My inlaws cut me off and I'm sick over it
HI all. thanks in advance for any replies..I have been married for over 20 years. We have 3 kids, and my youngest child, who is 19 years old, has severe autism.
It's been a very difficult situation, and I've dealt with it mostly on my own..My husband and I both work, and he does help with my son as much as he can when he is home. My older kids have also been a blessing,and help with their brother when they can. The state also provides me with some assistance from an agency, but unfortunately, the staff has proven to be very inconsistent throughout the years.
Here is why I'm really heartbroken...I have 2 sisters in law (husband's sisters) less than a mile from me.
They have their own grown children, and their father also lives with them. He has late stage dementia, and is bedridden.
He has nurses around the clock to help with all his care. When he first came to live with them, I arranged all his medical care, insurance,food stamps, and the nurses that relieve the burden of care to his daughters.
I was happy to do it, because I love him, and I love my sisters in law, and didn't want to see them struggle. I also did it because I love my husband, and want to help his family. i'm mot looking for a medal..or even 1/10th of the consideration back..
But, here's why I'm sad...I struggle so much with my own son..I get depressed, I feel alone (mostly because the family outside my home just doesn't care)..
They don't call to see how he is doing..they don't invite him over, even if I say "I think he misses you"..they still don't care.
He's non verbal, and he requires constant supervision. He also only started sleeping through the night about a year ago...when ever my inlaws would see me,
They would say.." wow..you look tired", but they never offered any caring gesture to relieve me of my exhaustion...why say it, then?
Fast forward to about a month ago, I, AGAIN, reached out to my sisters in law to come for dinner ...they replied.."ok, but we can only stay for a little while"..
I said, great..as long as we get together is all that matters...so, I was so happy, went shopping, and prepared dinner, made sure my son's aide was home with me, so I could spend good time with them...anyway, they never came, and never called. I was so upset and disappointed.
But the real reason I'm upset, is because the entire relationship between me and them, has been me giving, and them taking..they call only when they need me to do government paperwork for them, when the kids were little, and needed a sitter, or when they wanted to throw graduation parties for their kids at my pool.
They will only ask how my son is doing, if I go to their house to visit my father in law..then, they will ask..."how's sean?" (my son)...and if I truthfully tell them, he's not doing so great..he's been aggressive, not sleeping, etc., instead of being supportive, they say..."at least he can walk"...I understand that, but sometimes, I just want to vent, because I get overwhelmed...
My own family lives out of state, and they at least call and check on us when they can..
I didn't write this because I EXPECT them to watch him, or take care of him, or feel sorry for him...but, as his Aunts, it would be nice if they show him some love...and more than just a yearly birthday card and xmas card.
They do it for the other kids in the family...show love, visit, go on vacation with them...they just ignore my kids...so upsetting..my older kids don't really care..they're used to it..but my youngest son, he lights up when he sees them...and they know it.
I've never said anything negative to them, argued with them, denied them help when asked, etc..the only thing i've changed, is that I haven't stopped by to see them or my father in law in weeks..I WAS the last one to reach out to invite them for dinner (which they didn't show up for). I took it as a sign that they just don't want anything to do with me...they haven't reached out since..
.I'm tired of being the only one to put the effort in all these years...as a matter of fact, I feel like I may be intruding on them when I go visit, as they don't invite me, and I have to text if it's ok...then I will go...but, they NEVER come see us...and I INVITE them....so, I'm tired of chasing, and trying to fit where I'm not wanted...why force myself on them?
My biggest concern, however, is that I miss my father in law...and I feel bad for not going (he doesn't recognize me anymore, anyway), but I know it makes him happy to have visitors.
I just can't be the only one watering this flower anymore...please, any advise would be so appreciated...I'm feeling pretty down, resentful,and confused.
I should add that my husband knows how I feel, and he agrees with me, but he doesn't get involved..
It sound like your sisters in law are the right people to get support from or to even just talk to. If it was me, I don’t think I’d be wasting anymore energy on them for now.
It sounds like your burnt out. So you might benefit more talking to a counsellor. Or keep writing how you feel on here. Someone who can understand and who can empathise with you so you feel heard and not left feeling overwhelmed.
That’s not excusing your sister in laws behaviour btw. I think it is sad they don’t spend much time with your son or check in with you to see how you are coping. Not turning up to an arranged dinner is pretty insulting!
Also the comment ‘At least your son can walk’ to you shows a real lack of understanding. Don’t think you can compare autism and Alzheimer’s. Is there much support for your son outside of home (and you) where you live?
I think your husband won’t talk to his sisters’ because he knows they won’t change. He grew up with them and I think at the moment with your father in law being unwell now isn’t the right time to tackle them on this. It wouldn’t end well.
I was going to ask do they come together as a pair? Could you talk to one of them alone? But I think once you have found different support network, your talking to someone (you might have to accept you sister in law are the way they are), you need them less. Then you can think about your relationship with your sister in laws. It might you sit back, stay quiet and let them come to you more and don’t allow them to keep on taking.
Thank u for understanding! I just feel hurt, and unimportant to them.. like the used me, and now that things are set up for their dad, they dumped me, and my son .. I have nice friends, and I do get support from the state.. however, the aides are inconsistent…. And, the friends I gave, DO get lots of family support .. from their own family, And in-laws.. so they can’t relate… and I don’t like telling friends about it, because I don’t trust anyone 😂