explain according to your situation and using the past instances as your reference. Kids are amazing, and good communication goes a long way with them.

    Relatives, maids and others:
    If it bothers you or if it matters to you, explain his health condition and say none of it is true but just imaginary as his sickness plays games with his brainz

    During challenging times, just tell yourself a few things to calm yourself..
    Your fil is the person who gave birth to the man who you and your son love.
    Just like how your parents matter to you, he matters more to your dh too.
    Think of him just like your father despite any drawbacks as he has the brain of a child now n not of a man that he was. So Just ignore and stop taking anything seriously. He is not in full control of himself anymore.
    The value you show today is a life lesson for your son about how to treat the elders in the family, esp a helpless one. And also to make him understand about the love, value, sacrifices of family.

    Also if possible, hire a full time help just for him, as his Alzheimer's aggravates, his condition n activities may worsen. So it's better to have a full time help / male nurse so you don't have to run around. But care and supervise, like hiring nannies for kids n grandparents supervising.
     
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  8. Minion

    Minion Gold IL'ite

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    Totally disagree with your view on this her FIL is just a manipulative person, it takes a lot of brain power to manipulate other person he is just using his situation as a cover to manipulate others read this article to understand how psychological manipulation works

    "Itis important to distinguish healthy social influence from psychological manipulation. Healthy social influence occurs between most people, and is part of the give and take of constructive relationships. In psychological manipulation, one person is used for the benefit of another. The manipulator deliberately creates an imbalance of power, and exploits the victim to serve his or her agenda."

    14 Signs of Psychological and Emotional Manipulation

    Alzheimer's can not be fully diagnosed

    Tests can also help diagnose other causes of memory problems, such as mild cognitive impairment and vascular dementia. Alzheimer's disease can be definitely diagnosed only after death, by linking clinical measures with an examination of brain tissue in an autopsy.
     
  9. ashneys

    ashneys Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi, I stand by my suggestion. I genuinely advised the OP based on her Fil's sickness and her dh's, DS's n her situation. Op has to live in the same house with her fil so it's better for her to understand his sickness, her dh has started to accept his fathers sickness and doesn't take his words seriously. Her son is young and has to understand the situation. If she didn't mention any sickness, maybe what you say may apply.

    But She has mentioned that there is a lot of behavioural changes that includes stealing food. Do you think he's sane but his dil is depriving him of food that he is stealing food in his own house? And which sane elderly person tells a 4 yr old that his mother is not gona come back from he hospital?

    We have elderly people in our families too. My mil's mom had lost her mind and she will talk nonsense, even claimed that her own family beat her up and used to throw her own bodily waste on others. Was she manipulative too? And should have been thrown out of the house?

    Elderly people have ailments, each in different forms. N these people gave birth to us and brought us up through our sickness too, so I believe that kids must take care of their parents when they can't take care of themselves.

    **Off topic - lovin the profile name n dp, I love minions.:)

     
  10. Sandycandy

    Sandycandy IL Hall of Fame

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    Manipulative people don't run around naked ! I am sure he has been diagnosed by a qualified doctor .

     

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