Manipulation - tantrums - emotional blackmail

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by harvey, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. harvey

    harvey Registered User

    Aug 10, 2007
    We have had a bad couple of days!
    MIL wants to go back to Ireland for 'one last time.' As she is incapable now of making such arrangements we have spent hours trying to fulfill her wishes. As this was not possible we found the best compromise we could [not the exact spot she wanted to be]

    Yesterday my husband told her what we had managed to find and asked should he book. She said she was not sure she could afford it! She is very well off and this was just some sort of excuse. We then said that we would take her to the travel agent and they would tell her exactly how much it would cost and then she could make her decision. She then took offence as she said we were forcing her into making a decision, we explained that we could not make a booking without her consent. I didn't want to go in the first place as I think it is going to be a nightmare but could not deny her a final visit.
    Then she turns on the 'poor little me act.' She is unable to leave the house without one of us, refuses all help from anyone else, dictates where and when we go anywhere. She is frail [88] but strong.
    Today we have had more than half a dozen phone calls and spent over two hours trying to explain. At one point my husband was getting so frustrated I took the phone off him and cut her off!
    She phoned back straight away. We are in a no win situation where she wants to go, she does not want to pay the going rate, she wants us to call all her relatives to say we are going but will not commit herself.
    She then tries the emotional blackmail by saying that she is going to dig the garden, try and walk to the shops etc all things she is not capable of doing but just to get us worrying and so get her own way. This time she is not going to get it!
    All the upset causes her to not eat, sleep and her back to hurt according to her. She even admitted that Dad had always let her have her own way!
    One minute she looks as though she is at deaths door and the next she is bouncing like Tigger!

    Got that off my chest and once again feel better, thanks TP!:(:eek:
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Dear Harvey

    It sounds as if your mil is the ace manipulator!

    You know what the answer is -- don't allow yourself to be manipulated!

    Tell her the holiday is a special rate, and unless she decides tomorrow it will be too late. Don't argue about the cost, tell her what it is, and the price will go up after tomorrow!

    I know, it's hard, maybe impossible. But you really can't let her carry on like this, you and your husband will be ill.

    Much sympathy,
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Harvey.

    It sounds to me as if your mother would likke to go but can`t really face it.

    I`ve had this with my husband. he wants to do A, B and C, but when push comes to shove he backs down.

    She probably does want to go to Ireland but finds the thought daunting. So she is making excuses so she can put the blame on you.

    When my husband wanted to go to visit old friends, he backed down once we arrived, saying it was too upsetting to have to say goodbye again.

    I might be completely wrong, but just thought it may be possible.
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    your find that someone with a mental illness can not make a diction for fear of making the wrong diction , you could say that someone that does not have a mental illness find its hard to make a diction anyway , but someone with a mental illness the person not thinking with a clear balance mind let alone someone with a dementia that is progressive & only gets worse .

    So it can be perceived as Manipulation - tantrums - emotional blackmail .
    you now have to make the dictions for her , it may sound wrong but play along with her , Just say when your ready we go .

    I learn the hard way

    she telling you what she like to do , but knows she can't do it herself as you know already . Just say I bet you must miss not doing that any more yourself , don't worry we sort out some help for you . Turn it all around on to her .
  5. HelenMG

    HelenMG Registered User

    May 1, 2008
    Dublin, Ireland
    Hi Harvey,

    My Dad (91) likes to think about going away on a holiday, we always went on holidays as children and he drove all over the country with his job. He is not able to travel on his own anymore so for the last two years I have taken him away on holidays to the same place and each time. The journey was usually traumatic enough (4 hours in the car). On both occasions he wanted to go home straight away but I persueded him to stay the night and said I would take him home the next day if he really wanted to but that I was coming back as it was my holiday too. this gave him time to settle. Both times he settled in and then enjoyed himself and does remember them now with pleasure, The holidays were still hard work for me But I am so pleased he still remembers them and some of the things we did. You do have to persude your Mum someway to part with some money (so very hard sometimes!). I don't think I can take my dad to the same place again this year, the journey is too long and he is much more confused. If you think your mum would enjoy it and is "able" I would do it. It won't be without stress for you but if you make it seem that it was a great idea of hers, and that all her relatives are so pleased she is visiting, she could very well have very happy memories of it. My dad bought a new cap the first timewe went away and a new tie the second time and he regularly remembers that he bought them when we were on holidays. That is a lovely memory for me too.

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