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To be feeling a bit fed up and used?????

(55 Posts)
felice Sun 22-Mar-15 10:26:59

Sorry if this is a bit long but need to get it off my chest. 2 and 1/2 years ago I moved to a one bedroom apartment in SIL and DDs house.
For the last year SIL has hardly spoken to me. No argument or anything.
I look after DGS age 3 nearly everyday, from the past 15 days he has stayed here 9 nights and been to visit everyday for at least 4 hours a day.
I am disabled and in constant pain.
I moved back into the city from a village on outskirts where I had a lot of friends, in this area although I am near my Church I do not really know anyone around. I am unable to use public transport and though I live in a lively area of the city I don't really get the chance to benefit from it.
I had a blazing row with DD on Thursday evening she arrived at 19.00 to collect DGS, supposed to be 15.00. A friends Mother had died and he and SIL were in a right state, SIL grieving for his own Mother who died 21 years ago. I was fed up and told her he should get on with his life instead of forcing her and DGS to live with her ghost, 'don't touch a glass as it had been his Mothers, not buying new furniture as everything was his Mothers, using a tiny old washing machine, he gave me a hard time for pruning the roses in the garden, it had never been touched, for 19 years, it is now at least a safe place for DGS to play. I would qualify for sheltered housing here but that could be anywhere in Belguim as I would be government funded i would not have a choice just have to take what i was offered. I also do not want to move away from DD and DGS as they are all I have. I really feel for DD as she is between a rock and a hard place. Thanks folks I really needed to get this off my chest.

soontobe Sun 22-Mar-15 10:31:44

Good idea to get it off your chest.

Do you mean that your SIL stays in your apartment?
Or is estranged from your DD, but is often at the general house?

Sorry for your predicament.

jinglbellsfrocks Sun 22-Mar-15 10:39:35

What an awful situation Felice. flowers Sounds like son in law had an unhealthily emotional relationship with his mother. It is a shame for your DD that they didn't sell the house and buy something else of their own when the house came to them. Unlikely from what you say that this will happen now though.

I can't see anything you can do tbh. Just sit tight and continue to enjoy your little grandchild. At least with him around you won't be lonely as you might be in another part of Belgium on your own.

Would it be possible to quietly sound out the local authority to see if they have anything available in your area? Surely they would understand the family ties and not send you miles away.

jinglbellsfrocks Sun 22-Mar-15 10:43:01

And I think, maybe stand up to son in law a bit. Tell him calmly and firmly that he is being silly. It sounds as though they need you as much as you need them.

janeainsworth Sun 22-Mar-15 10:51:36

Felice that sounds really hard.
Sounds to me as though you could do with some friendships of your own - could any of your old friends from the village visit you? Perhaps they don't realise how isolated you have become. Or people from your church?

Elegran Sun 22-Mar-15 10:53:42

I know losing a mother is a big tragedy, but 21 years is a long time to grieve. He sounds obsessive about her but I don't imagine what you say will make any impression on him. What is his beef with you - that you are alive and his mother is not, resenting you as though you had taken her away? What a self-centred childish man, definitely stuck emotionally at age three or so.

If she were still alive, would she expect no-one to touch anything that had been hers, or move her furniture about? When I go, I hope that they are kind to my treasured possessions, but they are not shrines.

No advice to give, I am afraid, but plenty of sympathy, and for DD as well. It must be like living as wife number two to a widower still in love with wife number one.

Could you throw a weepy storm in his presence about how you miss DH and wish that everything was as it used to be, but you know that you must accept that DD, SiL and DG are now all you have and live for them? Show him that other people have losses to bear too. However, he would probably reply that his own mother would never have gone on like that, she was perfect!

felice Sun 22-Mar-15 11:00:15

SIL is 18 years older than DD he inherited the property from his Mother, he used to live in the apartment I am now in and his Mother lived in the triplex apartment they are in. He also rents out the 2 apartments above theirs.
There is no council housing here in the style of the UK, social housing yes but it is mainly for asylum seekers etc, again i would be in the same position as with the sheltered housing, and there are many areas I would not like to be sent to.
yes they need me, it was SILs idea that I move here when his previous tenant moved out.
DD does not work and he doesn't want her too, ok, as a landlord and with a good job he gets quite a bit of tax relief if she is registered as a housewife. Unfortunately when I had my mini strokes I lost a lot of my language skills and when I talk to SIL he puts on the heaviest Parisien accent ever heard.
SIL was adopted from a Jesuit orphanage at the age of 5, not a bad place he has only happy memories, and i think he was very much a trophy child. He is obsessed with his Mother, does actually admit it, he says everytime he sees me in their apartment he gets upset because it is not her.It is really upsetting me as he promised a lot when I gave up my rather lovely apartment to move here.

rosequartz Sun 22-Mar-15 11:05:15

Oh dear, felice , what an uncomfortable situation to be in.

SIL's clinging on to his dead mother's things and still grieving so much 21 years on sounds very unhealthy. Did he lose her when he was very young and vulnerable? He sounds as if he needs help with unresolved feelings, but of course it would be unwise to suggest that.

It is sometimes said that it is good to talk and get problems aired, but I think that would be too risky with your SIL.
You would not want to risk not seeing DGS although it does sound as if they rely on you a lot for childcare.

I hope your DD has had a think about the row you had and apologised - abd perhaps she needs to be a lot firmer with SIL and not indulge his wallowing.
(Sorry if that sounds a bit tough, but some people do make it all about themselves.)

Perhaps sound out your LA as jingls suggests and try to find somewhere suitable nearby.

soontobe Sun 22-Mar-15 11:10:40

I presume you could not swap with an apartment higher up, becuase of your disability?

Is there private housing that you could rent, that is suitable for you, nearby?

Do you think that your SIL wants you to move out? Somehow I doubt it.

What has your SIL said during and since your outburst?

soontobe Sun 22-Mar-15 11:12:50

I have just had a reread of your op.

Are you saying that he is virtually living in your apartment, because his mother used to live there? shock

rosequartz Sun 22-Mar-15 11:29:02

soon I think it is DGS who stays in felice's apartment a lot, not SIL. The whole house was his mother's and it is now in apartments.
That 's how I read it, anyway. Apologies if that is wrong.
I hope you have your own front door, felice.

Elegran Sun 22-Mar-15 11:33:33

Soon I read the OP as DGS spending a lot of time in Felices apartment, not SiL. She sounds essential to the smooth running of the household, so SiL is being very petty in resenting her very existence (which is what it seems like)

If you could move out of that hallowed apartment it would be a good thing. He is reminded of the past all the time. Is there any way you could be in a different part of the house? Can you suggest that to DD and see what you can come up with between you? Maybe SiL too would see the advantage of that and help with suggestions. It may take money to make it accessible for you.

You need a wider circle of friends, too. Are there any clubs or meetings in the area that you could go to? Or could you invite people to visit you?

petra Sun 22-Mar-15 11:38:09

Why are you, a disabled person, looking after a 3yr old when your D doesn't work? Sorry if I'm confused. I have read the post several times and it still reads the same.
Completely confused by the SIL. Is that coming to your apartment? Or visiting his own house?
If it is that he is coming to your apartment, does he ignore you then?

Mishap Sun 22-Mar-15 11:45:58

Phew - this SIL has a big problem! Maybe he does not speak to you as you are in his mother's flat and doing the things that his mother would have done had she been alive. But his obsession with his mum after all this time is truly pathological and you are bearing the brunt of it all.

If your DD does not work, then why is DGS looked after by you for such a lot of the time?

I am sorry you have had a row with your DD - I am sure that is the last thing you wanted - but to stroll in 4 hours later than you had arranged without them telling you they were going to be held up is really taking advantage, and I can understand you losing it.

One of the biggest difficulties is that any route forward carries risks of making things worse, and clearly this is not what you want.

Might it be possible for you to find a way of sitting down with your DD and talking all this through and getting some ground rules set down. I do not know if you pay rental for your flat and if there was some agreement that you would look after DGS in return for the use of the flat. Whatever the initial arrangement it is clear that it is not working out well for you at the moment and re-negotiation might be the way forward.

Looking after a little boy aged 3 when you have a disability and are in pain is no joke - I have mine of a similar age sometimes and I need a good rest afterwards!

To be honest I do think that they are really taking advantage of you and not considering your needs - but at present as they are all you have you will inevitably feel loathe to rock the boat. But then there is the risk of a build-up of resentment that spills over into the sort of row you have had with your DD.

I realise that your mobility problems might limit your ability to get about, but is there any way you can build up a bit of a life of your own, pursuing interests and making new friends, taking on other responsibilities maybe that mean they cannot always see you as being at their beck and call?

I am sorry that life is difficult for you at the moment.

harrigran Sun 22-Mar-15 11:52:05

felice flowers
I think your SIL's behaviour is OTT and makes you uncomfortable but your DD must love him very much to put up with him.

rosequartz Sun 22-Mar-15 11:58:20

felice is in his old flat, and when she visits the flat he and DD live in now (which was his mother's old flat - is that right?) he doesn't like it because felice is not his mother.
I think.
Well, I think they are both being very selfish and they should be taking more care of you, felice.

It is lovely to have DGS so close by and to stay - sometimes - but they sound as if they are taking advantage especially as DD does not work. A sleepover at Granny's just once a week would be something to look forward to and perhaps something you could cope with better. Three year olds can be exhausting.

I wish we could all come over and take you out.
A coachload of Gnetters - he wouldn't be able to argue!
However, I hope some friends from church could perhaps visit or take you out sometimes.

ninathenana Sun 22-Mar-15 12:07:52

SiL sounds a nightmare.
I too am puzzled why a 3 yr old whose mummy doesn't work has to be looked after by his unfortunately disabled nanny. I do childcare for DD when she's working, I wouldn't do it just so she could have 'me time'

I sympathise felice

jinglbellsfrocks Sun 22-Mar-15 12:36:40

Oh! you need to do some straight talking felice. angry Point out to him it was his idea that you move there and that you gave up your previous apartment to be near, and to help, them. Ask him straight out if he would like you to leave, and tell him he is quite welcome to find you another little place like the one you left for their sake. And if he puts on a stupid accent say something like, "For God's sake, speak the King's Flemish!"(or whatever you all normally speak) You have got to stand up to the pathetic so and so your son in law.

You go girl! Sounds like you haven't got anything to lose. (He could be a bit of a bully)

felice Sun 22-Mar-15 12:37:51

yep the situation is that SIL and his Mother bought this building which at the time contained 4 apartments 28 years ago, they converted the basement into a garden apt for SIL, private front door and a high standard conversion, his Mother renovated the ground floor of the building for her own use. When she died he moved into her larger apartment and has rented out the rest. I do pay rent and all my own bills, i have a legal contract with him. I pay about half the going rate for this area, and the plan was for DD to get a part-time job and DGS to start school last year half time, it's different here. he has blocked every try DD has made either to get DGS into school or get a job.
I think i would be fine with it if he wasn't being so unpleasant, DGS is a good child, and helps me a lot, he is eating a bowl of stawberry jelly as I write and is very good at doing things for me.
The housing system is very different here, Commune(council) housing is for those in full time employment and is kept for those in essential occupations, it is also means tested for rent. I would not qualify for any commune property. Social housing tends to be for those on social security and is seen as short termhousing. Most people rent privately or buy here.There is no housing benefit etc here, everyone recieves the same amount and it is up to you to find somewhere to live and live within your means.
The type of arrangement i have with SIL is common in families here, and it was his idea after all.
I have friends who knew his Mother, and have said we would have got on well together, and that she would have loved DD and DGS. She was a very lively outgoing person who really enjoyed life.

loopylou Sun 22-Mar-15 12:56:00

Oh dear felice, effectively he's controlling your, you're daughters and your DGS's lives, having you exactly where he wants you, and using his mother as the reason for, to me anyway, utterly incomprehensible and bullying behaviour.
Common practice or not, being in this situation is untenable but I really can only echo the suggestions above.
flowers &((hugs))

Mishap Sun 22-Mar-15 12:58:57

He does sound very controlling, in that he does not want his son to join the normal school system or for his wife to go out to work. It is always difficult to stand up to this sort of man; and doubly so if you are dependent on him for affordable accommodation.

Only you can assess what the outcome of trying to negotiate with him might be. You have a lot to lose: your home and your good relationship with your DGS, and normally with your DD.

It must be very frustrating for you to see your DD under the thumb.

I still feel that getting out and making some life of your own, to the extent that you are able, might be a way forward. It would send a message to them both.

I am assuming from the fact that DGS is with you at this moment that your DD has got over the row.

Anya Sun 22-Mar-15 13:22:22

Hold into the good things Felice which seem to be your love for your DGS and DD, which is obviously returned. All families have rows niw and again so don't let the one with your daughter linger. Smile and make up. I expect you've already done so.

Now to your SiL. I'm guessing you are on your own? No mention of DH. If you are a widow then let him know you understand grief and (hopefully) he will see he doesn't have a monopoly on it.

If that's not the situation then he will either have to be endured or tackled, carefully. By endured I mean just hear him out and go your own sweet way.

You do though need to expand your own life and find something to interest you outside your apartment. Can you think of anything you might like to do, or go, which is doable given your lack of mobility?

soontobe Sun 22-Mar-15 13:23:01

If you said to your sil that his mother wouldnt have wanted him to be like he is about her and about her things etc, do you think that he would listen at all?
Would you go to counselling?

Is your DD happy?

soontobe Sun 22-Mar-15 13:23:25

he go to counselling, not you obviously!

loopylou Sun 22-Mar-15 13:30:09

You mention people who knew his mother, could one of them shed some light on his behaviour or even speak to him......