1. Gillian8252

    Gillian8252 Registered User

    Jan 12, 2008
    4
    shropshire
    My name is Gillian and i dont know quite where to start ,all i know is i feel dreadful .My mum in law is accusing me of stealing a spare key from her house ,two weeks before christmas when i was delivering xmas cards.The past two months a goldwatch ,a bible ,apoem book and a pen have gone missing .She called the police who came to see myself and my husband due to him having akey for emergencies.I'm absolutely distraught as we have never fallen out in ten years i have been married to her son.At 75 i have noticed her memory has not been brilliant at recalling names etc whist on the phone with her.THe best bit is i have ,as she has said gone into her house taken 2 horse ornaments and swapped them for fakes as i enjoy going to car boot sales.THe police took it no further and offered support.The worst thing for me is my father in law who i believe isnt ill is backing her up.They no longer want me at their house and will not come to mine ,i am devastated i dont know whats going on ?
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Dear Gillian

    That sounds horrendous! Thankfully the police didn't take the complaint seriously, but it does sound as if your MIL has some major problem, possibly AD, possibly paranoia. We're none of us medical experts here, and only a doctor can diagnose. Your FIL needs to get her to the doctor as soon as possible for a referral for assessment.

    I think you would be well advised to stay away until this is sorted. She has obviously decided that you are the enemy, and there are likely to be more accusations.

    It must be so hard for you to have this stream of accusations. Please keep in touch with us, we'll try to support you. I'm going to ask the moderators to move your post to the main advice forum, where more people will see it, if that's OK?
     
  3. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    Dear Gillian,
    Perhaps you should try and talk to other members of the family, as well as friends and neighbours to see if anyone else has been accused of taking things. Your mother-in-law has probably just mislaid these items and they will turn up later. She may have thrown them away or hidden them while in a confused state. My mother had vascular dementia and she would sometimes just "lose a day", when she couldn't remember what she had done at all.

    She accused my husband of tidying up her filing cabinet and hiding things, when he hadn't been anywhere near the house and she must have done it herself and forgotten. She also thought that her cleaner had scribbled on her washing machine, because her own had broken and she was after Mum's. In fact the "scribbles" had been there all the time and were just the words on the control knobs! The cleaner had already ordered a new washing machine for herself.

    It might also be a good idea to contact the doctor and social services, telling them of your worries, because if you have been stopped from visiting your in-laws, there may not be anyone else to keep an eye on them and offer support.

    It is horrible to be treated so badly, but it is probably just the symptom of a nasty disease, rather than the true nature of the person causing this behaviour.

    Kayla
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,572
    Kent
    Hello Gillian,

    You have received good advice so far and I have moved your post to the Support Section as Skye/Hazel suggested in the hope more members will see it.

    I agree you should ask other family members if they have had similar problems with your in-laws, and I also agree you should keep your distance for a while.

    You could try writing to them and tell them how hurt you are by their behaviour towards you. Sometimes it is easier to put things down on paper.You have more time to get the wording right and they have time to read and digest what you say.

    How does your husband feel about his parents` behaviour towards you?
     
  5. Gillian8252

    Gillian8252 Registered User

    Jan 12, 2008
    4
    shropshire
    Is this the beginning?

    Thankyou so far everyone for the good advice.My husband is mortified and really embarrised at their behaviour he totally supports me 100% and has told both of them this.My husbands only sister thinks its a moment of madness which will blow over and just sit back and take it.Two months ago MIL , she told my SIL that a man who had been in her house fitting blinds had stolen black knickers from her drawer ,this to me sent alarm bells ringing the FIL was not told however as it was told in confidence .Last year she was convinced someone was breaking her flower heads off in front garden ? her xmas tree lights outside were tampered with ? and my FIL goes along with it. My husband asked me i bet you hate my parents for this dont you? i replied i dont feel anything but numb and confused.After ten years of happy moments although at times i have thought of her behaviour towards others as spiteful and troublesome ,we have always got on.I feel my youngest daughter whos 9 will miss out the most as FIL will no longer fetch her from school which he did on a daily basis.
     
  6. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    Hi Gillian

    ((hugs))

    My mother who had always been great to me as she slipped into dementia accused me of not repaying a loan to her and moaned about how poor she was to all our relatives. It was true, that she had loaned money to us to buy a car, while we were undergoing infertility treatment with the proviso that if pregnant I could suspend repayments to her and as she put it "if I didn't manage to pay it back before she died I was just to sort it out in the estate split with my brother".

    We had always had total trust between us and to hear that she was being horrible about it forced me back to work with really young children to get money to repay her. Not that it was a huge sum or detrimental to her income/well-being but just because I couldn't bear what she was saying about me.

    Then the paranoia started that I was travelling 250 miles down to see my inlaws but not visiting her (they lived in the same town)..not true, although I tended to stay with my inlaws with my crawling babies/toddlers as they were in a bungalow and would clear everything away. Mum had breakables everywhere and stairs and drugs in every cupboard! But I used to visit.

    Then her brothers (who were both dead) started to steal from her.

    It is so so horrible when it happens. You need to get help and it might be worth writing your concerns to your MILs GP and explaining all these occurrences and asking if he can check them out. Try to keep in mind that it is the illness that causes all this, not personality, that she does still care for you. Your FIL has to live with your MIL and is probably scared stiff at the moment.

    Once Mum was diagnosed and moved into a Nursing Home her trust of me returned and she and I had some great times. I went through months though of depression questioning my lifeong relationship with my Mum when she was nasty to me and had she been mean all along when in reality it was her inability to remember that was causing her brain to confabulate tales to suit circumstances. The diagnosis we received really helped me as did chatting to a geriatrician at the hospital about what had happened who told me my tale was all too common and unfortunately some people's relationships with their loved ones became so bad as this illness started and never recovered.

    Thinking of you

    Mameeskye
     
  7. Gillian8252

    Gillian8252 Registered User

    Jan 12, 2008
    4
    shropshire
    Is this the beginning?

    Just remembered she has also accused her sister of stealing her hair rollers and a teddy from her house in the summer.I have never met this sister and she only visits once ayear ,i do know my MIl rang the son up and threatened to get police on her .If this is a mental illness does it sound like its early stages ,im so worried whats going to happen next?.
     
  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,572
    Kent
    Hello Gillian,

    If your FIL won`t see the GP, perhaps your husband could go. The GP won`t discuss his mother with him, but will listen to his concerns and perhaps give some advice regarding the next steps forwards.

    If your husband wrote everything down that was worrying him, the GP would see it is not just a case of a couple of trivial incidents.

    Both your inlaws sound in desperate need of help.

    Take care xx
     
  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Dear Gillian

    Well I'm pleased that your husband is being supportive over this. It's pointless for us to speculate on why your FIL can't (or won't) see what is happening, but I think it's fair to say that denial of symptoms is not unheard of: you might call it the head in the sand approach to dementia. Unfortunately despite what your SIL says, it is very unlikely to "blow over": once someone starts making these sorts of accusations/assertions they don't generally stop. Not to sound depressing, but hopefully if you withdraw from the situation someone else will start to get the blame for these losses, and maybe that will push the rest of the family to seek help for her.

    I think it's extremely unfortunate that your FIL has decided to withdraw from your daughter's life. However, although he may "say" it's because he believes you have been stealing it is entirely likely he's using this as an excuse - if your MIL is being difficult about him going out, if she isn't safe to be left alone, if she accuses him of "being up to something" if he goes out without her - any of these are entirely possible scenarios.

    Although we don't think of a dementia as a mental illness per se, there is a concept that your story has reminded me of:, family members of some people with mental illness may start to exhibit increasingly bizarre behaviour themselves as, unwittingly, they attempt to make the person's behaviour normal by behaving abnormally themselves.

    This is obviously very hurtful for you. Sadly, however, almost certainly it will not be long before others have to realise that this is not normal behaviour.
     
  10. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    Dear Gillian,
    You have my utmost sympathy - this is a truly appalling situation for you.

    But I'm so glad you can see it is related to some sort of illness - it could be dementia but it really needs a proper medical diagnosis.

    You have had good advice here. I think it is essential that your husband visits the doctor and asks him to help, as Sylvia wisely suggested. Perhaps your hubby could ask the doctor to arrange a "check up" on some basis, so your DadIL would bring your MumIL into the surgery? That would allow the doctor a chance to examine her himself.

    Perhaps you could ask hubby to ask his Dad to keep a look out at home for some of the things you have supposedly taken?? if any of these things a spare key from her house , a goldwatch ,a bible ,a poem book and a pen 2 horse ornaments were to turn up again (which they will!!) then your FIL might begin to see your MIL has a problem . . . . . ????

    Although we don't think of a dementia as a mental illness per se, there is a concept that your story has reminded me of:, family members of some people with mental illness may start to exhibit increasingly bizarre behaviour themselves as, unwittingly, they attempt to make the person's behaviour normal by behaving abnormally themselves.

    I think Jennifer has a good point here. Many people, confronted with some sort of mental illness, just cannot accept that this is what it is - especially in a loved one. In the older generation, this is increasingly likely to be so, maybe because many of them feel mental illness (or disability) somehow makes the person a "lesser being". :eek: Or they feel that it is brought on, not by illness, but by "something" the person has done.

    As we know, this is absolutely NOT true, but it is hard to change the beliefs of a life time, especially those acquired in early life, probably from one's own parents.

    When I am horrified that my own Mum (85) holds such beliefs, I remember that she learnt them as a child from HER parents who grew up in the first years of the twentieth century. Very little was then known about mental illness (or disability) so some very strange and wrong "beliefs" were held.

    I can only say that you have my deepest sympathy, and I hope that, in time, this whole horrible mess can be sorted out. In the meantime, these are for you!


    {{{HUGS}}}
     
  11. Doreen99

    Doreen99 Registered User

    Jan 12, 2008
    66
    Sheffield
    Sounds like your father-in-law is denial, probably for the reasons other posters have mentioned.

    I think the idea of your husband speaking to the GP to explain his concerns is an excellent one. It will at least give you the peace of mind knowing that a medical professional is aware of the situation.

    I know this is going to be very difficult, but you need to try not to take what your mother-in-law is saying personally. It's no reflection of her true opinion of you, it's down to the disease she's suffering from her. She's accused other people as well, so it's just a symptom.

    Your father-in-law is going to have to come to terms with what is happening to her, but it's likely to be very difficult for him, so I think the suggestion that you take a step back is a very sound one. Maybe writing to him, assuring him of your support, might be helpful. But I wouldn't mention the possibility of dementia, that would likely set up an instant block in his mind. Just tell him you're sad about the misunderstanding and that you'll be there when he needs your support.
     
  12. Gillian8252

    Gillian8252 Registered User

    Jan 12, 2008
    4
    shropshire
    Thankyou everyone for the advice.I have woke up this morning and feel utterly depressed ,i cant stop crying and dont wont to go to work .I lost my own Dad 5 years ago ,and i havent felt like this since then.I am going to make an appointment for myself and my husband today to go and see her doctor.I am worried we wont be taken seriously and he'll make us feel like timewasters ,this is also is worrying me.I have tried to write my own letter to them both over the weekend but i think its a bit harsh as i have really put how i feel and to me i'm disgusted.I feel sick .I pray for a miracle today as its affecting me big time.GIllian
     
  13. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,572
    Kent
    Dear Gillian

    Why should the doctor think you`re time wasting? I`m sure you`ll be taken seriously.

    Re write the letter if you think it`s too harsh and send it.

    You are obviously in a very distressed state and need to do something.

    Post back when you`ve seen the doctor.

    Love xx
     
  14. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Dear Gillian, you sound so stressed. You're right to see your MIL's doctor, and I'm sure he'll listen and take you seriously. He won't be able to talk to you about your MIL though, because of patient confidentiality.

    Try to persuade him to find an excuse to visit, or to call MIL in for a check-up.

    As for the letter to your parents in law, I'd leave it for a while, until you feel less stressed, and you feel you have the support of their GP. I know how hard it is to keep your feelings out of what you are writing, when you feel so hurt and let down.

    I think you should also make an appointment to see your own doctor. No-one can operate under such stress, and you need some help to tide you over this bad patch.

    Please let us know how you get on.
     
  15. Doreen99

    Doreen99 Registered User

    Jan 12, 2008
    66
    Sheffield
    Hi Gillian

    sorry to hear you're in such a state. The doctor won't think that your concern is timewasting, just consideration.

    You should see a doctor yourself, and be honest about the way you're feeling. If you need a bit of help - like anti-depressants - to see you over this bad patch, you should get it. Anti-depressants are not addictive and they don't zonk you out. All they do is re-balance your brain chemicals and make you a bit more "yourself". They can be taken short-term with very good effect. I've been on and off them for years and they've always helped at the bad times.

    Please try not to take the attitude that there's something wrong with you becaue you can't cope - it's not your fault, it's a horrendous situation you're in and anybody would struggle to get through it. It's all too easy to be harder on ourselves than we ever would be on other people and it's important you learn to be kind to yourself, as well as others.

    Please know I'm thinking of you and let us now how you get on.
     
  16. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    HI Gillian

    (hugs)

    Hope that you get on OK with the GP> I think that the GP will listen if both of you express your concerns together in an appointment.

    I would also suggest chatting to your own GP. You may or may not find medication helpful but the act of chatting through this bizarre situation with someone who knows that these things do occur may in itself be cathartic and help you.

    The mere feel of illness will be opening up feelings of grief for your Dad and the depression that you feel is probably all part of it. My dad died ten years ago this week and this year I am feeling it as my Mum is going downhill too and I have some hard things to do this week eventhough I have reached acceptance over Dad's death grief creeps up unannounced at times and bites you!

    Just to let you know I'm thinking about you

    Mameeskye
     

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