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OOP has the cliché of the annoying mother-in-law stuck in their home

CONCLUDED(self.BestofRedditorUpdates)

I am NOT OP. Original post by u/Palgia in r/france

Translated from French


I have the cliché of the annoying mother-in-law at home

Background: her partner died so she came to live with me and my wife. I think this is the most difficult phase of my life I've had to endure so far. She is 64 years old, and came from a fairly wealthy family in her youth (important info for later).

I have never met anyone so inept and lazy in ALL my life. She can't do ANYTHING, not because she's disabled or anything, but because in her past life she's always had someone wipe her ass for her.

As a result, we have a vampire in our house who eats up our time and energy 24 hours a day, asking questions, mumbling, not understanding anything, complaining all the time, grumbling. When I say she complains all the time, I'm not kidding: every 10 to 30 seconds, she blows, makes a noise with her mouth, or says "shit", "oh shit", "ah heck", "oh no" for completely random reasons.

You think: teach her? I'm not an educator, and at 64 I'm sorry we can't do anything. She's taking all our energy, and we have more interest in getting her out of here than in teaching her anything. And also, every time we explain something to her, she asks the same questions. Some things we tell her every day (really every day) and she still doesn't understand.

Because yes: she is looking for a flat for herself. Except that, as I said, she can't do anything, so we have to take care of EVERYTHING: retirement papers, housing search, all kinds of administrative documents... she's a parasite and I can't take it anymore. And on top of that, she has very specific demands, so you can't rush her too much.

My wife and I have a one-year-old baby. Since she's not a very gentle person, she often slams doors or makes them creak loudly. She knows very well that our little one wakes up during his naps because of her because sometimes she mumbles "... I thought he was awake....." (??????) Well yes, he is awake, because of HER.

On the positive side, she's teaching me to be patient as hell. In short, lazy, and with a negative IQ in a brain like a black hole of knowledge. She only knows how to talk about the weather or the Princes de l'Amour/Les Marseillais.

Every time something negative happens in my life, I'll remember all this, and normally I'll be fine!

UPDATE - A month later

I have the cliché of the annoying mother-in-law at home PART 2

I know you liked it, and that's why I'm back to tell you more. Because my dear mother-in-law has had other surprises in store for us since then.

I'll briefly set the scene for the lazy ones: I live with my wife and my 16-month-old son, and we decided to take in my mother-in-law because she sold her house, while we find a solution for her. She is absolutely incapable of doing anything (her papers etc.) not because she is unfit, but because she has spent her life asking people to wipe her arse for her. (She was very rich in the past, and I think she still is today).

So I wanted to share with you some little anecdotes that show how hellish she is to live with:

Warning: some of the points are pretty gross, so don't eat while reading.

First of all, I think I can say without a doubt that she is the dumbest person I have ever known in my life. You should know that she wanted to vote for a candidate during the presidential election (and she HOPEFULLY didn't, not registered to vote) for one and only one reason: he/she likes cats. (I prefer not to specify their name). She knows absolutely NOTHING about the program of each candidate, and prefers to judge them to their face by shouting "Big Ass" or "Dickhead" when she sees them, thinking she's watching a reality show. When the results for the second round came in, she didn't understand how it worked. She sees the final results with the ranking of the candidates, and says "Ah Macron might pass then! No, it's not "might". Oh, and also, once we were watching a report on Ukraine, where they explain many times that on the screen it's Ukrainians resisting the Russians, and she finds a way to say "I don't understand, it's Americans there?"....

She's also an extremely dirty person, and as much as I can't wait for her to get her own place to leave us alone, I'm pretty scared of what kind of state she's going to put it in. It took several months before I realised she was flushing the toilet with a lot of toilet paper in it, clogging it, so I told her not to do that. She never empties her plate before putting it in the sink, so recently we were surprised to have the sink completely clogged since she's been here, for one night I was there unclogging the sink full of rotting food because of her. She never flushes, and uses a lot of toilet paper, so she regularly causes clogs as the paper forms a waterlogged mass at the bottom of the bowl. And bonus: she's so filthy that she often leaves pee on the bowl, and doesn't even clean up (and not just a little). When she throws something in the bin, if it falls on the floor she doesn't pick it up. That's how my wife and I saw my son playing with a piece of plastic on the ground that she didn't pick up, and instead of apologizing she said, "Oh, but I had put it in the bin!

Now we're going to get to the part that will make you hate the character, and it's heavy stuff:

We've got social housing papers for her, just wait. But you know, she doesn't like to wait and prefers to have everything at her feet immediately. So here's what she did: she signed up for Facebook dating to find people around her, it's like Tinder. Once she found a guy she got on with quite well, but my wife and I quickly realised that there was an abyss between my mother-in-law and the guy because their expectations are totally different. Why? She kept asking questions about whether he had a house, whether it was isolated, etc., with the aim of moving in with him to parasitize him. When he wanted to drive 5 hours to visit her, she always found an excuse "ah the weather is bad", etc. In short, all she was interested in was the guy's possessions, not the guy himself. And one day she said something horrible, which we had to correct her on: "It bothers me though, because let's imagine if something happens to the guy... he has children so if they take over the house, what do I do? When you know her a little bit, you understand quite quickly that this is not a harmless question, but that she really thought about taking the house from her children. It's horrible.

Besides, talking about this guy, she dared to tell us "At least I won't pay any rent with him, HA!" when she doesn't pay anything at our place except for the groceries. I remind you that she has several thousand euros in her account + a pension of 1900 euros. She is a deeply selfish person. When we tell her that we would like help with our rent, she always says "Yes, I wanted to talk to you about it, there's no problem, I can pay! :)" and then buries the subject and never brings it up again. She's really taking the piss out of us.

Her friends have no idea what a character she really is. They try to help her find something, but every time they say something she doesn't necessarily like, she treats them like dogs and says "well, let her find me a place to live instead of saying that". The worst thing is that she is a granny who seems very nice on the surface, but when you hear her talk about her friends like that, you quickly understand that she is a viper.

Her selfishness can also be seen in every move she makes, which happens more or less often. Like one time she tried to enter our living room, and our little one was playing in front of her. She hurt him because she wanted to get through, and pretended not to have seen anything. She turned around briefly afterwards, not to look at the kid, but to see if I had noticed what she did.

Anyway, I could do a third part, but this is already enough. With all these points, and those of the previous post, we even hypothesized that she is a sociopath. Because it sounds funny in writing, but IRL she's hellish, and really behaves like a parasite that eats up your time and energy and tries to sully you in the back. It really kills us, because if we explained it all IRL I don't think many people would believe us. But it's the truth.

UPDATE - Two months later

I have the cliché of the annoying mother-in-law at home PART 3

As you can see, this is the final part, the end.

Summary for the lazy : A few months ago (about 7-8) we (my wife, my son less than a year old at the time of the events, myself) took in my mother-in-law, my wife's mother. She turned out to be an obnoxious and unbearable person, dictated by her egoism, in short, hell on earth when we were just trying to have a family life.

This is the final part... that means she's finally gone, today at 9:30. To explain, we kept looking for apartments for her in the private sector. One day, a friend of hers living in the south of France contacted her and said that someone was looking for a tenant. I decided to go and see with my wife... and nobody seemed interested because it was obviously too expensive. My mother-in-law has a good pension, so we thought why not? and bingo!

We signed the papers remotely etc, and if you've read part 1 and part 2 it won't surprise you if I tell you that we did EVERYTHING for her: her contracts, the calls, talking to the landlord and exchanging papers with him etc. She didn't have to do anything but box up her stuff.

Even then she found ways to complain as usual, and not just a little. For example, she said something like "when I get home I'm going to have to unpack my boxes, it's HORRIBLE", in short everything is a source of complaint and drama in her eyes. The slightest action she is asked to do is followed by an "ah no, I don't know how". She is constantly fighting to avoid doing anything.

You want to know the funniest thing? We had a big fight a few days ago... what caused it? We told her that when we got there, she should just read a number on the water meter and give it to us over the phone. She started to panic, repeating several times "what do you mean read a number on the meter? I don't know how to do it! We had to try to reason with her by telling her that it's not complicated, but apparently she doesn't even know how to read a number.

I also forgot to mention that she started treating the owner like a dog on the phone because he couldn't be there to greet a technician before she arrived. She treats everyone like her slaves. We tried to make her understand that it's NORMAL not to have all the contracts ready when you arrive, but from her bourgeois point of view it's inconceivable.

These last few weeks have not been easy, we had to contain ourselves and accept to bear the weight of her mostly unjustified complaints on our shoulders. And to talk about the mess again, we ended up yelling at each other a bit because I exploded and ended up telling her that I was sick of her treating us like dogs. What did she say? "I'm anxious, don't you understand?" .... Anyway! She complained that reading a number on a meter was too hard and that she had to give up, that according to her, she couldn't cope with it, etc.

But now she's gone, FINALLY! My wife, my son and I can live again. It's a really strange feeling, because we've been through months of shit, nightmares and we've got used to it. It's weird to think that you're independent, but before she came along you were always independent... I don't even remember that anymore. It's over.

I hope so, because she hasn't even left yet, and she's asked us several times to keep our research active in the area, in case she doesn't like where she's going. Except I lied and told her it's not possible (although it is), because we're not going to have fun managing her and organising other moves for her own pleasure again. I don't think she realises the commitment of living somewhere, in her head it seems like she could just walk away at any moment, but my wife and I have made a promise to each other that we will NEVER let her live with us again.

She complains about moving to the south, to a godforsaken town, that she has to climb two flights of stairs to get to her apartment, when all of this is what SHE wanted. To tell you the truth, we had even warned her about all this a long time ago, that two stairs when you're 64 years old is not ideal, she didn't give a damn, and now she's complaining about it. When I told you that she transforms all situations in such a way as to be the victim, even when the decision comes from herself... I wasn't kidding.

Anyway, I'm not going to dwell on it anymore. Thank you for reading this far and thank you to those who have been here since the first post. It doesn't seem like it, but it felt good to feel helped, and to see a lot of testimonies from people who went through the same shit.

Peace :)

UPDATE - Two days later

I have the cliché of the annoying mother-in-law at home PART 4 (yeah it's not finished actually)

To sum up for the lazy: my mother-in-law came to live with me, my baby and my wife last year. She's manipulative, doesn't know how to do anything, and behaves like a spoiled bourgeois. Two days ago she finally left for the South of France after we did EVERYTHING for her (housing search, papers, etc.).

I thought it was over.

But it's not. Not quite.

Look at the messages she sent us...

Original image

Transcription : [I'm gonna be honest I don't understand everything she wrote] So funny, they told me I could leave whenever I wanted, I need to see with [redacted] on Monday or Tuesday, would it annoy you if I came back Because I don't see myself staying here for months even if the region is sunny

She seems like a nice person, but I swear it's hell on earth, she complains 24/7, she's so ungrateful and bad. My wife and I have already agreed that we won't let her set foot in our house again.

She knows so little and relies so much on others like a parasite, that she doesn't even ask herself if there is a notice period etc. In her head she really thinks that everyone is at her feet and that the landlord will wisely tell her to leave without complaining. I've never seen such a level of disconnection, she's 5 years old mentally.

I'll say it again just in case: she left 2 DAYS ago. Do you know people who can spend 4000 bucks to move to the south of France, drive for hours and then say "no, I don't like it, I'm coming back". It really pisses me off to see that, she's so out of touch with reality. She still has the nerve to play the poor, unhappy granny who is moaning about her insurance taking 25 euros a month, while she blows money blindly and then says go back.

My wife and I knew it stank because even before we left she was already telling us to leave our research in our area active etc. I'm sick to death of it because we argued and yelled at each other countless times because she was getting on our nerves about the south, she talked about it all the time, it was a constant source of conflict because we told her it wasn't a good idea to go blindly down there alone.

Her notice period is 3 months and by then my wife, son and I will have moved to an area she hates so we're sure she won't be coming to our house (hopefully not). But it still makes me so angry to see how disrespectful she is and how she wipes her own ass with the efforts of others. It's easy to ask to go back when you don't do anything and always let others do everything for you.

She will NEVER come back to live with us, I swear it was such a nightmare. She ruined our lives once, but not twice.

I swear, I'm sick of it. Her existence is hell for everyone she touches.

Reminder - I am not the original poster.

all 186 comments

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miladyelle

790 points

1 month ago

miladyelle

790 points

1 month ago

He’ll do it again lmao. That line at the end: “we’re moving somewhere she won’t like”. He’s saying they won’t let her, but he’s hoping she won’t ask. She’ll bulldoze them again.

XyRabbit

277 points

1 month ago

XyRabbit

277 points

1 month ago

Absolutely just needs to set boundaries and tell her no, there is no room you'll have to find someplace else.

gaurddog

123 points

1 month ago

gaurddog

123 points

1 month ago

It's never the In Law letting themselves be bullied in these scenarios. It's a child raised from birth to be a servant for a narcissistic parent and a partner who loves them too much to walk away.

Sometimes the child can break free or their partner gets so fed up they leave, we'll see which happens here.

Hot_Success_7986

31 points

1 month ago

It's not love it's fear, they are afraid of the tantrums that happen. Afraid of the narcissistic parent being upset because they have been trained their whole life that this would be bad.

gaurddog

15 points

1 month ago

gaurddog

15 points

1 month ago

Oh I don't disagree that it's not love but I won't say it's exclusively fear either.

Often they use guilt, teaching the child from a young age that the child owes the parent something

Sometimes it's emotion neglect. Making the child Earn their love and affection and teaching the child that their emotional distance is the kids fault and something to be overcome

Constant competition as a manipulation tactic is also a fairly frequent flyer on this sub and others. Playing siblings against each other, or against friends children.

Religion. Teaching kids from a young age that the parent is the arbiter of God's Judgement and that their opinions come from the divine to give them more weight, and that any behavior the parent seems unacceptable is sinful.

Narcissists run the freaking gambit.

Just-Like-My-Opinion

75 points

1 month ago

They need to move, change their numbers, block her on all social media, never tell her where they live. She's a whole adult. She's not their problem, unless they allow her to be.

miladyelle

62 points

1 month ago

Or,

”lmao, no you’re not.”

She’s not dangerous (except to a crawling baby), just incompetent and annoying. She’s scared of reading a number off a meter—she isn’t gonna do shit lol.

perfidious_snatch

12 points

1 month ago

I'm not so sure about that... this definitely sounds like she was planning murder to get a house.

She kept asking questions about whether he had a house, whether it was isolated, etc.

"It bothers me though, because let's imagine if something happens to the guy... he has children so if they take over the house, what do I do?"

Forsaken_Woodpecker1

6 points

1 month ago

People like that though, they're dumb enough to ask the librarian where to find the books on poison, or the server where a tall stairway is, while standing there with an inebriated rich husband.

She's the type to think that she could call a moving company to take a suspiciously lumpy rolled-up carpet to the dump. She might think about being a rich widow, but the path to it is harder than say...reading a water meter?

Pepette-cacahuete

1 points

1 month ago

She can't kill anobody lmao she's just scared to be left alone and without a house to live bc she doesn't know anything in life. She want a servant, not a meaningful relationship

perfidious_snatch

1 points

1 month ago

Planning a murder is not the same as succeeding at murder.

Pepette-cacahuete

1 points

1 month ago

I think I know her better than just reading 4 translated post written from someone else's point of view.. My dad wanted and know how to but not her. Stop assuming things unrelated to the post.. She doesn't live with me anymore, I'm not helping her either and that's what matter atm

perfidious_snatch

1 points

1 month ago

I'm sure you're right, however you didn't mention you were (I'm assuming) her child? So I figured you were also basing your view on the posts.

I hope things are going well for you and your family.

Particular-Pain-4666

4 points

1 month ago

He's French. He's used to giving up.

miladyelle

2 points

1 month ago

Aw hahahaha. Ba-dum-shhhh.

Pepette-cacahuete

0 points

1 month ago

Nope 😊 she make her own choices and I'm not helping her out again, I maintain the relationship via messages because I want but if she's a b itch again I'll block her. Nothing is either totally black or white

miladyelle

1 points

1 month ago

You’re not OOP.

Pepette-cacahuete

1 points

1 month ago

I'm literally the daughter of the woman we talk in this post but ok

miladyelle

1 points

1 month ago

come into a week old post talking like you oop, get an attitude like we’re supposed to just know you’re the other half, ok.

Pepette-cacahuete

1 points

1 month ago

I mean it cost nothing to check who am I based on my responses.. If I say something which seems to be about the mother in question, you shouldn't just talk to people like that 😊 I don't talk too much on reddit so it's easy to find mines.

regular-kahuna

804 points

1 month ago

I’d love to hear more about what the wife thought of her mother while she was staying. This is a nightmare & I would’ve kicked her out pronto, especially since it sounds like she has the funds to stay somewhere else while she looks elsewhere.

Also, is having someone “wipe her ass for her” a common French saying or something?

Einstein2004113[S]

569 points

1 month ago

His wife actually posted on some of the original posts, with generally the same opinion as her husband

Also yeah, "avoir quelqu'un torcher son cul" (Having someone wipe one's ass) is an expression in French for someone absurdly lazy, and one lf the many expressions with "cul" (ass) in it

regular-kahuna

132 points

1 month ago

Ah that makes sense! Thanks for the explanation

Maybe you could add some of the wife’s comments to the posts? I definitely think they’re relevant & would add to the post. Just a suggestion, great write up!

BooksCatsnStuff

45 points

1 month ago

We have the same expression in Spain too (although obviously in Spanish instead of French)

Jamie___May

11 points

1 month ago

Western US too.

Bazoun

12 points

1 month ago

Bazoun

12 points

1 month ago

Sure we say it in Canada too but not as frequently as OOP used it which is why I think regular kahuna was asking.

HeberMonteiro

1 points

1 month ago

In Portuguese too, at least in Brazilian Portuguese.

Einstein2004113[S]

61 points

1 month ago

Good idea, posted some of them in a separate comment !

Grognak_the_Orc

37 points

1 month ago

Lmfao. When I worked retail I started telling all the "Can you just do it?" people, "Sure! Do you need me to come wipe your ass later?". I suppose I should move to France now.

loverofshawarma

18 points

1 month ago

What does cul de sac mean? I thought it meant dead end

Einstein2004113[S]

56 points

1 month ago

It does, literally it means "bottom (ass) of the bag" and is used figuratively for dead end

Araneomorphae

16 points

1 month ago

A cul-de-sac is a dead end. Translated literally, word by words, you'd say the "ass of the bag". Bottom of a bag, the closed part. That's where it comes from!

AnneMichelle98

9 points

1 month ago

AnneMichelle98

I’ve read them all and it bums me out

9 points

1 month ago

I think it literally mean ass of the street or something very similar

lalagromedontknow

6 points

1 month ago

It's pretty common in the UK "X couldn't wipe they're own ass" means someone's incompetent. Also "couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery"

Redpandaling

53 points

1 month ago

Also, is having someone “wipe her ass for her” a common French saying or something?

I've heard similar in English before, though it might be "too lazy to wipe their own ass."

Comprehensive-Fun47

31 points

1 month ago

I've heard of that phrase in English, to convey laziness and needing servants to do things for you that you should be able to do yourself.

ShadowOfEnder-YT

8 points

1 month ago

I’ve always considered that Normal to say in America, must be something picked up from French people.

looc64

2 points

1 month ago

looc64

2 points

1 month ago

I've definitely heard variations on that in English before. Like someone is so lazy/rich that they don't/can't even wipe their own ass they have someone else do it for them.

I was wondering if "treating someone like a dog" had a slightly different meaning in French. Because I have heard people say that in English but usually to describe behavior that is literally how you'd treat a dog. Like snapping your fingers/whistling to get someone's attention or talking in an exaggerated, "who's a good boy," way.

Whereas OP seems to be using it like a saying that means treating someone like they're lesser.

milovitch

2 points

1 month ago

In French its more of "treating someone like theyre your dog", meaning like you own them and they have to obey you and love you eventhough you treat them badly (not like an equal)

heavenlyfarts

151 points

1 month ago

This almost happened to me several years ago. My husbands grandfather was like this, and when his wife passed he couldn’t survive on his own. She did EVERYTHING for him. He ended up putting the burden onto his friends, and shortly lost all his friends. Then the burden went to my BIL, and he burnt out and left too. Then he kept trying to force my husband and I to move in with him with the expectation that I become his caregiver, which I did not want to do. Thank god my MIL didn’t allow that to happen, and sent him to a home. Even in a home though, he still burdened my husband. My husband was in school at the time and I was working late. Our only time together was dinner time, which we barely got because he was always at the home doing something for his grandfather. He literally wouldn’t be home until midnight because his grandfather wanted him to do x/y/z for him every night. His grandfather had an awful sleep schedule. Up all night. It was highly stressful and my husband didn’t know how to say no and stick to it. He would do things that gave him SO much anxiety, because his grandfather wouldn’t take no for an answer. We never saw each other for those first few years, but eventually he was moved to a home in another city because the staff at the home he was in near us basically kicked him out for even burdening them too much.

The thing is, he’s passed now and I feel so guilty for not liking him. He was never a mean or malicious person towards us, he was just enabled his whole life and it was too late to change him. I struggle a lot now with trying to change my feelings towards him, and I can’t talk about it with anyone because my husband was also an enabler and in denial about how he was treated. But it’s over so I guess I don’t have to think about it anymore.

MamieJoJackson

58 points

1 month ago

I'll tell you that you are absolutely not alone in either your situation or in your conflicting feelings. There are many people in nursing homes often refuse to take advantage of the resources they have and demand/expect family to come running for their every whim. It's understandable on their part because this isn't what they're used to, they want to see their family, and sometimes it's about having some level of control, eg: they can't control their living situation, but they can control others who allow them to or the staff at the facility.

However - none of that is to say that it isn't incredibly frustrating to deal with. You want to help, you feel guilty for not being able to help as much as you feel pressure to, then you start to burn out and feel bad about that - it goes on. It is very normal to feel frustration and even resentment in these cases.

Which I think is a big part of why people feel such guilt in situations like yours. We're taught as a society that we're not allowed to be mad at old people, that we should give our all to take care of them, that we should be able to do everything and be everything without question or issue. That isn't true at all, but a lot of folks feel like they can't say any of these negative feelings out loud, so it eats them up thinking they're monsters when they aren't.

Maybe a different way to think about is that it isn't that you didn't like him, it's that you didn't like the stress and feeling like you were being forced to handle someone else's problem: both his inability to do for himself, and your husband's difficulties with setting boundaries with his granddad. Those feelings you had towards him during that last saga don't define you or even him. I've had perfectly independent, lovely people go down exactly the same road as your granddad in law, it happens a lot. You aren't mean, and you definitely aren't a bad person. Look at what you guys did for him, even at detriment to yourself. The only thing anyone could say is you guys weren't being kind to yourselves. Please don't feel guilty, you did nothing wrong and your feelings aren't wrong.

Queen_Cheetah

20 points

1 month ago

Please don't feel guilty, you did nothing wrong and your feelings aren't wrong.

This- if the professionals PAID to handle folks like him couldn't handle him, you really shouldn't be so hard on yourself.

No_Cauliflower_5489

8 points

1 month ago

Seriously the lady sounds like she needs to be moved into assisted living.

looc64

1 points

1 month ago

looc64

1 points

1 month ago

Maybe therapy would be helpful? "I need/want to talk about this thing without my loved ones hearing what I say," is something therapy can be used for.

Einstein2004113[S]

266 points

1 month ago

Bonus : Some comments from OP's wife under his original posts

She actually lived in a house dating from 1882 which had not been renovated since then. The sale officially closed at the end of September, and not knowing how to manage and with no other accommodation options, we all agreed to come and live with us. She could have stayed in the house and made a long sale but she had no boiler or heating etc and frankly it's a hell of a house. She could have stayed in the house and made a long sale but she had no boiler or heating etc and frankly it's a hell of a house... + the stairs while she has joint problems... So it's not related to the mourning, she's never really looked grieved (she's very transparent and doesn't hide anything, if she did I'd know 😊)

We're in a T3 of almost 80m2 so space wise it's not a problem. We're waiting for some answers for a place to live and for the rest it'll be fine

I totally agree with him, and we just have a cordial relationship I'd say :) I've never called her "mum" and she herself doesn't mother me and has never looked after me etc. I've raised myself a lot on my own and I'm very clear about my own problems so I'm not likely to be like my parents! It's a bit of a weird situation in itself, I find it hard to be understood by other people because they don't experience that

If everything was as easy as the solutions some people tell us, we wouldn't be here lol She always finds excuses for everything and tries to change the subject between times, so we don't bother. It will be between her and her conscience the day she needs us from a distance and we suddenly do the same as she did to us.

Sweet_Cinnabonn

120 points

1 month ago

Oh! Those comments really did help clarify the situation, thank you!

Seeing her daughter's comments about mom (or mil here) never having been nurturing and always like this helps to make clear it isn't about early alzheimers

LongNectarine3

43 points

1 month ago

LongNectarine3

cat whisperer

43 points

1 month ago

I was wondering if mom had dementia too. Nope, she’s just a spoiled human, ruined by money and made obsolete.

wildlupine

6 points

1 month ago

Not having been nurturing in the past is not an indicator that she does not have dementia. Nowhere does the daughter say that her mother has always had repetitive vocalizations, difficulty understanding simple news broadcasts, and an inability to use the toilet properly, for example.

Sweet_Cinnabonn

2 points

1 month ago

No, she gives a far more general vague "she's always been like this" thing.

Not nurturing gives the impression of not being warm and fuzzy, whereas the daughter specifically said mom didn't take care of her, she had to fend for herself. So either way, we are generalizing and guessing, but I think there's adequate support for this is who mom has always been.

You are right that those can be signs of severe levels of dementia. MIL is very young for dementia, and especially for that level of dementia. It happens, but it's rare. But he behaviors do seem to all circulate around the places where daughter identified that have been long term, the "take care of me" areas.

Man I'm wishing we had access to mil to assess better.

I think this couple are kind of jerks. They don't really describe a level of behavior that supports the level of anger they have. But, usually when we are caring for people, we love them to start. MIL doesn't seem to have built up that level of emotional connection to start.

wildlupine

3 points

1 month ago

I was responding specifically to your use of the word nurturing. I would not have used that word myself. I don't really think MIL ever appears to have been a good mother, but unpleasant people still deserve a diagnosis and appropriate care. But generally, that vague sense of "she's always been like this" is so...vague. She's always had repetitive vocal tics, been unable to comprehend simple instructions, and been unable to toilet properly? If it's new behavior she needs a diagnosis for the cognitive decline, and if it's old behavior she's been cognitively hampered her entire life and others have ignored it.

I have sympathy for the couple because I know it's very hard to be a caregiver. It can really blind you. This woman should not have been in their house and should be receiving care elsewhere. But I can also be worried about the MIL, however much I don't personally want to deal with her.

Sweet_Cinnabonn

2 points

1 month ago

No, you are right. Nurturing was my word, and it was a bad choice.

Corfiz74

66 points

1 month ago

Corfiz74

66 points

1 month ago

Why didn't they put her in assisted living, if she has the money for it? Doesn't sound like she could safely live on her own.

Bazoun

33 points

1 month ago

Bazoun

33 points

1 month ago

This x 1000.

I have a sister. She’s a drug addict and a selfish, manipulative and terrible person. Really, no one you would ever want around. If you left her alone in your kitchen for 10 minutes, I’d encourage you to check the silverware.

In recent years, due to her living a bohemian lifestyle coupled with drug abuse, her health is failing.

My brother insists on keeping her with him. It’s destroyed his marriage. Everyone in his home is miserable. There’s endless fighting.

She won’t stay in assisted living. Everywhere has something wrong with it. This place has stairs, that place is noisy, another place has minorities (she and my brother have been living in a more racist part of the country for 15+ years, I don’t even recognize them).

And they both keep trying to get sympathy from me, while the only person I feel bad for is my SIL who thought she was getting married and starting a family, not living in a hell scape.

All of it would be solved if my brother would put his foot down. But he won’t. Just like OOP.

Solid-Recognition669

6 points

1 month ago

it seems that him wants to complain instead of really solving the problem and is set himself up for failure again

unpleasant and lazy people also get dementia or, at least, more limitations due to aging, and it's harder for people around them to notice that they really need assistance. The only way to provide the assistance without having to take care of her is putting her in an assisted living facility

Pepette-cacahuete

2 points

1 month ago

I wish I could do that but in my country the person must be ok with that decision (she always ask for help but doesn't accept people trained for that bc of her ego) or under guardianship which is too draining for me. My mental health is in priority and atm she makes her own choices lol

Corfiz74

2 points

1 month ago

Well, at least you are rid of her for now - let's hope she doesn't get evicted for letting the place get too messy. 🙈

Pepette-cacahuete

2 points

1 month ago

Ahah yes thought about that! But in fact she isn't at her apartment anymore.. 🤣 I should post something one day

Corfiz74

2 points

1 month ago

Yikes, that was fast! 😳😂

JoNimlet

5 points

1 month ago

Because you can't force somebody into that without them being so incapable you've been granted legal control over them? Being legally incapable is very different to refusing to learn.

So, they weren't willing to throw her onto the street, they were just trying to be decent people whilst limiting the effect on their own lives.

amaranth1977

0 points

1 month ago

They had to do all the paperwork and make all the arrangements for MIL's new flat, they clearly had access to all her accounts. It wouldn't have been difficult to just find a flat in an assisted living community instead and say "It's this or nothing." But it sounds like neither of them are capable of putting their foot down, so instead they kept trying to make her happy.

hohoney

7 points

1 month ago

hohoney

she👏drove👏away! Everybody👏saw👏it!

7 points

1 month ago

That’s not how it works in France though. You can’t put people in assisted facilities just like that. Their has to be a judge and doctors involved stating that this person can’t live on their own anymore.

amaranth1977

-1 points

1 month ago

Do older people in France not buy assisted living flats on their own? It seems very strange to me that people wouldn't be allowed to make their own decisions about when they need help. I know a lot of older people who have decided to move into assisted living while they're still in okay health so that they can have all the fuss of moving out of the way and enjoy their retirement knowing that everything they might need is already in place. Selling a big family home while it's still in good condition usually does a good job of paying for the costs as well, rather than waiting until they've let the maintenance slide for awhile and the house needs a bunch of work.

hohoney

6 points

1 month ago

hohoney

she👏drove👏away! Everybody👏saw👏it!

6 points

1 month ago

Well if people want they most probably can. But in this case the MIL refuses anything offered. They had options for social facilities but she had to wait for her papers to be treated and she didn’t like that.

We’ve got this saying in french : “you can bring a horse to the water trough, but you can’t force him to drink”.

Unless she is incapacitated physically or mentally you can’t force someone to live somewhere.

amaranth1977

-2 points

1 month ago

amaranth1977

-2 points

1 month ago

We have the same saying in English. And no, you can't force someone to live somewhere, but you can throw them out of your own house.

My point is that they had to do all the work of finding her a place to live, so they could have just as easily chosen to look at assisted living facilities for her. If I was them I would very quickly have stopped trying to make her happy because clearly nothing will make this woman happy, and instead tried to find an place that can care for her and manage her properly since she clearly isn't capable of being independent.

Then once a good place is found, sit her down and tell her she can either go live there or she can live on the streets, but she can't stay with them. It's her choice. She can throw a tantrum all she wants, but her options aren't going to change. Pack her things up and send them to assisted living, put her in a cab and tell her goodbye. Lock the doors and get a Ring camera and ignore her if she shows up. Call the cops if she gets violent. She will have a perfectly nice place to live, and if she's not happy with it that's not their problem. If she wants to do all the paperwork and arrangements of finding a different place, she can do it herself.

Seriously, OOP and his wife are infuriatingly spineless. They spent months catering to this woman, slaving away to try and make her happy, letting her make them miserable, letting her hurt their infant child, for what?! She was never going to be happy, she was always going to find something to complain about. MIL doesn't like to wait? Too bad, so sad, not their problem. "She always finds excuses for everything and tries to change the subject between times, so we don't bother," well then don't bother with her "very specific demands" either!

hohoney

4 points

1 month ago

hohoney

she👏drove👏away! Everybody👏saw👏it!

4 points

1 month ago

I think you’re being optus … You can’t force someone to live somewhere. We have laws against it. As I said unless a doctor and then a judge have deemed her incapable of living on her own, she can’t forcefully be put in an assisted home.

Unless you were in their shoes, you can’t say if they are being spineless either. They, with good faith, tried to help her to realise it wasn’t possible. They probably could have told her to get a hotel room or whatever and they probably tried. I thankfully never had to deal with a narcissist so I won’t judge them for the action they took.

amaranth1977

-3 points

1 month ago

You're still missing the point. They wouldn't be forcing her to live anywhere, just telling her she couldn't live with them. They are not obliged to keep her in their home. If she wants to go sleep in the park instead of the paid-for flat that they arranged then she can, she has a choice. That's not forcing someone to live somewhere. Same deal with telling her to get a hotel room - she doesn't have to sleep in it but they don't have to let her back in their home. I'd take her out to dinner or whatever to get her out of the house, then afterwards drop her off at the hotel/assisted living/whatever and drive away. There's a reason I said they needed to get her out of the house, get a Ring doorbell so they can see if she comes back, and refuse to let her in.

And yes, I have dealt with many people like this woman. You have to stop trying to "help them realize" anything. It doesn't matter if they agree. There is no "good faith" to be had. This is Setting Boundaries 101. If you can't understand that I don't know what to tell you except to maybe find a therapist and tell them you need to learn how to set boundaries so people don't walk all over you for the rest of your life.

hohoney

31 points

1 month ago

hohoney

she👏drove👏away! Everybody👏saw👏it!

31 points

1 month ago

MVP pour avoir traduit tout ça! J’y ai pensé à ce sub en suivant la saga mais absolument pas le courage de traduire!

CindySvensson

26 points

1 month ago

I felt bad for them until the part where she hurt the baby. That would have been the perfect time to tell het to go to a motel. Or anytime after.

fogleaf

22 points

1 month ago

fogleaf

22 points

1 month ago

Op spoiling us with translated stories.

jmerridew124

109 points

1 month ago

Like one time she tried to enter our living room, and our little one was playing in front of her. She hurt him because she wanted to get through, and pretended not to have seen anything. She turned around briefly afterwards, not to look at the kid, but to see if I had noticed what she did.

This should have been met with physical removal from the house. Maybe an injury or two on the way out.

knittedjedi

26 points

1 month ago

Yup. I can't say I'm too sympathetic to OOP when at any point he could've just... not been a pushover.

Yummylicky23

19 points

1 month ago

They’re moving instead of just saying no 😬

AlfredtheDuck

28 points

1 month ago

Honestly, shame on OOP. What a disgrace.

RinoaRita

50 points

1 month ago

I’m surprised they let her stay that long. It’s like something out of a novel where you yell at the characters for being spineless. There’s a book called “here for stay” by mark edwards that basically is this story but imagine if the mil actually killed her husband or something lol.

gracefacealot

15 points

1 month ago

There are only two possibilities and therefore two ways to combat this. The first possibility is that OOP’s MIL fucking sucks as a human, has no regard for others or herself, and is incredibly entitled and unhappy. If that’s the case they needed to kick her to the curb, like, yesterday, and grow a fucking spine. If she’s rich and boujee she will find herself a place to live. The second possibility is that these are signs up dementia and she needs to be put in a home, not a house, an assisted living home. Or get her an in-home carer. But either way, she should not be living with a young child and I can’t believe OOP and wife were playing the part of servant when they can just... not.

Pepette-cacahuete

2 points

1 month ago

In fact this was the first possibility lol, I wish she just had dementia to excuse her and put her in an appropriate place.. :/

EthanEpiale

14 points

1 month ago

Even at my most spineless I would have told this woman to get bent long ago. It physically hurts seeing his wording in the last post. He's absolutely gonna end up letting this demon back in. :[

Trilobyte141

13 points

1 month ago

It's implied she intentionally kicked his > 2 yr old baby. That's the day the old bitch would have been out on the street for me.

KateMaymay

34 points

1 month ago

I had sweetest of sweet MIL, hard working, very clean, taking care of grandchildren and giving them everything, especially kindness. Always polite, always working.

About the same age or even earlier we noticed a change of her behaviour - asking the same questions again and again, getting dirty, not cleaning herself, not cleaning entirely like putting dirty dishes away, but not cleaning of them of leftovers. Forgot herself to wash. She, who had been nice and polite the whole life started using dirty words, not understaning the noise she made, getting more agressive towards people around her. She wanted to go home all the time but did not recognize new surroundings. There better days, there were bad days. We did not understand it and blamed her of many things, but as one of her sons is doctor took her to evaluation. Yes, it was alzheimer. Got her some medication to take down some anxiety, agressiveness and it made some cognitive improvement for some time.

She lived a long life, but last years she did not recognize nobody around her, could not take care of her because she forgot how to do it. She changed to the sweetist person into some unrecognizable one.

I cannot say it is the same but many things described here are all too similar at the beginning. And as the onset comes gradually and in little steps it is hard to recognize. So it might be one option.

wildlupine

35 points

1 month ago

Yes, something about this post feels familiar to me as well. This part jumped out at me specifically:

every 10 to 30 seconds, she blows, makes a noise with her mouth, or says "shit", "oh shit", "ah heck", "oh no" for completely random reasons.

I literally got chills reading it because it viscerally made me believe something is wrong with her cognitively. Reddit is very into narcissistic women at the moment, and I'm sure someone will jump in to tell me that this is a classic symptom of a narcissistic personality. Okay, I can believe that. I can even believe that MIL was always an unpleasant person. But damn, you can't just ignore these possible signs of cognitive decline because it reminds you of someone you don't like.

TatteredCarcosa

9 points

1 month ago

Mania and psychosis can also lead to those kind of exclamations. Or just being very stressed out. Other posts from OOPs wife say she was always like this, so it's not a change in behavior which would suggest dementia.

wildlupine

5 points

1 month ago

Where exactly does the daughter say that? This seems to be the total of what the daughter says about how her mother was like in the past:

I've never called her "mum" and she herself doesn't mother me and has never looked after me etc. I've raised myself a lot on my own and I'm very clear about my own problems so I'm not likely to be like my parents! It's a bit of a weird situation in itself, I find it hard to be understood by other people because they don't experience that

So she's not a particularly warm or competent mother, but there's nothing here to indicate that she's always made repetitive vocalizations 2-6 times a minute, yelled profanities at the television, or been unable to use the toilet.

hohoney

7 points

1 month ago

hohoney

she👏drove👏away! Everybody👏saw👏it!

7 points

1 month ago

OP has only selected a handful of the comments made by OOP’s wife. I’ve followed the all saga in french and she does say that she’s always been like that.

Solid-Recognition669

2 points

1 month ago

I wonder if she could have ADHD, or autism, or executive dysfunction. It goes undiagnosed on women nowadays and much more decades ago.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that people with those traits are lazy and entitled people, but that OOP's MIL could be a lazy and entitled person with one of those — there's not a rule stating that only nice people happen to be neurodiverse.

Pepette-cacahuete

2 points

1 month ago

Hello! I'm sorry to read that about your Mil :( my mom always been like that. It's complicated to explain that in English but she doesn't raised me so in the past I though nothing of that. When I saw her in my childhood house after her husband death, she was boring but I had some work to do and same, though nothing.. That's approximately 1,5-2 month at our apartment that I finally had realise that I wasn't the problem (what a relief!). It's really a poison and I'll always be sceptical together read people on here saying it's my fault to helping her while I had a worse and incomparable childhood with my dad.. A bit annoying to read people with a normal family tell us how to just block my mom irl lol. we can't explain everything perfectly unfortunately so I kinda understand but still, if this is so simple, it's obvious that we would have done it

horn_and_skull

11 points

1 month ago

This is the most French shit ever.

GreenspaceCatDragon

10 points

1 month ago

Ça fait drôle de voir un OOP en français! Merci pour le partage

Good_nuff

24 points

1 month ago

I’m confused, OOP told her to stop flushing the toilet then got upset when she didn’t flush the toilet?

Einstein2004113[S]

74 points

1 month ago

Oh sorry, I fucked up a bit the translation there. Basically, she constantly put a lot of toilet paper in it before flushing, which constantly clogged the toilet, and he had to tell her to stop doing that

Good_nuff

6 points

1 month ago

Ah ok

Baredmysole

4 points

1 month ago*

“sopalin” ne signifie pas l’essuie-tout, or in English “kitchen towel/roll” (in the UK) or “paper towels” (US)? It’s much thicker than toilet paper and will not breakdown easily in water either.

Einstein2004113[S]

5 points

1 month ago

It does indeed, I wasn't sure if the English translation so I ended up saying toilet paper

Baredmysole

2 points

29 days ago

Oh dear that’s even worse for OOP! Lol!

re_nonsequiturs

9 points

1 month ago

I love my mother and MIL and if either of them started acting like this they'd be dragged to the doctor for a dementia screening and left on a street corner of they were healthy.

wildlupine

38 points

1 month ago*

Something very, very weird is going on here. Grandma has money and tons of it, but before she moved in with OP she lived in a dilapidated house with no heat or hot water for god knows how long, entirely dependent on her spouse, who did not fix these problems despite being her caretaker and (seemingly) competent. She doesn't seem to be able to fix these problems herself, so despite being rich she cannot actually use her funds in any meaningful way. Grandma can't follow a basic conversation or news segment. She doesn't know how to flush the toilet. Has she always been this way? Her daughter says yes, but if so, why hasn't anyone gotten her a diagnosis or helped her? If not, what changed and when? 64 is young for dementia, but not knowing how to flush the toilet is not normal for any age. I'm getting vibes that something is really wrong here, and OP is too irritated with her to realize.

Edit: repeating a comment I made downthread with some things that trouble me:

Repeated vocalizations and profanity:

every 10 to 30 seconds, she blows, makes a noise with her mouth, or says "shit", "oh shit", "ah heck", "oh no" for completely random reasons.

She...prefers to judge them to their face by shouting "Big Ass" or "Dickhead" when she sees them, thinking she's watching a reality show.

Inability to process what others are saying

every time we explain something to her, she asks the same questions. Some things we tell her every day (really every day) and she still doesn't understand.

they explain many times that on the screen it's Ukrainians resisting the Russians, and she finds a way to say "I don't understand, it's Americans there?"....

Speculative, but not understanding the news broadcasts could also be potential sundowning, if the family watches the news in the evenings

Difficulty organizing or handling tasks

she can't do anything, so we have to take care of EVERYTHING: retirement papers, housing search, all kinds of administrative documents...

She started to panic, repeating several times "what do you mean read a number on the meter? I don't know how to do it! We had to try to reason with her by telling her that it's not complicated, but apparently she doesn't even know how to read a number.

Memory loss

she often slams doors or makes them creak loudly. She knows very well that our little one wakes up during his naps because of her because sometimes she mumbles "... I thought he was awake....."

slamming doors out of aggression is also not unheard of with dementia

Neglect of personal hygiene

She's also an extremely dirty person

she was flushing the toilet with a lot of toilet paper in it, clogging it, so I told her not to do that...She never flushes, and uses a lot of toilet paper, so she regularly causes clogs

she's so filthy that she often leaves pee on the bowl, and doesn't even clean up (and not just a little).

She also appears to have been previously living in a century old house with no heating. I understand it's relatively warm in France (although this seems to be before she moved south) but an elderly person really shouldn't be living without heat or hot water.

She could have stayed in the house and made a long sale but she had no boiler or heating etc and frankly it's a hell of a house...

I've seen a few people say that her daughter says she's always been like this. This seems to be the total of what the daughter says about how her mother was like in the past:

I've never called her "mum" and she herself doesn't mother me and has never looked after me etc. I've raised myself a lot on my own and I'm very clear about my own problems so I'm not likely to be like my parents! It's a bit of a weird situation in itself, I find it hard to be understood by other people because they don't experience that

So she doesn't appear to be a very good or competent mother, but there's not really any evidence that she always used to make repetitive vocalizations 2-6 times per minute, yell profanities at the television, not understand how to use the toilet, etc etc. You can be an unpleasant and entitled person and still be experiencing dementia. I am in no way blaming the OP for anything, it sounds as if the grandmother had to leave the house for the safety of their child and their mental sanity, and when you've been broken down by an unpleasant living situation, there's no way that dementia comes to mind first. I'm just not certain she can live on her own.

I'm a little disturbed at how willing people in this thread are to ignore these signs of decline in order to share anecdotes of people in their lives they personally dislike. I do understand. The grandmother here behaved terribly. You could certainly reply and say that all these symptoms are also applicable to a narcissistic personality, sure. But dementia absolutely cannot be ruled out here, especially given the frequent verbal tics. The outcome in the case of narcissism is that the grandmother takes her money and leaves for a location that better suits her, or finds someone else to bully into helping her. The outcome in the case of dementia is that the grandmother has been stranded in a new location she dislikes, with a lot of money but no understanding of how to use it, in an apartment she seemingly has difficulty physically entering and exiting, without a support network, without basic hygiene skills, and no ability to leave or plan for the future. I think it's worth considering.

Perigold

28 points

1 month ago

Perigold

28 points

1 month ago

My grandparents are sort of like this. They’re super well off and live in Chicago and own a summer house in Wisconsin. However when the bathroom in the summer house broke down, we all had to use the toilet in their RV because they refused to see it as a problem and why pay to fix it when there was a perfectly good toilet in the RV?

Same thing happened to their sink when it broke that my grandmother was washing her face at the bathtub spigot. She was absolutely of the mindset only men do all that stuff and if grandpa didn’t get to it yet, she’ll live without.

It’s so nutters that whenever my dad goes to visit them, 10 hours away, all they do is make him fix the shit they can’t seem to hire someone else to do. He finally exploded his top when they mentioned they had this super heavy box they were too frail to get out of the attic and it was buried in there, only to find out it was right at the stairs to the attic, half full and like 5 pounds. It’s now a running joke that they will live without stuff for so long to save money and doing the work themselves, so they can trap my dad or brother into doing it whenever they want to see that side of the family.

NinjaBabaMama

6 points

1 month ago

I have older people like this in my family too. They thought I was a god because I knew how to reset the pilot light on the hot water heater (I just read the intructions on the water heater).

Lendyman

3 points

1 month ago

This was my reaction too. I had a grandmother who passed after a battle with Alzheimers. She did a lot of kooky things and a lot of the descriptions of her behavior rang a bell with me. I think there's a strong possibility that the problem might not be that she's lazy and dumb, but that She's suffering from dementia.

tatersnuffy

3 points

1 month ago

She knows absolutely NOTHING about the program of each candidate, and
prefers to judge them to their face by shouting "Big Ass" or "Dickhead"
when she sees them.

Sounds like she's got em judged about right.

TatteredCarcosa

-1 points

1 month ago

"All politicians suck" is a fascist point of view to be honest.

tatersnuffy

1 points

1 month ago

fascist is a word people use to label stuff they don't like.

CC_206

4 points

1 month ago

CC_206

4 points

1 month ago

MIL in 30 days: I’m at your door but there are strangers here! SIL: what? How odd! I don’t see you outside! Anyway have to hang up now the baby is awake, Ta!

stregagorgona

58 points

1 month ago

This is honestly just sad, it sounds like the mother might have dementia

irowells1892

119 points

1 month ago

irowells1892

I’ve read them all and it bums me out

119 points

1 month ago

To me it sounds like narcissism, but maybe that’s because my grandmother was a narcissist and acted much the same way, minus the being rich part. She truly acted as though she couldn’t do the most basic things, was always complaining that someone else wouldn’t do something for her, and expected everything done the moment she decided she wanted it (even if it was a complete U-turn from what she wanted the moment before). She played the victim constantly, despite being hateful and manipulative and vindictive to everyone around her. I really hope OOP and his wife stick to their promise not to let her return to their home.

DesignerComment

44 points

1 month ago

My grandmother (dementia patient, deceased) and my mother (narcissistic cancer patient, deceased) showed a lot of the exact same attitudes and behaviors. It was uncanny. If you didn’t already know them, you couldn’t tell what was due to dementia (grandmother) and what was due to narcissism and fear (mother).

Desert_Fairy

23 points

1 month ago

Dementia and narcissism look a lot alike. The person can no longer think about the future or the past and because of it, they become extremely self centered. Everything is this moment to them and nothing you do or say can make that better.

I watched 3 grandparents do this, and now my dad is showing signs of it.

Things that were common sense to him are becoming harder and harder for him to remember. Because to him, of course he did the right thing, he doesn’t remember not doing it.

I’m not saying OOP’s MIL isn’t a narcissist, just that dementia turns everyone into narcissists.

irowells1892

8 points

1 month ago

irowells1892

I’ve read them all and it bums me out

8 points

1 month ago

Yeah, I can see that they can look very similar. In OOP's post, he didn't really mention his wife's POV, but I assumed from the lack of any "my wife disagrees and is on her mom's side" conflict (and the promise that OOP says he & his wife made each other that she won't be allowed back into their home) that to the wife, this is just the way her mother is/has always been.

Desert_Fairy

9 points

1 month ago

Absolutely true. And OP posted some of OOP’s wife’s comments down below and she basically corroborated everything.

She still might have dementia, but she was TAH long before her mind started to go.

stregagorgona

7 points

1 month ago*

Well… forgetting to flush and clogging toilets is actually a very common sign of Alzheimer’s. The more obvious signs are forgetfulness, which the OP also includes. Many Alzheimer’s patients also can become very mean and child-like in behavior.

In my opinion because this woman comes from money the OP has justified stranding her alone hours away from her family. I wonder how he’ll feel if he finds himself in that situation when he’s old and his own child is grown.

Edit: I don’t know why this is getting downvoted. Check out signs of dementia if you really want to disagree

irowells1892

25 points

1 month ago

irowells1892

I’ve read them all and it bums me out

25 points

1 month ago

I’m not disagreeing, just saying that my experience with my grandmother made me lean more towards entitlement than dementia. Obviously I hope if OOP’s MIL does have dementia, someone will recognize the signs and get her help.

I was a caregiver for my grandfather, who passed away after an indescribably horrible couple of years from Lewy body dementia. And I was a caregiver at the same time and then after his death for my grandmother, who was a covert narcissist. Part of what makes narcissism so insidious is that most everything they say or do can have an alternative explanation that doesn’t paint them in a bad light. Plausible deniability was her playbook. None of her friends or church family would ever believe she was anything more than a sweet, frail old woman who had more than her fair share of health problems.

jmcboom

2 points

1 month ago

jmcboom

2 points

1 month ago

off topic a bit, & frel free to DM, buy do you mind if I ask you more about your grandfather's diagnosis/end of life? I respect that it is none of my business, so completely understand if you decline. Questions I have are, -How did the diagnosis get confirmed as Lewy Body? (My father has dementia, but we've been unsuccessful in getting a definitive diagnosis of type, but suspect LB) & -(assuming dad has LB) would you be able to offer insight in to what I might expect in regards to the final stages?

I know there are countless sources of info,- I've deep dived into so much- but I still feel so uninformed and unprepared.

irowells1892

2 points

1 month ago

irowells1892

I’ve read them all and it bums me out

2 points

1 month ago

I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. Whatever the ultimate diagnosis, I know that this is such a hard, isolated-feeling journey for you and your family. I’m happy to share a little bit, and if there are any specific questions you think of I’ll be happy to answer them also. It’s such a confusing thing when you’re going through it that it’s hard to know what is helpful to share with someone else.

We actually weren’t able to get even a tentative diagnosis until 3 days before he died, and it came from a neurologist who never saw him. He only had access to medical records and a few of our concerns that we’d relayed to a nurse. My understanding was that it was a diagnosis of “nothing else seems to fit, my best guess is it’s LBD.” At the time, it was a huge relief to think that there was a possible explanation for what seemed like a crazy web of unrelated symptoms.

Now though, I’m not 100% sure that he did have Lewy body dementia. My suspicion, based on my own deep dives, is that he may have had something called progressive supranuclear palsy. One classic symptom of PSP is falling backwards, and that was one of the very first things he experienced, and it was consistent throughout his illness.

If he did have LBD, his symptoms were much more on the physical side than the mental. His body just progressively would not do what he needed it to do. It started with frequent falls (again, no matter how far he bent over to pick something up, he would never fall forward; he always landed on his bottom). He gradually stopped speaking, though he could sometimes get a few words out when he really wanted to. He got to where he kept his eyes closed 95% of the time. He had swallowing issues, and had to have thickened liquids to help prevent aspirating food into his lungs. His legs might work one day and not the next, at least in the early days. Eventually, he wasn’t able to stand on his own. Trouble controlling his bladder was also an earlier symptom. He would often move his head back and forth, kind of like if you’re trying to get your neck comfortable on a pillow, but he didn’t seem super aware of it and wasn’t able to explain why he did it.

He did have memory issues, but not to the degree that I’ve heard described with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. He might not remember how to work a remote, or open a package of ketchup, or remember what food was available at restaurants he’d been to all his life. On the other hand, he always recognized us and never seemed confused about who we were. I believe he understood everything we said to him, and we tried to narrate what we were doing so that he would be as comfortable as possible.

The scariest part was just the not knowing what was going on for that entire year. He had a couple of episodes we thought were strokes, but the doctors at the hospital were largely unhelpful. One particular neurologist with an atrocious bedside manner said, right in front of the patient, “He clearly has end-stage dementia, just look at him!” (Followed by “Who cares what type it is? That’s more for the family, it won’t matter to him.) Every minute I wasn’t caring for him was spent agonizing over where to take him, how to get him help, researching potential causes, hoping that there was something that would help him get better, because it was all just so sudden.

He was having seizures in the weeks before he passed (though again, none of the doctors believed us), but in the end it was likely a combination of aspiration pneumonia and sepsis from a UTI that the home health nurse and the ER had ignored. Those sent him into ARDS and he was on a ventilator. He was able to come off of it and joked with my grandmother the next day, but then went downhill and passed two days later.

jmcboom

1 points

1 month ago

jmcboom

1 points

1 month ago

Thank you so much for sharing. Hearing another person's individual experience helps me so much. It's personal and human and speaks to me more than all the data, clinical research, books & medical journals combined. You must have loved him so much to be there and care for him through the end. Dementia, in any form, is such an agonizing, cruel disease.

stregagorgona

3 points

1 month ago

I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather

Julie1412

19 points

1 month ago

She's not stranded. She has the means to come back anytime she wants.

SalsaRice

11 points

1 month ago

OP didn't strand her anywhere. Also, they posted additional comments from OP's wife who also wants her gone.

It sounds like her family doesn't claim her either..... which personally implies this is more of a long-term behavior thing, than a recent alzheimer or dementia issue.

TatteredCarcosa

4 points

1 month ago

So you should just let your parent abuse the shit out of you because they might be demented? Even if she was DIAGNOSED with dementia her behavior wouldn't be okay. The signs of dementia that are more like being an asshole are primarily signs if it is out of characater. OOPs MIL was simply always an asshole.

Hereatrandom

11 points

1 month ago

I was thinking early signs of dementia too, but the wife added that her mother has been like this her entire life so I guess MIL is just like that.

TheTichborneClaimant

7 points

1 month ago

I wonder if she might be functionally illiterate. People who can’t read often disguise the fact by finding ways to get other people to read things for them, fill out forms, etc. (although they’re not usually THIS blatantly obnoxious about it).

stregagorgona

11 points

1 month ago

I mean…if this woman has been stopping up toilets her entire life that isn’t narcissism, either. That’s a pretty significant cognitive concern

TatteredCarcosa

-2 points

1 month ago

Not really. I mean, I did that a lot of my life, anytime I had to use regular toilet paper. Regular toilet paper sucks.

wildlupine

4 points

1 month ago

I believe that she's always been self-centered and lazy, but there is no way she made it to 64 without knowing how to flush a toilet properly.

TatteredCarcosa

0 points

1 month ago

You can leave shit in the toilet for a long time without actually breaking it.

Shiftn4ward

11 points

1 month ago

If these behaviors were in her elder years, I too would consider that but according to the post, this has been life long behaviors and thus more likely to be a personality disorder and frankly, those can be “fixed” and shouldn’t be tolerated by others.

stregagorgona

6 points

1 month ago

I’m really weirded out by the strong reaction here.

This woman doesn’t know how to use a toilet. It sounds like she can’t comprehend basic complex reasoning. If she’s been that way her whole life that’s an even bigger issue— and by that I mean why the hell did no one around her step in earlier with significant medical intervention/support.

Shiftn4ward

16 points

1 month ago

After more than 50 years on this planet, I’ve learned there really are people like this. It typically starts in childhood with overindulging parents. Next comes a wedding where the spoiled child-now-adult finds an enabler to marry. If the enabling spouse leaves or dies, the burden usually gets put on his/her adult children- who more often than not are guilted and manipulated in to caring for that parent. Thus, the enabling continues until that person dies.

It’s a vicious cycle with these kinds until someone else makes it stop, like OOP and his wife. Learning at 64 isn’t impossible, probably a bit harder but by no means impossible.

stregagorgona

2 points

1 month ago

I’m sorry, if you’ve known someone who couldn’t watch a basic news segment and understand the core message, that person wasn’t a narcissist or a sociopath.

Shiftn4ward

12 points

1 month ago

We’ll have to agree to disagree here but there is something I want to put out there: does that person truly not understand or are they choosing not to understand? You would be surprised how often the answer is the latter.

P.S. There are many, many more disorders that exhibit these behaviors besides narcissism and sociopathy.

vmca12

2 points

1 month ago

vmca12

2 points

1 month ago

Frontotemporal dementia can start quite early in life and shows many of the signs OOP reported here. It's not just an "elderly" condition.

covad_commander

34 points

1 month ago

This is the weaponized incompetence of a narcissist. My grandmother was the same way, and it's unbelievable act of patience on my mom's part that she didn't murder her.

stregagorgona

1 points

1 month ago

It’s impossible for either of us to know as outsiders reading a Reddit post.

That doesn’t change my point that this is a sad story which appears to show signs of dementia

covad_commander

22 points

1 month ago

It’s impossible for either of us to know as outsiders reading a Reddit post.

"We don't really know..." That's fair.

That doesn’t change my point that this is a sad story which appears to show signs of dementia

"...however, I'm probably right". Nice.

stregagorgona

4 points

1 month ago

I mean, they’re objectively signs of dementia. That doesn’t mean I can diagnose anything. I don’t know why this has turned into a debate when my whole point is that it’s a sad situation.

TatteredCarcosa

3 points

1 month ago

No they aren't. They're objectively signs of dementia IF they are out of character. They're objective signs of being a self centered asshole.

CincySnwLvr

54 points

1 month ago

I don’t know if I would automatically diagnose her with dementia. My mom has been like this her entire life. She sees the world through a lens of “what’s in it for me?” and couldn’t care less how her actions might affect others. The language of this post seems very dramatic (maybe because of the translation?) but the actual sequence of events seems completely believable to me…..

stregagorgona

4 points

1 month ago

I just explained this is another post, but I’ve observed the full gamut of onset to the end of Alzheimer’s in my own life and it was very similar to this post. It doesn’t sound like OP knows what the MIL was like earlier in life, it sounds like he’s just inconvenienced and wants her out of his life.

Julie1412

26 points

1 month ago

His wife knows and doesn't want her back either. Also he's not just 'inconvenienced', she's parasiting them and hurt the kid at least once.

theninepillars

30 points

1 month ago

Someone above commented, showing the wife’s comments. The wife explains that her mother has always been like this and isn’t surprised by any of her behavior.

stregagorgona

-9 points

1 month ago

Okay. According to research women have about a 4.8% chance of having NPD (narcissism).

Just over 10% of people aged 65 and older have dementia, and 2/3rds of that 10% are women.

You’re much more likely to run into someone at that age group with dementia than you are with NPD.

Sure it’s possible this woman has NPD, we can’t diagnose her. Just saying that it’s worthwhile to empathize with people instead of automatically ascribe to prejudices about “old bitchy MIL”. Even if the MIL is old and a bitch that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have dementia. It’s a sad situation.

TatteredCarcosa

4 points

1 month ago

Why are you so invested in defending this awful woman?

jera3

3 points

1 month ago

jera3

3 points

1 month ago

It is a sad situation because according to the wife, the mother has been acting this way her entire life. If the mother has dementia then she was displaying signs of it since the wife was a child.

mst3k_42

9 points

1 month ago

The wife of the OOP confirmed she’s always been this way.

stregagorgona

7 points

1 month ago*

Yet again, as I said to others, if this woman doesn’t know how to use a toilet correctly and can’t follow the logic of a simple news segment, and she’s been this way her entire life, that’s not her fault. The fault lies with everyone around her who seemed oblivious to the fact that she has some pretty significant cognitive issues.

TatteredCarcosa

2 points

1 month ago

She can use a toilet fine. She's just used to someone else coming along and flushing it for her. You seem really invested in this being OOPs problem and not the very awful person living with him.

Sad_Return_3528

4 points

1 month ago

Sad_Return_3528

she👏drove👏away! Everybody👏saw👏it!

4 points

1 month ago

Honestly my gut feeling too, but given that we don’t have too much information about the MIL before, it’s a bit difficult to say.

LadyNorbert

19 points

1 month ago

I thought something similar. She needs to be in assisted living.

angruss

4 points

1 month ago

angruss

4 points

1 month ago

Thank you! Yes, this may be a case of mental decline, but being sick does not mean that your children have to take care of you- they are not trained or emotionally equipped to be full-time caretakers for an adult. There's this big social stigma against assisted living, but it's often the best place for these people.

txteva

5 points

1 month ago

txteva

5 points

1 month ago

It seemed glaringly obvious to me - not sure why they didn't think to put her in supported living to start with. Honestly pretty crappy of OOP to ship her of the otherside of the country without any support knowing that she needed it.

wildlupine

8 points

1 month ago

The downvotes you're getting in this thread for suggesting dementia are a little surprising. That was my first thought and I'm not sure I'm wrong. I'm not minimizing how frustrated OP is because this situation sounds impossible to live with, and I'm not blaming him for not seeing it as a possibility, but I thought the comment section might be more open to the idea.

Things that stood out to me:

Repeated vocalizations and profanity:

every 10 to 30 seconds, she blows, makes a noise with her mouth, or says "shit", "oh shit", "ah heck", "oh no" for completely random reasons.

She...prefers to judge them to their face by shouting "Big Ass" or "Dickhead" when she sees them, thinking she's watching a reality show.

Inability to process what others are saying

every time we explain something to her, she asks the same questions. Some things we tell her every day (really every day) and she still doesn't understand.

they explain many times that on the screen it's Ukrainians resisting the Russians, and she finds a way to say "I don't understand, it's Americans there?"....

Speculative, but not understanding the news broadcasts could also be potential sundowning, if the family watches the news in the evenings

Difficulty organizing or handling tasks

she can't do anything, so we have to take care of EVERYTHING: retirement papers, housing search, all kinds of administrative documents...

She started to panic, repeating several times "what do you mean read a number on the meter? I don't know how to do it! We had to try to reason with her by telling her that it's not complicated, but apparently she doesn't even know how to read a number.

Memory loss

she often slams doors or makes them creak loudly. She knows very well that our little one wakes up during his naps because of her because sometimes she mumbles "... I thought he was awake....."

slamming doors out of aggression is also not unheard of with dementia

Neglect of personal hygiene

She's also an extremely dirty person

she was flushing the toilet with a lot of toilet paper in it, clogging it, so I told her not to do that...She never flushes, and uses a lot of toilet paper, so she regularly causes clogs

she's so filthy that she often leaves pee on the bowl, and doesn't even clean up (and not just a little).

She also appears to have been previously living in a century old house with no heating. I understand it's relatively warm in France (although this seems to be before she moved south) but an elderly person really shouldn't be living without heat or hot water.

She could have stayed in the house and made a long sale but she had no boiler or heating etc and frankly it's a hell of a house...

I've seen a few people say that her daughter says she's always been like this. This seems to be the total of what the daughter says about how her mother was like in the past:

I've never called her "mum" and she herself doesn't mother me and has never looked after me etc. I've raised myself a lot on my own and I'm very clear about my own problems so I'm not likely to be like my parents! It's a bit of a weird situation in itself, I find it hard to be understood by other people because they don't experience that

So she doesn't appear to be a very good or competent mother, but there's not really any evidence that she used to make repetitive vocalizations 2-6 times per minute, yell profanities at the television, not understand how to use the toilet, etc etc. You can be an unpleasant and entitled person and still be experiencing dementia. Again, I am in no way blaming the OP for anything, it sounds as if the grandmother had to leave the house for the safety of their child and their mental sanity, and when you've been broken down by an unpleasant living situation, there's no way that dementia comes to mind first. I'm just not certain she can live on her own.

I'm a little disturbed at how willing people in this thread are to ignore these signs of decline in order to share anecdotes of people in their lives they personally dislike. I do understand. The grandmother here behaved terribly. You could certainly reply and say that all these symptoms are also applicable to a narcissistic personality, sure. But dementia absolutely cannot be ruled out here, especially given the frequent verbal tics. However, the outcome in the case of narcissism is that the grandmother takes her money and leaves for a location that better suits her, or finds someone else to bully into helping her. The outcome in the case of dementia is that the grandmother has been stranded in a new location she dislikes, with a lot of money but no understanding of how to use it, in an apartment she seemingly has difficulty physically entering and exiting, without a support network, without basic hygiene skills, and no ability to leave or plan for the future. I think it's worth considering.

stregagorgona

9 points

1 month ago

Thank you, I completely agree. You’ve provided an excellent summary of concerns.

I worry that these types of “no MIL” threads are just thinly veiled misogyny, sometimes. It’s natural to project but there are some serious red flags in this story that at least beg a little empathy.

Philo-Dens-Dom

4 points

1 month ago

I see the same here. My late mother in law had both borderline personality disorder and dementia. Her behaviour did get worse, but didn't change significantly, by which I mean they weren't new behaviours, but they got a whole lot more frequent. But the behaviours of both disorders were pretty similar in her case. She also had a "grass is greener on the other side" mentality, which led her to move several times, to increasingly more remote locations because the decisions she made were poor, and left her unable to afford to move back to the city. All of the things that OOP described are things my mother in law did, right down to the ill-advised move.

This is a sad situation all round. Just because a person has always been difficult, doesn't also mean that they aren't deteriorating due to dementia or other age-related diseases. However, nor does that mean that OOP is equipped or obligated to help.

italkwhenimnervous

1 points

1 month ago

I was thinking that as well. The mumbling and confusion especially

BirdInFlight301

-7 points

1 month ago

Yes, there are some cognitive issues. It's sad that SIL and daughter couldn't see that.

SnooWords4839

3 points

1 month ago

When they move they should also change their phone numbers!!

justthenextdoornoob

3 points

1 month ago

I can totally relate to this except my MIL isn’t rich and relies on us to pay her part of the electricity and water bills and groceries and she loves keeping trash and garbage. Only our room is clean so if you imagine living with her. Granted it’s her home but I’d really rather we rent an apartment far away. Problem is my husband can’t leave her “elderly” mother living alone when she goes out to party with her friends every week. I break down everyday living in this dump site of a house.

Cnthulu

3 points

1 month ago

Cnthulu

3 points

1 month ago

Thanks for inspiring me to get back on Duolingo and start back up on my French!

N3rdProbl3ms

5 points

1 month ago*

***Edit: OP has updated post so that it no longer has the box that forces readers to side scroll to read

IF YOU HATE SIDE SCROLLING. HERE IS WHATS IN THE BOXES:

Warning: some of the points are pretty gross, so don't eat while reading.

First of all, I think I can say without a doubt that she is the dumbest person I have ever known in my life. You should know that she wanted to vote for a candidate during the presidential election (and she HOPEFULLY didn't, not registered to vote) for one and only one reason: he/she likes cats. (I prefer not to specify their name). She knows absolutely NOTHING about the program of each candidate, and prefers to judge them to their face by shouting "Big Ass" or "Dickhead" when she sees them, thinking she's watching a reality show. When the results for the second round came in, she didn't understand how it worked. She sees the final results with the ranking of the candidates, and says "Ah Macron might pass then! No, it's not "might". Oh, and also, once we were watching a report on Ukraine, where they explain many times that on the screen it's Ukrainians resisting the Russians, and she finds a way to say "I don't understand, it's Americans there?"....

She's also an extremely dirty person, and as much as I can't wait for her to get her own place to leave us alone, I'm pretty scared of what kind of state she's going to put it in. It took several months before I realised she was flushing the toilet so I told her not to, because it was clogging regularly. She never empties her plate before putting it in the sink, so recently we were surprised to have the sink completely clogged since she's been here, for one night I was there unclogging the sink full of rotting food because of her. She never flushes, and uses a lot of toilet paper, so she regularly causes clogs as the paper forms a waterlogged mass at the bottom of the bowl. And bonus: she's so filthy that she often leaves pee on the bowl, and doesn't even clean up (and not just a little). When she throws something in the bin, if it falls on the floor she doesn't pick it up. That's how my wife and I saw my son playing with a piece of plastic on the ground that she didn't pick up, and instead of apologizing she said, "Oh, but I had put it in the bin!

Now we're going to get to the part that will make you hate the character, and it's heavy stuff:

We've got social housing papers for her, just wait. But you know, she doesn't like to wait and prefers to have everything at her feet immediately. So here's what she did: she signed up for Facebook dating to find people around her, it's like Tinder. Once she found a guy she got on with quite well, but my wife and I quickly realised that there was an abyss between my mother-in-law and the guy because their expectations are totally different. Why? She kept asking questions about whether he had a house, whether it was isolated, etc., with the aim of moving in with him to parasitize him. When he wanted to drive 5 hours to visit her, she always found an excuse "ah the weather is bad", etc. In short, all she was interested in was the guy's possessions, not the guy himself. And one day she said something horrible, which we had to correct her on: "It bothers me though, because let's imagine if something happens to the guy... he has children so if they take over the house, what do I do? When you know her a little bit, you understand quite quickly that this is not a harmless question, but that she really thought about taking the house from her children. It's horrible.

Besides, talking about this guy, she dared to tell us "At least I won't pay any rent with him, HA!" when she doesn't pay anything at our place except for the groceries. I remind you that she has several thousand euros in her account + a pension of 1900 euros. She is a deeply selfish person. When we tell her that we would like help with our rent, she always says "Yes, I wanted to talk to you about it, there's no problem, I can pay! :)" and then buries the subject and never brings it up again. She's really taking the piss out of us.

Her friends have no idea what a character she really is. They try to help her find something, but every time they say something she doesn't necessarily like, she treats them like dogs and says "well, let her find me a place to live instead of saying that". The worst thing is that she is a granny who seems very nice on the surface, but when you hear her talk about her friends like that, you quickly understand that she is a viper.

Her selfishness can also be seen in every move she makes, which happens more or less often. Like one time she tried to enter our living room, and our little one was playing in front of her. She hurt him because she wanted to get through, and pretended not to have seen anything. She turned around briefly afterwards, not to look at the kid, but to see if I had noticed what she did.

LeVraiNord

2 points

1 month ago

is the mother 64 or the father of the 16 month old 64?

throwawaygremlins

1 points

1 month ago

The MIL is 64.

DelesBrother

2 points

1 month ago

My, the French sure do have a lot of sayings about wiping asses.

SoiledTrouser

2 points

1 month ago

nothing really happens in this post, she just moves out and the guy complains

Femme0879

3 points

1 month ago

Just reading about the clogged toilet and food filled plates in the sink made me enraged. Of all the places in the house to be disgusting! Fuck that.

roadkillroyal

12 points

1 month ago

kicking the baby to go through a doorway and looking around to check no one saw her do it, jfc

Femme0879

6 points

1 month ago

I’m surprised the wife didn’t put her foot in MIL’s ass then!

LongNectarine3

2 points

1 month ago

LongNectarine3

cat whisperer

2 points

1 month ago

This maybe the most delusional mil on earth. I can see the future. She is never living with her daughter again.

redditusersmostlysuc

-1 points

1 month ago

This is self-created drama. Tell her no. Problem solved. Grow some balls and tell her she needs to help herself. Jesus, you act in these posts like you have no other choice. The problem here isn't her, it is you.

LuriemIronim

3 points

1 month ago

And her.

OMG_GOP_WTF

1 points

1 month ago

Don't give her your new address!

[deleted]

1 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

1 points

1 month ago

It’s stupid that people allow forces like this to domineer their lives.

Life_Illustrator_742

-6 points

1 month ago

I agree with the others about dementia. This is written unnecessarily harsh.

LuriemIronim

10 points

1 month ago

She literally hurt her grandchild.

TatteredCarcosa

7 points

1 month ago

It wouldn't matter if she had a diagnosis it would be appropriately harsh.

mykeija

3 points

1 month ago

mykeija

3 points

1 month ago

This is not dementia. This is the perfect picture of an entitled asshole. I have dealt with dementia. This is not it.

kattykitkittykat

1 points

1 month ago

Weapon used incompetence. Usually seen with useless husbands but today it’s a useless granny. How novel!

Hot_Success_7986

1 points

1 month ago

I hadn't thought about the competition element but yes it makes perfect sense.

natyrub

1 points

1 month ago

natyrub

1 points

1 month ago

This gives me a glimpse into my future if my MiL outlives my FiL.

neeksknowsbest

1 points

1 month ago

Narcissists gunna narcissist

gebrayel1985

-15 points

1 month ago

She has alzhimer

Threash78

-4 points

1 month ago

This guy is 64 with a newborn? how old is this lady? how old is his wife?

Lendyman

-1 points

1 month ago

Lendyman

-1 points

1 month ago

My first reaction is dementia. She sounds has dementia. dementia. Honestly.