Brief (not really) introduction

Hi everyone,

I guess I’ve joined here so that I can talk a bit about my story and seek advice or support from others.

Myself (28) and my partner (32) have been together for 5 years. We rent a lovely property and our lives and careers were on the up. We both have demanding, stressful but well-paid jobs.

Until, his father was made redundant from his job abroad.

His father and his mother had to return to the UK with no savings, no belongings, nothing but the clothes on their back. They’re both in their early 60s. Obviously that has had mental health implications for the both of them especially as they have had to rely heavily on their children and children’s partners.

My partner and I converted our spare room so that his mother could stay with us. She has a list as long as my arm of medical conditions, COPD, diverticulitis, incontinence, irregular heart rhythm, mastocytosis, neuropathy, chronic pancreatitis, kidney disease, malnutrition, adrenal disease, several severe mental health problems, as well as being a smoker and alcoholic. His father is staying with his sister whilst he’s looking for jobs but for the past 5-months has been unsuccessful. He has a lot of skills and experience but seems to be being passed over due to his age and being so close to retirement (next year).

My partner and I have become carers for his mother due to her health. We have encouraged her to reduced the amount she smokes (successful), she was an alcoholic and is now abstinent (despite a few relapses), she takes her medication as directed now that we manage it for her. She has begun to eat regular meals and washes and dresses every other day now. All in all, she would self-neglect if it wasn’t for us helping her with almost every aspect of her life. She doesn’t go out of the house unless accompanied, partly due to mental health but also because she can’t walk very far.

The long-term plan is that when his father gets a job/pension that they will get their own property but I am terrified that all the hard work in improving her health will be undone because his father will not be able to care for her. The reason why she is in this condition is because she received no care when they lived abroad. She had a steady decline which we were not aware of. We have now made referrals to the local authority and are awaiting an assessment. She is not eligible for PIP but is on the higher rate for DLA. We were rejected a blue badge which we are appealing.

A big concern of mine is that our property is a Victorian-build, very high ceilings meaning an extremely steep set of stairs up to the bedrooms and bathroom, stairs down into the kitchen, and two large sets at the front door. I am terrified that his mother is going to fall down them. She has had 3 falls in the last 4-months (all associated with alcohol intake requiring hospitalization). We have her under an alcohol service and she has been started on medication, we’ve removed all the alcohol from the house however as is with most addicts, they always find a way.

In a very selfish sense, I sometime feel like this isn’t my problem. It is having a large impact on our relationship and it is really affecting my mental health. I’ve spoken with Samaritans on a few occasions because I get so scared and panicked. I don’t feel safe or able to relax in my own home. I get no breaks. I work in a caring industry so there is a lot of expectation and responsibility on me to know what to do and what to say. But I just can’t cope with it. Some days I want to suggest a care home. But I know the family would not agree to that or be able to afford it. His mother has capacity and is in no way mentally impaired, but she clearly is not able to care for herself. And we / I are unable to continue caring for her. I have, on occasions, left the house and gone to stay with my parents but this causes my partner and his mother stress and worry that I’m leaving and that they are a burden and that I won’t come back. I wouldn’t do that to them because I feel like they are my family now. But I’ve got to find an alternative otherwise I’m going to break.

Her health continues to deteriorate. She was hospitalised last week due to concealed alcohol and a worsening of her chronic pancreatitis. She’s lost 28kg in 8-months and has been investigated for cancer under a variety of specialisms, thankfully all clear.

I’ve tried to keep the story short but it hasn’t really been. There’s just so much going on and it feels like every day there is a new challenge.

Thanks for reading,

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You need to make a stand, or this is going to ruin your life.
Brutal, but honest. They need to find somewhere to rent, asap.
If she is entitled to benefits she should be entitled to support from Social Services.
What is their financial situation? Is there a lump sum or are they skint?

She is NOT your responsibility, but that of her husband.
As they are living apart now, which to me is odd, is there a divorce pending???
Is he just glad to have someone else caring for her, effectively dumping everything on you?
How old are the parents, you, and your husband?
Any children at home?

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@MBrown Hi Hon - BIG BIG HUGS

I’m so glad you’re reaching out and joined the forum. Welcome. This is a BIG brave step to connect with others - all of us - who get it. We understand. Our experiences may be different to yours every individual experience of caring is unique, but all the stresses and strains are themes of being perfectly imperfect humans struggling through life. I hear you.

I’m going to be the truth-sayer and painful reality check here. You are in an UNSAFE situation. You already know it, that’s why you contacted Samaritans
We could explain the emotions. We can talk about the stresses - we get all that, but hon this is an unbreakable negative cycle until someone breaks it.
You’ve reached out to us because perhaps you already know it and need more ‘brave’ support.?!?

You can absolutely love his Mum, his Dad, your partner - AND do what’s best for them which is

  • not be in a house where there’s more falls
  • get alcoholism support in a facility (I’ve no experience of this but someone may chime in here)
  • figure out long term support and care so the husband - father CAN work AND be with his wife, knowing his wife is cared for…and yes, your worry about her NOT being cared for when she’s with him sounds very real as a risk

THIS IS NOT BEING SELFISH - sorry but shouty text required to overturn whatever your inner critic is telling you. I’m reframing thus whole thing to tell you that the most adult, respectful and loving thing would be to orchestrate a situation where there is proper, medically trained support and care long term.
The emotional burden the mother and your partner are putting on you is what I call
‘abdicating responsibility and accountability’ for themselves and their role in all this - especially if she has mental capacity

Forgive me for the brutal words, all the CAPS! and also if I’ve misread the situation.
Tough love means breaking the vicious cycle.
Unfortunately, when humans are stuck in repeating dynamics, behaviours it = a comfort zone rut, that’s very hard to get out of…

Hon you’ve reached out to people, talked to the Samaritans, tried to take breaks for your own health with your parents - unfortunately it’s only you being courageous, brave and trying to shift the dynamics and improve the situation…SO I’m sorry to say it’ll be only YOU that’ll break this whole negative :poop: :poop: :poop:

There are MANY MANY supporters on here who can help define small steps, there is the Carers UK helpline Helpline and other support | Carers UK

Leverage all the support you can get - you need more people to share this load, and DOING things with you, so you’re not alone…but things do need doing

BIG hugs…and can I just say how brave, and wise and courageous you are for someone who’s not reached even 30 years of age yet!!! Holy Moly!!!


I cannot imagine how they could come back to the UK with absolutely nothing, in their Sixties.
They really do need to be made to realise that they can’t sponge off of you and your husband, because this is the time in your life you should be having a career, friends, fun, holidays…
Did they tell you they were coming back in advance, and why?
What sort of work does Father in Law (FIL) do?


Thank you for responding!

I was worried I was going to be screaming into the dark!

They are in a very poor financial situation. Whilst living abroad they used all of their savings and assets to pay for her medical treatment / medication etc… When FIL reaches retirement he will be entitled to a good amount but at the moment is unable to access. They had to ship the remainder of their belongings and that essentially was the last month they had. The shipping is estimated to take 3-6 months. But when that arrives, I have no clue where it’s going to go. It’s things like clothes and kitchen utensils. No white goods or furniture.

They are technically divorced. Their family history is rather odd. MIL was married to someone else before my partner or his sister were born, from what I know that relationship was abusive / SA and she has attempted to shelter her children by not discussing it. MIL and FIL were married but got divorced and stayed friends / on good terms to raise the children. As they got older the prospects of finding a new partner was a not a priority. Now they are getting even older they have come back together in a sort of friendship / relationship / companionship. I must admit it is a strange dynamic. When they lived abroad, their divorce was not recognised due to the country they were in. Therefore it was like they were married again. It’s a bit confusing.

They live apart now purely due to financial reasons. They would both be homeless if myself and my partner, and his sister didn’t have spare rooms for them to stay in. That’s something I didn’t mention before is the financial burden on us. Our energy bills and food bills have soared and they have no way of contributing. MIL has begun to pay us some of her DLA to help out, and we’re hoping to get her housing allowance but that is taking a very long time to organise. She is acuitly aware of the burden and mentions it often, ‘the amount I owe you in rent arrears’ etc…

I honestly think that FIL thought that everything was fine. He is, in my partner’s words, a bit weak when it comes to his mother. She has him wrapped around her little finger. The alcoholism masked a lot of the issues. And her mental health has always been the same. She self-medicates through various unhealthy means.

MIL (61yo), FIL (65yo), my partner (32yo), and I (28yo). My partner and I don’t have children and there is no prospect of that on the horizon. We aren’t even engaged / married. We’ve only lived together for 3-years.

To answer your second post as well, they had 2-months notice that they needed to come back when he was made redundant. Essentially he was too expensive! FIL was looking for jobs in the country they were in and not in the UK, under the illusion he would find something quickly. He works in entertainment venue management, things like museums / theme parks / ice rinks / cinemas etc… at a director level and those roles don’t come along everyday.

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Thank you so much for your kind words @Victoria_1806

I agree that the situation is unsafe. It does scare me that our property is not suitable.

I’ve been through a lot in my history which has made me quite resilient, I had a tough time through COVID as I work in Intensive Care. I’ve been forced to grow up quickly all my life.

I love my partner but he doesn’t see the risks that my trained eye can see. I’m the one suggesting social care, what benefits to claim for, lets get MIL a dentist, lets get MIL an eye test etc… things like that where she’s clearly self-neglecting for many, many years. I like your phrase ‘abdicating responsibility and accountability’. That is exactly how it feels!!

We are bringing in a new cycle, a new routine. MIL has to have a wash every day and get dressed in appropriate clothes (with assistance), that is a non-negotiable rule now. She used to wear the same PJs 24/7 for a week and then have a bath maybe once a fortnight. So we’ve made a huge difference to how she was and I can see that she’s getting healthier. Her hair is thicker, her skin isn’t grey, her nails are growing back. But obviously we can’t keep providing the support and care we are. I’d like to hand that over to carers or even promote her to do it herself!!

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As you work in Intensive Care, a hugely demanding job, it’s vital you have down time peace and quiet and a happy life away from work.
However, I’m sure everyone else in the family is thinking that given your experience they can dump her on you as you can cope with anything!
FIL is going to have to lower his sights and take any job to support his wife. However I think you need to talk to him about their legal relationship, and Power of Attorney. Does he want her back? From what you describe about her personal neglect, there’s a whole lot more going on under the surface. Can work offer you counselling? I’m a very capable person but after I was widowed, disabled in a car accident, a few months after a nephrectomy, with disabled mum and son, I had some private counselling, so I had someone outside the family to share things with. Hugely helpful. With no savings, if mum is able to claim DLA she should be giving all of it to you to contribute to her costs in my opinion. Is she entitled to or claiming any pension or income support? Our Carers UK helpline can give you more information.


I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been through @bowlingbun . I hope you’re now in a better place?

I was diagnosed with PTSD and burn out during COVID, I know that’ll take years to fully recover and live with. I had trauma focused therapy at the time which I found extremely helpful but now struggling to apply those tools to my current situation. I’ve spoken with my GP and I’ve been referred on to talking therapies, so just waiting on that for myself. My Practice also has a mental health nurse who is investigating me for ADHD. Personally, I don’t think I am however my partner seem to think I display some traits but remain high-functioning.

I tend to take on a lot of my families issues as well. My aunty recently died from Non-Hodgkin’s, her funeral was 2-weeks ago, and my Nan had part of her lung removed due to cancer later that same week. We found out a few days ago that it has spread to her lymph nodes. It feels like my life revolves around the care and health of others.

There are a few promising roles on the horizon for FIL. He regularly attends Job Fairs and submits new applications multiple times a day (myself and partner proof-read them). I do think he is fighting against his age. We told him to take his DOB off his CV and he started to get a lot more interviews thereafter. But in one interview they outright asked him how old he was (which I don’t think is legal / PC).

I think FIL desperately wants to be back with MIL, in their own property wherever that might be. But I don’t think it would be safe. I think they realise that as well which is why they’ve allowed us to seek local authority support / social care. I’m just at my wits end waiting for something to happen.

A POA is a brilliant idea. MIL has said to me several times before that if her health deteriorates to a point where she is critically unwell, she does not want a ventilator or resuscitating. I’ve told her that without Advance Planning, they would have to provide CPR, especially considering she is only 61yo, but she insists that she does not want that. It’s hard having those conversations with her but when she does have them with her Children they shut her down and don’t want to hear it. I do worry whether that is another form of self-neglect. Whether she’s just given up on life and is waiting to die. Which would explain her behaviour and previous suicide attempts. I don’t think she’s currently at risk and there are safety measures we have in place for that. But it’s tough going.

My work have offered Occupational Support previously but I’m currently on notice as I’m starting a new role in April. Throughout all this I’ve managed to secure a large promote at a different hospital which hugely boosted my confidence and is amazing for me professionally. But then the guilt comes back that I’ve achieved something wonderful for myself when I have so much going on in my personal life. Then I spiral into feeling selfish that I chose to prioritise myself. I know in my head that is silly but it’s hard to control those emotions.

Thank you both again for your support. I might contact the Helpline, I’ll need to find some time when I am alone so I can talk freely without MIL or Partner overhearing me talk candidly.


First, congratulations on your promotion. Well done. We bought a house mid way between our parents in 1976, but as they got older they all developed serious health issues.
It’s very easy for family members to say things which make you feel guilty, or you have to do things, looking back they were just incredibly selfish, knowing I would step in if they didn’t. So mum might not see either son for a year, but family were quick enough wanting her money after she died!

You must have worked really hard to earn your promotion, feel proud, then use it to your advantage.
Set boundaries about what you will and won’t be able to do in the future.
However much they want you to do everything, a lot of it can be done by someone else.

With regard to Power of Attorney, do it sooner rather than later as MIL seems to be frail. Have you and your husband done one, if not say you are doing yours and she needs to do one as well.


Thank you! I worked really hard for it and am very proud of myself but I feel like I’m going to lose that if my home situation remains the same.

Having a bad day today. MIL is extremely tired due to her chronic pancreatitis and the amount of pain relief she is on is making her more drowsy. She has neuropathy so is always unsteady. The combination of the two have me on edge. Every action makes me think that she’s going to hurt herself or fall again. She’s been up and down all day, falling asleep and then getting up to try and cook and we’re having to intervene and help her. All the while neglecting our work duties.

I went to the Pharmacy whilst my partner encouraged her to wash and get dressed and eat something. She only had the filling from a small sandwich, brushed her hair and did get changed, at least there’s that.

I collected her medication and stopped in at the GP on the way past; we’re waiting a follow-up appointment as she’s been having brown urine but since she fell last week and was in hospital she couldn’t attend the previous appointment. I really hope the GP calls soon/tomorrow. It’s only been a few days since the Social Worker rang us but said it could be weeks before they could come for an assessment. I don’t think I can handle a few weeks.

I sometimes wonder whether I could orchestrate a work event that will take me away for a few days/week, or whether I can pretend to be sick and go and stay with my parents for a short while. But both of those options sound unbelievable and MIL would know I was running away. And they would take time to plan and I need the relief now as I am having panic attacks daily.

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You CANNOT be forced to care. Not even for a partner.
Write a letter to Social Services saying that "as from… you will no longer be providing any care for her. This won’t go down well but will save your sanity.
Have you spoken to your GP about how you are feeling about all this?


My GP has referred me to talking therapies but the waiting list is long. They also have a mental health practitioner who has referred me to an ADHD service, which I’m not convinced I have.

They didn’t offer me any medication and I didn’t ask. I’m not sure if it will help me in the short term or long term. As this seems situational I’m hopeful that I won’t need long-term medication if we can get the appropriate support and care in place.

I’m going to submit an AskMyGP request as you’ve made me think that is one avenue I could explore further.

Once my mother has finished work I’m going to call her as well and see if we can arrange for me to come and stay with her for a little while. She’s always said her door is open for me to come if needed. She’s extremely supportive but worries a lot about me. She has never met MIL and I would be reluctant to introduce them.

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Would it be financially possible to use a private counsellor?
Not running away, but taking a break as you have been doing at least two jobs, work and her! It’s allowed. As I’m slightly disable, with a brain damaged son in his own flat, eldest son at home, grandson a lot of the time, I go away several times a year. I stay in small self catering cottages in quiet locations. Where I can sleep, potter round the area, and if I feel like it, sew! Getting ready seems too much effort, but it’s vital for me.
Sometimes my eldest will say “Go away mum, you are too tired”.
I have read that you get what you are prepared to put up with. At work you have to deal with anything and everything. The same does not apply. It’s YOUR home, YOUR rules.

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@MBrown and @bowlingbun
Ok - Mum’s just settled down for the night, so I can write a reply now

@MBrown you’re doing the ‘superhuman, superhero’ thing - you know the one that says women are meant to do everything, have everything and still look like a siren at the end of the day. You can’t do everything for everyone and please everyone.

Hon- I’m really sorry but I think I’m going to be even more incisive than our lovely @bowlingbun
Reading between the lines you already know what you need to do, don’t you.

You can love someone and several people but if they’re all abdicating responsibility and power from decision making - it’s ALL on you right now.
You’ve proven you are superhuman by getting a big promotion - and you already know none of this will be sustainable when you start your new job. You literally said that in the text.

you are ONLY HUMAN!
I wouldn’t be so harsh and direct if I didn’t think you already know what you need to do. I think you’re looking for validation, support to do the BIG step that you know you need to do.

Reality check - if you weren’t around and it was just your partner, what do you think would happen?
You’ve made the situation better, but if you hadn’t been there it would have forced something to happen, forced decision to be made by your partner and his siblings.
You’ve done a fabulous service for all of them, but…and this is harsh…you’ve also done them a disservice by propping them up…SORRY SORRY I hate to say it that way…

You see I was eyes wide open before I became a 100% full time carer of Dad what I was getting myself into and probably around 6 months before he died, I had to reconcile myself to the fact that no matter what I did something was going to happen and Dad would die…BUT - and we managed to have an adult conversation between tired dementia episodes - Dad was 1000% clear that I needed to survive him and live on, so I wasn’t to completely burn myself out…- this for me = 1 hour break every day…and a carer to be with him or Mum (when she wasn’t resting or having investigations at the time for her cancer)

It’s super-easy for me to say all this - I’m not in your situation and I realise nothing is without complications. I’m acutely aware that GP services, social services ALL take time, and ages to set up and when it does happen they’re not bespoke to what you actually need…it’s what THEY can offer - so it’s a mismatch of whatever that you still have to fit around…

Just like a hospital discharge that could be unsafe - if you said you’re not doing this any longer, you’d force everything to a complete reframe - your partner, his siblings, MIL, FIL and everyone would HAVE TO take responsibility, GP and social services included…TOUGH LOVE, safe love, and shaking everyone to see what you can see and they can’t…

I say all this because you’re 28, you’ve not had time to decide on how you want your work to progress and how you want or don’t want kids, or to freeze eggs for sometime later or travel or anything because you’re locked into a cycle NOT of your making…LIFE requires a big decision…

Personally, I’d love to hear that you’re taking 4 days for yourself in a hotel somewhere without anyone, to really take stock of what’s going on and psych yourself up. Help plan support for when you’re away and declare and publish your intention to be away on your own to everyone.
This could be the first step of forcing carers into the home.
People can shout, scream, say anything…but these are words, noises and fear and discomfort talking…they don’t have a claim on you only you do…

Can you tell I’m trying to Pep talk you up, and psych you up…you’ve all the gumption, the resilience and the brains - you do ICU work AND got yourself the big promotion. If you don’t stand up for yourself now I’ll be really concerned…but I think you already know this.

We’re here for you. Carers UK can help search local support.
Hon - you’re too young and smart to perpetuate an unsafe situation - for them and yourself…

Lastly, COVID trauma and any trauma can’t get treated well unless you have space. I say that guiltily because after some things that happened with Dad’s falls I did some counsel-therapy but I need more…Mum’s cancer surgeries and treatments and lots of other things were my excuse for not pursuing EMDR, but it’s still on my list…something for you to consider too.

I’m so impressed at how you’re surviving all this, but in equal measure scared :poop: :poop: less this will perpetuate to when you’re my age 50+ without having made conscious decisions about life…only reacting to your partner and his family… :scream: :scream:
SORRY but folks here know when I get on my soapbox or when I feel the need to speak truth I do…very loudly!

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@MBrown P.S Here’s a site for flexible working for your FIL
The companies have to meet a criteria of being flexible

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Hi @MBrown and welcome.

You are not screaming into the dark.

I fell into caring for my FIL by dint of his family deciding that they did not want him to go into residential care. The decision was made before anyone actually considered whether any of us were equipped to handle it. As his dementia only got worse over time, so did family relations. By the end almost all of the responsibilities were on my Hubby’s shoulders and mine and we just felt completely burned out yet felt we had to grimly soldier on. During this time my Mum’s health declined and so I started caring for her too. But none of my FILs family offered to help in the same way that I was helping to look after their Dad. Add to all this a stressful full time job and a teenage son to look after. I constantly felt that I was on the verge of a mental breakdown.

My point is that no-one in his family appeared to consider whether I would be OK with the arrangement and, truth be told, I pushed all those nagging thoughts about how we would cope, or whether we were doing the right thing, to the back of my mind and rolled up my sleeves and got on with it. If I was back there again at the start of it all, knowing what I know now, I would have made different choices.

If you feel unsafe, or that your MIL is unsafe within your home, do not agree to continue as you are. It’s perfectly right for you to take a step or two back and look at the situation objectively and make some decisions that will protect you. You say that you wouldn’t be able to talk candidly to the helpline if you partner were around to overhear - does he know how much the situation is affecting you? If you were to talk honestly with him and share your thoughts and feelings, would anything be likely to change for the better?


Maybe your partner should look after mum while you have a break? Then he will understand!

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One of the reasons I lurk here is that, too late, I realise how much I was manipulated by mum, dad, and brothers. There are things I can never forgive.
I believe that relatives who refuse to care have no right to influence what happens to the person needing care.
If you don’t stick up for yourself and the life you want to lead, no one else will.

Make plans that don’t involve father in law, because clearly he wasn’t able to meet her complex needs. What they want isn’t what she needs.
The arrival of a container isn’t going to change anything, or even FIL getting a good job. She needs somewhere, either sheltered housing or residential care, but there is a huge demand and shortage of supply.
Otherwise, there may be a “Shared Lives Scheme” in your area, roughly speaking like foster care for adults. A sort of half way house between living alone and residential care.

Don’t let MIL ruin your life.
If your partner chooses his mum’s well being over yours, then think very carefully about your future.


Thank you @Teddy123

I hope you are alright now?

I’ve tried to have conversations with him. Mainly over text message whilst we’re sitting across from each other :sweat_smile: so that his mother doesn’t know what we are discussing. I’ve explained to him not to include me in any carer arrangements from now on. I’ve also said that I don’t think his father should be responsible either because it’s clear he would not be able to meet her needs.

I can see it from his point of view. I’m the best person to provide the care and I’ve been propping the family up all this time (very helpful view from @Victoria_1806 who made me realise this) and now he’s having to think of other options; which are quite limited.

His sister is providing a small amount of support. She seems to be prioritising her work over her family but has on occasion been present to help with the big things such as hospitalisations etc… but nothing of the day to day.

My partner is going to a conference next week for two days. The arrangements he had made would leave me with his mother for two days alone. I outright told him no. I said that he needed to get his sister to either stay with his mother or take her to her house for those days. The other option would be putting her into respite care overnight. If not, then I would be leaving and staying at my parents for those days and she would be completely alone. (that option would be very incontinent for me as I have a vaccination appointment and a lunchtime work event that I would need to cancel as my parents live an hour away, and this is my home too! I should be able to do the things I need to do for my work and health).

In between finishing my current role at the end of March and starting my new role on the second week in April, I’ve managed to arrange myself 10-days off. I told my partner yesterday that I was going to book myself a holiday. He was quite supportive. Obviously I’d want him to come with me but he knows he can’t at the moment. He didn’t hold it against me. I think he does genuinely understand the impact this is having on me. I just think emotionally he’s struggling to accept that I will no longer be providing help.

@bowlingbun you’ve hit the nail on the head there. I do feel manipulated into being a carer and still feel guilty for standing up and voicing my feelings. And I completely agree about forward planning without FIL. This morning I’ve said as much to my partner who agrees. Hopefully when we are assessed by Social Care they will take that into consideration.

I think my partner’s biggest worry is that this will break us apart. I have that worry too. But he’s still walking that fine line between choosing so that he doesn’t have to confront that.

I’d just like to say a MASSIVE thank you to all of you for your support. I cannot express how much I appreciate being able to talk about this.


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Gosh I’m nearly tearing up by how brave and courageous you’re being considering how tired, stressed and exhausted you must be. I’m doing virtual claps, snaps, backflips and jiggly dance!

Ohhh so the conference 2 days will be the ‘kicker’ for accountability and responsibility then. Tough but important, and not too far away for things to lapse between your ‘Stand’ and him making something happen. It’s stressful, but so is everything right now and I hope he sees investing in a change now will enable longer term traction and support long term…because any support takes time and organisation so the family really need to start now!

I’m SO applauding you right now. It’s so tough but necessary for ALL your sakes and safety!
Everyone except you is in fear, discomfort and not dealing - if they’re not proactively seeking to do that and learn then the only thing that will help/change things is them REACTING to this change that you’re instigating.
They can shout, or even blame or see themselves as victims BUT YOU know we need to try to be the authors of our own life or life will keep happening AT us, …I’m thinking of what MIL will do as an alcoholic, depressive addict - it’s going to knock her, but that’s part of the disease of alcoholism-addiction in my humble view

Yes - this all sounded like the family was going to the furthest degree to avoid discomfort, conflict and confrontation based on FIL and MIL slightly confusing weird relationship dynamics and situation! Not exactly healthy relationship dynamics. BUT life’s tough and I’m not judging. Just concerned for YOU!

As a small giggle and light relief I did chuckle at the perhaps Freudian slip when you wrote
‘The option would be very incontinent…’ yep lots of :poop: :poop: :poop: would hit the fan!

I can’t wait to hear about what you’ll do for your 10 days off, proper R&R! SOOOO YAY YAY YAY!!!

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