Subject borrowed from Fiona-It Gradually Hit Me-The Whole PDNetwork Doesn't Care

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looloo

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I put this in the Friends, Neighbors, Acquaintances and Coworkers section, but feel free to move if it should go elsewhere.

Thank you to Fiona for her earlier thread: http://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=52458.0 "When It Finally Hits You...She Really Doesn't Care".

Just have to vent, so thanks in advance for letting me unload here  :).  Probably the biggest source of my long-running, and increasing sense of  burnout in managing my elderly Nmother's care and many other affairs of her daily living, is that I haven't been able to shut the door on the few remaining relationships she still has with other people.  I've noticed that the people who tend to remain in my mother's world are at the very least, irritating and inconsiderate.  At the worst, they're horribly manipulative, drama-ridden, and in the case of my PD brother and his bat-sh-t crazy wife, actually give me a feeling of being threatened and in danger.

I know I was in the FOG and horribly naïve when I signed on to handle her affairs about 6 years ago (GOD, I'm tired just thinking about it).  I thought I'd finally prove to her that she could be proud of me, that she might appreciate me  :sadno:.  No, of course not, I get that now, and am actually pretty much over that.  It's the continuously occuring situations that involve these other people, that make me want to pull the blankets over my head and never come out, or get into my car and drive away and never come back. 

I did NOT agree (and never would have agreed had I known) to put up with:
1.  That Crazy Neighbor of hers, who drove me nuts with her hysterical phone calls and emails, her nosy questions ("Does your mother have a will?" for instance), her behaving like the bratty sister I never had with her efforts sabotage me when I was still trying to get my mother to like me.  After about a year of her special brand of nonsense, I finally gathered the courage to politely and in writing, tell her to "step off."  She actually did--after one final email (thank GOD), so I did manage to get rid of her.  But I still have to hide from her prying eyes when I stop by my mother's house.  I have to park my car where she won't see it, and I duck in and out as quickly as possible... so the crazy hasn't been completely eliminated.
2.  My brother -- long story, but we have not had any kind of sibling relationship since we were elementary school age.  He's been "emotionally disturbed" his entire life (probably Schizoid PD I'm thinking), he got a lot worse as a teen and adult before he got a little bit better, and now that he's getting older and has married someone who's completely unhinged, it's all getting worse again.  I know now that his claim that he wanted to cultivate a better relationship after our father died was just a ploy; he just wanted to make sure he hadn't completely jeopardized his inheritance.  Again, I was so naïve, and I feel like a complete chump. 
3.  Brother's wife -- she must be a few tacos short of a combo plate or something.  Every few months for the last year or two, she's ambushed me via text message and FB email, demanding $$  :stars:  Seriously, that's all she does.  In a ranting, completely inarticulate text/email, she'll demand $$ from me.  W.T.F.??????  I block the number/email, and a few months later, she'll pop up again from another one.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  This is so ridiculous, and yet, whenever it happens, my adrenaline surges, I can't sleep, I'm overcome with anger. I've felt vulnerable enough that I've taken all these extra steps to hide my contact info from search engines, just in case.  When the time comes and I have to distribute my mother's estate, I'll use a p.o. box.  I don't want these people to find me, EVER.
4.  My mother's "friends", a married couple and their family, we've known them all my life.  I don't like the wife, although I think she and my mother deserve each other as friends.  They both get a kick out each other's personal tragedies while feigning concern.  The wife is on my 'restricted' list on FB (her posts are the obnoxious bragging-about-my-family variety), only so that when the time comes, I can notify her of my mother's death.  That's the ONLY reason.  She makes a show on my FB wall maybe once a year, acting concerned for my mother ("How is your mother? I haven't heard from her in ages!"  Well, yeah, because SHE HAS DEMENTIA!  :doh:).  When she made noises about possibly visiting her at some point over a year ago, I said that would be great, but if she wouldn't mind, please let me know ahead of time, since I coordinate her caregiver schedule, doctor's appts, etc.  She's only visited twice in the last few years (which I understand, they live over 3 hours away from each other, so I'm not judging that, but I think when the person you're visiting has DEMENTIA  >:(, it might behoove you to either call more often so they remember you, or just stop visiting -- I think that's also a perfectly valid decision).   Anyway, both times that she visited, she totally disregarded my request.  The latest time happened just yesterday, which is why I'm still fuming about it.  I'm NOT a control freak, I just would like to mitigate a little unnecessary chaos if possible.  The caregiver let me know, and I apologized to her for their interruption and the confusion it caused.  I spent the afternoon turning my head inside out, wondering if maybe I'd done something particularly awful to this woman that would cause her to be so inconsiderate.

I just want them ALL to be OUT of MY LIFE.  These people, some of whom are family members, in laws, or "like family" since I've known them my entire life -- they don't give a crap about me, they have no interest in my life, no concern whatsoever.  They're just buzzing around, doing whatever they feel like doing....   

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.”  Oscar Wilde.

"My actions are my true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand."  Thich Nhat Hanh

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clara

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Loo, I know it's small comfort to say that the time will come when this will be all over and you'll be free of the  noise and drama.  The trick is to hang in there in the  meantime and that can be some trick!  I've never been in your situation but I know from my experiences with various PDs that being indifferent about others (while feigning concern) and not caring seems to be one of their defining traits.  It seems to separate them from those with behavior disorders.  And it's maddening because it's difficult to understand how they can NOT care!  We keep hoping that the little lightbulb will eventually go off in their heads but nope, never does.

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looloo

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Thanks, Clara  :bighug:  I am hanging in there as best I can.  Trying not to hate everyone is really hard some days though.
“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.”  Oscar Wilde.

"My actions are my true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand."  Thich Nhat Hanh

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Laurie

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When my FIL passed away, my husband became responsible for MIL who has Alzheimer's disease.  The amount of work, even with MIL being in a care facility, was huge.  Half the work was legitimate duties of taking care of MIL's finances and health, while the other half was more trivial "nice to haves" generated by uNsil and others. 

DH and I are friendly and easygoing.  We were really blindsided by these silly people, and had to become much more skilled at boundary setting as a matter of our own survival.  We started seeing a T weekly for boundary setting coaching.  People didn't understand that in order for us to take care of MIL, we needed to take care of ourselves.  Also, if we were so distracted by more trivial matters, MIL's major needs might fall through the cracks.

Here are a couple phrases that helped:

That's a great idea!  I'm sure MIL would love that.  But we are swamped right now.  Is that something you could take care of?

We were pleased to learn that the facility where MIL lives takes care of XYZ.  Please call them to make that request.  We're sure MIL will love it and the facility will be happy to do it.  Here is their phone number.

As you know, care for the elderly can be very expensive  One of our main priorities for MIL is to make sure she has the financial capability to be taken care of for many years to come.  As such, our focus for Mom's finances need to be on Mom's care.  While Mom will give Christmas gifts to relatives, they will be relatively modest to ensure she will continue to have enough money for her own needs should her health fail.

A major priority for MIL needs to be getting to her doctor's appointments.  As such, we request that you please call first.  We don't want to inconvenience you.  However, if you arrive before a scheduled appointment, we will be taking her anyway as we're sure you'll agree her health is a key priority for all of us. 

I read in a book somewhere that people are often more willing to accept boundaries if they are phrased in terms of the elder's needs rather than the caregiver's needs.  That approach has worked better for us than talking about how exhausted we are.  We are willing to take on the major duties, but when someone comes with a to do list of low priority items, we try to suggest it might be something they could do.  The number of more trivial to dos coming at us since has decreased substantially.

We've also had to deal with people being in denial regarding MIL's condition.  It took some time for people to accept that she can't do the things she used to do.  We've sometimes let the doctor be the "bad guy" and explained that the doctor says she can't drive anymore etc.

I hope some of this helps.  I know the lack of consideration shown by others for those of us in eldercare situations can be truly unbelievable :stars: :tongue2:!
"If you can cut yourself – your mind – free of what other people do and say…and what the whirling chaos sweeps in from outside…then you can spend the time you have left in tranquility. And in kindness. And at peace with the spirit within you. " ~ Marcus Aurelius

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looloo

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Hi Laurie,
It's great to hear from people who really do understand, so thank you for that.  And thanks also for the tips -- those are great ways to deflect inconsiderate/boundary crossing/maybe just clueless people, and if you're dealing with someone who really does want to help, it's a good way to delegate!  ;D
“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.”  Oscar Wilde.

"My actions are my true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand."  Thich Nhat Hanh

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Arya

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I love that Oscar Wilde quote!

I'm heading into similar territory w PDm. I think she's mentally going round the bend, but it's in that inbetween stage where no ones going to declare them mentally incompetent yet....but they really aren't frikkin OK.

My PDm totally attracts and only likes totally F'd up ( also most likely PD) people. If she likes a doctor....if I meet them I'm garunteed to go OMG how does this person not lose their license...cray cray. If she likes a lawyer....they are garunteed to send up red flags as a shady slime ball...current estate attorney calls me up fairly often sounding very drunk. Her only friends are a guy who has Been diagnosed  NPD w a lengthy criminal record. She thought he was her BF...till his wife showed up. Now all 3 are supposedly friends. I suspect my PDm is Narcissistic enough to be impervious to NPD guy, and his wife is now both of their dish rag door mat.

I dunno it's so sketchy.....I find it exhausting. Defogged I see PDm as a really awful person who only likes really messed up people...who will never ever set boundaries or tell her anything she doesn't want to hear.  My PDm is like a crack or meth addict...like her brain seems that fried and addicted to getting her fix, which is just never oppose anything she does, the world has to only validate her and her needs. I don't think she uses drugs, but her mind/ behavior just plain smack of a smack addict!